Fruiting Bodies
Closed 1h 40m
Fruiting Bodies

Fruiting Bodies NYC Reviews and Tickets

(21 Ratings)
Members say
Quirky, Great acting, Slow, Confusing, Resonant

About the Show

Ma-Yi's latest production tells story of two sisters trapped in a Northern CA forest which seems to keep shape-shifting around them as they search for their father who is lost on a mushroom-hunting expedition.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (21)

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679 Reviews | 160 Followers
Psychologically acute, Nature-loving, Innovative, Quirky, Fearless

See it if you'd like to see a strong play from an original, innovative young playwright.

Don't see it if you are looking for a fully naturalistic play: This piece plays with the form & has supernatural elements. Read more

131 Reviews | 45 Followers
Great design, Confusing, Refreshing, Enchanting

See it if / to be brought into a magical yet naturalistic and interesting family drama. Hapa (mixed-race Asian) actors playing hapa characters, a plus

Don't see it if you may want everything wrapped up in a bow at the end; don't like not getting all your questions answered.

586 Reviews | 95 Followers

See it if In the foggy enchanted forest, a mystical unfolding of 3 siblings' trajectories because of their semi-traditional father. Mixed race actors!

Don't see it if Family stories, daddy-ish issues coping with distant fathers, light magic / nonlinear time, or mixed race / hapa issues aren't your thing. Read more

752 Reviews | 165 Followers
Indulgent, Intelligent, Slow, Cliched, Absorbing

See it if interested in Asian-American writers & cast, enjoy multi-generation family plays, want to learn a bit about mushrooms, see a woods-based set

Don't see it if you need straight-forward linear plot, confused by an actor playing several roles including a mushroom, don't like obvious family secrets

147 Reviews | 22 Followers
Quirky, Resonant, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy an exploration of family issues, father issues, sister issues... Asian-American actors... mushrooms... magical forest?

Don't see it if you don't enjoy somewhat fantastical elements... exploring family issues.

60 Reviews | 15 Followers
Resonant, Great acting, Slow, Clever

See it if you like family drama blends with magic realism, haunting past meets present, and mushroom hunting...

Don't see it if non-linear plots tend to confuse you.

278 Reviews | 36 Followers
Indulgent, Quirky, Resonant, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if The poetic writing and significant family/societal themes provide some power and absorbing intrigue. Provocative production design.

Don't see it if Ultimately rambling, seems unfocused.

77 Reviews | 10 Followers
Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if a family story set against a backdrop of mushroom hunting sounds intriguing.

Don't see it if you dislike family dramas interwoven with nature. Read more

Critic Reviews (8)

Talkin' Broadway
May 10th, 2019

"Sesma gives a beautiful performance as the kind of man who would be reduced to black or white views online. Kikue and Corwin are splendid as his daughters, although neither of their characters gets the chance to become more than supporting players, exclusively there to provide comic relief and context. At the center of 'Fruiting Bodies' there is a very traditional living room drama, complete with a couch made out of rocks and explosive arguments during dinner."
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May 1st, 2019

"With 'Bodies,' playwright Sam Chanse attempts to explore the realities of Japanese-American culture in the 21st century, but gets lost in the process. 'Bodies' is at its core an exploration of familial ties and meaningful human connections, as is made clear by the time it reaches its multiple emotional climaxes. Its monologues about mushrooms and self-worth suggest a more ambitious artistic treatise, but ultimately weaken those other core themes."
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Theatre is Easy
April 30th, 2019

"Chanse’s writing excels in creating a refreshing world where racial identity is seamlessly intertwined with the rising action of the play, but is not the cause of primary theme...Unfortunately, there are times where the script veers a little too far from its roots, and pacing becomes a concern...Although Chanse has created a lush world, anchored by fascinating themes, it feels like 'Fruiting Bodies' is still finding the best pathway to flourish amidst a changing and complex climate."
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Exeunt Magazine
April 29th, 2019

“A project that hasn’t quite figured itself out yet; neither Sam Chanse’s script nor Shelley Butler’s direction ever quite lands on a consistent aesthetic or tone...At its core, the play is a gentle, largely conventional family drama...But Chanse adds a bunch of additional layers, not entirely successfully: The play dances around all kinds of big ideas - but the ideas are mostly draped over the top of plot elements rather than feeling intrinsic to the characters.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
May 10th, 2019

"Mixes conventional and and magic realism in a way that sometimes suggests a mushroom trip. Not a particularly mind-blowing one, though…While the tonal shifts make us question what's real and what's not, the dramatic action and characters are rarely inviting enough to inspire making the effort… All the performances are satisfactory but none rises above the script's most essential requirements, nor does Shelley Butler's bland, dully paced direction go the extra mile."
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Diandra Reviews it All
May 1st, 2019

“’Fruiting Bodies’ does pick up in its latter half as the pieces of its emotional puzzle begin to align. It becomes clearer in its messages and attempts to redeem characters that do not claim they want redemption while seeking it...Chanse’s writing is earthy and imaginative; trying to picture the inner pains we do not know how to express outwardly...’Fruiting Bodies’ succeeds in bringing forth a tale of self-reflection and growth; even if it is amongst a lot of mushroom talk.”
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April 30th, 2019

"'Fruiting Bodies’ is a call to the wild parts of ourselves that have been starved of oxygen. It’s a hunt to find the elusive, the dangerous, the long buried...It’s a thought provoking transformation play...Butler keeps the tensions running high and then gently lulls you into soporific states where you feel half awake and half asleep...There is a robust physicality to her direction...A lovely rollercoaster of satisfying peaks and valleys...The cast are all outstanding."
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May 7th, 2019

"Chanse, director Butler, and a team of sharp actors are able to bring across a subtle portrayal of Asian American life; one that is grounded in place, history, and a surprising amount of science...A carefully crafted work built on a network of unfair family dynamics, the ever-changing Bay Area, a glimpse into Japanese American experience, and a deep sense of longing...The carefully crafted touch points are ubiquitous but only really come into focus when you stop looking."
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