REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Sweat” Opened with a ShowScore of 80

Show-Score | Nov 4, 2016
“Sweat,” written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Kate Whoriskey, opened on November  3, 2016 in New York City. “Sweat,” written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Kate Whoriskey, opened on November 3, 2016 in New York City.


23 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 82.

Charles Isherwood
The New York Times
ShowScore: 90
"Keenly observed and often surprisingly funny—but ultimately heartbreaking—the work traces the roots of a tragedy with both forensic psychological detail and embracing compassion. Ms. Nottage is writing at the peak of her powers, and the superb cast and the director, Kate Whoriskey, rise to the occasion...'Sweat' is an ensemble play, and crucial to its effectiveness is the camaraderie among the characters."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 95
"Nottage has crafted a microcosm of the recent past, showing just how fragile that ecosystem was. It ought to be required viewing for all Americans...Better than any playwright who has dealt with the subject in this century, Nottage delicately unpacks the interplay of race and class in American society...Much credit goes to Kate Whoriskey for directing an unrelenting production that keeps our eyes glued to the stage...The best new play of the season."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 80
"Through her power as a dramatist, Nottage makes you empathize with the desperation and rage of citizens whose lives barely affect yours...Gripping and timely though 'Sweat' undoubtedly is, it’s not as polished or galvanizing as Nottage’s previous work...At times, the dialogue grows preachy or on-the-nose, ticking off points about NAFTA or intersectional racism...The acting is impassioned and full-bodied, and Kate Whoriskey’s naturalistic staging is assured, fluid and emotionally vibrant."

“Sweat” was also reviewed by Robin Riegelhaupt of Reviewing The Drama, Chris J Kelly of The Star-Ledger (, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Matt Windman of AM New York, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Mandell of DC Theatre Scene, Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), and Marilyn Stasio of Variety.


The show was also reviewed by 55 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 80.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense

Angela Mansberry, ShowScore: 96
See it if…"You want to see a brilliantly written play that shines a light on the fractures in American society." 
Don't see it if…"You don't like realistically dark plays. There's violence and bad language, but it's time to put on your big-girl panties and see this show."
Lloyd 6047, ShowScore: 70
See it if…"Was expecting a lot more from Nottage but Morisseau's plant-closing play 'Skeleton Crew' excelled. 'Sweat's' plot is obvious and manipulative. Good acting though."
Don't see it if…"Khris Davis and Will Pullen do fine work as the frustrated pals. Nottage captures the plight of the young worker. The fight scene needs work."
Joseph 2, ShowScore: 81
See it if…"You are a fan of Nottage's work and like socially relevant dramas with strongly defined characters." 
Don't see it if…"You don't think you can sit through one more plant-closing play this year."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
770 reviews
Overall Score

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