Mlima's Tale
Closed 1h 30m
Mlima's Tale

Mlima's Tale NYC Reviews and Tickets

(139 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

About the Show

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage returns to the Public with a new drama, which takes us on a journey that starts in a game park in Kenya and goes around the world.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (139)

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60 Reviews | 9 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Profound

See it if You enjoy seeing talented actors performing different roles. Are interested in the illegal ivory trade.

Don't see it if Prefer upbeat plays. This is not light entertainment.

119 Reviews | 29 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Watching Sahr Ngaijjah transform himself into an elephant, listening to Lynn Nottage's words leaves you breathless

Don't see it if I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't love this show. It's what theatre is all about.

52 Reviews | 45 Followers
Ambitious, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You want to grow as an artist and consumer of quality theatre. The foley artistry alone is worth it. The entire production is awe-inspiring!

Don't see it if you hate elephants.

104 Reviews | 20 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see

See it if ILynn Nottage is brilliant, the killing of a renowned elephant is a tale on many different levels..It’s timely, emotiional,beautiful disturb

Don't see it if If you want a big in your face show,this is not for you

581 Reviews | 89 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you want amazing acting, staging and writing.This is the real deal.This is why there IS a Public Theatre.Riveting. Powerful. Relevant

Don't see it if you thought Jersey Boys and Mama Mia were the height of theatre.This will make you think, break your heart, and amaze you. Brilliant.

149 Reviews | 8 Followers
Relevant, Must see, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Brilliant drama that skillful portrays the illegal ivory trade in Africa.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the survival of endangered species animals.

231 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see a human capture the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and movement of an elephant in a magnificent performance by Sahr Ngaujah.

Don't see it if you do not like plays that "teach" you something or make you think about an issue you do not think about often. Read more

58 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Epic, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see excellent writing and staging carried by really excellent acting in a play that speaks to the universality of greed and love

Don't see it if You do not like edgy and serious drama or you do not like a play that commands your full attention from beginning to end

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
April 15th, 2018

"Nottage’s beautiful, endlessly echoing portrait of a murder and its afterlife...Nottage and her director have shaped this story with such theatrical inventiveness and discipline that it never feels sensational, on the one hand, or pious, on the other...She packs a wealth of cultural, political, and economic detail into each scene...Yet the facts, figures, and folklore never feel jimmied in; the exchange of information among the characters is fluid and always appropriate to the circumstances."
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Time Out New York
April 16th, 2018

"Director Jo Bonney’s beautiful production traces the path of Mlima’s prized tusks through the international ivory market...'Mlima’s Tale' has an exceptional cast, whose four actors of color play multiple roles (sometimes transracially). The world Nottage has brought to the stage is rich with detail, its characters complex and engaging. The epic journey falls short only in its foreseeable and somewhat anticlimactic ending."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 15th, 2018

"While it’s not a revelatory theatrical experience, the show is tightly crafted and engagingly performed...Moves us swiftly and often effectively through its story...If Nottage’s play lacks something, it’s a sense of surprise...Bonney does crisp, uptempo work with her actors, and scores the transitions between Nottage’s duets at a confident clip...The dialogue between the corrupt human beings often crackles, but when Mlima is left alone onstage, he’s got to deliver somewhat purple monologues."
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New York Daily News
April 15th, 2018

"A haunting drama about avarice and ivory...The subject matter isn’t ground-breaking, but Nottage’s by turns lacerating and lyrical play leaves a mark. So does Mlima (Sahr Ngaujah, an actor with a mighty physical presence and voice) on the greedy murderers, middle-men, and millionaire collectors connected to his death. They’re deftly played by Ito Aghayere, Jojo Gonzalez and Kevin Mambo. Musician Justin Hicks adds sonic textures to Jo Bonney’s fluid and striking staging."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 15th, 2018

"More didactic than narratively involving, the show never accumulates much dramatic force...The ensemble's frequent shifts in gender and nationality are sometimes confusing, and while there are many powerful moments, the narrative is choppy and disjointed...Clocking in at a mere 80 minutes, the play doesn't wear out its welcome. It also features occasional doses of pungent humor...At its conclusion, you wind up feeling exactly the same way as when it began."
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AM New York
April 15th, 2018

"Three versatile 'players' cross racial and gender boundaries to portray numerous figures, ranging from corrupt bureaucrats and traders to a cargo ship captain and sculptor...Nottage’s underlying notion (that people from all kinds of backgrounds can easily become engaged in unethical activities) is genuinely unsettling. It turns what is a highly unusual drama about an elephant into a tragedy with universal implications."
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April 15th, 2018

"Nottage's unrelenting machine of a play...Audiences won't soon forget the anguished wail of its title character...In many ways, 'Mlima's Tale' is a sharper critique of capitalism than Nottage's last play, 'Sweat'...A model of efficiency. The three players portray every human, using subtle physicality and muted accents to distinguish roles without slipping into caricature...Eighty straight minutes of searing brilliance."
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April 18th, 2018

"With his lean, muscular physique suggesting the massive size and elegant curves of 'big tusker' elephant hesitantly surveying the evening landscape of his savannah terrain, Sahr Ngaujah gives a captivating performance, poetic in both movement and emotion...It's said that, without a proper burial, elephants will haunt their killers forever. Mlima indeed remains a presence throughout director Jo Bonney's graceful Public Theater production."
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