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Amy and the Orphans

From 394 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Funny, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

After their father’s death, two unhinged siblings reunite with Amy, their movie-loving sister who has Down syndrome. Hop in, buckle up, and hold on for dear life in this raucous family road trip. More…

Together, they careen down the Great American Long Island Expressway, navigating strip malls, traffic jams and some serious (and not-so-serious) family drama. An unexpected turn reveals the moment that changed their lives…and the fact that Amy may be the only one who knows her own mind. Written by Lindsey Ferrentino, who made her New York debut at Roundabout with the world premiere of 'Ugly Lies the Bone,' and directed by Scott Ellis ('The Elephant Man,' 'She Loves Me'), 'Amy and the Orphans' is a rollicking ride that proves it’s never too late to follow a new road.

Member Reviews (394)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Funny, Absorbing, Entertaining
Avg Score

Cliched, Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Resonant

See it if Jamie Brewer shines as Amy despite the mediocre play surrounding her Flashback subplot about Amy's parents far more interesting storyline

Don't see it if Disappointing & flat attempts at humor register as bad sit-com Three stalwart actors try to generate some speed into this lame "road-trip"

Tv for the stage, Forgettable, Well-meaning, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you have a loved one associated with the production & have to see it to keep peace with them.

Don't see it if you like your live theater to feel alive, not like a TV retread.

Also This play ends with its most (& only) thrilling moments. Jamie Brewer,... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if follow 3 adult children suddenly orphaned & their relationship with their sister who has Down Syndrome, & discover secrets held from them

Don't see it if don't like presentations of of a mental incapacity on stage or family plays that bring up growing-up issues & offer inconclusive resolution

Also The actress playing the daughter with Down's Syndrome actually has Dow... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Moving, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a well-written, realistic family drama that goes beyond the cliches. You want a look at the treatment of people w/Downs Syndrome.

Don't see it if You dislike family dramas. You prefer a 100% comedy or drama.

Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Meaningful

See it if you're interested in family based true stories and how parental decisions can affect their children; serious topics served up with humor.

Don't see it if you're looking for fantasy. This is important subject matter and I feel the book falls short. Sometimes too much humor is a distraction.

Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a play that deals with people that have special needs and how their families and other individuals treat them.

Don't see it if There is a female that plays one of the characters most nights but if you go on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon you get a male

Also I think the subject of this play was incredible. But I have major issu... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You like contemporary plays about a family dealing with the issue of a Down Syndrome sibling after a parent’s death. Lots of challenges

Don't see it if Mental illness topics upset you. You have no compassion. Recent family death upset you.

Also The Down Syndrome part is played by an actor with that mental challeng... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you want to see the latest work of a fine young playwright who combines comedy and pathos skillfully.

Don't see it if you like your comedy straight without serious overtones.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Resonant

See it if If you are interested in a sensitively executed play about sensitive subjects.

Don't see it if See it! It will make you a better person.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if A family drama with a Down Syndrome twist interests you. It also reminds us how shamefully we used to and often still treat the disabled.

Don't see it if Wed and Sat matinees unless you want to see Andy instead of Amy. You can’t accept disabled actors.

Great acting, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you want a show that explores the effect of abandoning disabled children into "the" system.The impact on the family and child is irreparable

Don't see it if you want a tight, coherent story.A plot device is clever but weakens the impact of the play. Acting is uniformly excellent.

Enchanting, Must see, Relevant, Great acting, Clever

See it if A delightful play focusing on the abilities of a Down syndrome individual. Nicely developed family interactions adds depth and humanity.

Don't see it if Do not see if you perfer musicals or are sensitive about handicapped individuals.

Too much forced humor, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting

See it if family dramas are your thing, especially if you have a handicapped person in your life. The humor was a bit repetitive, a la TV sitcoms.

Don't see it if family dramas are upsetting, or if a handicapped person on stage would be unsettling. I found it interesting; my companion was in tears.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound

See it if want a different type of disfunctional family story with an extra perspective not normally seen on stage

Don't see it if want more depth than just surface issues

Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Moving, Interesting, Humorous

See it if Guilt-ridden siblings on a road trip w/their Down syndrome sister & her nurse after their fathers death. Told with warmth & lots of humor.

Don't see it if Addresses issues of institutionalization & guilt. I found the Willowbrook reveal hard to believe; how little anyone knew about their sister

Also It was wonderful to see an actress with Down syndrome playing the sist... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you are longing to see Debra Monk back on the stage.

Don't see it if if a play about a feisty down syndrome character who is smarter than her two non-down syndrome siblings doesn’t sound interesting.

Also I was great to see actress Debra Mon’s return to the stage. I just wis... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if A play centered around a person with Downs Syndrome is of interest to you.The play explored family and related societal attitudes Great cast

Don't see it if You aren't interested in learning more about people with Downs Syndrome.The play explores how a higher functioning person lives and relates.

Emotional, Informative, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if Count on the Laura Pels to bring exciting new work to NYC. I have experience working with mentally challenged population, but I learned

Don't see it if You do not want to be exposed to needs and suffering of others. You do not want to open you heart & understanding to those less fortunate

Relevant, Funny, Great acting, Effective

See it if you want to see a good example of inclusion in the arts. The acting is great and the script is pretty solid.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy dysfunctional family humor and some larger than life, sometime overly exaggerated characters.

Also At times, I didn't know where the story was going, but it all came tog... Read more Read less

Confusing, Slow, Indulgent, Quirky, Fine

See it if you're a big Debra Monk fan

Don't see it if you don't like plays or want characters to make sense.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You care about the ways in which we have and continue to fool ourselves in the ways we treat people with disabilities

Don't see it if You are not interested in stories based on fact that have to do with the disabled.

Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like shows that explore how we value life. This play explores the hard decisions people make and does so with understanding.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see that good people can make really bad decisions

Cliched, Great acting, Confusing, Fluffy

See it if you want to see a play serving underrepresented characters and experiences, even if it's in a "message" play.

Don't see it if you want that play to feel finished, with well-written characters and strong motivations.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy plays that give you fresh insight into something you knew little or nothing about (in this case Down Syndrome) and are funny too.

Don't see it if you are turned off by the subject or, in general, you don't like plays that explore a "problem" issue.

Also Do get the hearing assist device!

Absorbing, Funny, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if Wonderful performance by the actress with Down’s syndrome. Tackles difficult topic of family choices and their dire consequences.

Don't see it if You can’t handle family coping with recent death and with not being supportive enough of family member with a disability. There is humor tho

Also I especially appreciated the history of willow brook as a New Yorker a... Read more Read less

March 1st, 2018
"Insightful but uneven new play...Ms. Brewer’s presence lends a compelling center of gravity...The problem is much of what surrounds her...Despite eager performances from Mr. Blum and Ms. Monk, their characters feel cut from shiny, synthetic cloth...Wisely, Ms. Ferrentino allows Amy to have the l...
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March 2nd, 2018
"Jacob and Maggie are forced to reckon with the mistakes of their parents, and Ferrentino gives the audience a leg up on that understanding through flashbacks to their mother and father at a couples-therapy retreat. These scenes carry the bulk of the play’s dramatic weight; otherwise, 'Amy' is sl...
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March 1st, 2018
"Attempts a delicate balancing act in its audacious blending of pathos and humor. It sometimes falls off its high wire, veering too heavily into sitcom-style characterizations and one-liners. But the consistently powerful beating heart in the writing makes it easy to overlook its tonal inconsiste...
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March 1st, 2018
"There’s much to admire about Lindsey Ferrentino’s new play 'Amy and the Orphans' — and just as many nagging issues. Pluses include its big heart and fine-tuned ensemble...On the surface, the play is jammed with laughs and comic relief. But ugly truths lurk underneath. But not all of the jokes or...
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