See it if you're a fan of Nottage, enjoy social satire, enjoy seeing the great fall and then learn to redeem themselves, original unpredictable story
Don't see it if not fond of actors playing multiple roles or story focused on powerful black woman's success & fall, don't like addiction subplots or satire
See it if Early Nottage's sardonic, funny quirky drama about upward (& downward) Afro-American mobility Snappy staging by Blain-Cruz & 1st rate Boothe
Don't see it if Satire often edges towards stereotype (on purpose?) & humor can be a bit offensive Act II set in rehab doesn't gel & gets a little frantic
See it if You want to see a remarkable ensemble of talented and humorous supporting actors play countless roles.
Don't see it if You can’t stand plays that are uneven in terms of style, substance, talent, and direction, even though the substance is mildly interesting.
See it if Comedy, drama, documentary all rolled into one. multiple roles for many, Cherise Boothe & Ian Lasiter were superb. Partner's 95% & my 80%.
Don't see it if I needed time to adjust to the Dialects/Accents.
See it if you are a fan of good acting & the writing of Nottage. Reverse story of struggling woman climbing to the top only to fall and get back up.
Don't see it if Funny, decent play but something doesn't work. Too much silliness, fluff and stereotyping take away from the poignancy of the story.
See it if Excellent acting, very entertaining. I really enjoyed watching the actors change into so many characters as the play went on.
Don't see it if You prefer musicals. I'd say it is worth seeing though if you are a fan of Lynn Nottage as I am. Read more
See it if The Black experiences in NYC.
Don't see it if You do not like comedies!
See it if you want to see all of Lynne Nottage's works. This one is her least successful—and she should stick to writing serious dramas.
Don't see it if you want to see a sitcom on stage. The Weak satire. Also, the characters come off as one-dimensional comic book characters.
"Brantley called it a ‘busy, robustly entertaining comedy’. It still is, but the world around it has changed so much that the comedy feels...less robust...Only as Undine’s enamel shell dissolves — Boothe is especially good at rendering the change — do we begin to enjoy her and the surrounding characters fully...'Fabulation,' and thus Blain-Cruz’s production, feel most accomplished the farther away they get from spoof and closer to reality. But reality invites uncomfortable questions."
"On the surface, at least, Nottage’s 2004 satire of NYC's black bourgeoisie is a delectable treat. But it leaves a serious aftertaste...Lileana Blain-Cruz's whirlwind staging of 'Fabulation' puts humor first, helped by a versatile cast of seven with a knack for sketching broad new identities at the drop of a wig...You may be cackling too loudly to take it all in as it unfolds but, like a good fable, the play has a message that lingers past its scrappily-ever-after finale."
"The play earns big laughs with its cheeky, audacious humor...Telling its picaresque fable via short, snappy episodic scenes, 'Fabulation' occasionally feels too sitcom-like in its approach. It's also overly reliant on narration. But the play is often very funny indeed, delivering sharp observations about social and racial identity that feel even more relevant today than when it was written...Most of all, it's the performers who truly sell the material."
"It's fun and games for us, but at each punctuated point along this entertaining learning curve, Nottage tucks in glimpses of the generations-old baggage...While acknowledging the tragedy beneath the comedy, Nottage and director Blain-Cruz have plenty of fun...Might feel unsettlingly sloppy for those accustomed to Nottage's efficiently assembled dramatic work. And yet, there's something liberating about the play's blatant disregard for organization."
“Nottage hasn't delivered a fully realized play, she at least provides a hair-raising title character to keep us amused...The best part of ‘Fabulation’ is how Nottage turns Undine's multiple tribulations into a series of sharp-edged comic sketches...This is also the play's limitation...when the play is unable to transcend its cartoonish structure...None of this really matters that much, thanks to Blain-Cruz's fast-moving direction and the cast of eight's incredible versatility."
"Seems like a minor work compared with later Nottage plays...The play moves swiftly, and there are...funny bits. Because, however, most of the characters are broadly drawn and the sketch-like scenes circle around a gag or punchline, the play does not pack the wallop one might expect. The play's poignancy and fable-like morals come through in narration rather than in the actions of and interactions among individual characters...The performances are top-notch."
"The episodic and escapadish manner of Undine’s un-fabulation is well handled by director Lileana Blain-Cruz...Yes, this return visit of Nottage’s early 'Fabulation' is worthy and highly enjoyable. The playwright’s unrestrained humor sparks the play with flashes of lightning; but by the time of 'Vera Stark,' she had developed the skill to display wild humor in a more sustained and controlled manner."
"Undine happens to be quite an astringent character, but in Cherise Boothe’s wry, spirited performance, she seems as deliciously dry as a martini. Seven other capable actors neatly portray an array of different people...Lileana Blain-Cruz confidently spins out Undine’s tribulations with a quick and easy hand. Living up to its mission, Signature Theatre nicely educates audiences about the lesser-known light side of Lynn Nottage’s artistry through this fine production."