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Eve's Song

From 20 critic and 42 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the show

Filled with dark humor and boiling suspense, "Eve's Song" is a genre-bending new drama that examines our present racial climate through the story of the haunting of a black family in America. More…

In the aftermath of a messy divorce and a daughter coming out as queer, Deborah is trying to keep things normal at home. But as black people continue to be killed beyond their four walls, the outside finds its way in, blurring the lines between family dynamics, politics, and the spirit world. How long can family dinners keep the dangers outside at bay? 


“Both a theatrical surprise and a very accomplished dramatic work, Patricia Ione Lloyd's ‘Eve's Song’ is one of the best theatrical experiences to be had in New York at this time. With a cast led by De'Adre Aziza who is well known to Public Theater audiences, director Jo Bonney, totally attuned to the author's unique style, delivers an exquisite and provocative evening in the theater. It is always a pleasure to herald the arrival of a new and talented writer, particularly one as masterly.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"A searing exposé of what it means to be black and female in America today...With 'Eve’s Song,' Patricia Ione Lloyd does what women have always done through the ages, looks with compassion, humor, insight, bravery and unwavering strength at what has to be done, and takes it on...'Eve’s Song' is a remarkably sophisticated and nuanced play to have been written by someone as young as Ms. Lloyd. But she seems to be a remarkable and eloquent person." Full Review


"It's a comedy — a very funny one...It'll also leave you shaken...Lloyd displays a luminous voice, at once uproarious and melancholy...Each performance has its own haunted quality...Not many people can weave a thread of humor into a play about violence against women in the African-American community, while making sure it also hits you hard in the stomach. Lloyd does both, and with the added attraction of making it feel like a credible ghost story...An exciting debut effort." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“A riveting production about the plight of black women in America...’Eve's Song’, with its mix of satire, domestic drama, and elements of the supernatural, is both rooted in history and as current as today's headlines, a deft coming together of #blacklivesmatter and #metoo as told by a masterful storyteller...Much credit must go to director Jo Bonney, who manages to keep the intentionally disparate components of tone and style from clashing.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"Lloyd’s new and dynamic exploration of what it means to be a black person living in the violence and danger of racist America...'Eve’s Song' sings the conflict and troubling scenario with a strangely altered and comedic tone circulating around a difficult subject aiming its shots clearly on target...The ghostly visitations and spotlight monologues keep us from ever forgetting the message of the personal and deeply felt 'Eve’s Song' regardless of how smartly funny the writing truly is." Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

“One of the most important plays of the season, especially for our current, violent times...’Eve’s Song’ is absolutely excellent because violence is often a dreaded discussion...When we blame the victims even after their death, it is because we did not see them as having a life. Yet, 'Eve’s Song' is about their life, and the gut-wrenching question of whether they were or could have been happy.” Full Review

Time Out New York

“The first half of ‘Eve’s Song’ plays as kooky dark comedy, but supernatural elements assert themselves with increasing frequency as the action progresses...Bonney guides the cast on a disquieting journey from humor to tragedy; newcomer Raquel is especially impressive as the sensitive Lauren...As plays about racial violence flood New York stages in an overdue cascade, Lloyd rises above the tide on the strength of her original voice." Full Review

New York Stage Review

“Bonney directs with the right restraint, and the cast members respond to her. Aziza, Raquel, Green and Kelley hit the right levels throughout. For the Spirit Women roles, which call for adjuring restraint, Miller, Watson-Jih and Williams hit the right elevated notes...’Eve’s Song’ is a hard-hitting screed that arrives at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has had to form due to daily intimations that black lives don’t particularly matter.” Full Review


“’A state-of-the-nation play that serves as commentary on how perilous it is to be black...The sequences with the Spirit Women are more visually striking than anything else...Yet the playwright, director...haven't figured out how to integrate these unsettling scenes into the larger saga...A minor complaint about a play that depicts so vividly and with such humor the toxic effects of racism, the tenderness of family affection, and the aching metamorphosis from youth to maturity." Full Review

The Wrap

"This is a play that grapples with racial injustice...Lloyd’s play works most strongly when it filters those Big Ideas through a more personal lens...Bonney’s production smooths over many of the play’s rougher edges, including the more abrupt gear-shifts in tone and sensibility...'Eve’s Song' can’t comfortably contain all of those jarring elements in such a slender frame. But Lloyd demonstrates that hers is a voice worth hearing.” Full Review

The New York Times

"Lloyd’s disconnected, macabre comedy...A smart, vivid concept still in search of full dramatic development. What it has to say about black lives in peril is genuinely terrifying, but mostly in the way that sobering statistics or news analyses are...It is as a lesbian identity story that ‘Eve’s Song’ works best. The show is never more winning or convincing than when we’re allowed to spend time in Lauren’s head as she sorts out just who she wants to be.” Full Review


"'Eve's Song,' then, is a menacing comedy if not a comedy of menace, eliciting the kind of giddy laughter that anticipates terror." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“’Eve's Song’ offers a sharply drawn study of a middle-class black family under stress...’Eve's Song’ has many gripping passages, especially when the characters are baring their souls...but the playwright hasn't provided a central it moves in an oddly stately fashion through a series of scenes that are more lie illustrations of an argument than the building blocks of drama...Thus, a play filled with menace and the threat of violence feels strangely becalmed.” Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"The burden of racism here seems so heavy that no amount of debate, activism or 'meticulousness' can possibly alleviate it. But surely we can grasp that point without seeing Deborah’s house start to literally fall apart. That laboured visual metaphor is typical of Lloyd and director Jo Bonney’s occasional tendency to strain for effect...The characters are all well drawn here, but ‘Eve’s Song’ lacks dramatic balance.” Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Expressive as she is with words, Lloyd is not entirely in control of her narrative...Jo Bonney, the director, smoothly coordinates the text’s transitions between monologues and dialogue in conjunction with lighting designer Lap Chi Chu and set designer Riccardo Hernandez, who rearranges subtly iridescent walls for various locations. Their visual realization for the story’s grievous conclusion is apt. The play’s tricky shifts in tone are not so successfully managed, however." Full Review

Theater Life

"A seriously unfunny dark comedy…It's also one more example of how dramatic subjects do not automatically produce dramatic plays…Lloyd's play uses overtly theatrical means to convey ideational messaging while failing to create compelling characters in an engrossing narrative…More a sequence of thematically related moments than a well-integrated drama heading toward a climax. Too often, exposition substitutes for what might otherwise be shown." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“I am not sure what the point is of Lloyd’s new play...There are so many topics that the piece as a whole becomes disjointed and a blur of topics. We have black lives matter, queer issues, transgender issues, violence and I am not sure where the focus lies...The cast is excellent with the material given to them...Bonney directs this with aplomb and tries her best to make this story unveil its journey. Lloyd’s dialogue is lyrical and poetic, but doesn’t get into the grit of the problem.” Full Review

Fordham Observer

“’Eve’s Song'’s many projects leave the play ultimately unfocused, struggling to make sense of its abounding questions within a short 100 minutes...’Eve’s Song’ hopes to confront systemic issues of violence and race in America...While a commendable, truly marvelous performance is given by De’Adre Aziza, she’s forced to carry a narrative that feels, for the bulk of its arc, disjointed, supported by visual metaphors that are too literal for the nuance this play hopes to achieve.” Full Review

Plays to See

“Lloyd’s new comedy (or drama?) is unapologetic in its content, and blunt in its execution, and as a result, falls short of landing with sharp and distinct implication...Lloyd paints these figures in broad strokes...This sometimes causes the play to be performed as an opera: with soaring ambition, along with overwrought melodrama...The contributions of all creative voices...seem to erase nuance...Although the lead-up often struggles to compel, the pay-off is moving.” Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"It’s effortful and diffuse, with a forced, sitcomish sense of humor that dissolves into long stretches of maudlin faux-poetry. Director Jo Bonney is working hard but can barely keep the play knitted together, it’s such an undisciplined grab bag of varying tones, loose logic, and banal theatrical tropes...Meanwhile, it’s difficult to tell whether and where Lloyd and Bonney are aiming for parody." Full Review

Intelligent, Funny, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if A very well-written play about the black experience. Superb acting. A very thoughtful and thought-provoking play

Don't see it if if you don't enjoy plays that deal with real and difficult issues,

Well played, Timely, Loose, Sharp, Funny

See it if you'd like to see a sharply drawn piece for the era of #BlackLivesMatter that focuses on the women lost to needless violence.

Don't see it if you are looking for a straight drama: this 1 takes lots of liberties with the form.

Also Playwright Patricia Ione Lloyd makes a smart dramaturgical choice in h... Read more Read less

Riveting, Must see, Thought-provoking, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You like an emotional drama on race issues, abuse of women, coming of age and the effects of divorce on a family.

Don't see it if You don’t want to be moved emotionally and don’t want to hear about how Afro- Americans are abused.

Important to see, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to understand or can relate to the black experience from the point of view of a young woman and her mother.

Don't see it if you are racially prejudice and/or have no tolerance for lesbian stories.

Also I thought the play was very good. The review in New York Theater Guide... Read more Read less

Resonant, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You appreciate timely plays about social issues from the point of view of an underserved community.

Don't see it if You cannot deal with difficult subjects and sadness told about people's lives that are different from yours.

Shows various facets of black experience that make black population feel under attack, presented w sharp comedic observations

See it if every pose of rectitude exploded w comedic ripostes; lesbian 1st love tender/sexy; strong performances by all leads; fine direct'n

Don't see it if play bites off too much: can't figure out if comedy that features intergenerat'l conflicts, or broad history of abuse of queer black women

Relevant, Creatively staged, Thought provoking

See it if A contemporary perspective on the African American experience is a good match for you

Don't see it if You seek something less polemic and more traditionally structured and presented

Also Eve's Song does suffer somewhat from an identity crisis - satire?, tra... Read more Read less

Resonant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if A love letter to black women explored through myths, spirits and grounded in the struggles of a middle class black family breaking down

Don't see it if The supernatural doesn’t blend easily with the realism of violence against black women and the tools they use to feel safe but itis powerful

Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to see an insightful play on race injustices through the eyes of one black family. Much to think about as you leave the theater.

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in social issues and violence facing black families in our country. Although not perfect, this is an important play.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if a show about black lives mattering in such an interesting and unusual way would interest you.

Don't see it if you don't have patience for an intermission-less exploration of race in America today.

Also I was incredibly moved and surprised at how this story was told - an i... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Different approach (with humor) to oft-done topics brings a unique experience even if you don't find your song. Finish stays with you.

Don't see it if This playwright's perspective on many fronts including race, family, coming of age, etc. are not of interest.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if a new theatrical voice reveals what to me is an unseen world -- the terrors and dangers of being an ordinary person while black.

Don't see it if an examination of how racism plays out is not your idea of a nice night out at the theater.

Intense, Relevant, Edgy, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if a fascinating new play exploring violence against black women (and men), and racism. has an affecting lesbian love story at its center

Don't see it if if you have trouble with works that explore representations of violence, this may not be your cuppa tea

Riveting, Relevant, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if An African American family drama which draws upon the tragic history of violence and prejudice in contemporary society. A strong ensemble.

Don't see it if Do not see if you are interested in light dramas or musicals.

Resonant, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if You enjoy a family drama Like black theater Like an interesting g story with a bit of the paranormal

Don't see it if You don’t like to see plays with spirits or ghosts You need recognizable well known actors

Quirky, Intelligent, Edgy, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you like dark comedy about a black family trying to "fit" into white society and stay below the radar (with little success)

Don't see it if you dislike patronizing stories with pat characters that seem uncomfortable in their own skin

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if a smartly written, thought provoking play with one of the most impactful last 5 minutes I recall. Extremely well acted and directed.

Don't see it if you're looking for something with a bit more pace to it. This is a show that rewards your patience, but does ask for quite a lot of it.

Promising, Imperfect, Provocative, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you're curious to see a promising, provocative, but imperfect attempt at wrestling w/ racial violence, queerness, and the meaning of safety

Don't see it if you only have patience for perfect plays and don't find any value in the grappling

Clever, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if like plays about African American families and struggles with race class and sexuality

Don't see it if do not like plays discussed above

Poorly acted, misses the mark, Disappointing

See it if Support The Public Theater

Don't see it if Poorly acted, weak stageplay. Could have been so much more,

Unfocused, Uneven, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if This is a timely play depicting the stressors which affect a contemporary black family's lives; you like witty, dark comedy and good acting.

Don't see it if you're looking for a cohesive play that flows from scene to scene; too many topics make the play feel disconnected & unfocused; needs drama

Relevant, Ambitious

See it if To see a young playwright passionately telling many stories she must tell with the go-to director for such efforts trying to make it work.

Don't see it if You are impatient with overly busy stories freighted with symbolism which doesn't exactly work.

Also Early work tends to concern the core issues that motivate the artist. ... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if If you want a show on racial issues and what people go through, family issues.

Don't see it if If you want a show that does not deal with racial issues.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You want a look into the daily struggles of black people as obstacles compound and increase around them

Don't see it if you want a neat and tidy play. The script is a bit disjointed.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if You like ambitious works in progress. Maybe this is really 2 plays under development (or 3). You like political and family drama.

Don't see it if You like tightly crafted plays with no loose ends. You don't like political plays. You don't like family comedy/drama.

Cast & Creatives (14)