Open run | 2h 0m | Gramercy

La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Oscar Wao (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

From 51 member  reviews
Members say: Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great writing, Clever

About the show

Marco Antonio Rodríguez’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will debut at Repertorio Español in the fall. Performed in Spanish with English supertitles. More…

From the show:

Oscar is a naive “nerd” from New Jersey who has finally left the grips of his imposing Dominican mother and is attending his first semester of college at Rutgers with his rebellious sister. He dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the “fukú”—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Member Reviews (51)


Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great writing, Clever
Avg Score

Quirky, Relevant, Confusing, Funny, Ambitious

See it if Humorous situations & fine comedic performances esp Sebastian's Oscar & Bonilla's "mother of mine" hold interest when plot gets convoluted

Don't see it if Rodriguez's adapt feels muddled & abridged w/an inability to integrate the superhero element cogently It's best when depicting Oscar's angst

Refreshing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you would enjoy a contemporary story filled with great characters dealing with life. A wonderful book is brought to life w/great direction.

Don't see it if you do not understand Spanish are not familiar with the story - it is impossible to keep up with the supertitles due to the volume.

Also I would have rated this higher if I could have seen the great casts fa... Read more Read less

Relevant, Refreshing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you read or are planning to read the novel. Fun story, well done.

Don't see it if you don't speak Spanish and are a slow reader. It was hard to keep up with and see the super titles. Many of the jokes went over my head.

Also It would have made it easier on us English speakers if some of the ter... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you want to see an ethnic author from an immigrant family destroying myths about immigration

Don't see it if you can't use supertitles and don't speak Spanish. You can not let go of immigration myths.

Also Marco Antonio Rodriguez uses Junot Díaz's novel to disabuse the myth o... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a wonderful. Engrossing play with fabulous actors

Don't see it if You have trouble with subtitles

Quirky, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you read and enjoyed the book--it's a faithful adaptation in terms of tone. If you are interested in coming of age stories, Latino culture.

Don't see it if you don't want to read supertitles, if you don't understand even a little Spanish (or don't mind missing some words that aren't translated.)

Also Rather than having subtitles on the seat backs like they usually do at... Read more Read less

Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if This adaptation of the book by Juno Diaz was awesome!The actors are perfect,it's as if they just stepped out of the pages of the book.Bravo!

Don't see it if go see this brilliant play with an impeccable cast.Oscar will make you laugh,cry,& forget all the cynicism that exist in this world.See it!

Riveting, Intense, Great writing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You enjoyed the was faithful without being exact. I appreciated the comic book/superhero feel to staging and scene transitions.

Don't see it if You don't like Latin culture, can't understand at least some Spanish, or just don't like stories with intense scenes and passionate acting.

Great acting, Intense, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Very funny & very touching play about the life of some Latino immigrants,performed by talented actors, on an interesting setting.

Don't see it if not crazy about the subtitle system, too fast at times.

Also If you read and liked the classic book by 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner J... Read more Read less

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

See it if you enjoy a different story, one about a Dominican-American nerd who imagines himself a super-hero.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy theatre in a foreign language albeit with English translation supertitles.

Also After (or before) seeing the play, read the novel on which it is based... Read more Read less

Must see, Great writing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if if you're want to see an all-around great show. I think this was beautifully written whether you're a fan of the book or not.

Don't see it if you want something traditional.

Refreshing, Resonant, Funny, Great writing, Clever

See it if You are a fan of the book, & want to see it come to life onstage. If you like underdog stories, if you like a mix of serious themes & comedy

Don't see it if You don’t want to read supertitles, if you hate the book

Sweet/bittersweet, Thought-provoking, Funny, Clever

See it if You appreciate good coming of age stories with cultural specificity + good actors &decent subtitles

Don't see it if You can't do Subtitles. It’s all in Spanish.

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You read the book & enjoy it come to life, Without being a spectacle, have some knowledge of Spanish and enjoy supporting small theater.

Don't see it if You don’t know Spanish and have no clue what the story is about . You don’t enjoy creative , low budget plays.

Also I loved this book and I believe they did a lovely adaptation. Old scho... Read more Read less

Great writing, Epic, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy reality-based fables or wonder about this Pulitzer prize winner

Don't see it if serious, straight plays are your thing.

Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to enjoy a wonderful and funny story about the Dominican diaspora in the United States appealing to all Latinx, and Americans.

Don't see it if you don't care about relevant theatre based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if If you are interested in stories about the immigrant experience with a lot of Latin flavor, and/or if you are a fan of Junot Diaz.

Don't see it if If you have difficulty reading supertitles or are not willing to miss a few words here and there. My Spanish is just OK, but I enjoyed it!

Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you liked the novel or are interested in a tragicomedy about a young Dominican looking for love. Outstanding acting by Edgar Sebastian.

Don't see it if you don't know Spanish or do not like reading captions. Otherwise, go! Great performances by the whole cast.

Refreshing, Great writing, Great staging, Funny, Enchanting

See it if if you loved the book or if you never heard of it, it doesn't matter! This is the essence of the story and it's really fun.

Don't see it if you don't like coming-of-age type stories in Spanish with English supra-titles.

Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to challenge yourself and the stereotypes you have been surrounded by. You won’t realize which ones you carry unless you face them.

Don't see it if You have issues with people who probably go to Comic-con.

Must see, Masterful, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if You don't want to miss one of the best productions of the year.

Don't see it if Don't like translations or supertitles.

Intelligent, Epic, Absorbing

See it if you like magical realism.

Don't see it if you don't speak Spanish.

Riveting, Refreshing, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy adaptation of literature that is fresh and cultural. Don’t miss it if you have read the novel. The acting was superb!

Don't see it if you do not like Spanish speaking productions with English subtitles.

Romantic, Funny, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like weirdos and dreamers and think we need more of them

Don't see it if Family trauma gets you down, you think Quixote-esque dreamers are just idiots.

Great writing, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you would enjoy a tragic-comedy that explores the quirky life of a young man of Dominican descent, with social-racial implications.

Don't see it if you either don't understand Spanish, or are averse to reading titles above the stage. And of course, if themes and story don't appeal.

January 24th, 2020
"The Tragedy, and Comedy, of Manhood In a Spanish-language stage adaptation of the Junot Díaz novel, the friendship between two Dominican men is a testing ground for competing visions of masculinity."
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October 16th, 2019
"'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' Becomes a New Spanish Play Junot Díaz's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel receives a world-premiere stage adaptation at Repertorio Español."
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October 21st, 2019
"A straightforward, workmanlike run-through of the book's main narrative, minus its highly individual voice, and stripped of much of its power; Marco Antonio Rodríguez's adaptation puts one in mind of Reader's Digest Condensed Books."
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October 19th, 2019
"A Theasy Best Bet…packs a poignant punch but also delivers an entertaining production…this adaptation feels truthful to the aesthetics of the original text…It's a tale that will move you in unexpected ways."
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