Blackbird
Closed 1h 20m
Blackbird
81

Blackbird NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(602 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
9%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Edgy

About the Show

Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams star in 'Blackbird,' the story of an uneasy reunion between a woman and a middle-aged man 15 years after they had a sexual relationship when she was 12.

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Member Reviews (602)

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962 Reviews | 339 Followers
60
Disappointing, Overrated, Intense, Inconsistent, Edgy

See it if you're a fan of Williams and Daniels, who get lots of stage time. Mostly yelling, thanks to the script and director.

Don't see it if you want a show that makes sense. The plotting is irrational. You learn nothing from this overheated play. I wanted to like it, but couldn't

912 Reviews | 378 Followers
94
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Riveting, Intense

See it if You like hard hitting, in your face drama. Perfection! Tough to watch at times. The stuff that nightmares are made of. That's good theatre!

Don't see it if You can't handle real life ugly situations.

916 Reviews | 224 Followers
77
Enchanting, Edgy, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if good acting, good set, and good directing. Good to see Jeff Daniels on the stage again.

Don't see it if It loses itself at times, inconsistent directing and story at times gets hung up. It deals with a very disturbing subject but doesn't go far

713 Reviews | 121 Followers
86
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Edgy

See it if You enjoy great acting and high drama. Two character play of confrontation reveling past events that might change the character's future.

Don't see it if on a first date or for celebratory evening. This is serious theater with a deep gut wrenching resonance.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
60
Intense, Unsettling, Overrated, Great acting

See it if you want to see a great performance by Jeff Daniels (revisiting the role he played almost 10 years ago).

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with the subject (pedophilia/child molestation), which is not portrayed but is discussed explicitly between adults.

593 Reviews | 221 Followers
65
Absorbing, Disappointing, Edgy, Slow, Overrated

See it if You want to see Jeff Daniels at his finest.

Don't see it if You want to hear about sexual predators for 90 minutes.

563 Reviews | 195 Followers
83
Intense, Thought-provoking, Disturbing, Could've been better directed: tone stays on 1 note, michelle williams has an affected speech pattern., Murky morality

See it if You want an intense, challenging show. You can handle taboo sexual topics w/out a clear villain or victim. You want a show that stays w/you.

Don't see it if You can't/don't want a show about taboo sexual topics. You want a clear victim & villain. You want all questions resolved at the end.

483 Reviews | 103 Followers
76
Great acting, Edgy, Intense

See it if Daniels was amazing, Williams was not. if you like straight up acting you will love this show. The writing was not great.

Don't see it if when this affair happened he was 40 and she was 12. The writer should have made her a bit old. 12 is 12 but if she is 16 it may make a dif

Critic Reviews (53)

The New York Times
March 10th, 2016

"An immensely powerful work that only occasionally maximizes its potential in the fitful production...Williams’ Una starts off both hopping mad and, it would seem, certifiably mad...This interpretation also begins the production at a fever pitch that can only sweat itself out...Mr. Daniels, as good as he is, is forced to emote up to Ms. Williams’ level. When the production reaches its climax, it’s anticlimactic; Daniels and Williams have already been there, done that, and so have we."
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Time Out New York
March 10th, 2016

"'Blackbird' is a comfortless 80-minute reckoning of arrested time and soiled innocence...Plot and morals are beside the point; the slow drip of memory like acid on the present is what Harrower is after...Joe Mantello reimagines his exactingly sharp 2007 staging...Time has been shattered for these walking ghosts, and we are transfixed watching them cut their hands, sifting through the shards."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 10th, 2016

"So complicates the questions of consent and trauma and recovery—and even love—that it would be difficult to look at any of these subjects the same way again...It’s hard to think of another director besides Mantello who could so confidently package so much unprettied trauma within the big-box conventions of Broadway. He makes the experience of empathy both horrific and exhilarating...The theater at its best as in 'Blackbird' is one place where it is not only necessary but awesome to be awful."
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New Yorker
March 21st, 2016

"Watching Williams work is like seeing a figure from a documentary perform a fictional reënactment of her own life. She shifts between the two realities—what’s true in the world and what’s true onstage—without ever losing sight of her partner...The director, Mantello has a weakness for emphasizing the issues in 'issue plays'...Fortunately for us, Williams’s performance goes beyond his rather limited purview, but Daniels’s doesn’t."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 10th, 2016

"Harrower's writing has its studied aspects, from the clipped, nervously evasive dialogue of the early exchanges to the tidy juxtaposition of the monologues that strip both characters bare. But Mantello and his remarkable actors give this slow-burning, real-time drama fluidity and searing emotional heat. Chipping away at our preconceptions while forcing Ray and Una into inescapable corners of darkest self-knowledge, the play packs a visceral punch."
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Entertainment Weekly
March 10th, 2016

"The play itself, for all its explicitness of language, is somewhat unadventurous in scope. The material is self-evidently dark but the presentation is unrelentingly glum and lifeless...The play feels too severe and clandestine for such a big house...The reason why audiences are drawn to the drama is because of the two plumb roles that offer a pair of performers the ultimate emotional tussle. Williams and Daniels are more than up to the challenge of going down the play’s very dark road."
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Variety
March 10th, 2016

"It was Mantello’s choice to go big with the emotions in this first scene, which heightens the drama but also pitches the passion so high that the actors can only take it up… and up… to the edge of hysteria...It’s still unnerving to watch. Too unnerving, actually, because by this time, both performances, fiercely committed and complicated as they are, have gone way over the top. But even at this high decibel level, the disturbing substance of the play makes it riveting."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 10th, 2016

"A pruriently manipulative tale of pedophilia...It’s a have-it-both-ways shocker that seeks to make us sympathize (but not really!) with a man who molested a 12-year-old girl, did time for it, put his life back together, and now finds himself facing the prospect of having his cover blown when the girl shows up at his office 15 years after the fact, locked and loaded. Great acting, great staging, but 'Blackbird' still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth."
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