REVIEW ROUNDUP: "'Master Harold'...and the boys" Opened with a ShowScore of 89

Show-Score | Nov 8, 2016
“'Master Harold'...and the boys,” written and directed by Athol Fugard, opened on November  7, 2016 in New York City. “'Master Harold'...and the boys,” written and directed by Athol Fugard, opened on November 7, 2016 in New York City.


10 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 81.

Charles Isherwood
The New York Times
ShowScore: 85
"As the sterling new production attests, this quiet drama remains a powerful indictment of the apartheid system and the terrible human cost of the racism it codified and legalized...Directed with care by Mr. Fugard himself...The emotional power of the play resides at first in the affection Sam shows toward Hally. Mr. Brown gives an understated and deeply touching performance...As the more juvenile Willie, Mr. Ngaujah is bubbly and likable...Mr. Robbins is superb, as well."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 75
"It's a beautifully rendered yet somewhat sleepy revival of Fugard's best-known work, which feels unfortunately diminished amid its own grandiosity...Under Fugard's steady direction, 'Master Harold' reaches its emotional climax at a slow boil. This is as it should be, but the necessarily nuanced performances occasionally drown in the cavernous Diamond Theater...Still, those looking for a traditional and well-acted production of Fugard's masterpiece won't be disappointed."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 80
"The 80-odd minutes that precede this bitter climax is exposition, backstory and windup. Richly detailed acting and Fugard’s solid direction make the journey there fairly engaging. The grown Robbins is totally convincing as the sweet, priggish but deeply repressed Harold, and Brown and Ngaujah have an easy rapport as two men cheerfully negotiating an unfair system."

"'Master Harold'...and the boys” was also reviewed by Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Kahn of WNBC, and Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour.


The show was also reviewed by 67 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 90.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if…"You enjoy semi-autobiographical plays or plays that explore race."
Don't see it if…"You have difficulty with heavy accents."
Steve 6053, ShowScore: 83
See it if…"You like political theatre. And if you want to be challenged. It's an important play about race relations. Great cast."
Don't see it if…"You need to be spoon-fed meaning. You'll have to think."
John Francis, ShowScore: 85 
See it if…"You want to see three masterful performances of a text that becomes deeply moving and unsettling in its last 20 powerful minutes."
Don't see it if…"You can't get through a slow first hour. The play definitely meanders a bit, but the payoff makes your investment worth it."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.