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The Lucky Ones

From 71 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Absorbing, Intense, Ambitious, Edgy

About the show

Ars Nova presents indie-music duo The Bengsons ('Hundred Days') spinning a memory-tale of teenaged passion, ideals lived to the limits, family shattered and faith lost — all in hope of finding a way home again. More…

Through soulful electro-folk songs, this driving, semi-autobiographical story grabs joy and grief with the same hand and holds them tightly, in a radical affirmation of being alive.

Member Reviews (71)


Great singing, Absorbing, Intense, Ambitious, Edgy
Avg Score

Tragic, Heartbreaking, Sad, Moving, Great music

See it if Autobiographical musical about an extended family that suffers a tragedy. Beautifully performed songs with intense feeling. Sad but real.

Don't see it if You want a more uplifting experience. This is a 2 1/2 hour show that drags in the second half. It's at its best during the songs.

Absorbing, Great singing, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy a different type of musical with indie rock music and a deeply personal story. There are a lot of great songs and creative staging

Don't see it if you don't like indie rock music or don't like shows that deal with real life family tragedies.

Clever, Ambitious, Great singing, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if you like the Bengsons, indy music and a fascinating story that is based on reality.

Don't see it if you can't sit through a long show (over 2.5 hours) that becomes repetitive and could use a lot of editing. This play could have been great.

Great singing, Resonant, Intense

See it if Indie musical (banjo, accordion, electric guitar, etc.) of a hippy family that encounters a tragedy. Slightly rough around the edges.

Don't see it if Indie / folk music isn't your thing. Mental health / death is triggering

Meditative, Unique, Thought-provoking, Haunting, Intense

See it if You enjoy podcasts such as This American Life, Radiolab, Invisibilia, etc. It has a very similar feel, especially the last third.

Don't see it if You dislike folk/indie scores. You are looking for a "light" show.

Also This is a truly unique show. And that means quite a bit. After all, wo... Read more Read less

Intense, Great acting, Profound, Raw, Great singing

See it if You're interested in a soul-baring musical show accompanied by great choreography & a riveting story. This may be the most honest show ever.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional play - this is not that. But it would be hard not to be swept away by its emotion and intensity.

Hipster nirvana, Majestic, Meditative, Dizzying

See it if you enjoyed Hundred Days and/or like folk rock musical theatre.

Don't see it if you like very traditional narrative structure.

Also if you were to blend Urban Outfitters and pour it into a musical theat... Read more Read less

Engaging, Heartfelt, Great singing

See it if Wonderful singing, moving story of the disintegration of a loving oddball family. Humorous and sad, sometimes love is not enough.

Don't see it if No sets to speak of, fourth wall comes and goes, definitely indie, off-off broadway fare.

Also The semi-autobiographical "none of it happened and all of it's true" s... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Emotional rollercoaster, A story to music more than a musical

See it if You enjoy strong folksy female vocalists, if you are comfortable with ups, downs & painful consequences, if you want to consider redemption

Don't see it if You are looking for something feel good or light - this has light / fun moments but ultimately it's a sad family story

Also The plot centers an event from Abigail Bengson's own family & the cons... Read more Read less

Bengsons hone the theatre-concert form, Still unfocused & overlong, Great music, Wonderful ensemble--all 18!

See it if you're a Bengsons fan (this is more successful than Hundred Days at NYTW); you're interested in new music theatre forms or electro-folk

Don't see it if you expect all rough edges smoothed out (still has workshop feel to it, & some elements are more successful than others; some need pruning)

Also “This is a true story, even the parts that never happened,” Shaun Beng... Read more Read less

Creative, Long, Disjointed, Talanted cast, Good music

See it if you like creative shows with indie infused music. Talanted cast and some interesting staging ideas. Not the Bengsons’ best though.

Don't see it if The story is too long and feels disjointed at times. This negatively affects music and the production as a whole. Abigail is too emotional.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Moving

See it if you liked Hundred Days; very similar structure and semi-autobiographical setup. Engaging storyline and solid vocals.

Don't see it if you cannot embrace the tagline "Everything in this story is true. Even the parts that didn't happen." That murky area is the crux of it.

Entertaining, Great singing, Edgy

See it if you're interested in non-traditional musicals that are based on indie-folk music and real life stories

Don't see it if you're looking for a light or classic musical


See it if I love abagail

Don't see it if I didn't love the whole bonfire sequence

Absorbing, Edgy, Great singing, Intense, Resonant

See it if You love strong story-telling, near-immersive theatre, BEAUTIFUL music, deeply emotional stories.

Don't see it if You struggle with themes of family violence or descriptions of physical violence. You prefer straight plays/musicals, not a combination.

Great singing, Intense, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy non-traditional theatre, multi-genre scores, and raw, honest storytelling performed by a terrific ensemble

Don't see it if you are only a fan of traditional theatre or prefer standard showtunes to folk-rock

Also You truly are one of the lucky ones to get to experience this story. T... Read more Read less

Cliched, Indulgent, Insipid, Overrated, Great singing

See it if you love the Bengsons, Sonya Tayeh, and great choral arrangements (the choral work was wonderful).

Don't see it if you find autobiographical therapy sessions to be self-indulgent or if you mind a musical turning into a cabaret act after intermission.

Ambitious, Great singing, Disappointing, Disjointed, Minor

See it if you love the Bengsons, are a fan of documentary style theatre, want to see an ambitious, not fully successful, musical experiment.

Don't see it if you want a consistent storytelling format, or are looking for something with depth beyond minor personal tragedy.

Also This story is clearly deeply personal to the artists, but it lacks uni... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great singing, Intense

See it if You like downtown theater focusing on autobiographical storylines and great live music in a cool space.

Don't see it if You want something like a classic musical or don’t want to feel passionate intimate performances by great artists

Ambitious, Dizzying, Riveting, Absorbing, Edgy

See it if You love very modern, edgy musicals with great choreography, incredible vocal arrangements and captivating storytelling elements.

Don't see it if You can’t deal with a work in progress. The second act needs work and doesn’t live up to the energy of act one.

Enchanting, Great singing, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in a touching autobio concert-musical that combines elements of folk, rock & electronic music by two exciting talents.

Don't see it if you prefer a more classic structure or sound to your musical theater.

Riveting, Riveting, great music & acting, astonishing must see

See it if You love live music, incredibly connected performers, astonishing staging and dancing, moving theater that gets to the very core of life

Don't see it if You don't like folky, rock music, don't want to be surrounded by amazing performers, not interested in vital, moving theater

Also The Bengsons are theatrical treasures who mine their lives to create a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Exquisite, Profound, Riveting, Masterful

See it if you love a performer who gives her heart and soul to her work. Great ensemble, orginal storytelling, inventive, seemless staging.

Don't see it if don't want to go to the east village off the beaten path or if you are looking conventional theater.

Absorbing, Epic, Riveting, Must see

See it if you love original takes on the musical form. I was absolutely mesmerized. Amazing songs. Heartwrenching performances

Don't see it if You need light song & dance spectacles. This is heavy but so so worth it. Wow.

Great singing, Relevant, Entertaining, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if This is not your traditional musical -- see it if you want something new. Wonderful signing and music.

Don't see it if you want a traditional musical.

March 31st, 2018
"The songwriting, though feelingful, does not yet seem complex enough structurally to handle the size and depth of the action it must portray...The music has a pleasantly droning quality that forestalls harmonic development. The ruminative, repetitive lyrics similarly stunt the drama...Kauffman’s...
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April 1st, 2018
"Scratch any family history, and you’re bound to draw some blood. Abigail Bengson's childhood experience has more than most...Harrowing...A teen bacchanal, thrillingly choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, culminates in a cozy romance-but not for long...Tragedy that ensues, but nothing in this story is t...
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March 31st, 2018
"There's an intoxicating quality to the Bengsons' music...The entire cast gives passionate performances...It is possible to appreciate the virtuosity on display even if you don't really buy the Bengsons' consistently on-brand folksy fabulism (which I didn't)...Stripped of its soul-stirring music ...
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April 9th, 2018
"The Bengsons have once again supplied a brace of distinctive indie-folk tunes matched with probing lyrics that illuminate the family's oddball, self-invented way of life...If 'Hundred Days' came across as an evasive, even self-indulgent work, 'The Lucky Ones' is an almost foolhardy act of braver...
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