The Great Novel
Closed 1h 35m
The Great Novel

The Great Novel NYC Reviews and Tickets

(25 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant

About the Show

In this world premiere, spurred on by recurring visits from her Jamaican Granny in the afterlife, Bertha seeks a new language for a narrative that only she can tell, uninhibited by the ghosts of literary convention.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (25)

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60 Reviews | 8 Followers
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great acting, Intelligent, Delightful

See it if you great acting. The style was really unique for this production, and it was a lot of fun!

Don't see it if prefers musicals or plays that don't challenge you to think.

50 Reviews | 7 Followers
Entertaining, Must see, Relevant, Great acting, Funny

See it if you like theatrical storytelling. Beautiful production and a really terrific cast. Also, it was really funny.

Don't see it if you like traditional plays. Or if you are uncomfortable with a story that pokes fun at some of the ridiculous tropes of "great" literature.

683 Reviews | 161 Followers
Brechtian, Farcical, Innovative, Smart

See it if you’d like to see a very quirky but very sharp take on race & class in the US today.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a traditional play: This one is a rough but effective blend of farce & Brechtian epic theater. Read more

567 Reviews | 150 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Put-upon-maid of spoilt adult "children," leaves the fold of 10 yrs. to write novel about their self-involvement.White face-paint revealing.

Don't see it if Twelve scenes meander. Mystical quality under-developed. Only single stand-out is Kopp as haughty Charlotte. Great set on a budget, though. Read more

12 Reviews | 4 Followers
Relevant, Profound, Intelligent, Clever

See it if you are open to exploring the complexities of race, unpaid emotional labor, love and the struggle to write your own story

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with reckoning with your own biases.

6 Reviews | 4 Followers
Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Clever

See it if you like plays that deal with real issues in absurd and theatrical ways. Great cast and moving story.

Don't see it if you dislike small, intimate theaters, or hate plays that make you think. Read more

3 Reviews | 0 Followers
Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like intimately staged, well written plays with strong actors and design elements.

Don't see it if You’re in the mood for a drama or musical. Or if you are offended by actors in white face. A diverse cast utilizes this theatrical device.

1 Review | 0 Followers
Relevant, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in an exploration of the current conversation on race and who gets to tell their stories

Don't see it if you are looking for a light fluffy piece that doesn't go there

Critic Reviews (6)

June 16th, 2019

"If you're not a Charles Dickens or a Jane Austen or a Brontë sister, where is your place? It's a weighty question, and the answers inevitably dig up complex issues of racial and social hierarchies. Under Sarah Norris's direction, however, the production is stumbling a bit too much alongside its characters to offer a coherent perspective...As in any work of fiction aiming to become a great novel, ideas need more nourishment to fly off the page."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 25th, 2019

“’The Great Novel’ reveals itself in the first few minutes without having anything additional to say...Norris' direction doesn't add any urgency...but her cast seizes such opportunities as they are given...Overall, this is an uncertain and rather mild treatment of a potentially incendiary subject. It doesn't shy away from clichés, either...’The Great Novel’ is neither sufficiently dynamic for drama nor cutting enough for real satire...It doesn't really know which direction it wants to take.”
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June 19th, 2019

“It’s an enervating 95 minute mashup of lesser Ionesco with helpings of Wes Anderson and the visual style of John Singer Sargent...'The Great Novel' is a non-realistic exercise that does have a heartfelt quality but from its opening moments to its fantastical finale it never coheres into a satisfying play. It’s an amiable endurance test...A work that is perhaps only comprehensible to its author as most anyone else is likely to find it to be cryptically pointless."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 16th, 2019

"Small or no budget theatre often creates amazing, pure work. But the vast majority of these Off-Off Broadway productions operate under not-so-ideal conditions and sometimes the limitations of a truncated budget and abbreviated rehearsal period, mixed with blossoming experience, can lead to half-baked work. This is the case of 'The Great Novel'...But through its stumbles, we witness the creative missteps of a young, healthy and growing theatre company."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
June 20th, 2019

"A conventional play…gussied up with unnecessary, pseudo-absurdist distractions. These provide an artistic gloss that does little to elevate its style or substance…Perhaps to pump some blood into this rather anemic tale, director Norris has the actors play everything in a heightened style that attempts to comment on their characters but that results in what could most politely be called overacting…Just as disturbing is the choice to have the multiethnic cast wear partial whiteface makeup."
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June 18th, 2019

"'The Great Novel' fashions a witty, delightful exploration of art and identity...Puts all of those characters in whiteface, even if an actor is already white. The whiteface makeup recalls a masquerade mask around the eyes and nose, an appropriate metaphor for both the assumption of identity and the lenses through which people see art and self, as well as each through the other...Smart, lively, and entertaining, 'The Great Novel' is a great time."
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