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The Servant of Two Masters

From 90 member  reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Delightful

About the show

Theatre for a New Audience presents Carlo Goldoni's 18th-century comic masterpiece about a servant so hungry he takes on two jobs to survive. More…

In this contemporary American adaptation, no two performances are the same. The actors improvise along with the written text in the commedia dell’arte style. Masks, playful costumes, and original music create a fresh take on this classic work. This marks the New York premiere of this award-winning incarnation of 'Servant,' which was originally produced by Yale Repertory Theatre in 2010 and toured nationally. 


Member Reviews (90)

MEMBERS SAY:

Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Delightful
78
Avg Score

70
Well staged, Frenetic, Edgy, Long, Loud

See it if you love slapstick. I found SOTM tedious w/ few laughs, but admired its energy and staging. Beautiful Act II song by 3 women. Fireflies!

Don't see it if you want depth. This is fluffy, but audience loved it. Fascinating glimpse of Commedia. Current references are fun, but overdone. Needs cuts

81
Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Uneven, Clever

See it if you'd like a silly (but not fluff) show. It's been updated nicely to reflect modern moods and pop references. Some jokes fall flat.

Don't see it if you can't follow a convoluted old (as in 1700's) style story. It's in English and mostly modern but still hard to follow at times.

68
Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Silly, Over-the-top

See it if you want to see an energetic cast give their all in a well-staged commedia dell'arte. Following tradition, this is silly & improvisational.

Don't see it if as the NYTimes (a victim of much ridicule throughout) points out, you'll find the non-stop modern references increasingly dumb & insulting.

83
Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky, Happy

See it if You like to see a silly play and be happy! The cast is energetic and the storyline is ridiculous, but the actors and the audience loved it!!

Don't see it if You want the original play and dislike a classic being changed with current lines to fit today's circumstances;are a prude

Also Steven Epp's performance as the Servant is outstanding. The critics ma... Read more Read less

75
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Dizzying

See it if You like absurdist comedies with brilliant acting and a lot going on. A wonderfully told stories by stellar actors who really get into it.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy the breaking of the fourth wall, raunchy humor, sometimes over played jokes, and basic all around silliness.

69
Hard working actors, Operetta flavorings, Entertaining enough, Sometimes drowse inducing, Inconsistently funny

See it if interested in a resuscitation of commedia & operetta stylings & experiencing a rarely done classic with a talented cast

Don't see it if not interested in a museum piece that doesn't achieve the adapted gold standard level of ONE MAN 2 GUVNERS its Broadway cousin

Also A 1971 college production [UW-Milwaukee] of ServantOf2Masters where cl... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Dizzying, Hit or miss, raunchy, exhausting

See it if you're interested in seeing commedia dell'arte (with modern topical references). The basis for One Man, Two Guvnors.

Don't see it if you don't like bawdy, crude and sometimes just silly humor. One Man, Two Guvnors did it much better.

86
Entertaining, Great singing, Quirky, Funny, Energetic

See it if You want light and funny. You don't mind a lot of movement on and off stage. You like slap stick comedy. You want to laugh and enjoy silly.

Don't see it if You want something deep and moving. You don't like slap stick comedy. You are not open to something different. You are too serious.

Also Although everything was not gut busting funny I was thoroughly enterta... Read more Read less

95
Delightful, Entertaining, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if you want to see a brilliantly & rarely performed 18th century farce performed in the Italian "Commedia' style with pop culture references.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy 18th century Italian farce performed by a hardworking and talented cast of actors who have the style down to a science.

77
Delightful, Hilarious, Refreshing, Raunchy

See it if You want a good time with every cliche in the book done by master's of the art form

Don't see it if You don't like commedia and want to avoid smiling

50
Commedia dell' arte, if you like that kind of thing

See it if You enjoy coarse broad jokes, and are easily amused. It is 18th century humor with tons of current references.

Don't see it if You have more subtle tastes, perhaps don't care for humor at all. Certainly Trump fans, unlike me, might have issues.

93
Great acting, Great staging, Hilarious, Must see, Masterful

See it if You have a funny bone.

Don't see it if You're looking for something profound

Also I don't know how some reviewers scored this show so low. Maybe a week ... Read more Read less

80
Entertaining, Great singing, Very funny, Overwrought, Self-indulgent

See it if you're up for a refreshingly silly fast paced romp by a sharp ensemble in a too-long Commedia update marred by too many cheap election jokes

Don't see it if you've lost all sense of wonder or childhood, hate farce, buffoonery (at least onstage) or earthy humor that's universal and timeless.

Also There's more than a bit of magic in this production—the wonder that co... Read more Read less

77
Funny, Dizzying, Quirky, Slap stick

See it if you enjoy physical, broad comedy. Topical references fun but a bit repetitive. Much better than NY Times review would have you believe.

Don't see it if you don't like commedia dell'arte or prefer more serious theater.

70
Great singing, Great acting

See it if Ur in the mood for something like a trip to the circus where the crowd is laughing & smiling the whole time.Not exactly a theater experience

Don't see it if U want more than just spectacle. The costumes, sets, singing are great. 95% of the jokes are just silly. WAY too long for this kind of thing

64
Funny, Cliched, Disappointing, Fluffy, Manic

See it if you want to see what Comedia Del' Arte is like; largely improvised and frantic. Acting is good, just didn't like it-can't put finger on why

Don't see it if don't like improvised comedy; want a good plot

78
Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Too long, Great staging

See it if you are able to enjoy pure silliness, executed by skillful actors, just for the purpose of entertainment.

Don't see it if you don't like Commedia dell'Arte and/or contemporary ad-libs.

Also Would be better at 90 minutes, no intermission. Start by cutting half ... Read more Read less

96
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Must see

See it if A classic comedy that sported One Man Two Governors. An extraordinary cast that are minute perfect.

Don't see it if Your a sour puss and don't want to travel to a theatre around the corner from BAM.

70
Goofy, Slapstick, Intentionally ridiculous, Improvisational

See it if you like British panto, that's exactly what this is. Pure goofy fun. It took me 40 min to get on the ride; Brit spouse laughed from get-go

Don't see it if you are sober (jk - almost); hoping for a serious, thought-provoking or consequential night out; don't like slapstick or cringe-worthy humor

88
Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Refreshing, Clever

See it if you enjoy comedy. Epp is a master clown. Show runs like a Swiss clock after many productions with the cast.

Don't see it if Grumpy Gus is your nickname. Easy to satisfy an audience after one act, so leaving is not unusual.

64
Raunchy, Too long, Well executed, Slapstick, Some strong performances

See it if You enjoy Slapstick & follow the genre or appreciate new interpretations of this specific play

Don't see it if You get restless with physical humor, you want more narrative than folly

86
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if you like commedia dell'arte, broad comedy, meta comedy, improv, and live music.

Don't see it if you want a serious, scripted play with a lot of character development or plot. There are scripted moments, but a fair amount of improv also

52
Banal, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if u like to see frenetic, throw-everything- see-what-sticks theater w/ many groaner jokes, puns & topical name droppings. Cast works v/ hard.

Don't see it if I left at the intermission (rare for me), I just couldn't take 45 more minutes of this busy, bright, empty thing. Loved ONE MAN,TWO GUVNORS.

80
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy goofy, slapstick type comedy with many topical references

Don't see it if you want a straight forward play or don't enjoy laughing

96
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy a very funny story, terrific acting, improvisation and laughing. A welcome respite fromthe gloom. . Well deserved ovation.

Don't see it if You only like serious drama. The New York Times review is so off mark - as if Isherwood was at another play.


November 16th, 2016
"While the production had some in the audience consistently in stitches, I found it laborious, arch, stuffed to the point of stultifying with contemporary jokes, and only fitfully amusing. Actually, fitfully is being generous…The onslaught of anachronistic references began to feel more like an ac...
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November 16th, 2016
“The show takes an anything-goes approach via stock characters, one-liners, slapstick, masks, songs and snatches of anachronistic improvisation…Epp—a very gifted physical comedian—plays the dopey-wily Truffaldino…The energetic ensemble essentially throws spaghetti against the wall, sees what stic...
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November 17th, 2016
"The entire cast gives it their all in performing this thin yet convoluted plot, and that is part of the problem. The more you encourage them, the harder they push the comedy in ways that just aren't funny...Certainly, many viewers will delight in such gleefully lowbrow humor. Epp sells it better...
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November 18th, 2016
"A pretty flat glass of prosecco...The jokes, at least at the performance I attended, rarely landed. Or they landed, all right, but mostly with a thud...Epp has a blessedly light touch, effortlessly bouncing around the stage and switching out personas like so many carnival masks. If only his mate...
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