Closed 1h 35m
Surely Goodness and Mercy
Midtown W
79

Surely Goodness and Mercy NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(89 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
17%
Negative
0%
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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81
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

65
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

Critic Reviews (15)

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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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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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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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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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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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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March 17th, 2019

"Hutchinson’s plot brims with potential power. However, the characters never develop beyond sketches...The powerful message of compassion lacks emotional connection, and often times comes off preachy...Director Jessi D. Hill’s static and monotonous pacing makes the proceedings feel more like a staged reading rather than a fully realized performance...Keen Company’s latest production requires mercy, indeed."
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March 15th, 2019

"Slim, clumsily constructed, but ultimately heartwarming…Plays out like an after-school special...However instructive its lesson may be, the play can't escape feeling like a morality play packaged in giftwrap…With so much furniture cluttering the stage, we get an inescapably amateurish, on-the-cheap look, like a high school production…Pacing, timing, and interpersonal dynamics are off, with perhaps the biggest problem being how dully flat are the many transitions."
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W
March 19th, 2019

"A resolution/rescue whose lack of complication is the sole unbelievable, disappointing part of the well written piece. (This could be fixed.) Characters sound right, genuine in speech and attitude. Relationships are well defined. Positive take on religion winds through the piece offering ballast to a rocky life. Barely out of school, in his Off Broadway debut, Jay Mazcyk is an absolute find."
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March 13th, 2019

"An uplifting present-day parable about the triumph of human kindness and generosity in a harsh world filled with challenges and pain. Incisively written, potently directed...and impeccably delivered by a superb cast of five, it is poignant and funny, heartwarming and heartrending, engaging and relevant, and thoroughly compelling...A hopeful story with an inspiring moral that fits perfectly with Keen’s mission...Outstanding and moving production.”
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March 18th, 2019

"The story unwinds in a forthright, unsentimental manner, in a series of short scenes with colorful dialogue...Keen Company deserves credit for bringing to New York this rather gentle, uplifting work, depicting African Americans living life without guns, drugs and racist police or pimps on every corner. Unfortunately, it’s given the play a problematic production, marked by a notable gaffe in casting...Nevertheless, 'Surely, Goodness and Mercy' deserves to be seen."
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March 14th, 2019

"Nothing if not sincere and well-meaning, but the characters are drawn with such broad strokes, it is difficult to connect emotionally with them...More problematically, many of the plot points strain credibility...Even audience members who do not identify as Christian would most likely agree that 'Surely Goodness and Mercy' has an important message to impart. The vessel in which it is delivered, though, is not entirely commanding and persuasive."
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T
March 13th, 2019

“The play’s execution is enjoyable, though some of Savage’s set design choices appear cluttered and can be somewhat distracting...Also distracting are the multiple voiceovers delivering major dialogue and monologues throughout the play. It takes one out of the story...All in all, 'Surely Goodness and Mercy' is a worthwhile piece to witness, not least because of the strong performances from Mazyck and Pressley, and the several cathartic moments the playwright delivers."
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