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Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine

From 109 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great writing

About the show

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage's satirical tale follows successful African-American publicist Undine, as she stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune. More…

Broke and now pregnant, Undine is forced to return to her childhood home in the Brooklyn projects, where she must face the challenges of the life she left behind. The first show of Nottage's Residency 1 at Signature, "Fabulation" is an exploration of how difficult it is to outrun where we come from. Obie Award-winner Lileana Blain-Cruz directs.

Member Reviews (109)


Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great writing
Avg Score

Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Great staging, Resonant

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

Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny, Great acting

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.

Ambitious, Clever, Funny, Indulgent, Quirky

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

Entertaining, Great acting, Great costumes, quick changes, actors play multiple roles

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.

Also I really enjoyed watching the actors change into so many characters as... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated

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.

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Disappointing, Fluffy

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.

Banal, Cliched, Third-rate nottage, Disappointing, Sitcom on stage

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.

Funny, Great acting, Disappointing, Uneven

See it if you want to see a satire by Lynn Nottage

Don't see it if you are expecting something weighty such as Sweat or Ruined.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Slightly dated

See it if A dose of reality hits Undine -how she deals with it forms arc of play. A measuring of upward/downward mobility told with insight & humor.

Don't see it if Image of black, middle class urban life, slightly cliche, slightly dated.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if The Black experiences in NYC.

Don't see it if You do not like comedies!

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you want to see a bravura performance by Cherise Boothe. The other actors do well in playing several roles.

Don't see it if you object to over-the top, often stereotypical depictions.

Also I was taken by the riches-to-rags story and Nottage's gift for story t... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if great acting (just the right amount of over-the-top) for characters commenting on how society views them

Don't see it if may be too quirky for some

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Quirky

See it if A wildly entertaining play.The lead actress,C. Boothe, gives a terrific performance. Each of the other actors excel in playing many parts.

Don't see it if The subject matter is not to your liking or if you don't appreciate the wonderful talents of playwright Lynn Nottage.

Funny yet at the same time painful, I laughed a lot but felt kind of uncomfortable at times, Fun costuming, Amazingly talented and versatile cast

See it if You like comedy that has an edge and a point.

Don't see it if You don't like explorations of race and class in America.

Also I found this play very funny in a wry way, but it made me uncomfortabl... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You are a Nottage fan. You want to see a fine production of a play that doesn't quite match up to the quality of Nottage's other works.

Don't see it if You don't like family dramedy or are easily offended suburban stereotypes.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a show that touches on race differently than expected.

Don't see it if you have an issue with shows about race, money, or drugs.

Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if you are a fan of 2 time pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The show is very modern/relevant and the cast is great.

Don't see it if you do not like stereotypes thrown on stage. The plot was a bit over the top at times.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if With typical Nottage clarity and sharp eye, this is a very funny exploration of black middle class, strivers and reinvention; great ensemble

Don't see it if This skewers stereotypes and our social and justice systems overladen with race,class and gender issues so not for all

Clever, Hilarious, Great acting

See it if You can laugh at race, class & gender matters tackled through over the top cliche characters & to see a GREAT performance by Cherise Boothe

Don't see it if You are likely to get offended by humor centered around Black families / experiences or contingent on sterotyping

Also The prodigal daughter returns home after falling off - really being ro... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Dizzying, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see how unforseen circumstances can change the outcome of a life

Don't see it if you don't like your life lessons interspersed with humor

Well acted, Well staged and lit, Entertaining, Funny, Disappointing

See it if you would like to follow Lynn Nottage's work. Very well acted and presented.

Don't see it if you expect it to be up to the standard of RUINED or INTIMATE APPAREL, but it has many worthwhile moments.

Clever, Funny, Great writing, Poignant, Great acting

See it if you love clever writing and dialogue. It's a searing black culture riches-to-rags story, full of surprises on the spiral down and landing.

Don't see it if you don't like sarcastic humor that pokes fun at stereotypes. The subplots don't go very deep into the characters. Actors play many roles.

Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if you want to see a good production of an early work by one of our top playwrights and one of the hardest working ensembles on stage!

Don't see it if you're looking for a play that is totally believable in terms of plot (but that's not really the point).

Also It was fun to see this show again almost 15 years after I first saw it... Read more Read less

Great acting, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if you are a Lynn Nottage completist for sure. Maybe others like satire more than me. Somehow it didn't all add up. I left feeling confused.

Don't see it if you're offended by racial stereotypes. I would also say if you're not keen on satire, it probably won't be your thing.

Funny, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You like satire or modern fables. The acting ensemble is strong, A funny evening of theatre.

Don't see it if The plot strains credulity at points. The ending is corny.

December 11th, 2018
"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 cha...
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December 10th, 2018
"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 t...
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December 10th, 2018
"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 observati...
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December 10th, 2018
"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 t...
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