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Thunder Rock

From 19 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

About the show

Metropolitan Playhouse presents this 1939 drama, centering around a veteran journalist who keeps a lighthouse on an isolated island, where his only company are the ghosts of a ship, sunk 90 years before. More…

From the show:

August, 1939.

A jaded reporter, cynical in the wake of the Spanish Civil War, has retreated to keep a lonely lighthouse on Lake Michigan, where he keeps himself company by conjuring phantoms of the immigrant passengers who went down on a ship on the lake in 1849.

Consorting with the dead has a way of turning one towards life...

Member Reviews (19)


Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent
Avg Score

Strong acting, Intelligent, Old-fashioned, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you'd like a hopeful 1939 play. Philos'l discussns abt arc of progress/meaningful,engaged life. Ghostly chars well-used. Gd set/costumes.

Don't see it if you want a fast-pace; TR is leisurely, esply Act I. Acting is strg (a few wobbly accents). Lead Jed Peterson is a stand-out! Intimate space.

Period piece, Philosophical, Slow, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if Nihilistic 1939 lighthouse man talks w/dead victims of 1849 shipwreck about whether there is hope for the future. Call to action for WW2.

Don't see it if You are not up for a nicely acted & staged period piece, now relevant because of Trump's assault on people's integrity & ideals.

Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow

See it if Roe's crisp, efficient staging & a fine tuned ensemble (notably Pinhasik's Dr Kurtz) keep the momentum flowing in this talky, dense allegory

Don't see it if It's rough going in first act of Ardrey's historical 'ghost-story' as we get accustomed to both style & verbosity but it slowly captivates

Intelligent, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you would like to see how a play written 8+decades ago can deliver messages for today with a fine cast in great costumes on a small stage.

Don't see it if you need a play with a lot of action. This moves at a slow pace with characters who have a lot to say over nearly two hours.

Thought-provoking, Slow, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if Lonely lighthouse keep fancies living among lost costumed shipwrecked souls, until they refuse to leave. Battle of cynicism vs. innocence.

Don't see it if Long, slow 50-min Act I.Pipe smoke.Slurs."Don't look at me as if I were dead/Why do you say I haven't the courage to face your times?"

Also "We're a couple of guys w/o enough message to fill a bottle/Who wants ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Little slow, Great staging, Great acting

See it if A play from the past the holds true today.

Don't see it if want action, goes slow at some points. This running over 2 hours

Also I like Metropolitan Playhouse for they do plays that not everyone is d... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you wish to see an intelligent, well written and acted,rarely performed play about a person who has become disillusioned and then changes.

Don't see it if you don't like small venues or can't manage steps.

Also The acting is excellent and as usual the Metropolitan Playhouse produc... Read more Read less

Solid production, Good acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Absorbing

See it if Like a huge cast in a tiny space who are well-used/staged to spin an interesting premise/story. 1st act is slow but holds your interest.

Don't see it if You have to lean into this one a bit-it's complex & casts its spell thru a writer's imagination & ghosts.

Also This is a masterful use of the small upstairs space at the Metropolita... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you're curious how a lighthouse keeper, alone almost all the time, spends his time.

Don't see it if you want a lot of action. Act I is quite slow.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy clever scripts without a lot of action. Play was written in 1939 but it feels fresh.

Don't see it if you have trouble sitting for 2 hours or not in the mood to listen but acts 2 and 3 are more captivating.

Also The script was great as was the acting. I especially like Jed Peterson... Read more Read less

Dated, Relevant, Great acting

See it if a great ensemble cast bringing to life an old play.

Don't see it if old character driven dramas

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Stellar acting

See it if you like to see a 1939 play which has still meaning for today. Stellar acting all around the ensemble! A real gem!!

Don't see it if you can't climb a flight of stairs or need constant action or changing scenery.

Also This was so far the best surprise of 2020! I got the tickets because M... Read more Read less

Timely, Must see, Great staging, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if intelligent, well written and acted play that is as relevant today as when it was written. A play full of hope for our sad times.

Don't see it if you can't climb a flight of stairs or don't wish to think about the times we live in

Also Metropolitan Playhouse again produces an excellently produced and dire... Read more Read less

Romantic, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy thought-provoking fantasy that is surprisingly relevant in today's world. If you enjoy fine acting with amazing concentration.

Don't see it if you get restless at talky plays (it is overlong). You prefer flashier shows.

Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Super acting-design-direction, fascinating obscure 1939 American play ponders humanity's brutish resistance to progress. MPlayhouse scores!

Don't see it if Well-written, literate, relevant ideas may be too challenging for audiences who prefer cursing, violence, easy emotion & obvious humor.

Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy an intimate setting, a superb cast, a creative set that evokes a lighthouse, effective sound and lighting, and wonderful costumes.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable feeling like you are on stage immersed in the production.

Also This is one of the best productions at the Metropolitan Playhouse. The... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if You are interested in pre WWII history from a different viewpoint. Like plays about internal psychological conflict

Don't see it if You prefer lighter fare

Also I did not expect a play that was kind of quirky, especially one writte... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Dated, Delightful

See it if you want to see a lovingly produced and well acted revival of a neglected play

Don't see it if you expect a lavish production

Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Quirky, Slow

See it if If u like stories about lighthouses and ghosts

Don't see it if It is a little slow in the beginning but by the end it comes together very well

January 26th, 2020
"‘Thunder Rock’ Review: A Beacon That Fails to Light the Way: It’s no surprise that this play about disillusionment, with its message of hope wrapped in warnings about nationalism and isolationism, was a choice for this season."
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January 27th, 2020
"'Thunder Rock' is a ghost story tied to a philosophical debate about the search for meaning in a world gone mad, and, for two of its three acts, it pursues its argument in a strikingly original way."
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January 18th, 2020
"The actors do fine work with the material, and Peterson is very convincing as a man in the midst of an existential crisis. There is excellent ensemble work, but in the second preview the company was still finding its footing. With more performances, the audience's experience will surely be richer."
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January 23rd, 2020
"It is not difficult to see what attracted Metropolitan Playhouse to Ardrey's drama: its message that one cannot shut one's self off from the problems of the world as the America First movement wants to do is very timely once again as in the 1930's..."
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