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New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water

From 1 critic and 21 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining, Confusing

About the show

The Negro Ensemble Company presents this world premiere drama: a story about the of displacement of Black families and the forces that lead to it in modern America. More…

It is 2005: two men cling for life on a rooftop, surrounded by murky water, festered with disease and the unknown. Two women are hundreds of miles away, striving to see their dreams of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness come to fruition. All of this is set against the threat of one of America's greatest disasters.

1h 30m | Already closed | Theatre 80 (East Village)


"With his earthy, expressive and humorous dialogue, Mr. Jones renders each character with depth and feeling...As the play’s centerpiece Tupelo, SJ Hannah is a commanding whirlwind of comedic flourishes and soulfulness...Charles Weldon’s fine direction aids these sensitive performances...Michael A. Jones’ passionate eloquence and the strong performances compensate for the production’s limited presentational values." Full Review

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You want a look at what life can look like for poor on America

Don't see it if You're not interested in stories of poverty in this country

Uneven ambitious cash-starved new play is anchored in something smart and full of heart.

See it if cast whose talent & chemistry mostly succeed in making production moving & entertaining; themes of repairing relationships/building bridges

Don't see it if you want a well-honed production; it can drag; writing goes from inspired & free to deflated, but there is an uplifting energy.

Also I first saw NEC productions in the early 80's. They were strong, inspi... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Riveting, Great writing, Enlightening

See it if you appreciate tense, emotional drama examining young male/female/familial relationships, struggle of middle class urban blacks to achieve

Don't see it if you prefer light themes, comedy, big set, musical, dance, impeccable acting, can’t sit 90 min. w/out interval, dislike all black cast/issues

Absorbing, Slow

See it if You like explorations of relationship dynamics. You'd like to be disabused of any idea that poverty is fun.

Don't see it if Seemingly unconnected asides or long scene changes (the people mentioning that as a fault aren't wrong) are going to upset you.

Ambitious, Quirky, Slow, Promising, Entertaining

See it if If you love happy endings ...don't demand consistency (some hanging threads in story).or star power..like music used thematically...

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable in funky theaters, want intense social commentary, enjoy brilliant staging

Also Saw this on the first night of previews and heard an apologetic introd... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Cliched

See it if An all African-American cast works hard in a play which is still in development

Don't see it if The (often) very short scenes are not in chronological order and are therefore confusing

Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a play about relationships and what it takes to keep it afloat.

Don't see it if You need a more polished performance.

Also I saw this on the very first night and in the beginning we received an... Read more Read less

Quirky, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to remember Hurricane Sandy's disastrous effects on Lousiana

Don't see it if You deplore inadequate staging

Ambitious, Relevant, Banal, Disappointing, Choppy

See it if want to see a drama which people are struggling with problems in their lives.

Don't see it if you want to see entertainment.

Ambitious, Emotional, Tense

See it if a play that combines personal emotional situations with the impact of a major natural hazard would intrigue you.

Don't see it if if you are not appreciative of plays that still require some development.

Confusing, Cliched, Overrated

See it if you like plays about "black ghetto culture."

Don't see it if don't like vile and vulgar language

Confusing, Slow, Heartfelt, Human, Not yet ready

See it if for you several sharply observed moments of oh-so-human drama make a play worth seeing.

Don't see it if you do not have the patience to sit through a production that is not ready for presentation.

Also In every 1 of the many scenes of “Hercules Didn’t Wade in the Water” t... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Insipid, Fluffy

See it if You love "feel good" endings

Don't see it if Characters are very underdeveloped and the horror of being stranded in a natural disaster is barely explored.

Ambitious, Slow

See it if you want to see something new by an emerging writer, even if it's flawed

Don't see it if you are bored by slow pacing.

Also The story is interesting enough: A young Chicago man in need of work (... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Overrated, Amateurish

See it if You are tolerant of amateurish productions and are not offended by gratuitous profanity.

Don't see it if You are offended by profanity, expect to see seasoned acting or a script with a tight storyline.

Confusing, Disappointing, Uninspired

See it if Don't go. Poor writing. Poor acting. Poor directing. Not up to this company's standard.

Don't see it if You can see something else.

Excruciating scene changes

See it if You want to see a new play at it’s very very very early stages

Don't see it if You want to see something that is polished and ready for an audience

Also I saw this play on Friday night it was probably one of the first few p... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy real life drama with contemporary issues.

Don't see it if You don’t like small productions

Absorbing, Clever, Refreshing

See it if an interesting story about the Afro-American experience

Don't see it if scene changes were sometimes slow

During previews

See it if You want to support new works or the company.

Don't see it if You want polished theatre. You want well paced performances.

During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Amateurish

See it if You enjoy sitting in the dark waiting for endless scene changes, sloppy lighting and less than stellar acting.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy High School quality theater.

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Cast & Creatives (12)