Already closed | 2h 15m | Upper W Side

Dear Elizabeth

From 17 member  reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Absorbing, Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking

About the show

The Women's Project presents this New York premiere by Sarah Ruhl, drawn from the famed correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell – two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant poets. More…

'Dear Elizabeth' tells a tale of unconventional friendship and intimacy that spanned thirty years and more than 400 letters, with postmarks from Maine to Key West, from London to South America. Performed with a rotating cast, the play offers an insightful and impassioned examination of Bishop and Lowell’s lives, their work, and the true nature of friendship.

Member Reviews (17)


Intelligent, Absorbing, Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Absorbing, Intelligent, Original, Great writing (by lowell and bishop), Enchanting

See it if you want an intelligent evening, filled with poetry and pathos. The beautifully written letters were beautifully read.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the two poets, altho their humanity (esp'ly Bishop's) shines through. You don't have to love poetry to enjoy DE.

Small, Sad, Sweet, Lovely, Original

See it if you like shows that are small in scope and sweetly sad.

Don't see it if you need to watch action take place in front of you when you see a show.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if If you are interested in Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. I saw it with Kathleen Chalfant and Harris Yulin who were both fantastic.

Don't see it if If you don't like shows where actors sit at a desk and read/act the script.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Slow, Good performances, Literary

See it if you are interested in seeing two fine performances: Cherry Jones and David Aaron Baker. Also if you like poets and/or poetry.

Don't see it if you can't tolerate glacial staging or you are not into poets/poetry.

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Banal, Indulgent

See it if You want to be bored to death. Similar to Love Letters, but at least that was charming. This wasn't.

Don't see it if You want to be rivited.

Slow, Literary, Two-hander

See it if you really love Sarah Ruhl, and/or Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, or you want to see a more literary version of Love Letters.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in actors reading old letters between two people, where there's not much romance, and not much conflict.

Great writing

See it if you like Sarah Ruhl's work.

Don't see it if you don't.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you enjoy epistolary plays or literary history.

Don't see it if you want robust staging and acting beyond the confines of a desk.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Romantic, Funny

See it if sweet and melancholy story about friendship and gentle lit gossip in a production that asks a lot of your imagination

Don't see it if you're not hooked by a story about friendship between two writers, you don't like low-fi theatre

Ambitious, Great singing, Relevant

See it if The story line interests you.

Don't see it if The story line does not interest you.

Great acting, Clever, Absorbing, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You enjoy clever and humorous

Don't see it if You have no sense of humor

Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if I think everyone should see this show. It speaks for so many people of this generation and touches the hearts of many. A true masterpiece.

Don't see it if Don't watch this show if you don't like crying in public.

Great singing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Absorbing story about teenagers wanting to belong.

Don't see it if You have no interest in current issues regarding social media.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You've ever felt like an outcast.

Don't see it if You're looking for mindless fluff.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You love gorgeous writing, and poetry matters to you. And the subject of friendship is a meaningful one to you.

Don't see it if You're impatient, couldn't care less about poetry or poets, need to see actors moving around (this is a very static play), favor ACTION.

Ambitious, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy literature, stories about women.

Don't see it if Historical stories.

For a previous production
Slow, Intelligent, Cliched, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if You are interested in the letters of two writers. Interested in found text.

Don't see it if You need a clear engaging story. You need actors to talk to each other face to face.

October 30th, 2015
"Ms. Ruhl has excerpted their long correspondence with a fine ear for emotional detail and the glistening phrase, but the personal evolutions in both poets’ lives are sometimes hard to discern from oblique references...What’s most affecting about 'Dear Elizabeth' is that despite lapses in their c...
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October 28th, 2015
"This rendition is a dull, drab affair—and romantic it is not, despite what appears to be a team effort to insinuate a sublimated attraction between these two pillars of midcentury American poetry...This epistolary abridgment is a bit of a slog, as the pair parry compliments, writing pointers and...
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October 30th, 2015
"Ruhl's adaptation is cannily put together, carefully combining the personal and literary aspects of the correspondence…Biographical details are only alluded to, with confusion sometimes resulting…Not surprisingly, considering its provenance, the language in the piece often soars, with the writin...
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November 5th, 2015
"This might have worked if there was something inherently dramatic in the correspondence; if there is, it isn't to be found in the relatively brief sampling offered here…'Dear Elizabeth' starts to become just a little bit dull…Kate Whoriskey's production also pushes the star-crossed lovers agenda...
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