Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W

Familiar

From 119 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Funny, Great writing, Entertaining

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents an exploration of old and new world customs, as a Zimbabwean family prepares for the wedding of their eldest daughter in the Midwest, and clashes erupt over tradition and ritual. More…

In a snowy Minnesota suburb, Marvelous and Donald are preparing for the marriage of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household. Tradition is pitched against assimilation, drawing a loving portrait of the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters, wives and husbands—the customs they keep, and the secrets they keep buried.


Member Reviews (119)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Funny, Great writing, Entertaining
87
Avg Score

87
Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You like shows that help you learn about other cultures and see things you thought you understood from a different angle.

Don't see it if You're not interested in seeing any kind of multi cultural family.

100
Great writing, Hilarious, Masterful, Original, Must see

See it if One of the best written and pridcuyed plays I've ever seen. The cast was awesome.

Don't see it if Run, don't walk to the theater.

90
Sitcom on steroids with vivid zambabwean colors makes for hilarious/memorable show; producers: move this to broadway!

See it if you want rich stew of characters in side-splitting confrontations; sitcom with serious core: dilemma of immigrant connection to home country

Don't see it if you don't enjoy stock sitcom characters (dominant wife, meek husband, stoner brother-in-law), ending too heavy on surprise revelations

85
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Original

See it if You enjoyed Eclipsed, and want to see what else this playwright has up her sleeve. (Hint: it's a comedy!)

Don't see it if You're not interested in plays about family and culture.

85
Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Hilarious, Resonant

See it if you are interested in learning more about a different culture. Also, if you are interested in tracking the writing career of Danai Gurira.

Don't see it if you are not interested in plays dealing with assimilation. You are not interested in seeing a family play from a different point of view.

91
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Funny, Delightful

See it if You are a human being and now have or once had a parent, sister or brother, and you all aged together.

Don't see it if You have no heart and only care about yourself.

84
Absorbing, Cliched, Great staging, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a serious drama laced with humor

Don't see it if you are tired of shows with too many plot twists and big surprises. Show was good enough without all the extra stuff crammed in.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you enjoy comedic family dramas with stellar actors. Danai Gurira is a masterful playwright and if you enjoyed Eclipsed, you'll like this.

Don't see it if ...I really have no reason for you not to see this. It's a great production with fantastic staging.

89
Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Resonant

See it if you enjoy shows about family dynamics and how in the end we have more in common than we think

Don't see it if you are stubborn about only seeing musicals

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Learning experience

See it if How can we ever know the stories of others lives, the pain, baggage, joys they know. This show unfolds and takes us into a world of secrets

Don't see it if You are not interested in foreign culture, do not feel positive about Americas proud immigrant past and future.

65
Painful

See it if You find humor in the overdone. There is a good story here, if questionable technique and perhaps choices no one we can imagine would make.

Don't see it if You mind that the playwright cannot credit the audience with the intelligence to get her point without bludgeoning them with every conflict.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Original, Must see

See it if You would enjoy seeing a seemingly happy family through the trials of a daughter's impending marriage and where a deep secret is revealed.

Don't see it if You are not interested in other cultures or if you expect a run-of-the mill show about a family.

90
Great acting, Funny, Thought-provoking, Adeptly explores themes of identity and assimilation., Insightful playwright portrays culture clashes with humor and sensitivity.

See it if You enjoy seeing a family dealing with successfully assimilating into American culture yet longing for home.

Don't see it if Can't think of anyone who wouldn't like it. Go see it!

95
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Moving, Resonant

See it if You enjoy theater where all of the primary elements (writing, acting, direction & staging) combine into a cohesive work of art.

Don't see it if No good reason to miss this one.

78
Interesting, Great set, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a different take on the typical family dramedy with a "twist." Most of the acting is great (aside from the younger sister).

Don't see it if You're bored by plays that have a second act twist for no reason otherwise it's an enjoyable enough evening of theatre.

80
Great acting, Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy well-crafted, challenging and highly intelligent comedy.

Don't see it if your ears cannot quickly attune to differently accented speech.

85
My big fat zimbabwean wedding..., Original, Entertaining, Riveting

See it if You enjoy plots focused on the heightened family drama created by big life event, like a wedding, with the predictable cultural clash humor.

Don't see it if You find severe plot/tonal twists disconcerting or unforgivable. The traditional ceremonial elements are charming unless you are a xenophobe

96
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Riveting, Must see

See it if you love the theater and care about great acting and writing.

Don't see it if you only like musicals (although there is some singing).

90
Entertaining, Absorbing, Great staging, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if So well done, this play is engrossing and enjoyable. Certainly one of the best plays of the season. A strong ensemble and stand-out perfs.

Don't see it if No reason not to see this play if you love theater and great acting. This show has it all. "Don't see it"? *Do see it!*

95
Great writing, Great acting, Hilarious, Profound, Must see

See it if You want to see a family dramedy with a stellar ensemble cast. Imagine the family from The Humans being from Zimbabwe instead of Scranton.

Don't see it if You dislike family-centric plays. You're really missing out though - this play is a true gem.

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if a smart funny play about family with an African immigrant twist http://frontmezzjunkies.com/2016/03/27/the-extraordinary-familiar/

Don't see it if You are in the mood for light and breezy. Cause although this is funny it's also deeply moving and powerful

90
Clever, Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You like to laugh and be moved at the same time

Don't see it if you don't like plays about familys

82
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious, Funny

See it if Any theatergoers who appreciates a family drama

Don't see it if You are not interested in expatriates in Minnesota

90
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you like theater to take you new places, and make you think/laugh along the way. You like well-constructed plays. You're in awe of Gurira.

Don't see it if you can't abide a living-room-play family comedy no matter how well-made it is.

100
Great acting, Funny, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if You have a family

Don't see it if You can't appreciate wonderful writing or terrific acting


March 3rd, 2016
"By the end of this engrossing comedy-drama, deep fissures within the family have been exposed, fresh wounds are rubbed raw and long-buried secrets are unearthed...Ms. Gurira weaves issues of cultural identity and displacement, generational frictions and other meaty matters into dialogue that flo...
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March 3rd, 2016
"With the stage thus set for maximum culture clash, Gurira lets her characters loose. Do things get crazy or messy? Yes and thank goodness....A less committed cast or a director lacking Rebecca Taichman’s wit and verve might have let 'Familiar' descend into ethnic-sitcom territory or suffered whi...
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March 3rd, 2016
"'Familiar' tries so hard to domesticate its characters with the recognizable rhythms of punch-line dialogue, while at the same time addressing very large issues of assimilation and repatriation, that it winds up doing neither very well, even as it remains improbable throughout...For all its wort...
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March 14th, 2016
"Fantastically well-realized...I’m sure that Gurira knew that her story risked falling into cliché unless she did what she so brilliantly does here: stay within the reality of the characters and their voices...Gurira has a nearly unerring ear for how to make popular theatre without compromising a...
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