Black Shows Matter

Show-Score

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


Ends Jul 14

A Raisin in the Sun (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful
88
Critics
85
1 review
Members
88
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.

 

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.

 

Open run

Once On This Island

Members say: Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting, Entertaining, Delightful
88
Critics
83
46 reviews
Members
90
214 reviews

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.')

 

Ends Dec 31

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play

Members say: Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Entertaining, Clever
86
Critics
82
22 reviews
Members
87
91 reviews

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.')

 

Open run

Sistas - The Musical

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Clever, Funny
84
Critics
70
6 reviews
Members
84
111 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 Dec 31

Cross That River

Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant
77
Critics
75
11 reviews
Members
81
9 reviews

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, 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.

 

Ends Mar 24

Jamaica

Members say: Dated, Disappointing, Ambitious, Cliched, Slow
64
Critics
75
1 review
Members
63
19 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.

 

Ends Dec 15

The Colored Museum

Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Absorbing, Ambitious
81
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
81
3 reviews

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.

 

Playwright/performer Karma Mayet shares stories of America’s tortured relationship to race – both personal and historical – set within the frame of a game of Bid Whist with the audience.

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 With a winning card guiding the choice of story, on any given night she may summon her own experiences moving from Chicago to an all-white town in Illinois, widening to passed-down tales of the Great Migration and the Pullman Porters, smack up against her own current experiences navigating New York microagressions. In this participatory piece, Mayet creates a wonderland of playful intellect, inhabited by humor that bites and characters that speak in twisted tongues. 'Race Card' unpacks the musty traveling papers stuffed into the 21st century's history bags, and rifles through the audience’s very own drawers as well, calling on them to join the fray of stage play with both cued and improvised live-ness at every turn. 

 

In Ngozi Anyanwu's Off-Broadway debut at the Atlantic, best-selling American novelist Kelechi returns to a Nigeria after a decade away to care for her ailing father and reconnect with her roots. 

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Or at least that’s the plan. But everything she loves and hates is waiting for her. Having been absent for over a decade, she must collide with her culture, traumatic past, painful regrets, and the deep, deep love she thought she could never have.

 

This world premiere from Theatre for a New Audience is a memory tale of segregation, theatrical yearning, and doomed love, set in Georgia and New York City in 1941.

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Adrienne Kennedy, in her first new play in nine years, braids together the indignities of Jim Crow, rising Nazism, sexual hypocrisy, Christopher Marlowe, and the lingering shadow of a terrible crime. The action of 'He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box' is driven by lyrical parallel monologues and a chilling tour through a storeroom of charged images.

 

Alumni writer Dael Orlandersmith returns to Rattlestick as writer and performer of this solo-play, written in response to Michael Brown’s death.

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After interviewing scores of St. Louis residents, Orlandersmith plays many faces and voices based on the life of the region. This is a mosaic of voices within this community and one viewpoint is not held above others.

 

Set in Brooklyn 2017, 'Pillowtalk' is an intimate two-character drama that brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a newlywed interracial gay couple, using inventive staging incorporating elements of ballet.

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Through a formal exploration of theatrical naturalism and the codified gender norms of ballet's pas de deux, 'Pillowtalk' queers the intersections of race, gender, and class to examine the evolving values of gay marriage and ask whether queer communities of color can truly celebrate marriage equality in times of #BlackLivesMatter? The play explores how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces, transforming social and cultural traditions into radical performances of change.

 

Theater for the New City presents this new dark comedy sci-fi where three African-American female survivors of an unnamed worldwide cataclysm strive to exercise control in a dystopia where there is no control.

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Mona Machine, Dr. Dorinda, and Ann Tenna McCloud engage in a death-dealing battle amongst each other over love, fried chicken, and the mysterious whereabouts of the last black man left in the world. The drama ensues with the derailing of Mona Machine’s 130th birthday party, genocide, and the digital manipulations of an unseen force.

 

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