Surely Goodness and Mercy
Closed 1h 35m
Surely Goodness and Mercy

Surely Goodness and Mercy NYC Reviews and Tickets

(89 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Set in an underfunded public school in Newark, Keen Company's New York premiere tells the story of a bible-toting boy with a photographic memory who befriends the cantankerous old lunch lady. 

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Member Reviews (89)

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952 Reviews | 387 Followers
Uplifting, Absorbing, Relevant, Fast paced, Entertaining

See it if You like quick short scenes strung together in an interesting way on stage. Never felt bogged down by multiple scene changes.

Don't see it if You don’t like to try new directing styles. This might be called the A.D.D. style but I think it worked. Read more

692 Reviews | 152 Followers
Relevant, Underwhelming, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Touching modern drama about 2 12-yr. old students connecting, themes of child abuse and class, adult-youth relationships, feeling ignored;

Don't see it if you don't like young adult actors playing 12-yr olds, abrupt scene blackouts, a bit simplistic in story, unclear relationships at first

677 Reviews | 187 Followers
Clumsy, Preachy, Slow, Earnest

See it if u want a well-intentioned & generally uplifting morality play about compassion & generosity that strains credulity & never really satisfies.

Don't see it if you are expecting a polished production (as one can usually expect from Keen Co.), 3D characters, or age-appropriate actors in kids' roles. Read more

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
Great acting, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if Very well acted by ensemble (esp leads playing grade school children) While a little slight & underdeveloped, message of virtue refreshing

Don't see it if Brief, staccato scenes prevents a rhythmic flow & several plotlines are left open Religious overtones heavyhanded but well presented

506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Great acting by Jay Mazyck /Sarita Covington (not easy to play younger roles) Many short scene changes. Oddity: two roles off stage ALSOl

Don't see it if Not crazy about the set although it saves scene changes. 90 minutes with an intermission. With raised stage avoid Row A. Read more

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
Parable, Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Delightful

See it if Faith-based & Bible-centric swiftly-paced parable of boy's alienation to prove his devotion through works, actions & deeds. Capable Keen Co.

Don't see it if Only for those who hear and create a joyful noise. Profanity."If you're poor and black, you're useless, as far as this world is concerned." Read more

513 Reviews | 129 Followers
Touching, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Sensitive

See it if great acting and insights into a shy 6th grader who is smarter than his teacher & kinder than most children & adults; fine morality story.

Don't see it if can't get past a nineteen yr. old playing a 6th grader; set is uninspiring but practical; abrupt ending-is it over? Could have gone deeper. Read more

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
Profound, Must see, Great acting, Moving, Absorbing

See it if you want to spend an evening in the theatre, and have a a truly moving experience—especially during these trouble times.

Don't see it if you don't want to be moved by a play that shows the goodness and mercy in people. Read more

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
March 13th, 2019

"Though this morality play has its collection basket full of tokens of charity, it still feels withholding. Under Hill’s direction, the 95-minute Keen Company production moves quickly, in a series of gasp-like three- or four-minute scenes...While full of heart, the writing skimps on the meat of the story...Hutchinson sprinkles in tidbits about class and race but the most charged material is quickly sidestepped. It’s too bad, for both the characters and the actors who capably portray them."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 15th, 2019

"It gives us the chance to make the acquaintance of Jay Mazyck, a nineteen-year-old actor with an uncanny way of laying bare the soul of the character he plays...Hutchinson comes up with a couple of painfully engrossing confrontations...As it stands, it's a film script passing as a play, and not felicitously...Hutchinson creates such appealing characters that it's a pity at 'Surely Goodness and Mercy' never pulls its elements together into a fully convincing drama."
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New York Stage Review
March 13th, 2019

"Ironically, as Hutchinson shapes her play—and Jessi D. Hill smoothly directs it on Lee Savage’s multi-area set—goodness and mercy may be in too generous supply...Another hard-to-dismiss ‘Surely, Goodness and Mercy’ drawback is casting Mazyck as Tino...He can’t, and doesn’t, pass for 12...Yes, ‘Surely, Goodness and Mercy’ is worth seeing now for not only how much, well, good there is in it but also for how much it promises of Hutchinson’s next play. Surely.”
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March 14th, 2019

"Playwright Chisa Hutchinson has a fine ear for dialogue and an excellent sense of fair play. Unfortunately, 'Surely Goodness and Mercy' is rather unreal in its naïvete as well as having no dramatic arc. Under Jessi D. Hill's astute direction, the play seem better than it is with performances that somewhat cover up the holes and inconsistencies in the script. The feel good ending will please some, while others will find it rather hard to believe."
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Theatre is Easy
March 18th, 2019

"In Hutchinson’s hands, the relationship between Tino, Deja, and Bernadette is deftly written, with laughs and genuine tenderness...My main issues are with the abrupt end to the first act and the unresolved, somewhat pat ending...That being said, Keen Company is doing something pretty rare right now with their 'Season of Impact'—putting on shows that look to leave you moved, perhaps enough to inspire you to additional acts of kindness."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 13th, 2019

"I most definitely enjoyed ‘Surely Goodness & Mercy’, but I wished that it had fleshed out its plotting and characters a bit more to make for a more nourishing meal of an evening...I do feel the play is worth seeing, especially acted as well as it is. Nicely staged and directed by Jessi D. Hill...It is to the credit of the two young actors that they accomplish what they do, considering they are rarely believable twelve year-olds. ”
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March 13th, 2019

“An uplifting exploration of defying the odds and having the guts to be generous...The acting is definitely the production's strong suit...The production values don't measure up quite as well. The problem lies in Savage's multi-leveled set which is far too busy...Hutchinson's dramaturgy isn't flawless...But there's no question that the playwright has a sharp ear for dialogue that sounds natural and flows well.”
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Front Row Center
March 14th, 2019

"It's a heartwarming story about doing good in the world and how that good keeps building and creating more good. It's a wonderful part of our human experience that is often overlooked today. But I do have some caveats about recommending this wholeheartedly despite excellent acting and the story of the play. Some scenes in Chisa Hutchinson's script are a flash, more a moment than a full fledged scene...Other scenes are prolonged to the point of tedium."
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