The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for the Pig – Location, Tickets, Reviews

The Pig or Vaclav Havel's Hunt for a Pig

The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for the Pig – Location, Tickets, Reviews

The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for the Pig is a joint production of 3-Legged Dog (3LD) Art & Technology Center and Untitled Theater Company #61. It is billed as a “theatrical-musical-technological-gastronomic experience” and we think that’s a pretty apt description.

Václav Havel was a fascinating man. He was a playwright (known for absurdist, subversive works), a dissident in Communist Czechoslovakia, the last President of Czechoslovakia, and the first President of The Czech Republic.

The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for the Pig is an adaption by Edward Einhorn (the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company #61 and curator of the 2006 Havel Festival in New York City) of a Czech play based on a piece written by Havel and published in an underground magazine a couple of years before the Velvet Revolution brought down Communism in Czechoslovakia.

This background isn’t necessary if you just want to enjoy The Pig as a piece of absurdist theater that integrates an entertaining musical score, dinner from Korzo, Czech beer and chocolate, and a live-feed broadcasting elements of the production on the four walls surrounding the stage and audience. However, if you’re interested in parsing the symbolic meaning of the play’s searching-for-a-pig plot, it helps a lot.


We had a lot of fun at this show. The formal production is only an hour. It doesn’t start until about 20 minutes after the posted start time. First, there’s live music from Cabaret Metropol, a New York-based ensemble. This gives the audience time to get seated, read the extensive playbill for backstory on the show, and, for those who paid in advance for the dinner option, time to eat to pork or beet-filled wraps. There are also à la carte drinks and snacks available for purchase.

According to the aforementioned playbill, The Pig is a liberal adaption of a Czech adaption of Havel’s original writing. It is based on actual events but, especially considering when it was written, it is hard not to interpret the play as a metaphor for the struggle against Communism in Czechoslovakia.

The play incorporates music and story elements from a well-known Czech operetta written in the 1860s, The Bartered Bride. We enjoyed the music immensely but what the Bartered Bride story lines had to do with the primary plot of Havel searching for a pig for his village pig roast completely escaped us.

There’s never a shortage of commotion or noise in this brisk one-hour show. We couldn’t connect all of the dots story-wise but we were entertained. Robert Honeywell (himself a playwright) is engaging as Havel and the singers and musicians are a talented bunch.

The evening wraps up with an optional post-show performance by the cast of Velvet Underground covers.

Recommended if. . .

  • You’re looking for a unique theater experience that’s reasonably priced;
  • You’re curious about the history of the Czech Republic;
  • You admire Václav Havel;
  • You’re okay with a little chaos and lack of storytelling clarity during an evening of feverish, musical theater.
Public Opinion

From the Twittersphere:

@KatrinaMedoff: Loved the post-show music (velvet underground) at Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig! @VictoriaMoyer11 @EthanVanBuskirk

Have you seen The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for the Pig? What did you think? Comment below or tweet to us at @maxamoo.

Critics’ Reviews

Exeunt Magazine
You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig, the now infamous (i.e. Obama to Palin) saying goes. As unrest in the former Eastern Bloc countries surges back onto our television screens, this Pig might have benefited from a little less makeup and cameras and a little more of what was on Havel’s mind. On the other hand, to quote another of the chorus’ refrains: “Why not make a celebration?” For an evening where Czech food and music meet NYC irony (with a post-show performance of Velvet Underground songs performed by Cabaret Metropole), “The Pig” is an authentic feast.


$20, $45 including dinner  (click to purchase tickets from OvationTix, the official online ticket seller for The Pig)


Performances through March 29, 2014


3LD Art & Technology Center
80 Greenwich Street, New York City
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Pre-show: 20 minutes

Show: 1 hour

Post-show: 25 minutes

(partial list)

Written by Václav Havel and Vladimír Morávek

Featuring music from The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana

Adapted into English by Edward Einhorn

Direction and musical arrangements by Henry Akona

Featuring Katherine Boynton, Melissa Elledge, John Gallop, Andrew Goldsworth, Jennifer Harder, Robert Honeywell, David Hov, Jenny Lee Mitchell, Mateo Moreno, Emily Shankman, Phoebe Silva, Moira Stone, Terence Stone, Michael Whitney, Sandy York, Christpher Yustin


3 Legged Dog

Untitled Theater Company #61