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We're Gonna Die

From 117 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

About the show

Second Stage presents Young Jean Lee's non-musical/non-play/non-concert that is not about dying. More…

From the show:

It's a celebration of the things we do, say, and sing to keep ourselves going as we hurtle toward the finish line. Through a series of stories and songs both hilarious and heartbreaking, Young Jean Lee’s We're Gonna Die, under Raja Feather Kelly's new direction, offers proof positive that being alive is about more than just awaiting the inevitable.come

Member Reviews (117)


Great singing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing
Avg Score

The band can cook, A little thin, Chic lounge act, Rhythmic, Slick

See it if the idea of a set of songs, interspersed with stories, about converting life’s darkest moments into something productive, interests you.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a play, or something much deeper than a tight set performed by an arty, accomplished lounge act.

Also I am a fan of both Lee & Feather, writer & director of “We're Gonna Di... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy great singing & poignant stories by the lead. Full band. Would love to hear a soundtrack released.

Don't see it if You don't like tons of balloons being released at the very end of the show.

65 minutes long, Intersting, but...!, One woman show, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if you like loud rock music and a WONDERFUL singer.Plot is pretty much non-existent.Choreo is fun.

Don't see it if you are expecting a coherent story line.Cast is enthusiastic, but there just isn't much here, other than a very talented young woman.

Absorbing, Expressive, Uplifting, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if you'll spend a well-paced hour glad to not be dead! A hard look at dying w/ rhapsodic consolation. No cliches (“look on the bright side").

Don't see it if Retail prices too steep. This is more like a fast, tasty entree than a sit-down 3-course meal. Get discount tix for the most bang for buck.

Also The anthem is really good. The script is moving and everyone involved ... Read more Read less

All the greats! gorgeous lighting., Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if This is a raucous, high energy, one woman show with a great ensemble backing her. Sing they do. She has a lovely voice easy to listen to.

Don't see it if This is loud. Sad. As in Straight White Male, we are bombarded with hits echoing death and dying. Lights flash and players MOVE.

Also I have not been a fan of this playwright but this was wonderful. There... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy a song cycle/story telling performance that lights up the stage in 65 minutes

Don't see it if SPOILER ALERT Songs/stories about death and dying are not your cup of tea.

Pretentious, Good musicians, Superficial "messages", Very loud music, Fine actor/singer/story teller

See it if you can like "ear splitting music," a talented singer & musicians, story telling and themes involves life learnings.

Don't see it if you can't tolerate very, very loud music, one person story telling and superficial, rather than profound, lessons on life.

Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Quirky, Clever

See it if if you want to see a great performance by Janelle McDermoth, a true life-force in a show about death. Some great staging and a terrific band

Don't see it if you're looking for a full-fledged play. Only 60 minutes, more like a cabaret act.

Also A bit of inconsistency with the audience singalong lyrics, "We're goin... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Confusing, Insipid, Disappointing

See it if and only if you want to experience a "piece" (notice I didn't call it a show or play) that is in need of a huge re-write and a proper ending

Don't see it if you are contemplating suicide. It will send you over the edge by the time this 70 minute "piece" is over. RIP

Also From the moment I saw the show poster ads popping up on the www.playbi... Read more Read less

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you like cabaret about dark subjects.

Don't see it if you're squeamish around stories of tragic death.

Intelligent, Quirky, Great staging, Great singing, Great music

See it if You enjoy theatrical concert plays like A Hundred Days, Second Man, and Rags Parkland. You want to hear a rockin' band.

Don't see it if You dislike theatrical concerts that don't really have a steady thru-line. You dislike modern pop and 80's pop.

Also "It's experimental theater but this show is as accessible and entertai... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if a truly enjoyable mix of story telling & great songs sung with lots of heart backed by a terrific band appeals to you. A hybrid, fun piece!!

Don't see it if If subject of catastrophic illness is way too painful for you. Otherwise, it's irrepressibly engaging—McDermoth is terrific as is the band!

Less than an hour long, Unnecessary, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if want to hear a talented singer sing some nice songs about the ups and downs of her "character's" life.

Don't see it if you were looking for some sort of up lifting take on our own mortality as the show might suggest. The story is a single person's experience.

Great singing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a very talented lady and talented back up musicians and singers perform original songs.

Don't see it if you dislike very loud music and want to see a play where the actors respond to each other.

Celebrate life because you’re gonna die some time...

See it if the circle of life... and death doesn’t need to be scary

Don't see it if the concert and storytelling format was fine, I just didn’t get hooked in.

Also In all fairness, this is a one person show ... and we had an understud... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Understudy lili thomas was a very good singer but lacking charisma as a storyteller., Went to a 1-person show & one went missing??

See it if If U go to a 1-person show & the soloist is OUT, run to the boxoffice & re-book or suffer nagging doubts about what you missed. Average show

Don't see it if Skip if U don't like alt-pop music that rarely connects w/ the stories told between songs. If U heard about Young Jun Lee's perfs -long gone

Also BIG SPOILER: Playwright-performer YJL does show LIVE here: https://you... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Clever

See it if For something different-- not really a play or a musical. Good music and vivid story telling.

Don't see it if Not really enough. Although short at 60 minutes, it feel substantial but needed more.

Great singing

See it if you like a few short stories about bad things happening to people and "solutions" what to do/think then. Unfortunately not convincing for me

Don't see it if you need a real story and don't like short stories interspersed with music.

Also I had heard bad comments about this show and during the first few minu... Read more Read less

A trifle, Highly indulgent, Well-sung and performed, It made me want to die, The beginning of something but not a complete work

See it if You like concerts & want to see a talented young singer. You like balloons. You are looking for a show that is literally only an hour long

Don't see it if You want to see a complete work that isn't by a self-indulgent playwright who doesn't know what she wants her work to be. You hate balloons.

Great singing, Delightful, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like good music behind a story

Don't see it if you don't like a one woman show

But it feels like half a show, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you're intrigued by a cabaret-style presentation on death and dying which is rather upbeat.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show about death or if you will be frustrated by seeing "half a show".

Also I saw the show with the understudy, who was excellent. This is quite o... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you are intrigued with new musical theater pieces with a contemporary style. You enjoy really listening to spoken words.

Don't see it if you prefer plot driven stories or more tradition musical theater forms. Are dismayed by short running times (65 minutes).

Also Janelle McDermoth gives a stellar performance in what is essentially a... Read more Read less

Great singing, Delightful

See it if A smart and dark performance that perhaps would stand better as a cabaret show than a full-blown play, WGD plumbs the feeling of loneliness.

Don't see it if The lead singer/actor felt perhaps too stage-y, too much of a performer for the relatively plain-spoken and deadpan text and music.

Relevant, Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you want to be reminded in a sometimes joyous, sometimes thoughtful quirky way with great acting that life comes with hardship but also joy!

Don't see it if you need a more traditional musical or play and don't want to go on a journey of sadness/joy in a too brief 60 minutes.

Resonant, Profound, Great singing, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You would enjoy hearing pieces of one characters life interspersed with rock songs all to the theme of death.

Don't see it if You want something serious or comical and straightforward without room for discussion post performance.

Also I thoroughly enjoyed this show listening to memories of one characters... Read more Read less

February 25th, 2020
"In ‘We’re Gonna Die,’ Pop Songs for the Reaper: Young Jean Lee offers upbeat tunes about downbeat lives and inevitable ends."
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February 25th, 2020
4/5 Stars. "'We're Gonna Die' is in no way sentimental, but it's full of earnest emotion. As our guide and avatar, McDermoth is charming and sounds great, and the band behind her gets our blood pumping even when our hearts are breaking."
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February 26th, 2020
"Lifeboats and Lifelines: Two Musicals Make the Case for Not Giving Up"
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February 25th, 2020
"Face Your Mortality the Fun Way: With Young Jean Lee's 'We're Gonna Die' Janelle McDermoth stars in Second Stage's new production of Lee's theatrical concert."
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Cast & Creatives (3)