Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography
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Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography

Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography NYC Reviews and Tickets

(35 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

New Federal Theatre revives its bio-show about the celebrated 20th-century African-American writer known as 'The Queen of the Harlem Renaissance.'

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Member Reviews (35)

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1015 Reviews | 420 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Intelligent, Falls short

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.

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Clever

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.

332 Reviews | 43 Followers
Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

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.

308 Reviews | 86 Followers
Earnest, Disappointing, Diffuse, Lacks drama

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

302 Reviews | 86 Followers
Cliched, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Disappointing

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

285 Reviews | 32 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you like historical biographies and strong female characters

Don't see it if you don't like strong female characters

254 Reviews | 138 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Entertaining

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

265 Reviews | 52 Followers
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Educational, Relevant

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.

Critic Reviews (5)

Front Row Center
October 30th, 2016

"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."
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November 5th, 2016

"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."
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November 10th, 2016

"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."
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Black Star News
October 29th, 2016

"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."
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Amsterdam News
October 27th, 2016

"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."
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