Ends Mar 14 | 2h 30m | Midtown W

Blues for An Alabama Sky

From 76 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the show

Keen Company presents a revival of this drama set in 1930s New York, where four friends' lives and passions collide when an innocent newcomer arrives from Alabama.  More…

From the show:

Tough times call for strong bonds. It’s the summer of 1930 and the promises of the Harlem Renaissance are giving way to the dashed dreams of the Great Depression. Playwright Pearl Cleage (Flyin’ West and Oprah Book Club selection What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day) tells a strikingly modern story about four friends whose lives and passions collide when an innocent newcomer from Alabama arrives in New York. Having captivating audiences around the world, Keen is proud to bring Blues for An Alabama Sky to New York for the first time since its premiere in Atlanta 25 years ago. Starring Prema Cruz, Alfie Fuller, John-Andrew Morrison, Khira Walker, and Sheldon Woodley.

Keen Conversation talkbacks on February 27th, March 5th, and March 12th. Accessible performances on February 23rd, February 28th, and March 12th.

2h 30m | Ends Mar 14 | Theatre Row Complex (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (76)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant
86
Avg Score

83
Great acting, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if Heavy issues but thought provoking and well acted. A tad long, but engaging.

Don't see it if You prefer light and fluffy.

88
Melodramatic, Well developed, Intelligent, Funny, Absorbing

See it if Act 1: deliciously long buildup of characters with wit, irony & insight. Act 2: melodramatic explosion & satisfying ending. Great acting.

Don't see it if You aren't up for a 2 1/2 hour old-style period piece with a lot of attention to characters & setting. You want a realistic conclusion.

Also (Spoiler alert) It's an old-fashioned style of play that is meticulous... Read more Read less

69
Uneven acting, Good set, Dull, Disappointing

See it if you have nothing else to do.I found the first act interminable.Acting was ok, but no one really inhabited their roles.Story was ok, but....

Don't see it if you don't know someone in the cast.It should have had something to say about race in America. It didn't hit that note for me.

80
Long, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you want a glimpse of 1930 Harlem Renaissance period excellently portrayed by 5 characters tackling issues relevant to both then and now.

Don't see it if you don't like long plays, not interested in the 1930 Harlem Renaissance or topics of abortion and homosexuality.

100
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Outstanding in every way: stellar acting, marvelous writing, wonderful stage design! We loved every minute of it & will be back with friends

Don't see it if you are homophobic, believe in temperance or don't support abortion. But actually just see it anyway - it's relevant, then and now!

70
Intense

See it if If you want to experience a play where the characters are quite believable but somehow don't move you to say that this a play i would see

Don't see it if If you don't like gay characters or that you don't want to know about African-Americans during Harlem's renaissance

Also again.I enjoyed some parts of the play but there were characters that ... Read more Read less

85
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy period pieces that spark your mind into thinking about the human psyche and what we desire most.

Don't see it if You dont like period pieces, you aren’t interested in 1930s Harlem, lgbt subject matter makes you uncomfortable.

Also This show was staged really well and also acted very well. It's a poig... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Strong ensemble, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Engrossing

See it if you're interested in 1930 Harlem Renaissance thru eyes of 5 chars. Many impt issues discussed (abortion, birth control, homosexuality, race)

Don't see it if you dislike slow exposition; Act I needs cuts! Staging's a bit fussy w opening doors. Still, insightful drama set in fascinating time/place.

During previews
74
Dated, Needs work, Disappointing, Slow, Great acting

See it if Exceptional performances all around!!

Don't see it if First act is REALLY slow & long & nothing really happens. Lack of a hook before intermission. All action is squeezed on the shorter 2nd act.

Also The major plus here are the performances. Great actors all.... Read more Read less

During previews
72
Slow, Great acting

See it if Really great performances from the entire cast.

Don't see it if You aren't in the mood for a long show. First act was too long & not much happens, all of the good stuff happens in act 2.

During previews
86
Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if You like stories with a long slow build up to the white hot burn of the finale. Mostly excellent acting and writing on an interesting set.

Don't see it if You’re not willing to put the time in for the pay off. This is dialogue rich and takes its time (over two hours) getting to the big finish.

Also Well worth seeing!

During previews
77
Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if Cleage's kitchen sink drama of thwarted ambition in 30's Harlem is aided by Williams' sensitive direction & a courageous ensemble Great set

Don't see it if Unfortunately, the bracing realism of the 1st Act turns into high melodrama in the 2nd While events are not unbelievable; they're contrived

During previews
90
Must see, Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if you enjoy excellent drama with intense moments by a wonderful cast bringing a period & characters to life in a great set w/ impeccable sound

Don't see it if you are not patient as there is a detailed first act of character development or if you require a happy ending.

During previews
91
Nice production values, Funny, Addresses social issues, Highly dramatic, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy 1920's period theatricals that mention people, events & social issues of the time. The always excellent Keen Th outdoes itself

Don't see it if the serious subjects mentioned above don't interest you. There are some lovely amusing moments and some melodrama.

During previews
88
Intense, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You want an engaging show w/a terrific cast about multi-faceted characters you're invested in, told w/humor & heart: a well told story.

Don't see it if You prefer plays set in contemporary times. You want a period play in period language. You want a light comedy. You prefer 90 minute plays.

During previews
95
Great writing, Great staging, Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Excellent Show, Its about four friends living in Harlem who lives change.

Don't see it if If you want a comedy or musical

Also Over 2hrs with one 10min intermission. Powerful show, one not to miss.

During previews
92
Relevant, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you wish to see a show that deserves to be revived. The story has characters that involve you and that make you care what happens. Must see!

Don't see it if you like comedy or light hearted drama .Many relevant issues come up and make for a strong story.

Also Why hasn't this show been done before in NY? Great story, wonderful ac... Read more Read less

During previews
88
Great acting

See it if Charismatic lead actress plays a woman who strings a man along and the tragic consequences for all. Her suitor plays the rage very well.

Don't see it if Act I could use some tightening as show runs 2hr35min. But really picks up later in Act I and all of Act II. Powerful show.

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Poigniant

See it if insight into life in Harlem in the 1930s filled w/hope, disappointment, pathos, dreams; brilliantly acted, funny, mournful, at times joyous.

Don't see it if neither era driven stories nor the need to dream are of interest; pacing is too slow; disappointed in a predictable ending.

Also Well defined characters bring their world and view points into focus. ... Read more Read less

During previews
82
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You like dramas that take place a long time ago but deal with issues that are still relevant today

Don't see it if You tend to be impatient. Act one is incredibly long and it does take a long time but the payoff is worth it

Also It’s very rare that I see a play and root for the characters that the ... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Good old fashioned drama.

See it if You appreciate shows about Harlem in the 30's.

Don't see it if You want something with a completely new perspective on the subject.

During previews
90
Historical but relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if drama with a variety of interesting, memorable characters set in Harlem in 1930; their struggles but also some optimism; touching moments

Don't see it if don't want issues of racism, homophobia, women's reproductive rights; first act is a little long but worth it to know the vivid characters

Also Variety of references to historical Harlem figures including Adam Clay... Read more Read less

During previews
86
Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want to see fine exploration of the Harlem Renaissance in the '30s. Debunks myths while supporting their promise

Don't see it if a play that shows fundamentalism for what it is or the difference between political and economic immigrants disturbs you.

Also Great writing and acting and a sensitive dealing with many topics make... Read more Read less

During previews
77
Slow

See it if Life gets hard, esp. during economic downturns for Black folks. Stay hopeful or stare reality in the eye and become ruthless?

Don't see it if First 1.5 hours go slow, could be edited. Characters double down rather than change over the play which feels awkward.

Also Diversity: all Black cast! Black female protagonist. Larger, out and p... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see excellent acting in a thought provoking and riveting play about the waning days of life during the Harlem Renaissance.

Don't see it if No reason at all not to see this play! I was mesmerized during the first preview.


February 20th, 2020
"Engrossingly Old-Fashioned: Struggling New Yorkers get mixed up with a fresh-off-the-bus widower in Keen Company’s staging of Pearl Cleage’s play"
read more
February 21st, 2020
"Dreams Deferred and Fulfilled in 'Blues for an Alabama Sky': The Keen Company gives Pearl Cleage's 25-year-old play an overdue New York premiere."
read more
February 19th, 2020
"Its account of characters caught up in rapidly changing times and shifting social mores remains highly pertinent. It is as engrossing as a good novel, offering a trip to another time while commenting on issues that remain vital today."
read more
February 19th, 2020
4/5 Stars. "Playwright Pearl Cleage looks at 1930s Harlem dreaming, with five figures running for their natural lives"
read more

Buy tickets from $28

Show-score is the only site that makes it easy for you to find the price you want to pay.

Click for box office tickets from $28

Always the best selection and usually the best prices.

Great deals from $45 (up to 45% off!)

Limited dates and seats.

Show-Score researchers also found deals on these sites

Availability is limited. Pay attention to fees and the fine print!

Related content


Cast & Creatives (3)