On Sugarland
Closed 2h 30m
On Sugarland
85

On Sugarland NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(38 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
0%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing

A sweeping new work from from Obie Award-winning playwright Aleshea Harris (Is God Is).

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Member Reviews (38)

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712 Reviews | 215 Followers
90
Great writing / acting / directing / staging, Resonant, Theatrical, Ambitious, Intense

See it if Powerful dramatic characters and sweeping themes. Took its time to develop, but held my interest with great theatrics & humor.

Don't see it if You prefer a clear, linear story. The author uses dialog fragments, chanting/dance, sound/lights, and symbolism to help convey themes. Read more

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
90
Great direction, Runs the gamet of emotions, Great writing, Great acting, Must see

See it if Thrilling with depth of scope: neighborhood, family, racism, aging, spirituality; funny, emotional, engaging, touching, mesmerizing

Don't see it if you want everything to make sense from the beginning, there's a lot going on here; the ending is powerful and pulls everything together. Read more

442 Reviews | 232 Followers
97
Masterful, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if This powerful & must see drama weaves a story of African-Americans young men & fighting for their country.

Don't see it if If you wanted a musical with happy thoughts then this is not your show!

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
75
Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Resonant, Powerful

See it if The residents of a cul de sac live, die and try to survive in the midst of a war that takes their loved ones.

Don't see it if A little confusing at first. If you have some patience, you'll be rewarded with a terrific story.

371 Reviews | 70 Followers
89
Sweeping, Epic

See it if you can.

Don't see it if can't sit still for 2:45. Read more

259 Reviews | 80 Followers
90
Must see, Great writing, Epic, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if Harris is a playwright of intense originality and true beauty. This is unique, resonant, moving, gorgeous work with a superb ensemble cast.

Don't see it if If you hate magical realism, this might not be for you. The show feels TRUE but it might not seem REAL.

246 Reviews | 81 Followers
80
Masterful, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see absolutely stunning performances! This cast was incredible to watch. They were thrilling. I was in tears in awe of them.

Don't see it if You are expecting a happy ending. This play is raw, profound and very emotional. It will settle differently with each viewer. A must see!

219 Reviews | 105 Followers
79
Relevant, Intense, Dizzying, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You like intense Greek tragedy inspired drama about growing up amid the army combined with what it is to be a Black Woman today. Powerful.

Don't see it if Violence and war is too much for you on stage. Play does not shy away from the realities of war. You struggle with complex plots. It’s long. Read more

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
March 3rd, 2022

"Harris certainly isn’t the only playwright who writes lyrical dialogue with its own internal meter, but she is one of the best navigators of shifts in language and registers, even within a single scene. So we get tasty figurative gumdrops that subtly illuminate the inner thoughts of the characters...But Harris struggles with an overambitious story. 'On Sugarland' is unable to adequately unpack its cornucopia of themes...The issue isn’t a lack of exposition; it’s that 'On Sugarland' is inconsistent in the vocabulary it builds for itself."
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Time Out New York
March 3rd, 2022

"4/5 stars...The parallels Harris draws between the religious rituals of the Greeks and those of African-American churches are given full expression by director Whitney White and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly; they stage the memorial hollers—ecstatic rites incorporating call-and-response, dance and a chorus of boisterous teens—so that the audience is immersed in them...Stellar performances by Layne and Jones—the soul and heart of the play, respectively—keep us on track when the production threatens to lose its way. The supporting cast also does exceptional work."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 3rd, 2022

"In 'On Sugarland' she scales up and out, inviting in more characters than she can safely handle, calling on myths and multiple framing techniques that shake her own storytelling abilities to their roots. The play flexes in both senses of the word. It shows off Harris’s impressive poetic muscles, but it also bends out of true, warping a little from what she asks it to contain...Since it’s the big picture where Harris falters, our attention turns to her parts rather than her whole. But what parts! Several of the speeches are the finest this season."
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New York Theatre Guide
March 3rd, 2022

"4/5 stars...The funerary custom hits like a gut punch every time in this production from director Whitney White, punctuating Harris’s dreamlike character studies with a collective electricity that exceeds language...Harris spins a circular narrative, one that often loops back on itself like the cul-de-sac where it’s set...There’s a reality to such repetition — what is a ritual but action on repeat? — and certain pleasures, too...But the stalled quality to the lives on stage eventually makes its way into Harris’ drama, which lacks an expansiveness and tension in its storytelling to fill 2 hours and 45 minutes."
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Theatermania
March 4th, 2022

"Harris blends folk tale with Greek tragedy to create a heightened, lyrical atmosphere — untethered from time, place, and even laws of physics. Director Whitney White, with a confident vision of this dramatic no-man's land, reassures the audience that the who, what, when, and where of it all is irrelevant...'On Sugarland' spins an enormous web of intertwined stories and themes: loss, grief, ostracism, betrayal, unrequited love. It feels too expansive to even properly summarize. And yet, Harris sets each piece — delicately and ruthlessly — in its proper place, until a giant mosaic of contradictions comes screaming into focus."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 9th, 2022

Harris' previous works, including Is God Is and the often produced What to Send Up When It Goes Down, were both provocative and problematic, but leavened with a furious, clarifying wit. Here, despite Evelyn's calculatedly outrageous antics, a certain sententiousness creeps in, a preference for speechmaking over action. In On Sugarland the playwright creates an original world onstage, but she ultimately exhausts, letting her characters repeat themselves at length; no lamentation should be as long and as insistent as this.
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Talkin' Broadway
March 3rd, 2022

"A big, sprawling, imaginative, ambitious, messy, over-written kaleidoscope of heartache that's as riveting as it is exhausting...The only serious problem with 'On Sugarland' is that it needs another edit to trim another 20-30 minutes...Special praise must be lavished on the principal cast of 'On Sugarland,' all of whom are uniformly superb, as well as Harris for writing so many fantastic roles for women, particularly older women who are too frequently overlooked by playwrights of all colors and ages."
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New York Stage Review
March 3rd, 2022

"3/5 stars... So much of 'On Sugarland' does get out of hand, some of it for reasons germane to the script, but too often for reasons undercutting the script. Because Harris seems intent on arranging the scenes disjointedly, she challenges viewers to follow them. Some will. Others may not, deciding that the script doesn’t add up to—this isn’t necessarily a defeating outcome—much more than occasional fascinating talk (Sadie’s asides, for instance) and agile directing and ensemble acting."
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