Fireflies
Closed 1h 40m
Fireflies
79

Fireflies NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(169 Reviews)
Positive
87%
Mixed
11%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Ambitious

About the Show

In this world premiere from Atlantic Theater Company, somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky is on fire. "Fireflies" is the second part of Donja R. Love's trilogy that began with "Sugar in Our Wounds."

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Member Reviews (169)

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962 Reviews | 339 Followers
69
Absorbing, Relevant, Overstuffed, Wildly changing tone/plot, Strong acting

See it if you're interested in race relations in South 1963. Preacher and his wife struggle as world blows up. Fine acting can't save unfocused script

Don't see it if you dislike crazy veering from funny to tragic. There's material for 5 plays in 90 mins. Focusing on 1-2 issues w have been more effective.

916 Reviews | 224 Followers
66
Cliched, Disappointing, Banal

See it if If you want a show that goes in all directions. One that goes deep into melodrama.

Don't see it if You want a show that stays focused on what the story is about. This one goes from Gay Blacks to abortion, misogyny, a lot of other subjects.

739 Reviews | 208 Followers
82
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you'd enjoy two characters in a place and time deal with life, work and relationships on a well-designed set with great lighting & sound.

Don't see it if you are bothered by other's struggles and want a light, entertaining, fee-good play. This is serious drama.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
70
Contrived, Good acting, Overstuffed, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you want to see two nice performances in a melodramatic, convoluted study of an activist couple at the center of the Civil Rights Movement.

Don't see it if u want a focused story that fully fleshes out any of the myriad topics covered (racism, sexism, infidelity, lesbianism, abortion, addiction)

687 Reviews | 113 Followers
75
Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Indulgent, Slow

See it if Ambitious use of MLK's marriage as a template for 2nd drama in Love's black/queer trilogy Excellent acting (edge to DeWanda) carries evening

Don't see it if Drift towards melodrama is hastened by the weight of emotional baggage both actors carry (edge to DeWanda) Love's lush language eases load

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
75
Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Simmering performance

See it if Resentful pregnant reverend's wife reaches breaking point in tumultuous Deep South 1963. Fresh take on lesbian adultery of another decade.

Don't see it if Discomfited conclusion. Wise's simmering performance of female resentment is the only reason for this poorly written, manipulative melodrama

615 Reviews | 91 Followers
63
Great acting, Edgy, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy a taut drama about civil rights and human relationships.

Don't see it if you expect to see a drama about civil rights movement. The story gets high jacked by failed relationship plots in the middle of the play. Read more

495 Reviews | 126 Followers
79
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense

See it if outstanding performances by the two actors who are riveting; you're interested in race relations & inner workings & failings of marriage.

Don't see it if Beautiful writing & acting but too much going on; the play starts to feel forced and laden with trials and tribulations.

Critic Reviews (21)

The New York Times
October 15th, 2018

"I was moved by Mr. Love’s willingness to imagine, amid the terror of the times...other kinds of lives than the ones that history books offer. And as embodied by the fine performers here, those lives really do seem alive...But every time the play began to engage me through character it disengaged me through plot contrivance...What the actors can overcome, the story often cannot...The language, too, can seem awfully rich, perhaps deliberately in a play about oratory and faith."
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Time Out New York
October 15th, 2018

"Love may have a lot to say about black queer resilience and God’s bounty, but he hasn’t worked out how to gracefully deliver information...Both characters are stuffed with qualities that only emerge when they’re mentioned...It’s not the actors’ fault that they’re unable to make coherent characters out of this chaos of impulses and characteristics; it’s impressive, therefore, whenever they make an isolated speech ring with confidence. This happens in fits and starts."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 15th, 2018

"Its language and design create a fearful panorama...'Fireflies' aims for an emotional forte early on and doesn’t often vary its pitch...It’s like a very rich meal, eventually dulling the very senses it seeks to sharpen and satisfy...Part of me wanted to see the play that comes after 'Fireflies,'...That’s a play I haven’t seen. Despite the fine performances that drive 'Fireflies' forward, its tone and trajectory ultimately left me feeling like it was one that I had."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 15th, 2018

"One seriously overstuffed 90-minute drama...The work barely has room to breathe, with the playwright delivering an emotional whiplash-inducing series of plot revelations and reversals that stretch credibility to the breaking point...It's no fault of the actors, who deliver persuasive performances that are all the more impressive under the circumstances...While there's no denying its noble intentions and theatrical and thematic ambition, 'Fireflies' fails to take flight."
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Theatermania
October 15th, 2018

“Jaw-dropping and explosively dramatic...The second part of a trilogy...’Fireflies’ stands up on its own as a powerful tale of love flashing its light in the dark... All cuddles and kisses, Wise and Davis convincingly play a young couple...Director Saheem Ali artfully unveils the dynamics of this relationship...A drama of extraordinary depth and complexity...Love thrillingly crafts an intimate story that comes to feel cosmic in its enormity by the end. I can't wait to see the third installment.”
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Lighting & Sound America
November 1st, 2018

“A lot to pack into a ninety-minute two-hander, and I'd be lying if I said that Love has managed the task elegantly and seamlessly; he seems to be aiming for a hybrid of magical realism and kitchen sink domestic drama, a match that doesn't totally take...But Love is a talent...who knows how to create bristling, wounding confrontations...Love wins for originality, too: He composes a dark but compelling countermelody to the standard anthemic account of the Civil Rights movement."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 15th, 2018

“The second offering in 'The Love Plays'...‘Fireflies’ is a powerful exploration of a marriage filled with secrets...It packs a wallop in its oblique allusions to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and boasts two superb performances...Love's skillful script uncovers secrets the way a great chef peels an onion, and Ali directs with subtlety and understatement...The two plays come thrillingly together. It will be exciting to see Love's conclusion to the trilogy."
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New York Stage Review
October 15th, 2018

"In light of the explosive material with which he concerns himself, I’m inclined to wave away a reviewer’s standard concerns. His dire authorial concerns are that pressing...I take the position that if Love is overdoing it, it’s because he wants to be certain that no one is tempted to dismiss his conviction that the wages of racism remain too high to be paid by contemporary society...Directed fiercely by Saheem Ali and played with mounting ferocity by Davis and Wise."
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