Chicken & Biscuits

I attended my first show on Broadway since the pandemic, and let me tell you, it was better than I expected.

By Andrew Andrews

One of the first plays to open on Broadway after the pandemic, Chicken & Biscuits is drawing diverse crowds at Circle in the Square theatre in New York City.

It’s time to say our last goodbyes to Reverend Bernard “B” Jenkins, beloved father of rival siblings Baneatta and Beverly.

The sisters, now in their forties, are constantly at odds, owing largely to Baneatta’s very conservative and equally judgmental nature.

Baneatta’s husband Reggie has taken over as Pastor, beginning with this important funeral service.

Adding to the disorder are Baneatta and Reggie’s opinionated grown daughter, their out-of-the-closet son and his nervous Jewish boyfriend, and Beverly’s fifteen-year-old daughter, too.

As a member of the “church family,” your seat provides a perfect view for all the comedic drama that transpires, and beckons you to join the party with occasional moments of audience participation.

Chicken & Biscuits is an ideal comedy to welcome audiences back to Broadway after the pandemic.

Although on the surface the story might sound like a trivial exploitation of family drama and inter-sibling rivalry, the underlying prejudices are worth addressing and handled with a smart balance of humor and discretion.

Forced to deal with each other once again after relative isolation, Chicken & Biscuits reminds us that not everyone shares our values, and there are deep-rooted reasons why people feel the way they do.

Like any good show, this performance brought out the full range of emotion, from its heart-touching conversations to its hoot-and-holler one-liners.

Although nearly perfect, the script could use some more attention: the Brianna character, especially, seemed like a last-minute addition that would benefit from more foreshadowing.

The casting, too, seemed a little off, and most of the roles came across as stock characters with nothing complex or original written into their personalities.

My partner enjoyed the show more than expected, and was willing to bump up their rating for the sheer pleasure of returning to Broadway for the first time since its shutdown.

I also enjoyed the show very much, but because this is a Broadway production at premium prices, I’m holding it to a standard of perfection that it nearly—but doesn’t quite—achieve.

4

Andrew Andrews attended Chicken & Biscuits at Circle in the Square in Manhattan on Sunday, October 3, 2021 @ 3:00pm to write this review.