Already closed | 1h 35m | Soho/Tribeca

The Great Novel

From 25 member  reviews
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. More…

For most of her adult life, Bertha has served as the Brennans’ housekeeper. While polishing the silverware and washing the windows, she dreams of honoring the promise she made to her grandmother long ago to write the next great American novel. But as she drafts her story, she can only see the imprints of the Brontë sisters, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and most of all, the Brennans. 

Member Reviews (25)


Great acting, Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant

During previews
Quirky, Indulgent, Excruciating, Banal

See it if If you want to see a show that needs major development. Not ready for prime time yet. Show takes to long to develop.

Don't see it if Lines missed, characters not good nor likeable. A story that focuses to much on characters we dislike.

During previews
Well intended, Funny, Repetitious, Slow, Disappointing

See it if plays about aspirations great and small inspire you. All the characters want something that the others are not helping them to achieve.

Don't see it if whining self-involved characters depress you.

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Long

See it if you want to see an unperfect rich family story and how unaware they are of each other.

Don't see it if you want a well-developed journey. 1st hour is repetitive and needs cutting. The resolution is unsatisfying and predictable.

Also The premise seemed very promising - sadly the execution leaves a lot t... Read more Read less

During previews
Uneven acting, Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you'd like to see a new play about family dynamics and racial relationships in the US; you want to support the creation of new dramas.

Don't see it if U dislike sterotyping;want to see a polished performance--I saw it the first night & there were too many flubbed lines.

Also Would a maid--or anyone else for that matter---love the father or 2 ol... Read more Read less

During previews
Indulgent, Sad, Cliched, Needs work, Ambitious

See it if See this if you want to support a playwright working on a piece

Don't see it if Don’t see it if you are looking for a finished work

During previews
Slow, Great acting

See it if You want to support some really great scenic and lighting designers.

Don't see it if The play struggles to find a tone or pace appropriate to it's message, we spend way too much time with characters we're not supposed to like

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 ...
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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...
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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 satisf...
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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-...
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Cast & Creatives (3)