Invisible Thread
Closed 1h 50m
Invisible Thread

Invisible Thread NYC Reviews and Tickets

(100 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Original, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the Show

American Repertory Theater and Second Stage Theatre present a new musical directed by Diane Paulus. It follows the life-changing journey of a young New Yorker who volunteers for a humanitarian aid project in Uganda.

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Member Reviews (100)

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593 Reviews | 264 Followers
Odd theme for play (support of african students) but theatrically very effective

See it if you want to see talented kinetic cast of charismatic actors, to hear propulsive music, and see inventive set

Don't see it if you don't like plays with messy themes (anti-homosexuality, exploitation in Africa, etc.), don't see musical theater as metaphor for life

585 Reviews | 220 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Romantic

See it if You're interested in new musicals by new talent, or if you're interested in any topics related to Africa.

Don't see it if You could care less about young people trying to "find themselves".

461 Reviews | 710 Followers
Exquisite, Great staging, Great writing, Profound, Must see

See it if you like great music, great set design, and great stories with heart and meaning.

Don't see it if you're turned off by gay themes and shows with a social message.

456 Reviews | 256 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, High energy, Original, Poor writing

See it if you enjoy high-energy shows with weak books and a director using smoke and mirrors to hide the book's problems.

Don't see it if your taste is above a work in progress. Sketchy writing and cliche-ridden.

394 Reviews | 202 Followers
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Original, Profound

See it if Loved it. The music, the dancing, the story. I was in tears by the end. Moving and entertaining, too.

Don't see it if I can't think of a single reason not to see this. The NY Times was completely wrong about this show.

360 Reviews | 222 Followers
Refreshing, Original, Entertaining

See it if You want something heartfelt and inspiring .

Don't see it if You don't care for non traditional musicals

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
Overly ambitious, Great choreography, Great voices, Book needs work, Rent in uganda

See it if you enjoy a hard working cast that have beautiful voices and dance well. There is an exuberance that bubbles to the top.

Don't see it if you require a concise story to enjoy a musical. The book needs work, too confusing.

273 Reviews | 473 Followers
Indulgent, Original, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you want to see something that has a strong message inspiring social change.

Don't see it if you don't like shows about people going off to "find themselves."

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
December 2nd, 2015

"The music for 'Invisible Thread' is polished, melodic pop-rock in the vein of 'Rent'...But many songs tend to be soul-baring ballads or generic expressions of uplift that fail to advance the story, lending a static quality...there’s something pasted-on about the dancing, as if a musical set in Africa must have joyous, foot-stomping passages or it wouldn’t be authentic. These sequences are not remotely integral to the plot...For all his good intentions, Griffin never move beyond being cultural tourists."
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Time Out New York
December 2nd, 2015

"Exuberant and soulful...the show releases gale-force waves of faith, hope and love every time its hardworking cast joins together on gospel wails or Afrobeat jams. The score is bold, fresh and catchy. But when those bracing numbers end, problems begin...Diane Paulus’s slick and muscular production helps cover up some of the less plausible or airbrushed aspects of the story, which is fictionalized to the edge of slight melodrama."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
December 2nd, 2015

"The production, overcompensating for the possibility, leaves no room for unauthorized ideas. As is her style, Paulus has staged 'Invisible Thread' within an inch of its life; there is never a dull moment or a part of the picture unactivated...But a show that is less than excellent, and less than true, need not be less than worthwhile. If I wanted to turn down the show’s volume sometimes (literally, too — it’s over-amped) I never wanted to turn it off."
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December 2nd, 2015

"In 2005, an actor named Griffin Matthews volunteered to work at an orphanage in Uganda and returned home to start his own charitable organization. The writer-performer drew on that episode in his life for 'Invisible Thread', a musical he wrote with his partner, Matt Gould. But despite the heavy drumming, the show isn’t really about Uganda or African orphans or African anything. It’s about Griffin Matthews...It’s a pretty conceit, but a thin concept for a musical."
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December 3rd, 2015

"'Invisible Thread' showcases a tremendous amount of talent. That talent is at present mostly imitative: 'Invisible' mimics the musical versatility and determination-in-the-face-of-defeat of 'Rent' without advancing the form. But the show is bursting with potential, not to mention infectious energy, humor and a few surprises...But by the end, 'Invisible Thread' drowns in a pool of sentiment and cliché."
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AM New York
December 2nd, 2015

"It ends on a somewhat unresolved and downbeat note. But for the most part, 'Invisible Thread' is a highly personalized but relatable and heartfelt coming-of-age story that explores issues of culture clash and global responsibility. The attractive score combines pop-rock with African rhythms and gospel. Paulus' production features a very effective visual design (with great use of video projections) and strong performances from the mostly black ensemble cast."
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December 2nd, 2015

"It feels like a musical college essay, the type in which an applicant waxes philosophical about the very important lessons he learned volunteering for a summer in the developing world. Still, the music is tuneful and the book touches on some vital issues, if only slightly...the cast rarely slows to catch its breath in the frenetic staging... Sadly, not every story is best served by the conventions of the American book musical."
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Lighting & Sound America
December 3rd, 2015

"'Invisible Thread,' isn't the most successful; in fact, it has some pretty big issues that cry out to be addressed. But it dares to take on a difficult, complex subject, and it has an enormous heart...In its best moments, 'Invisible Thread' is remarkably clear-eyed about the cultural clashes that separate its characters...Still, the opening section feels rushed and too sketchily set up...Diane Paulus' direction gets powerful, full-throated performances."
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