American Son (Broadway)
Closed 1h 30m
American Son (Broadway)

American Son (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(387 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the Show

A Florida police station in the middle of the night. Two parents searching for answers. Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) returns to the Broadway stage alongside Steven Pasquale  ("Junk") in this unflinching new drama.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (387)

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61 Reviews | 7 Followers
Absorbing, Relevant, Riveting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if Want to be exposed to what it means to be a parent of a Black child in America

Don't see it if You condone the way that Black males are treated by the police in America

56 Reviews | 19 Followers
Riveting, Relevant, Profound, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You are moved by all the things that are happening the US today from guns to climate change to especially the plight of racism and bullying.

Don't see it if You have no desire to cry, be moved by the story and the incredulous performances by Kerry Washington, Jeremy Jordan and Steven Pasquale. Read more

134 Reviews | 18 Followers
Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to be confronted with some of the most difficult topics of our society

Don't see it if You’re not open to seeing imperfections in society

169 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if You want to a simple show that has such great twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat

Don't see it if YOu don't like talky dramas

53 Reviews | 16 Followers
Timely, Moving, Well-performed

See it if you want to be intellectually stimulated and emotionally connected to a story and characters for 90 minutes, where the script is perfection.

Don't see it if you don't like plays, and want big elaborate splashy and shallow storytelling. Read more

107 Reviews | 8 Followers
Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Must see drama if there ever was one. Beautifully done. Sadly, speaks of our current society. It’s scheduled to close it’s limited run 1/27

Don't see it if Unless you can’t handle dramas, you have to see it.

54 Reviews | 15 Followers
Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if This is a timely show with important social themes. Kerry Washington gives a master class in acting that will bring you on an emotional ride

Don't see it if If you don’t like emotional shows with no intermission.

149 Reviews | 48 Followers
Relevant, Timely, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if If you are moved by current racial issues. An emotional and gripping experience.

Don't see it if You are not interested in racial justice.

Critic Reviews (50)

The New York Times
November 4th, 2018

"This is the director Kenny Leon’s best work to date: incisive and breakneck...These are big but nuanced performances...'American Son' is not a subtle play; it barely feels like a play at all. With its unrelentingly high tension on every level — maternal, marital, societal — it’s more like a slice of a nightmare, with few contours despite its surprises."
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Time Out New York
November 4th, 2018

"The rhetoric is heavy-handed, the grief and fear are unremitting, the brushstrokes are asphalt-thick, and there’s no subtlety...The play doesn’t need to establish suspense because we all know what’s happened...'American Son' is meant to make us sit with this grim certainty, and it strategically deploys the glamour of Kerry Washington to sugar the pill...She takes the rage, sorrow and guilt of our whole city-state and channels them into a single cry."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 4th, 2018

"A dreadful play...Stale, expedient storytelling and go-for-the-jugular sentimentality...A contrived, TV-ish script peopled by one-note characters and peppered with amateurish flourishes...Its director, Kenny Leon, can’t push the material past its inherent paperback flatness...There’s nothing remotely theatrical about this play, no reason for it to be a play at all — save that we retain a kind of anxious cultural cachet about drama...This is cheap, manipulative writing."
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New Yorker
November 12th, 2018

"“It’s hard—and, given the volume of choices, maybe ultimately impossible—to isolate the worst aspect of ‘American Son’…There’s the stilted, bulky dialogue, through which the characters deliver loads of exposition...Nobody says anything interesting, or funny, or surprising. The acting is even less flavorful, probably as a result of the deficient script...But what struck me as frankly offensive about 'American Son' was its treatment of the son, Jamal, who never appears onstage.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 4th, 2018

"'American Son' vibrates with the urgency of a necessary conversation...Director Kenny Leon is only ever as good as his material, and in this case he's working with a drama more compelling in subject than execution. Christopher Demos-Brown's play undercuts its power with schematic writing a tad too heavy on speeches. Nonetheless, it remains involving and provocative...This is tense theater designed to shake up our complacency and make us think. In that aim, it succeeds."
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Entertainment Weekly
November 4th, 2018

"A thoughtful, tension-filled 90 minutes. It is a play about race, yes, and about the assumptions we make about people. It is also a play about misunderstandings, inadvertent and willful, inconsequential and potentially fatal...Kenny Leon paces this taut production more like a thriller than a polemic...'American Son' is most affecting when it is personal, not political...There is, contained within 'American Son’s' lean script, much to discuss after the curtain falls."
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November 4th, 2018

"Director Kenny Leon has assembled a solid creative workforce...It’s hard to take your eyes off Washington’s Kendra, whose anguish seems to have taken over her entire body...Playwright Demos-Brown is a clever phrase-maker, and he delights in using language that vividly illustrates the social and educational gulf between Larkin and Kendra...A play that’s probably a bit too small for Broadway and a bit too narrow to throw a long shadow, but still manages to get under your skin."
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The Wall Street Journal
November 8th, 2018

"A couple of stagy but nonetheless head-turning 'surprises' notwithstanding, what happens thereafter is understandably predictable, since the purpose of the play is to dramatize and illuminate a story that has become all too familiar. What we have here, in short, is an earnestly meant, soundly made commercial stage drama of the kind that used to play Broadway regularly, one that is overly inclined to TV-type clichés but proves to be unexpectedly good about not stacking the deck."
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