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.
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.
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 Read more
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.
See it if You appreciate new theatre about something.
Don't see it if You like traditional story telling.
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.
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.
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. Read more
“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 conflicts and explored its desires more truthfully, less ahistorically...A hurts-so-good kind of play, which congratulates the audience for sympathizing with its hugely sympathetic lovers."
"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 Moultrie and hair and makeup designer Cookie Jordan. Together with a uniformly wonderful cast, they movingly convey 'Sugar’'s central message: Love prevails even in a hopeless place."
"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 romance speaks its name but moves on without leaving any echoes from its moment in history."
"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 advantage of the high stakes to create a world that is simultaneously enchanted and all too real...’Sugar in Our Wounds’ implausibly manages to find love in the most terrible of circumstances.”
“A handsome and well-acted production…An ambitious drama...This is a play to celebrate what was beautiful in an ugly world, rather than dwell on tragedy or otherness.”
“The play, directed with angry sensitivity by Saheem Ali, possesses a folk tale’s disturbing enchantment, which rises to horror in a final scene that unfolds when Henry returns to the family after he’s had to flee a potential lynching as the result of a rape claim Isabel makes after he declines her advances...Zooms in on a moment in American history that should ideally be deep in the receding past but isn’t. That may be the play’s truest power.”
"Through this story of adversity, the ensemble brings the audience much laughter and hope...Saheem Ali's direction is top-notch, taking into account the many layers of coded speech and meanings among oppressed people. Every line and facial expression produces immediate reactions...Michael Thurber's original music and Darrell Grand Moultrie's movement shine through in many spiritual songs and dances."
"Director Ali steers this production along a narrow path that runs between the realistic and the fanciful, ensuring that the five fine actors do justice both to what's straightforward and to what's exotic in Love's often poetic, sometimes banal, script...Berry, always convincing as the wisest soul on the plantation, would be reason enough to see 'Sugar in Our Wounds'...Thanks to Berry's Aunt Mama, audiences will recall this tale of bigotry and thwarted love for its humor as well as tragedy."