Already closed | 1h 40m | Chelsea

Fireflies

From 169 member  reviews
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." More…

A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speech writing is the sole force behind her charismatic husband Charles and his successful Movement to galvanize people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia and Charles’ marriage is threatened – as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.”



Member Reviews (169)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Ambitious
79
Avg Score

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.

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.

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)

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

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.

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

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.

Also I was so disappointed in this play. The start of the play and setting ... Read more Read less

98
Two golden performances by dewanda wise and khris davis, A stunning blend of kitchen-sink drama and magical realism, Absorbing, Resonant, Relevant

See it if you are interested in young playwrights, Donja R. Love is a writer to keep your eye on. This is a stunning production!

Don't see it if you don't like historical-based plays mixed with magical realism. If you don't want to be intellectually stimulated.

80
Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if Poignant tale of "lost love", current marriage & its trials & tribulations. Things get wild about halfway through. Kitchen knife etc.

Don't see it if Some beginning scenes could use some trimming as they are slow-moving.

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.

70
Too many themes!, Sad, intense, occasionally moving, Fussy stage business, Lovely set/lighting

See it if Like a 2-hander that attempts to explore strained marriage, race, real events, madness, infidelity, pregnancy, love, loss and MORE.

Don't see it if Want simpler story. Too much being said here in uneven script. The actors struggle w limitations of character. Too long, false endings.

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Must see

See it if You love great drama and acting. Relevant especially today October 27!!!

Don't see it if You have no empathy and aren’t really interested in great theatre.

79
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Great story and acting. DeWanda Wise gives such an emotive performance—amount of tears she produced in a single performance is astounding

Don't see it if you prefer to see plays with typical characters you've come to expect. The characters here are more complex and largely omitted from history

74
Confusing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy new works by artists of color about this country's shameful history of racism.

Don't see it if you're looking for a tight, taut production. This is lyrical with lovely acting but it meanders a bit.

77
Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging, Over written

See it if you want a look at black middle class lives in the '60s.Acting is great.Play is way too wordy.Story needs to be more concise. LOONG speeches

Don't see it if you want a real look at the civil rights movement.Playwright tosses in too many side issues, strays from main subject.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy theater that explores complex characters hidden behind the shadow of headline events.

Don't see it if you expect a storyline that is well developed. The plot is not as well drawn as the characters.

70
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy period pieces about segregation set in the 60's. Story was moving and well acted. Great symbolism and use of metaphor.

Don't see it if uneven period pieces don't suit you. The play had too many contrivances to be totally believable.

73
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense

See it if A well acted drama composed of too many storylines. Uneven however touching at times, especially the end which tries to pull it together.

Don't see it if Do not see if you prefer light dramas or musicals.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Moving, Intense

See it if Moving story set in the immediate aftermath of church bombing in Alabama; snippets of emotional church sermons being practiced.

Don't see it if Don't want deep issues portrayed Many of them - in addition to civil rights movement, also deception in marriage, abortion, queer love.

Also Some parts were a little too contrived but overall a very good story w... Read more Read less

90
Grippingly and emotionally resonant, Thoughtful, A satisfying blend of humor, seriousness, magical realism, and history, Intelligent writing, Helmed by a talented acting duo

See it if a fan of playwright Donja R. Love or actors Dewanda Wise & Khris Davis, who are perfectly electric; you crave intelligent historical dramas.

Don't see it if frank talk about love, abortion, extramarital affairs, bombings, and black experience in the 1960s American South aren’t your type of play.

Also A sadly-familiar portrait of a world on fire, chillingly, Fireflies st... Read more Read less

81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a show with strong emotional pull and great acting, but which takes on too many issues for so brief a play.

Don't see it if you want one strong, fully developed plot line that does not deviate with other issues. Or you don't like two character plays.

Also This show is powerful and emotional, but it flits from one issue to th... Read more Read less

73
Superb acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Repetitive, A bit manipulative

See it if you like shows about troubled marriages, being African-American in the USA, complex characters and wonderful acting.

Don't see it if you dislike plays that deal with marital conflict, gender roles, "tortured" souls and complex human emotions.

74
Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Intelligent, Overwritten

See it if You want to contemplate civil rights issues from the female pov, interspersed with personal dynamics

Don't see it if You want a focused script that doesn't veer around too much, playwright seems uncertain about where it's all going .

77
Ambitious, Great acting, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Overlong,

See it if you want to see some fine acting, including real tears. Some lovely scenes.

Don't see it if you're looking for a coherent plot. Several fake endings. Even at only 90 minutes, it went on too long.

50
Intense, Ambitious

See it if and only you are dying to see Donja R. Loves's latest creation.

Don't see it if a surprisingly BENIGN play would leave you scratching you head after sitting through it for more than two hours.

Also I am happy over the idea that a black playwright is getting his play p... Read more Read less


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...
read more
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 characte...
read more
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,'...
read more
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 performance...
read more

Related content