Southern Comfort
Closed 2h 15m
Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort NYC Reviews and Tickets

(54 Reviews)
Members say
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Original, Resonant

About the Show

The Public Theater presents a new musical based on Kate Davis’ 2001 Sundance Award-winning documentary about transgender friends in rural Georgia.

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Member Reviews (54)

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650 Reviews | 284 Followers
Thoughtful explication of indignities of being transgender and movement infighting but not altogether convincing theatrically

See it if you enjoy clever use of backup country & western band as singers/characters in cast; lays bare visceral parent rejection

Don't see it if similar country & western songs bore you; production blunts impact by checking off too many transgender issues

677 Reviews | 190 Followers
Cliched, Ambitious, Slow, Disappointing, Unmemorable

See it if you feel it's important to support a show about transgendered couples. They handle the subject respectfully.

Don't see it if you are looking for another ground-breaking musical from The Public. (This isn't it!)

480 Reviews | 134 Followers
Cliched, Disappointing, Slow, Banal, Unengaging

See it if You especially enjoy plays about transgender folks trying to keep their identity.

Don't see it if You are looking for a well-written play with relatable characters and absorbing plot lines. You want to see the best of the new.

459 Reviews | 117 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you want to learn about people coping with the complexities of gender identity. It helps if you like country music.

Don't see it if your tolerance for country music is limited.

197 Reviews | 530 Followers
Original, Thought-provoking, Relevent, Slow, Moving

See it if Unique musical about a trans community in rural Georgia, and the notion of creating a family of choice; was moving but ran too long.

Don't see it if You don't like bluegrass music - it was integral to the rural theme and well done, but got repetitive; if you're not open to LGBT issues.

259 Reviews | 197 Followers
Poor job of presenting the issues, Story line is unclear, No character development, Unremarkable music, Disappointing

See it if Big opportunity to introduce audiences to issues of the trans community wasted. The characters were not clearly drawn, difficult to connect

Don't see it if The Public Theater is a wellspring of great musical theater. Do not expect much from this show. It is really in workshop stage.

293 Reviews | 59 Followers
Original, Miscast

See it if you have an interest in the trans community, as it is well done in that regard.

Don't see it if trans issues make you uncomfortable, you need to see people cast correctly.

248 Reviews | 72 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Intense

See it if you want an exceptional experience with an interesting diverse cast of straight and trans people and great bluegrass score

Don't see it if if you cant open your mind

Critic Reviews (36)

The New York Times
March 13th, 2016

"It’s the spirited, tuneful country score and the colorful characters that draw us close to the emotional ups and downs of Robert’s family. This cast is entirely winning...As sung by characters who would likely not be welcomed at the Grand Ole Opry anytime soon, the songs take on an almost radical charge...For the most part this musical avoids the trap of sentimentality. And it’s fitting that the show errs on the side of largess, granting characters their full, complicated humanity."
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Time Out New York
March 14th, 2016

"This heartfelt, well-meaning production seems like a dated period piece...Its characters' journeys of self-discovery and love moved me to tears...However I was acutely aware of just how repetitive, traditional and safe the show is...There's still beauty here...Robert's budding romance with the transitioning Lola is the heart of the story. Watching him gleefully court her, political notions of gender and identity fall away and the show's finely tuned message translates into explosive emotions."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 13th, 2016

"The book succumbs to a tone of sentimentality and special pleading; the songs are pretty but mostly monochromatic. Oddly enough, they are also too generic. (They are filled with snorey clichés.) This leaves the cast working hard — too hard — under Thomas Caruso’s stiff direction...If worthiness were the same as stageworthiness, 'Southern Comfort' would be as effective as its source. But this is material that, however much it cries out for justice, simply doesn’t sing."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 13th, 2016

"'Southern Comfort' suffers at times from its lack of narrative momentum and languorous pace, and the bluegrass/country flavored musical score does little to enliven it, with far too many emotive ballads of self-empowerment in the mix. Still, there are some lovely songs and it's performed well...This is a show that clearly has its heart in the right place, displaying a compassion toward its well-etched characters that is impossible not to share."
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Entertainment Weekly
March 13th, 2016

"It is important to see transgender people as people, to see their lives and struggles depicted in art. But what’s on stage here is admirable, worthy, and almost painfully dull...It is possible, in a world of 'Transparent' and Laverne Cox, that the culture simply has bypassed 'Southern Comfort' while the musical was busy gestating...There is something inspiring, yes, in seeing this story told on a major New York stage. But it’s a shame that it’s told so uncompellingly."
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March 13th, 2016

"As a piece of theater, the show rolls over and plays dead. The only unqualified successes in this inert production at the Public Theater are the stunning set and lighting design...The talky lyrics prove to be too much of a mouthful. And director Thomas Caruso seems to have let everyone more or less make it up as they go along."
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March 13th, 2016

"The Public’s Anspacher Theater, with its steeply raked audience that focuses the audience up close and personal on the action unfolding on the stage, is the perfect setting for this beautiful and heartfelt show...The book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis are of a piece with the story and include several gems...It’s a beautiful show; bring the family."
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March 13th, 2016

"With an engaging bluegrass score, a particularly lovely company, and wrenching honesty, this production really sings...'Southern Comfort' does have a tendency to feel like a simplified and somewhat preachy primer on trans issues. And the casting of only two trans actors still isn't enough. However, the piece treats its subjects with a great deal of respect and humanity...With issues of trans identity coming to the fore, 'Southern Comfort' is a beautiful entry into an important conversation."
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