Already closed | Gramercy

Exquisita Agonia

From 47 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

About the show

At Repertorio Español, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz debuts his newest play about the survival of a modern family who must confront the past in order to move forward. More…

'Exquisita Agonía' (Exquisite Agony) is a delicate but relentless story, which explores a middle-aged woman’s obsessive quest to find fragments of love in a young man who has received the gift of life when he receives a new heart. Performed in Spanish with English subtitles via Simultext In-Seat Captioning System, by request ONLY.

Member Reviews (47)


Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining
Avg Score

Confusing, Indulgent, Clever, Disjointed, Melodramatic

See it if Dark comedy of exaggerated spanish melodrama. Act 1 had an interesting premise that was subtle, magical, & spiritual.

Don't see it if Act 2 was an angry unpacking of family grievances that didn’t match the gentle setup from Act 1. I felt disconnected and confused.

Ambitious, Indulgent, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if Cruz's drama concerning illusive nature of love vs obsession Rich, poetic language ofttimes overwhelms story Zayas' staging wisely discreet

Don't see it if Act 2 spins wildly out of control becoming a violent & often shrill pyscho-drama about family greviences Borders on a telenovela Big letdown

Perfectly not over the top

See it if You want to see an interesting an unusual take on how family reacts after a loved one receives a heart transplant

Don't see it if You do not understand Spanish and don’t want to read subtitles. But that should not stop you from seeing this

Also This is the second show this year I have seen at this theater. Not sur... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Boring, Uneven acting, Interesting idea, Emotionally uninvolving

See it if you are interested in the somewhat unique concept of transplant surgery and the effects on the recipient and the donor's family.

Don't see it if you are not Spanish language literate, have problems reading subtitles while trying to watch the play and like to be emotionally involved.

Great acting, Quirky, Slow

See it if You enjoy family drama shows. Note: The show is in Spanish. There are subtitle screens at each seat.

Don't see it if You don’t like repetitive dialogue that asks the same question without answer.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You like a tale well told

Don't see it if You hate reading translations in front of you

Intense, Absorbing, Indulgent, Riveting, Must see

See it if You have yet to see a play performed in a language other than English. You enjoy tense family dramas.

Don't see it if You are looking for something "light." You do not enjoy family dramas. You do not enjoy melodrama.

Also The first thing I would say is that if you are an English speaker and ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Absorbing, Indulgent, Intense

See it if You enjoy lyrical writing performed by a (mostly) high quality cast, and you enjoy stories about problematic relationships.

Don't see it if You aren't fluent in Spanish and don't like to read subtitles, or are not interested in family dramas.

Also The theater is quite lovely and well-appointed.

Banal, Ambitious, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if you want to promote Spanish speaking theatre and know a cast member to support.

Don't see it if you want to see a well acted and well written play on an important subject.

Entertaining, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a dramatic story in Spanish by a very talented writer

Don't see it if You don’t want to read in English to follow or want a lighter story

Dash of agonia

See it if Pulitzer winner's new play is calling card enough.

Don't see it if Be prepared for mucho reading if not a native speaker. Even adept speakers want subtitle crutch for nuance and curiosity of comparing terms.

Also A lot of camp. Cast really chews the scenery and comes back for second... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like affecting drama that is passionate and intelligent and that surprises and provokes discussions

Don't see it if you don't enjoy foreign language theater.

Also The best play by Nilo Cruz since "Anna in the Tropics"

Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if you have wondered how a meeting between the family of a heart donor and the recipient might go.

Don't see it if you don't speak Spanish and are not prepared to read the translated lines on the screen on the back of the seat you are facing.

Also It was frustrating at times to follow the dialogue; the translation fr... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Great premise

See it if you want to see a show with a lot of potential & an interesting premise, beautiful theater, beautiful stage & music

Don't see it if melodramatic and silly acting from some of the leads and dialogue/character decisions that are not always believable will ruin it for you.

Also The premise was interesting but the play didn't quite come together. I... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Funny, Exquisite

See it if you are a fan of Nilo Cruz' work, new plays that prompt thought, you speak spanish or would enjoy watching a show in Spanish with subtitles

Don't see it if You are not bilingual and don't like reading subtitles, you are looking for a spectacle show.

Also The script itself is interesting, but uneven. The premise is fascinati... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You want a meaty family drama with real wit.

Don't see it if You don't speak Spanish and you find reading a translation in front of your seat very distracting--always looking away from the stage.

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

See it if you want a thoughtful exploration of an oddly untouched subject in human life, with twists and turns that make for good theater.

Don't see it if Because of the positioning of the subtitles they distract from a full appreciation of what is going on on stage, for non-Spanish speakers.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if Enjoy philosophical text , family issues as the subject matter with an engaging cast. If you’re a fan of Nilo Cruz.

Don't see it if If heavy text with deeper meaning is not interesting to you . Don’t enjoy plays in Spanish.

Intelligent, Intense, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to experience something out of the ordinary

Don't see it if trying to read subtitles on a tiny screen is bothersome

Ambitious, Great acting, Intense

See it if The play is powerful. If you enjoy family dramas, that explosion in a closed space feel, this is perfect for you.

Don't see it if The first act falls limp, especially compared to the dynamite second act.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like the writings of Nilo Cruz and his way of not letting you go with the easy way out of a line plot.

Don't see it if you want to see a typical, predictable, story that won't let down your first desires for an anticipated development.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Enchanting, Intelligent

See it if You love spanish language plays w/good acting and a good set

Don't see it if you don't care for sm theaters or foreign language plays

Absorbing, Entertaining, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if You are intrigued by a story about a heart recipient and the woman who cannot let her husband go. The acting was excellent on the whole.

Don't see it if If you don't like hearing things in another language - although the surtitles were easy to read.

Also Loved hearing this gorgeous language even though I cannot understand i... Read more Read less

Funny, Great writing, Profound, Confusing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see some great theatre in a less traditional space.

Don't see it if You get distracted by subtitles during shows.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you like a show with potential and promise, a beautiful theater, beautiful stage and music

Don't see it if you don't have a lot of tolerance for melodrama. It had promise, but the staging was sub par.

June 11th, 2018
"A poetic tangle of a new play...As the family’s clashing feelings about Lorenzo come to the surface, the play turns unwieldy. Beautifully strange at the start, it gets as messy and confused as the emotions it contains...She never does learn much about this young man in whom her husband’s heart i...
read more
May 30th, 2018
"An explosive first production...As in several of Cruz's previous works, drama ignites from the friction between the banal and the magical...Pulses are sure to quicken over the course of two hours thanks to Zayas's taut staging, which takes a delicate situation and refuses to treat it delicately....
read more
May 30th, 2018
"The first act is charming but a tad listless...The combination of a flightly, flirty first act with the savagely hurled accusations of the second act does verge on soap opera at times...Then again, it is never dull, and Zayas' cast manages the hairpin turns in tone with the lightest of touches.....
read more
May 31st, 2018
"It’s beautifully written...There’s rueful humor, Chekhovian reveries and a sense of the mystical all with a demonstrative Latin sensibility. The dialogue is filled with passionate eloquence and is made even more pleasurable by experiencing it in Spanish...From the film noir opening to the combat...
read more

Related content