Closed 1h 30m
Who Would Be King
Midtown W
48

Who Would Be King NYC Reviews and Tickets

48%
(16 Reviews)
Positive
19%
Mixed
50%
Negative
31%
Members say
Entertaining, Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating, Funny

About the Show

Liars & Believers presents its epic take on the biblical story of King Saul. Featuring live music, clowning, physical theater, and swordplay.

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Member Reviews (16)

67
Entertaining, Uneven, Too many ideas, not cohesive

See it if you like zany, original theater.

Don't see it if you expect a thoughtful plot and good character development.

10
Excruciating, Disappointing, Banal, Amateur, Why???

See it if Even if it's free, your time is worth more than sitting through this childish show. Lighting is its only saving grace.

Don't see it if you like theater. This amateur show should have folded in Boston.

Critic Reviews (8)

March 25th, 2017

"Despite the comic, vaudevillian flavor of 'Who Would Be King', the message of pride coming before the fall is expressed with grace and colorful theatrics. Jason Slavick's direction keeps the cast rollicking along, taking advantage of every inch of Ars Nova. He is helped by an energetic cast, all on the same wavelength, giving their physical and emotional all. Silly at times, yes; but ultimately dark and meaningful."
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March 20th, 2017

"Illustrates both the promise and the perils of the collective approach...While each section is intriguing and often entertaining on its own, they do not connect at all; the play sags in the middle despite the energetic performance of the five-person cast, and any sense of intent gets muddled...While artistic director Jason Slavick directed the play, it feels here like no one was willing to demand more of the writing...The tragedy at the end, while compelling to watch, feels muted emotionally."
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March 21st, 2017

“Three people can’t come to an agreement on what to eat for lunch, how can thirteen people write a cohesive script? Short version: they can’t…It shows promise in the first half hour, then devolves into confusion and detachment...The clowning opening works well…The company are accomplished physical actors and they play well with one another…The problem is that LAB doesn’t want to tell the bible story, but they haven’t figured out how to craft the story they do want to tell.”
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March 19th, 2017

"Thematically and symbolically the show presents a lot of information to unpack...While the performance is entertaining and intellectually intriguing, and the themes are juicy and relevant, the production doesn’t feel quite right. It might benefit from more stage time–if it were a two-act play the show might have more room to flesh out those themes, and isolate the biggest of them. Despite its daze of themes, 'Who Would Be King' is a relevant and intellectual challenge with a stunning ensemble."
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November 14th, 2015

“The LAB ensemble and director Jason Slavick re-cast an ancient story in a way that feels immediate…It's a matter of personal taste, but the broadly overacted clowning of the first half struck me as forced. It's when the story takes a darker turn...that the play takes on dramatic substance. When the climactic scenes arrive, it's easy to find yourself gripped…This is a show with a heart, a mind, and red plastic noses all around.”
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November 19th, 2015

“With ‘Who Would Be King,’ the Liars & Believers ensemble have taken a yarn as old as civilization and transformed it into a whimsical and engaging journey…The buffoonery is delightful. Each of the five ensemble members is thoroughly dedicated to his or her multiple, exaggerated characters and to the craft of physical storytelling…The result is brilliantly robust comedy…The lyrics are simple but compelling…Every element of the production is well-crafted.”
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September 11th, 2016

“Between the ancient story, the artful clowning, and the spacy synth score, a unique effect is created. Some of it is a little on-the-nose...Some of the writing is a bit hackneyed, or downright bizarre, but there are some clever bible jokes as well. The complex motion and unity of the cast is fantastic throughout...Unfortunately, we never get close to the king, so we never really understand if he was great, or good, or just lucky."
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November 16th, 2015

“A beautiful patchwork of physical performance, storytelling, and boundless humanity…‘Who Would be King’ is a re-mixed trove of biblical tales told in a compelling and timeless way with great humor, and great humanity. The boundless energy of the talented cast showcased their incredible range…Perhaps most astoundingly, each cast member was nearly unrecognizable from one role to the next."
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