True West BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • DEADLINE

  • VARIETY

  • HR

  • TIME OUT

Opening Night:
January 24, 2019
Closing:
March 17, 2019

Theater: American Airlines / 227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Opposites attack in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Holed up in their mother’s California house, lowlife Lee (Ethan Hawke) and screenwriter Austin (Paul Dano) wrestle with big issues—and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster...Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.

BUY TICKETS BUY GROUP TICKETS
  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF True West

    Review: Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano Go Mano a Mano in the Riveting ‘True West’

    Ben Brantley

    January 24, 2019: Sam Shepard’s wild West just got a lot scarier. I’m talking about that shadowy, shifting desertscape occupied so disharmoniously by the two brothers of Shepard’s 1980 masterwork, “True West,” which has been given a ripping revival by James Macdonald at the American Airlines Theater. As embodied bya brilliant Ethan Hawke, in full-menace mode, and a tightly wired Paul Dano, everyday sibling rivalry has seldom felt this ominous. It’s not that you worry that one’s going to kill the other, in the time-honored tradition of Cain and Abel, although that looms as a possibility. What’s really threatening in this Roundabout Theater Company production, which opened on Thursday night, is its creeping, gut-knotting insistence that family is no fortress against a darkness that erases all sense of a separate self. On the contrary. When it comes to getting lost in the gloaming of existential nothingness, there’s no place like home.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF True West

    ‘True West’ Broadway Review: Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano Find Direction In Sam Shepard Classic Of Brotherly Hate

    Greg Evans

    January 24, 2019: As Sam Shepard’s True West brothers grim, Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano dig deep into the loamy earth of that macho post-hippie neo-cowboy near-masterpiece, mucking about the desert-edge-of-suburbia drama and surviving (we assume) to face another tequila sunrise. Shepard’s 1980 near-Pulitzer elegy for an authentically brutal frontier that’s faded into a brutally make-believe dreamland might not carry the same are we not real men urgency of the panicky sensitive-male era in which the playwright first mourned his mythologized West, but its apparent appeal for a certain type of meat-seeking actor persists. All of which is to say, Hawke and Dano are well-suited in both temperament and talent for the Roundabout’s Broadway revival of Shepard’s once-shocking blast of new wave absurdism, opening tonight at the American Airlines Theatre.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • VARIETY REVIEW OF True West

    Broadway Review: ‘True West’ With Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano

    Marilyn Stasio

    January 24, 2019: If there’s one thing a production of “True West” must have, it’s that haunting sense of the two brothers being one person at war with himself. That’s exactly what director James Macdonald’s new Broadway production doesn’t have. Hawke seethes and smolders in a thrilling approximation of Lee’s craziness, but there’s no hint of Austin in his manic performance. And while Dano is completely convincing as the repressed Austin, there’s no sign of his secret bad boy, not even when he’s breaking into houses and stealing toasters.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF True West

    'True West': Theater Review

    Frank Scheck

    January 24, 2019: Shepard's enigmatic play defies easy interpretation, with its vague themes of sibling rivalry, the mythos of the American West and the thin line between civilization and anarchy never truly coming into focus. But it works marvelously as a mood piece, which for several reasons this production only partially succeeds in capturing. The expansive American Airlines Theatre isn't intimate enough to provide the necessary air of claustrophobia; the slack pacing of Act I allows boredom to settle in; and Hawke, as good as he is, is a bit too studied in his affect. He certainly tries hard, but you never get the sense of true danger that his character is supposed to emit. Staged by James Macdonald (who directed Shepard in a 2004 off-Broadway production of Caryl Churchill's A Number), the revival works much better in its comedic aspects, which are fully exploited in Act II.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF True West

    True West

    Adam Feldman

    January 24, 2019: If the charismatic Hawke all but wipes the floor with Dano in the play’s first half, Dano gets his turn to act out in Act Two. These are showcase roles, and the actors play them with gusto. James Macdonald’s Roundabout Theatre Company production occasionally errs on the side of the obvious: Marylouise Burke brings her customary off-kilter comic panache to her cameo as the brothers’ late-returning mom, but Gary Wilmes smears an extra layer of grease on the already oleaginous role of a Hollywood producer, and a showy change of lighting undermines Austin’s big story about how his dissolute father lost two pairs of teeth. But if some aspects of True West seem too neatly schematic, Shepard’s dissection of authenticity and masculinity resounds in new ways in the current American political landscape. There is a lot of humor built into the conflict between the amoral, desperate, confidently doltish Lee and the exasperated, ineffectual Austin, but there is horror, too, as the play’s red and blue factions bleed into each other, yielding the purple of an unhealed bruise.

    READ THE REVIEW

BEST REVIEWED SHOWS

    JerseyBoys    Phantom    Motown    Wicked
DOWNLOAD THE APP