Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About the American Premiere of Arinzé Kene's Misty? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About the American Premiere of Arinzé Kene's Misty?

The Olivier nominee explores art and gentrification in his genre-defying work.

Arinzé Kene Maria Baranova

Reviews are rolling out for Olivier nominee Arinzé Kene's Misty. The genre-defying work, which blends theatre, live music, opened its American premiere at Off-Broadway's The Shed March 9. Previews began March 3 for a run through April 2.

Having starred on the London stage in Death of a Salesman and Girl from the North Country, Kene makes his U.S. stage debut in his work which takes audiences through London under gentrification while exploring what it means to be an artist today. Kene said, “Misty at its heart is a play about gentrification—how it changes people’s lives and how it ruins people's lives. I came to Hackney in East London in the early ’90s when I moved from Nigeria. I’ve seen it change over the years. I wanted to tell that story from the point of view of the people who have grown up there and the people who have been displaced as well.”

Read the reviews here.

Hollywood Soapbox (John Soltes)

New York Stage Review (David Finkle)

New York Stage Review (Melissa Rose Bernardo)

New York Theatre Guide (Allison Considine)

The New York Times (Naveen Kumar)*

Theater Pizzazz (Brian Scott Lipton)

TheaterMania (Hayley Levitt)

The Wrap (Thom Geier)*

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Arinzé Kene Maria Baranova

Helming the creative team is director Omar Elerian (NASSIM, Two Palestinians Go Dogging), joined by set and costume designer Rajha Shakiry, lighting designer Jackie Shemesh, sound designer Elena Peña, and video designer Daniel Denton. The original score, composed by Kene, Adrian MacLeod, and Shiloh Coke, is performed by a live band.

The Shed's Artistic Director Alex Poots said, “This play’s inventive discourse on city-making unravels the complexities of class experiences in London that resonate deeply with any global city.“

Commissioned by London's Bush Theatre where it originally premiered in 2018, Misty subsequently transferred to the West End. The work earned a 2019 Olivier nomination for Best New Play as well as a nomination for Kene for Best New Actor. As the playwright of Misty, Kene became the second Black British playwright to have a play produced in the West End.


Check Out New Photos of Arinzé Kene's Misty

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