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

[Veil Widow Conspiracy] NYC Reviews and Tickets

(32 Reviews)
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.

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Member Reviews (32)

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227 Reviews | 18 Followers
Must see, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in cultures and history told through a play within a play

Don't see it if You're looking for a straightforward story. Read more

428 Reviews | 142 Followers
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

391 Reviews | 121 Followers
Epic, Great staging, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if into an epic, a seamlessly woven tale of China in 1922 and 2010, and future Brooklyn.

Don't see it if looking for something simple... Read more

408 Reviews | 86 Followers
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,

153 Reviews | 11 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if the subject of China-US relations is interesting to you; you want to see a play about a film set in the 1920s; you want multi-levels of plot

Don't see it if you want a clear story (what's the deal with dystopian future Brooklyn? What's going on?)

139 Reviews | 24 Followers
Slow, Intense, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You like to be challenged by plays that ask questions. This show has an unusual narrative structure and questions truth vs. fantasy.

Don't see it if You like a clearcut story. The beginning and ending was confusing.

579 Reviews | 93 Followers

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

207 Reviews | 28 Followers
Slow, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if you are interested in exploring the notions of "truth," albeit in an unnecessarily complex structure that loses some of the impact.

Don't see it if multi-layered plot structures (esp in a 90 min show) put you off. Worth noting that a 90 min show probably shouldn't feel long...

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.”
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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."
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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.”
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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.)"
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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."
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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.”
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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."
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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."
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