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

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

Thin story lacks drama; good supporting actors

See it if you don't mind seeing something in which the character has no flaws.

Don't see it if you want a strong concept and story.

Also When we got to intermission I was still wondering what the story was a... Read more Read less

Dated, Cliched

See it if You want to support a seemingly amateur production with decent acting ~ Good music piped in.

Don't see it if You are looking for a riveting, exciting show.

Relevant, Profound, Intense, Intelligent, Cliched

See it if You're looking for a positive story about a protagonist's relationship to religion. Coming-of-age stories tug at your heartstrings.

Don't see it if You're not interested in teenage perspectives. You're less than enthusiastic about organized Christianity.

During previews
Unfocused, Choppy, Slow, Well intentioned

See it if you find religion--esply the Bible--inspiring. You like happy endings, even if unlikely. You don't mind long, off-stage voice overs.

Don't see it if you want a polished, coherent script. Or dislike adults playing 12 y/os. Story doesn't ring true. Short scenes w fussy stage biz. Nice set.

During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if Hmmmmmmm. This was not really painful but not very entertaining either.

Don't see it if You want an arc in your story. You don't want to listen to long recordings while no action takes place. Audiobook?

Also Making it a 2 act 90 min play was a HUGE mistake... Half the audience ... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Meandering, Needs work

See it if You like slow paced shows w/ religious themes. Seems like the type of show that would be performed in churches or church communities.

Don't see it if Very Slow -. By the end of act 1 there is no hook or direction of what story is trying to be told. Doesn't hold attention. Needs work.

During previews
Dull, Unfocused, Well-intentioned sermonizing, Everything wraps up with a bow

See it if You find Bible stories to be inspiring & enjoy plays that are a series of (oddly short) vignettes w/o much purpose. Are easily moved.

Don't see it if You can sit with unlikeable characters, adult actors playing 12yo kids, or Christian teachings are profoundly meaningful to you.

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You want a sweet, slow, story heavy on religion. Some stellar acting and interesting idea.

Don't see it if You want a well executed story. Heavy use of voice over when I'd prefer to see it. The book needs work and the play needs shortening

During previews
Choppy, saccharine story of smart, sweet boy getting a lesson in life

See it if Short scenes are choppy making the drama difficult to follow. 19 year old actor playing the boy is good but the character is not credible

Don't see it if As an alum of Newark public schools, I really wanted to like this. Alas, it's amateurish and mis-directed. The ending is utterly abrupt.

During previews
Disappointing, Cliched, Sentimental, Entertaining, Not credible

See it if you like sentimental stories that lack dramaturgical drive but are intended to "feel good." Older actors playing kids were not credible.

Don't see it if cursing or long inactive sermons delivered by offstage characters bother you. Hodgepodge narrative feels contrived but is well-meaning.

During previews
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if you like supporting Keen or new playwrights

Don't see it if you’re looking for a fast paced evening

During previews
Relevant, Slow, Disappointing, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd like an uplifting story about faith and unusual friendships

Don't see it if you don't want a play with multiple scenes that are poorly staged

During previews
Unbalanced acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if An honest story about a troubled young man. Stellar acting by the youngest & oldest actresses in the cast. Writing was in/out; great ending.

Don't see it if Set design/transitions hurt momentum. Acting was unbalanced; young man and guardian were not as strong. Play should start later in story.

During previews
Disappointing, Banal

See it if You want to see a great performance by a 19 year old actor.

Don't see it if You prefer a well-made play. It’s a play of many ideas, but the storytelling fails to engage.

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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