Her Portmanteau
Closed 1h 45m
Her Portmanteau

Her Portmanteau NYC Reviews and Tickets

(73 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing

About the Show

'Sojourners' and 'Her Portmanteau' comprise a two-part theatrical event running in rep at New York Theatre Workshop. They're part of 'The Ufot Cycle,' a nine-play saga chronicling the matriarch of a Nigerian family.

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Member Reviews (73)

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546 Reviews | 1881 Followers
Slow, Great acting, Great writing, Rich, Intelligent

See it if A bit slow and long, but performances are stellar for this emotional drama. A character piece done well.

Don't see it if You need an intermission. I could have used one.

712 Reviews | 215 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Heartbreaking

See it if Nigerian family comes to terms with choices the mother made when she was a college student in Texas. Sacrifices and regrets, but also hope

Don't see it if You are looking for lighter fare. It takes a while to understand what is going on, but it all comes together. Read more

643 Reviews | 279 Followers
Very moving follow-up to "sojourners" showing heartbreaking decisions of immigrants caught between two worlds

See it if shows how painfully and w humor yearning 4 family connection overcomes decisions splitting apart Nigerian-Amer family, outstanding ensemble

Don't see it if dead moments where you say "enough already," you NEED to see "Sojourners" before, since this makes "Portmanteau" resonant & heartbreaking Read more

697 Reviews | 106 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy powerful relationship problems within a family. See even if you didn't like Sojourners. This was better done.

Don't see it if you like humor. This play is all serious. Members of family with different cultural background meet.

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Confusing, Intense, Resonant, Slow, Good acting

See it if Companion piece to Sojourners dealing w/ lead character 30 yrs later Top notch acting sustains piece despite slow pace & confusing plotlines

Don't see it if Very confusing w/o knowledge of previous incidents of 1st play However, the 'sins of the parents' & African diaspora themes are timeless

506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if partners 85 my 75 great performances by all 4 . thought provoking dialogue but....

Don't see it if perhaps a glossary of the Nigerian terms would be useful however anxious to see the 2nd part of the cycle

406 Reviews | 188 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Intense

See it if You are interested in the aftermath decades later of a Nigerian immigrant's life in America a few decades later. How did her life turn out?

Don't see it if You are not interested in how America affects the lives of immigrants v. the family ones still left in the home country.

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
Intelligent, Profound, Great acting, Intense, Disappointing

See it if A very tense 3-hander with some very good performances. An original idea.

Don't see it if Not as good as its prequel, Sojourners. I found it hard to believe that this was the same character. Too much dialogue in Nigerian.

Critic Reviews (21)

The New York Times
May 16th, 2017

"The plays, a pair of stunningly acted productions, offer a moving and powerful corrective to the notion that what immigrants leave behind is always awful, and that what they find is always worth the trip...'Portmanteau' is a far more conventional work...Even so, 'Portmanteau' is the more moving of the two plays...If we have seen mothers and daughters attempt rapprochement before, we have never seen this mother and daughter do so, and never as played by Jules and the astonishing Oduye."
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Time Out New York
May 16th, 2017

“The best thing about the pair of clumsy family dramas is the extraordinarily graceful performer they both revolve around...Ogbuagu manages, again and again, to make these two muddled plays occasionally cohere…There is promise here. The playwright has a delicate ear for dialogue…But such poignant moments battle with unwieldy monologues and theatrical clichés...Director Ed Iskandar undercuts what's best about Udofia's writing and reveals its structural flaws."
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May 16th, 2017

“A playwright with a lot on her mind and a seriously compelling storytelling gift…There are the usual hoary dramatic devices to remove one figure from the scene and allow the other two to have at it, but that takes nothing away from the emotional jolt of the confrontations that ensue…Udofia isn’t yet fully in command of the dramatic tools available to her, and there’s little poetry in her characters. But they’re fully fleshed out people it’s easy to connect with.”
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May 16th, 2017

“Udofia offers no easy answers, but her firm grasp of family dynamics will give audiences much to consider…Ogbuagu delivers a performance to remember…She is practically unrecognizable in 'Her Portmanteau,' adopting a distinct physicality and speech pattern…The three women sustain a thick air of tension through a play that is mostly one long scene...Udofia unpacks those issues with uncommon sensitivity and brimming imagination.”
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Lighting & Sound America
May 26th, 2017

“I wonder if 'Her Portmanteau' really stands alone…Curiously drab, a standard-issue parent-and-child reckoning, if one with slightly more unusual trappings...The play, which is informed by sitcom-style jokes in its early passages, devolves into a series of speeches that seem a little prefabricated...Each character gets her aria, and it all feels just a tiny bit hollow...A rather dreary exercise in finger-pointing...Still, it's worth seeing, partly for Ogbuagu, who is unrecognizable as Adiagha."
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May 31st, 2017

“In this basically one set play in one long scene (aside from the opening which takes place in the airport), the playwright cuts very deep. Not only does she show that there is more than one side to every story, but that family members can have long held misconceptions. As the women's emotions spill over in various ways, the play becomes more and more involving and all encompassing. As these family members, the three actresses are completely their own persons and create indelible characters.”
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Theater Pizzazz
May 24th, 2017

“Mfoniso Udofia’s intriguing look at Nigerian immigration…Adepero Oduye’s performance, as the aloof traveler, is focused and strong…Direction by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar is crisp. He has a great appreciation of language and culture. Costumes by Loren Shaw add authenticity…‘Her Portmanteau’ feels epic...In the world of' Her Portmanteau,' images remind us that memories of homeland can be felt in the smallest of rooms, and reflected in the greatest of skies."
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May 17th, 2017

"Despite all the information sandwiched in, 'Her Portmanteau' has too many frustrating loose ends...Despite my quibbles, 'Her Pormanteau' is emotionally dynamic enough to make me look forward to meeting Adiagha's siblings and Iniabasi's young son when Ms. Udofia finishes her Ufot saga."
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