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

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Refreshing, Must see, Great writing

See it if You like stories about doing the right things. Especially as a young mind, it could be difficult as you are played by others' rules. 👍

Don't see it if You are easily agitated or aggravated by wrong doing. Or you simply crave for bigger stage or production.

Also I think the show stood out for me, not only because of the great actin... Read more Read less

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

See it if You are interested in the struggles of a child striving to rise above his circumstances and maintain the values he learned when younger

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with the results of family dysfunction and child abuse and would be bothered by the lead actors not being children

Also This was cleverly staged. All scenes were present at all times, with s... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Care about people who go out their way, to be kind to you other than your Family.

Don't see it if Don't like to see a person being mistreated, for showing an at of KINDNESS , to someone who meant more to them, than their Family.

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

Intense, Indulgent, Funny, Absorbing

See it if The character Deja was very good in her role. Its a believable story and actors were great. I loved it.

Don't see it if You dont like bible references. All scenes roll into one setting on stage.

Great acting, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You're interested in a middle school play, and the way religion can intensely surge for desperate youth.

Don't see it if You expect a realistic portrayal--the characters are a little over the top in middle school stereotypes, but all the actors were great!

Also I enjoyed this play and felt engaged with it. Since the role of religi... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy a fresh take on youth, angst, overcoming adversity and selflessness.

Don't see it if Faith based motivation doesn't ring true for you. A bit heavy handed on turning to faith.

Quirky, Great writing, Absorbing, Refreshing, Great acting

See it if You'd like to see an earnest, moving play in which organized religion is actually taken seriously, and not mocked for effect.

Don't see it if You dislike short scenes.

Also Kindness is in short supply on stages and in real life, so to see it d... Read more Read less

Edgy, Entertaining, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like plays that deal with heavy real life issues

Don't see it if You don’t want to think

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.

Necessary, Resonant, Relevant, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if At a time when family is taking on so many different dynamics it's interesting to see that someone is listening when necessary.

Don't see it if Language can be intense at times but so is life. Dark.

Delightful, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like a play with short scenes and interesting staging. Story of a young boy in a trying situation, but who has compassion for others

Don't see it if You dislike intermissions, limited staging, or stories that include religion.

Also Good performances by all actors. Refreshing to see a play that respect... Read more Read less

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if I loved this show because it made me feel like there was hope for goodness and compassion in this world. Filled the stage with warmth.

Don't see it if I don't understand why anyone would shy away from such a beautiful, well acted, kind play. I was totally immersed in the story.

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.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Good acting, fast paced and relevant.

Don't see it if Characters needed more development.

Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if If you like thought provoking theater with a great cast.

Don't see it if If you only enjoy light escapist musical comedy.

Resonant, Intense, Intelligent, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You like shows that deal with people striving for humanity while living in a disenfranchised reality.

Don't see it if You're looking for a big broadway musical or a place to make out.

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
Neat, Sweet, Beautifully played, Smartly staged, Ultimately upbeat

See it if you’d like to see an ultimately upbeat play about the troubles that 2 adolescents & the adult they befriend face together & deal with.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to seeing seemingly intractable life problems melt away before the final curtain.

Also Yes, the seemingly intractable real-life problems that 2 Newark teens ... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Great acting, Dizzying, Great staging, Slow

See it if you want to enjoy a nice story set in Newark with a fine cast and an interesting set.

Don't see it if many short scenes seem to make it drag and keep it from feeling finished - saw the first preview with a lighting miscue & weird intermission

During previews
Slow, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if About a good young man having faith thru hard times in his life. During his way find friendship.

Don't see it if If religion bother you then you might not want to see it. Some curse in this show.

Also Some of the scene were very short. Some were repeated as the lunch lad... Read more Read less

During previews
Inspirational, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you would like to see a show about a young person who rises above his troubled upbringing and becomes a caring wonderful person.

Don't see it if you like a sophisticated drama or a play with lots of dramatic action. Lots of things happen but in short spurts.

Also I really liked this show about a wonderful young man who help others a... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting

See it if Poignant tale of how the sick lunch lady and bullied boy bond together and ultimately help each other. Fast paced 95 minutes including break

Don't see it if Ending is abrupt. Would have liked to see the lunch lady's reaction to the envelope.

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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