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The Hairy Ape

From 288 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense

About the show

Park Avenue Armory and the Old Vic present O’Neill's expressionist drama, a searing social commentary on the divide between the rich and poor in the industrial age. Starring Emmy winner and Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale. More…

Cannavale stars as Yank, an unthinking laborer searching for his place in a world controlled by the wealthy. His journey from the bowels of a transatlantic ocean liner to the wealthy neighborhoods of New York society literally revolves around the audience like the conveyor belt of a larger machine, serving as a metaphor for the struggle between the working man and the industrial complex. The revival is directed by Olivier winner Richard Jones and is based on a previous mounting he helmed in London.


Member Reviews (288)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You like Eugene O'Neill's plays. Fits into today's concerns about the fate of man and his place in the world. Fabulous set in Armory space.

Don't see it if You prefer musicals and comedies. This ain't it. If you don't like Bobby Canavale or Eugene O'Neill's point of view of life.

80
Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if Don't want to miss a landmark production of a rarely-performed "important" work by O'Neill. Hard to imagine a better version ever mounted.

Don't see it if You prefer naturalism, a storyline, and an absence of polemics. You can't sit for 90 minutes in chairs with too-shallow, too-high seats.

90
Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Epic, Must see

See it if you are interested in a rare O'Neill play given a magnificent expressionist staging in a unique setting.

Don't see it if you have little interest in O'Neill and don't care for large-scale stagings.

85
Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Great writing

See it if impressive performance by Bobby Cannavale! His performance was fiery, authentic, and poignant .This play is an outstanding visual artwork.

Don't see it if I can not think of any reason not to see this play...everyone should see it!

Also The set design was unique and innovative...I was really mesmerized .Th... Read more Read less

98
Ape in perfect shape

See it if you enjoy great acting in a cavern with stadium seating. Cannavale, Costabile and crew keep coal coming. Scalding hot production will amaze.

Don't see it if Hard plastic seats biggest issue. Sprawling venue itself a zoo to navigate. Scrape $30 for Ape. Visually lavish and provocative.

Also Matinee best given the inconvenient venue. Director Richard Jones more... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if A powerful play that speaks volumes about how people suffer from societies outlook. Bobby Canavalle is in total control of the character.

Don't see it if Playwright O'Neill is not your bell wringer.

86
Great staging, Great acting, Intense, Intelligent

See it if Brilliant staging; outstanding lead actor

Don't see it if Want the script to be primary

93
Epic, Masterful, Must see, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you have any interest in O"Neil and want to see a brilliant staging of a rarely produced, perhaps second rate play of his with BC who rocks!

Don't see it if You dislike polemical, didactic, extreme talkiness and can't overlook these flaws in early O'Neil in a production which is beautiful, unique

Also This was an all-time high for me in seeing a production of this calibe... Read more Read less

80
Impressive, Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a play done on a grand, masculine, massive scale. Filling the entire space of the Armory this play impresses! Cast is great!

Don't see it if You aren't up for a play about social classes, industrialization, greed & cultural apprehension. The seating may prove to be a challenge.

87
Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a Bobby Canavale fan, as he's in every scene, and if you enjoy a well written play with some very unusual and interesting staging...

Don't see it if you are not a fan of O'Neill's and don't like shows about the haves and the have nots...

80
Confusing, Great staging, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see Bobby Cannavale give a bravura performance.

Don't see it if you're not up for a serious O'Neill drama.

100
Masterful, Must see, Profound, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want to experience a once in a lifetime event with masterful acting, staging, visuals. Very impactful. Bobby Cannavale rocks!

Don't see it if You want a light hearted, simple and straightforward show.

Also The staging is out of this world!!!

85
Ambitious, Cliched, Dizzying, Amazing production design, Great acting

See it if you love theater that is a unique experience. Using the armory and creating a theater within really elevates this story. love bobby canavale

Don't see it if not the best o'neill story and the dialect is very heavy handed. The use of the space is very non traditional.

70
Ambitious, Great staging, Existential, Unnecessary, Bold

See it if you enjoy a truly masterful staging - inventive and intense. Good acting. The presnetation is fresh but the content old and unnecessary.

Don't see it if you don't like weird and not straightforward storytelling. You want a truly thought-provoking show - this one is rather pretentious.

88
Hairy ape has the most incredible "turntable set" u r likely to c in your lifetime (4get les miz)!, Great staging, Bobby cannavale leads a great ensemble cast!!, Great acting, Some male nudity (shower scene)

See it if When U walk thru the doors U no this ain't goin 2b the same-o same-0. Then the lites go out, Expressionistic theater takes over, what a ride

Don't see it if Not for all tastes, stylized dialogue & settings, plus a 1922-style bashing of the upper classes by the below deck workers. Brief nudity too

96
Riveting, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a visually stunning expressionistic play that fills the huge drill hall with dramatic sights and sounds. Very unique experience.

Don't see it if you don't want to see Bobby Cannavale in a great performance. Deals broadly with class and wealth as only O'Neill can. Run, don't walk!

85
Great acting, Great director, Great production team, Absorbing, Must see

See it if Production made extraordinary by the built space at the Armory. It is important to exit the opposite way you reached your seat...

Don't see it if you only like comedies, and light fare.

Also It is important to exit the opposite way you reached your seat, by the... Read more Read less

93
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you're interested in opulent and exciting stagings of challenging work. This production is art with a capital "A" from start to finish.

Don't see it if you want a straightforward, all-dots-connected drama without impressionistic and expressionistic elements.

70
Great staging, Dated, Disappointing

See it if You've never seen this play. Like really great staging.

Don't see it if Want any emotional involvement.

90
Great acting, Must see, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Masterful

See it if You want to spend an amazing evening at the Park Ave. Armory watching an amazing cast in a very innovative, moving show.

Don't see it if You are not into avant gatde theater.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Edgy, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy message theater with great performances and unique staging in a great space. Very timely topic of class.

Don't see it if you don't like innovative staging and sometimes difficult material.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Profound

See it if you want to see one of the best Off-Broadway productions of the year; it takes you to another world and you never quite come back out of it.

Don't see it if you are opposed to Eugene O'Neill.

98
Must see, Masterful, Profound, Riveting, Relevant

See it if You want to see a brilliant and contemporary realization of a rarely performed O'Neill classic. Cannavale and his ensemble and set - bravo!

Don't see it if you enjoy enjoy musicals.

89
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you love great writing, acting, staging in a landmark space. The play is old but still relevant. Great NYC theatrical experience.

Don't see it if you want conventional plot and narrative or you expect Bobby Cannavale to be funny. This role is a game changer for him.

96
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Original staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy great acting. Bobby Cannavalle deliveries a tour de force performance. Great ensemble and well staged.

Don't see it if are looking for easy entertainment with this thought-provoking drama that is as relevant today as when it was written in 1922.


March 31st, 2017
“A mesmerizing revival…O’Neill’s nightmarish parable of alienation and class conflict still feels close to home…Mr. Jones’s interpretation is ravishing enough to please the sort of aesthetes who worship Robert Wilson’s exquisite dreamscapes. But this production also rings with primal pain...Mr. C...
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March 31st, 2017
"A staggering, last-word revival...Cannavale's body is giving us expressionism while his smooth interpretation of the speech is giving us realism...It anchors a production, gorgeously directed by Jones, that is otherwise full-tilt expressionism on the grandest scale...The performances of the othe...
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April 10th, 2017
“Yank is an embodiment of the playwright’s ideas about theatrical naturalism and how to elevate it beyond the proscenium and make it deeper, spookier…Reading ‘The Hairy Ape,’ you’d never imagine what Jones comes up with, and those surprises are the reason the production is such a thrill…Jones’s t...
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March 31st, 2017
"Environmental theater doesn’t come any more powerful than the staging of 'The Hairy Ape'...Cannavale superbly brings his raw, macho physicality to the leading role...The play is not exactly subtle in its language and themes. Director Jones exploits that artificiality by visually emphasizing the ...
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