Her Portmanteau
Closed 1h 45m
Her Portmanteau

Her Portmanteau NYC Reviews and Tickets

(73 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (73)

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192 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Intense

See it if you've seen Sojourners and want to follow the characters into their future; you like good drama.

Don't see it if you're not interested in the (Nigerian) immigrant experience; you're not up for a serious drama.

414 Reviews | 70 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Moving

See it if touching story about 3 female members of a Nigerian family; family dynamics (mother-daughter); wonderful performance by Ms. Oduye

Don't see it if don't want plays that are part of a cycle of plays (althou this can stand alone many details are from Sojourner); emotional family dynamics Read more

344 Reviews | 71 Followers
Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You like fine acting and writing, in service of a compelling immigrant narrative.

Don't see it if You cannot see the universality inherent in the journey of African immigrant characters and their descendants.

142 Reviews | 37 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you are interested in a Nigerian family's journey over the years. (More satisfying than "Sojourners" if you can go to only one.)

Don't see it if you don't like family sagas.

291 Reviews | 716 Followers
Great acting, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you've seen Sojourners - I recommend seeing this one second and seeing them close together. Chinasa Ogbuagu is extraordinary in both plays

Don't see it if you're not interested in very well done true family stories about immigration. The turntable set was clunky and a little noisy.

407 Reviews | 66 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy good actors working with good material about immigration, assimilation and stereotypes.

Don't see it if you have a hard time interpreting the use of a foreign language within a story

785 Reviews | 249 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

86 Reviews | 10 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Educational

See it if You are interested in immigrant cultures and the immigrant experience

Don't see it if Conversational dramas that focus on relationships and especially people coming to terms with hurts of the past bore you Read more

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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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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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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