Opens Jan 26

The Bench

Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Ambitious
4 reviews
44 reviews

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.

... Read more

'The Bench's' sparse set is integrated with graphic novel art projections, from Daphne Arthur’s adaptation of the play, and the production is scored live by composer and multi-instrumentalist Deep Singh.


Cast & Creatives (7)

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To see or not to see (0)

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Reviews (48)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Theatre is Easy

“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.” Full Review


“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." Full Review

The Knockturnal

"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." Full Review

Metropolitan Report

“’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.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant

See it if You like solo performance pieces inhabited by multiple characters.

Don't see it if If you are not a fan of one-person shows, or uncomfortable faced with the humor and pathos of addiction, homelessness and illness.

Disappointing, Unsatisfying, Not fully realized, Excellent actor

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..

Also This show is only an hour long and I felt like I was left hanging. Thi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Confusing

See it if you are open-minded to seeing a piece of theatre that is thought-provoking and heartfelt even if it's rough around the edges and needs work.

Don't see it if you really struggle with one-man shows. It has compelling content, but not all the performance logistics are worked out. Can get confusing.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Interesting

See it if You're interested in seeing homelessness in a different way. We all walk by them everyday. Robert makes us see them.

Don't see it if You're not interested in changing your perception.

Also It's a very thought-provoking show that stays with you long after you ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Confusing

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.

Also Having recently seen Freight, a one man show with absolute separation ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

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.

Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you are interested in a one man show that deals with a heart wrenching topic

Don't see it if you need more characters in a play and need an uplifting topic

Also a very talented actor playing many parts telling compelling stories of... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you like to watch workshop and if you want to see what does not work as a one man show

Don't see it if you like finished products

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like very short one man shows.

Don't see it if You have seen other great one man shows. You will be disappointed by this one.

Also I thought the premise of this show sounded interesting, which is why I... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, A for effort

See it if You support evolving playwrights.

Don't see it if you want to see a more polished show.

Also I must say this play was rather confusing and from the description, it... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You will enjoy how fast the creator/actor can switch characters. Very believable. Very insightful to the characters.

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

Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if A prodigious acting talent, focusing on issues as relevant today as they were in the 1980's. Thought provoking, compassionate, rousing.

Don't see it if Don't see this play if you want mindless, trivial fluff. This play is not that. It will make you think. Be warned.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You enjoy stories told from a new perspective in a visceral way.

Don't see it if You're looking for glamorous staging.

Great acting

See it if You enjoy seeing excellent acting!(continued below)

Don't see it if Gainsky was amazing! Would continue to see more of him! I,too will try my hand in a play about homelessness witthe nat'l coalitio

Also My opinion is that everyone ... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you want your imagination to be sparked beyond your wildest dreams.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a one-man show.

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you'd like to see something new and UNIQUE!

Don't see it if you wouldn't like to see something new and unique!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Masterful, Must see, Profound

See it if You love warm, rich, intense and dynamic characters.

Don't see it if You can't handle the truth.

Epic, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Raunchy, Resonant

See it if You're looking for a brilliant actor tackling toughness issues. You're patient and don't need bells and whistles. Close your eyes, enjoy!

Don't see it if You have no heart and if you need hype. This is real, raw and fun

Funny, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a thoroughly engaging solo show with excellent acting and writing and a very moving conclusion.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical.

Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a real portrayal of poverty and desperation

Don't see it if You don't like a one man show

Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You’re curious how one actor can play five parts; you care about social justice; you’re not the typical “theater person”

Don't see it if You’re uncomfortable with social issues or strong language.

Edgy, Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you care about humanity and issues surrounding homelessness

Don't see it if you do not care about humanity and issues surrounding homelessness

Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Resonant, Romantic

See it if You enjoy new perspectives, or if the City is a part of your soul.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable having your views challenged.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you like one man shows, want to be inspired and entertained

Don't see it if you are easily offended

During previews
Still needs work, interesting concept

See it if you want a finished product, the sound need adjusting, as did the dialogue, interesting to play several characters,

Don't see it if don't like activist theater, also need to differentiate the characters better ie have a different prop as change person, voice didn't always

Also do it well enough... Read more Read less