The Wanderers Reviews
The New York Times- Somewhat Recommended
"...There’s no shortage of stories that explore the merits and pitfalls of arranged marriages. In the Jewish subcategory alone, we have “Shtisel,” “Unorthodox” and the perennial “Fiddler on the Roof.” But Anna Ziegler’s awkwardly hitched play “The Wanderers,” which opened Thursday at the Laura Pels Theater, may be the first to consider the problem of forced matches while also exemplifying it."
Vulture- Somewhat Recommended
"...It’s hard to say too much about the premise of Anna Ziegler’s The Wanderers without spoiling the primary enjoyment you get from it, which is learning how exactly Ziegler has entwined her characters, her plot unfolding like a kid’s paper fortune teller. The frustration in the Roundabout’s staging is that it doesn’t keep up with the script. The director, Barry Edelstein, takes a steady, dutiful approach to something that is trying to reach toward more abstract reckoning, and by the end, the staging starts to do it a disservice."
New York Theater- Recommended
"...But “The Wanderers” is far more playful than profound, an exercise in clever storytelling that involves not one, but two big plot twists – one gradually revealed; the other, seismic – and features that glamorous movie star character. As in her 2017 play “The Last Match,” which was presented at the same theater, Roundabout’s Laura Pels, and which also focused on two couples in challenging relationships (rival tennis players and their spouses), Ziegler comes up with some novel stagecraft that doesn’t completely work, but feels largely satisfying nonetheless. And in “The Wanderers,” she collaborates with the well-cast performers and director Barry Edelstein in creating five absorbing characters."
"...There is brimming tension and beautiful lyricism in each of these head-to-head moments. Still, there is a slight sense of flatness that this revolving door of paired scenes creates within a play whose ideas are bursting with three-dimensionality. Though perhaps that is simply the requisite tradeoff for a big story told in an intimate way."
Stage Buddy- Recommended
"...Once the audience can get past some of the didactic dialogue, they might feel some recognition.The two couples mirror the struggles of couples and individuals. Although they are Jewish, their struggles are universal."
Stage and Cinema- Somewhat Recommended
"...The acting is mostly restrained. However, Klasko and Feyer do occasionally engage us emotionally. But for the most part, The Wanderers is an intellectual endeavor. If Abe had gone to see a therapist instead of embarking on a year and a half relationship with a woman he doesn’t know, the play would have probably come to the same conclusion."
Theatrely- Somewhat Recommended
"...And then there’s the other couple, whose connection to Abe’s story the play tries to pass off as something of a plot twist, so I’ll leave it be. But suffice it to say that Esther (Lucy Freyer) is bristling against the limitations set by her Orthodox Williamsburg world, and enforced by husband Schmuli (Dave Klasko). Ziegler’s writing comes alive in this unfortunately short-shrifted subplot, with decisive statements about organized religion, its potential use as a tool of enslavement, and the battle between individuality and parenthood. Invigorated by this, Freyer and Klasko turn in the production’s best performances, and one is left wondering why we’re made to wander through any other arc."
New York Stage Review- Recommended
"...There’s a terrific twist that comes late in The Wanderers, Anna Ziegler’s absorbing new play at the Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre off-Broadway. Don’t chastise yourself if you don’t see it coming. (Confession: I didn’t.) Ziegler has written a beautifully shaded portrait of two generations of Brooklyn marriages, and truthfully, you should be drawn in."