Familiar OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 12, 2016
    Closing:
    March 27, 2016

    Theater: Playwrights Horizons / 416 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

    Synopsis: 

    It’s winter in Minnesota, and a Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, "Familiar" pitches tradition against assimilation, drawing a loving portrait of a family: the customs they keep, and the secrets they bury.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Familiar

    ‘Familiar,’ a Comic Clash of Assimilation on the Path to a Wedding

    Charles Isherwood

    March 3, 2016: A wedding almost always involves some kind of culture clash. Church ceremony or civil? To bridesmaid or not to bridesmaid? But the impending nuptials in Danai Gurira’s fiercely funny new play, “Familiar,” about a Zimbabwean-American family in Minnesota, make even the most fraught weddings seem comparatively placid affairs. By the end of this engrossing comedy-drama, which opened on Thursday at Playwrights Horizons, deep fissures within the family have been exposed, fresh wounds are rubbed raw and long-buried secrets are unearthed. Ms. Gurira, an excellent actor as well as a playwright, is having a remarkable season on New York stages. Her terrific “Eclipsed,” about the brutal cost borne by women during the Liberian civil war in Africa, starring Lupita Nyong’o, opens on Broadway on Sunday after an acclaimed run at the Public Theater last fall, making history as the first Broadway production to be written by, directed by and entirely cast with black women. (A dollar for anyone who can name the first such production staffed exclusively by white men.)

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