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Fefu and Her Friends

From 47 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Intelligent

About the show

In this modern classic by María Irene Fornés, a group of articulate, idiosyncratic women gather in Fefu’s New England country house in 1935 to rehearse for a charity event. More…

From the show:

Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz, Fefu and Her Friends tells the story of a group of articulate, idiosyncratic women who gather in Fefu’s New England country house in 1935 to rehearse for a charity event. Their conversations evolve and become intimate dialogues and commentary on gender, sex, psychology and class.

A modern classic of both feminist and environmental theater, Fefu and Her Friends runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Part I begins with the audience together. In Part II, the audience splits into four groups that move around the auditorium each experiencing the story in a different setting in a different order. In Part III, the audience comes back together. Fornés’ play is humor-laced, unsettling, and wrenching, allowing the audience to see this fascinating gathering through multiple perspectives.  


Member Reviews (47)

MEMBERS SAY:

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Intelligent
81
Avg Score

87
Edgy, Relevant, Intelligent, Ambitious, Delightful

See it if literally stepping into theater history excites you. An early experiment in interactive performance has been updated with multi-ethnic cast

Don't see it if you expect to nap in your seat. They make you get up to see three small scenes in intimate spaces! You leave with a lot to think about.

77
Can see why "fefu" is so highly acclaimed but rarely produced as it is a chilling feminist protest but not easy to digest

See it if shows women in 1935 terrified by men, w gun-toting Fefu @ center; scene of friend in bed voicing her paralyzing fears makes u shudder

Don't see it if u don't like strange plotless avant garde plays; some characters extraneous; rotating diff parts of audience 2 see diff scenes a distraction

79
Quirky, Indulgent, Great staging, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy a piece of avant garde theater that is as near to a normal play that one can get, great characters, costumes

Don't see it if a linear play that requires you to stay in your seat is what you prefer

89
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if 8 intelligent but very different women gather to discuss their roles in a charity event, chatting & philosophizing with some surprising*

Don't see it if Want more of a plot and don't like avant-garde, surrealistic works or if movement is difficult.**

Also *remarks. A wonderful Fefu is especially off-center.... Read more Read less

85
Confusing, Great acting, Great staging, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if a more access Fornes play that is never done. all actors were excellent. staging is great and fun. audience is very much into this

Don't see it if like a simple definitive narrative. need to know the full story. some things are never answered.

85
Exquisite, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious, Oh the costumes! the music! the musical chairs!

See it if Why would you want to miss seeing this amazing avantgarde genius' show resurrected for 2019 in a fascinating​ dollhouse performance?

Don't see it if It's a wonderful cubic- no hexagonal show inverted and turned inside out and flipped around-- yet still tied up in a beautiful giftbox.

Also Wonderful costumes, great background music all throughout, crazy exper... Read more Read less

75
Impenetrable monologues, Not for everyone, Avant-garde from the 70's, Intriguing

See it if You have curiosity about this rarely staged classic of the 70's underground.

Don't see it if You like plots, fully realized characters, staying in your seat, naturalism, and coherence.

Also I've been chewing on this one all afternoon. Points given for the inno... Read more Read less

84
Doll's house, Musical chairs & musical lives, Amazing sets & costumes, 1935 setting premiered in 1978

See it if you want to see 1936 women terrified of their shadows but who pretend to be bold & original. Amazing acting, sets & costumes. Interesting.

Don't see it if you don't like avant garde, dislike feminism & women's rights, don't want to see a 1978 Doll's House.

Also I had to see what all the fuss was about, and took in the production o... Read more Read less

85
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if You want to see a cast of remarkable female actresses. They were each phenomenal in their roles! The set, costumes & staging were also A+!

Don't see it if You aren’t able to be flexible and go with the flow of the participation part of the play. This unique experience was so fulfilling.

100
Masterful, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a great play by one of the great writers of the 1970s. You’re interested in women writers and women’s issues.

Don't see it if You want to see something traditional. You can’t walk around well (you move around the theater). You want something straight forward.

Also This is one of the finest productions I’ve ever seen. ... Read more Read less

75
Immersive, Empathy for characters, Non-linear, Avant-garde, Influential

See it if you are interested in Fornes and her influence on experimental playwriting and feminist thought. You can see the "mother of the Avant-Garde"

Don't see it if you want to stay in your seat in the audience and watch a linear play. Not for those who want action rather than talky and intimate stories.

83
Funny, Confusing, Great costumes, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you're interested in a unique play that demands unconventional staging techniques, is well-acted, and is aesthetically exquisite.

Don't see it if you need a show's meaning spelled out for you (honestly, I still don't know what I saw... but somehow I still enjoyed it?)

66
Slow, Overrated, Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if If one is dedicated to women's rights and standing .

Don't see it if If you were expecting the touted mind- changing and revolutionary play you might be really disappointed.

90
Quirky, Great staging, Delightful

See it if you are looking for something unusual. A mix of traditional character study w/ some experimental flourishes. Very entertaining & provocative

Don't see it if you need everything to make sense. This is essentially an avant-garde work from 1978 that was way ahead of its time.

86
Must see, Great writing, Enchanting

See it if I've read and seen it a couple of times- and still don't "understand" this play, but nonetheless find it extraordinarily affecting.

Don't see it if Other than the jaggedness of the play - a strength for me - the only real downside in this production is that the cast seems *too young*.

84
Entertaining, Quirky, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Great period wardrobe and styling of actresses. I felt like you could see Fornes in the characters. Loved the audience participation.

Don't see it if There were a few monologs that I was not so sure the meaning. It took longer because you saws 4 scenes by group. Interesting technique.

Also This was an exciting way to see this very specific piece of theater. I... Read more Read less

90
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if A luscious astute revival of Fornes' landmark play about women's roles in society. Beautiful staging, design, acting.

Don't see it if If you are not drawn to stories about women this may not be for you

80
Intelligent, Great acting, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if Want to see a valuable piece of theater history, well made and even containing bits and pieces of a good play that lurks in there somewhere

Don't see it if Overindulgent exercise

78
Absorbing, Delightful, Slow, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if You want to see this important abstract and feminist theatre piece being revived

Don't see it if You prefer plays with clear plots

91
Epic, Great writing, Great staging, Brilliant, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a masterwork by a forgotten master. Like theater that features a diverse, all-female cast.

Don't see it if You're some kinda misogynist, don't like walking around the theater, need something straightforward.

Also Someone once described FEFU AND HER FRIENDS as a "metaphysical murder ... Read more Read less

100
Exquisite, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you love Fornes's work or you've never heard of her immense impact on the contemporary theatre scene.

Don't see it if you should just see it. But if you only like musicals, this might not be your bag.

79
Avant garde, Intelligent, Edgy, Confusing, Clever

See it if You wish to see an important play by a woman playwright that hasn’t been revived since 1978. Studied in grad schools but unseen.

Don't see it if You don’t like immersive theater.

85
Excellent production of pathbreaking play

See it if A suprbly performed and executed production of a difficult work. Fornes is avantgarde, feminist and creative, possibly absurd. Memorable

Don't see it if you have no patience with ambiguity, paradoxes and making your sense of seeming nonsense, or dont like having to get up and walking around

Also Having never seen a performance of Fornes' work I jumped at the chance... Read more Read less

93
Profound, Quirky, Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You appreciate absurdist narratives that don't necessarily have a plot, but pierce some of the most vulnerable feelings of being human.

Don't see it if You prefer a traditionally structured plot (and/or staging).

85
Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if You love funny/dark mixed together. Great female character. If you don't mind moving around to see different scenes upfold. Crackling words.

Don't see it if You would rather stay in your seat the entire time. This play has the audience split into four groups and see different scenes unfold.


November 30th, 2019
"While Fefu and Her Friends' is considered a feminist statement, in performance the play seems not to be very revealing about women or their positions other than the fact that the cast is entirely female."
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November 25th, 2019
"There are laughs, and love affairs, and a water fight, and a hunting gun, and much discourse on art. It feels like a Goethe tale that passes the Bechdel test… a thought-provoking triumph for director Lileana Blain-Cruz and the many personalities she and the ensemble have detailed."
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November 24th, 2019
"The Many Unusual Stages of ‘Fefu and Her Friends’: Read and studied for decades, a key work of the American avant-garde finally returns in a major New York revival."
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November 24th, 2019
4/5 Stars "A play can be like a symphony, rapturous in a way that surpasses logic. María Irene Fornés's ingenious Fefu and Her Friends is such a work, and this revival from director Lileana Blain-Cruz is nothing short of exquisite."
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