In Previews: Opens Feb 25 | 1h 5m | Midtown W

We're Gonna Die

From 70 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

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 (70)


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

During previews
Must see, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining, Profound

See it if You have pain or emptiness in your heart or if you fear death and dying. A quirky show that defies description: part concert part musical.

Don't see it if You want a traditional show. This is something else.

Also Great storytelling. Great singing. Great music. Interesting staging an... Read more Read less

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a different kind of show. More talking concert than story. But I just didn't connect with it.

Don't see it if You have to see everything at 2nd stage.

During previews
Indulgent, Fluffy, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if If you want a musical set to rock tunes about dying is for you. Only 65 minutes long.

Don't see it if If you want a musical that is based on dying to rock songs. This musical made no sense . Tony K theatre has been putting on some wacky shows

During previews
Thought-provoking, Delightful, Great music, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if u want to experience a life-affirming, uplifting, poignant event that explores the value of life & death in song & story w/a 1st-rate score.

Don't see it if you expect a traditional/conventional musical with a narrative, plot, character development, etc.; you hate rock and r&b music.

Also This is a compelling, thoroughly enjoyable brief (at 65 minutes) piece... Read more Read less

During previews
Intense, Quirky, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if More choreo-poem than pop-eretta Lee tackles life's undeniable existential moment w/zest & compassion Kelly's staging tepid; movement shines

Don't see it if Despite it's pleasures (great rock band; a charismatic McDermoth) piece has a static quality on stage Better suited for a cabaret setting

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Great singing

See it if Super singing story telling and stage presence by Janelle McDermoth .Great response by audience. for a surprising production at 2nd Stage

Don't see it if It is really a cabaret act, 55 minutes. Some tough things to think about. Set is a spiral staircase hardly used.

During previews
Quirky, Refreshing, Surprising, Delightful, Clever

See it if you're looking for something different in musicals, enjoy being deliciously surprised, like going from glum to glorious in 70 minutes

Don't see it if quick, short musical is not your thing, don't like unexpected joy rides or thinking there will be lots of talk about death (not!)

During previews
Brief, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great singing

See it if All signs pointing to the end being nigh, so until then, just l.i.v.e., embraced with a smile and a rock beat.An hour's diversion done well.

Don't see it if Like listening to liner notes on a dust jacket with some skipped beats.

During previews
Not a traditional theatrical experience but a moving, if too short, combo of stories + songs that show journey of narrator/lead singer to come to embrace life by accepting death

See it if joyously embraces carpe diem 2 deal w life's inevitable disappointments; Janelle McDermoth dynamic narrator/lead singer w virtuoso rock band

Don't see it if not fully realized musical; rapturous ending feels unearned as too-short vehicle @ 55 minutes skims surface of narrator's life

During previews
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy good storytelling accompanied by good music. This is something of a musical-play-concert hybrid. It's unique, fun, and deep.

Don't see it if you're turned off by the idea of facing your own mortality. This show reminds us of that (as the title suggests), but in an uplifting way.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if singing and stories about Dying. About Life and living to your fullest.

Don't see it if The subject matter, or rock music.

Also This is not new for we all had heartbreak/pain of a love one dying. Th... Read more Read less

During previews
Unusual staging and lighting, Weird, Edgy, Clever

See it if you enjoy depressing stories and songs. The lighting and staging are unusual and creative but there is little point to the show.

Don't see it if you want a show with a plot or don't like talk of illness and death.

Also I was reminded of the audience reaction in the movie The Producers whe... Read more Read less

During previews
Quirky, Good band, Interesting premise, Great lead

See it if Janelle McDermoth is absolutely terrific, full of energy & compelling; interesting premise on death with flair & an upbeat tempo; original

Don't see it if want more than repetitious music/lyrics; 2-3 good songs; want more depth & story; balloons dropping during performance is distracting

Also Trying to be happy & songful that we're all gonna' die can feel a litt... Read more Read less

During previews
Very different. very short. terrific music. interesting story.

See it if You appreciate new type of musical theatre.

Don't see it if You only want traditional musical.s

During previews
Overrated, Cliched, Disappointing, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You're a fan of cabaret acts and want to hear about death for 65 or so minutes.

Don't see it if you are not looking for a rock musical based on death.

During previews
Great singing, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A bravura performance by Janelle McDermoth, who single-handedly tells us the story of her life in words and song. A compelling performance.

Don't see it if Ultimately confusing. The band gets up at various times to use the onstage vending machine, and balloons descend throughout the show. Why?

During previews
Experimental, Haunting

See it if She pairs songs with her realizations of loneliness, aging, sickness, death, and us. Like a mini-concert w/ a little story to connect songs

Don't see it if Experimental theater isn't your thing. Would've liked more. Takes a while to set it up, then she makes the point and it's over.

Also Diversity: diverse! Black female solo show. Asian American playwright.... Read more Read less

During previews
Profound, Enchanting, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a brief and poignant reflection on life and the inevitability of death; you don't need conventionality in your theatre

Don't see it if you want a fully developed plot; this is more of a performance art/concert/storytelling session. But my gosh it works...I wanted more!

During previews
Banal, Cliched, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if Non-traditional format: a band performs with a singer who simultaneously narrates her life story.

Don't see it if weird pointless set and narration about how life is meaningful yet we are all gonna die, so live now...NOT even a spoiler...

Also This has a strange blank set with a spiral staircase blocking the sigh... Read more Read less

During previews
Hugely surprising, moving and insightful, totally entertaining

See it if you want new talent (performers, composers, writers, staging), marvelous lyrics on a tough subject, laughs and tears, brave honesty & more.

Don't see it if the reality that death is what we all face is too much for you to deal with - even in this amazingly entertaining format

During previews
Bright, Nihilistic

See it if you’d like to see the theatrical baby of What the Constitution Means to Me and Hundred Days.

Don't see it if you must have theatrical conventions.

During previews
Must see, Intelligent, Masterful, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if You can get by the title and see a compelling story, beautifully told. Great music and it will involve you.

Don't see it if Can’t think of a reason.

During previews
Entertaining, Ambitious, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you're up for a concert, not a play. it's a serious subject -yes: death - handled with humor & empathy.

Don't see it if you dislike rock music or are expecting a drama. it's just a singer and band, with some spoken word. the 'set' is pointless & distracting.

During previews
Should’ve made my usual 1 mile swim instead, Bad things happen to us all, Every day’s a birthday

See it if You need to see 65 minutes of rock music with a little narration to realize that every day is a gift (so use it well) & we’re all gonna die.

Don't see it if You don’t like rock music, balloons labeled “we’re gonna die” or want more than 65 minutes for a $45 ticket to a “new groundbreaking” show.

Also This is not a special show in any way. There are some touching “true” ... Read more Read less

During previews
Must see, Great writing, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like shows that defy simple description - this is more than a play but not exactly a musical.

Don't see it if You’re looking for something with a large cast or traditional structure.

Also A series of beautifully rendered stories, with a song sung for each af... Read more Read less

“We're Gonna Die” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

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Cast & Creatives (3)