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Sisters' Follies: Between Two Worlds

From 10 critic and 2 member reviews
Members say: Delightful, Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever

About the show

Abrons Art Center presents the world premiere of this puppet ghost story from puppet maestro Basil Twist and downtown icons Joey Arias and Julie Atlas Muz. More…

Commissioned for the 100th Anniversary of the Abrons’ Playhouse, 'Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds' is a spooktacular musical extravaganza direct from the unlimited imagination of MacArthur Genius grantee Basil Twist, starring the legendary Downtown icons Joey Arias and Julie Atlas Muz. Celebrating the Playhouse’s founders Alice and Irene Lewisohn, and their legacy of producing avant-garde performances and dance from 1915-28, the spectral sisters return to haunt the theater 100 years later. It's the ultimate October ghost story.

Theatre is Easy

"Inspired by the 100th anniversary of an avant-garde playhouse, 'Sisters' Follies' is a magical production that conjures various theatrical elements and alchemizes them into an experience of pure delight...Every ingredient of this rich production enlivens the storytelling and contributes to what makes this 'spooktacular' kinda spectacular." Full Review

Brightest Young Things

"The book and the staging seemed to me to be deliberately clunky, campy, and amateur, and while most of the time we all took great delight in this…Some of the time, we did not. That being said: This show is a marvel. Twist’s puppetry is worthy of any grant, genius or otherwise, and one should never pass up the opportunity to see Joey Arias or Julie Atlas Muse, even when they may not be performing the best material. And it’s Halloween! What more reason do you need? Go. Now." Full Review

The New York Times

"Much of the time between glorious-looking set pieces is filled by Alice and Irene, talking at, and often over, each other in an eternity of squabbling dialogue. They also have at each other with fingernails, anvils and hammers like a spectral, female-impersonating Tom and Jerry. These slapstick interludes go on for too long; their timing still needs to be sharpened. Nonetheless, fans of Mr. Twist’s singular art will doubtless want to see how he fills the great divide between the living and t... Full Review

Woman Around Town

"The best thing about this loosey goosey production are the visuals. Twist once again proves that anything and everything can be amusingly brought to life without the interference of reality...It’s incredible that a production with an enormous and enormously skilled technical staff opens with such poor sound design that we lose most of the lyrics and some of the dialogue." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"I loved all the allusions to theatre history and especially New York theatre history. It’s nice that they tied in all that but still made it feel inclusive if you didn’t know it. It displays a generosity of spirit to not make it too closed: we’re putting on a giant party, and if you gate-crash it, you can still enjoy the drinks. You’ll have a great time." Full Review

Village Voice

"The piece has its longeurs; the sibling backchat between sequences isn't nearly as enjoyable as the big production numbers it introduces. But throughout, yesterday's experiments and today's experimenters merrily coexist, reminding us that the quest for new forms is a venerable NYC tradition." Full Review

Time Out New York

"The follies of this imaginative but muddled pageant, alas, are more numerous...The Abrons deserves to be celebrated, and Twist has devoted significant imagination toward doing so. With all the magic in evidence here, couldn’t someone have conjured up a script?" Full Review

Edge New York

"Unfortunately, the evening doesn't quite work, because the pacing is badly off. The snippets of shows go on too long, like an 'SNL' sketch that makes you channel surf. Between the scenes, there's endless bitchy banter between the intrepid sisters who founded the arts center...The whole magic of a Basil Twist show are the puppets, to which the real, live humans should be secondary, instead of the other way around. During most of the sketches, I felt like shouting, 'Where are the damn puppets?'" Full Review

New York Theater

"'Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds' is visually spectacular making full use of Twist’s inspired craftsmanship and that of his design team. But it is otherwise oddly awful, and awfully odd; such an eccentric way to celebrate the Abrons legacy that it feels like a deliberate self-parody." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"There's nothing wrong with Abrons Art Center paying tribute to its own longevity, but surely there was a better way than this. Surely Alice and Irene would be thrilled to be remembered decades after their deaths, but it's easy to imagine them rolling in their graves over this hodgepodge of songs, puppetry, and low-camp gags. If I were involved in Sisters' Follies, I'd tread carefully when inside the theatre, for fear that the Lewisohns might swoop down on them, seeking revenge." Full Review

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy campy fun with icons of the downtown, burlesque scene and puppetry.

Don't see it if you don't like campy.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great staging

See it if You love to see magic happen live on stage

Don't see it if You don't have a sense of humor & adventure

Cast & Creatives (25)