Mother Courage and Her Children
Closed 2h 20m
Mother Courage and Her Children

Mother Courage and Her Children NYC Reviews and Tickets

(43 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

Classic Stage Company transports Brecht's timeless play about war to the modern-day Congo, starring Kecia Lewis with a new score by Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik.

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Member Reviews (43)

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Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy fantastic performances and a fresh take on a classic play (with new music by Duncan Sheik).

Don't see it if you're easily confused. I found parts of it hard to follow, but the story is still strong and riveting.

Ambitious, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if Had the unfortunate experience of seeing Kecia Lewis in a preview. Good actress at a troubled stage in this production. She carried script

Don't see it if As a result she didn't connect to audience as best she could if she had more prep for this role. Sad circumstances

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You have seen other productions of this play to compare if this update works.

Don't see it if If you've never seen this masterpiece before and if you don't like shouting as a substitute for acting.

Great acting, Great staging, Epic, Intense, Relevant

See it if you can be disturbed by the chaos of war and upset by man's loss of humanity.This is a powerful production of a compelling play made current

Don't see it if you are disturbed by the ugliness of human nature and destruction.If you wish to be entertained in a fluffy and pretty way and to avoid life

Great acting, Translation by tony kushner & add. music from jeanine tesori, Entertaining, Dir. by george c. wolfe & starring meryl streep, Ambitious

See it if 08/09/2006. A date written on my heart. My 1st or 2nd time seeing Meryl Streep on stage in an unforgettable role. Brilliant performance.

Don't see it if Outdoor theater means the audience is continually under threat from bugs & possible rain (plus Wind). Say prayers or light candles b4 ticket Read more

Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Intense, Indulgent

See it if u love Brecht (like I) & want to take in a rare (decent) production of a great play. You'll get a mere glimpse of what it could be here.

Don't see it if Well...I'd take the opportunity to see a Brecht masterpiece even tho it should have been better. The music for the songs -- bad, not tough.

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if Spirited, the human condition and survival, Africa and Brecht

Don't see it if Confusing and disjointed

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if You want to see young talent in an epic classic

Don't see it if If you don't like long serious performances

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
January 19th, 2016

"Ms. Lewis’s commanding performance would be impressive under any circumstances, but the drama surrounding her undertaking the part makes the achievement all the more remarkable...Mr. Kulick’s searing production sets the play in the 1990s in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. It is an inspired idea."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 19th, 2016

"It is weirdly enervated and unambitious, achieving the coolness and flatness and lack of surprise that Brecht calls for but not, except at a few points, the lively horror to counter it...The staging is muddy. And while it is unreasonable to judge Kecia Lewis after just a handful of performances — she’s still learning the blocking and occasionally calling for lines — there’s no getting around the fact that, with one exception, the rest of the cast is hardly more comfortable with the material."
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January 19th, 2016

"Still calling for line cues and sometimes reading from the script at a critics’ performance, Lewis nevertheless was mesmerizing as a woman addicted to survival yet able to reveal a beating heart at moments that make Brecht’s text less didactic than it often is thought to be...Duncan Sheik has written some sinuously beautiful music for the songs Brecht wrote for the play...Kulick’s conception is sound and the cast surrounding Lewis is impeccable."
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New York Daily News
January 19th, 2016

"Kecia Lewis is a brave actress. Whether she’s a good one or not is unclear from 'Mother Courage and Her Children.' It’s impossible to tell since Lewis is clearly still finding her way in the role...Lewis has an intense gaze she uses well, but seeing a script with highlighted lines will take you out of a performance. And at this point her 'Mother Courage' was mostly about decibel level; adding volume doesn’t add dimension."
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AM New York
January 19th, 2016

"The contemporized setting is intriguing. But on the whole, the production is undeveloped and unfocused. The musical interludes, which use prerecorded pop music by Duncan Sheik, are out of synch with Brecht’s lyrics and come off as baffling. Lewis, who was still holding a script and calling out for lines at my performance, is still finding her way in the role, but she has moments of great authority. In any case, Lewis deserves credit for stepping in on short notice."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 19th, 2016

"Lewis provides the production with its singular bright spot...Here's the thing: It doesn't matter. Kulick has so wildly misconceived everything that Lewis's participation, valiant though it may be, is functionally meaningless...It's a Cliffs Notes, third-hand retelling of a plot synopsis of it that's playing dress-up as either Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize–winning 'Ruined' or Danai Gurira's soon-to-hit-Broadway 'Eclipsed.''
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Theater Pizzazz
January 20th, 2016

"Despite all other elements of the play being fundamentally African, the songs sound like a mix of light country, new age and Broadway light. They are so glaringly out of place as to make one wonder if one has dozed off and awoken in a different theater...Ultimately, nothing could rescue the stilted course of this 'Mother Courage' production. And that’s a shame...A turbulent production that still hasn’t quite made up its mind."
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January 20th, 2016

"Kecia Lewis is not yet in command of all her lines; but she is offering a resolute sketch of the formidable 'Mother Courage' she's capable of creating...Kulick's version achieves a unity of style and purpose among its actors, and that's the chief virtue of what's on view at CSC...Kulick's production has an alienating effect that Brecht couldn't foresee: a leading performer forced by circumstances to rely on a script and call out for prompts."
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DC Theatre Scene
January 20th, 2016

"In Kecia Lewis’s hands Mother Courage is indeed strong – both fierce and earthy...For all her strengths, Lewis simply has not had enough time to prepare fully...Perhaps due to this disruption, although cut to just two hours this 'Mother Courage' still seemed at times less than well-paced and energetic...In the face of all this, there are some arresting performances."
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The Huffington Post
January 19th, 2016

"There's no doubt that Lewis, a large woman with fire in her performing, is a valiant and worthy choice, but as long as she requires the script as she hones her characterization, it's unfair to assess what she'd doing...Everyone connected with the production may have been operating under the best intentions but that good intentions don't always lead to the best results. This is one of the times that they don't."
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Times Square Chronicles
January 20th, 2016

"The problem here is Kulick and translator John Willett are white and if this play was supposed to be riveting or transformative, they failed. This play is now a bore...Kulick may have tried to make 'Mother Courage' delusional, but Lewis breaks our hearts as she makes this role her own...Bravo to Ms. Lewis for taking a bad situation and making it work to her advantage. I look forward to see her in a much better adaptation."
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January 19th, 2016

"By my count, Lewis called for a line five or six times. What I saw, beyond that issue, was a performer of tremendous confidence, taking on a role with a sharp perspective on her character...Lewis, with her performance, exhibits a hardness few mothers could muster. More than anything, she’s a realist. A powerless realist...Duncan Sheik has contributed the bare bones of a score to the bold, discomforting and well-performed proceedings."
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January 24th, 2016

"Although the acting ensemble and creatives surely deserve recognition, it is Lewis’ performance in the nominal role that is the real reason to visit this production. Even with script in hand, Lewis credibly insinuates herself into the gritty role of Mother Courage...There have been other fine productions of 'Mother Courage' in New York in recent years, but Lewis’ performance is by far the gutsiest and most daring...If you miss it, you miss something extraordinary."
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American Theater Web
January 20th, 2016

"As alluring as these performances are and despite the mutli-layered event that is Lewis' impressively nuanced performance, Kulick's revisitation to the play underwhelms...Kulick's decision to reset the play in modern times might add a certain immediacy, there's a sense that costumes, the performers' accents, and Sheik's intriguing music are only laid on top of the action...It's rough to not wish that the overall conceit for this 'Mother Courage' were as brave as Lewis herself."
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