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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Members say: Disappointing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Slow, Confusing
60
Critics
50
4 reviews
Members
61
32 reviews
 

Third Space presents this theatrical reimagining of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's classic 1972 film about a famous and arrogant fashion designer and the women in her life. 

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When a new model, Karin, enters the home of designer Petra von Kant, Petra's world—and career—rocket to manic heights. But in the midst of Petra’s euphoria, her submissive assistant, Marlene, senses a threat. When Karin becomes a superstar, leaving everything behind, Marlene is left to pick up the broken pieces. What Marlene does with those pieces will dictate the rest of her life. Featuring an all-female cast, 'The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant' delves into the tortured connections between desire and power in an industry driven by consumption.

 


Cast & Creatives (14)


Reviews (36)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
50
Avg Score

45
Theater In The Now

“This dark comedy is a wild ride that will leave you on edge…Fassbinder's text, translated by David Tushingham, is problematic but Viertel had a plethora of missed opportunities to infuse a genuine and consistent style…As Marlene, Alex Spieth gave an outstanding performance…‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’ is a wild trip through madness that goes off the rails. And it’s a shame because there’s so much good inside." Full Review

75
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It stands on its own as an interesting and absorbing weird drama involving love, passion, anger and other emotions stemming from the set-up...A problem with the play is that with all the heat generated it is difficult to feel deeply for Petra. That is due to the oddball nature of the work itself, and the aura of strangeness that hovers over events...It falls on the performers to capture our attention and get us to enjoy much of what we are watching, and they certainly succeed at that." Full Review

30
CurtainUp

"Sadly, this production, although imaginatively staged, is neither embraced by a text that is even remotely in synch with its presumed agenda nor is it enhanced by performances that might have effectively answered the call. The acting as a whole is far from awful, but this company has not been guided to express or explore the dark and moody sensuality that made the film or the subsequent stage version so provocative...The overall effect of the experience was close to numbing." Full Review

45
Theater Pizzazz

“A gorgeous and vacuous production that mines the material for high camp with very little sincerity. Under the direction of Benjamin Viertel, Fassbinder’s darkly humorous drama about a woman’s breakdown is a frenetic comedy about a pathetic lesbian…Scenic designer Bryce Cutler and costume designer Emily Chalmers do some dazzling work here…A more restrained directorial approach could have fulfilled the promise of the professional and transformative design." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
61
Avg Score

58
Ambitious, Indulgent, Overrated, Overacted. best performance is from the silent "assistant"

See it if predictable theater, with a seemingly strong woman falling prey to a femme fatale, losing all she's worked for and going back for more.

Don't see it if dislike performances with an LGBT theme, or to see successful women so weakened by a "pretty face and body" to a point of self destruction.

49
Exhausting and agitating

See it if You want to watch an all female cast be melodramatic and hysterical for 1.5hours... it's a headache inducing, drain of a show

Don't see it if You do not enjoy reality TV dysfunction and conflict shows like Jerry Springer and Maury Povich...agitating and exhausting-- just don't!

Also Toward the end of the show, they wheel a "present" onto set (no spoile... Read more Read less

43
Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Kitchy, Oh, please!

See it if you want a taste of what off-off Broadway was like in the late 60s and early 70s. Your expectation level is low.

Don't see it if You have anything, and I mean ANYTHING better to do with your time and money.

Also This show would have been better served by being totally camped up--a ... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent, Great writing, Modern classic

See it if you didn't know that R. W. Fassbinder wasn't just an amazing filmmaker but a great playwright as well (who wrote truly rich roles for women)

Don't see it if you're uptight when it comes to nudity, strong language or a high camp cultural critique that takes no prisoners.

75
Absorbing, Edgy, Raunchy, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you want a fun, sensual, avant-garde type of night, without over the top avant-gardeness. Very fun evening of theater.

Don't see it if you're looking for a very tame, family-friendly production.

11
Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if Sorry to say, but don't see it.

Don't see it if Don't see it.

80
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense

See it if you like experimental, avant garde theater focused on women's relationships

Don't see it if you like clear resolution to a story

68
During previews
Funny, Great acting, Confusing, Slow, Great staging

See it if You enjoy an exquisite set with all female cast. You like LQBTQ themes. The acting is also pretty good.

Don't see it if You can stand the slow progression of the plot and a woman who screams and cries for almost an hour.

36
During previews
Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you love all-female casts more than you dislike bad productions. (I will acknowledge that it's early in previews - perhaps it will improve!)

Don't see it if you would be frustrated by seeing a show that traffics in outdated and unchallenged stereotypes about bisexuality and predatory lesbians.

Also The script for Bitter Tears is difficult, full of problematic tropes a... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Ambitious, Dizzying, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You enjoy shows like Dostoevsky, a little out there, goes around in circles, and all emotions are right there on top. You like the absurd

Don't see it if You don't want to spend two hours watching hysterical women be hysterical. I get that that was probably the point, but it was exhausting.

78
During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if You're a feminist and/or saw the original Fassbinder film to compare them.

Don't see it if The idea of putting an absurdist comic/tragic spin on women's plight has no appeal for you.

Also Saw first preview. Hope they learn how to work the humor better withou... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Slow, Verbose, Inaudible, Ultimately excruciating, Histrionic

See it if You're up for a show with high self-conscious intellectual aspirations that devolve into logorrheic melodrama, misdirected and unclear.

Don't see it if You'd prefer a show held up by more than a silent maid and an iguana, unfortunately the clearest, most layered & effective elements onstage.

Also In spite of an unforgivably inaudible exposition, Bitter Tears begins ... Read more Read less

73
During previews
Edgy, Refreshing, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy getting into the minds of may-december lesbian relationship; well acted melo-drama

Don't see it if you don't like harsh language or some brief female nudity

68
During previews
Intense, Indulgent, Great staging, Underdeveloped

See it if You have a particular interest in the fashion industry. I also enjoyed the dramatic set design within the constraints of a smaller theatre.

Don't see it if You prefer subtle, nuanced acting or a conventional narrative arc. The primary characters were all (perhaps deliberately) over-the-top.

50
During previews
Ambitious, Quirky, Disappointing, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a play about a fashion designer that has a love interest that seems to be interested in only one thing.

Don't see it if You don't want to. You don't like plays about love interests that are users and the lover is being used and she doesn't know enough to stop

Also The space was nice. The staging was okay. The clothing were nice. Be p... Read more Read less

49
During previews
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched

See it if An ambitious show overshadows disappointing presentation

Don't see it if you don't care for profanity used in place of actual dialog, ham fisted presentation disappoints you, you don't enjoy HS level shows

55
During previews
Disappointing, Slow

See it if You enjoy a bit of confusion!

Don't see it if If you're a Fassbinder fan!

10
During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Bad staging, Bad acting

See it if a root canal is your idea of " fun ". This play is just as painful.....

Don't see it if If you hate seeing a Fassbinder's play being butchered

53
During previews
Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Poor staging

See it if you enjoy unintentionally campy insanity.

Don't see it if you require strong acting, good direction, good staging.

Also Costumes were lovely. Actors had great physicality.

60
During previews
Edgy, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if Thought the acting was well done and it was artsy and edgy

Don't see it if Bit over the top at times and ending fell a bit short

57
During previews
Edgy, Intense, Quirky, Raunchy, Disappointing

See it if You like dramedies based on movies. It's a good shows for those who are able to sit through long shows (2hrs no intermision)

Don't see it if If you dislike odd shows. At certain points of tension the audience will laugh and I'm not sure if that's the intention of the director.

76
During previews
Engaging, Verbose, Sluggish, Appealing staging

See it if interested in the topic. Seeking well acted off-Broadway entertainment. You will enjoy rollicking role of Marlene. Fine production and set.

Don't see it if you want to avoid shows with lesbian, broken heart relationships. Performance could use some tuning and have actors to project more.

84
During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You appreciate innovative staging and complex characters

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with same sex relationships

90
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Must see . Just great.

Don't see it if N/a

76
During previews
Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Disjointed, Repetitious

See it if A mid 30s first-love story resonates with you. The initial expression of anguish was demonstrative.

Don't see it if You're too old to experience someone else's first-love heartaches. The multiple expressions of love sickness were plenty enough for a year.