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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
79
Avg Score

During previews
65
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
75
Good story. good performances. a little pat in story telling.

See it if You want to see an interesting new play

Don't see it if You don't like racial tinged stories.

During previews
68
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
72
Slide show of multiple scenes, Interesting characters well acted, Creative set design uses space efficiently

See it if Adult actors play kids in situations they don’t fully understand. Meandering plot ends with good people doing good things with good results.

Don't see it if Gets a little religious and preachy. Several issues seem to be unnecessarily inserted and left unresolved.

During previews
67
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
75
I didnt love this but i needed to know how it would end

See it if you are a fan of chisa hutchinson. You want to see a game cast. The characters are well drawn and approachable. Some naive acting

Don't see it if You dont have patience. The pacing is slow and the constant light cues and pauses make it feel especially slow.

Also As in other recent shows the entire set is onstage at one time. The ch... Read more Read less

During previews
94
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a play that touches on several subject matters and how goodness and mercy weaves itself into the story.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear about the struggles that people have to contend with. You don't want to wait for all the layers to be revealed.

Also I was thoroughly entertained by this performance. Everyone did an amaz... Read more Read less

During previews
77
Absorbing, Entertaining, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if Feel good drama

Don't see it if If religion bothers you

Also We saw this play the first night of preview. This feel good drama has ... Read more Read less

During previews
91
Resonant, Refreshing, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a play that shows how family can come in the most surprising and loving ways. Beyond being born in to one.

Don't see it if If you want to see a kick up your heels play. This takes one on a much deeper journey. Worth your time.

During previews
75
Great staging, Relevant, Indulgent, Unfocused, Cliched

See it if You like a feel good story with a fair amount of religion in it.

Don't see it if You don't like religious stuff or you feel like a show ought to tie up all the loose ends.

During previews
85
Amazing performances, Powerful story, Intelligent, Heatr breakling

See it if You are brave enough to be touched by the reality of multitudes of children in our city, county, world. Be amazed by pain and resilience.

Don't see it if You do not have compassion for others or you are afraid it will be to painful to bear. That is how my friend reacted. A former teacher.

During previews
78
Great acting, Slow

See it if great ensemble of actors tell a sweet story with a positive message about youth in Newark.

Don't see it if don't like chaotic set changes--don't care for a meandering pointless plot which ends in a message.

Also Although I enjoyed this show and the acting was superior, I just could... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Satisfying, Feel-good story, Slow, Sweet

See it if You are interested in a story with a happy ending.

Don't see it if You are looking for heavy drama or for comedy. This is a serious story, but not as harrowing as some.

Also I saw it in previews and the acting was rather uneven and the story se... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Intelligent, Refreshing, Great acting, Great writing, Poignant

See it if for a thoughtful, absorbing, low-key tale making palpable that kindness begets kindness, compassion begets compassion; a terrific ensemble.

Don't see it if you need high-energy scenes, rapid-fire dialogue, elaborate story; averse to dual roles. The layers unfold slowly, quietly, authentically.

During previews
76
Absorbing, Great acting, Cliched

See it if Great talent here but the script is a bit choppy...hopefully the kinks will be ironed out during previews...the ending was flat...

Don't see it if You don't like stories about the rites of passage of teenager in the inner cities

During previews
79
Delightful, Funny, Great writing, Great acting, Cliched

See it if you enjoy excellent dialogue delivered by a strong cast, Heart warming stories particularly about children, and stories about faith.

Don't see it if you mind choppy storytelling, adult actor playing children, main characters that are of heavily explored types in current writing.

Also The greatest strength of the play is Miss Hutchinson's dialogue which ... Read more Read less

During previews
65
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
90
Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if You like intergenerational friendships, clever staging, basic human decency, or black church.

Don't see it if Maybe if cursing bothers you? There's a bit of that herein, but it's really pretty great start to finish.

During previews
92
Moving, Refreshing, Stellar acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like an upbeat play about how a teenager and a lunch lady navigate difficult lives and how they support each other with acts of decency.

Don't see it if you don't like plays with quite a few bible citations and a bit of cursing.

Also 19-year old Jay Mazyck (Tino) and Brenda Pressley (lunch lady Bernadet... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy off Broadway shows that get less press but have much promise. Thought provoking, well acted, interesting staging. Watch out for

Don't see it if You dislike off Broadway plays thinking less of their effectiveness. You enjoy musicals more than dramas.

Also the lead actor to spiral in major roles in the future.

During previews
68
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
77
Clever, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if you like plays about about students

Don't see it if you like a dark comedy

During previews
70
Heartwarming, Good for christian audiences and beyond, Muddled, Slow feeling from short scenes

See it if you want a heartwarming story with nice writing.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in the topic etc.

During previews
67
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
85
Refreshing, Must see, Great acting

See it if You have an idea of what it’s like to be a thoughtful sixth grader who has a difficult life but ends up on top through his friends and actio

Don't see it if The angst of a child and helping others doesn’t Interest you.

Also Saroyan Covington and Jay Mazyck we’re alive in their roles as were th... Read more Read less


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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