What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad
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What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad
86

What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(27 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
4%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Relevant

Richard Nelson spearheads this new play following a family in 2021 who has lost their matriarch.

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Member Reviews (27)

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91
Intelligent, Profound, Great writing, Absorbing, Exquisite

See it if If you liked the previous Michael’s play (or any of Richard Nelson’s) this is a MUST SEE! Beautiful character driven statements of life.

Don't see it if You need a lot of action or can’t understand nuance. This is like eavesdropping on a family dinner. You pick up on all the love and pain. Read more

74
Richard nelson, chronicler of the everyday, finishes his cycle of plays about the michaels family, following them on their relocation to france during the pandemic; not his best, but still good theater

See it if good depiction of how COVID affected everyday life for Americans; master actors Maryann Plunkett & Jay O Sanders shine

Don't see it if no compelling reason to relocate family to France; missing grace notes & quiet drama of earlier plays; cycle ends w a whimper

85
Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You love naturalistic, well-acted, kitchen-sink dramas. If you’re a fan of this series of plays, this is probably the best one.

Don't see it if You’d be bored by characters sitting around talking about relatively mundane daily life. There’s no real plot to be found here.

89
Intimate, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy small theater w/ just enough props to center on the characters; enjoy sitting with your family & discussing life's ups & downs.

Don't see it if Quiet, intimate plays are not your thing. There's a little dance action but mostly family sitting, eating and discussing their lives.

97
Riveting, Intelligent, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate fine ensemble acting. As always, Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders are at the top of their game. Exquisite staging.

Don't see it if you need to have a strong plot.

65
Cliched, Great dancing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if you love modern dance and have a high tolerance for Nelson's tired cliche of people talking while preparing dinner.

Don't see it if you did not take to the previous plays in the Rhinebeck Panorama. For me the Michaels had worn out their welcome. Read more

90
Perfect way to return to live theater, Absorbing, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you love Nelson's naturalistic, soft-spoken, conversational plays set around kitchen tables; love Plunkett and Sanders

Don't see it if you don't like the above or like the above but want overt political references. Don't like dance. Want action. Prefer streaming services. Read more

86
Quiet, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of the Nelson plays and the quiet, realistic dialogue and staging he is known for.

Don't see it if you like a lot of action and strong colorful characters.

Critic Reviews (10)

The New York Times
September 9th, 2021

"If “What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad,"...did nothing more than offer us another chance to see Maryann Plunkett do nothing, it would have been enough. She remains the same wonder as ever."
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Time Out New York
September 9th, 2021

"The latest and ostensibly final installment of the cycle is called What Happened?, a question I find myself asking after every Rhinebeck installment. The answer in this case, as always, is: not much."
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The Washington Post
September 9th, 2021

"In this beautiful capstone work, though, the sense is not so much a resolution as a dissolving; the characters of “What Happened?” have become unmoored, as if the isolation of the pandemic has caused some permanent psychic dislocation."
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AM New York
September 13th, 2021

"Regardless of whether one enjoys Nelson’s extremely naturalistic, conversational to the point of being plotless style, one has to admire the scope and essence of the project, especially in how it manages to be both big and small in scope at once and tread into national affairs while remaining focused in on a single family unit."
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New York Stage Review
September 9th, 2021

"The author has developed an impressive stock company of actors over his panorama. As with the other installments in the series, What Happened...exemplifies what it is we seek from live theater."
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New York Stage Review
September 9th, 2021

"There is an underappreciated courage in Nelson’s attention to the very real problems of people whose privilege has been emphasized more and more in recent years. What Happened? shines a fierce light on COVID’s devastating impact not just on artists, but on the vast majority of individuals who, whatever their backgrounds, were not thriving to begin with."
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New York Stage Review
September 9th, 2021

"There is an underappreciated courage in Nelson’s attention to the very real problems of people whose privilege has been emphasized more and more in recent years."
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TheaterScene.net
September 15th, 2021

"Of course, it goes without saying that the acting is of a high quality as the actors have lived with these characters a long time, six of them having played their roles in the previous Michael play. Unfortunately, they cannot give the play greater depth than the author has written into it or overcome the artificially rarified atmosphere."
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Front Row Center
September 10th, 2021

"The lifeblood of Richard Nelson’s work is not so much infected by a virus as it is possessed by the passage of time and the burden of distance...One can fully enjoy this solid production without having seen the first Michaels play, but for those who did, there is bonus symmetry aplenty."
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New York Theater
September 9th, 2021

The Rhinebeck Panorama has adhered to a sometimes stultifying formula...But as with most of the other plays in the series, “What Happened?” at its best offers — for those theatergoers with the patience to pay attention — exquisite performances, woven with delicate filigrees of fact and feeling, that subtly reveal the intricacies of interrelated characters
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