Already closed | 1h 40m | Midtown W

Fruiting Bodies

From 21 member  reviews
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.


After encountering a mysterious young boy who bears a striking resemblance to their absent brother, the family searches for the road back, tackling limited visibility and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes. 

Member Reviews (21)


Quirky, Great acting, Slow, Confusing, Resonant
Avg Score

Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if If you want to see four good actors and good direction.

Don't see it if Shiw is good at beginning, better at end, however, the middle of it is slow, gets boring and loses steam. If you want something consistent.

Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if Quirky, off-beat drama about 2nd generation Asian American family Magic realism muddies better handled realistic elements on a handsome set

Don't see it if Despite some fine poetic writing, the subplots keep hallucinating (esp around father's onsite of dementia) The two daughters fare the best

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.

Also Now that I have seen productions of 2 full-length plays of Sam Chanse,... Read more Read less

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

Magical surrealism, Unfocused, Odd, Non-linear, Quirky

See it if hmmm, well. The actors are good and in a cool forest set while showing us lotsa family dynamics and searching for non-poisonous mushrooms.

Don't see it if Don’t want windy meditations/explications re fungi, family, aging, a gay son v a trad dad, more. It's odd posing as lyrical. Story unclear.

Different, Interesting

See it if you are interested in plots about family relationships and cultural issues.

Don't see it if you prefer larger productions or are sensitive to mental issues of aging parents.


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.

Also Ticket from website using discount code for $31.88.

Slow, Quirky, Great acting, Funny

See it if You enjoy quirky dramadies performed by four very good actors

Don't see it if This show was interesting at the very beginning and end. However, the majority was very much less interesting.

Dizzying, Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if Like nonsense performed on stage by good actors

Don't see it if Make your own excuse why you do not need to see it- stay home, dance under the rain, participate in mashroom hunt-and please, do not go

Also I would rather spend 100 minuts without intermission listening about m... Read more Read less

Slow, Quirky, Great acting, Confusing, Cliched

See it if you're longing for a story involving Japanese Americans that is basically a living room dysfunctional family drama set in the woods.

Don't see it if you hate magical realism, endless exposition, & stories that lack any real events or plot. Some great acting, though!

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.

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.

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.

Great design, Great direction, Great writing, Quirky

See it if you enjoy seeing new plays, shows with strong direction, and quirky family dramas

Don't see it if you get confused by non-linear plot lines or would rather see a musical

Also It’s not my favourite play of Sam Chanse’s that I’ve seen/read, but th... Read more Read less

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.

Also While it seems like a typical family story in some ways (a tale of a f... Read more Read less

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.

Excruciating, Cliched

See it if You just like going to theatre

Don't see it if You want a solid show with competent direction

Intelligent, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You are interested in current American family dynamics, history and comedy.

Don't see it if You are expecting a feel good, happy hollywood like show.

Great writing, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting, Clever

See it if You like your contemporary drama mixed with a little magical realism. And if you hunt mushrooms

Don't see it if You might have a problem with a giant talking mushroom

During previews
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Intelligent, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if Family funghi hunting for their Japanese-American identity."We're mixed,too,it's a big deal." And "No inner compass--a symbol for judgment."

Don't see it if Sprouts and spores and morrells, oh my! Family just struggles to be found by each other with the assist of tiresome talking mushroom boy.

Also "Yellowism was taking something that wasn't yours & making it your own... Read more Read less

During previews
Great staging, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if mushrooms! magical forest! a very different kind of asian story! succeeded in bringing familiar character dynamics into the surreal

Don't see it if you're uninterested in monologues about mushrooms and art

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 c...
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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 em...
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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.....
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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 su...
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