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
-
0 reviews
Members
86
94 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, Delightful, Great singing, Funny, Clever
85
Critics
70
6 reviews
Members
85
100 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.

 

Open run

Black Angels Over Tuskegee

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Entertaining
84
Critics
69
4 reviews
Members
84
113 reviews

A docudrama about six heroes who became the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Air Force during an era of racial segregation.

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'Black Angels Over Tuskegee' is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen: six men embarking upon a journey to become pilots in the United States Army Air Forces. The play explores their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood. The play goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel, in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them.

 

Ends Aug 27

Pipeline

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking
83
Critics
76
28 reviews
Members
85
144 reviews

Lincoln Center Theater presents the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau's drama about how a mother’s hopes for her son clash with an educational system rigged against him.

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Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away? 

 

The Flea presents this 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 of 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 to learn how to rhyme will take him not just deeper into Hip Hop, but deeper into his legacy and his purpose. Based on true events, NSangou Njikam leads us on a lyrical voyage to discover what it really takes to freestyle.

 

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.')

 

Signature Theatre  presents Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks' modern-day remix of 'The Scarlet Letter' about an abortionist. Featuring Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Marc Kudisch, and Emmy winner Christine Lahti.

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Produced together for the first time and running in rep, Parks' 'The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A & In the Blood' explode our ideas of love, society, sex, and power with wit and fearlessness. In 'Fucking A,' Hester Smith, the revered and reviled local abortionist, hatches a plan to buy her jailed son’s freedom—and nothing will deter her from her quest. In this wild-eyed blend of story and song, Hester’s branded letter A becomes a provocative emblem of vengeance, violence, and sacrifice. Directed by Obie winner Jo Bonney.

 

Signature Theatre presents Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks' modern-day riff on 'The Scarlet Letter,' in which a penniless mother of five is condemned by the men who love her. Featuring Tony nominee Saycon Sengbloh.

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Produced together for the first time and running in rep, Parks' 'The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A & In the Blood' explode our ideas of love, society, sex, and power with wit and fearlessness. Hester turns to former lovers, friends, and the institutions meant to support her, only to be spurned by them all with devastating consequences. Directed by Obie winner Sarah Benson.

 

MCC presents this new drama about 67-year-old, black, transgender woman named Mama Darleena Andrews who takes it upon herself to teach an etiquette class at Chicago’s LGBTQ community center.

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She quickly finds idealistic teachings of Emily Post clash with the very real life challenges of identity, poverty, and prejudice faced by her students. Inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen and her work at Chicago’s Center on Halsted, Philip Dawkins' 'Charm' asks - how do we lift each other up when the world wants to tear us down?

 

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.')

 

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.

 

Roundabout Underground presents this world premiere drama about a young man in the early sixties who decides to leave his studies to join 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. 'Too Heavy for Your Pocket' is a bold new play about the personal costs of public crusades.

 

Part of Theater for the New City's 2017 Dream Up Festival: This world premiere show is based on Harmony Korine's novel of the same name about a fictional Florida race war.

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Korine's novel has been described as a book of fictional set pieces, capturing the fragmented moments of a life observed through the demented lens of media, TV, and teen obsession. The text of the play is taken directly from the source. Each vignette contains the story of a unique individual in the community, ranging from a 19-year-old crank dealer discussing literature with his ex-high school librarian, to a son recounting the abusive relationship his parents had over the years. 'A Crack Up at the Race Riots' meditates on the notion of theatrical content and form.

 

The 50th season of Negro Ensemble Company, a year-long retrospective of some of the troupe's signature works, culminates with Charles Fuller's 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama set in a U.S. Army base during World War II.

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The play, evocative of Melville's 'Billy Budd,' uses a murder mystery in to expose angers and resentments among African Americans that curiously mimic white racist attitudes. In addition to the Pulitzer, the play won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play.

 

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.

 

This world premiere solo piece from The National Black Theatre examines the human impact and inhuman machinery of the prison industrial complex and shines a glaring light on the racial disparities that feed the draconian system.

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With more than 2.5 million people behind bars, America is the world’s leading prison superpower. Written and performed by Liza Jessie Peterson, 'The Peculiar Patriot' follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates, gossip, and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a shrewd indictment of the criminal justice system, with a heavy dose of humor to boot.

 

In Flux Theatre Ensemble's re-imagining of the Isis-Osiris myth confronts our countries long history of violence on black bodies, and examines blackness and whiteness in unflinching, theatrical, and caustically funny ways.

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In the 1830s, the University of Virginia owned a slave called "Anatomical Lewis" who was tasked with the maintenance of its students' dissection chamber. Now, four strangers from different times find themselves trapped forever in the purgatory of Lewis' anatomical theatre--unless they can find a way to reassemble his body. As they put the pieces together, they realize they share a particular kind of damning secret. A dizzyingly theatrical play about whether or not the truth really can set us free.

 

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