The Public Theater presents the Broadway transfer of 'Eclipsed.' Set in 2003 during the Liberian civil war, it is the story of four captive wives of a rebel officer. Starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. More…
Amid the chaos of the Liberian civil war, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community–until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Faced with a hostile world, the women must find and test their inner strength.
"'Eclipsed' is a major achievement—a scorching work about women and war whose humor burnishes rather than undermines its seriousness of purpose. It features ferociously committed ensemble performances staged with power and finesse by Liesl Tommy...'Eclipsed' offers resolution but no hope...We can do little more than bear witness—something this miraculous play helps boldly to accomplish." Full Review
"[A] strong ensemble of women, magnificently directed by Liesl Tommy...The play, transferred from the Public Theater’s 2015 knockout production, pays homage to Ms. Gurira’s exceptional talent as a playwright...The background African rhythms, colorful palette of lights against scenic design and vibrant costumes all enhance the emotional roller coaster that prevails throughout this two hour and 15 minute masterpiece...'Eclipsed' is a powerful send up to all women!" Full Review
"A moving and must-see production...What’s most noticeably different is happening right at the center of the show: Nyong’o has managed to burrow further into her portrayal of the Girl...Her star power is not to be ignored. It doesn’t just make a production like this possible; it makes it legible, to the back of the theater and, more importantly, to the back of our souls. It asks, on behalf of women like this, a world away, 'Shouldn’t you know me?'” Full Review
"For all its harrowing power, 'Eclipsed,' shines with a compassion that makes us see beyond the suffering to the indomitable humanity of its characters. And although the events it depicts happened more than a decade ago, the play resonates powerfully today...Ms. Gurira’s play, directed with clarity and force by Liesl Tommy, reminds us of something profoundly important, and perhaps too easily forgotten amid our own country’s continuing racial troubles: African lives matter." Full Review
"One wondered whether that connection would be broken when the show moved to a much larger Broadway theater. Not to worry...The show hits the sweet spot for the serious New York theater crowd — the ideal audience for this intense drama — that often feels overlooked and underserved on Broadway...Playwright Danai Gurira delivers politics with passion in this searing drama...Superbly directed by Liesl Tommy and powerfully acted by a strong ensemble." Full Review
"In the move from the Public Theater to the John Golden on Broadway, Danai Gurira's 'Eclipsed' has lost not-a-jot of intensity or shock. This hair-raising story of African women trying to survive the horrors of the 2003 Liberian Civil War is still a rousing call to action; but what action? That is what the drama is about...'Eclipsed' is the sort of play we should see every season, and more of, on Broadway: tough-minded, topical, and above all, made by women of color." Full Review
"Liesl Tommy’s production has lost nothing by being moved to a larger house. The play remains a staggeringly potent, perfectly performed snapshot of five African women who are fighting for their lives amid the roiling chaos of an unimaginably bloody war of all against all. 'Eclipsed' feels less like a play than a fictionalized documentary—but one of genius, a deceptively bald piece of storytelling...This is great theater. I doubt you’ll see anything more exciting on Broadway this season." Full Review
"Nyong'o loses herself utterly in the searing and stunning play 'Eclipsed'...The five-member cast—all women—is a true ensemble and must not be missed...Gurira draws very human portraits of these women, and the audience will be stunned to find itself laughing as they joke in such hell...Gurira's work has been unfairly eclipsed by Lynn Nottage's 'Ruined', which shares some themes and came out at the same time, but this production proves it is an extraordinary work that shines and shines." Full Review
"Five performers are turning in immaculate and heartrending performances in Danai Gurira's 'Eclipsed'...Rich in detail and drama, the characters' stories are rife for searing performances, and the company, led by Lupita Nyong'o, deliver turns that simultaneously touch and amuse...Under Liesl Tommy's assured direction, Nyong'o's cast mates deliver equally nuanced and appealing performances...Immensely moving and unquestionably rewarding." Full Review
"It’s one of a kind. It stars Lupita Nyong’o in her Broadway debut, but it’s truly an ensemble play in which every actress has a stand-out performance playing a woman with her own unique experience during a dire situation. The play is edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, yet beautiful...The staging, the set, the clothing all meshes into very powerful storytelling...This play is a clear reminder, a good one, that theater is an excellent way to share important stories from around the world." Full Review
"Too many playwrights seem content to linger on misery and Western complicity when considering the developing world, practically fetishizing the victimhood of their characters...Thankfully, Gurira refuses to traffic in such simplistic clichés. Instead, she shows the ways these women laugh, learn, fight, and persevere. Director Liesl Tommy follows suit with a clear-eyed production...'Eclipsed' is one of the best plays of the season, infinitely watchable and completely unforgettable." Full Review
"Two women stand quietly at attention waiting to see whose turn it is to be raped...That heart-sinking scenario is witnessed several times in Danai Gurira's expertly tense and gripping 'Eclipsed,' a harrowing, but ultimately uplifting drama that, given the subject matter, is beautifully layered with warmth and humor...Liesel Tommy's excellent direction and the playwright's sensitive writing balances each argument evenly, presenting each woman to be heroic, and flawed, in her own way." Full Review
"We know it’s not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the playful innocence of the writing and the deep maternal care that we are witness to...Danai Gurira writes dialogue between these young adult women that is both fun, flirtatious, and caring...Beautifully directed with unflinching honesty by Liesl Tommy, 'Eclipsed' makes us painfully aware of the history and the terror of these women’s lives." Full Review
"Under Liesl Tommy’s careful and inventive direction, the ensemble cast is uniformly brilliant and each delivers a powerful and authentic performance...There are times one wishes playwright Danai Gurira’s writing could have been stronger, especially giving The Girl a more significant role throughout the play...This is an important play with an important story...'Eclipsed' is a redemptive and salvific story offered with distinctive grace and distinguished craft and not to be missed." Full Review
"To tell the horrific story of the Liberian Civil War is as surprising as it is brave. Backed by a dynamic ensemble cast, the production proves that when it comes to human suffering, science fiction has nothing over the realities of recent world history…Staging comic relief amid serial rape is no mean feat, but under Liesl Tommy’s careful and wise direction, humor plays out as a sign of hope that is as much a salve for the women as it is a breath of relief for the audience.” Full Review
"If Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o gave a gripping performance when 'Eclipsed' was performed off-Broadway last fall, she's escalated her portrayal to shattering in the Broadway transfer of Danai Gurira's fine play...Gurira is not inclined to subtlety in presenting the agony of her characters, and occasionally there are soapbox moments...But 'Eclipsed' is a very powerful, resonant play, bringing home what it means to be completely helpless in our world." Full Review
"Freedom, loss of identity, sexual servitude, dignity, self-worth, guilt and anonymity are only some of the issues that Danai Gurira presents in her brilliant play 'Eclipsed'...The performances are brilliantly nuanced and paced by Lisel Tommy. She hits every emotional peak and devastating defeat to the maximum effect that the play offers...'Eclipsed' is not lighthearted fare but it is certainly a night for enlightenment and the power of women." Full Review
"There are scenes, both acrobatic and antagonistic, that have clearly become more second-nature for the actors in the intervening months, lending 'Eclipsed' a deeper realism...The narrative arc is set against a backdrop of an event with worldwide repercussions, but the playwright finds humanity in small details...The performances are top-notch...'Eclipsed' has moved to a larger space without losing ability to shine light on the intimate decisions its characters face." Full Review
"What could easily have been a noble, grim and largely unwatchable testament to man’s inhumanity towards woman in wartime turns out to be a well-acted ensemble piece and a thought-provoking drama that is surprisingly vibrant, and sometimes even whimsical...'Eclipsed' is not a star vehicle; the other performers are terrific in creating believable and complex individuals who are not just victims, and not just sufferers — and neither round-the-clock noble nor grim." Full Review
"As intense as the show is, it’s also leavened by raucous humor — a running joke about Bill Clinton keeps getting better and better. In the end, hope wins out over despair. If this is what happens when Broadway tells the stories of women, we can only wish for more." Full Review
"In its Broadway incarnation, these women remain powerfully specific, and their relationships have warmth and texture...'Eclipsed' is consistently insightful about the ways in which the oppressed become inured to or reliant upon their oppression, even to the point of reproducing it; motherhood, biological or situational, is another of the play's major themes, and its exploration goes in surprising directions...It may be hard to watch at times, but you leave with your eyes wider open." Full Review
"Liesl Tommy’s taut staging provides an excellent showcase for the play. The cast is uniformly very good and while performances have deepened and feel more lived-in uptown, there are still few moments—light and serious—when individuals tilt toward being overly showy, as though they’re performing. Despite that, the play is unsettling and eye-opening." Full Review
"Danai Gurira’s brutal and harrowing drama depicting African women struggling to survive during Liberia’s civil war in 2003...'Eclipsed' is not an easy play to take in. It brings the audience uncomfortably close to a destructive environment. But it is an important one that brings attention to the ongoing plight of women in war-torn Africa. The performances are exceptional all around. The production (directed with graphic detail by Liesl Tommy) also has historical significance." Full Review
"'Eclipsed' is a devastating drama about the lives of four Liberian women living in a rebel compound as 'wives' of the general. Gurira vividly differentiates her characters and captures their blend of cooperation and competition...The ensemble acting is exceptional with Nyong’o a standout. Except for a few slow moments in the first act, the play is consistently gripping. The set and costumes by Clint Ramos are evocative. Liesl Tommy’s direction is assured." Full Review
"'Eclipsed' is a bracingly important piece by the Zimbabwean-American Gurira about the effects of women during the Liberian civil wars, specifically the moral dilemma between being held captive as a rebel commander’s chattel or going into the field with a gun and making other women do it...[It] veers from warm humor to darkly urgent drama." Full Review
See it if you want to see a very powerful play about the atrocities and survival of young women in war-torn Liberia.
Don't see it if you have no interest in the struggles women in war-torn areas are living through.
See it if You want to see a play on a serious subject and is about multi-dimensional people. It's a tragic story, but allows you to laugh at times.
Don't see it if Not for anyone under 15 or so. You have to be ready for very strong subject matter.
See it if You are interested in a play that tackles a relevant and important subject and if you enjoy masterful writing.
Don't see it if If you hate great plays and you're not interested in important social issues.
See it if You can handle difficult subject matter in exchange for a transformative experience; if you want to see the best acting you've ever seen
Don't see it if You're triggered by offstage (and unheard) sexual violence; you have a hard time with foreign accents and dialects and don't want to think
See it if you want to see a very moving play by and staring black women, and a thoughtful and well researched exploration of how women experience war.
Don't see it if you aren't in the mood to cry in public, you aren't used to listening to women, and also, all of the trigger warnings.
See it if You like to see difficult subjects treated with gentle humor. Your interests are multicultural.
Don't see it if You're interested in a traditional music spectacular or have difficulty following English spoken with an accent.
See it if you want theater at its best. Extraordinary performances and a script that gives voice to a story often not told. Thoughtful, funny, tender
Don't see it if I can't think of a reason not to see this fantastic performance, it's a stunning example of the art form that is theater. Do not miss!!!!
See it if You love Lupita Nyong'o, if you like deeply imagined theater about important topics, including role and fate of women in Liberia,etc.
Don't see it if You are afraid of challenging and beautifully imagined theater about tyranny and women.
See it if You want to see great acting and a story that we all need to hear. It is gut wrenching and touching and funny all at the same time.
Don't see it if Jersey Boys is your idea of high entertainment.
See it if You want to see a well written show starring an Oscar winning actress (Lupita was out the night I saw it but her understudy was incredible)
Don't see it if See it before it closes!!
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