New York | 2h 0m | Already closed

Worse Than Tigers

From 5 critic and 19 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Great acting, Clever, Funny, Great writing

About the show

A comic drama about a couple who desperately need to embrace their own misery in order to be happy again. More…

Olivia and Humphry have a safe, comfortable, enviable life. Their condo is well-adorned with fancy knick-knacks, their social media presence is meticulously groomed, and they never fight. Or laugh. Or kiss. Or talk very much.  Unexpectedly, Olivia’s lover, the id-driven Officer Kirk Patrick, shows up, trailing a man-eating tiger which takes up residence right outside, threatening to devour anyone who opens the door. Tigers may be dangerous, but there might be something worse inside. 

2h 0m | Already closed | New Ohio Theatre (West Village)


“A bone-chilling, panic-attack inducing, primal, bloody, life resuscitator…and its funny. It’s a theatrical ‘Black Mirror’...It’s sneaky. It engages your intellect with complex, clever, funny dialogue revealing marital detachment, and then it pounces like a stalking animal...Biskup’s strong directorial vision is evident in the intricate, sensitive character development and the stakes that she manages to keep high throughout...A tight, well-paced, excellent show with polished performances." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“An affecting look at one dysfunctional heterosexual marriage alternates between hyper-realism and absurdity to illustrate what happens when we distance ourselves from what we’re feeling...It’s raw and well-played...Chrisler’s script addresses how we numb ourselves to keep from feeling anger, fear, grief, and sadness. In so doing, Chrisler suggests, we cut ourselves off from much of what makes human beings human. If this sounds preachy or heavy-handed, rest assured it’s not.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

“You'll like this play if you like the truth about complex relationships...Braeson has no fear to dig deep in order to deliver a performance that will never leave the audience dry...Sullivan shows in-depth emotion in the midst of devastating odds. Her last actions are perplexing but somewhat believable...Zach's near maniacal, entertaining and unpredictable. A shocking and stunning performance of an officer, seemingly bipolar...but still holding on by a thread.” Full Review


"It’s all quite absorbing...The action starts to drag...The second act reveals further depths, but too often by telling rather than showing...Intermittently funny and unevenly powerful, 'Worse Than Tigers' is amusingly absurdist and patently symbolist, yet on another level grittily real. That’s thanks in part to sharply defined performances by the excellent cast, marshaled efficiently by director Jaclyn Biskup...Consistent drive is what the play lacks." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“‘Borrows many Albeean aspects, and folds in an absurdist element that is meant to elevate the action and doesn't...Is the tiger for real? Is the cop? We won't know for a while, and what's worse, we won't care. Chrisler's dialog is flat and repetitive, and director Jaclyn Biskup hasn't figured out how to get these two off the couch enough...Chrisler calls 'Worse Than Tigers' 'a comedy (until it's not) in two acts.' For me, the 'until it's not' came pretty quickly." Full Review

Book: absurdist / whiney / frantic (intelligent), Performances: cuckold / frigid / manic (a master-class), Set & costumes: boring dull grey b&w w/tan accents (spot-on), Sound effects & lighting: loud & blinding (perfectly jarring), Meticulously detailed-direction & staging (excellent)

See it if you want to see one of the best written & performed plays of '18. Focus & be ready: set-up to conflict is quick; arcs & climaxes fulfilled.

Don't see it if you can't get passed absurdist aspect, or can't seriously focus, concentrate & pay attention to details. Your mind CANNOT wander in Act I.

Also Bouncing off the walls in my seat towards the end....... Read more Read less

Riveting, Funny

See it if There are absurdist elements but this play still has conventional appeal. Dialogue was mostly very good. Outstanding production values!

Don't see it if The ending was a bit disappointing. Not sure I loved the actor playing the husband. But the tiger was terrific.

Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy a hard hitting cerebral drama about relationships that hits home many times over, with great sound design.

Don't see it if you are afraid of loud tiger sounds effects, darkness or the abyss of loss and grief and other human conditions.

Provocative, Great acting, Refreshing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an intense, stunningly acted Albeean domestic dramedy about suppressed grief, repressed feelings & the elephant in the room.

Don't see it if you have no predilection for Absurdist drama.

Also This is a wonderful new play, which owes a great deal to Edward Albee ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Funny, Quirky

See it if You want to see three great actors in a piece like Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe on acid! Stick with it. They tie it up nicely at the end.

Don't see it if You don’t have the patience to sit through what seems like nonsense to get to the real purpose and meaning.

Could be worse

See it if You like theater of the absurd. Leads got A+ showcase on silver platter.

Don't see it if You hate absurd theater and watching a bad marriage play out. Incredibly inconvenient venue, especially during a heat wave.

Also Herold and Sullivan have camera friendly features and are not long for... Read more Read less

Quirky, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love to be kept on your toes through quirky dialogue and superb acting.

Don't see it if you are looking for fluff. This is intense while also being quite funny, at times.

Interesting, tautly written & directed

See it if If you know and like Albee you will like this homage to At Home/At the Zoo. provocative and suspenseful, it keeps your attention

Don't see it if Venue is off the beaten track, if in W Village. Requires appreciation of the Absurd and suspension of literal (not metaphorical) disbelief

Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if like a story that takes you on a journey through the comedic absurd to restrained grief of a couple tied up in knots over their tragic loss.

Don't see it if you generally do not see the elephant in the room in any given situation or if you can't pick up cues on the bigger picture.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Clever, Intense, Edgy

See it if you are interested in a beautifully acted example of the interplay between metaphor and reality,

Don't see it if If you get impatient with surface appearances. The characters reveal themselves over the course of the play.

Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like good acting and a story that is dark and funny and makes you think about the human condition.

Don't see it if You want a straight forward play that is not a bit "Theater of the absurd"

But mostly odd, Intense, Quirky, Relevant

See it if You want to see a quite lovely lead actor. I never wanted to leave. Interesting reworking/combo of classic plays yet original.

Don't see it if You have difficulty with unresolved grief. If you prefer refined acting rather than loud (effective) effusive acting.

Also At the intermission I was surprised that much of the audience didn't s... Read more Read less

Quirky, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Different, Strange

See it if you enjoy shows that keep you waiting until the end to reveal the "meat and potatoes" & if you like shows with interesting points of view...

Don't see it if you are looking for a show that's light and mindless...

Cliched, Quirky, Great dialogue, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like smart dialogue performed by a smart cast. The tiger metaphor works well even though the symbolism is obvious.

Don't see it if you expect realistic, well developed characters. This is an absurdist play but the big reveal was rather trite and not up to its potential.


See it if You enjoy "comedy of the absurd" w/a couple in a humdrum marriage & a cop who runs in (to escape the tiger). Photo at end explains the show.

Don't see it if Pacing could be picked up a bit - would work stronger with a 20 minute cut.

Uneven, And clever, till it isn't, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like major absurdist elements, which keep things fast moving and interesting, as slowly the underlying motivations become evident.

Don't see it if When it comes time to bring us to reality, and tell the actual human story, you may be disappointed with the overly earnest deceleration.

Overrated, Fluffy, Disappointing, Banal, Ambitious

See it if You want a show about marital detachment. Good directing. A show that can be gritty but doesnt follow through. Can be funny at times.

Don't see it if If your not interested in a show about bad marriages. The ending is not up to what it could be. If you want an ending that lives up topotent

Great acting, Generic, Excruciating, Cliched, Banal

See it if you enjoy standard table-drama fare with an absurdist "twist" and are easily taken in by "shocking" revelations.

Don't see it if you hate table-dramas, you require something to chew on, or you're cognitive enough to understand the way a show's text functions.

Also This play is bad. It relies almost exclusively on the "no, what?" styl... Read more Read less

During previews
Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if Off-off B'way comedy of the absurd. Comfortable (bored) couple await their spark which arrives when a lover underscores their dysfunction.

Don't see it if Lurking tiger outside safe walls reminiscent of Jean Genet's "The Balcony." Some may miss the intelligent choice of hidden/open The Threat.

Cast & Creatives (10)