The Lehman Trilogy – Play – Review – ACT Theatre

@showsiveseen Stefano Massini's "The Lehman Trilogy" epic 3-act #play at @acttheatre starring Brandon J Simmons, Bradford Farwell, & Robert Pescovitz. #Lehman Brothers' fascinating rise from humble slavery-tainted beginnings to late-stage capitalism. Convincing accents & cast doubling. Closes this wknd! #theatre #showsiveseen #LehmanBrothers #jewish #BaruchHashem #capitalism #bank #banking #finance Review: Photos: @rosemarydaiross ♬ Looking for a man tima remix – Tima Pages

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Stefano Massini’s “The Lehman Trilogy” epic 3-act play at ACT Theatre. Lehman Brothers’ fascinating rise from humble slavery-tainted beginnings to late-stage capitalism. Convincing accents & cast doubling. #LehmanBrothers #jewish #BaruchHashem #capitalism #bank #banking #finance

See it, especially if you’re okay with epic 3-act shows.

Synopsis from the Theatre: The Tony Award®-winning Best Play comes to Seattle after a triumphant run on London’s West End and Broadway. The Lehmans began as many American immigrants did in the 19th century: on a cold dock in New York City in 1844 as a young Jewish man enters his new country for the first time. Joined by his two brothers, they live the American Dream: from humble beginnings to outrageous success. 163 years later, that legacy—The Lehman Brothers—comes crashing down, triggering the largest financial crisis in history. How? Why? This extraordinary feat of storytelling invites us to question what success is worth, how legacy is defined, and what we value in the wake of devastating collapse.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 5/2/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for my preview posts on my website and social media if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Get you tickets now since the show closes this weekend.

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several

Static (Stationary) Set? Mostly, yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No, but you’d probably appreciate this more if you’re familiar with the Lehman Brothers collapse during the Great Recession.

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Equity Actors: 2

Total Number of Actors: 3

Perceived Pace of the Show: The play started slow while introducing a single character for several minutes with the typical energy of a one-person show. A good play hooks the audience at the beginning, but this one did not. When the two remaining actors entered the stage, the show picked up the pace. But after the second act, the sheer epic length slowed it down again!

Length (Including Any Intermission): A whopping 3.5 hours!

Was there an intermission? Two

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? Probably not, but it was good.

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Philip Lehman: Philip Lehman (played by Robert Pescovitz) was delightfully pragmatic and cold like a robot. Some may view his personality as calculating or controlling, but I saw him as an inspiration. He wouldn’t let emotions get in the way of progress.


Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • New York City: Maybe it’s my jealousy of not living in “The Big Apple,” but this is the first time I was a little annoyed by the way plays and musicals idolize New York City. We get it … everywhere else is trash!
  • Great Recession: I was surprised that the play didn’t focus more on the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Jewish References: The script was quite heavy on Jewish references compared to what’s usually in live theatre. That would be fine if the main intent of the play was to showcase Jewish American culture. If that was not the main intention, then the references should be more subtle to not distract from the main messages. Without this subtlety, the play just becomes a Jewish show like Fiddler on the Roof. I don’t remember much about Fiddler on the Roof except that there were a bunch of Jewish themes. Interestingly enough, The Lehman Trilogy playwright was Italian!

Theatre Company: ACT Theatre

Venue: The Falls Theatre at ACT Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 700 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive


Ticket Affordability Options: Check out the theatre’s official discounts page.

Dates: April 26 to May 19, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Paid lot or paid street parking. If I don’t walk to this theatre, I park in the old convention center garage with the entrance between Seneca and Pike. There is indoor access from the garage to the theatre if you walk through the old convention center.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by Rosemary Dai Ross.

Brandon J Simmons. Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross.
Brandon J Simmons, Bradford Farwell, & Robert Pescovitz. Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross.
Robert Pescovitz, Bradford Farwell, & Brandon J Simmons. Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross.
Brandon J Simmons, Robert Pescovitz, & Bradford Farwell. Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross.
Bradford Farwell, Brandon J Simmons, & Robert Pescovitz. Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross.

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