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Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

From 108 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 (108)

MEMBERS SAY:

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

50
Ambitious, Long, Slow

See it if You're a fan of the playwright.

Don't see it if You don't want to have to sit for 3hours and 15 minutes.

Also It's ambitious to tackle 20 characters simultaneously. This was challe... Read more Read less

90
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate theater teeming with energy, with a large cast of well written and acted characters

Don't see it if You are turned off by abundant street language and profanity,

Also I love this writer’s work, and was not disappointed. It’s a rough imme... Read more Read less

80
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy Gurgis' writing, if you love thought-provoking ensemble pieces that put a lens over a ver underrepresented community

Don't see it if If you like your shows short, if difficult concepts make you uncomfortable

During previews
70
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if Plays more like a TV type of show. Humor, schtick around a halfway house play that is 3 hrs long.

Don't see it if If gurgis is not your type of writer, his works seem to be very familiar. More sitcom than play is not for you.

During previews
76
Relevant, Good acting, Good writing, Drawn-out, Preachy

See it if u can devote 3+ hrs (much of which is editable) to Guirgis' latest exploration of urban struggles filled w/wit, pathos & colorful characters

Don't see it if u'll feel unsatisfied by unexplored stories & underdeveloped characters (inevitabilities in such an overstuffed drama); u need a pick-me-up.

Also Guirgis' great ear for, support for & representation of the disenfranc... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Indulgent, Great acting, Dizzying, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Colon-Zayas & Rodriguez lead a ferociously talented ensemble through Guirgis' epic drama of a tumultuous journey toward sobriety & salvation

Don't see it if The usual Guirgis appliques apply: too long. too indulgent, too profane as well as too humane, too heartbreaking A true love or hate saga

During previews
74
Lots of guirgis schtick, A few memorable performances, A few memorable characters, Uneven

See it if you love what this playwright does, even when he’s writing on automatic pilot.

Don't see it if typical Guirgis schtick no longer moves you.

Also Guirgis always feels to me like TV for the stage. Sometimes it’s top d... Read more Read less

During previews
84
Funny, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy plays with large casts, slice of life stories about staff & residents of a female halfway house, reality with humor & warmth

Don't see it if don't enjoy 3+hour plays, realistic portrayals of damaged humans, vivid depictions of sex & mental illness, broken social service system

During previews
90
Stephen adly guirgis' opus about the plight of female denizens of a halfway house, tho overstuffed, is magnificent

See it if heartbreaking; richness of novel w multiple story lines showing residents' misery & moments of grace; includes scabrously hilarious putdowns

Don't see it if overlong, unfocused w far 2 many characters & plot lines; still this is breathtaking achievement making us c humanity of the marginalized

Also The production set in a halfway house/HH on the Upper West Side/UWS ha... Read more Read less

During previews
84
Important, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a highly original, timely, relevant play with a diverse cast playing vibrant, fully-formed characters.

Don't see it if You dislike urban plays featuring characters representing underserved communities — recovering addicts, criminals, the homeless, etc.

During previews
79
Relevant, Compelling, Ambitious, Intense, Absorbing

See it if interested in the inner life & workings of an urban female 1/2 way house; gamut of emotions & problems portrayed with angst, humor & sadness

Don't see it if doesn't feel ready, too many plot lines hamper a deeper understanding of some characters; life is hard; play needs tightening

Also The acting is terrific, fierce and dangerous. Makes you aware of how g... Read more Read less

During previews
87
Believable characters, Great acting

See it if You enjoy dramas with real characters that are flawed

Don't see it if You are looking for an uplifting and happy story. This is dark and depressing and that’s what makes it great

Also I’ve seen some of the reviews saying that this is 3 hours and 30 minut... Read more Read less

During previews
83
Realistic, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if The lives of women in a halfway house are explored through everyday life and group meetings. Many different personalities to contend with.

Don't see it if You have an aversion to drug use and smoking on stage. Sexual references and LGBTQ issues are presented. Can be uncomfortable.

Also This play is three hours long. There is a large cast of characters, so... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Overstuffed, Relevant, Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Guirgis and you have an interest in urban social problems. It's both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Don't see it if you don't like rough language and sexual situations or plays about those at the bottom of the social ladder.

Also Guirgis's talent for capturing ghetto dialog is amazing. His monologue... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy character driven plays with characters who develop positively during the course of the action; mostly realistic portrayals

Don't see it if foul language, smoking, depressing characters and situations are not what you come to see.

Also Some very touching scenes in which the women helped each other and dev... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if a show about a group of women in a safe house dealing with social services and life in the big bad city

Don't see it if foul language and sexual situations crudely presented are not your speed

Also Gurgis is known for his innate ability to present a "ghetto" voice and... Read more Read less

During previews
82
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Multiple characters in a halfway house, many well-developed with touching stories; both very humorous and very disturbing moments

Don't see it if don't want profanity, disturbing scene of drug use; long play at 3 hours (apparently has been cut); don't want plays with so many characters

Also Found 2nd act much more moving so worth staying (some left at intermis... Read more Read less

During previews
79
No holds barred, Needs editing, Great ensemble piece, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if A gritty yet almost hopeful story of lives of women in a shelter. Lots of threads stay well-rendered. SAG’s most accessible play, I think

Don't see it if A 3-hour play is more than you can enjoy. Definitely needs pruning. While affecting & well-acted, issues residents deal with are predictable

During previews
84
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Guirgis' plays often reflect the travails of the underprivileged and underserved members of society.This one,in a women's halfway house, is

Don't see it if The play has much foul language and a nude scene. It is almost 3 hours long,but the time never drags.

Also full of diverse, memorable characters.The performances by all are outs... Read more Read less

During previews
76
Dramedy about failure and redemption needs better focus

See it if you're a Guirgis fan who's up for seeing something not quite ready for prime time.

Don't see it if A show about people with severe problems is too depressing for you.

Also Act 1 was hard for me to handle, being introduced to all these trouble... Read more Read less

During previews
48
A (too) few moments of poignancy & hilarity does not a play make, So very preachy, Needs to lose 3-4 characters, 2-3 storylines, and 75-80 minutes, A slow, meandering parade of eccentric characters and the occasional snappy one-liners, Overlong, overwritten, overwrought

See it if Must see the latest from Guirgis. Have 3:15 to spare and have a lot of patience. Like NYC-based settings and stories.

Don't see it if Want to see a finished product ready for the stage. Are easily offended by language, nudity, sexual situations.

Also I like this playwright and his previous work (Riverside, Hat, etc,), b... Read more Read less

During previews
55
Slow, Disappointing, Too long, Well written dialogue, Cliched

See it if You would see any play written by Guirgis even one that is not ready for the stage.

Don't see it if Well written dialogue does not compensate for lack of a compelling drama.

During previews
90
Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Brilliant performances from almost every one of the 18! actors.Nobody writes better and funnier dialogue than Guirgis. Plenty of plot lines.

Don't see it if By far the most commercial/accessible play of SAG's. More than a bit manipulative but I still loved it, although I prefer his older stuff.

During previews
82
Brutal, tragic, inescapably true

See it if a large, diverse, superb cast in beautifully crafted rolls revealing the ugly reality of tragic lives grabs your soul. Tough but true; sad.

Don't see it if overt sexuality, profane language, and the reality of self-destructive and lives we choose to ignore is more than you can tolerate on stage

During previews
85
Overlong but overwhelming, Wonderful ensemble performances, Powerful writing

See it if An eloquent (in the vernacular) look at society's cast-offs and discards.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in how your neighborhood panhandler wound up on your street corner.

Also Stephen Guirgis has attempted an epic of the downtrodden. The rise and... 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)."
read more
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."
read more

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