Already closed | 2h 10m | Midtown W

Too Heavy for Your Pocket

From 69 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Resonant

About the show

Roundabout Underground presents this new drama about a young man in the early '60s who joins the Freedom Riders. More…

Tennessee-born playwright Jiréh Breon Holder takes us back to Nashville in the summer of 1961. The Freedom Riders are embarking on a courageous journey into the Deep South. When 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones—and himself—that shaping his country’s future might be worth jeopardizing his own.


Member Reviews (69)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Resonant
85
Avg Score

82
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if Great significant story and storytelling. Touching and poignant. Great acting and beautiful set. Important.

Don't see it if you don't care about issues of race and class struggle.

80
Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to see great performances in an intimate space. Characters are well written & easily draw you into this moving story.

Don't see it if You are looking to see something that is light and fluffy.

85
Intelligent, Absorbing, Slow, Insightful, Weighty

See it if While one man risks his life to join the Freedom Riders, his wife and best friends struggle with their relationships. Well acted.

Don't see it if You don't want to see people trying to cope with differences in their values. Intentionally "too heavy"?

Also The civil rights setting was valuable to see in this personal way.

82
Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if Interesting & uncharted look a civil rights movement via 'common folks' viewpoint Well acted & crafted (on downhome set) w/great soundscape

Don't see it if Despite the class issues influencing the characters, author Holder allows the plot to slide into soap opera Still compelling but unsatifying

75
Great acting, Engaging, Thought-provoking, Warm, Resonant

See it if you're looking for a drama about people's relationships set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement and the Freedom riders.

Don't see it if you're expecting more of a historical play. This is more of a human play that is set amidst history.

85
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like new plays, interested in African-American playwrights, appreciate well-directed, well-acted productions with integrity

Don't see it if You're not interested in African-American plays, have issues dealing with the freedom riders and civil rights movement, prefer the classics

79
Shows real human cost behind freedom fighting in civil rights movement

See it if does a fabulous job of getting atmospherics behind 1961 black middle class life/strong women, weak men; gospel singing animates; strong cast

Don't see it if plot predictable; playwright can't figure out where to take the story in 2nd act; motivation 4 freedom fighting expressed in hackneyed terms

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Terrific ensemble work from a cast of 4, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you want to experience the work of a new writer, Jiréh Breon Holder. Also, Margot Bordelon's direction makes great use of the space.

Don't see it if you are not interested in plays with political/historical themes.

79
Heartfelt, Great acting, Complicated

See it if you want to see a fine ensemble cast in an earnest well-meaning work about an important topic, with lots of ins and outs and ups and downs.

Don't see it if you'll be confused by tangential red herring plot lines, or a story that, while wrought w/ emotion, doesn't satisfy as it might.

Also With its staid style of storytelling, the piece has the feel of a clas... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if Wow! Wow wow wow! What performances! A small story that personalizes an important event in American history.

Don't see it if This show was amazing. Only those with no heart at all could fail to be moved.

85
Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Resonant

See it if if you like well-developed stories about racial issues or about marital relationships, blue collar workers and difficult friendships.

Don't see it if if you do not like stories which examine struggles, whether economical, marital or racial, and you prefer happy easy-going stories.

90
Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Riveting

See it if You want to see well trained actors like colts out of the barn settle into a mature, touching, heart felt play. Song naturalistically arise

Don't see it if You wouldnt be here if race was an issue.

Also These 4 characters were drawn so distinctively that you feel as if you... Read more Read less

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Resonant, Profound

See it if An intense story of two couples living in Tenn in 1961. Their lives are beginning to be impacted by the freedom demonstrations. Well acted!

Don't see it if If you prefer light dramas or musicals.

90
Superb acting, Relevant, Great characterizations, Wonderful writing, Appealing

See it if you are interested in US race issues, enjoy characters that one can identify with, care about and analyze, excellent direction and acting.

Don't see it if you dislike serious study of people laboring to overcome difficult problems with interrelationships, minority status and economic struggle.

75
Slow, Great singing, Great acting

See it if if you want to see a show that celebrates an important part of the civil rights movement with criticism

Don't see it if you don't want to see how the author got to know his characters - should be a 75 min one act.

81
Absorbing, Intelligent, Still relevant, Still painful

See it if You like plays with historical context. You like seeing the personal stories of characters lived during these times.

Don't see it if You want more action than words, you have no patience of the small Everyman deciding if or how to put his mark on history.

Also I knew about the Freedom Riders. I knew how hard the struggle for inte... Read more Read less

75
Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Indulgent, Facile writing

See it if Fine acting and staging are sufficient to overcome shallow writing.

Don't see it if Incisive writing is a necessity for you to see or enjoy a play.

97
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent

See it if you want to see four outstanding black actors in a play written about the black experience in the 1960s but still relevant

Don't see it if you have no interest in the trials and motivations of two black families

100
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you want to see a wonderful, meaningful, well acted play.

Don't see it if you dislike stories about what Afro -Americans suffered in the US in the 1960's

Also Play is outstanding and shouldn't be missed.

92
Riveting, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you want a play about two pairs of black friends struggles with living in 1961 Nashville. One of them decides to join the Freedom Riders.

Don't see it if if you don't care about seeing a play about black struggles or if you don't know or care to know anything about the Freedom Riders impacts.

77
Well acted, Elegant direction, Uneven script alternately engaging and predictible

See it if you want to discover a new playwright exploring some fresh aspects of the Freedom Rides; want to enjoy a quartet of mostly unknown actors

Don't see it if you're impatient with soap opera elements (though rooted in specifics of time and place, they remain stereotypical); you want a resolved end

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see an intelligent, human story of African Americans in 1961 Nashville with interesting characters.

Don't see it if you want a light entertainment.

88
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you enjoy deep full characters and stories about serious political issues.

Don't see it if you are looking for light and fluffy.

73
Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a very VERY well acted new work!

Don't see it if You want to see a perfect product. It’s a pretty darn good show, but could use some material tightening.

95
Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you're interested in significant subjects like civil rights, economic struggles, and marital stress. The acting and singing is superb.

Don't see it if you prefer light comedies or musicals. This is a serious play addressing serious issues in a thoughtful way.


October 5th, 2017
"Stylistically old-fashioned, it feels as familiar and earnest as a pew. And yet its formal conservatism almost seems daring when paired with content that many may find, as I did, illuminating and moving...'Too Heavy' dramatizes questions of class difference within the black community that rarely...
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October 5th, 2017
"Even in the stronger second section of the play, Holder can over-sugar his characters—the domestic quarrels approach soapiness—and Bordelon has the actors perform broadly, which can be startling in a space as small as the Roundabout Underground. But Okafor has a beautiful quality of stern patien...
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October 5th, 2017
"Holder is putting his finger on something powerful, something that Fight for Freedom narratives don’t necessarily get at: Protesting is a privilege...Holder’s prose does occasionally tip toward heavy-handedness. But it’s a credit to Bordelon’s deft touch and to Okafor’s raw power that here the n...
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October 5th, 2017
"The play and this production bristle with ideas that bring fresh news to a familiar tale...Director Margot Bordelon’s sensitive staging honors that intimacy in its no-nonsense, fuss-free simplicity and elegance. Most important is the astonishing caliber of the four actors in these roles, each dr...
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