The Bench

The Bench NYC Reviews and Tickets

(56 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant, Ambitious

About the Show

Based on true stories, Robert Galinsky's solo piece explores the emotional heartbreak of five homeless characters and the catastrophic hysteria surrounding AIDS in the 1980s.

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Member Reviews (56)

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897 Reviews | 374 Followers
Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if You appreciate hearing one mans journey presented in a way that is accessible and interesting. His struggle though unique becomes universal.

Don't see it if You don’t like one person shows. This guy’s presentation needs a bit of work but the material is worth overlooking his rough spots.

668 Reviews | 156 Followers
Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing, Confusing, Slow

See it if you'd like to sample the lives of an assortment of New Yorkers, homeless or inadequately housed, at the height of the AIDS crisis.

Don't see it if you do not like one-person shows, or shows about the urban underbelly. Read more

390 Reviews | 98 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to spend an hour "meeting" interesting characters who have lost their way. The stories resonate and humanity shines through.

Don't see it if You can get tickets to Freight instead. The characters are not always easily distinguishable. The delivery stilted and unpolished. Read more

268 Reviews | 79 Followers
Excellent actor, Disappointing, Not fully realized, Unsatisfying

See it if you'd appreciate a very good actor playing several characters; you're interested in the background stories of the homeless we pass every day

Don't see it if you need a fully realized play and plot-this felt more like a synopsis of these people's lives.. Read more

263 Reviews | 52 Followers
Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy one person shows and are interested in the stories of the homeless. It opens your eyes to the homeless as individuals.

Don't see it if You have no compassion for the homeless.

250 Reviews | 29 Followers
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Cliched

See it if you want to learn more about relationships in the homeless community

Don't see it if you don't like solo performers playing multiple characters or tiny "theaters.

188 Reviews | 63 Followers
Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious, Profound

See it if you want to live with eyes wide open to the stories of 5 homeless characters portrayed at breakneck speed by a virtuostic writer/performer.r

Don't see it if theater is your favorite escapist means - this is very compelling portraiture drawn from the author's experience with real people in the 80s Read more

189 Reviews | 20 Followers
Absorbing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Edgy

See it if You are interested in experiencing some of homeless people’s lives.

Don't see it if Homelessness doesn’t interest you

Critic Reviews (5)

Lighting & Sound America
February 14th, 2018

"The play is haunted by the lack of any meaningful dramatic action, as well as a tendency toward sentimentality...Galinsky has a fairly solid technique, but at times he has trouble giving the characters distinct identities...An admirable project, but as it is, it is in need of a more astringent point of view and a stronger dramatic spine. We need a more urgent reason to spend time with these characters; otherwise, just as in real life, it will be too easy to turn away when they approach."
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November 15th, 2017
For a previous production

“Though Galinsky meticulously captures the soul of each persona...there is a lack of propulsion and energy to the plot; in this instance there is not enough of to the plot to keep the audience interested...There is tension but no real conflict...Without a doubt, this is an accurate display of life for many homeless people, but onstage the absence of heightened drama feels dull."
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Theatre is Easy
October 31st, 2017
For a previous production

“Galinsky's vital solo piece, based on real people, is the most important kind of urban voyeurism...If you enjoy the work of Anna Deavere Smith, or are an active reader of those ‘Humans of New York’ posts, you're in for a treat...The respect and compassion that Galinsky has for his subjects are readily apparent...The chameleonic Galinsky transforms between various distinct personas with perfect control and ease...Each one of them has a story that needs to be heard.”
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November 5th, 2017
For a previous production

"Based on true stories, 'The Bench' successfully tugs at the heartstrings of its audience. Weaving in loss, love, and heartbreak through an emotional performance. This skillfully written play creates an eye-opening experience...Galinsky gives a brilliant performance filled with both high energy and emotion, endearing all five characters to the audience within an hour. A fascinating tale that brings drama, a little tragedy, and just a taste of comedy."
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October 29th, 2017
For a previous production

“’The Bench' is well-deserving of a legendary stage setting to let this diamond of a show shine...Not only a tour de force of Galinsky's stage writing and acting, but it truly moved me, and quite frankly left me with both awe and hope...Galinsky throws down the gauntlet as a social challenge to all of us--to be better people, see fellow humans with more empathy and to ultimately to understand that what is on the surface is not always what is underneath.”
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