[Veil Widow Conspiracy]
Closed 1h 50m
[Veil Widow Conspiracy]
70

[Veil Widow Conspiracy] NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
63%
Mixed
34%
Negative
3%
Members say
Confusing, Ambitious, Slow, Great acting, Great staging

About the Show

In its exploration of many retellings of a story from Western China, this new work probes the slipperiness of what we call truth, where reality and fiction each have an angle, and no metaphor comes without an agenda.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (32)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
64
Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if A very wordy play that can be confusing at times. Good acting, costumes.

Don't see it if A performance that needs to be cut diwn and reworked.

65
Multi-layered, Intelligent, Confusing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if u have the patience to follow a story-within-a-story-within-a-story that's part historical fiction, part mystery, part apocalyptic fantasy.

Don't see it if you like your storytelling clear & concise; you're not looking for anything too cerebral, narrative-heavy, long-winded & meta. Read more

70
Clever, Intelligent, Confusing, Slow, Great staging

See it if you would like to see good actors on a wonderful set dealing with a story within a movie in the future. Best to have knowledge of China.

Don't see it if you want a seamless play: multiple characters played by cast, difficult to understand parts of story, some voices need more projection.

82
Thorough, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Dizzying, Entertaining

See it if you relate to watching a dated movie plus the director’s commentary & discussing the circumstances under which the movie was made

Don't see it if uninterested in the complicated cultural baggage we bring in interpreting/judging foreign cultures or our own past Read more

76
Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Confusing, Clever

See it if you're interested in ambitious and creative storytelling, theme of truth, exploration of Chinese politics, some parts metatheatrical.

Don't see it if you're looking for a straightforward play or material that is lighter/less dense. Confusing at times, especially in the beginning,

55
Excruciating, Great set, Solid acting, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you want the author to tell you what his POV is in the first 15 min and then spend the next 1 1/2 hours explaining why he might be wrong

Don't see it if you want to see a coherent play Read more

71
Dense

See it if Under the metaphoric veil, stories shift because of money, politics, and power. How much do we believe what we're told?

Don't see it if Turducken (3 layers) story a bit confusing, probably can edit one layer out. Weaves educational material about an exploited part in China. Read more

70
Enchanting, Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like shows that are very meta (a Russian doll of a story)

Don't see it if You want to be able to follow what's happening.

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
June 19th, 2019

“Dahlquist’s provocative and remarkably layered new play...With three story lines sprawling over two continents and more than a century, it considers the power of storytelling — whether in art or in calculated lies — to shape and bend people’s perceptions of what’s real...An excellent cast...Kudtarkar beautifully handles the tonal shifts from one reality to another, but the scenes set in a grim future Brooklyn...feel unnecessary. They’re also drab in comparison to the rest.”
Read more

BroadwayWorld
June 16th, 2019

"The story lines are related and tucked inside each other but really serve to comment on philosophies and moralities...The metaphorically dense dialogue emerges early on...The mishmash of interlocking stories continue from 1922 events to the movie shoot to the cast speaking directly to the audience...Dahlquist's play is long-winded and the director (Aneesha Kudtarkar) was not able to help us understand why this particular story was being told."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
June 19th, 2019

“’Three different narrative lines, none of them with a compelling situation or characters...It isn't clear if the director has encouraged her cast to give stilted, bad-movie performances, but if so, she has succeeded magnificently. The line readings are wooden and heavy with insinuation...Exactly what this tripartite tale means to say is left obscure...A complex dramatic construction, but it is uninhabited by recognizable characters or comprehensible ideas.”
Read more

TheaterScene.net
June 20th, 2019

"Gordon Dahlquist's '[Veil Widow Conspiracy]' is a challenging work-cerebral, complicated, extravagant in language and scope. Some people may find it affected, and it does seem at times to revel in its own complexity. (Also, what's with those brackets in the title?) '[VWC]''s ambition is sometimes reminiscent of Tom Stoppard's work, and there are certain touches of Stoppardian humor in the writing. (Don't, though, expect an uncontrollable attack of guffaws.)"
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
June 18th, 2019

"Confusing, verbally inflated, cerebral, and emotionally uninvolving; it's also well-acted and has enough substance to suggest the play it might have been…The play dabbles in issues of truth and lies, reality and illusion or fantasy… Further befuddling the overwritten play are the frequent intrusions of characters speaking direct address monologues, either pseudo-poetic or prolix, academic statements couched in an odd mixture of the prosaic and the theoretical."
Read more

CurtainUp
June 19th, 2019

“An ambitious play...Dahlquist's winking irony often engages. But the play can also be tiringly heavy on exposition without exposing what it's all really about...The storytelling...feels far more knotty than it needs to be...’[Veil Widow Conspiracy]’ sets off the most sparks in the too-rare moments when the connections between timelines emerge clearly...Ultimately, however, it's not entirely clear what story we're supposed to walk away thinking about.”
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
June 16th, 2019

"Intriguingly intricate but ultimately not entirely satisfying, the script is trying to do something really difficult...It’s never easy to create a play of ideas and also yoke them to characters and a story that propels itself forward. Harder still, of course, when you’re trying to serve three stories at once, in the service of one set of ideas. As the second half of the play picks up steam, it almost all comes together, but the film narrative still weighs down the piece."
Read more

DC Metro Theater Arts
June 15th, 2019

“The work is ambitious, dense, and multi-layered, with each member of the cast playing two or three roles in a meta-theatrical narrative that moves back and forth... As a result of the intricate inter-weavings of the plot, it is often confusing to follow...The slow-paced script could benefit from some tightening...[Veil Widow Conspiracy], though in need of some clarification and editing, does offer an intriguing exploration of the thin and ever-changing line between fact and fiction."
Read more

Off Off Online
June 16th, 2019

“Amid the plentiful didacticism and the shifting time periods, let alone solving the Machiavellian murder mystery, there’s little breathing room for real people to emerge; they become mouthpieces and stick figures...Dahlquist clearly likes his subject matter, yet director Aneesha Kudtarkar has been unable to give the ponderous discussions much life. Although audiences may leave with more knowledge of China than they had, it will be from scavenging a singularly jumbled drama.”
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

81
Great
160 Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

LaChanze stars in the Broadway premiere of Alice Childress's 1955 play.

80
Great
41 Reviews
Ends Nov 28
NYC: Midtown W

Jocelyn Bioh's long-awaited romantic comedy set in the burgeoning world of 1990s Nollywood. 

78
Good
104 Reviews
Ends Jan 16
NYC: Midtown W

Emmy winners Uzo Aduba and Ron Cephas Jones star in a play by two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage.