Fruiting Bodies
Closed 1h 40m
Fruiting Bodies
72

Fruiting Bodies NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(21 Reviews)
Positive
76%
Mixed
14%
Negative
10%
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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Member Reviews (21)

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983 Reviews | 229 Followers
65
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.

692 Reviews | 152 Followers
80
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

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
72
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

668 Reviews | 155 Followers
88
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

431 Reviews | 131 Followers
71
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.

425 Reviews | 62 Followers
82
Exquisite

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

374 Reviews | 69 Followers
75
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.

285 Reviews | 47 Followers
69
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.

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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TheaterScene.net
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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StageBiz.com
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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8asians
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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