Closed 1h 30m
Mother Emanuel (FringeNYC)
Soho/Tribeca
86

Mother Emanuel (FringeNYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(15 Reviews)
Positive
93%
Mixed
7%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Resonant, Thought-provoking

About the Show

A FringeNYC Encore: Rebel Theater Company presents a new musical that celebrates the lives of the late Charleston 9.

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Member Reviews (15)

93
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Resonant

See it if you like a story about an actual tragedy told with pathos, humor & gospel music and high energy performances where actors play several roles

Don't see it if you're a member of the NRA (gun violence discussed) or if you don't want a show with a spiritual side (but you would miss great gospel music

75
Absorbing, Profound, Resonant, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy gospel music, based-on true-story plots, simple but deeply touching performances. We got more than we bargained for, & then some.

Don't see it if you can't handle religion-based shows. Beautifully and respectfully conceived, based on the 9 lives murdered @ Mother Emanuel on June 2015.

Critic Reviews (7)

August 16th, 2016

"A gorgeous, rafter-raising gospel musical, 'Mother Emanuel' sounds as if it would be depressing at best, inspired as it is by the shooting that killed nine people last year at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Instead, it’s a defiantly vibrant celebration of the lives of those who died, and an excellent piece of documentary theater. Stumbling across a treasure like that is one of the joys of Fringe-going...In a terrific cast of four, Branch and Stacie stand out."
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August 17th, 2016

"A powerful piece…'Mother Emanuel' honors their memories by bringing them to life...The sterling ensemble includes the comical Branch and the charismatic Marquis D. Gibson; Lauren Shaye provides dynamic character acting, and Nicole Stacie has vocal cords of steel. Though appropriately weighty, the play doesn’t forget to entertain, and the audience is even encouraged to join the cast in song. Such moments of joy make the tragedy even harder to accept."
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August 23rd, 2016

"A rousing and thoughtful docudrama…A finely written script and excellent presentation…What could have been a heavy-handed and grim dramatization is here a joyous celebration of lives senselessly lost. The show’s creators have found the right balance of solemnity, entertainment and information…'Mother Emanuel' theatrically succeeds at recounting this tragedy with its superior performances and inspired production."
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August 14th, 2016

"This is not a purely mournful performance. This play exposes the pure joy, humor, and sorrow of not only each character, but of the performers themselves. This is documentary theatre at its finest. Watching the actors morph seamlessly between the Charleston Nine and others is supremely satisfying. The actors perform comedic and dramatic scenes with dexterity, providing an emotional roller coaster for the audience...Overall, 'Mother Emanuel' is a fantastic play "
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August 27th, 2016

"Since others have already showered praise on the merits of this gospel musical, yours truly can only add that it really does deserve all the superlatives given it…Yes, this is a documentary musical play at its best. While it does take creative license, it beautifully captures the spirit of those who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time...No, one doesn't have to be a holy-roller to enjoy the show. But one may well be reborn to the wonder of theater during this 90-minute event."
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August 18th, 2016

"The audience easily connects to these stories through the significant craft of the cast who play not only the lives of the massacred but also the lives those individuals touched and the lives of those who were left behind. These 'testimonials' are powerful and life changing. Under Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj’s meticulous direction, Christian Lee Branch, Marquis Gibson, Lauren Shaye, and Nicole Stacie act, sing, and dance their ways into the hearts of the audience."
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August 27th, 2016

“An earnest, lively play filled with rousing music…It is a sad story but it’s told in a deeply entertaining way, with the four supremely talented members of the cast singing some dozen gospel songs well enough to explain why so many people still get up on Sunday mornings…That ‘Mother Emanuel’ could hold its own in a festival known for campy hits with silly titles is a testament not just to the power of the show, but to the growing maturity of the New York International Fringe Festival.”
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