Good Grief NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(64 Reviews)
Positive
75%
Mixed
20%
Negative
5%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Ambitious

About the Show

Nkechi was a good Nigerian-American girl. She did everything right. Went to med school. Made plans. Then life happened. A first-generation immigrant coming-of-age journey of love, loss, and growing into adulthood.

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Member Reviews (64)

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971 Reviews | 227 Followers
83
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting

See it if If you want a heartfelt memorable show. One that tugs on emotion.

Don't see it if if you don't want to focus to hard. If you do not want to listen, words are spoken in between lines if you will.

668 Reviews | 155 Followers
86
Affecting, Well played, Uneven, Beautifully written

See it if you'd like to see a solid play from an eloquent young writer about people who don't often appear on our stages: African immigrants to the US

Don't see it if you are looking for a straight, chronological, realistic play without any fantasy elements. Read more

617 Reviews | 274 Followers
59
Memory play centering on loss of dear childhood friend of nigerian-am girl never explains why her grief is good

See it if 4 good portrait Niger-Am family full of warmth/humor; winning cheeky performance by Ngozi Anyanwa growing up in PA; rich musical backdrop

Don't see it if pointless: tho see Ngozi's devastatn @ loss of friend, see no implications 4 her personal development, family dynamics, etc. Read more

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
83
Absorbing, Edgy, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if Pal's 85% My 80% Happy with acting after reading reviews,. Interesting lighting effects. Always love the writer as an actor. Great audience

Don't see it if Reminder:1st few rows need raking. Some voices need a bit more projection Reminder:Subway does have an escalator at the 14th Street entrance

647 Reviews | 95 Followers
61
Absorbing, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy an interesting story about the effect of death on a young girl's life.Nice staging.

Don't see it if you want a story about immigrants. I also was annoyed by the young girl's lack of thought about having sex for first time. Read more

480 Reviews | 715 Followers
82
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intimate, Emotional

See it if you’re looking to have a good cry, or you enjoy stories told by fresh, young voices.

Don't see it if you’re looking to be cheered up. This is a sad, but also hopeful, story about a lost love.

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
70
Banal, Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Failing to heal from the loss of her first love, a Nigerian recalls familial support. Hunter Parrish has a small role.

Don't see it if Good grief! This is neither bad nor good grief. Flimsy sliding panel bi-level set. Dry ice alert! So it has to be a memory play.

510 Reviews | 130 Followers
79
Heartfelt, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Humorous

See it if Relive the protagonist's memories of young love/loss in a non linear telling. Did it really happen? Good acting, funny and sorrowful.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate coming of age stories. Best to sit farther back in the theater or crane your neck watching the 2 story set.

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
October 30th, 2018

"The very youthful profundity of such thoughts saturates this lyrical production, directed as a flickering string of moments by Awoye Timpo...In tone, ‘Good Grief’ brings to mind sentimental young adult novels of premature tragedy...In form, it is considerably more adventurous...'Good Grief' still registers throughout as an affecting study of the ambivalence of bereavement. And it is acted by a sensitive cast that finds the authentic emotion within even the most stylized scenes.”
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Time Out New York
October 30th, 2018

"Watching the play is like flipping through TV channels, alighting on different shows, and being moved by each out-of-context scene...The physical aspects of Timpo’s staging are less strong...Luckily, despite this noir nonsense, the actors keep playing in a major key. Anyanwu’s point is that we can take pleasure and solace in memories, even when they’ve been brushed by pain. The designers may zero in on the grief, but the rest of the show keeps its focus on the good."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 30th, 2018

“Its story is a heavy one, and could easily have gotten sucked into the whirlpools of weepiness. But Anyanwu and Timpo give it lift and breath. They make the play into a prism where, like light beams, we bounce between facets of memory and present circumstance...Anyanwu hardly ever cries. Not because she can’t go there as a performer, but because ‘Good Grief’ is interested in something else...Exploring not what grief actually looks like but what it feels like."
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Theatermania
October 30th, 2018

“A sensitive, if occasionally saggy exploration of grief and regret..Director Awoye Timpo stages these nuanced performances within an occasionally clunky production...Unfortunately, 'Good Grief' is unlikely to leave such a lasting impression. While heartfelt and well-performed, it is hamstrung by a lumbering production. It also doesn't say anything particularly revelatory about grief...It's good, but not great."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 31st, 2018

"The script consists of delaying tactics designed to keep Nkechi from reaching the inevitable moment when she must stare down her grief if she is to move forward...Anyanwu, the actress, is in the same fix as Anyanwu, the playwright -- clearly talented but without a clear way forward to make dramatic sense of Nkechi's troubles. In its final stretch, 'Good Grief' proves to be mildly touching -- but, really, one should be devastated"
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Talkin' Broadway
November 2nd, 2018

“A distinctly unconventional exploration of loss and bereavement...The magic in Anyanwu's writing is her ability to craft dialogue that sounds natural, while at the same time working in a vernacular that's distinctly her own...Beautifully directed by Awoye Timpo...Making sense of our mortality is one of life's inevitable riddles and Anyanwu's lyrical and heartfelt attempt to dramatize one young woman's search for an answer is as poignant as it is moving.”
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New York Stage Review
October 30th, 2018

“At its heart 'Good Grief’ is honest and engaging. But it’s hampered by Anyanwu’s overwrought structure...The central characters, N and MJ, are more than appealing enough to grab our hearts. So why mess around with Zeus and the gang...Though it centers on N and MJ’s friendship...'Good Grief’ is at its best, and most grounded, during a scene between N and her brother...It’s low-key and heartfelt, and more magical than anything any of those gods could possibly conjure up.”
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Theatre is Easy
October 30th, 2018

"Gorgeous and poignant...Anyanwu’s storytelling is completely unique and constantly engaging. The non-linear timeline is reminiscent of human memory: sometimes we remember things differently than they really happened, maybe because we remember things the way we wished they’d happen. Awoye Timpo’s direction tackles the disjointed timeline easily, with pacing and staging that make perfect sense, allowing the audience to follow the story without any confusion."
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