Familiar NYC Reviews and Tickets

(119 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (119)

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50 Reviews | 20 Followers
Clever, Funny, Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if One of the best plays I have seen In a long time. Perfect casting and great set.

Don't see it if You don't want to see an intense play.

56 Reviews | 28 Followers
Clever, Absorbing, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You're looking to experience a new "living room drama" expertly written with outstanding performances.

Don't see it if Get bored by the naturalism of a family drama

548 Reviews | 1899 Followers
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.

139 Reviews | 75 Followers
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

112 Reviews | 22 Followers
Enchanting, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if you want to laugh and cry. best new playwright in ages...

Don't see it if you need a plot driven play.

197 Reviews | 74 Followers
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).

125 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Original

See it if You love fantastic performances and original storylines from diverse perspective. Gurira is a masterful playwright.

Don't see it if You don't like more naturalistic storylines or emotional family dramas.

112 Reviews | 36 Followers
Ambitious, Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you're a fan of family dramas, you love Danai Gurira, or you just want to see a great new play from a new playwright

Don't see it if you're tired of traditional plot devices

Critic Reviews (41)

The New York Times
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 flows utterly naturally. Her engaging characters are drawn with sympathy and, under the crisp direction of Rebecca Taichman, 'Familiar' stays firmly on course even as the complications pile up."
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Time Out New York
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 whiplash from the second-act dance between rom-com and identity crisis. But the piece works, throwing red meat to an excellent cast and offering plenty of emotional hooks for the audience."
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New York Theatre Guide
March 3rd, 2016

"Danai Gurira is an astonishing wordsmith capable of pithy comedy and transcendent intentionality resulting in heartbreaking authenticity. I was hanging on her every word. Her self-reflection is evident in every pause, in every choked throat wrestling for the words to frame the feeling, in every violent barrage of familial rhetoric and she assuages our own pain with her tone of familiarity...Every single cast member was sensational."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 worthy questions, its frequent big laughs, and a few good performances, this is a play that leaves you feeling, in more ways than one, unsure where to look."
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New Yorker
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 authenticity...Gurira, like her director, has an incredible sense of comedy and how it plays against pathos. But Tippett takes it to another level; he is one of the best actors I’ve seen in ages."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 10th, 2016

"Given the potential of its subject matter, it saddens me to report that 'Familiar' is so familiar...Ms. Gurira has rehashed all the clichés of this well-worn genre as if they hadn’t long since been worn out...I expected much better from the author of 'Eclipsed' than a play whose fundamentally serious plot is smothered in lazy sitcom-style jokes and heavy-handed, creakily didactic dialogue. Fine though the 8-person cast is, the talented actors can’t bring 'Familiar' to life other than fitfully."
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New York Daily News
March 3rd, 2016

"The play’s first half is dominated by laughs — some too easy — sparked by culture clashes. But after a big reveal things get serious — and a bit too pointed to be persuasive...The play’s mood swings are extreme enough to merit a Zoloft prescription. And the dialogue can get too clever for its own good...Still, director Rebecca Tachman skillfully guides the fine-tuned ensemble through the various curves, highs and lows. Like family, 'Familiar' is messy and resilient."
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March 3rd, 2016

"Although Rebecca Taichman has directed her superb ensemble cast to find the humor in these all-too-human disputes, the darker aspects of their conflicting values are clear enough, too...Sorry to say, the warm feelings generated by this open-hearted play turn cold in the second act. Seemingly unsure of where to go with all the plot possibilities she raises, Gurira makes the worst possible choice of darkening the narrative by revealing unbelievable and out-of-character family secrets."
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