Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

American Son (Broadway)

From 385 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.


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 (385)


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

Powerful, Great writing, Direct

See it if you're into a compelling short play, that manages to sum up the mainstream challenges of current race relations and our various prejudices

Don't see it if you're looking for a new or original angle on this topic (try Slave Play for that!),or prefer material that's less heads-on and more nuanced

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

See it if You enjoy thought provoking and intense plays that are very well acted about racial issues facing our country today.

Don't see it if You really only want to be entertained without being stretched and broaden at the same time.

Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you want a play about race relations, you want to see some great actors

Don't see it if you are expecting a well rounded development of story and character

Also Was disappointed with this play. While the topic of race relations, es... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if want to watch what a family goes through and the different treatment the white parent gets concerning their bi-racial child

Don't see it if no reason not to

Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if It's an intense dialog on race by talented actors with some impressive faux rain.

Don't see it if There are plays I describe as "more important than good. This isn't one, but you can see it from here. It's good but slightly unrealistic.

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a relevant, well written play dealing with current racial themes

Don't see it if you don't like small scale dramatic plays

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

See it if 4 person play that deals with race, racial justice as 2 parents face a missing child who is black play explore criminal justice and race

Don't see it if if you have tired of race as an central issue in a play. Small theater No elevator. 90 minutes no intermission

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

See it if you want a well-acted small-cast drama that's tight, timely and tense. Thought-provoking. A packed 90-minutes with punches.

Don't see it if you want to be "entertained" or don't want to have your assumptions challenged.

Ambitious, Manipulative, Intense, Relevant, Depressing

See it if you like realism; plays about racial violence/police brutality that are also family dramas; and abrupt endings that don't sugarcoat

Don't see it if you question the dramatic value of plays that are one long, realistic scene; you don't like being emotionally manipulated by "shock" endings

Also There are several places where the play feels a little plot-device-y, ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Searing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if if the state of race relations anfd the justice system in America are of interest,excellent acting, thoughtful dialogue, intense drama

Don't see it if if you don't think there are racial problems in this country or are looking for light drama with happy endings

Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Dramatic

See it if you want to see an intense drama about a highly relevant topic in our country. you want to see material that is thought provoking

Don't see it if characters are pretty one-note, and the writing is kind of predictable. the story itself is interesting, but the storytelling could use more

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a gripping drama that just doesn't let up and that delivers a sucker punch in the end. Cast is top notch

Don't see it if You want an upbeat, light show. You don't like shows about race or issues that this country deals with on a daily basis

Also If you love theatre then see this show. I wasnt bored for 1 second. Re... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if While the subject matter is an affront to our so-called enlightened society,this play showed the raw emotions of a couple trying to deal wit


Also h their own emotions as well as worrying for their son.Kerry Washingto... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if you enjoy a well acted very serious drama about race relations.

Don't see it if you just want to see Kerry Washington - this is a very heavy show that may catch you off guard.

Relevant, Must see, Great acting, Intense

See it if If you want to see a relevant play and are interested in themes such as black lives matter

Don't see it if If you are looking for a light, happy show

Also Wow. This is a very powerful piece of theatre. It shows from different... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Riveting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if A story that plays off sad current events suits you. The characters are compelling and keep you invested, even though you can see the end.

Don't see it if You only want to see one side. Like "The Revolving Cycles" the police side is also presented in a thought out, understandable manor.

Absorbing, Intense, Great acting

See it if You like real drama about real people that hits you in the gut. This is not a play you enjoy so much as feel intensely.

Don't see it if You don't like contemporary drama that mirrors our times or if you don't like plays about race.

Also Sadly, Steven Pasquale wasn't in the play when I saw it. I stayed anyw... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant, Powerful

See it if You have an opinion about Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter. A powerful and relevant play about NOW. Very well-written and performed.

Don't see it if You're a mother; it will be hard to watch.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in discussion about race in our time.

Don't see it if thoughtful drama is not your thing.

Also Very intense and definitely thought-provoking, more and more as the pl... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Cliched, Edgy, Intense, Resonant

See it if you're not aware how the daily fears of parents with non-white children are lived and realized.

Don't see it if You become upset with realities of how unjustly many individuals are treated by the police.

Also Nice to see "stars" on stage. But, I wasn't impressed by director's ch... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Dated

See it if You get free tickets, you're a big fan of Kerry Washington.

Don't see it if You don't like clunky characters or trauma porn

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy great acting in a timely drama discussing the difficulties of being Black in America today. Well done production.

Don't see it if you can't handle intense drama discussing racial problems in America.

Also This was a well written play that honestly discussed racial as well as... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if You enjoy a powerful story of today’s reality. Simple setting, powerful acting.

Don't see it if You want a light story line.

Riveting, Intense, Emotional, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to experience an outstanding performance by Kerry Washington and the cast that leaves you breathless, stunned, and powerless.

Don't see it if you are not interested in seeing a play about race, relationships, perceptions, and problems that exist in society today.

Also The audience gasp at the ending is heard throughout the theatre and ma... 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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