Closed 1h 15m
How to Keep an Alien
Midtown W
84

How to Keep an Alien NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(24 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
8%
Negative
0%
Members say
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Intelligent

About the Show

Performer/playwright Sonya Kelly presents an autobiographical comedy about falling in love and having to prove it to the government. Part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival.

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Member Reviews (24)

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75
Clever, Delightful, Sweet, Funny, Uplifting

See it if for a heart-warming, laugh-filled take on romance. Kelly is a charmer w/ the gift of the gab. You'll root for her as if she was your sister.

Don't see it if you want big things from theater. This is a small, intimate piece in a barebones setting. I'd see this again, tho, instead of The Encounter.

88
Charming, Sweet, Delightful, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like smart quirky shows that make you think about some ideas from some different points of view.

Don't see it if you don't like one person monologue plays, that's basically what this is.

Critic Reviews (15)

September 20th, 2016

"Ms. Kelly enhances her tale with the help of a spirited stage manager, Paul Curley, and a limitless supply of one-liners, many of them delicious...Her comic style varies nicely from straight-faced to vivacious, from deadpan to a pan that is very much alive, especially her irresistible, maniacal grin...Ultimately, the show doesn't offer much drama or conflict...Ms. Kelly’s greatest trial is a camping trip with her girlfriend’s family."
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September 19th, 2016

"Kelly tells us the tale with complete unselfconsciousness, throwing herself completely both physically and emotionally into each new situation, acting each part and person perfectly...Hardly a fairy tale, Kelly has to confront her fears and ambivalences, figure out what she wants from her life and whether or not she has the guts to go for it. And she keeps us laughing and rooting for her the entire time. A love story for the ages. A writer and a performer to watch. Don’t miss it."
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September 19th, 2016

"Directed by Gina Moxley, Kelly’s performance is funny to its core. The audience was kept in stitches as Kelly colors each moment of her bureaucratically challenged romance with hilarious insights into the process of falling in love...Despite the unending success of the show’s comedy, some of its emotional moments could have been more developed...Performed with comedic aplomb and wry freshness, 'How to Keep an Alien' makes for truly fantastic theater."
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September 20th, 2016

“It’s a familiar conundrum, and a reliable source of rom-com fodder, which Kelly invests with wit and originality in her show…Kelly’s turns of phrase and her self-deprecating style make this a consistently hilarious performance, which also displays considerable emotional depth while sending up the boisterous conventions of stand-up comedy…'Alien' attests the transformation of Irish society, which has gone from quasi-theocracy to legalizing marriage equality by popular vote.”
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September 20th, 2016

"A sweet, charmingly spun tale of modern love and state bureaucracy…The setup blends elements of traditional stand-up comedy and queer solo performance…With just some desks and bookcases for scenery, the production uses sound effects to create a vibrant, zany mood. But there are more reflective moments, too…Onstage, Kelly cuts an affably geeky figure, deftly balancing Irish wit with broad physical comedy and moments of touching sentiment."
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September 19th, 2016

"Witty, smartly written and saturated with a love for language, there are moments of true literary poetry among the smart self-deprecating humor. Well-structured, well-paced and with well-delivered jokes, Kelly clearly has a background in comedy. She delivers her story with genuine charm, physical comedy and true theatre geekiness...Director Gina Moxley did a fantastic job of keeping our attention 100% engaged."
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September 23rd, 2016

"A sweetly funny new play…Onstage Kelly trades barbs, jokes and brilliantly executed vignettes from the real journey that loving an alien has led her through with actor and stage manager Paul Curley…Nothing is funnier than life or death anxiety, and Kelly mines a rich seam with this material. Life, she reminds us, is not a movie; it’s an underestimated gas bill. Do not miss this show."
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September 23rd, 2016

“This yarn about a same-sex couple navigating the bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration unravels effortlessly…Sometimes you have to laugh. But it's the abnegation of real human suffering that makes it difficult to take the trip. Not only does the piece lack a context of political controversy of LGBTQ lives in a priest-riddled country, the humdrum of everyday living is conveniently sidestepped. The potentially crippling financial costs of applying for papers are raised early but then dropped.”
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August 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"The fact that Sonya and Kate had to prove their relationship lends this onstage documentation of their love an appropriateness that is both revealing and poignant. There is no such thing as too much information as far as the immigration service is concerned, and that’s reflected in the onstage honesty and freshness. This is a very, very funny show full of wry, laugh-out-loud moments...Not all of it works. But this little show is a treat, and one to fall in love with."
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August 24th, 2015
For a previous production

"This autobiographical story follows the eight-month paper-trail of devotion that Kelly has to collate to prove their love to the government...The success of this play relies heavily on Kelly's charm as a performer but ultimately it's her sheer strength of will that wins you over. Ostensibly a one-woman show, Kelly is accompanied by her stage manager, who offers an occasional response and provides a musical interlude of utterly random loveliness."
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September 7th, 2014
For a previous production

"Kelly pursues a charming combination of wry humour and imaginative device...Kelly smuggles tenderness into throwaway wit, like her love letter written on a sandwich bag, but bureaucracy hastens them through hesitation and frustration towards 'gestures of permanence.' The show is something similar, as gossamer and memorable as Kelly’s comic lines, and more stirring for its modesty."
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August 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"She recounts her battle to make Kate 'legal' with dry wit and invention, and interweaves her story with that of Kate’s great-great-grandmother, who emigrated from Ireland to Australia...The pace occasionally dips, but the play talks genuinely about the power of love to overcome even the most immovable of obstacles, and is as heartwarming as it is funny."
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August 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"A quirky, offbeat but utterly heart-warming show, 'How to Keep an Alien' looks at the challenges involved in falling in love with someone from another country....There is much to laugh at, partly through the crazy, fanciful script...Well-executed direction from Gina Moxley ensures the piece does not flag, but instead zips along so that the show is concluding before you realize it...A life-affirming, uplifting and well-crafted piece."
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October 21st, 2015
For a previous production

"Actor and writer, Sonya Kelly, reveals a keen sense of the comedic in her touching, funny autobiographical show...Kelly and stage manager, Justin Murphy, are the only performers in this highly-entertaining show...When Kelly goes to Australia to meet her girlfriend’s family, she is overwhelmed by Kate’s numerous relatives and seeks solace out in the bush where she gets lost...It’s the only jarring note in this otherwise delightful play."
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T
August 9th, 2014
For a previous production

"It’s serious stuff, but Sonya keeps the audience in stitches...For the most part the pace of the show rarely lags...After all the comedy and high-octane chatter it’s a beautiful and moving reminder of the real relationship at the heart of this wonderful show. If you like your comedy peppered with romance and underlined with socio-politics, make sure you check out 'How to Keep an Alien.' It’s truly out of this world."
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