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Invisible Thread

From 100 member  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. More…

Determined to find his place in the world, 20-something Griffin leaves his job and his New York City apartment to volunteer for a charity in Africa. But when his altruistic aspirations collide with the real world, his life is changed in unexpected and profound ways. Inspired by a true story, this rousing new musical infuses a world pop score with African beats in a journey about discovering whether changing the world is even possible.

Member Reviews (100)


Absorbing, Original, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great staging
Avg Score

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

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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

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."

Tuneful score, Energetically staged, Relevant, Cliched at times, Needs more focus

See it if Like original, creatively staged musicals presented by a talented and fresh cast.

Don't see it if You feel that some book flaws and focus issues cannot be overcome by a fine score and energetic staging.

Disappointing, Banal, Overrated, Fluffy, Energetic

See it if you ever served in the Peace Corps.

Don't see it if you want something more than a blatant attempt to tug at your heart strings.

Entertaining, Great acting, Original, Delightful

See it if are looking for a musical with a heartfelt story that is well told & acted/performed.

Don't see it if You are looking for an old school musical.

Indulgent, Fluffy, Disappointing, Banal, Cliched

See it if you want a loud, upbeat, unchallenging musical

Don't see it if you seek subtlety or complexity or a plot that makes sense

Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if About finding ones roots

Don't see it if Indulgent

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to see a new musical that talks about privilege and helping those "less fortunate".

Don't see it if you are looking for a more traditional night of theater.

Original, Thought-provoking, Must see, Moving, Ambitious

See it if you like powerful, fresh new theatre from promising young creators. The most exciting new musical I've seen this season. Go see it!

Don't see it if you can't get tickets because word has gotten out.

Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if you like modern, fresh musicals that make a relevant topic charming and funny. Superb cast, great music, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Don't see it if a bit of self-indulgence by the lead actor/creator will bother you. You won't be able to understand Ugandan accents- its not too hard though

Absorbing, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if A most professional and polished production with fine choreography, excellent acting, and a touching and interesting story worth seeing!

Don't see it if If the political stance in Uganda regarding gays upsets you.

Great writing, Masterful, Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if If you want to see a wonderfully written show that rings true to current events.

Don't see it if If you want flashy jazz hands and chorus girls doing kick lines.

Entertaining, Original, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy seeing original and diverse stories and plots.

Don't see it if you tend to look for more profound interpretations of original and diverse stories and plots.

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Original, Heartfelt, Personal

See it if you are open to a true story with a global message. Contemporary/rockish style music okay. More plot development needed but worth seeing.

Don't see it if you have no interest in learning about other cultures and their oppression. Difficult topic but easily digestible - good singing/dancing.

Intelligent, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you can find it. I was amazed to be pulled into the story so strongly. Made you want to lend a hand.

Don't see it if you don't like new, inventive musicals.

Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if its closed but may pop up again?? entertaining, light story, nice acting and good music

Don't see it if it doesn't pop up again and dont like to be entertained. critics were overly harsh in their reviews.

Ambitious, Funny, Great staging, Original, Relevant

See it if You can appreciate sparks of brilliance and heart in a muddled show. Energetic dancing. Emotional. Inspiring.

Don't see it if This lacked a compelling story aside from the charitable aspect. There are good pieces here but they don't work as a whole.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Original, Relevant, Funny

See it if Next to Hamilton, this is the most important musical I've seen in years. I had a great time, while learning about myself & the world.

Don't see it if you're so old fashioned that you're not interested in anything new and moving.

Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Riveting, Resonant

See it if You have a heart and want to be told an incredible true story told by a masterful cast

Don't see it if You need a show that is more classical or onstage nudity offends you

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 A...
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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 producti...
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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...
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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 ...
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