Daphne's Dive
Closed 1h 40m
Daphne's Dive
74

Daphne's Dive NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(91 Reviews)
Positive
68%
Mixed
29%
Negative
3%
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.

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Member Reviews (91)

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963 Reviews | 338 Followers
60
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.

677 Reviews | 150 Followers
83
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,

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
73
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

don
506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
88
Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if enjoy a multi-talented cast.live 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

465 Reviews | 256 Followers
38
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.

488 Reviews | 103 Followers
54
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.

463 Reviews | 128 Followers
60
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.

449 Reviews | 115 Followers
65
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.

Critic Reviews (28)

The New York Times
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 episodes plucked from different seasons. But with hosannas being sung over the vaunted brilliance of television these days, to describe a play in such terms isn’t derogatory. It’s more like high praise."
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Time Out New York
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 heartbeat, Aspillaga anchors Hudes’s episodic narrative, which spans 1994 to 2011 and is as much a portrait of a gentrifying community as a splintering group of friends."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 some poignant, well-observed moments, too much of the dialogue feels forced and rambling. The piece has been evocatively staged by Thomas Kail and the performances feel fully lived-in."
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Entertainment Weekly
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 demand to be filled in...Hudes has created a group of characters that most anyone would want to share a drink with. One round just isn’t enough."
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Variety
May 16th, 2016

“Hudes writes juicy dialogue for these colorful characters...and Rubin-Vega delivers her explosive lines with gusto. Wiley’s wide-eyed Ruby is also a joy to watch as she matures in grace and intelligence. But without a plot or something of consequence at stake, the play slips into the conventional vein of those static ensemble pieces set in diners, barbershops, hair salons, and bars. Not even director Thomas Kail manages to pump some life into that static genre format."
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Deadline
May 17th, 2016

"Hudes has a fine grasp of the friction created by the social tectonic plates that shift according to the waves of gentrification and governance. Each of these characters is good company — there’s a distant echo here of 'Rent,' and not just because of Rubin-Vega’s welcome presence. It’s all beautifully calibrated under the direction of Thomas Kail...The performances are all of a piece but Wiley is outstanding...She’s an actress you cannot take your eyes off of; she shines."
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New York Post
May 19th, 2016

“Samira Wiley is first seen as a scrawny 11-year-old and is 29 by the end of the play. It’s to Wiley’s unassuming skill that she’s equally convincing as both...Warmly staged by ‘Hamilton’ director Thomas Kail, the show suggests a real sense of community, with people with whom you’d actually want to hang out...Daphne Rubin-Vega gives her best performance in years. Admittedly her character has many of the best lines but Rubin-Vega has a ball with them.”
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New York Daily News
May 19th, 2016

"Quiara Alegria Hudes' new drama begins in 1994 and takes place in a North Philly watering hole run by the guarded Daphne. Seventeen years bring dramatic and traumatic changes for the bar owner and her intimates...Working with go-to director Thomas Kail, Hudes serves a group portrait that packs compassion but lacks cohesion."
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