Fireflies

Critics

LemonMeter

80 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky burns red. A church bombing has rocked the Civil Rights Movement to its core, and Reverend Charles Grace must galvanize the people with messages of hope. It is his wife Olivia, however, who skillfully crafts his speeches and delivery. But her ability to play the supportive spouse is cracking under the weight of too many secrets, too many regrets and life lived in the shadows. “This is language as lush catharsis,” proclaimed New York Magazine. Recommended for high school and above.

Reviews

Avatar

At times heartbreaking and devastating, but ultimately empowering and (slightly) hopeful for future generations, FIREFLIES is a must-watch drama with searing emotions and real-world importance, highlighted by powerful performances from its two talented leads. Clark, in particular, turns in one of the most impressive portraits of a woman suffering trauma I've seen on this stage and I'm hoping to see more of her work in the future.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Fireflies shapes up as 90 minutes of a crumbling marriage, one that is driving Olivia mad, but this dysfunction is rescued by the nuance and sensitivity of the two performers, in collaboration with director Lou Bellamy. The founding director of Minneapolis' Penumbra Theatre, Mr. Bellamy has worked with these two actors in the past. With Fireflies, they rely on their mutual knowledge of each other as theatre-makers, their knowledge of characters like Olivia and Charles, and, I imagine, on their knowledge of each other as people. In any case, the result is a domestic drama that builds emotionally from the kinds of small touches that can keep a sensitive audience enthralled...

And it is all these things that make the South Coast Repertory production of Fireflies an engaging and, to a degree, shattering, 90 minutes of theatre.

sweet - Bill Eadie - Talking Broadway - ...read full review


Avatar

Like a stereotypical Baptist ministry, "Fireflies" aims for an emotional forte early on and doesn’t often vary its pitch, and Love takes every opportunity to weave new horrors into the plot, from rapes and murders to grisly hints at self-induced abortion. We shudder at each new and awful twist, but as the hits keep coming, they become weirdly cloying. There's a mysterious package and a knife, and then very quickly, it devolves into a soap opera. It’s like a very rich meal, eventually dulling the very senses it seeks to sharpen and satisfy.

sweet-sour - Chris Daniels - The Show Report - ...read full review


Avatar

Clark's breathtaking portrait keeps this a riveting mystery for a while, helped along by her character's other secretive behaviors, as well as the vividly painted theatrical magic conjured up by the play's projections designer Jeffrey Elias Teeter and lighting designer Don Darnutzer...

At times heartbreaking and devastating, but ultimately empowering and (slightly) hopeful for future generations, FIREFLIES is a must-watch drama with searing emotions and real-world importance, highlighted by powerful performances from its two talented leads. Clark, in particular, turns in one of the most impressive portraits of a woman suffering trauma I've seen on this stage and I'm hoping to see more of her work in the future.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Jordan Young

Love’s exceptionally well crafted play, attentively directed by Lou Bellamy, is as riveting as it is realistic... Lester Purry and Christiana Clark bring the drama to life in extraordinary performances. Jeffrey Elias Teeter’s projections of fireflies filling the night sky are worthy of note.

sweet - Jordan Young - JordanRYoung - ...read full review


Avatar

The family drama that’s acted out in Love’s play builds to a powerful and unexpected finally. Both actors give the audience a true sense of how close we all are to crumbling under that pressure.

sweet - Carol Davis - Carol's Theatre Reviews - ...read full review


Avatar

Playwright Love is providing voices to those overlooked or erased by history — women, people of color, minorities of other sorts. (“Fireflies” is the centerpiece of a trilogy exploring queer love at pivotal moments in African American history.)

The project is an ambitious one: The past offers countless wrongs to redress and blanks to fill in. In “Fireflies,” Love may be tackling too many of them at once. It’s not that every issue he includes isn’t important, but that the brain has a natural saturation point.

sweet-sour - Margaret Gray - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Fireflies ought by rights to have moved me the way countless plays and movies set in the same time and place have before, and I ought to have cared about Charles and Olivia. In the end, however, both play and protagonists left me cold.

sour - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

With muscular performances by Christina Clark as Olivia and Lester Purry as Charles, this two-hander cast could not be in better or more nuanced form. Love’s dialogue literally sings from the lips of Purry, and fury pours from the performance of Clark. These two actors make not a false note in their characterizations. Bravo!...

Prepare to be lit and lifted by this 90-minute (with no intermission) theatrical trip back to the turmoil of the Civil Rights Movement.

sweet - Ben Miles - ShowMag - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Playwright Donja R. Love’s, Fireflies is the second of a three-play trilogy entitled “The Love Plays” that depicts the experiences of queer people of color during slavery (Sugar in Our Wounds), the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Lives Matter Movement (In the Middle). Set “somewhere down South” in the Fall of 1963 just after the bombing of the African American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that left four young girls dead, Fireflies is the story of Olivia (Christiana Clark), the brittle wife of Reverend Charles Emmanuel Grace (Lester Purry), a fiery orator in the mode of Martin Luther King, who shares the same kind of strengths and weaknesses of that great man.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar

At times heartbreaking and devastating, but ultimately empowering and (slightly) hopeful for future generations, FIREFLIES is a must-watch drama with searing emotions and real-world importance, highlighted by powerful performances from its two talented leads. Clark, in particular, turns in one of the most impressive portraits of a woman suffering trauma I've seen on this stage and I'm hoping to see more of her work in the future.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Fireflies shapes up as 90 minutes of a crumbling marriage, one that is driving Olivia mad, but this dysfunction is rescued by the nuance and sensitivity of the two performers, in collaboration with director Lou Bellamy. The founding director of Minneapolis' Penumbra Theatre, Mr. Bellamy has worked with these two actors in the past. With Fireflies, they rely on their mutual knowledge of each other as theatre-makers, their knowledge of characters like Olivia and Charles, and, I imagine, on their knowledge of each other as people. In any case, the result is a domestic drama that builds emotionally from the kinds of small touches that can keep a sensitive audience enthralled...

And it is all these things that make the South Coast Repertory production of Fireflies an engaging and, to a degree, shattering, 90 minutes of theatre.

sweet - Bill Eadie - Talking Broadway - ...read full review


Avatar

Like a stereotypical Baptist ministry, "Fireflies" aims for an emotional forte early on and doesn’t often vary its pitch, and Love takes every opportunity to weave new horrors into the plot, from rapes and murders to grisly hints at self-induced abortion. We shudder at each new and awful twist, but as the hits keep coming, they become weirdly cloying. There's a mysterious package and a knife, and then very quickly, it devolves into a soap opera. It’s like a very rich meal, eventually dulling the very senses it seeks to sharpen and satisfy.

sweet-sour - Chris Daniels - The Show Report - ...read full review


Avatar

Clark's breathtaking portrait keeps this a riveting mystery for a while, helped along by her character's other secretive behaviors, as well as the vividly painted theatrical magic conjured up by the play's projections designer Jeffrey Elias Teeter and lighting designer Don Darnutzer...

At times heartbreaking and devastating, but ultimately empowering and (slightly) hopeful for future generations, FIREFLIES is a must-watch drama with searing emotions and real-world importance, highlighted by powerful performances from its two talented leads. Clark, in particular, turns in one of the most impressive portraits of a woman suffering trauma I've seen on this stage and I'm hoping to see more of her work in the future.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Jordan Young

Love’s exceptionally well crafted play, attentively directed by Lou Bellamy, is as riveting as it is realistic... Lester Purry and Christiana Clark bring the drama to life in extraordinary performances. Jeffrey Elias Teeter’s projections of fireflies filling the night sky are worthy of note.

sweet - Jordan Young - JordanRYoung - ...read full review


Avatar

The family drama that’s acted out in Love’s play builds to a powerful and unexpected finally. Both actors give the audience a true sense of how close we all are to crumbling under that pressure.

sweet - Carol Davis - Carol's Theatre Reviews - ...read full review


Avatar

Playwright Love is providing voices to those overlooked or erased by history — women, people of color, minorities of other sorts. (“Fireflies” is the centerpiece of a trilogy exploring queer love at pivotal moments in African American history.)

The project is an ambitious one: The past offers countless wrongs to redress and blanks to fill in. In “Fireflies,” Love may be tackling too many of them at once. It’s not that every issue he includes isn’t important, but that the brain has a natural saturation point.

sweet-sour - Margaret Gray - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Fireflies ought by rights to have moved me the way countless plays and movies set in the same time and place have before, and I ought to have cared about Charles and Olivia. In the end, however, both play and protagonists left me cold.

sour - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

With muscular performances by Christina Clark as Olivia and Lester Purry as Charles, this two-hander cast could not be in better or more nuanced form. Love’s dialogue literally sings from the lips of Purry, and fury pours from the performance of Clark. These two actors make not a false note in their characterizations. Bravo!...

Prepare to be lit and lifted by this 90-minute (with no intermission) theatrical trip back to the turmoil of the Civil Rights Movement.

sweet - Ben Miles - ShowMag - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Playwright Donja R. Love’s, Fireflies is the second of a three-play trilogy entitled “The Love Plays” that depicts the experiences of queer people of color during slavery (Sugar in Our Wounds), the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Lives Matter Movement (In the Middle). Set “somewhere down South” in the Fall of 1963 just after the bombing of the African American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that left four young girls dead, Fireflies is the story of Olivia (Christiana Clark), the brittle wife of Reverend Charles Emmanuel Grace (Lester Purry), a fiery orator in the mode of Martin Luther King, who shares the same kind of strengths and weaknesses of that great man.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review