What Did the Critics Think of The Encounter on Broadway?

The Verdict   What Did the Critics Think of The Encounter on Broadway? Simon McBurney’s immersive solo show takes the audience on a mystical journey.
Simon McBurney
Simon McBurney Joan Marcus

September 29 was opening night for The Encounter, Simon McBurney’s one-man play based on the true story of a photographer who finds himself lost among the remote people of the Javiri Valley, on the border of Brazil and Peru, in 1959.

Previews began September 20 at the Golden Theatre.

The Encounter was inspired by the novel Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu. The audience wears headphones and finds itself immersed in a vivid world created almost entirely by McBurney's voice and a virtual radio station full of sound effects to create the impression of the story's surreal, deep-jungle world in which the photographer is able to communicate telepathically with the tribe’s shaman.

Critics’ reviews follow. Check back for updates.

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Richard Katz plays the role at selected performances.

The Encounter, which was co-produced with McBurney's company Complicite, the Barbican and other international partners, bowed last summer at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival. McBurney is listed as director, conceiver and star, with Kirsty Housley listed as co-director.

The rest of the creative team consists of Michael Levine (design), Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin (sound), Paul Anderson (lighting), Will Duke (projection) and Jemima James (associate director).

The Complicite production of The Encounter is produced on Broadway by Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Douglas L. Meyer, James D. Stern, Barbara & Alan D. Marks, Timothy Headington, Ian Bentley, Don Clark, Dan D’Angelo, Jim Kierstead, Willette & Manny Klausner, D. Rebecca Davies/Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Gary Goddard Entertainment/Jerry Katell, Larry Kroll/David L. Shapiro. It was originally a Complicite co-production with Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican, London, Onassis Cultural Centre—Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre.

Tickets for The Encounter are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, online by visiting Telecharge.com, or at the Golden Theatre box office at 252 West 45th Street. It’s being advertised as a limited engagement running “16 weeks only.”

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