Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

American Son (Broadway)

From 378 member  reviews
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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Marking the Broadway debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon ("A Raisin in the Sun," "Fences"), "American Son" offers a look at who we are as a nation, and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss, and identity. 

1h 30m | Already closed | Booth Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (378)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense
85
Avg Score

82
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if The strong script steals the show in this intense drama about race in America.

Don't see it if You don’t like heavy dramas.

80
Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Anxious

See it if Covers a lot of ground w/upscale parents trying to raise a black child in racist USA. Conflict of aspirations, fears & values. Good acting

Don't see it if You are expecting a thriller. This was a parental & marital argument. There is a dual mystery of the son’s emerging identity & whereabouts.

75
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Well-observed, Hard to watch

See it if you want to see a very topical play that is very well-observed and well-done and well-acted.

Don't see it if you're looking for a fun night out. It's pretty tough stuff.

68
Cliched, Disappointing, Resonant, Relevant, Slow

See it if It's highly topical, well intentioned & certainly heartfelt but it's wildly overwritten & overwrought despite solid performances from cast

Don't see it if Demos-Brown button-pushes his drama to exhaustion leaving little room for complexity or nuance Anger may be justified but its on steroids

88
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you prefer dramas that challenge you and hold up a mirror to society. This is an important, powerful play of our #BlackLivesMatter era.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a light, fun night of theatre. This ain’t Wicked.

Also Given its complex and intelligent reflection of the American experienc... Read more Read less

72
Absorbing, Relevant, Cliched, Disappointing, Contrived

See it if You feel that a play about young black men and their interactions with police is incredibly relevant and important for Broadway to address.

Don't see it if You can already write this play in your head. It’s exactly what you think it is, plus with Kerry Washington screaming for 90 minutes.

85
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Topical. Very sad play. Great set, impressive rain storm effect.

Don't see it if Worth seeing although not if you feel like escapist entertainment. Play is serious and will evoke feelings of stress and sadness throughout

Also Short. Ends abruptly. I sat upstairs in the last row and could see ver... Read more Read less

81
Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if At the mercy of authority, fraught parents hope to quicken the answers to the questions regarding their son. Universality revealed in title.

Don't see it if Another drama w/ race and identity under the microscope.Washington's jangly performance is the only distinguishing grace of this mild drama.

80
Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Well acted, Timely

See it if you don't mind being riveted in a very manipulative way. Good acting, particularly like Eugene Lee in a relatively small/important role.

Don't see it if Sub par writing and direction. Pasquale's character underwritten. Anxiety high from start to finish with a predictably sad ending.

78
Absorbing, Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if you want to see a story ripped from the headlines, with an excellent cast

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of shouting and you don't like being manipulated.

Also It's hard to imagine this couple staying together for 18 years.

82
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're interested in plays exploring racism towards young black men in America, you want to see a powerful performance by Kerry Washington

Don't see it if you're looking for something light and fluffy and don't want to be confronted by serious topics.

75
Great acting, Sadly already a cliche, Relevant

See it if you enjoy of-the-moment dramas with a strong cast.

Don't see it if you are easily triggered, and you can't bear a story that is all too heart-breakingly familiar.

68
Hoping for more

See it if You want to see an unbiased take on how police officers handle situations involving people of color

Don't see it if you are looking for a lot of action. The entire play takes place in the waiting room of a police station

Also The first 15 minutes of this really scared me. The main character who ... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like relevant,absorbing, totally on point plays.Washington is terrific.Highly emotional & moving performance.Painful, poignant,touching

Don't see it if you are a bigot--no, definitely see it if you are a bigot or voted for Trump.This is exactly the play you need to see.So touching,universal.

85
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy great performances of a well written piece dealing with the plight of being African-American in today's society

Don't see it if if you do not enjoy watching/hearing racist remarks and characterizations

83
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Well meaning, Contrived

See it if interested in seeing a show that can encourage meaningful discussions about race, prejudice (both overt & subtle)& police procedures.

Don't see it if you want nuance in both the writing & some of the performances. Kerry W. gives an effective, but somewhat one note performance.

Also Eugene Lee is terrific as the police lieutenant.

87
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if a story relevant to Black Lives Matter but also relevant to any mother who has worried about a child or to anyone who as any empathy period

Don't see it if you are annoyed by contrived parts, have no empathy, want uplifting shows or if a mother's pain would be too much

Also Saw this a few days ago with Brian Avers instead of Steven Pasquale. H... Read more Read less

82
Absorbing, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting, Intense

See it if you are a fan of Kerry Washington or interested in theater that examines social justice issues.

Don't see it if you want light-hearted theater. While there is dark humor, this play examines a stark reality in how we are treated depending upon our skin.

93
Mesmerizing, Darkly-atmospheric, Thought-provoking, Intelligent writing, Timely and timeless themes

See it if a tense 90-minute, intimate drama about race, family, love, and loss set against a dreary backdrop of internal and external storms appeals.

Don't see it if expecting full-blast action or spectacle that may otherwise come with big names like Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, and Jeremy Jordan.

Also The atmospheric American Son is studded with themes of presumption and... Read more Read less

77
Great acting, Must see, Relevant, Epic, Absorbing

See it if You want to see kerry Washington in this powerful play about racism.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical

81
Intense, Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Cliched

See it if you want intense, ripped-from-headlines drama re young black men in police custody. Superb acting by all and terrific, understated staging.

Don't see it if Similar in style - and some themes - to SWEAT and LOBBY HERO. Not as good as former, better than latter. A bit 'TV movie' in feel/style.

78
Relevant, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if good acting if a play of "now". many issues presented to get the audience thinking

Don't see it if need more of a plot than a play really about issues. the last 2 minutes should have been cut out. let the audience draw its own conclusion

79
Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Intense, Must see

See it if insighttful drama interest you and also if you are a fan of Kerry Washington.

Don't see it if you are a Republican, believe in EXTENDED white privilege, and live in a insulated America.

Also LOVED this 80 minute drama. LOVED the fact that the play was set in re... Read more Read less

65
Cliched, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intense

See it if A play dealing with topical racial and law enforcement issues. Kerry Washington gives a raw,gut wrenching performance.

Don't see it if This type of play is not of interest to you. The plot is contrived and the ending is predictable.

84
Intense, Balanced, Absorbing, Tackles many issues

See it if you like your plays intense and tension-filled. This show will hold your interest throughout

Don't see it if you don't like theater that tackles issues like race and gender inequality or looking for something light-hearted

Also While this show successfully tackles issues of race and gender inequal... Read more Read less


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 slic...
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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 ...
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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 rem...
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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 les...
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