REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Her Portmanteau” Opened with a ShowScore of 80

Show-Score | May 17, 2017
“Her Portmanteau,” written by Mfoniso Udofia and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, opened on May 16, 2017 in New York City. “Her Portmanteau,” written by Mfoniso Udofia and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, opened on May 16, 2017 in New York City.

CRITICS REVIEWS

5 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 69.

Jesse Green 
The New York Times 
ShowScore: 90 
"The plays, a pair of stunningly acted productions, offer a moving and powerful corrective to the notion that what immigrants leave behind is always awful, and that what they find is always worth the trip...'Her Portmanteau' is a far more conventional work...Even so, 'Her Portmanteau' is the more moving of the two plays...If we have seen mothers and daughters attempt rapprochement before, we have never seen this mother and daughter do so, and never as played by Jules and the astonishing Oduye."
Helen Shaw
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 40
“The best thing about the pair of clumsy family dramas is the extraordinarily graceful performer they both revolve around...Ogbuagu manages, again and again, to make these two muddled plays occasionally cohere…There is promise here. The playwright has a delicate ear for dialogue…But such poignant moments battle with unwieldy monologues and theatrical clichés...Director Ed Iskandar undercuts what's best about Udofia's writing and reveals its structural flaws."
Jonathan Mandell
New York Theater
ShowScore: 70
“More streamlined and structurally coherent than ‘Sojourners,' while sharing some of that earlier play’s strengths. Again, there are knowing glimpses of the culture clash that is inherent in immigrant life…That this production chooses to leave its English-speaking audience so long in the dark will prove a challenge for many...But the challenge at least can be justified...It reproduces in the English-speaking audience something of the feeling of disorientation that new immigrants feel.”

“Her Portmanteau” was also reviewed by Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies and Jeremy Gerard of Deadline.

MEMBER REVIEWS

The show was also reviewed by 41 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 82.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Resonant

Paula B2, ShowScore: 70
See it if…"You like good acting and strong accent work. You like family dramas and 'event' plays. Definitely see 'Sojourners' first or so very much of this will be lost on you."
Don't see it if…"You need loose ends and references to be clear. You're not interested in socially relevant theater. You're not a fan of 'important' theater." 
Erik O, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You want to see a fresh take on cross-generational family dramas. With the origin story, 'Sojourners,' running in rep, it's rich and textured." 
Don't see it if…"You don't like three-hander, living-room dramas."  
Ken-G, ShowScore: 84
See it if…"You want to see a Nigerian immigrant mother try to sustain connections with two daughters, one raised in America, one in Africa. The second of two plays. This one is better seen second.
Don't see it if…"You have trouble with Nigerian accents and plays with a few foreign words." 

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.


Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.

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