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Animal Wisdom

From 10 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Spiritual, Must see, Masterful, Enchanting

About the show

The Bushwick Starr and West Yorkshire Playhouse present the world premiere of this music-theater piece: a lo-fi, idiosyncratic, folk-blues requiem written from theoretical or actual (you decide) conversations with the dead. More…

Heather talks to dead people, gets freaked out and writes music. These songs are performed alongside poorly remembered Methodist hymns from the 1800s, hyperbolized family mythologies, and community rituals of the ridiculous in the form of a gothic catholic mass- because how else can you address your soul? Written by Obie Award-winning composer and performer Heather Christian, known for her work with her genre-defying group the Arbornauts, 'Animal Wisdom' is a musical offering created by sinners and science nerds for believers and non-believers alike.

Member Reviews (10)


Great singing, Spiritual, Must see, Masterful, Enchanting
Avg Score

Great singing, Spiritual, Enchanting, Delightful, Must see

See it if you love beautiful voices, intimate settings, personal stories, spirituality, blues; show is a big, beautiful gift to the ear and the heart

Don't see it if you disdain spirituality, can't sit in darkness for 20 min (listening to soaring voices) - although phone lights allowed; otherwise, go!

Also An incredible chance to hear so many soaring voices and original music... Read more Read less

Beautiful music, Beautiful lighting, Moving, Almost-concert, Must see

See it if you love southern folk and rock, characterizations, raw personal storytelling, unique theater.

Don't see it if bothered by part new-age part Christian spiritual talking to ghosts. The experience still works if you don't "buy" her metaphor however.

Clever, Great singing, Epic, Intense

See it if you want to see great story-telling, avant-garde theatre that isn't theatre but is also theatre, great musicians, and want a unique evening

Don't see it if you are claustrophobic and hate complete darkness (15 min in the pitch black - you are warned several times), want a traditional evening out

Also I have sat through many shows on the quirkier side that have pitch-bla... Read more Read less

Great singing, Masterful, Edgy

See it if you are willing to go along with this extraordinarily talented women's trek which includes wonderful music and lighting and a big character

Don't see it if you want a linear story line because there ain't none

Indulgent, Enchanting, Quirky, Great singing, Intimate

See it if you liked Ghost Quartet, Futurity, Hadestown etc; impressive singing; incredible lighting courtesy of brilliant Andrew Schneider

Don't see it if if you need a plot; are annoyed by spirituality and southern gothic whimsy; don't want to sit in the pitch black for a good while

Also Percussionist Eric Farber is (as he was in Futurity and Foundry's Good... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Edgy, Masterful, Ambitious

See it if You want a moving communal experience. Music, storytelling, ensemble play.

Don't see it if you like a traditional structure to a play.

Intense, Fresh, Spiritual

See it if You like fantastic music and want to experience a fantastix contemporary show about ghosts.

Don't see it if You dislike the dark

Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if You are interested in something different, like Southern bluesy-rock mixed with some gospel, a biographical-ish musical.

Don't see it if You don't like extended darkness (15 minutes in complete black), quirky characters, music on the louder-side

Great singing, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound, Ambitious

See it if you want to see and hear that amazing talent that Ms Christian and her team brings to the performance.

Don't see it if you can't cope with a somewhat dissonant story.

During previews
Great singing, Must see, Masterful, Riveting, Spiritual

See it if you love emotionally-charged, powerhouse vocals, gorgeous harmonies (by band & choir)...intimate staging/lighting...whirlwind, quirky energy

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with discussions re: religion, dead people... if you dislike fast-paced, offbeat shows

Also Heather Christian is pure dynamite, and riveting to watch. Her band an... Read more Read less

October 14th, 2017
"Even agnostics may find themselves almost believing in the spirits, holy and otherwise, who possess Heather Christian’s truly one-of-a-kind opus...It is possible to grow impatient as the details of personal folklore accumulate, though some reminiscences have an affecting sting...When she raises ...
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October 14th, 2017
"Despite her birdlike fragility, the composer-performer isn’t actually small—not if you factor in the incredible sounds she makes with her voice and the way she hammers music out of a piano...'Animal Wisdom' is a Southern-style avant-cabaret séance...It’s part concert, part painful para-autobiogr...
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October 16th, 2017
"Christian's mass mixes precious spiritualist whimsy with gospel-like fervor in ways that feel at best like a genuine communing with the ghosts of the creator's own past, and at worst like an overextended therapy session...'Animal Wisdom' may not necessarily live up to its title in offering an ey...
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October 17th, 2017
“That long, late-breaking episode of darkness is one of the most affecting parts of ‘Animal Wisdom’, a sweet, quirky musical meditation on death...The music is sweet and strong, combining the jangles of folk, blues, and gospel...Though she advertises 'Animal Wisdom' as a requiem-slash-séance, a q...
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