"Bottom Line: Our highest recommendation! An exhilarating 'comedy of ideas' vividly enacting the forty-year love/hate relationship between Bertrand Russell and his most famous student, Ludwig Wittgenstein." -- Ronald Gross, New York Theatre Buying Guide (newsletter). Read the full review.

Russell (L) and Wittgenstein (R). Illustration by Laura Layton

"Lackey is a master at bringing philosophy out of the dusty corners of academia and putting them on a very passion filled center stage. As with his previous works produced at Theater for a New City Daylight Precision (2014) and Arendt/ Heidegger; a love story (2018) Ludwig and Bertie is a victory for smart theater." -- Rachel de Aragon, Berkshire Fine Arts. - Read the original

"Thought-provoking yet fun, this play featuring two very different 20th century philosophers, shows us how we can still learn from them to this day.  ...Directed by Alexander Harrington, this play is like a well-choreographed stage dance. ...We live in a time where opposites do not see eye to eye much less try to hear and understand where the other is coming from. We have seen time and again an older generation which is set in its ways and not open to challenges, new insights or other people’s ideas. Ludwig and Bertie show us that as different as we all may be, whether by religion, age, or even sexual orientation, we can learn from each other. Be more open to a bigger discussion and sometimes change our minds over things, as if in fact there is a rhinoceros in the room or not." -- James Navarette, TheaterScene. Read the original

"The play is a remarkable achievement on two levels: on one level, it provides an exhaustive explication of their respective philosophies (which even those most familiar with the concepts underlying analytic philosophy should find informative and educational).  And on another level, it also provides an entertaining theatrical experience for those less committed to the nuances of philosophical thought in its explorations of these men’s personae." -- Alan Miller, A Seat on the Aisle. Read the original

"Both [Russell and Wittgenstein] are considered major 20th century philosophers; their relationship, from their first meeting in Cambridge in 1911 until Wittgenstein’s death in 1951, underwent the human and intellectual turbulence usually encountered between father and son....The juxtaposition of these contradictory personalities promises explosive drama, perhaps more than can be contained in one session of theater....Alexander Bartenieff’s subtle lighting design helps to sharpen the attention while the costume design by Anthony Paul-Cavaretta beautifully adds to the personality of a character as well as the shifts of period style in the play....The actors maintain the sharp personality contrasts and manage the dialogue alternating between rather complicated philosophical theorems (in merciful snippets) and private conundrums with persuasive clarity. -- Beate Hein Bennet, New York Theatre Wire. Read the original

Stan Buturla as Professor Bertrand Russell and Connor Bond as the young Wittgenstein
. Photo by Anthony Paul-Cavaretta.

"This is a fascinating play with a solid cast. It will leave you pondering the philosophical theories for days." -- Brenda Repland, Eyes on World Cultures. Read the original.

Read reviews of Douglas Lackey's preceding play at Theater for the New City, "Arendt and Heidegger: a Love Story" (2018).


September 26 to October 13, 2019
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave (between 9th and 10th Sts.)
Thurs - Sat at 8:00 PM, Sun at 3:00 PM
$15 general admission
Box office: (212) 254-1109