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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if Moving experience about African-American life in 1963. Interesting twist in the plot

Don't see it if If you have an issue with gay topics.

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.

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 .

71
Great performances, Kind of implausible, Unfocused

See it if You appreciate good acting and don't mind if the material doesn't quite measure up.

Don't see it if The Sixties don't interest you; social issues such as civil rights don't interest you.

Also As others have noted, the play tries to tackle too many issues, and th... Read more Read less

71
Disappointing, Great staging, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Excruciating

See it if for the incredible performance by Khris Davis and behind the scenes fictionalized info​ on civil right heroes.

Don't see it if you don't like a show that has only two actors--and you find plots with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in too convoluted, too much.

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want to see two terrific performances that, while portraying simply drawn characters, made these characters extraordinary. Simple story.

Don't see it if You’re looking for action, comedy, a large cast, or something more than well done off-Broadway theater. This is a small work that enthralls.

Also I did not personally love the ending, but I didn’t disagree with it. T... 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...
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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...
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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,'...
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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...
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