Closed 1h 40m
Fruiting Bodies
Midtown W

Fruiting Bodies NYC Reviews and Tickets

(21 Reviews)
Members say
Quirky, Great acting, Slow, Confusing, Clever

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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Member Reviews (21)

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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

Critic Reviews (8)

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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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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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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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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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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