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Daphne's Dive

From 91 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Resonant

About the show

Signature Theatre kicks off playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes' residency with this world premiere family drama set in a North Philly dive bar. More…

Daphne’s Dive is a cheap corner bar in North Philly where the proprietress and her eclectic group of friends and family meet, talk, bond, and drink. As Daphne’s adopted daughter--who's very different from her quiet and pragmatic mother--grows up, this unconventional family is forced to confront ugly secrets and take a hard look at their lives. Brimming with adversity, love, and hope, this new play is directed by Thomas Kail ('Hamilton').

Member Reviews (91)


Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Resonant
Avg Score

Well acted, Overstuffed, Unilluminating, Forced, Disappointing

See it if you only need great acting. Strong ensemble w/Wiley and Rubin-Vega as standouts. The material, tho, is over-the-top. Action's claustrophobic

Don't see it if you want an illuminating script. Why must we endure horrors, including self-immolation (phew, off stage)? Nice to hear PRican stories, tho.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if enjoy a multi-talented the lives of real people

Don't see it if you do not want to hear about the sadness and happiness that engulfs all of us

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy family sagas set over 18 years, good acting that keeps characters alive, want to see Pulitzer winner Hudes' newest work

Don't see it if plays set in bars bore you, you are expecting something major or momentous,

At daphne's dive like cheers, everyone knows your name; but poverty and social dysfunction cast a wide shadow at the bar

See it if /to watch Samira Wiley as adopted girl brilliantly develop over 18 yrs, lively portait Philly Hispanic community, resilience battered souls

Don't see it if /since play loses steam over 2 hours, 18 yr span demands more dramatic changes in other characters ; messages/conflicts too diffuse

Formulaic, First draft material, Disappointing, Cliched, Needs better pacing

See it if you want to see a full-blown production of a first-draft play. You like slowly paced dramas with a minimum of character development.

Don't see it if slow pacing is not your thing. Too much time wasted on scene/wig changes. You are not a fan of Hudes. Her Pulitzer win was a fluke.

Clever, Entertaining, Original

See it if This was a good show but could have been so much better. You will like it but will want more. It really nice how they age the young girl

Don't see it if you want fireworks. The whole play takes place in a bar over about 20 years.

Loud, Intense, Overrated, Overacted, Cliched

See it if the quintessential dysfunctional family. A play where you have to try to decipher what is said because all are yelling at the same time.

Don't see it if You're not in for an evening of yelling, drinking, overacting and a cliched plot set in, big surprise, a bar.

Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Relevant, Excellent ensemble

See it if U want to watch a powerful story about a group of unrelated people who adjust to stages of life challenges over a decade Acting is superb!

Don't see it if You dislike the use of alcohol consumption Have no compassion Think some plays are too much like TV shows - get out more to see live acting!

Intense, Thought-provoking, Original, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You like talented ensemble casts, intense subject matter, the forming of a family, characters through a span of 20 years, phenomenal sets.

Don't see it if Discussions of rape and abuse make you uncomfortable. Don't see it if you need a neat resolution, this is slice-of-life theater.

Cliched, Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Overrated

See it if you like plays set in barrooms with good ensemble acting.

Don't see it if you like plays that go deep into their characters' psyches and have a clear narrative arc.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated, Quirky

See it if You enjoy story telling, even if a bit disjointed.

Don't see it if You enjoy a well crafted play, well interpreted by a competent team that missed

Great staging, Relevant, Overacted, Disorganized, Edgy

See it if Your background includes Philly. Lots of specific references. Family can mean lots of things.

Don't see it if You expect a fully developed story. The characters don't advance much as the years pass. Sisters who disappoint each other have best scene.

Banal, Cliched, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you like people sitting around in a bar talking

Don't see it if if you are tired of people sitting around in a bar talking

Earnest, Strident

See it if You seek a well meaning show about the ills of society which includes a depiction of an actual artist whose death the NYT finds contrived.

Don't see it if You would be disappointed if the rest of the show felt contrived, and the characters did not seem real enough to care about.

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Poetic writing

See it if You like socially relevant issues addressed in a well written play given a fine production.

Don't see it if Lyrical writing and a little magical realism turn you off.

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if a complex portrait of an immigrant family chasing the American Dream and local politics over the past three decades is of interest.

Don't see it if You are lazy about thinking about how the current political environment is really a past and present experience too many are still living.

Ambitious, Overrated, Great acting

See it if Interesting characters who are well-acted and brought to life; good design elements

Don't see it if Ultimately, the play unfolds slowly and doesn't break any new ground. Entertaining enough while you watch, but nothing memorable or lasting

Cliched, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you want to see a fairly short show about eccentric characters with some pathos.

Don't see it if you want a plot that makes sense or character development that feels genuine. The people and their behavior feel contrived.

Entertaining, Great staging, Absorbing, Quirky, Uneven

See it if you respond to character-driven plays and enjoy stories than span more than a decade.

Don't see it if want plot more than atmosphere.

Powerful, Real, Resonant, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if You like plays about the neighborhood - it reminded me of 1986-2000 in the West Bronx - For me the characters and daily melodrama was real

Don't see it if You want something light or comfortable - this is complicated and could upset or offend

Also Check out the author's other plays - esp if you get a chance to see a ... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Handsome set, earnest cast (Samira Wiley especially effective) but the play didn't coalesce for me. A series of vignettes & feels long.

Don't see it if If you can get a cheap seat between now and June 12 (run ends), go: support theater, young playwrights & Signature. Otherwise, don't.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if diverse casting and ambitious plot excite you

Don't see it if they dont

Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you are a fan of the playwright and don't mind work that feels unfinished. I wanted to like this more, but didn't.

Don't see it if you're expecting another In the Heights.

Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy small plays about big ideas. It took a while to get into it, but once I did, I found it absorbing.

Don't see it if you like a lot of action in your plays. It's very talky, but appropriately so.

Overrated, Strident, Righteous

See it if struggling under class inner city life

Don't see it if overbaked, loud speechifying, self-important, strident,righteous

May 15th, 2016
"A warm-spirited if loose-jointed new play…Hudes has a supple feel for characterization and a wide-ranging sympathy for life’s waifs and strays…Not all that takes place in 'Daphne’s Dive' strikes me as entirely credible…The play’s episodic structure can make it seem like a series of television ep...
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May 15th, 2016
"A slow-burning, vibrantly sketched portrait of a scruffy North Philly booze joint run by love-scarred Daphne. Most bartenders listen to others’ problems, but Daphne’s cheerful reticence about her own demons makes us lean forward. Sweetly centered yet able to project panic and terror in a heartbe...
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May 15th, 2016
"Hudes displays a strong feel for her well-drawn characters and their hermetically sealed milieu. But that doesn't prevent the play from feeling both overstuffed and undernourished, its melodramatic plot developments rushing by as if the playwright was checking off a list. And while there are som...
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May 17th, 2016
"You’ll rarely hear a theater critic say a show should be longer...But 'Daphne’s Dive' could use a little more length and a lot more exposition...Hudes and director Thomas Kail tackle a big chunk of time in 100 intermissionless minutes. But there are stories that beg to be told, and details that ...
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