Marys Seacole NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(74 Reviews)
Positive
70%
Mixed
18%
Negative
12%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Dizzying

About the Show

In Lincoln Center's world premiere, an ambitious Jamaican woman is determined to live a grand life.

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Member Reviews (74)

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75
Thought-provoking, Profound, Confusing, Crazed, Loud

See it if "Mary" in many times & places asserts her identity while being bombarded by desperate people in need of care. Rocking & hilarious in spots.

Don't see it if You want everything to make sense. You don't like weird non-linear plays. Lots of screaming and emoting, w/ rumbling & loud sound effects.

75
Thought-provoking, Overstuffed, Interesting, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if u want to learn about a tragically overlooked nursing pioneer in what's as much a bio of Seacole as a director's showcase for Blain-Cruz.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate non-linear, stylized drama & unconventional storytelling. Read more

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
February 25th, 2019

"Breathless and radiant new play...Directed with head-spinning velocity and shape-shifting flair by Lileana Blain-Cruz...Individually, there’s nothing strikingly original in most of these scenes...Seen collectively, though, they become a dazzling hall of mirrors...Ms. Drury gloriously confirms her status as a playwright for whom the long view is disturbingly, divertingly and endlessly kaleidoscopic."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 25th, 2019

"Lileana Blain-Cruz’s tight, controlled production immediately gives us that little thrill of delight that comes from the incongruous...The six women of 'Marys Seacole' are all delivering fierce, finely calibrated performances...'Marys Seacole' is in many ways an act of remembrance for the unremembered. It’s a fierce, complex eulogy and, like 'Fairview,' an exhortation to see both past and present better."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 26th, 2019

"The playwright attempts to pack a lot into this intermissionless work's 90 minutes. Too much so, in fact, leaving the audience struggling to connect the confusing narrative dots. Mary Seacole's arresting story is too often left in the lurch, and the link between her and her modern-day successors isn't as emotionally resonant as clearly intended...The performances by the six-woman ensemble...could not be bettered, with Bernstine outstanding in the central role."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 7th, 2019

"In Ms. Drury’s extensively fictionalized, magically realistic play, Mary becomes a symbol of the spirit of caregiving who is reincarnated time and again. The pluralized title is indicative of her varied versions...Drury dramatizes the successive phases of Mary Seacole’s life with pith and vigor, aided by the equally resourceful staging of Lileana Blain-Cruz...Blain-Cruz makes all the rough places plain, and the result is an exciting, involving show that catches you up from the first scene onward."
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Theatermania
February 25th, 2019

"A powerful and arguably long-overdue tribute...Contemporary and historical scenes bleed together, staging a rich continuum in just 90 minutes...Drury tempers her perspicacity with surefire wit that will keep you laughing as the light bulb goes off in your brain...Director Lileana Blain-Cruz delivers well-choreographed pandemonium that sacrifices nothing in terms of clarity...One hell of a play."
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BroadwayWorld
February 28th, 2019

"The 90-minute piece tends to be more stylized than dramatically effective, but Drury convincingly makes her point about the short shrift Mary Seacole has been handed by history, as well of the lack of appreciation for those who carry on her legacy."
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New York Stage Review
February 25th, 2019

"Provocative, yet confusing work...It needs to be acknowledged that Drury’s calling attention to the determined Seacole is commendable, as is her admiration for the invaluable benefits of widespread medical care...Actually, it’s Drury’s zeal that gets the better of her as her 90-minute play runs its anfractuous course...Drury has too much she’s compelled to say. She loses control of sorting her ideas so that audience members can follow them."
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New York Stage Review
February 25th, 2019

"With its nonlinear structure, mashing up of situations, strong Jamaican accents, and several themes, the play is challenging to follow as it becomes increasingly expressionistic in style. The conclusion is scarcely coherent and demands clarification...Although the playwright does not fully control and articulate the themes of her ambitious, sprawling play, 'Marys Seacole' remains a thoughtful consideration of the women who serve others more than themselves."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 9th, 2019

"'Marys Seacole'...will alternately shock you, bewilder you, infuriate you, amaze you...and leave you with a huge helping of food for thought...This is a playwright of fierce passion and determination. She knows how to grab an audience’s attention and keep it...Scenes are enacted by a superb ensemble of six actresses, including others playing multiple roles...Under Lileana Blain-Cruz’s sensational direction, the action builds to a crescendo at which the centuries and characters blur."
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Front Row Center
March 4th, 2019

"These six Marys come together to weave a wild tapestry that shatters the normal ideas of story-telling...As Mary, Bernstine sparkles...The movement is fluid, and once we get over the first transition we are in lockstep...This extraordinary cast, brilliantly directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, delivers the goods that Drury created. It is a majestic piece of work that takes no prisoners. Pay attention or get left behind. This is the style of the play and the lasting echo that follows you out the door."
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New York Theater
February 25th, 2019

"In this challenging, disorienting, and powerful collage of a drama, Drury seems to be using this one remarkable woman’s biography to try to say something larger – about race and gender; about what it takes, and what it takes out of you, to be a caregiver...What is the playwright trying to say? There are plenty of clues – maybe too many...Such lack of tidiness in plot and point might inspire some audience confusion or impatience. But it worked for me."
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C
March 3rd, 2019

"It's inspiring to watch a woman whose self-confidence is almost unnerving - even when her hauteur can admittedly be off-putting - and whose dedication is to the greater good is never in doubt. It also helps immeasurably that she (they?) are portrayed by the always-spectacular Quincy Tyler Bernstine in a commanding performance that anchors this 100-minute fantasia."
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The Wrap
February 25th, 2019

"Both Marys were born in Jamaica, and are played in grand style by Quincy Tyler Bernstine, giving the performance of this winter season in New York City...Bernstine manages the time lapses seamlessly, and is immeasurably aided by Lileana Blain-Cruz’s direction, which is both over-the-top and precisely what a big saga like 'Marys Seacole' requires...The ensuing spectacle of two titanic actors ripping into each other makes riveting theater."
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Towleroad
February 25th, 2019

"Drury bends, suspends, and ultimately shatters conventions of time and space altogether, in order to tease out threads of inheritance systematically overlooked by the churn of western history. Somehow the play is also a total hoot. This is a spectacular feat, accomplished with a sharp sort of expressionism by director Lileana Blain-Cruz."
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T
February 25th, 2019

"I cannot be sure I understood it all. I am, however, resolute in my admiration of this incredibly inventive narrative...Lileana Blain-Cruz has impressively directed this challenging and thought provoking work. Individual moments are never less than interesting and occasionally are mind blowing. Quincy Tyler Bernstine is a colossal Mary...Highly recommended."
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