Angel Reapers
Closed 1h 15m
Angel Reapers
65

Angel Reapers NYC Reviews and Tickets

65%
(35 Reviews)
Positive
60%
Mixed
17%
Negative
23%
Members say
Great staging, Original, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Signature Theatre presents a blend of Shaker songs, modern dance, and theater about forbidden sex and unchanneled lust in New England’s 18th century Shaker community.

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Member Reviews (35)

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677 Reviews | 150 Followers
77
Ambitious, Slow, Quirky, Visually thrilling, Fascinating

See it if You are a fan of contemporary dance, are a bit curious about the Shakers, like stories told thru dance and exciting images

Don't see it if You expect shows to be meaty and content-filled, you expect a clear through line and is easy to follow, are bored by chanting and ritual

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
59
Dance 10 play 3: dance without compelling dialogue or songs fails to shed light on inner life of shaker characters

See it if you enjoy inventive choreography, skilled dancing and dresses designed to billow out to make the women look like angels

Don't see it if you want to see dance integrated into a show that provides insight on individual Shaker characters, to engage audience; this doesn't

474 Reviews | 714 Followers
70
Original, Dizzying, Physical, Experimental

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre without a clear narrative, or you're interested in an "old world" kind of atmosphere.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy experimental theatre.

563 Reviews | 195 Followers
78
Original, Story mainly told through dance, Intelligent, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You know a little about the Shakers: the show won't explain the history. You enjoy dance. You like shows w/religious themes.

Don't see it if You don't like dance. You have no interest in religion. You want a show with more dialogue. You want a history story.

465 Reviews | 256 Followers
95
Ambitious, Smart, Great choreography,, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy dance and can enjoy a piece without a strong plot or characterization. The staging is stunning.

Don't see it if you are very conventional in what you like to see.

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
86
Absorbing, Great staging, Masterful, Original

See it if You love high-spirited Quaker dancing. Love shows at the Joyce Theater. These actors are top-notch.

Don't see it if You don't like dance shows.

431 Reviews | 93 Followers
55
Original, Quirky, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You like experimental work with an interesting setting.

Don't see it if You want your theater with a firm through line and strong story.

258 Reviews | 42 Followers
70
Intense, Absorbing, Confusing

See it if you want an intense production. Complex choreography steal the show. Study the history of Shakers to make full sense of the show.

Don't see it if like dancing and/or religious themed plays.

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
February 22nd, 2016

"Dialogue is spare here, and plot even more so. Ms. Clarke’s choreography takes precedence, along with traditional Shaker songs, sung a cappella...There is transparent beauty to the choreography...It’s hard to overstate the importance of design in this production, where Christopher Akerlind’s clear, soft lighting does some of the work of exaltation...It’s the twinning of euphoria and anguish that makes 'Angel Reapers' quietly glorious."
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Time Out New York
February 23rd, 2016

"Martha Clarke's movement-theater portrait of 18th-century Shakers arrives in a storm of stamping dances and lovely a cappella song...Clarke seems a strange match for the puritanical Shakers, but the sect's celibacy actually stokes her flames...The ecstatic dancing turns, in her hands, into repression-mad frenzy...This physical conviction utterly overwhelms storytelling and even history... We leave 'Angel Reapers' sure that the underlying impulse was somehow erotic."
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Theatermania
February 22nd, 2016

"Experimental choreographer Martha Clarke and Southern playwright Alfred Uhry may sound like an unlikely pair of collaborators, but Clarke's eye for abstract movement blended with Uhry's sense of Americana well suits their hybrid piece 'Angel Reapers'...More an atmospheric piece than a plot-driven play, it can be fatiguing in its most abstract moments...Clarke and Uhry have alighted on an interesting common space that holds a wealth of artistic potential."
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BroadwayWorld
February 24th, 2016

"At seventy minutes, 'Angel Reapers' is light on drama and conflict, save for making the point that the separation of the genders works against the natural urges some would consider another gift. Clarke's mix of contemporary dance with traditional Shaker movement is finely showcased, but while the piece may strike curiosity about the sect, it's hardly a satisfying exploration."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 3rd, 2016

"The company goes about its choreographed movements with a sense of pounding rhythm and untrammeled joy, often accompanied by a couple of dozen Shaker hymns...'Angel Reapers' blends words, songs, and movement in a way that allows us to get close to a vision that will seem staggeringly foreign to many, if not all, audience members...The entire company performs with admirable conviction."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 22nd, 2016

"A rich but flawed dance-theatre piece...Murphy's portrayal [of Mother Ann Lee] you won't soon be able to forget. Unfortunately, 'Angel Reapers' loses a great deal of this sharpness when it's exploring her ten acolytes. They integrate, gorgeously and hauntingly, into the dances, but they're less people than they are points to make...Clarke and Uhry have guided 'Angel Reapers' to take many good steps, but it stops just short of the brilliance for which they yearn."
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TheaterScene.net
March 6th, 2016

"'Angel Reapers' is a success on almost every level. These two award-winning artists have found a way to make their subject matter profoundly meaningful and ultimately heartbreaking...All the cast members were terrific, totally immersed in their characters through movement, acting and beautiful singing. Scenic design and costume design combined with lights to produce one perfect stage picture after another. Ms. Clarke directed with an eye for every telling detail."
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Theatre is Easy
March 1st, 2016

"The dance movement is beautiful, but the pas de deux pairings, which occur periodically throughout the piece, are exquisite. They evoke longing, confusion, and conflict which estranges these worshipers from their own humanness...A spirit of connection and collaboration is deftly depicted on stage in the performances as well as evoked in almost every component of the production’s other creative contributions."
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