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Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

From 107 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Ambitious, Relevant

About the show

Atlantic and LAByrinth Theater Company present the latest from Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis, a comic drama exploring the inner workings of a women’s halfway house in New York City. More…

From the show:

Atlantic is thrilled to partner with LAByrinth Theater Company to present Guirgis’ first new play since Atlantic Theater Company’s 2014 award-winning production of Between Riverside and Crazy.

Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis takes his style to another level in this world premiere play about the harrowing, humorous, and heartbreaking inner workings of a women’s halfway house in New York City, helmed by John Ortiz (LAByrinth Artistic Director) in his Off-Broadway directing debut.


Member Reviews (107)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Ambitious, Relevant
83
Avg Score

74
Unconvincing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like gritty dramedies. Everyone has major probs, even administrators. Snappy dialogue, but most of the voices are similar. Needs cuts.

Don't see it if you want characters/plot to make sense. Lots of holes! Still, engrossing. Action in front of stage hard to see/hear. Strg acting by lg cast.

83
Timely, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Important message. Well written & performed. Moving, realistic and painful to watch.

Don't see it if As exciting as act1 is, act 2 (when things get real) does drag a bit. A 15min cut would've been ideal.

84
Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy shows with lots of characters, all very well defined, interesting and multi-layered. Story is engaging and entertaining.

Don't see it if You dislike long shows. Although this is long it goes by pretty fast.

87
Thought-provoking, Diverse, Profound, Funny, Relevant

See it if Struggling yet entertaining characters. Great dialog. Themes include dignity, community, & how much do people care, even about themselves?

Don't see it if You aren't up for an almost 3 hour play with a large cast. Satire delivers serious themes with humor, but acting is sometimes over the top.

90
Edgy, Relevant, Great writing, Funny, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy ensemble pieces with no clear narrative (like an Altman film), or are looking for truth in theatre. Guirgis never pulls punches.

Don't see it if you like your shows safe. Like any Stephen Adly Guirgis work, this show is brash, in your face, and full of dark and uncomfortable humor.

100
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Incredible play! Brilliant acting, great ensemble work. Interesting and compelling throughout. Eye opening.

Don't see it if You don’t like long plays (3 hours 15 mins one intermission). Or if you don’t like swearing. There is a ton of it in almost every sentence.

Also I want to see it again. So much happening onstage that you can’t take ... Read more Read less

98
Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if if you are a fan of Labyrinth Theatre Co., their writers, actors and directors. This is one of Guirgis finest. The close to 3 hours fly by!

Don't see it if you can't sit for 3 hours. But try... this is an outstanding evening of theatre, one of the best plays you will see.

80
Uneven, Worth seeing, Ponderous, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you like dramas about serious issues.Acting is mainly fine.Design elements are very good.It has a lot to say about our caring for homeless

Don't see it if you want something light and frothy. There is some humor, but mainly this explores what life is like in a women's shelter.Important issues.

85
Relevant, Great writing, Dizzying, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like vignette character studies that add up to a case study of the overlooked.

Don't see it if You don’t want to face realism-driven issues.

Also Overstuffed at 3 hours and too many characters. Would have worked well... Read more Read less

82
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You admire Guigis’ work. Set in a doomed half-way house, we feel the hopelessness of the adrft residents & the harsh lives they live.

Don't see it if You prefer a happy, more hopeful story

80
Thought-provoking, Intense, Entertaining, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You like Guirgis. This wasn’t his strongest, but kept me really entertained for 3 hours. The ending was phenomenal. It made up for missteps

Don't see it if You don’t like profanity, nudity, drug use, and the myriad of emotions you’d expect in a halfway house. Entertaining, without greatness.

80
Way too long, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Ambitious

See it if you like good acting with multiple story lines; you want to see a play that humanizes the homeless

Don't see it if you don't care to see a play involving homeless women; you can't enjoy a overly long production even if the subject matter is interesting

80
Great actors feel like they are competing for stage time, Guris's voice confused between authentic and cliched, Play needs more glue and editing, Many moments of beauty

See it if You enjoy Guris or stories of the street but don't expect M*WAH. See it in order to watch many great actors (Labyrinth) doing their thing

Don't see it if You want light fare, there are many comedic moments but ultimately this is a serious and at times very dark piece or If you disdain swearing

Also HWBGSTH is incredibly ambitious. Guris contrasts contemporary use of r... Read more Read less

84
Pitch perfect ensemble including (literal) scapegoat, Bracing flow of profane urban patois, Guirgis' group underclass portrait sometimes cliched but always humane & mostly engaging

See it if Guirgis' panorama of the disenfranchised residents & staff of a doomed halfway house gives each of the 18-strong cast a moment to shine

Don't see it if Indulgent in length, as if to tell us that these characters, seldom encountered onstage, deserve every second of their nearly 3hr stage time

Also Guirgis has deployed these group portraits before in such large-cast p... Read more Read less

82
Saints have a past, sinners have a future!

See it if Guirgis has such an amazing writing technique that captures the humanity of these characters; great cast!

Don't see it if abuse (domestic, drug, physical, sexual, verbal, LGBQT); redemption; despair and hope

Also I’ve only seen two of Guirgis’ other plays (Jesus Hopped the A Train a... Read more Read less

95
Stephen adly guirgis at his best

See it if You are a fan of Stephen Adly Guirgis. Or want a beautiful portrait of damaged people.

Don't see it if You want lite and fluffy, or need to love all the characters.

Also It made me laugh and it broke my heart, what more can you ask for.

85
Excellent acting, Intelligent

See it if you aren't quite comfortable with the homeless, the druggies, the obese, or those who are LGBT. See it so you can feel some empathy.

Don't see it if you are closed minded and have no patience for people who are less fortunate than you.

Also At first, I thought this play isn't for me. It was loud and there were... Read more Read less

85
Cliched, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want an entertaining evening with characters who are realistic and well-acted by a wonderful ensemble cast.

Don't see it if You're offended by language, simulated drug use or if you are looking for a super complex plot line.

65
Not sure what the overall point was

See it if you like big shows with many characters and multiple plot lines. Only a few storylines resonated with me.

Don't see it if you are seeking a higher truth, some meaning, or a message. Also, it's three hours and it felt long. Could use some trimming.

91
Relevant, Resonant, Masterful, Great acting, Funny

See it if you love terrific acting and writing. So happy to see a play featuring so many wonderful female characters. Great Guirgis.

Don't see it if You only like musical or comedies or find three hours too tiring. Otherwise there is no excuse not to see this show.

86
Resonant, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You care for marginal people

Don't see it if You don’t have any interest in poverty or troubled women

82
Thought-provoking, Painfully truthful, Beautiful ensemble acting

See it if despite a title that might put you off. A slice of the darker, harder side of life but worth your time. It's moving.

Don't see it if you don't like to think at the theater and have no interest in social commentary.

75
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense

See it if you would enjoy a show with a large ensemble cast addressing difficult societal urban issues.

Don't see it if you are not interested a loud gritty play about characters who are not particularly sympathetic.

Also I thought the play should have been significantly edited. Almost all t... Read more Read less

85
Great writing, Great staging, Relevant, Riveting, Resonant

See it if Youre looking for a raw look at the lives of women living on the edge in a homeless shelter-visceral, volatile, painful lives

Don't see it if You are looking for a light and upbeat show that doesn't use profanity or is set in a womens homeless shelter

96
Fantastic

See it if You are a fan of Mr. Adly Guirgis's previous work. You like ensemble based plays.

Don't see it if You are in the mood for a pure comedy, or don't want complex and at time unlikeable characters.

Also Holy cow, this was fantastic, easily one of the best plays I've seen i... Read more Read less


December 9th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK. ‘Halfway Bitches’ Review: A Play as Unruly as Life Itself Stephen Adly Guirgis’s bumpy, vibrant and expansive comic drama about a women’s homeless shelter features a cast of 18 (or 19, counting the goat)."
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December 9th, 2019
3/5 Stars. "The structure is loose: a collection of friction between big personalities...Couched in the wit and rhythms of Guirgis's free-flowing banter, their interactions are often diverting, despite their scattershot nature."
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December 20th, 2019
"STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS’S WORLD OF BROKEN WOMEN: 'Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven,' Guirgis’s rough-cut gem of a new play, is rich with revelation and barbed empathy."
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December 9th, 2019
"Stephen Adly Guirgis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Between Riverside and Crazy,' explores the troubled lives of the residents and staffers of a women's halfway house in this world premiere."
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