Closed 2h 15m
Eclipsed
Midtown W
88

Eclipsed NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(569 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
3%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing

About the Show

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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Member Reviews (569)

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70
Ambitious, Intense, Slow, Unusual, Relevant

See it if you like to expand your horizons.The setting is harrowing, but the women are familiar. Plotting is spotty, but the overall effect is strong.

Don't see it if you get upset by dark, painful stories. The heavy accents can be hard to decipher. Many of the jokes are too easy.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like great acting and stories that are serious and help you understand what's happening in the world.

Don't see it if You're looking for a simple fun night. This is a serious piece of work.

Critic Reviews (65)

March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 7th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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?'”
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March 6th, 2016

"It’s almost impossible to fault its intentions (if not always its execution) as a powerful piece of stagecraft...If the first half can sometimes feel too baggy and broadly-played, and the second almost seems to rush through its most affecting moments, the overall impact is still startling...'Eclipsed' does open a window on a world we rarely get to see this intimately, and they deliver it so gracefully that the play’s flaws feel less consequential than the resonating force of its story."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 10th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"'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."
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March 7th, 2016

"Gurira's drama occasionally meanders, losing momentum and character sharpness. Tommy's production, however, is exceptionally vivid...Original music and sound design and lighting help maintain the intensity of the drama even when the writing goes slack...This is an ensemble piece, not a star vehicle, but Nyong'o can't help standing out...Her plight is terrifying, and Nyong'o makes the tragedy achingly personal."
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March 10th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 11th, 2016

"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."
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March 7th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 8th, 2016

"[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!"
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March 8th, 2016

"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.”
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March 5th, 2016

"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."
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T
April 4th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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B
June 10th, 2016

"'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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 7th, 2016

"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."
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March 7th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 14th, 2016

"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."
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April 29th, 2016

“American response to war outside our purview tends toward either apathy or fits of passion followed by amnesia. In either case, we tend to dehumanize the people involved, reducing them to hollow categories of perpetrators and victims. Eclipsed is precisely the kind of work that precludes this reaction, forcing a confrontation between audience and subject matter without offering the easy pressure relief valve of cynical hopelessness or self-congratulatory liberalism.”
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March 7th, 2016

"'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."
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April 11th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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March 8th, 2016

"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."
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March 6th, 2016

"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."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"A riveting, superbly acted production...I hope Ms. Nyong’o’s starlight draws audiences to this detailed and painfully moving exploration of the brutality and dehumanization that seem to be endemic to African conflicts...The superlative performances from all five actors, under Ms. Tommy’s sensitive direction, draw us so deeply into the lives of the women that this darkness nevertheless flickers with glimmers of light, humanity and even hope."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Urgently powerful...All four of the actors portraying these women are superb. Gurira renders their plight in sometimes harrowing detail, but her focus is on the personal: their secrets and rivalries, their fears and guilt...Applause seems an insufficient response to Gurira's bracing tale of war and endurance. It inspires you to extend a hand."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"The collision of sorority comedy and war drama eventually tears the play in two. At some point — the first act is overlong — what was gripping starts to feel a little desperate dramatically...Yes, the play’s faults are visible, but so, even more starkly, are the insights and conundrums that make it unmissable."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Liesl Tommy's fine production is not simply a case in which attention must be paid due to worthy subject matter and a proudly hoisted diversity flag. It also signals Gurira as a playwright of uncommon ambition. Some second-act structural weaknesses notwithstanding, 'Eclipsed' pulls us into and holds us captive in a vivid world whose stark horrors are rendered with unflinching honesty and delicate poignancy."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Playwright Danai Gurira delivers politics with a passion in 'Eclipsed,' a searing drama about the decisive roles women played in the second Liberian civil war. Superbly directed by Liesl Tommy and powerfully acted by a strong ensemble, the play gives voice to women ranging from the wives of warlords to activists."
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September 8th, 2009
For a previous production

"An unflinching treatise on the subjugation of women in war-torn Liberia. It’s a gut-wrenching saga told with poignancy and wit, precisely the kind of niche today’s cutting-edge theater strives to fill...Her mature play is filled with revealing and absorbing dialogue. But unmistakably illuminated is the utter chaos of war in Africa and its effect on women, providing insights no media account ever could."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"You must not miss it...To be sure, 'Eclipsed' is oddly undramatic. Indeed, it feels less like a play than a fictionalized documentary—but one of genius, a deceptively bald piece of storytelling in which the everyday details of life during wartime are charged with overwhelming emotional import...This is great theater."
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September 8th, 2009
For a previous production

"The wonder of Danai Gurira's new play is that it is neither depressingly bleak nor oppressively sober. It's a surprisingly vivacious portrait of helplessness, of the entirely human impulse to adapt, to get by even when there's little hope life will get better...Although there is a discussion-topic-of-the-week dimension to the story, Gurira's character-driven play is conveyed with a lovely authority, at times even a whimsicality."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Playwright Danai Gurira is best known as the sword-wielding Michonne, a woman of few words. Yet her own show is overly talky, with some of the scenes overstaying their welcome, and deploys a last-minute plot twist out of a soap opera. But when the show works, it quietly, powerfully describes how women survive during wartime."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"A sincere but preachy play..Slices of life don’t get much bleaker...A ray of hope comes with Rita, a peace worker. Too bad Rita is so stiffly drawn and there to provide exposition and the show’s rather abrupt ending. Fine performances under Liesl Tommy’s sensitive direction help compensate."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"If 'Eclipsed' lacks the narrative strength of 'Ruined,' it remains a compelling study of women in an atmosphere of overwhelming violence and sexual abuse...The entire ensemble is excellent, but Nyong'o stands out with her sharp abilities, as she transforms from an innocent teen and acquiescent captive to a combatant."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Through truthful dialogue, compelling drama, and a shrewd sense of human nature, Gurira takes a very foreign situation and makes it intimately familiar to her audience...'Eclipsed' is reminiscent of 'Mother Courage.' But rather than preaching from a pulpit, Gurira asks us to come to our own conclusions by presenting believably idiosyncratic characters in truthful situations. That turns out to be a whole lot more satisfying and thought-provoking."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"Expertly tense and gripping...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."
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October 20th, 2015
For a previous production

"Using artful characterizations, gritty humor, and a brusque, plainspoken manner, Gurira makes us see things that we cannot fully imagine on our own. You can argue whether 'Eclipsed' is a brilliant play or merely a very timely one. It's much harder to argue with the proposition that it is one of the most important plays of the season."
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October 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"It's beautiful work, to be sure...For all the power in this tale and the performances, however, 'Eclipsed' stops short of delivering the debilitating gut punch it leads you to expect. Though it could scarcely be better defining the women, the script makes the threat lurking just offstage a bit too imaginary; there's just not much of a sense that this is a disintegrating war zone."
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September 15th, 2009
For a previous production

"Eclipsed shines a bright and sensitive light on the lives of women in the shadows of upheaval in Africa....Guirira is able to get inside a variety of characters and channel them without a false moment...The five women in the cast, well directed by Liesl Tommy, all stand out in their own ways."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"These are richly colorful, fully dimensional characters. Their interchanges are also often quite funny...Best of all, Liesl Tommy has once again put together a beautiful and smartly paced production and she's drawn remarkable ensemble excellence from the current cast...Where but on Lafayette Street can you go and be assured of such stimulating theater?"
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November 7th, 2009
For a previous production

"Gurira's work is an interesting exploration of the victims of Liberia's war. The cast produces some great ensemble acting...Though the drama is compelling, the violence of war and rape feels somehow removed from the experience..They seem too well adjusted, not very afraid or much disturbed by their sexual encounters with CO."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Director Liesl Tommy does wonderful work with this very strong ensemble and though some of the staging choices seemed a little murky, that’s a small quibble when the acting is this good...There is something exciting about simply seeing a piece whose cast, writer, and director are all women of colour, most of whom have roots in Africa, telling a story that is particular to this time and place, and yet speaks more broadly to the terrible things that continue to happen to women during wartime."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"The play’s first act is episodic, but continually absorbing. The second, in which the conflicts are more strictly delineated, can feel programmatic. But the overall effect is powerful. Even at the play’s end, when the war might be over, some of the women seem unable to move on...And as terrible as the substance of Gurira’s play is, you may feel reluctant to leave it, too."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Oscar winner Nyong'o impresses not only with her monologues of despair but with those moments of extended silence and joy in actor-playwright Gurira’s new work... Liesl Tommy’s direction helps to blur some of the more blatant contours of that symmetry...While the symmetry of the narrative is sometimes forced, the voice Gurira gives to her women’s pain never is."
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October 30th, 2015
For a previous production

"They steep this production in the unaffected authenticity and unapologetic feminism...'Eclipsed' is truly an ensemble piece and each woman gets a chance to shine. It's a testament to Nyong'o's belief in the play that she didn't insist on a star vehicle for her New York debut and a testament to her talent that she shines so bright amid a display of stellar performances...The play pays beautiful tribute to their struggles."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Eclipsed' is by no means a star vehicle: The five characters in this play, all female, compel our attention equally, as do the vibrant, nuanced performances delivered under Liesl Tommy's muscular but tender direction...'Eclipsed' reminds us how dim prospects seem for the women represented here, and for others like them, everywhere."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"The production leaves no doubt that this is a labor of love. I wish I could say something more enthusiastic. But 'Eclipsed' is a sincere, intricately detailed but simplistically obvious story about the oppression of women as a weapon of war...It is hard not to compare this to 'Ruined,' Lynn Nottage's multi-textured 2009 Pulitzer winner about the plight of women in the Congo civil war."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"All the actresses are exceptional...Gurira is not inclined to subtlety in presenting the agony of her characters, and occasionally there are soap-box moments. Director Liesl Tommy, who does marvelously well in presenting the individuality of the captive women, also goes for obvious symbolism at times. But 'Eclipsed' is a powerful, very sobering play, bringing home what it means — as the situation is for millions — to be utterly helpless in our world."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"The peace movement started by women in Liberia brought an end to the country’s second civil war in 2003, and 'Eclipsed' takes us up to this time. But Gurira only uses these large-scale events as a backdrop. She’s written a much more personal examination of the choices a small few had to make as the walls came tumbling down. It’s a must-see."
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October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"Gurira's writing contains flashes of sly, gentle humor, but for the most part this is very tough medicine — a story of how western African women's choices all often lead to the same dead ends. That the play never turns suffocatingly grim is a testament to the warmth and humanity of the actresses, who are at their finest during the show's quietest moments, braiding one another's hair, or reading aloud from a beaten-up copy of Bill Clinton's autobiography that they stumble upon."
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W
October 17th, 2015
For a previous production

"Powerful 'Eclipsed' shines Off Broadway...It's dark, intense stuff. And yet director Liesl Tommy also brings out the lightness and the humanity...The story's main tension comes not from the looming brutality of the unseen men around them, but the very different ways the women choose to survive the war."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Gurira has written a complex and bracing (and surprisingly funny) play. In depicting these women's choices (I'll use this term loosely), she forces us to think about what is actually empowering...The estimable cast, directed by Liesl Tommy, brings depth and sensitivity to their roles."
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October 19th, 2015
For a previous production

"How some women might endure captivity and regular rape in squalid, harrowing conditions is explored with compassion by Danai Gurira in her complex drama 'Eclipsed...'Director Liesl Tommy skillfully paces Gurira's work for maximum effect."
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November 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"Despite the heavy subject matter, there are moments of humor (particularly as the women read through a tattered copy of Bill Clinton’s autobiography in their downtime) and it’s worth investing your time to hear their story."
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October 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"Aided by the actors’ superb emotional byplay, Gurira adeptly explores the intimate structure of a group of women oppressed. As the playwright’s lens on the war widens, however, the impact of the story shrinks...As Gurira hammers home her points about women’s empowerment, the dialogue becomes schematic...'Eclipsed' ends with an image groaning under its symbolism."
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October 22nd, 2015
For a previous production

"A searingly powerful drama about women caught up in the second Liberian Civil War...Under Liesl Tommy’s sterling direction the performances are superb...There is a purposely inconclusive ending in which the audience must decide for themselves what happens to one of the characters. It is the best possible way to conclude this piercingly moving play."
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