Black Shows Matter

Show-Score

Powerful black stories on the Great White Way...and beyond.


Opens Jan 13

X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation

Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing
88
Critics
82
2 reviews
Members
89
13 reviews

The Acting Company brings back this play dramatizing Malcolm X’s life and death.

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The assassination of Malcolm X—both the story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared—is brought to vivid life in Marcus Gardley’s new play. Shakespeare’s 'Julius Caesar' provides a framework for Gardley to deepen our understanding of one of America’s most complex and compelling historical figures, and explore the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s.

 

Ends Jul 14

A Raisin in the Sun (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever
86
Critics
85
1 review
Members
86
95 reviews

Harlem Rep presents Lorraine Hansberry's classic play about a working-class African-American family that faces financial salvation or personal ruin after receiving a substantial insurance payment.

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Set in Chicago's South Side, 'A Raisin in the Sun' revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband’s money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama.

 

Open run

Sistas - The Musical

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Funny, Clever
84
Critics
70
6 reviews
Members
85
108 reviews

A new musical that tells the story of African-American women through Top-40 music from the '30s through the '90s, including hits like "Oh, Happy Day," "Mama Said" and "I Will Survive."

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After a matriarch's death, the women in the family clean Grandma's attic and find love and old memories packed away. In the process, they share their stories through hit tunes, from the trials of the 1930s through the Girl Groups of the 1960s to the empowerment of the 1990s.

 

Ends Nov 19

Too Heavy for Your Pocket

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing
83
Critics
78
9 reviews
Members
84
38 reviews

Roundabout Underground presents this new drama about a young man in the early '60s who joins the Freedom Riders.

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Tennessee-born playwright Jiréh Breon Holder takes us back to Nashville in the summer of 1961. The Freedom Riders are embarking on a courageous journey into the Deep South. When 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones—and himself—that shaping his country’s future might be worth jeopardizing his own.

 

Ends Oct 29

Syncing Ink

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining, Ambitious
82
Critics
77
13 reviews
Members
93
9 reviews

The Flea presents a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about a high-school student's pursuit of freestyle rap. The play is told largely in freestyle, working off audience prompts rather than scripted text.

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Gordon wants to learn how to rap, thinking it will gain him respect, admiration, and the attention of a beautiful woman. What he doesn’t know is that his journey will take him not just deeper into hip-hop, but also his legacy and his purpose. Based on true events, NSangou Njikam's play leads us on a lyrical voyage to discover what it really takes to freestyle.

 

Ends Oct 21

Am I Dead? The Untrue Narrative of Anatomical Lewis, The Slave

Members say: Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious, Intense, Relevant
77
Critics
35
1 review
Members
81
13 reviews

Flux Theatre Ensemble's presents a re-imagining of the Isis-Osiris myth in which four strangers from different times are trapped in purgatory, tasked with rebuilding the lives of men they wronged in life.

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'Am I Dead?' confronts our country’s long history of violence on black bodies, and examines blackness, and whiteness, in unflinching, theatrical, and caustically funny ways.

 

Opens Nov 11

Jamaica

Members say: Dated, Disappointing, Slow, Cliched, Great singing
63
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
63
16 reviews

Harlem Repertory Theatre presents a revival of this 1957 Calypso musical by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen ('The Wizard of Oz') which was a hit for Lena Horne.

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'Jamaica' centers around a beautiful island girl named Savannah. She dreams of leaving her simple home for bustling New York City. But when a NYC businessman asks for her hand in marriage, she's not sure she wants to go. The production examines how an isolated community navigates the perils of love, family, and relationships while confronting the increasing pressures of American commercialism, class struggles, and racism.

 

Opens Oct 21

Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green

Members say: Funny, Great acting, Dizzying, Intelligent
87
Critics
83
4 reviews
Members
100
1 review

New Federal Theatre and Castillo Theatre bring back this solo show about a black man who exists in five dimensions of the same universe at different points in American history.

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'Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green' is a collection of five monologues, all highlighting different parts of African-American history through the eyes of one man. In each of his incarnations—minstrel, cult leader, FBI informant, struggling actor, out-of-work mortgage broker—Abel finds himself stuck somewhere between the American dream and the American nightmare.

 

The joyous Tony-nominated musical returns to Broadway with its story of a fearless young dreamer in post-storm Haiti.

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Set in a fantastical world bursting with Caribbean rhythms and dance 'Once On This Island' tells the extraordinary story of a villager named Ti Moune. After a massive storm rages through her village, a ray of hope appears through a young man from the wealthy side of the island. An unexpected romance blossoms. But when their different cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune—guided by the island gods—sets out on a journey to stay beside the man who has captured her heart. Directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden ('Spring Awakening' revival) and written by the Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ('Anastasia,' 'Ragtime.')

 

MCC Theater's buoyant and biting world-premiere comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. How far would you go to be queen bee?

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Paulina, the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the mid-year arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter – and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. Directed by Tony-winner Rebecca Taichman ('Indecent.')

 

JACK presents this absurdist dance theatre lecture on Black female identity. Before the show ends, the audience experiences a TED-type talk, modern dance, a magic routine, and a concert, often simultaneously.

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Utilizing African Diasporan histories, Black feminist theory, and a lot of stuff nicHi douglas made up, 'Black Girl Magic Show' attempts to unpack, re-pack, and de-pack the Black female experience in America as witnessed by one Black woman - The Professor. As the audience follows The Professor, they discover what might happen if the one Black girl without 'Black Girl Magic' takes matters into her own hands.

 

59E59 presents this new musical that tells the story of Blue, a runaway slave who becomes a Black cowboy.

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The unsettled West of the 1860s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave, who escapes to Texas to become one of America’s first Black cowboys. This tale of freedom integrates fiction with historical fact, and each song presents a different page in this complicated chapter of American History.

 

The New Victory Theater invites you to experience the journey of the millions of African Americans who moved from the rural South to the urban North to rebuild their lives in this polyrhythmic performance from Step Afrika!

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A beat for every brushstroke, Step Afrika! brings to life Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series, the landmark collection of paintings about the largest demographic transformation in U.S. history. Fusing body percussion, tap, and contemporary dance with live gospel, jazz, and blues, the world's first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping uses uniquely American art forms to tell this uniquely American story. Recommend for ages 7 and up.

 

The Wooster Group presents this new piece based on performer Eric Berryman’s interest in the LP, 'Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,' recorded in 1964 by folklorist Bruce Jackson.

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The LP features work songs, blues, spirituals, preaching, and toasts performed by a group of inmates in Texas’ then-segregated agricultural prison farms. Mr. Berryman plays the album and transmits the material live, by channeling, via an in-ear receiver, the voices of the men on the record. 

 

Harlem Repertory Theatre presents an immersive production of George C. Wolfe's celebrated satire, which explores what it means to be black in America.

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HRT's 'The Colored Museum' invites audiences to journey through five performance spaces as they stand inches away from 11 "exhibits" about the African-American diaspora. Filled with poetry, music, and vivid characters, this site-specific theatrical event includes three interludes during which viewers can relax with a drink or snack.

 

Full of humor and grit, John Henry Redwood’s comedy is a story of American love and survival in 1940s Harlem.

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Sparks fly in a Harlem tenement between fifty-five year old spinster, Elizabeth Borny, and her skeptical sister, Quilly McGrath when Husband Witherspoon, a handsome young Great Migrator, arrives on their doorstep. Husband’s quest to find his long-lost love, Lou Bessie, is thwarted when he finds an unexpected new romance with an 'Old Settler.'

 

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