March 3, 2016

A wedding almost always involves some kind of culture clash. Church ceremony or civil? To bridesmaid or not to bridesmaid? But the impending nuptials in Danai Gurira’s fiercely funny new play, “Familiar,” about a Zimbabwean-American family in Minnesota, make even the most fraught weddings seem comparatively placid affairs. By the end of this engrossing comedy-drama, which opened on Thursday at Playwrights Horizons, deep fissures within the family have been exposed, fresh wounds are rubbed raw and long-buried secrets are unearthed. Ms. Gurira, an excellent actor as well as a playwright, is having a remarkable season on New York stages. Her terrific “Eclipsed,” about the brutal cost borne by women during the Liberian civil war in Africa, starring Lupita Nyong’o, opens on Broadway on Sunday after an acclaimed run at the Public Theater last fall, making history as the first Broadway production to be written by, directed by and entirely cast with black women. (A dollar for anyone who can name the first such production staffed exclusively by white men.)