The Lucky Ones NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(71 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
4%
Negative
0%
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.

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Member Reviews (71)

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85
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.

85
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.

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
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 astute staging does what it can to jury-rig a feeling of depth...The storytelling is as yet too impulsive, and at times too self-indulgent, to be corralled...A gawky, powerful work in progress."
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Time Out New York
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 that simple...'The lucky ones,' the show suggests, are those who, born into damage, can still 'open up.' Bengson, with her extraordinarily expressive musical and authorial voice, does so magnificently."
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Theatermania
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 and mystical staging, 'The Lucky Ones' would look a lot like an after-school special...Yet the tale of a young man whose delusions of grandeur drive him to violence feels especially relevant in 2018."
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Lighting & Sound America
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 bravery. We may not be getting the full story, but, nevertheless, she has put these deeply personal materials to work in asking probing questions about happiness, fidelity, and one's place in the world."
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TheaterScene.net
April 13th, 2018

"Adding to the confusion are Abigail's many family members, including her sisters--one of whom is named Emily (Ashley Pérez Flanagan), not to be confused with her new friend Emma--her parents, her aunt (the stalwart Maryann Plunkett) and her cousins. Another part of the problem is that there are simply too many people to be contained on the small stage of the Connelly Theater, which may be why the majority of them begin the show in the balcony in the rear of the auditorium."
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Theatre is Easy
April 1st, 2018

"Heartbreakingly human, semi-autobiographical tales...Anne Kauffman's direction and Sonya Tayeh's choreography work impeccably well with the music...A testament to Kauffman and Tayeh’s leadership, the show’s entire cast, tops to toes, gives an inspiring performance...It is viscerally evident that every facet has been considered in creating one united, yet nuanced, message. I laughed, I cried, I jammed. I witnessed storytelling of intense emotional depth, and ultimately, the joy of storytelling."
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Front Row Center
April 2nd, 2018

"Sonya Tayeh’s choreography, paired with the spot-on costuming by Asta Bennie Hostetter, perfectly captured the spirit of freedom and abandon that exemplified the hippie, vibe that may not have been a parenting panacea. And Abigail Bengson is a captivating presence on stage. It’s nearly impossible to look anywhere else when she is singing...Unfortunately, 'The Lucky Ones' kind of fizzles out at the end."
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Stage Buddy
April 9th, 2018

"The whole show is so beautifully crafted, it's less a musical and more a seamless experience that grabs you tight at the outset and never lets go until the final dimming of the lights. That's due in some part to a gorgeous script, but also in large measure to Tayeh's groundbreaking choreography, Bengson's warm stage presence, and a score that represents the best indie-folk/rock has to offer...Seamless, deep, and artistically inspiring, 'The Lucky Ones' is theatre at its very best."
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Front Mezz Junkies
April 13th, 2018

"It is thrillingly awesome, assembling a large diverse cast of talented creatures to create a tale on a much bigger canvas...The cast is uniformly excellent, chanting us into the history of this story from all sides like a primal pack of ancients...Feels like a rocking athletic roller coaster ride, through pain and trauma, hoping to come out at the end shaken and wind-blown, but feeling the gasp and the grabbing hold of survival."
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Exeunt Magazine
April 13th, 2018

"By scripting former anguish and forcing themselves to relive the past for the length of an off-Broadway run, it turns the truth into something manufactured. Theatre is, by nature, false. Actors, playwrights, and directors are encouraged to be honest in their creations, but that’s not the same thing as being truthful...Abigail returns nightly to a brutal event from her youth...It’s either a brilliant performance or the memory is still so alive in her that the musical is functioning as therapy."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
April 1st, 2018

"Very little action moves the narrative forward, creating a sense of stasis. What we witness is mainly offered in the form of memories and comments on the memories…Just because the memories are expressed in articulate language doesn't make them as fascinating to an audience of strangers as they must be to The Bengsons…An unnecessarily long two hours…Kauffman…has failed to shape…the material in a compelling way, allowing its incipient sense of self-indulgence to eventually overshadow everything."
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Broadway & Me
April 7th, 2018

"Weaned more on indie rock...The Bengsons create hard-charging shows hewn from their own life stories...Playwright Sarah Gancher helps shape the memories into the musical's book...But the narrative remains loose-limbed. It's more tell than actual show...'The Lucky Ones' has a lot of things going for it, particularly for adventurous theatergoers. And while its parts may not add up to a convincing whole, I still feel lucky to have seen it."
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Stage Left
April 2nd, 2018

"Abundantly surprising, deeply intimate, and simply gorgeous...It is raw, honest, and human. While scripted and certainly fictionalized at times, it feels anything but, due to the intensity of Abigail’s performance and the strength of Kauffman’s guiding hand...The show is expertly calibrated, energetically and passionately performed, and very moving. I must admit, I am smitten by The Bengsons and am eager to hear and see more of their unique voice and vision."
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F
April 10th, 2018

"A heartrending deep-dive into the vessels of childhood, the roots of adolescence that grow deep within us and those intensely human experiences of family from which we may never unbind ourselves...This show is rapture. It is a daring examination of the limits of memory and trauma. It is chaos spoken in poetry, and it is the type of well-made, deeply personal theater that could be delivered only by a company with as much commitment to story and radical form."
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The Theatre Times
April 4th, 2018

"Unbound and unapologetic...Presented with confidence and thoughtfulness...The music is utterly electrifying...Kauffman's direction brings a 'just right' aesthetic giving it all the craftsmanship and polish of a Broadway smash with the grit and candor of downtown theater...An easily world-class ensemble...'The Lucky Ones' is unusual and necessary. It doesn’t announce itself, and won’t justify itself for anyone. It IS; and as such invites you to experience its truest and most authentic self."
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