Captivating! Intimate! Hilarious! “The Shark Is Broken” Takes A Bite Out Of Broadway 

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

The Broadway production of “The Shark Is Broken”, written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon, is a mesmerizing theatrical experience that offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the iconic trio from the movie Jaws. Starring Ian Shaw, Alex Brightman, and Colin Donnell, this play captivates audiences with its exploration of the complex relationship between Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw, as well as the tumultuous backdrop of the drug-riddled set of “Jaws” in 1973.

Photo By: D.B. Frick

One of the most remarkable aspects of “The Shark Is Broken” (aside from the fact that I wore my Jaws socks) is Ian Shaw’s portrayal of his own father, Robert Shaw. This groundbreaking feat in acting history adds a layer of authenticity and emotional depth to the performance. Shaw’s nuanced portrayal showcases his understanding of his father’s character, bringing a touching and personal element to the story. seeing Ian Shaw as Quint and Robert Shaw was particularly exciting. Shaw came up with the concept while stumbling upon one of his father’s, Robert Shaws, drinking diaries. Interesting how Robert Shaws own words would become history again with this angle of a story. I believe this may lead to a whole new genre of “playwriting”. Where progeny takes on a role their parent had in a modern retelling of the same story. Maybe we’ll see Mamie Gummer in a version of what went down on set during the filming of “Sophies Choice”. Though it is somewhat funny, I’m not joking. Nepotism is going make a serious comeback in 2024.


Alex Brightman’s portrayal of Richard Dreyfuss is nothing short of Tony-worthy. Having had the pleasure of interviewing Brightman during his time in the musical “School of Rock”, I can attest to his immense talent and commitment to his craft. In “The Shark Is Broken”, he shines as Dreyfuss, capturing the essence of the character with charisma and precision. Brightman’s performance is a highlight of the production and a joy to watch.

Photo By: Random Showgoer

Completing the talented cast is Colin Donnell, who effortlessly embodies the role of a character who reminds me of my own father. His portrayal adds a sense of familiarity and relatability to the story, creating a connection with the audience that is both poignant and memorable. Roy was really the tie that bound the three through the drug riddled excess they experienced during the making of this film.


Under the direction of Guy Masterson, the play thrives in its use of the small ensemble and historical context. Masterson skillfully weaves together the personal dynamics of the characters with the iconic story penned by Peter Benchley, resulting in a production that pays homage to Jaws while delving deeply into the lives of those involved.


The Shark Is Broken is a must-see for fans of Jaws and theater enthusiasts alike. It offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of a classic film and provides a fresh perspective on the relationships between its stars. The play successfully combines drama, humor, and nostalgia, leaving audiences entertained and moved.


While the production is undoubtedly impressive, a minor issue plagues the play and holds “The Shark Is Broken” back. Much like the movie “Jaws” there isn’t much of a story. The story mainly is Robert working on his famed USS Indianapolis speech. However, this is a minor quibble in an otherwise outstanding production that manages to capture the essence of the “Jaws” era.


In conclusion, “The Shark Is Broken” is a captivating and intimate theatrical experience that offers a fascinating exploration of the lives and relationships of the Jaws stars. With strong performances, skilled direction, and a compelling narrative, this Broadway play is a testament to the enduring legacy of the iconic film. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this remarkable production on stage.

One Act – 95 minutes

John Golden Theater

250 West 45th Street

For Tickets  –



DB Frick
D.B. is a long time writer and performer. He's had the opportunity to work alongside such greats a Martin Scorsese and Jesse Eisenberg. Most recently D.B. was a writer and performer for the podcast The National Lampoon Presents The Final Edition run by comic icon Tony Hendra, whom D.B. has also written with. D.B. was Senior Comedy Writer for The NY Theatre Guide, interviewing many greats and reviewing NYC Comedy. D.B. also has a script used as material in an NYU Tisch writing class taught by mentor, D.B. Gilles. D.B. has also taught Improv and Writing at UCLA and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

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