The Vineyard Theater presents this new cross-generational comedic drama by Colman Domingo and directed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. More…
The holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty and her three grown children gather with more than exchanging presents on their minds. As Dotty struggles to hold on to her memory, her children must fight to balance care for their mother and care for themselves. This twisted new play grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.
"Regardless of all the warm-blooded talent involved in putting over Mr. Domingo’s patchily entertaining comedy, watching its charismatic central character deteriorating before your eyes as her loved ones attempt to deal with a foregone conclusion is far from easy, even when the play—loudly directed by Broadway A-lister Susan Stroman—is smothered in the feel-good bathos of a family Christmas gathering...‘Dot’ is basically a two-act, two-hour situation in search of a plot." Full Review
"All of this effort to make every character credible and establish their web of relationships is in one way admirable, and their various reconciliations often touching. If it adds up ultimately to a play that feels too long and too diffuse, we are left with the poignant memory of Marjorie Johnson as Dotty, who amid the hubbub of her family during their holiday party, quietly and with dignity faces down the future." Full Review
"The blend between the broad comedy and the moments of poignancy in Domingo's family drama isn't a smooth one, but at the center is a heart-tugging and sincere performance by Marjorie Johnson...Stroman's staging often looks awkward as the actors maneuver the crowded space...Thanks to the solid company the production is entertaining and often funny, though jokes involving chitlins, fried chicken, and watermelon-flavored vodka...seem more shticky than character-driven." Full Review
"The Vineyard Theater’s production has a lot to offer, though when dissecting the whole play it is flawed...The cast excels in this work...Mr. Domingo, who besides being a playwright is a talented actor/singer/ dancer shows promise as a writer...I am glad that this play is out there." Full Review
“Playwright Colman Domingo sees the absurdity and the human comedy in the messy, volatile, all-too-real family dynamic. Though the show occasionally veers to the maudlin, there’s much authentic emotion and comfort in this loss-of-memory tale. Problem is, the playwright stuffs his overlong play with enough plotting, themes and mid-life crises for multiple works…Only when the production takes a breather from the fraught storylines does the play find its focus, and its heart.” Full Review
"The many characters in 'Dot' seem like people [the playwright] might have known while growing up in West Philly, which is both good news and bad. It’s a colorful bunch to be sure, but the play wanders, and often resorts to sit-com level interactions to move itself along. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it is rarely as well plotted." Full Review
See it if You like dysfunctional-family dramas with some comic relief thrown in and have too-plus hours to spare.
Don't see it if You like cogent storytelling.
See it if you've already seen everything else you want to see. It's nice but not worth prioritizing.
Don't see it if you'd be frustrated by the writing fluctuating from insightful to cliched, or the performances ranging from masterful to inconsistent.
See it if A worthy theme but too many sub-plots.Excellent acting by "Dotty" but much of the acting over the top by the other women. Needed editing!
Don't see it if You are unhappy with plays that go on much too long needlessly.
See it if You like comedic family dramas/stories re: Alzheimers. It's a nice show with some heart felt moments & good performances (for the most part)
Don't see it if This show could be GREAT but the last 20min were excruciating & unnecessary. Should end w/ piano playing. Hope they fix in previews.
See it if saw in first preview. It was a 75 show until the last 20 painful minutes which completely derailed this touching play into a 150-min slush.
Don't see it if just run out of the theater when piano starts playing and you will have a great experience. I really hope they end it there before it opens.
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