Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

Slave Play (Broadway)

From 396 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing

About the show

After a hit run Off-Broadway, Jeremy O. Harris's new play comes to Broadway. This provocative work aims to rip apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in 21st century America. More…

From the show:

The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation - in the breeze, in the cotton fields...and in the crack of the whip. It's an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master's House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip's fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary's big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.

2h 0m | Already closed | The John Golden Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (396)

MEMBERS SAY:

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing
81
Avg Score

76
50 shades of racism, Confusing, Intellectual, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Provocative content of interracial relationship; 2hr15min without intermission!! Funny at times, dark & heavy in general; layers of parody;

Don't see it if Nudity; lots of SEX & violence; scenic design using huge mirrors that reflect actors & audience; intentionally challenging..

Also “Yale mafia” taking majority of the cast; lots of Yale reference;

60
Thought-provoking, Pretentious, Overrated, Tedious, Bold

See it if you want to be challenged & perhaps made to feel uncomfortable during a provocative show about race relations. It's certainly bold.

Don't see it if you're looking for something buoyant or straightforward. I found most of this play a chore to sit through. Not fun. It also needs trimming.

Also For the record, I LIKE provocative shows & I was looking forward to st... Read more Read less

89
Great writing, Edgy, Controversial, Intense, Buzzy

See it if you want to be challenged.

Don't see it if you get uncomfortable easily. Or aren't on board for full frontal nudity.

85
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to explore race relations in the US. You enjoy the dynamics of personal relationships between romantic couples.

Don't see it if You are squeamish about simulated sex on stage.

99
Must see, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if It’s just damn good theater. One of those things that reminds me why live theater will never die.

Don't see it if You can’t deal with nudity and explicit sexual content. Anything else that you don’t like means it’s doing it’s job.

Also It wasn’t nearly as jarring or controversial as hype made me believe. ... Read more Read less

90
Resonant, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to be challenged as a viewer. I am still thinking it over in my head days later. Amazing acting onstage, but very intense

Don't see it if Topics and depictions of racial aggression are triggering. This show will make you uncomfortable. But if you are triggered by this, don't go

85
Relevant, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a very funny, sexy play about institutionalized racism.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with explicit sex - it only goes only for a few minutes AND I'd say everyone should see this show, so it's worth it.

88
Riveting, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you like new thoughtful plays; you are interested in plays around racial dynamics

Don't see it if you don't want to discuss racial relations; you are uncomfortable with sexual situations

Also Slave Play is an outstanding addition to the season. The play deals wi... Read more Read less

75
Disturbing, Resonant, Relevant, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if It examines power and gender dynamics in mixed race couples in a way that I've never seen addressed before. It's got a fantastic monologue.

Don't see it if There are depictions of sexual violence and relationship breakdowns that *I* found very very difficult to watch. YMMV. It's very good.

92
Quirky, Edgy, Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in cutting-edge theater that pushes the envelope on a provocative topic. Radical

Don't see it if you're not willing to be confronted with uncomfortable (simulated) sexual acts and subject matter.

Also I saw it off-Broadway and, with minor adjustments to the bigger stage/... Read more Read less

90
Important, Powerful, Masterful, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to learn more about racial barriers in life. Brilliantly acted and written. Such an important piece of theater.

Don't see it if Sexual content, racial slurs, nudity or vulgar language bothers you in any way.

96
Riveting, Profound, Intense, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You like plays that encourage active audience engagement, that explore the hard truth of our past and present.

Don't see it if It’s painful. No matter who you are, it’s a painful but rewarding evening of theatre.

74
Ambitious, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Cliched

See it if If you want to get a conversation started regarding power, race and gender relations.

Don't see it if You are under 18 as there are explicit sex scenes and some nudity, or if you are uncomfortable with hard conversations regarding power

Also It missed the mark for me as it felt incomplete or derisive, when I th... Read more Read less

85
Provocative, Wicked, Gutsy, Bold, Clever

See it if you're all for risk-taking: Everything about this production (writing, directing, acting, design) is bold, often effectively so.

Don't see it if you expect the playwright's cultural critique to be flawless. Then again, perfection is for jerks. Harris' script's impressive in its sweep.

Also Memorable Quote: "“Your mere presence was biological warfare.”

93
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to be challenged in so many productive ways, while laughing through most of it

Don't see it if you're sensitive about portrayals of sexual situations

Also There should probably be a content warning for a particular scene (I d... Read more Read less

81
Intelligent, Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy out of the box theater that has you reflect on and dissect what you just saw. it's a super interesting think piece

Don't see it if this is definitely not a play for everyone as it is quite experimental. don't go if you are uncomfortable about sexual or racial themes

80
Unexpected, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Provocative

See it if You want a provocative, thought-provoking theater experience. There's a lot of unpack & think about. Was great; not at all what I expected.

Don't see it if You want lighter, fun fare. This show is a lot to process. Race, rape, slavery, nudity. If you can't handle those, stay clear of this show.

75
Intense, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You seek thought provoking, edgy plays that are intense and uncomfortable. The first act lays the foundation of what’s to come in the second

Don't see it if You are put off by racially charged issues, awkward sex acts, nudity, profanity and psycho-babble. Can be very uncomfortable for many but

Also act which is more intense and combative. There is an attempt at explai... Read more Read less

86
Raunchy, Profound, Refreshing, Relevant, Clever

See it if a Broadway play for today's "woke" culture, and I mean that in a good way. An articulate look at very intense issues. Subverts expectations.

Don't see it if you need an intermission - it's long with no break; you want something fluffy and lighthearted.

Also I think it could use a little trimming, but otherwise I would recommen... Read more Read less

100
Relevant, Intelligent, Profound, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy plays that speak to the present American society and dilemma.

Don't see it if No reason not to see this play. It should be obligatory but it is very very disturbing but also very very enlightening

Also It is obvious during the Obama-Trump rollercoaster era that USA is pas... Read more Read less

85
Great writing, Ambitious, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You are looking for a play to make you think and conversation starter.

Don't see it if If you're uncomfortable with America's past. Beware some triggering scenes especially in the beginning and end of the play.

70
A serious work with satiric & parodic elements

See it if you want to see a clever, often funny, more often raunchy presentation of bi-racial couples where the black partner is sexually frustrated.

Don't see it if you know over-hype when you read or hear it. The play’s worthwhile but not nearly as provocative as the hype would have you believe.

Also The play wants to be both a satire on role-play therapy (& maybe actin... Read more Read less

75
Provocative, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you are looking for something edgy and not the Broadway norm.

Don't see it if you are looking for outrageous or even political. The vast majority of this play is a therapy session for 3 mixed race couples .

79
Relevant, Told with humor, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Unique

See it if Interesting look at race relations, sex & power, with fun jabs at therapy. Want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Worth it.

Don't see it if No reason not to unless you believe nothing new to tell in way of race relations. Have read so much about play, feels like you've seen it.

80
Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Relevant

See it if You want to see for yourself what the controversy is all about.

Don't see it if Unwilling to leave your usual Broadway comfort zone. Racially and sexually provocative to the extreme.


October 6th, 2019
"CRITIC’S PICK "Four Times as Big and Just as Searing: Jeremy O. Harris’s Off Broadway hit about race and sex in America shakes things up on Broadway."
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October 6th, 2019
"Brash, smart and gleefully confrontational, this is the kind of show that starts arguments. It keeps you off balance; even afterward, you may feel staggered."
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October 6th, 2019
"'Slave Play' Nearly Demands a Conversation. So We Had One."
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October 6th, 2019
"A must-see hit downtown last winter, Jeremy O. Harris' audacious dissection of race, sexuality, power and the scars of historical trauma moves to Broadway."
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