New in 2018 A new play from Oscar nominee Kenneth Lonergan that tells the story of four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment complex.
The Broadway production of Lobby Hero closed May 13, 2018. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers: What happens when emotions come in conflict with principles, and how do choices under pressure define who we really are? The lobby of a Manhattan apartment building is much more than a waiting area for four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation. It’s a testing ground for what happens when personal and professional personas find themselves at odds. A young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner in a play from the 2017 Oscar-winning writer of "Manchester by the Sea."
Author Kenneth Lonergan's plays include "This Is Our Youth," "The Waverly Gallery" (a Pulitzer Prize nominee) and "The Starry Messenger." He is best known for co-writing the film "Gangs of New York", and for writing and directing the films "You Can Count On Me," "Margaret" and "Manchester by the Sea," for which Lonergan earned an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as a nomination for Best Director. "Lobby Hero" premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2001.
This production marks the launch of Second Stage Theater's inaugural Broadway season. The cast of "Lobby Hero" includes Michael Cera ("This Is Our Youth"), Chris Evans (best known as Steve Rogers/Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Brian Tyree Henry ("The Book of Mormon," TV's "Atlanta") and Bel Powley ("Arcadia"). Trip Cullman ("Six Degrees of Separation," "Significant Other") directs.
What's Second Stage? Second Stage is a long-running producing organization with a recently redesigned Off-Broadway theater in the heart of the midtown theater district, and a smaller space (the company's original home) on the Upper West Side. Established as a 'Second Stage' for shows that didn't find an audience the first time around, the company now combines revivals with new work, and several of its shows have recently made the jump to larger houses across the street. The fare is sometimes a bit racy, but often very approachable...call it quirkiness with an edge. More here.
Cullman's high-wattage production of Lonergan's clever, discursive dramedy...[The] jerry-rigged tension eventually comes to a head in a revelation that feels more schematic than earned, and the stress points of race and sex and power the script touches on are only glancingly resolved. But "Lobby" is still a smart, thoughtful piece of work, fairy-dusted by the starry presence of its celebrated cast.
"Lobby Hero" is a textured consideration of more or less honest characters dealing with sticky moral questions, its dramatic pulse and its needling humor underscored by a rich vein of melancholy....given a very fine production - with strong casting, sensitive direction from Cullman and dynamic physical design. It's Lonergan's clear-eyed yet forgiving view of human nature - despite its wide spectrum of imperfections - that makes his writing so rewarding and such a gift for good actors.
New York Daily News
This fine-tuned show...Lonergan specializes in flawed sad sacks and self-sabotagers. He has an all-too-rare gift of perfect pitch when it comes to dialogue. The cast make the most of the script and skillfully navigate the play's plot and tonal twists. The role of Jeff lands right in [Cera's] sweet spot - and he makes the most of it seemingly effortlessly. His presence makes the play funnier, sadder and sweeter. He is the show's MVP - if not its hero.
New York Magazine
[A] substantial and mostly satisfying revival...Lonergan writes with warmth, wit and spontaneity, but "Lobby Hero" is one of his more schematic pieces, a complex machine of mixed motivations and triangulated outcomes. Cullman directs with great timing and efficiency. Henry's performance blossoms...it's powerful to watch him simmer and boil and wither, while Cera plays his downtrodden but still privileged foil. The rest of the show: It's got a lot of potential.
New York Times
Meticulously acted...directed with savvy restraint...it [feels] a bit too openly schematic...especially during a protracted stretch of secret sharing in the second act. But the performances here all so grounded that you never doubt their characters' authenticity or sincerity. Like morality, identity is relative in "Lobby Hero." Few playwrights match Mr. Lonergan in making confident art out of such constantly shifting uncertainty.
Time Out New York
Lonergan's tonally mercurial play uses Cera's ineffectual persona to deft comic effect, even as it smartly explores weighty questions of spinelessness and courage. The social issues that "Lobby Hero" touches on are as topical now as when it premiered, but the play's lens is rigorously trained on the personal. Lonergan keeps the audience off-balance about his characters' morality and motivations as the play vascillates between tragedy and humor.
This bittersweet, people-friendly play....looks both kindly and critically upon the kind of characters Lonergan loves to write: working-class stiffs, generally decent people who are unexpectedly challenged by issues of ethics. Helmer Cullman does his best work with small, tight ensembles like this one, so there's no slack in the emotional tension and no escape from the sticky web that even nice people get tangled up in when they tell lies - especially the lies they tell themselves.