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“An Enemy of the People is a MUST-SEE PLAY!”

Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC)
Ranked #376 of 1,096 things to do in New York City
Attraction details
Level Contributor
157 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“An Enemy of the People is a MUST-SEE PLAY!”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Although the play is set in the late 1800s, it could be happening right now. An idealistic doctor discovers that the water in the local spa is polluted and will make people sick. He thinks it's important to tell everyone and get this fixed right away. But the spa is the economic engine of this small town, and not everyone wants this information to get out. See what I mean? Very timely story, yet it was written more than 100 years ago!

Boyd Gaines is excellent as the doctor. He has some very long monologues and he holds you right in his hand--you want to listen to every word. Richard Thomas (yes, John-Boy) plays his adversary, the mayor, who is also the doctor's brother. These two leads are perfect together, both strong actors who work together beautifully. The supporting cast is good, too, especially the newspaper editor who must decide if he will publish the doctor's report.

Ibsen's characters tend to be uptight, buttoned-up people supressing their emotions. In this play, the characters are emotional--joyous, angry, excited. The costumes are from the time in which the play is set, but it's a new translation. In places, a modern turn of phrase felt out of place, but it didn't detract from the story (I'm picky about language).

Manhattan Theatre Club is a subscription theatre, and this is a limited run--although they'd do well to move it to another theater when its run here is done. This play will get you talking about issues and ideals and practicality. Is the truth all that matters?

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Kathy49NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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English first
Pearl River, New York
Level Contributor
181 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“John Lithgow is Sensational as the Columnist”
Reviewed May 28, 2012

WE went to see John Lithgow in the Columnist on Saturday evening. This is a theatre experience you should not miss. The play is very true to the real life story of Joseph Alsop. Lithgow is breathtaking in his portrayal of this brilliant and troubled man.

Visited May 2012
Thank Randy105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
462 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Repetory theatre at its finest”
Reviewed May 9, 2012

Go see the Columnist with John Lithgow. He is made for this part or he made this part but it is interesting to see this view of history from the mind of a famous Washington columnists. Going to MTC is akin to the National Theatre in London. Some of the plays are great (Doubt) many are good and a few may be less than what you had expected. This is reporatory. They take a certain amount of risk. If you are a dedicated theatre goer odds are you will appreciate the overall excellence of each production. You may have to think, if that doesn't appeal to you go to a musical.

Visited May 2012
Thank NC R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
182 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Lovely theatre & great performance”
Reviewed April 29, 2012

Saw "The Columnist" here starring John Lithgow. Powerful performance, well acted, history related plot. The theatre itself has been completely re-done after falling into major disrepair. They remained faithful to the architecture in the restoration. The seating was much more comfortable than other theaters in the district, they have eliminated some of the seating providing more room for the patrons.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank peggydill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
490 reviews
295 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“John Lithgow in "The Columnnist"”
Reviewed April 18, 2012

The script was engaging and thoughtful. Lithgow was terrific.

Visited April 2012
Thank Sandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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