Already closed | 1h 35m | Midtown W

Surely Goodness and Mercy

From 89 member  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.  More…

Against all odds, Tino and Bernadette help each other through the mess of growing up and growing old.

Member Reviews (89)


Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

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.

Also This was a little bit forced in the dialogue department but generally ... Read more Read less

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.

Also The concept of placing all seven (or was it eight?) of your sets on on... Read more Read less

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

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.

Also It is a feel good show, Not many around these days... Read more Read less

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

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."

Also Title is Bible quoted directly.

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.

Also This is the story of a boy's inner strength in the aftermath of a crus... Read more Read less

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.

Also Jay Mazcyk is a real find! I look forward to seeing his future work on... Read more Read less

Preachy, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy shows which emphasize biblical texts and their application to real life; feel good drama; sweet stories; shows with a moral

Don't see it if slightly soppy stories with lots of bible reading and happy endings are not your thing.

Some very good performances, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you, like me, long for kindness to prevail in this era of anger & meanness. All of the performances are very good.Story is good, if overdone

Don't see it if you want a fast moving narrative.Staging is a bit clunky.Characters need more development and less movement.

Nice, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you like happy or inspiring plots and like smaller but well presented shows, if you enjoy stories about young people who feel different.

Don't see it if if you are sensitive to child mistreatment stories or you feel that for plots to be realistic they must be somewhat somber.

Heart-warming, Touching, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if a feel-good show about a young boy, with family sadness, making connections - to religion and to other people; excellent staging

Don't see it if you need stronger/longer scenes and more character development to be able to get the message; if you don't want uplifting

Great staging, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you want a feel good story. About Blacks but not racially oriented. Jay Mazyck is only 19, plays the lead, is excellent! Set is marvelous.

Don't see it if you dislike contrived plots which this is. But the acting and sets make up for this.


See it if Blackish variant of Annie: Despite having a hard knock life as an orphan, good Samaritans can earn good karma. Short play.

Don't see it if Child abuse is triggering. A lot of God / bible talk isn't your thing. Play can be developed more, has some strong parts but ends abruptly.

Also Free ticket from Show Score.... Read more Read less

Resonant, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if a nice play about people that are often overlooked

Don't see it if wish heavy drama - this is a bit light. Stick around for Act 2

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if a play with a glimmer of kindness with the good guy kinda winning in the end uplifts you.

Don't see it if you EITHER walk through the world devouring its spoils or you carry the heaviness of the world like an anchor around your neck like.

Also Brenda Pressley, as cafeteria lady Bernadette, allows the audience to ... Read more Read less

Could be tweaked, Intelligent, Absorbing, Ambitious, Profound

See it if You like a small talented cast, although, some better than others. The lead is very believable as a 12-year old outcasted and abused boy. It

Don't see it if Has religious and secular elements, which are good. Use of offstage (projected) voices was good. There's some cussing, some preaching. It's

Also A pretty good morality tale on humanity and the human spirit. There's ... Read more Read less

Feel good style faith, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You like serious stories with a feel good faith thread both in religion and ultimately humanity

Don't see it if A 19 yr old playing a 6 th grader is distracting and religion and the hardships of life are not something you want to deal with

Engaging, Heart-warming, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you like thoughtful plays involving relationships both good and bad; you like happy endings

Don't see it if you don't like plays that proceed essentially with little vignettes; you don't like seeing 19 year olds portraying 12 year olds

Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You like to see fanciful kindness acted out on stage; cast is great, the youngest being only 19; 90 minutes with 10 min intermission

Don't see it if You don’t like short scenes that are not fully developed; you don’t like “feel-good” kind of play; high-rising staging, avoid 1/2 row!

Great writing, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want to see a hearfelt dialogues,great acting,great story line,a unique relation development between an orphan kid & school lunch server

Don't see it if Religious scenes with bible referrrals, domestic violence, foul language bothers you. Short scenes wt lots of movement on stage.

Insightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Touching, Meaningful

See it if Terrif look @ inner city kid & trappings/challenges of a bright student making a dif in his, & those around his, life. Uplifting & inspiring

Don't see it if Ur too cynical to take the ride w/this kid. His is lesson for all of us we can make change-@ any age. End is a silly deus ex machina device.

Refreshing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a touching piece about a young boy finding solace in religion and friends around him

Don't see it if you don't like a quick secession of scenes. It jumps around a lot.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You believe we are all responsible for each other, believe that faith can be healing,

Don't see it if Physical and mental abuse are triggers.

Also As engaging and wonderfully written as this is, I question why the pre... Read more Read less

Riveting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You want to see a small show with a big heart. Acting and writing were superb. A beautiful human story.

Don't see it if You have no heart.

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 t...
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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 ...
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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, ‘S...
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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 tha...
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