Already closed | 0h 50m | Brooklyn

He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box

From 36 member  reviews
Members say: Confusing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow

About the show

This world premiere from Theatre for a New Audience is a memory tale of segregation, theatrical yearning, and doomed love, set in Georgia and New York City in 1941. More…

Adrienne Kennedy, in her first new play in nine years, braids together the indignities of Jim Crow, rising Nazism, sexual hypocrisy, Christopher Marlowe, and the lingering shadow of a terrible crime. The action of 'He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box' is driven by lyrical parallel monologues and a chilling tour through a storeroom of charged images.


Member Reviews (36)

MEMBERS SAY:

Confusing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow
68
Avg Score

86
Dizzying, Ambitious, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you want to experience how a system of racial segregation wounded people & communities in the southern US, & better understand its legacy.

Don't see it if you do not like a theater in which the logic operates not by sequential plot but by image & association.

Also I experienced this play as a series of sharp jolts. Onstage it’s a str... Read more Read less

71
Annoying declamatory mode, Arresting visuals, Deliberately obscure, Driven by theme rather than plot or character

See it if you wouldn’t be bothered by a jigsaw puzzle w/ missing pieces; will overlook frustrating stylistic devices to remember an important history

Don't see it if you don’t need a series of disconnected declamatory monologues to convince you of the sin of Jim Crow segregation

Also There are really fine, sensitive moments in this play (a heart-stoppin... Read more Read less

75
Enchanting, Exquisite, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy different theatrical experiences and a nuanced look at an awkward period of US history regarding interracial relationships.

Don't see it if you prefer clear plots and more dialogue between characters. These characters barely interact directly.

73
Great acting, Confusing, Slow, Absorbing, Disappointing

See it if interested in the legacy of Jim Crow laws, relationships under them, plays that are a series of monologues; great acting and clever staging

Don't see it if you don't like brevity, don't care about character development, don't like poetic words

Also Was disappointed because the topic was interesting & her words are won... Read more Read less

69
Disappointing, Overrated, Relevant

See it if You want to think about problems with blacks integrating in the past.

Don't see it if You expect to see a great play.

65
Overrated, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Frustrating, Confusing

See it if you don't mind seeing a beautifully staged, beautifully acted IDEA for a play, with no clear resolution and frustratingly murky story line.

Don't see it if you are less than thrilled at spending twice as much time getting to and from the theater as the length of the play itself.

Also And at least 1/4 of the already brief running time is by Noel Coward!

80
Absorbing, Confusing, Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to be challenged by a short but deeply thought-provoking play that is elliptical, strange, perplexing, and fascinating.

Don't see it if You want a straightforward narrative or want bang for your buck. You’re easily frustrated by semi-opaque narratives.

Also This is a fascinating experience. That said, I can’t tell how much rea... Read more Read less

70
Absorbing, Confusing, Overrated, Delightful

See it if for short, sweet poetic theater, wonderfully acted . Confusing plot..more story is untold then revealed.

Don't see it if You want a linear easy to understand play.

75
Enchanting, Confusing, Romantic, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if gorgeous and poetic and romantic and disturbing

Don't see it if abstract and difficult to follow at times

80
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing, Great visuals

See it if you're willing to listen hard. Adrienne Kennedy's plays require an alert ear or you'll get lost amidst her mix of personal and historical.

Don't see it if you can't handle two fragmented, interconnecting monologues about our national history of racism as it plays out in one biracial family.

62
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you like ambitious dramas even when they don't succeed & you enjoy plays that make you think even when your thinking doesn't provide answers

Don't see it if you struggle with non-linear plays or if you want to understand what you watched by the time you leave the theater (or even weeks later...)

70
Intriguing, intense, but at times confusing

See it if you're interested in Adrienne Kennedy and a thoughtful take on racism and crushed aspirations.

Don't see it if you'd avoid an experimental play with fractured chronology.

Also I sat on the side and could not always hear what the actors were sayin... Read more Read less

75
Absorbing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a well written one act. Beautifully staged and lit. Leaves you wanting more. Haunting and evocative. Kennedy does not disapoint

Don't see it if you are not a fan of short plays, stories with abstract elements. Kennedy has a great script, but the actors must be connected to the work

Also The male lead wasn't emotionally connected to the material. The chemis... Read more Read less

65
Confusing, Great acting

See it if You want to explain what happened to me. Acting was great, that puppet was amazingly evocative.

Don't see it if I was seriously unclear what was going on.

70
Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you're up for a challenging play with great acting that can be easy to get lost in, very dream-like and hard to follow at times

Don't see it if you want to be able to follow the plot relatively easily. It's hard to piece things together during the show and easy to get lost

68
Confusing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a fan of Kennedy's work, you liked to be pushed intellectually by theater

Don't see it if You need a linear plot, you don't like to exit the theater still confused

76
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Poetic

See it if to see the work of a master playwright, to see young actors take your breath away, to be challenged to explore your own heart

Don't see it if your views on race, romance and risk in life are limited to your own experience. viewing this play requires your imagination as well

70
Dense,thought provoking, important

See it if U WANT 2 C 1940 BLACK LIFE IN USA/LIKE PLAYS PACKED WITH LITERARY REFERENCE, SYMBOLISM &SOME SONG/BRILLIANT DIRECTION/R THEATER COGNOSCENTI

Don't see it if DONT LIKE: EXPOSITION WITH SOME SONG / DON’T WANT TO C A BRILLIANT OLDER WOMAN’S MIND STILL EXPERIMENTING / DONT LIKE AVANT GARDE THEATER

90
Riveting, Intense, Masterful, Must see

See it if you are interested in the plays of Adrienne Kennedy and like stark, contemporary staging.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional staging and the cadence of conversation.

Also Very short, gripping two-character play about how racism destroys a lo... Read more Read less

85
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound, Heart-breaking

See it if You can become absorbed in non-linear theater, love amazing sets and really good acting. Want to see a play by a great American writer.

Don't see it if You need a strong narrative (it's there, but you have to observe it), don't like political theater or plays about race in America.

52
Poetic, Confusing, Slow

See it if you enjoy new works and/or are particularly fond of Adrienne Kennedy

Don't see it if you are expecting a linear story.

26
Slow, Dull, Slight, Inarticulate, Half-baked

See it if you'd like to take a nap for 50 mins

Don't see it if you'd prefer a show that engages the audience through character development and not a series of cluttered monologues.

80
Absorbing, Confusing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You are interested in plays depicting race issues, characters who are trying to discover themselves and families hiding their dirty laundry.

Don't see it if You only like plays that are linear and can be taken at face value. You want to be entertained by music, dancing and laughter.

63
Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you like the weird hyper-poetic tennessee williams plays, you are already excited to see this, you are under 30 and can get cheap tickets

Don't see it if you need to know wtf is going on or have a reason to care about a love affair besides the playwright told you so

Also really great set and cool staging to be sure, and those actors were de... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You already "speak" Adrienne Kennedy. I don;t...and I have questions.

Don't see it if My experience left me confused, but brought back my first exposure to James Joyce. My Hope... This intro will be equally rewarding


January 30th, 2018
"Because it has been created by Ms. Kennedy, this landscape is as ugly as it is beautiful...Only Tennessee Williams, an early influence, summons a cultural past with such a plangent mix of rhapsody and disgust...Directed with haunting lyricism by Evan Yionoulis...Occupying a mere 45 minutes...it ...
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January 31st, 2018
"Starts on a murky note but resonates powerfully in Yionoulis's artful production...The effect is disorienting at first. But once past the puzzlements of the opening scene, the story moves forward with impressive concision and impact."
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January 30th, 2018
"This fragmentary new one-act is so brief and intangible...Feels fascinating but unfinished...Yionoulis does first-rate work with her two young actors: they show a commitment to nuanced, sincere character work...But it's not quite enough to anchor us...A play full of ache and anger, but its explo...
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February 5th, 2018
"Smaller than her previous plays but is shaped like the shimmering and original scripts that made Kennedy’s name...The new work is too short and thin to thrive on its own, especially for audiences who haven’t seen Kennedy’s work before. How marvellous it would be to experience Kennedy’s new work ...
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