Michael Moore's One-Man Broadway Play Opens to Terrible Reviews

'Like being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle'

Michael Moore / Getty
August 11, 2017

Filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore's one-man Broadway play "The Terms of My Surrender" debuted to less than favorable reviews at New York City's Belasco Theater on Thursday.

Moore presented a one-man play starring himself that was promoted as "uncensored" and "All-American." He describes the play as a "12-step meeting for the Democratic Party."

The show is "a hilarious satirical tour through the depraved new world we find ourselves in since appointing a madman as the leader of the free world," according to Moore's website.

But reviews of "The Terms of My Surrender" published after the show did not take kindly to Moore's performance.

Here is a round-up of critics who reviewed Moore's Broadway debut:

"You don't have to disagree with Mr. Moore's politics to find that his shtick has become disagreeable with age," the New York Times' Jesse Green wrote. "'The Terms of My Surrender,' which opened on Thursday at the Belasco, is a bit like being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle. Gotta love him — but maybe let's turn on the television."

"Audiences hoping for a bit of feel-good liberal therapy, let alone a good show, may be disappointed to find that Mr. Moore isn't very interested in them. He's not preaching to the choir: He's bragging to it," Green added.

"Michael Moore looked like a fish out of water — or was it a deer in headlights?" the Los Angeles Times' Charles McNulty wrote.

"I found myself cringing at the self-congratulatory applause that would break out when he would utter one of his pieties," McNulty continued. "And I lost patience with the way he seemed to want both sympathy for being a victim of the right and adulation for being the champion of all mankind."

"Some of these personal anecdotes are proud puffery," Variety's Marilyn Stasio said.

"There is nothing fresh," the Daily Beast's Tim Teeman added.

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) attended the show's preview. It is unclear what her thoughts are of Moore's performance.