Already closed | 1h 20m | Soho/Tribeca

Thomas Paine in Violence

From 27 member  reviews
Members say: Confusing, Ambitious, Excruciating, Slow, Dizzying

About the show

HERE Arts Center presents this electronic, psychedelic opera-sermon set in a cosmic radio station in the afterlife of the Thomas Paine, the Founding Father and international activist. More…

In 'Thomas Paine in Violence,' Paine struggles to broadcast a message of economic justice amidst a whirlwind of lightning-quick singing, autotuned shock-jockery, gadgets, voices, instruments, and sonic chaos.

Member Reviews (27)


Confusing, Ambitious, Excruciating, Slow, Dizzying

Banal, Confusing, Excruciating, Slow, Disappointing

See it if You have a relative in the show

Don't see it if If you want a plot, writing or direction.

Excruciating, Intense, Quirky, Slow

See it if You don’t need any plot, enjoy random singing/movement, or don’t mind loud noises.

Don't see it if You want a show to make sense or loud noises/flashing lights startle you.

Also I appreciated the effort by the actors, I just didn’t understand the s... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Dizzying, Great staging, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if The direction is brilliant and the design is magnificent. Effective set, spot on lighting and sound, male performers are charming.

Don't see it if "Music" is incomprehensible/inaccessible. Lead just read her lines at us the whole show as she glared with no acting. Rant sans plot.

Confusing, Dizzying, Great acting, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You are a lighting designer- the effects and lighting were great!

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in political banter for an hour and a half. The show is futuristic and extremely strange as well.

Ambitious, Confusing, Banal, Overrated

See it if You like opera that sounds like a Pinter play meets Aaron Sorkin meets Kubrick. But without a plot or great ideas.

Don't see it if You expect music. There isn't any. Just screaming and noise and electro pop performance art. Hugely dissapointed.

Cliched, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if This show doesn't live in any of the worlds it claims to be in. It's not an opera, it's not experimental theater, it's not abstract.

Don't see it if You expect this work to live up to its surrealist wild expectations.

Confusing, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if You love abstract art with incomprehensible electronic noise.

Don't see it if You expect to have anything to hold on to, doesn't need to be a plot but it should at least be enjoyable. This was painful.

Insipid, Indulgent, Excruciating

See it if Nice design but horribly self indulgent.

Don't see it if Even if you like avant garde, surrealist or abstract work, this is too contsrained and preachy. It makes no discernible point. Atrocious.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like avant garde, experimental preachy ranting that relies on nonsensical bravado. The staging is beautiful but show is unwatchable.

Don't see it if An opera without a single melody. Its spoken dialogue in metre with no story as an older woman reads lines from an iPad from the ceiling.

I have never seen a more uncomfortable audience in my life., Confusing, Dizzying, Excruciating, Banal

See it if You like performance art that tries way too hard. I was appaled at how many good artists could do such terrible source material.

Don't see it if Hate repetitive ranting that speaks down to you. It is a manifesto by someone who does not treat an audience with respect. Joyless.

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if You are a fan of Paul Pinto. Which I am. Even still I honestly have no idea what this show was about or why it even existed.

Don't see it if You are expecting theater or opera. This is an acid trip at a fine art gallery. Except slow and without the joy.

November 13th, 2017
"The incomparable La Barbara has a presence that’s both enigmatic and regal...Occasionally, I felt lost in a flood of information and sensory stimuli. Fortunately there are enough moments of substance that can pull one back from these distractions...It's a thoughtful piece that entertains before ...
read more
November 14th, 2017
"It’s a haunting performance, one that causes us to lean in and demands attention be paid...Pinto and Burkhardt do right by never taking the material too seriously or talking down to their audience and there is an enormous amount of fun to be had...What starts out seeming like an amusing vocal ex...
read more

Related content