Big Night

Critics

LemonMeter

35 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

It is the night of the Oscars and a working actor turned Oscar nominee knows that his life is about to change—he just doesn't know how profoundly. His transgender nephew has plans for his speech, his young agent has plans for his future, his unstoppable mother has plans for the catering and his partner is nowhere to be found. Master satirist Paul Rudnick blends a deep humanity with a honed sense of hilarity in this powerful and funny play about family and fame, the personal and the political, and the drive to stand up and speak out.

Reviews

Erin Conley

I don't know about you, but when I think back to June 12, 2016, I don't experience a desire to see a blatant dramatization of it. The creators of Big Night, now in its world premiere at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre, clearly disagree, and the result is a frustrating play that has plenty to say and yet manages to say nothing at all.

sour - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Paul Rudnick fans hoping for more of what made us fall for his previous hits will be sorely disappointed by Big Night. Big Flop is more like it.

sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Walter Bobbie has a flair for light comedy, and he easily balances the emotional moments, never letting the pendulum swing too far one way or the other. For my money, Bobbie is theater. And theatre. His decades of experience inform every single choice he makes with his actors and designers. John Lee Beatty's hotel suite set is a brilliant, towering, expensive wonder—so luxe it's almost ugly.

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - ...read full review


Avatar

But without great actors delivering the quality dialogue under empathic direction, Rudnick's play might seem heavy-handed or perhaps too cute. But, surprisingly, it isn't. The play flows naturally, with Rudnick's well-acknowledged flair with comedic moments making us laugh through our tears.

sweet - Dale Reynolds - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

Big Night" may be earnest in patches, not entirely convincing and a bit thin, but Rudnick hasn't lost his talent to amuse. The play is funny even when it stumbles and stalls.

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - ...read full review


Avatar

A clumsy, poorly structured treatise instead of an organic, thought-provoking comedy-drama, Big Night fails to connect because the creators' altruistic intentions are heavy-handed.

sour - Jonas Schwartz - TheaterMania - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke

There are some truly funny moments in Big Night, and it's commendable that the playwright is trying to tackle big issues — he just doesn't tackle any of those issues particularly well. The play makes half-baked statements about gun control, base desires for revenge, and what it means to have a platform to speak out about important social issues. Ultimately, however, Rudnick does not use his own platform to say anything meaningful about anything.

sour - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

Discounting the ripped-from-the-headlines contrivance of a mass murder involving kids, Big Night might have scored validity in its effort to point up the responsibilities of the privileged among us — essentially, I think, the play's main idea. But so swiftly do the characters return to their narcissistic concerns and their repartee, and so unconvincing are the actors in their brow-wrinkling sorrow, that this main thrust of the drama swiftly becomes moot.

sour - Deborah Klugman - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

Rudnick proves he can still deliver the laughs, most especially his satirizing of the Hollywood mentality and lifestyle, but he has attempted to have a go at a more serious work about today's seemingly constant and meaningless terrorist attacks. His writing fails at making the polar opposite topics co-exist peacefully.

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Kudos to the actors who so realistically present the characters, especially in the aftermath of the horror-filled attack. And while the play may need a little refinement in its flow, I think those of us who work in the industry, as well as those who wish they did, will appreciate the often humorous look inside what goes on behind the scenes on Oscar night when things go in both the best and worst possible ways.

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Erin Conley

I don't know about you, but when I think back to June 12, 2016, I don't experience a desire to see a blatant dramatization of it. The creators of Big Night, now in its world premiere at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre, clearly disagree, and the result is a frustrating play that has plenty to say and yet manages to say nothing at all.

sour - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Paul Rudnick fans hoping for more of what made us fall for his previous hits will be sorely disappointed by Big Night. Big Flop is more like it.

sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Walter Bobbie has a flair for light comedy, and he easily balances the emotional moments, never letting the pendulum swing too far one way or the other. For my money, Bobbie is theater. And theatre. His decades of experience inform every single choice he makes with his actors and designers. John Lee Beatty's hotel suite set is a brilliant, towering, expensive wonder—so luxe it's almost ugly.

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - ...read full review


Avatar

But without great actors delivering the quality dialogue under empathic direction, Rudnick's play might seem heavy-handed or perhaps too cute. But, surprisingly, it isn't. The play flows naturally, with Rudnick's well-acknowledged flair with comedic moments making us laugh through our tears.

sweet - Dale Reynolds - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

Big Night" may be earnest in patches, not entirely convincing and a bit thin, but Rudnick hasn't lost his talent to amuse. The play is funny even when it stumbles and stalls.

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - ...read full review


Avatar

A clumsy, poorly structured treatise instead of an organic, thought-provoking comedy-drama, Big Night fails to connect because the creators' altruistic intentions are heavy-handed.

sour - Jonas Schwartz - TheaterMania - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke

There are some truly funny moments in Big Night, and it's commendable that the playwright is trying to tackle big issues — he just doesn't tackle any of those issues particularly well. The play makes half-baked statements about gun control, base desires for revenge, and what it means to have a platform to speak out about important social issues. Ultimately, however, Rudnick does not use his own platform to say anything meaningful about anything.

sour - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

Discounting the ripped-from-the-headlines contrivance of a mass murder involving kids, Big Night might have scored validity in its effort to point up the responsibilities of the privileged among us — essentially, I think, the play's main idea. But so swiftly do the characters return to their narcissistic concerns and their repartee, and so unconvincing are the actors in their brow-wrinkling sorrow, that this main thrust of the drama swiftly becomes moot.

sour - Deborah Klugman - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

Rudnick proves he can still deliver the laughs, most especially his satirizing of the Hollywood mentality and lifestyle, but he has attempted to have a go at a more serious work about today's seemingly constant and meaningless terrorist attacks. His writing fails at making the polar opposite topics co-exist peacefully.

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Kudos to the actors who so realistically present the characters, especially in the aftermath of the horror-filled attack. And while the play may need a little refinement in its flow, I think those of us who work in the industry, as well as those who wish they did, will appreciate the often humorous look inside what goes on behind the scenes on Oscar night when things go in both the best and worst possible ways.

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - ...read full review