Lincoln Center Theater continues its fruitful relationship with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award nominee Ayad Akhtar with the Broadway premiere of Junk. They previously collaborated on The Who & The What and Disgraced, with the latter transferring to Broadway and earning a Tony Award nomination in 2015.

Broadway favorite Steven Pasquale takes the lead as Robert Merkin in the topical drama Junk, which runs through to January 7, 2018 at Lincoln Center... And who could have known that the financial markets could make for such compelling theater?

Merkin may be a fictional character but the similarities with one Michael Milken - a former financier and philanthropist - are plain as day. His influence in big business buyouts through the implication of high-yield "junk" bonds provides much of the drive of the narrative until his ultimate guilty plea and conviction of unlawful insider dealings. Pasquale delivers an unsetlling and equally beguilling performance as Merkin - the alpha-male in the room who nobody is seemingly able or willing to challenge. Indeed, the entire ensemble cast recreates a world, set in the mid-1980s, where unsavoury characters lurk behind every business venture and where misogyny and racial prejudice run rampant in the workplace... Look how far we've come... 

The sad truth is that Akhtar's period piece all too often feels like it isn't period at all and the opening of Junk on Broadway could not have been more timely.     

(Photos by T. Charles Erickson)

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Running time: 
2hrs 30mins (including 1 intermission)
7 images
About Junk:

It's 1985. Robert Merkin, the resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell has just landed on the cover of Time Magazine. Hailed as 'America's Alchemist,' his proclamation that 'debt is an asset' has propelled him to dizzying heights. Zealously promoting his belief in the near-sacred infallibility of markets, he is trying to re-shape the world. Junk is the story of Merkin's assault on American capitalism's holy of holies, the 'deal of the decade,' his attempt to takeover an iconic American manufacturing company and, in the process, to change all the rules. What Merkin sets in motion is nothing less than a financial civil war, pitting magnates against workers, lawyers against journalists, and ultimately, pitting every one against themselves. Set over thirty years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren't watching, money became the only thing of real value.

Ayad Akhtar
Lincoln Center Theater in association with The Araca Group
Doug Hughes
Ben Stanton
Mark Bennett
John Lee Beatty
Catherine Zuber
Cast list:
Steven Pasquale (as Robert Merkin), with Ito Aghayere, Phillip James Brannon, Tony Carlin, Caroline Hewitt, Rick Holmes, Ted Koch, Teresa Avia Lim, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Nate Miller, Ethan Phillips, Matthew Rauch, Matthew Saldivar, Michael Siberry, Miriam Silverman, Joey Slotnick, and Henry Stram
Other info:
Original Music by Mark Bennett
Junk Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
October 5, 2017
Opening date: 
November 2, 2017
January 7, 2018

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Vivian Beaumont Theater - Lincoln Center Theater

50 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Nearest subway station:
66th Street - Lincoln Center station

Latest Junk News & Features

Steven Pasquale in Junk
Interview with Junk star Steven Pasquale
November 15, 2017

We recently caught up with the star of Lincoln Center Theater's latest Broadway production - Steven Pasquale. He takes the lead as the fictional character Robert Merkin in Tony Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar's latest offering Junk, which continues at the Vivian Beaumont Theater through to January 7, 2018.

Steven Pasquale
NYTG at the Broadway Opening of Junk
November 3, 2017

After the success of Disgraced (and a Tony nomination to boot), it seems that gifted playwright Ayad Akhtar is continuing his rewarding affiliation with Lincoln Center Theater, as his latest play Junk officially opened at LCT's Vivian Beaumont Theater last night. The New York Theatre Guide was invited to attend the celebration and we were eager to catch up with the play's leading man Steven Pasquale to find out a little more about Akhtar's social thriller.

Our Junk Review

It is 1985, the last gasp of the go-go eighties, when corporate raiders roam the landscape, attempting hostile takeovers; companies under siege employ “poison pill” defenses; and the occasional “white knights” prove less than constant. Oliver Stone had already unmasked (or glorified, depending on where you sit) the greed-is-good ethic that has always informed Wall Street. At the Vivian... Read more