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The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Members say: Clever, Intelligent, Funny, Quirky, Entertaining
81
Critics
89
8 reviews
Members
80
48 reviews
 

Untitled Theater Company #61 presents an epic farce set at the fantasy wedding of Toklas and Stein, packed with Parisian expatriate notables of a century ago.

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Picasso has brought two of his mistresses and one of his wives. Hemingway has also brought his wife but is more obsessed by his matador. Meanwhile, all involved discuss matters of art, genius, friendship, religion, more genius, sexuality, money, fame, genius again, and, of course, love. Identities are merged and submerged as four actors play more than 30 characters. Written in a style that echoes Stein’s work, this is a comic fantasy with serious intent.

 

Cast & Creatives (12)


Reviews (56)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
89
Avg Score

80
The New York Times

"'Marriage' is a silly aural pleasure...Stein’s style also serves another purpose: as a marker for the ambiguity that a genius...is able to turn into a weapon against intimacy...Between semi-farcical scenes a quieter drama emerges...What makes the insight fresh in Einhorn’s play, despite the occasional amateurishness of its staging, is the absurdist language in which it’s told. And what makes it painful is the understanding that in every marriage, someone is the genius, someone not." Full Review

95
Theatre is Easy

"A brilliant love letter for Stein and Toklas in the form of a whimsical, furiously funny, and ultimately profound play...Their story is told in a style of self-aware charm, endless pretense, and suspended beliefs...It will make you laugh, and then before you realize it, make you cry as well...The cast is superb. Katigbak and Simon have glorious chemistry...A perfect example of a harmonious co-existence of wild imagination, an excellent structure, and a strong central theme." Full Review

95
BlogCritics.org

“Einhorn directs with stylized precision, while leaving flexibility for the portrayals…The actors hit their marks with marvelous, in-the-moment-truth...It is clear that they have invested full personal stakes in these portrayals, adding up, through Einhorn’s clever direction, to a masterwork that will not easily be forgotten...A lighthearted, whimsical, funny and yet incredibly profound examination of love, being, identity, and interconnected consciousness.” Full Review

95
Stage Buddy

"The highly skilled actors commit passionately...Utterly riveting show. There is an eloquence forcing its way through the shiny surface of quick witticisms and wordy observations that brings meaning and gravitas to the play...Underlying the farcical, high-paced, cartoon-esque moments lie truth and depth, poignantly and subtly lingering as smoke. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, this love story that was, the marriage that should have been, is the play you must see." Full Review

80
HiLow Brow

"Stein is the eye of this storm, played with magisterial humility by Mia Katigbak. She is the oracular center on which her coterie of geniuses base their self-attention...Neale as Hemingway is a self-satire tottering on the precipice of tragedy, a tour de force of tortured élan; Harding as Picasso and everybody else is a genius of self-importance and shtick painted thinly over remorse and ambivalence." Full Review

95
BroadwayWorld

“Einhorn directs his play with a flair for both comedy and complexity. Mia Katigbak stuns with her delivery as Gertrude Stein…Be prepared to be swept away, and suddenly confronted with complexities and philosophies that strike a nerve…The play leaves you breathless and spellbound…Fully realized by a brilliant cast, use of lighting, sound, and costuming…Theatre that needs to be seen, and a dance that needs to be experienced.” Full Review

85
GertrudeAndAlice.com

"A farcical frolic with members of Gertrude and Alice’s charmed circle...Mia Katigbak and Alyssa Simon balance powerful moments with sensitive ones and interchange identities...Edward Einhorn’s writing creatively embraces Stein’s verbiage and cadence with his own touches of humor and enough historical references to satisfy the Gertrude and Alice fan, English or art history major, 1920s Francophile, or anyone looking for an enjoyable, thoughtful, theatrical romp." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

"The sort of thing that one chortles through from paragraph to paragraph while unraveling additional meanings until the final period lands...There is so much to slog through, with so little actually happening, that missing even a beat means losing five or twelve points...Thank goodness then for the vivid balls-to-the-walls acting...Though always clever, the proceedings risk becoming exhausting, particularly during the second act...Oh but that ending is a beauty." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
80
Avg Score

85
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Intelligent

See it if you want to see four gifted actors playing 30+ characters. These actors are a great ensemble!!!!

Don't see it if you have no idea who Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein are.

Also Great script, however the direction is not great. This is one of those... Read more Read less

67
Quirky, Witty, Well-acted, Weird, Imaginative

See it if You are a Stein/Toklas fans and would enjoy seeing these two characters among their colorful friends in an imaginary wedding ceremony

Don't see it if You would be frustrated by the writer's conceit that the Stein and Toklas actors are "pretending" to be the characters they are playing

82
Love and marriage by gertrude pretending to be alice pretending to be gertrude

See it if Hilarious visit to Gertrude & Alice's Paris salon with guests Picasso, Hemingway, Joyce, Whitehead, VanVechten. High absurdism in Stein talk

Don't see it if repetition throws you or non-linear plays confuse you. Fine acting. Intellectual silliness brought to new heights.

68
Quirky, Romantic, Indulgent, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if You like plays with a few actors playing many characters, which - when well written and acted, I love.

Don't see it if You believe it was written by Alice B. Toklas. I was naive and fooled by the title. I felt duped.

86
Creative, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Unusual

See it if A challenge of a show with an unusual setup, requiring audience to pay attention and trust it's sort of wacky set up. V intelligent/witty~

Don't see it if You know or care nothing about the thriving literature salon scene Paris 1920, are looking for easy fare, or take issue with gay themed play

100
Clever, Intelligent, Must see, Great acting, staging & costumes, Very relevant

See it if You’re up for an intelligent, well researched, intricately written, entertaining and incisive script performed by an intensely talented cast

Don't see it if You're unaware of the work or influence of Toklas, Stein, Hemingway and Picasso or The Lost Generation in Paris between the World Wars.

Also Playwright & director Edward Einhorn has managed to not only read & di... Read more Read less

82
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Cerebral, but also funny and touching stories interest you. Great acting.

Don't see it if You can't take Gertrude Stein, or you don't like minimally stages shows or actors playing multiple roles.

78
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if Witty, poignant tale of Stein/Tokas' 'marriage' as if written by Stein herself with puns & convolutions abounding Cast is outstanding

Don't see it if A certain patience with & knowledge of Stein's style needed as well as the literary highbrows of the 30's Pacing jumps from manic to slow

80
Ambitious, Interesting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy works regarding Gertrude and Alice's lives, loves, and friends!

Don't see it if You've no interest in the 2 Women and their lives!

80
Clever, playful, surreal, intelligent and somewhat "becketesque"

See it if you like both intelligent and physical humor and are interested in the life and times of Gertrude Stein.

Don't see it if you're not in the mood to think, or don't know anything about the characters.

77
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you understand Stein's writing - her circle of writers and artist in 1920's Paris. Good acting with each actor playing different roles.

Don't see it if if you are looking for a traditional play, you know nothing about G, Stein or you don't like her.

Also It was entertaining, raw and fun. The first act went fast but the seco... Read more Read less

85
Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you are familiar with Gertrude Stein. This charming show uses her writing style to tell her story with lots of physical comedy and champagne

Don't see it if you are expecting a traditional play with a plot that progresses logically.

77
Delightful, Intelligent, Quirky, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you can appreciate Stein's circular thinking and verse. It's not everyone's cup of tea.

Don't see it if you are looking for a straight forward play.

80
Clever, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if This is quite fun if you are familiar with Gertrude Stein's mythology and her circle. If you're not, not.

Don't see it if Hemingway's character is made to be the butt of half the jokes, which got somewhat tiring. The first half is rather the better of the two.

81
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if a witty, hilarious and moving play about Stein, Toklas and the famous people they knew appeals to you.

Don't see it if The above doesn't interest you. But you might like it anyway--it's so clever and funny.

83
Amusing, well-acted niche play

See it if A delightful bagatelle in an intimate setting. 100 minutes of provocative enjoyment if you know of Gertrude Stein & the Lost Generation

Don't see it if you dislike Gertrude Stein/ Alice Toklas or are uninterested in romanticed stories about her salons and their habitues: Picasso, Hemingway,.

Also An interesting but idiosyncratic play that is well structured and supe... Read more Read less

86
Clever, Entertaining, Imaginative, Idiosyncratic, Humorous (it's a farce)

See it if you like Gertrude Stein or witty writing. You like unconventional or slightly absurd shows.

Don't see it if you like strictly realistic theater or need a linear story line. You find 1920s American expats or "geniuses" self-indulgent or boring.

Also For once (& this is rare), being self-referential didn't bother me. It... Read more Read less

77
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you appreciate Ionesco's plays. If you like intelligent farce.

Don't see it if you need straight-forward language. If you fail to appreciate 'a rose is a rose is a rose'.

75
Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You can stomach a farcical and often over-the-top, yet ultimately poignant, portrait of this duo and their circle.

Don't see it if Your tolerance for low budget farce is low, or peering into the window of 27 Rue de Fleurus wouldn't do anything for you.

Also Free champagne, a pot-brownie recipe, and 80 minutes, no intermission.... Read more Read less

100
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if loved the mixtures of characters - the references to historic fact - the players pretending to be other people - the free champagne - see it

Don't see it if you don't know who gertrude and alice are

72
Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like historic figures and their stories told with a comedic touch. I think the writing was interesting and the acting was very good.

Don't see it if You don't like characters playing multiple roles. The beginning was a little confusing and I think trying to be too clever.

96
Clever, Delightful, Exquisite

See it if you want to experience brilliant acting, innovative storytelling and all-around fun, with some touching moments

Don't see it if you only like straightforward, plot-driven theatre

85
Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you are looking to discover something smart and funny downtown.

Don't see it if you know nothing about Gertrude Stein or other 20th century modernists.

88
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy French farce, explorations of historical figures, some of the finest performers NYC can offer.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy fresh farce or absurd theatrics. You're seeking a linear storyline play.

75
Clever, Intelligent, Overrated

See it if You want to see a heady piece that incorporates art world and intellectuals.

Don't see it if You are expecting a more entertaining evening. It's all about being witty, which isn't always all that fun.