Already closed | Soho/Tribeca

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing, Confusing, Intense

About the show

A theatricalization of the poetry of Samoan New Zealander Tusiata Avia, this piece offers an examination and celebration of what it is to be a Samoan woman. More…

From the show:

Samoan New Zealander Tusiata Avia’s poetry becomes a fearless and enchanting piece of theatre under the direction of Anapela Polata'ivao and a cast of six powerful Pasefika actresses.

Breathing provocative new life into Avia’s examination and celebration of what it is to be a Samoan woman, Polata'ivao’s direction adds “extra levels of nuance, power and dramatic sophistication” which earned her Best Director in the 2016 Auckland Theatre Awards.

Through her vivid, compelling and at times hilarious characters, Avia paints a deeply personal view of Pacific Island life and its sometimes uneasy collisions with the Kiwi way. Heart-stopping and unmissable theatre.

Member Reviews (25)


Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing, Confusing, Intense

Overrated, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if A play about polynesian/ samoan life and culture. Has some humor, interesting dancing and gives you insight into its life.

Don't see it if Has some violent stories to it as well as themes. If your not interested in samoan culture.

Intense, Poetic, Primal, Cultural, Sexual

See it if 6 actresses take turns enacting poems of Samoan womanhood. Sexuality, coming-of-age, religion, family, food. Builds to intense ending.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a powerful physical performance that is occasionally confusing & drawn out. Multiple slices of life; no plot.

Also I loved the parts where all 6 actresses and the drummer were performin... Read more Read less

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

See it if you want exposure to Samoan gender issues including how women and transexual roles include food and sex abuse. Good dancing/bits of humor.

Don't see it if you want to understand it all & it's your first exposure to Samoan culture: accents, foreign language, cannabalism. Not a play-a performance

Unique, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you value song, dance & poetry touching myths & realties of Polynesian culture - headhunters, grass skirts, chanting, poverty, bamboo huts

Don't see it if you are expecting a play - no plot, little character. Very exotic.

Primal, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Somoan women who won't be confined by Dusky Maiden/Pacific Princess stereotypes unleash primal rage in story:"We have forgotten our women."

Don't see it if Some thick accents and syntax."Don't wear the trouser,except in the town/All the mens they like it too much Samoan/I'll wear you likeacloak"

Also "Why do I have big feet?/You have a firm grip on the earth"

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Confusing, Intense, Ambitious

See it if You want a view of Samoan women w/their issues of gender roles, sexuality & stereotypes from other countries, in particular New Zealand.

Don't see it if You don't want a collection of stories. You want those stories linked better: it was difficult to figure out characters' relationships...

Also You want multiple emotions: this play centered on rage & didn't offer ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Refreshing, Entertaining, Strong

See it if Strong, Bold and Raw about Samoan Women with dancing/singing with different topic threw out this whole performance.

Don't see it if Accents and you want a story show.

Intense, Dizzying, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious

See it if You want a look at a culture that we see very little theater about. An excellent performance by fierce women.

Don't see it if You want to understand everything, don't like being a little lost, don't like different cultures, can't stand vulgarity.

Riveting, Edgy, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see something unique. Unlike anything I have ever seen. Gorgeous 6 part harmony. 6 strong female characters.

Don't see it if you dont like different worlds. Dont like stories of racial/cultural conflict. Intense, loud in your face action. Minimal sets and staging.

Also I will say that my date had no clue what was going on. When we were wa... Read more Read less

Experimental, Intense

See it if Dogged expressions and frustrations of Samoan women in the patriarchy, Christianity, sex, lack of education/opportunities. Gets intense.

Don't see it if Diverse women's stories, esp. with anger and rage, make you uncomfortable. More experimental, not plot driven.

Also Diversity: all 6 Samoan women!... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Confusing

See it if you want to explore modern Samoan New Zealand native culture, especially the emotional, relational, familial experience of its girls & women

Don't see it if you cannot tolerate difficult to comprehend dialect, graphic discussion of women’s sexuality, rape, violence, cannabalism, racial tension

Also This show is a unique opportunity outside New Zealand/Australian to ex... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Entertaining & clever Samoan-driven theatrical experience with powerful and gifted performances. A wonderful evening in the theater.

Don't see it if You don’t like ethnic pacific humor & drama. Also, some of the cultural references might be lost on a number of New Yorkers.

Confusing, Powerful, Intense, Absorbing, Quirky

See it if you can go along with actors who breathe life into characters when you don't fully understand their references to life of Samoan women

Don't see it if you need a plot you can follow as this is more about life experiences of afakasi (half-cast) women

Also The 6 women on stage gave very powerful performances and I was engaged... Read more Read less

Raunchy, Samoan culture eye-opener features 5 women + 1 trans-person to full effect, Must see, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Do you know your Samoan slang? Study the glossary in the program or just sit back absorb the tribal women's stories. Not for all tastes. Go!

Don't see it if If U can't tolerate shows with undecipherable moments, or group chanting w/ minimal percussion back-up. Cast telling stories direct address.

Also Go to this website for scr... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intense, Confusing, Engaging, Ambitious

See it if you want a visceral, multi-faceted, poetic perspective on the lives of Samoan women facing various challenges and formative experiences.

Don't see it if you want a singular narrative arc. This is pieced together from interrelated stories, similar to "For Colored Girls." Sometimes confusing.

Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if A play about what it means to be a Samoan woman written by one of New Zealand's leaving poets. This is one of 3 US premiers

Don't see it if From New Zealand appearing the Soho Playhouse. Interesting play although I found it a bit confusing at times but very enjoyable.

Also Good singing , acting and dancing as well

Great staging, Great acting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if A unique piece of perf art w good music, danc&movin poetry written by NZ poet T.Avia&perform by6talent act on gender, sex abuse&alienation.

Don't see it if Ur looking x a play; Uwant2underst&transl every word; Umake no effort2get the strg msg behind voice,body lang&context foreig words are*

Also spoken and repeated.If that is the case,then look at the following ... Read more Read less

Masterful, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if choreopoetry, other cultures, feminist ritual and gorgeous language in strong accents & other languages are your thing. It's a healing fire!

Don't see it if you want a single simple narrative, don't like ritualistic singing, movement, monologues gorgeously performed! This is intense!

Also Female anger is rarely depicted in such a raw and open way, and I trul... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if Poetic (re)creation of an alien world, beautifully acted and cleverly staged. Raw and affecting.

Don't see it if Don’t like non-linear plays

Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy interpretive storytelling and dance

Don't see it if You prefer a grand broadway production

Also The props and lighting are done very well, it enhances the characters ... Read more Read less

Great movement, Confusing, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you are interested in different cultures and women's stories

Don't see it if you like a clear plot and traditional play

Also Well performed piece, with intense moments of choreography and sound f... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if You like to take chances on edgy shows

Don't see it if You expect something easily understandable

Edgy, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you are thrilled by outside-the-box theater which is uncompromising, witty and gut wrenching. These Samoan women are fabulous!

Don't see it if you prefer linear theater with traditional casting.

January 8th, 2020
"A powerful and engrossing study of the lives of Samoan women and their uneasy cultural collision with New Zealand. Unfortunately, at the performance under review no program was given out to explain that the Pacific Island actresses each played discrete characters."
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January 8th, 2020
"A rhythmic, exuberant and startling work of theater that resembles Ntozake Shange's choreopoem …a fierce, lively cast… there is enough that's both clear and compelling to transcend the barriers of language and culture - or, more precisely, to connect with our own."
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Cast & Creatives (3)