Already closed | 2h 15m | East Village

The House That Will Not Stand

From 107 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the show

In the heat of summer in 1813, Louisiana passed from France to the United States, setting the stage for this story inspired by Federico García Lorca's 'The House of Bernarda Alba.' More…

On the eve of the transfer, in a house in mourning, freedom hangs in the balance for a steely widow and her three eligible daughters, all free women of color.

Member Reviews (107)


Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great staging
Avg Score

Enchanting, Relevant, Absorbing, Inspiring, Historical

See it if Creole family in 1813 New Orleans copes with changes in the system of “placage”. Perspectives on freedom and independence by age & race.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy historical fiction. You don’t want to see a matriarchal family drama.

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

See it if you appreciate themes of race, gender, and independence. They’re woven throughout beautifully, neither one detracting from the other.

Don't see it if you don’t like female-centric stories. That said, the themes are universal, though are told through the lens of the black female experience.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Profound

See it if Some amazing performances. Gorgeous set and costumes. A very moving adaptation of Lorca moved to New Orleans after the Purchase.

Don't see it if The Southern accented English for characters that should be speaking French was an anachronism that bothered me a little bit.

Slow, uneven, fascinating dark subject,, Seen in previews

See it if a well done dissection of a unique time in the South exploring multiple takes on what is/isnt freedom in a changing Creole world is of...

Don't see it if You cannot commit to the slowly evolving pace. Are troubled by portrayals of slavery. Do not like complicated protagonists.

Also interest. The indomitable matriarch accustomed to ruling her home. The... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Uneven

See it if you like interesting story lines, characters and some smart dialogue

Don't see it if you don't like plays that are uneven, more like a work in progress.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Uneven

See it if 18th cent. Louisiana - how women of color in common law 'placage' relationships with white men were affected after the Louisiana Purchase

Don't see it if not interested in historical dramas about racism; matriarchal households; play that has much going on so some characters undeveloped

Also I did not know about 'Placage' where white men & colored women set up ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if One of my favorite things I've seen at NYTW based on the sheer talent and quality of the production. The story resonates heavily today.

Don't see it if your attention span only lasts 90 minutes. This story is compelling and requires your undivided attention.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Clever, Exquisite

See it if One of the best dramas that I have seen in 2017-2018 season. Brava to the 7 amazing women in this powerful play. Loved it! Loved it!

Don't see it if There is no good reason not to see this captivating play.

Intense, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if you find anything about the early 19 century history of New Orleans interesting.

Don't see it if you don't find a a play set in 19 century New Orleans about seven black woman interesting. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

Also Being that I am originally from New Orleans, I was expecting to hear s... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great staging, Intense, Resonant

See it if Great performances, wonderful set, moments of genius, good script. You've seen the Garcia Lorca play it's riffing on (I sadly have not)

Don't see it if A bit long, seems unfocused or undecided on what kind of play it wants to be. Veers between family drama, magic, social commentary quickly.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Profound, Relevant

See it if You enjoy plays that explore little known historical facts in an entertaining yet relevant drama.

Don't see it if You cannot forgive a few weaker acting performances.

Great acting, Great staging, Slow, Florid

See it if You love a great monologue. One monologue blew the audience away causing applause mid act. Worth seeing to just experience that monologue.

Don't see it if You don’t care for florid language and melodramatic characters. That’s me but I did enjoy this play. Give it a chance to work it’s magic.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if Thoughtful and often humorous study of slavery, male domination, and family politics circa 1803 aka the present. Well done.

Don't see it if It's not a musical. There are no male actors. At bottom it's very serious business, and we are all culpable.

Also Interesting premise, free-wheeling French New Orleans about to be purc... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Relevant, There is a great conflict in this story but it is not this play or not these players, Thought-provoking

See it if The idea of women's enslavement is a compelling one and should be showcased but with the exception of Mahita, the slave, the actresses fail

Don't see it if Diction is poor and the words are often lost in dialect strange for proud Creole women There is little nuance or complexity to characters

Powerful, Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Vivid

See it if you appreciate an all women of color cast who paint a vivid story full of strong characters, history, and vibrant dialogue. Breathtaking!

Don't see it if you can't relate to history and how it affects us today. Or you prefer action to dialogue.

Ambitious, Interesting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in diving into a lesser-known aspect of history through the framework of a dysfunctional family drama.

Don't see it if you tune out when there are elements that are more mystical in nature, such as ghosts, possession, séances, etc. Integral to the story.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if you want to see a talented ensemble cast of strong women. Every cast member impresses.

Don't see it if you don't like unconventional shows that make you think. This is an emotional and deeply felt piece - but one that also requires attention.

Interesting, Impassioned, Uneven, Purposeful, Informative

See it if you're an American history buff, particularly fascinated by the past of Antebellum New Orleans.

Don't see it if you're expecting Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba" for while there are plenty of parallels, this script has its own intents and devices.

Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like a beautiful production

Don't see it if idkkkkkk, this reviewing formate stresses me out

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You are interested in shows based in history, learning about the experiences of black women post-slavery, excellent ensemble dynamics

Don't see it if Not interested in a historical experience of black women in the South and color politics, don’t care for hints at the supernatural,

Exquisite, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Must see

See it if you appreciate an all women of color cast. Learning some history that is relevant today.

Don't see it if you are not paying attention to the multiple threads. If you don't like delving into feminist, racial or class themes.

Also I loved this play. I am familiar with the play it borrows from - The H... Read more Read less

Wild ride, Unusual, Historically fascinating

See it if you seek out serious, well crafted plays that explore unusual and significant subject matter

Don't see it if the time and place do not appeal to you

Also I was up early for a full day of work and I got to the theater that ev... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You'd like a complex story of women's lives in New Orleans where skin color is a caste system. A beautiful rendition of a time about to go.

Don't see it if You don't want to follow the intertwined lives of the characters -- and spirits as well. Don't like period dramas, even if relevant today.

Great acting, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy dramas based on historical facts. Story takes place in New Orleans on the cusp of America's purchase from France.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate an all-female cast. are squeamish as a "corpse" is on stage, in the background, the entire time.

Delightful, Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Must see

See it if you value women's stories and smart riffs on literary classics. Really funny and moving story of free women of color during US slavery

Don't see it if you need short plays or musicals or dont like thinking about America's troubled racial and gender-discriminating history.

July 30th, 2018
"Drums are what herald two extraordinary monologues in this densely packed, erratic comic drama, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. Their percussive insistence shapes two separate instances when both a character and the play that has hitherto confined her soar into a stratosphere of freedom...You ma...
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July 30th, 2018
"Though it’s luscious and structurally artful, the play seems somewhat divided against itself. In the first half, Gardley changes Lorca’s mood from Spanish lyric tragedy to ribald French comedy, and Lileana Blain-Cruz steers the deft cast through tart and sharply funny exchanges, backhanded insul...
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July 30th, 2018
"It’s an elegant narrative formation, and one that lends itself to heightened theatricality...Blain-Cruz’s production only intermittently taps into the play’s brassiness, its conscious defiance of naturalism, and this flickering in and out of focus isn’t simply a matter of directorial oversight.....
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July 30th, 2018
"This poetical drama infused with supernatural elements boasts rich language and colorful imagination. But its narrative clunkiness is very much on display...The drama possesses many arresting lyrical elements, but Gardley never makes them cohere...The evening's tone shifts uneasily from floridly...
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