Nkechi was a good Nigerian-American girl. She did everything right. Went to med school. Made plans. Then life happened. And plans changed. A first-generation coming-of-age journey of love, loss, and growing into adulthood, GOOD GRIEF follows Nkechi as she navigates Pennsylvania’s suburbs alongside her childhood crush, her would-be-philosopher brother, and her immigrant parents. Hailed as a “profound dramatic work” by LA Weekly, this hilarious and heartbreaking new play reunites playwright Ngozi Anyanwu and director Awoye Timpo following their acclaimed collaboration on THE HOMECOMING QUEEN.
‘GOOD GRIEF’ IS TENDER AND AFFECTING! A SWEET AND SORROWFUL PLAY.
Ms. Anyanwu’s language reaches for the stars within the darkness.”
— Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“EMOTIONALLY ASTUTE AND GENUINELY FUNNY!
Nimbly directed by Awoye Timpo. Timpo and her team have created a living space, in which neurons fire and boundaries shift and memories coalesce and disperse like smoke. Anyanwu understands that humor in a story functions like lemon juice or salt — it heightens the flavors around it and adds a sting. With theatrical agility and emotional intelligence, it’s exploring not what grief actually looks like but what it feels like from the inside, the weird internal labyrinth that we’re forced to navigate in the wake of a great loss. Oberon K.A. Adjepong is wonderful. Nkechi’s mother is given twinkle-eyed tenacity by Patrice Johnson Chevannes. Nnamdi Asomugha is excellent.”
— Sara Holdren, New York Magazine
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “GOOD GRIEF’ GIVES YOU A TINGLE, LIKE A GOOD HOOK IN A POP SONG.
Playwright Ngozi Anyanwu has a specific talent: She can craft an exchange in which two people reveal how much they care about each other. In Good Grief, her satisfyingly unsad tragedy at the Vineyard Theatre, the playwright indulges that gift to its utmost. Ian Quinlan oozes perfection.”
— Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
“ANYANWU’S STORYTELLING IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE AND CONSTANTLY ENGAGING. ANYANWU HAS DISTINGUISHED HERSELF AS ONE OF OUR FINEST NEW VOICES IN THE THEATRE SCENE
Her work explores themes and perspectives that no one else’s does. Good Grief is eloquent and emotional in all sorts of unexpected ways, but its themes allow everyone to find a piece of the story to which they can personally relate. It’s a pleasure to go on this dramatic journey.”
— Sarah Moore, Theatre is Easy
“Anyanwu has a gift for dialogue and for depicting the experience of a second-generation African American growing up in lily-white suburbia when Tupac and Biggie were just as popular as The Incredible Hulk and ‘The Goonies.’”
— Thom Geier, The Wrap
“RICH PERFORMANCES! HEARTFELT AND WELL-PERFORMED. A SENSITIVE EXPLORATION OF GRIEF AND REGRET.
Anyanwu has developed highly specific relationships with all of her characters, delivering a performance that is impressively unselfconscious for an author starring in her own play.”
— Zachary Stewart, TheaterMania
“NGOZI ANYANWU IS ONE EMERGING PLAYWRIGHT TO WATCH AND A NEW VOICE TO BE HEARD.”
— Deb Miller, DC Metro Arts
“COLORFUL AND IMAGINATIVE!
Anyanwu again demonstrates her gift for creating likeable characters and writing natural dialogue. Here she also proves herself to be a versatile actor. Ian Quinlan is charismatic and endearing. Oberon K.A. Adjepong and Patrice Johnson Chevannes are both excellent. Bravo to The Vineyard for continuing to offer their stage for original work by new and diverse talent.”
—Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp
“TOUCHING AND TENDER! THE CAST IS EXQUISITE.
Director Awoye Timpo, directs this piece with sympathy and pathos. Finding our purpose in life has never been simple, but thanks to Ngozi Anyanwu’s prolific writing, maybe healing is just a heartbeat away. I so look forward to more plays by this compelling new voice of her generation.”
—Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles
“GOOD GRIEF IS LYRICAL AND HUMAN. IT IS A SHOW THAT IS WORTH SEEING!
A moving piece that will make you feel feelings and bring you back to moments you’ve shared with your best friend or your first love in all of the best, awkward, and human ways.”
—Brittany Crowell, New York Theatre Guide