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Eclipsed

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing
88
Critics
87
65 reviews
Members
88
568 reviews
 

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.

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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.

 

Cast & Creatives (10)



Reviews (633)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

95
The New York Times

"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

90
Theatermania

"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

85
New York Post

"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

90
BroadwayWorld

"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

95
Variety

"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

85
Time Out New York

"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

95
NY1

"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

95
New York Magazine / Vulture

"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

85
DC Theatre Scene

"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

75
The Huffington Post

"It must be said that 'Eclipsed' is good but stands in the shadow of 'Ruined'. One wants to be seared by the story of 'Eclipsed' but never quite feels it the bone-deep way one did with 'Ruined'. Nonetheless, Gurira has a gift for establishing characters and weaving in a natural humor...Still, the sense of satisfaction in seeing this work on Broadway remains...If 'Eclipsed' isn't a stone-cold masterpiece, it's clearly the next stage in a number of promising careers." Full Review

95
The Wall Street Journal

"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

85
AM New York

"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

75
Talkin' Broadway

"Despite this production's many virtues, it falls noticeably short of perfection. The natural problems that were evident when this production premiered have been amplified in a bigger Broadway house. Liesl Tommy's direction has an arid, even unhinged quality that leaves every scene's pacing just slightly off, as though everything is occurring on a two-second tape delay...Gurira has wrenched a dazzling, urgent drama that knows what it is, what it wants, and why it matters." Full Review

90
Front Row Center

"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

85
New York Daily News

"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

100
Deadline

"'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

90
Theatre Reviews Limited

"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

90
Front Mezz Junkies

"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

65
Newsday

"Heartfelt, modest, occasionally clunky...The Broadway showcase magnifies both the strengths and the weaknesses of the play. On the positive side are portrayals that have deepened in complexity and nuance over the months...Gurira wants us to understand the awful choices available to these women. But the storytelling gets weighed down in message and metaphor when explaining the women peacemakers who actually did forge the peace accord in 2003 that led to democratic elections." Full Review

85
Bob's Theater Blog

"'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

95
The Associated Press

"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

90
NorthJersey.com

"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

90
WNBC

"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

100
Theater Pizzazz

"[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

70
DC Metro Theater Arts

"Though set over a decade ago, this story resonates even more forcefully today…The five actresses who populate this story are all committed and capable of playing even the humor...I found the play informative…But I must admit I was distanced by the relentless shouting and some of the overdone body movements...I recommend this clearly sincere play to anyone interested in learning more about this underworld activity...But I warn that I found it more disturbing than moving." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
88
Avg Score

90
Great acting, Powerful, Harrowing

See it if you know nothing about the Liberian conflict. If you want to see master class acting. If you don't live in Liberia.

Don't see it if you aren't open to seeing a vital representation of African women.

89
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing

See it if you like humor, horror, & banalities of third world daily life doled out in nearly equal measure. Love great ensembles featuring Lupita

Don't see it if You want university light & fluffy fare

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want to see a truly unique play about an underrepresented group of women.

Don't see it if You don't want to feel emotionally wrecked afterwards.

88
Profound, Resonant, Great writing, Slow

See it if You like a side of history with your theatre, and appreciate the depths of feminine behavior.

Don't see it if You feel unsafe around topics such as rape, imprisonment, or war. This is an intense, brutal, honest story.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you like absorbing drama given by exceptionally talented performers.

Don't see it if you don't take well to dark subject matter

77
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if you like intense drama

Don't see it if you don't like intense drama

89
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Riveting, Hard

See it if You value powerful performances and compelling plot

Don't see it if You want to avoid violent plot

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a moving play about women in Liberia during the civil war. Amazing performances, especially from Lupita Nyong'o.

Don't see it if this play covers some very troubling material including rape.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Great staging

See it if You want an earnest and unblinking look at real world experiences

Don't see it if You're indifferent to womens' stories

82
Original, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you like a tight, well-cast ensemble piece and enjoy an exceedingly well-crafted story and about an uncomfortable and complex topic.

Don't see it if you might have difficulty living the stories of these women. The excellent writing leaves many raw nerves and could be upsetting to some.

87
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Great writing

See it if You want to see stunning acting work by the actresses onstage. It is an intense story done told wonderfully by the cast.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with rape and violence. The story is intense.

94
Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Profound

See it if you want to see a star at her best, flanked by an incredible cast.

Don't see it if you want your theater light and fluffy

90
Exquisite, New, Enthralling, Visceral, Gutsy

See it if you want to see new perspectives and see new stories told by under represented actors of the highest caliber. Lupita was absent.

Don't see it if you don't want to be bothered.

80
Gripping, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you want to learn about the Liberian Civil War through a profound profiling of four female characters, appreciate diversity and great acting

Don't see it if you're like the two ladies who sat behind me and complained during intermission about not understanding the Liberian accents

92
Original, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Very intense and thought provoking. Very lucky to be able to have after show discussion with cast.

Don't see it if Looking for light enjoyable evening out

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Riveting

See it if You enjoy historical based plays. You want to learn more about the world.

Don't see it if Accents are difficult for you to understand. Loud noises (ie gunfire) bother you.

88
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Resonant

See it if you're looking to watch a serious play that is educational and eye opening.

Don't see it if you want to see something uplifting

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like important art about what's going on in this terrible world.

Don't see it if you don't like plays that reveal the cruelty and inhumanity of mankind.

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Excruciating, Great staging

See it if you like shows that move from Off Broadway to Broadway

Don't see it if you only like things that are pretty

85
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting, Great singing

See it if you're interested in a powerful albeit painful story of sexual abuse, and abuse of women. Compelling expose of a tragic situation.

Don't see it if you're looking for "entertainment." This is a dark, challenging story that's well done but hard tough.

92
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if a taut, involving drama about the ravages of war that seamlessly integrates moments of humor appeals to you. Superb performances, A+ writing

Don't see it if you hate outstanding, unforgettable theatre experiences.

88
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if powerful play that plays both onstage and in your imagination as you conjure what must be going on "off-stage" as described by characters

Don't see it if intense plays dealing with real-life headlines pulled from the news are not your cup of tea

75
Original, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You can do it by tomorrow.

Don't see it if You have trouble with accents. I think I missed a good portion of the dialogue.

90
Original, Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You are not aware of rituals in other contries that are negative towards women

Don't see it if You can't deal with women abuse

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Relevant

See it if You like theatre with purpose. Beautifully acted punch in the gut reality. These women will not let each other/us down. Ensemble is a force.

Don't see it if You can't handle the subject matter. Not so explicitly violent as might be expected, but war is entirely present. Worth overcoming qualms.