Angel Reapers
Closed 1h 15m
Angel Reapers

Angel Reapers NYC Reviews and Tickets

(35 Ratings)
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.

Read more Show less

Show-Score Member Reviews (35)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
536 Reviews | 279 Followers
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 | 113 Followers
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.

219 Reviews | 40 Followers
Absorbing, Great staging, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if Shaker hymns set to dance. experience a variety of people who enter the shaker village. Read the playbill before so each is clear. dance

Don't see it if generally not a dance fan, i enjoyed this piece. it can get loud and covertly sexual.

148 Reviews | 36 Followers
Great staging, Non-traditional, Masterful, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you like theatrical risk-taking; an untraditional way to explore the Shakers. Lots of movement, Some singing. Not a narrative.

Don't see it if you like narratives, don't like unconventional presentations, don't like religious themes

563 Reviews | 193 Followers
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.

761 Reviews | 165 Followers
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

207 Reviews | 34 Followers
Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you don't mind having lots of questions when a show is over. While it did transport me, I wanted to know more about the Shakers.

Don't see it if you don't like experimental theater. Or if you need clear story at all times.

187 Reviews | 41 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense, Original, Slow

See it if you are not familiar with the Shaker community. Be that fly on the wall to experience their lifestyle. Would like more character development

Don't see it if you don't enjoy contemporary presentations. Very little dialogue. More observational and dance driven than specific storyline.

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."
Read more

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."
Read more

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."
Read more

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."
Read more

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."
Read more

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."
Read more

February 22nd, 2016

"The other performers come from the dance world. All are engaging and often mesmerizing to watch...The cast also does well singing the Shaker songs that are skillfully arranged...However, it takes a true hymn enthusiast to not tire of 70 minutes of this a cappella music...The nude scene that vivifies the struggle with lust seems Ms. Clarke's acknowledgement that all that stomping and gesturing will eventually feel too repetitive without something drastically different."
Read more
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."
Read more