New York | 1h 59m | Already closed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Hamlet Isn't Dead)

From 1 critic and 34 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Clever, Quirky

About the show

Hamlet Isn't Dead presents a holiday-themed take on Shakespeare's ribald comedy featuring the outrageous and irrepressible John Falstaff.  More…

This new production offers audiences the chance to join in the fun of watching John Fallstaff, the character Queen Elizabeth loved so much she requested his own spin-off, live, learn, laugh, and love in a festive production, featuring live music that's half-Christmas half-Mardi Gras.

1h 59m | Already closed | Westbeth (West Village)

Classical NYC

"Framed as a Christmas trifle, with red-and-green clothes and even ugly sweaters, HID'S 'Merry Wives' is as giddy as a cup of good strong nog. Once again, the company brings out a strong ensemble full of excellent clowns who double as musicians, and don't object to interjecting modernisms to keep the jingle ball rolling...The cut is smart, keeping the (very few) known speeches, conflating unnecessary characters, and moving the plot along briskly." Full Review

Delightful, Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if you like great cuts of Shakespeare's "lesser" plays with creative staging; if you like small, intimate shows; if you like physical comedy

Don't see it if you don't like modern dress or other anachronisms; if you want your Shakespeare followed to the letter (if the spirit does not suffice)

Also It was a little special to see this play about men chasing after women... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Clever, Delightful, Fluffy

See it if you would want to see a great performance of a very minor play.

Don't see it if You don't love Shakespeare.

Also The mostly very young cast (except Falstaff) is sensational and wrings... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing, Clever

See it if You love twisted Shakesphere. Costumes & dialogue great. Live music and musicians were part of show. Creative and hilarious. Enjoyable

Don't see it if If you do not like Shakesphere English

Also Not a fan of Shakesphere but really enjoyed this refreshing twist. Gre... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if you like your Shakespeare fast, funny and bouncing!

Don't see it if you want to have profound thoughts about life and the universe. No revelations within

Clever, Entertaining, Riveting, Hilarious, Creative interpretation

See it if you love Shakespeare! This is such a fun adaptation and the acting was superb. I was rolling in laughter!

Don't see it if you find Shakespeare annoying. This play is definitely a deep-cut of Shakespeare, but it's incredibly well done.

Also This is a very intimate setting/show. This is NOT a high budget, crazy... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if want to see a very good case made for the basic strengths of what might be Shakespeare's least distinguished comedy.

Don't see it if If you have no interest in cracked productions of Shakespearean comedy, you might be a little less tolerant of all the foolery than I was .

Thoroughly enjoyable, musically bright, great staging, committed actors, inventive

See it if you've always wanted to see "Merry Wives..." and you appreciate young talent.

Don't see it if you are looking for a great Shakespearean text.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Hilarious, Funny

See it if you want to see Shakespeare done the way Shakespeare intended: loudly, bawdily, irreverently, and cleverly.

Don't see it if you prefer your Shakespeare as a museum piece: stiff, dusty, and something from & of the past.

Great acting, Great singing, Great writing, Delightful, Hilarious

See it if you enjoy well performed and clearly articulated Shakespearean comedy book with modern costumes/music and minimalist set in casual theatre

Don't see it if you do not enjoy or cannot understand easily Elizabethan English or humor, prefer elaborate traditional costumes and set or a formal theatre

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you like a Shakespeare comedy actually performed as a comedy.

Don't see it if if you prefer the tragedies or histories.

Fresh, Energetic, Great ensemble cast, Clever, Great fun

See it if You're up for a fresh and seasonal take on a Shakespearean trifle by this consistently inventive, fun and energetic, talented young troupe.

Don't see it if You don't equate Shakespeare with slapstick, silly or slo-mo — they're all here, and appropriately so; Shakespeare as intended and original.

Also The major complaints about this Merry Wives are the shortness of its r... Read more Read less

A classic all dressed up for the holidays, Endearing, Small-scale

See it if Shakespeare lovingly & bracingly performed by a cast of clever actors in a space not much bigger than a living room. No declaiming, just...

Don't see it if bright, quick fun, maybe a little too big & a bit too forced for the space, but everyone is having such a good time, why carp?

Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy, Quirky, Good silliness

See it if You enjoy high energy comedy. You like modern takes on Shakespeare. You want good, over the top, entertainment.

Don't see it if You want a traditional interpretation of Shakespeare with no edits. You prefer dramas. You like a natural approach to classic plays.

Great fun - well executed, Delightful

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare's sillier plays, if you are in the mood for something light

Don't see it if Farce turns you off or you are looking for something polished

Clever, Quirky, Run amok, Musical, Intimate

See it if You like your Shakespeare accessible, fast-paced, and ad-libbed with modern asides.

Don't see it if You're a Shakespeare purist (lots of, some would argue necessary cuts), or if you don't like intimate spaces.

Also There are 3 rows of folding chairs on either side of the action. Be ca... Read more Read less

Funny, Quirky, Slapstick

See it if You enjoy a kind of Marx brothers-style slapstick humor, or you enjoy small-scale community theatre-style productions.

Don't see it if You're a Shakespeare purist or want a larger scale production.

Entertaining, Funny

See it if Like to see enthusiastic artists keeping a live a funny Shakespeare piece not well known. A creative music component, fantastic atmosphere

Don't see it if you only like conventional theater and don't like to be surprised with a creative setting adjusted to a limited site and budget

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Good music, Fun

See it if If you like non-traditional shakespeare with music

Don't see it if want a “traditional” play

Banal, Fluffy, Quirky, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like you're Shakespeare zany with a large dollop of irreverence.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist. There's a LOT of random shtick and ad-libbing that sometimes really distracts from the actual comedy.

Delightful, Banal, Entertaining, Funny, Mediocre

See it if you like Shakespeare and don't mind the play without proper costume.

Don't see it if you want to see Shakespeare's work with sets and costume.

Disappointing, Fluffy, Banal, Quirky, Slow

See it if You want to see all of HID’s productions, and if you like the color red.

Don't see it if You like Merry Wives, or are hoping for this to be a good introduction to a Shakespeare show you don’t know.

Also HID is typically very good at making Shakespeare’s text engaging, rela... Read more Read less

Spirited, Shaggy

See it if you get off on pure uncut "let's put on a show!" moxie.

Don't see it if you are immune to the amusements of parlor antics.


See it if you want to support an energetic group of mostly young actors.

Don't see it if you don't like overly broad, overly loud performances by a cast that shouts instead of acts. Maybe the fault of the director.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if Super fun and a grand old time. Took the pretension out of Shakespeare and was cut in a clever and clear way.

Don't see it if You want a traditional experience with a big budget

Delightful, Enchanting, Funny

See it if You like Shakespeare presented in a bright and lively interpretation.

Don't see it if You aren't ok with a hard to find, intimate, informal venue.

Cast & Creatives (15)