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Sugar in Our Wounds

From 47 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents this lyrical new play, Donja R. Love's exploration of queer love at a pivotal moment in black history. More…

On a plantation, a mystical tree stretches toward heaven. It protects James, a young slave, while he reads newspapers about the imminent possibility of freedom, as the battle rages on. When a brooding stranger arrives, James and his makeshift family take the man in. Soon, an unexpected bond leads to a striking romance, and everyone is in uncharted territory. But is love powerful enough to set your true self free? 

Member Reviews (47)


Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing
Avg Score

Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if If you like an intense show that has very good acting. A moving piece of theater.

Don't see it if If you don't like this period piece right before the civil war. A lot of cursing. If you don't like the subject matter.

Romantic, Intense, Enchanting, Tragic, Funny

See it if Forbidden gay love disrupts slave family on oppressive civil war plantation. Passion overcomes wisdom. Humorous and surprisingly uplifting.

Don't see it if You don't like magical realism. Play is half realistic, half fantasy. Standard cliches are mixed with upended ones. Heavy sexual content.

Mesmerizing poetic portrayal of lives of black slaves during civil war tho goes astray at end

See it if brilliantly evokes joy/terror slave commty thru rhythmic language/movement, giant "lynching" tree/see below, frank sex, fine perfs

Don't see it if white slave owner daughter racist cliche; 2nd half focus on improbable homosexual relatnship btwn slaves/see below

Also Play makes resonant use of a tree - fed by the blood of many generatio... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Sad, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a well-acted play that turns the problematic/stereotypical slave narrative on its head and makes you consider alternatives.

Don't see it if you're liking for fun/escapism.

Well done. well acted. pretty good story.

See it if You appreciate new theatre about something.

Don't see it if You like traditional story telling.

Gay slaves uncivil war melodrama, Gay slaves in civil war melodrama

See it if Touching, if at times mawkish, spiritual portrayal of a slave "family" in the old South. Sheldon Best is the best. Great cast.

Don't see it if The gay love story is memorable, though the outcome is predictable. Fantastic tree makes the set.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Sad, Intense

See it if A compelling story about a part of slave history that one rarely if ever hears about. Great performances. Heart breaking.

Don't see it if As I said, very, very sad. Slow in parts.

Thought-provoking, Intense, Must see, Resonant

See it if you're intrigued by the concept of a moving and heart-wrenching look at queer love in the Civil War south.

Don't see it if you’re looking for something light or if intense historical dramas don’t appeal to you.

Sensitive & engaged performances, Riveting, Original, Resonant & timely, Exceptional story-telling & writing

See it if seeking a well-crafted story where every character belongs, every word soars, and nothing feels superfluous; a story of black/queer history.

Don't see it if you’re homophobic, racist, or need total realism, since this play does ask you to believe in magic a bit. (Really, though—it’s so worth it.)

Also With humor, love, brutality, and some surrealism, Donja R. Love’s Suga... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if Despite the brutal confines of slavery, they find ways to be true to themselves, find their heart songs, and experience love.

Don't see it if Slavery or "N word" are triggering. Gay / queer and Black Lives Matter themes annoy you.

Also Ticket from box office for $31.

Absorbing, Refreshing, Intelligent, Great writing, Clever

See it if A beautiful American drama about slavery and should be seen by all.

Don't see it if Not appropriate for children under 12.

Unsettling moments, great acting

See it if a new voice with an important story to tell done by superb actors in a poetic if unfocused metaphoric work that isn't quite a play yet

Don't see it if resolution is important to you; stereotypes unsettle you; predictability ruins your theatrical experience.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Epic, Great staging

See it if You're into surrealism, with historical research. Small, intimate, beautifully staged, work of art and {black} love. Heart-warming and gut-

Don't see it if Wrenching. You root for the couple. All 5 actors are good. Almost 2 hours, but, goes by. Lots of "N"-word and slurs. Be advised! Must see!

Great acting, Masterful, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you care about the issue of slavery and man's inhumanity to man. You know the importance of relationships, You thrill to wonderful acting

Don't see it if you cannot handle any of the above.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you want to see a beautiful story filled with poignant moments and amazing acting. The direction was perfect.

Don't see it if you can't handle a real portrayal of racism during the civil war. It gets intense and could be too much for some to handle.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Great acting, Cliched

See it if Production, set and actors are very good. Credit Sheldon Best & Chinza Uche as the young men for bringing credibility to the story.

Don't see it if The story of gay love in the Civil War south has potential, but the author should use fewer cliches, less narration & more dramatization.

Great writing, Resonant, Clever, Melodramatic

See it if you enjoy the alternate narrative of slavery viewed through the lense of queerness

Don't see it if you're not open to have a queer narrative on a historical event

Thought-provoking, Must see, Riveting, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want to see an incredible piece of theater involving a love story that couldn’t really come alive during the Civil War.

Don't see it if You absolutely cannot stand civil war era dramas. One act plays are tough for you to sit through.

Also A powerful beautiful story directed and performed exquisitely. Hope to... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if ...

Don't see it if ...

Also I love seeing queer stories and I was involved and engaged at every mi... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Resonant

See it if you have any interest in a different love story, the time will fly by. The acting, writing, set and costumes are all superb

Don't see it if if you are not prepared to hear the "N" word or see the queer experience in history with complexity and profound love.

Great writing, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You have always wanted to see a story about gay slaves in the south.

Don't see it if You prefer more challenging, thought-provoking, and original storytelling. The play is predictable and somewhat tedious.

Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Profound, Intense

See it if You appreciate historical love stories. You welcome fresh stories instead of tropes.

Don't see it if You are triggered by themes of slavery and violence.

Great writing, Resonant, Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting

See it if I was so taken by the joy, pain, love, and the personal connection of the people telling this story. It’s magical and gripping.

Don't see it if You may not want to witness the blossoming of gay relationship or to feel the pain of loss. It is moving.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see great acting telling a story we know nothing about. I had never given any thought to homosexuality during the Civil War.

Don't see it if if you are averse to simulated sexual acts and curse words; otherwise see it!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a very noble, if overbought, play that is most effective when it is poetic.

Don't see it if you don't like heavy handed plays that are not interested in well rounded characters.

Also This playwright is gifted and a singular voice but the playwrighting h... Read more Read less

June 19th, 2018
“Fantastically moving and not entirely persuasive...An old-fashioned weepie written in lush, poetic dialect...Its techniques are melodramatic. Its assault on the tear ducts is aggravated. And yet its message is unimpeachable...The script might have been stronger if it had wrestled with its confli...
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June 20th, 2018
"The playwright has taken ethnographic pains to expertly capture the speaking patterns of his characters, and director Saheem Ali weaves together a world that feels like real life, even when the action branches into the supernatural. His ace collaborators include costumer Ayite, choreographer Mou...
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June 21st, 2018
"Regrettably, once he makes a big business of bringing the two lovers together, the playwright has little else to say about slavery, the South or the war...Knowing that the love story of Henry and James is part of a grand dramaturgical design gives it more weight. But experienced on its own, the ...
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June 19th, 2018
"Exhilarating performances spring from the dramatic tension of the script. Love smartly sets his story in the months before the Emancipation Proclamation, as a whole way of life is on the brink of collapse...Performance and design come together in director Saheem Ali's production, takes full adva...
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