Closed 1h 45m
The Homecoming Queen
Chelsea
84

The Homecoming Queen NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(43 Reviews)
Positive
93%
Mixed
7%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the Show

In Ngozi Anyanwu's Off-Broadway debut at the Atlantic, a bestselling novelist returns to Nigeria to care for her ailing father, but before she can bury him, she must relearn the traditions she’s long forgotten.

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Member Reviews (43)

75
Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Unusual setting, Repetitive

See it if you're interested in Nigerian life. THC is rich w/music, clothing, Igbo, attitudes (some lovely, some ugly). Well-staged, well-plotted.

Don't see it if you want fully likable characters or a brisk pace. Carping at ea other is presented as ok. Forgiveness granted for dad's cruel response.Why?

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy family sagas set in Africa with a hint of mystery and misdirection, "return to home" stories, romance with personal barriers

Don't see it if you don't enjoy "family" plays that are slow to reveal its secrets & jump around in time, take place in a culture that may discomfort you,

Critic Reviews (15)

January 22nd, 2018

"Wrings all the pleasure possible out of its familiar tropes even as it revamps their meaning...If the plot is compelling…it is also sometimes murky…In contrast, too many of the conventionally narrative scenes repeat the same arc…They deliver no new emotional information even if they do deliver delight...Timpo’s work with the principals is exemplary...I appreciated, too, that the characters’ emotions are not rushed into place as if on a conveyor belt, which often happens in shortish plays."
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January 23rd, 2018

"Most of the actors seem to be dancing to a tune they hear together, but Udofia is half a step out of pace with them...Still, Timpo's beautifully constructed production flatters Anyanwu's work. Where the play is strong...the production is excellent; when the writing gets weaker and more predictable, the staging distracts us with sound and celebration...Misgivings about 'The Homecoming Queen' dissolve in the company’s ability to create a palpable community."
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January 22nd, 2018

"Neither Anyanwu nor Udofia cares about making Kalechi nice, and that’s both refreshing and admirable...'The Homecoming Queen' has the feeling of a play that, like its heroine, is still finding its way...Yet even in its unevenness, 'The Homecoming Queen' does not feel slack...The moments of pathos and brilliance just take a while to start coming...Under the direction of Awoye Timpo, the play’s tonal register can sometimes feel blurry."
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January 25th, 2018

"Insightful writing, deft staging, an irresistibly appealing cast...The focus on Kelechi – and Udofia’s riveting, subtle transformation from aloof interloper to reclaimed villager open to forgiveness and revelation – are exhilarating to watch...'The Homecoming Queen' is rich and deep, a show to treasure. It should be moved to a bigger space and given a chance to breathe."
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January 22nd, 2018

"Better than any play I've seen, 'The Homecoming Queen' captures the everyday theater we perform to convince ourselves and those around us of who we really are...The actors embody these overlapping identities in thoughtful and nuanced performances...Director Awoye Timpo stages the production with a keen eye for detail. While the play becomes a bit shaggy and unfocused in the second half, 'The Homecoming Queen' ends on a high note."
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January 23rd, 2018

"Anyanwu has quite a potentially wrenching story to tell...I only wish she had better control of her material...If 'The Homecoming Queen' is ever going to become the gripping drama that its story suggests, it will need stronger confrontations and a summing-up of the consequences of trying to bury the past and the damage that has festered over the years. As it is, Anyanwu does something I though impossible: She is making violent assault and revenge seem really quite anodyne."
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January 22nd, 2018

"A powerful exploration of a familiar story...Cleanly and inventively directed by Awoye Timpo on a long runway that splits the audience into two opposing sides...Despite its top-notch cast and vivid production, 'The Homecoming Queen' needs the kind of polish another draft would provide...It's a heartfelt piece that's worth seeing, particularly for its strong cast that gives themselves over to Anyanwu's story with total commitment."
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January 27th, 2018

"Starts out clichéd, but the piece swells in rich moments of music and feeling expertly executed by the cast of storytellers...Once the exposition has cleared, 'The Homecoming Queen' finally comes to life with delicious surprises and understated character work. Yet it is the talent of the collective ensemble that is superior here...By the end of its 105 minutes, 'The Homecoming Queen' becomes a play for every actor on the stage and for every patron in the house."
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January 22nd, 2018

"A powerful story, fueled by powerful writing, is brought vividly to life by director Awoye Timpo in a production that’s both simple and evocative...Udofia’s take on her is spot on. She taps into Kelechi’s nervous, somewhat bitchy, energy quite well...Director Timpo uses these four women to great effect, and they, in their dazzlingly colorful plumage, are captivating as they laugh, sing, smile, talk, fold clothes, or stand in silence."
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January 27th, 2018

"Despite all the familiar elements that unfold...the Nigerian setting isn't the only thing fresh and original about this play. Granted, some details are too glossed over...The most obvious plot points come off as fresh and somehow surprising, thanks to the mostly excellent writing, and the way director Awoye Timpo has shepherded the cast and the crafts team to create a vividly theatrical experience."
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January 24th, 2018

"A memory play and a mythic tale...A home-coming and a home-embracing and a home-leaving tale. The characters are solid and vibrant...Beautiful ensemble work...The important points that unravel the mystery are often glossed over...The logistics were sometimes murky, and this pulled me out of the story. Not enough to leave me stranded, however...I look forward to more of Anyanwu's work. Hers is a voice that should be encouraged."
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January 23rd, 2018

"The play is a beautiful meditation on home, alienation, love, pain, and regret. It strikes harmonious chords with a masterful clarity...Each and every member of the cast is incredible. These characters feel fully realized and human...Timpo has directed a production intent on the verisimilitude of life and its complications, and wow -- how she does succeed...One of the most memorable and poignant endings I've seen -- a testament to the power of story and hope."
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January 22nd, 2018

“'The Homecoming Queen'…excels at atmospheric local color; however, its episodic, flashback-filled structure and indirect secrets can sometimes be confusing, while what we learn of Kelechi's girlhood tragedy is neither particularly overwhelming nor original. I wanted to laugh more at the play's comedy and cry more at its pathos but left the theatre more impressed by its performative and cultural values than its emotional ones.”
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January 24th, 2018

"There is great warmth to 'The Homecoming Queen,' a warmth that spilled into the hallway when the play ended as the audience happily roared about the show they had just seen."
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January 31st, 2018

"The crown in Ngozi Anyanwu’s complex new play is one of rich tradition, worn in reverence and regret by Kelechi, a bestselling author who has traveled from America to Nigeria to see, and ultimately bury, her ailing father...We never find out with any certainty where that search for connection takes her, but by play’s end, we find ourselves wishing her only the best."
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