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"Elizabeth Van Dyke as Zora Neale Hurston is authentic and beautiful. Van Dyke inhabits Hurston in all her personas. When Van Dyke tells a story, a folktale, she becomes Zora...This theatrical biography by Laurence Holder presents Zora to us in all her strength and complexities...Joseph Lewis Edwards is also authentic and beautiful as four men who impacted Zora’s life...The chemistry between Edwards and Van Dyke is wonderful." Full Review
"In a majestic, dynamic and anguished performance Elizabeth Van Dyke tells her story in the first person...Woodie King Jr. directs a hyper-emotional Ms. Van Dyke in a series of flashbacks that tells us of her glorious journey from Florida to New York City’s heights of glamour. The magic of autobiographical theater took hold of me...Don’t miss this chance to share in the comedy, drama and intensity of American literary society." Full Review
"Not only important history but breathtaking performances. A theatrical biography could be tedious, but Laurence Holder’s 20-year-old piece is stunning...The performances of Elizabeth Van Dyke and Joseph Lewis Edwards, recreating their original roles, show the advantages of maturity...The staging of the piece by director Woodie King, Jr. overcame most of the limitations of the very small stage space. We needed very little more than to watch the performers at work." Full Review
"Those who love Hurston's signature novel, 'Their Eyes Were Watching God,' must see this show. Young people unfamiliar with this author, must see this show. What an experience!...From the intimate to the cosmic, from the personal to the historical, the writer never compromises the truth. Joy dominates the performance...Director Woodie King, Jr. creates magic, using the space to effectively take the audience along the winding path of a complicated, demanding journey." Full Review
"Regardless of what production arrives this season, there will be none better, thanks to the phenomenal performance of Elizabeth Van Dyke as Hurston. Van Dyke encompasses the heart and soul of her character. You smile when she is witty and sassy, or feel the tension as she speaks out in protest or quarrels with Hughes...'Zora Neale Hurston' is at the zenith of importance and acting ability. Witnessing Van Dyke as Hurston will become one of those noted theater history moments." Full Review
See it if You are interested in the story of an African-American female writer in the mid twentieth century. Great acting.
Don't see it if If you aren't interested in biographical plays, or are looking for dramatic action.
See it if you are interested in the Harlem Renaissance and the many artists who participated in it. There is charming storytelling and dancing too.
Don't see it if you are interested in a detailed biography. Large sections of her life are skimmed over with brief references.
See it if You do or do not know the history of Zora Neale Hurston. You want to hear a good story and get a history lesson. You like simple staging.
Don't see it if You're not interested in learning about Zora Neale Hurston. You need elaborate staging. You'r not interested in hearing a good story.
See it if If you enjoy Topical drama's, even many years later, drama's that deal with real life issues, then you will find this show riveting
Don't see it if You prefer fluff to solid content and tend to shy away from issues that confront society to this day
See it if you like biographical plays - especially about someone you don't know who you will come to respect once you hear their story.
Don't see it if you are expecting a full production as this is mostly two actors telling a story - with a small bit of (great) singing.
See it if you don't know her story. It's quiet fascinating. While not the greatest play, it gets the job done thanks to strong performances.
Don't see it if bio-plays or simply 2 person plays bore you. This is a 90 minute engaging Hurston lesson and that's fine.
See it if you like biographies, this is a serious, entertaining overview of an African American writer during the Harlem Renaissance. Excellent acting
Don't see it if you don't like bios, or aren't interested in African American history.
See it if you are curious about or devoted to Harlem Renaissance or Zora or a Libertarian intrigued by unconventional black political positions
Don't see it if you are tired or are irritated by black woman screaming punctuated by audience "Uh huhs" or by historical/technical inaccuracies in plays
See it if you want an accurate history lesson performed with spirit!
Don't see it if 2 people (one multiple characters) playing out the lives of dead people for 90 minutes!
See it if You are patient enough to learn about an extraordinary person - through a badly written play, that is directed badly. The actors are good.
Don't see it if You need strong writing and good story telling to enjoy your time in the theater. Of if you need a play to be well directed, don't see it
See it if To know how women writers; (African American) were treated in 1940. Their work being silenced, and falsely, accused of a crime.
Don't see it if African American women writers are not treated as equal as other writers of any color.
See it if A representation of a complex life with attendant conflicts in black history. Superbly acted and will make you run to WIKI for further info.
Don't see it if You don't like biographies
See it if you would like to learn more about Zora and the Harlem Renaissance while watching a well acted well scripted account of her life.
Don't see it if you have no interest in historical portraits or were looking for a light entertainment musical.
Also Bravo to the Castillo Theatre. Out of the way but worth the trip.
See it if you want to learn a very general notion of who this woman was. It's an entertaining evening but falls short of being what it aims to be.
Don't see it if you expect to learn any real history or gain any real depth of character.
See it if you know ZNH's work & want an overview of her history; the play has its moments but is more like a 'cliff notes' summary of her life.
Don't see it if you have no interest in the struggles of this wonderful writer & black folklorist who stood up for her personal and professional convictions
See it if Visitg the triumph and downfall of a Harlem Renaissance talent is of interest. We see Hurston was a firecracker but polarizg with peers.
Don't see it if Bio-plays about a 1920's bohemian are not of interest. If you like lavish sets and production values, this play will be a challenge.
See it if you enjoy one woman shows with gold star acting and energy, you are interested in Hurston, the Harlem Rennaisansce; monologues.
Don't see it if You want a play with a traditional cast and plot, something experimental, or something more produced.