Exquisita Agonia
Exquisita Agonia

Exquisita Agonia NYC Reviews and Tickets

(47 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.

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Member Reviews (47)

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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

Critic Reviews (10)

The New York Times
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 is taking root, changing him in unexpected ways...Neither do we, and that feels like a missed opportunity all around."
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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...Cruz has a talent for sustaining such doubt, the exquisite agony of which will linger in your mind long after you leave the theater."
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Lighting & Sound America
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...My one reservation about 'Exquisita Agonia' is that the material may be a tad too carefully, casually handled here...Nevertheless, this is a lively, well-acted affair that builds to some genuine dramatic fireworks."
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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 combative finale, director José Zayas has staged this arresting production with visual flair. Mr. Zayas’ sensitivity for the material enables the cast to mine all of the play’s comedy and emotion."
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Theatre is Easy
June 2nd, 2018

“It doesn't always feel like the characters wholeheartedly believe what they're saying...In the midst of these interesting investigations of emotional overindulgence and generosity, Flores is a graceful, sensitive Amér...Nicolás’s Millie is sensual, even earthy, making her flights of fancy a little jarring. Some blocking choices are difficult to decipher, but if concessions must be made to Abrego's gorgeous lightbox-and-aortic-red-tree set, it is worth it.”
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June 12th, 2018

“A complex drama that’s both provocative and poetic...A significant new work..Brisk, no-frills directing style...Until the explosive moments toward the close of the second act, the production has the aura of a mild-mannered family dramedy. It brings out the comedy and a smattering of pathos but eschews the mysteriousness of the magic realism that gives much of Cruz’s writing its seductive appeal...The performers are commendable in their verisimilitude.”
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Diandra Reviews it All
May 31st, 2018

"Conceptually, I thought 'Exquisita Agonia' was brilliant...Cruz’s writing, along with Jose Zayas meticulous direction, make sure Lorenzo is the ghost that haunts everyone...Admittedly, the second act is A LOT. It is a heavy act that takes the noble curiosity of the first act and erupts it with familial pains and secrets...Yet, there are a lot of laughs and prompters of enlightening thoughts. Cruz’s words on love could move a rock to bleed."
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Off Off Online
June 9th, 2018

“A thought-provoking and entertaining new work...Centers on the unsaid, the unfinished and what is known as cellular memory...Cruz’s plot flirts with science fiction...It also toys with the concept of transference...The cast is superb, particularly Nicolas, who delivers an energetic and comical performance: it’s engaging on all levels...Through the dialogue, crisp and fluid, Cruz tells a fascinating story of where humanity really lives and where it ends.”
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The Theatre Times
June 16th, 2018

"Director José Zayas commandingly marshals his actors through the somewhat unpredictable plot with poise and nuance. His actors move gracefully on the at-times crowded stage...Cruz’ play is a wondrous tale of the journey his various characters take in their quest for fulfillment, for family, for love. He conjures up a world, original and ephemeral, where passion and humor effortlessly coexist. Few writers can juggle those two seemingly contradictory notes."
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May 30th, 2018

"With a cast that is professional in every way that the term repertory suggests, director Jose Zayas creates a graceful and well-timed piece of theater...Cruz’s own background in classical and popular vocal venues are apparent in the authenticity of his creation of world of his characters...Cruz uses elements of magical realism to knit a story that has psychological and spiritual implications for everyone...The playwright is deep, but he is also funny. There is much humor here."
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