Review: Roughly Speaking

Homelessness is not an easy subject to discuss. There’s an assumption made about the homeless: they are lazy and they don’t want to work. This untruth unfolds through the 200 interviews collated to create Roughly Speaking. The play introduces the chaos that mental illness, addiction, loss, and economic hardship creates in the lives of people who don’t have a place to call their own as well as the means to access the right care

Set on vast stage with crates, planks and flats that allow for different looks, director Celine Rosenthal beautifully executes the touching and raw reality that we see day-to-day in New York City. The play breaks the fourth wall with narrator/rapper, Lightning.Bolt (Steven J. Michel) who keeps us in check between set changes. Alicia (Madeline McCray) and Tiny (Danny Bolero) passionately play the “parents” of the soup kitchen they run where the play is set. We see that through their own stories and their service to their community that also have hopes and dreams. The talented ensemble support the harrowing stories by playing multiple characters with difficult circumstances and weaknesses. Kudos to Christopher Michael McLamb who flawlessly transforms into two characters, Richie and W,   through his entrances and exit and at times right in front of the audience.

Roughly Speaking featured talk-backs with members of various entities includimg Coalition for the Homeless, Xavier Mission, New York Cares, Convenant House  and visual artist Willie Baronet who created the We Are All Homeless Art Installation. This is their closing weekend so do be sure to support the show and it’s worthy cause.

Roughly Speaking directed by Celine Rosenthal (Broadway’s Leap of Faith & Seminar)
with Franz Jones* (Broadway’s Big River), Danny Bolero* (Broadway’s In The Heights & Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat), Christopher Michael McLamb*, Steven J. Michel*, Michael Twaine*, Madeline McCray*, Troy Valjean Rucker*, Shara Ashley Zeiger*, Joanie Anderson

*members of Actors Equity Association

Through 11/20 Thurs-Sat 8pm,

Sundays 11/20, 2pm

Tada Theater 15 w. 28th st, NYC

Tickets on Smarttix through




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