Already closed | 1h 30m | Chelsea

Roughly Speaking

From 59 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

About the show

Inspired by more than 200 interviews with NYC homeless, the Platform Group's new play centers on Lightning Bolt, a rapper bound only by his wheelchair, on a not-so-typical day at the soup kitchen. More…

'Roughly Speaking' takes place during the course of one meal service, showing people stuck in a 'Waiting for Godot'-like existence. The play examines homelessness through the eyes of Lightning Bolt and a cast of diverse characters. For the regulars who wander in, this is just one more stop on their never-ending quest for food, shelter, and a bit of companionship. For the newcomers, it's a shattering reminder of how their lives have changed. 'Roughly Speaking' is a play about being trapped in a system which exists more to maintain the status quo rather than offer a way out.

1h 30m | Already closed | TADA! Theater (Chelsea)

Member Reviews (59)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing
Avg Score

Entertaining, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a show with social conscience. If you like personal experiences, monologues, point of views.

Don't see it if you need a plot-driven piece.

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Relevant, Insightful

See it if Peeking into the lives of the indigent & less-fortunate strikes you. The normalcy of their situations could easily mirror any viewer's.

Don't see it if One is looking for a production of moderate scale. The topic might expose some to a grim reality that often is ignored.

Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are interested in community service especially the plight of the homeless.

Don't see it if you need to have an easy, playful evening of theatre.

Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You're interested in gaining perspective on what it means to be a part of the ever-growing community of homeless people in New York City.

Don't see it if You're not interested in current, relevant issues, especially in regards to the homeless population, or don't enjoy the rap genre.

Also Roughly Speaking is extremely ambitious, and extremely important. It's... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You like real life topics.

Don't see it if You like musicals. Cannot stay focus

Ambitious, Resonant, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You would like to learn something about the homeless while you are being entertained. Do bring any clothing donations with you.

Don't see it if You have no interest in humanity.

Cliched, Disappointing, Unfulfilled potential

See it if You want to see some buddying young performers in what would be a good workshop performance

Don't see it if You want characters who interact meaningfully with each other.

Also This is a great first draft of a play. Author should rewrite it with m... Read more Read less

Relevant, Profound, Must see, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you care about humanity (or wish you cared more), or if you are a fan of great ensemble acting, or wish to be entertained at moved

Don't see it if you are not of the human species

Also At once absorbing, entertaining theatre, and a service to humanity.

Entertaining, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Profound

See it if you want to see an authentic look at the reality of homelessness in NYC.

Don't see it if you're adverse to strong language or are under 13 years of age.

Also I've seen a few reviewers call the depictions in this play "inauthenti... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if You like great storytelling and if you to be inspired

Don't see it if not an option

Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Moving

See it if You care about people in the world around you. You'd like to understand homelessness. You'd like to be more compassionate.

Don't see it if You are looking for light fare or a musical.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if Theater that tells true personal stories and will make you learn something about yourself and others moves you. It's a fantastic show. Go.

Don't see it if See it!

Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if the issue of homelessness concerns you, and you're intrigued about a play that it can both can both enlighten and entertain.

Don't see it if homelessness really does not concern you. If you ignore it, it doesn't exist. And besides, you're just not the curious type.

Also Reading the lead ups to this play, Roughly Speaking claims a bold purp... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Moving

See it if loved the show. really hit home on some real problems here in NYC

Don't see it if you don't have any compassion or want to open your eyes to real life..

Raw, Thought-provoking, Groundbreaking, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if you like seeing new and exciting theater. Great writing & great acting.

Don't see it if you only like going to see theater that confirms and supports your own preconceived notions on life and society.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you've passed by the homeless and felt diminished; like relevant thoughtful stories; can see past some rough edges of this bold new work

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with disturbing social issues and a story line not bent on solving the problems it poses. No white knights.

Also Roughly Speaking is a bold play based on the real life stories of stru... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're in the mood for some good storytelling and lots of cornbread!

Don't see it if you don't like being confronted with harsh realities.

Also I'm one of the volunteer directors of the soup kitchen this play is ba... Read more Read less

Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to experience a beautiful portrayal of insights into the stories and souls of the homeless populations in New York City.

Don't see it if You are not willing open your heart and your mind to hear the untold stories.

Also Magical, rough and raw this play exposes the struggles and strengths o... Read more Read less

A great piece of work an intelligent way to raise awareness to a social issue. a great opportunity for the audience to feel engaged. this is food for thoughts and thoughts for actions.

See it if you want to enjoy an artistic creation while supporting a cause .

Don't see it if There is no reason not to ... The cause is worthwhile. Attend and see by yourself.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Profound

See it if You like shows that deal with important real-world issues.

Don't see it if You want to bring your kids.

Clever, Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if You want to see a play that portrays real life situations. The imperfections are what make this show great!

Don't see it if You are offended by graphic language, sex or drugs.

Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You would like to watch a moving, thought-provoking, inspiring show based on the lives and struggles of real people.

Don't see it if You are expecting extravagant set design or decorations, if you are looking for glamour or top-notch choreography.

Absorbing, Profound, Masterful, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to gain a deeper understanding of the NYC homeless predicament

Don't see it if You don't want to learn anything at all about NYC homelessness or you don't like good theatre.

Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are interested in Americas growing homeless situation

Don't see it if Just like purely fiction and prefer non 'real' issues in theater

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want to go see a show that also benefits its subject matter.

Don't see it if You don't have 90 minutes to spare.

Also Thought-provoking and new, this show hits on a subject that not many p... Read more Read less

November 9th, 2016
"Directed by Celine Rosenthal, this heartfelt new play is--for the most part--an empathetic window into the lives of a troubled few. Behind Zeiger’s tight script and a handful of admirable performances, 'Roughly Speaking' is an honest representation and dissection of the homeless culture in...
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November 6th, 2016
"Because of its documentary nature, 'Roughly Speaking' is like a collage of various portraits of people from the streets; it's like a staged version of the 'Humans of New York' project...Zeiger is able to capture with great clarity the characters’ unique ways of communication, and develops a wide...
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November 14th, 2016
"Without having to say so directly, the production makes the audience aware of the extent to which homelessness is a systemic rather than an individual problem...Don't get the idea that this is presented as some sort of didactic lesson: it all comes organically from rounded characters who have fr...
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November 5th, 2016
"A moving passion project brought to life by a band of Broadway professionals. Based on the true stories culled from over 200 interviews with homeless NYC men and women, the actors do a tremendous job preserving the dignity of the characters’ story lines, which are intertwined with care and roote...
read more

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