Sweat NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(685 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
7%
Negative
2%
Members say
Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the Show

After a successful run at the Public Theater last fall, Lynn Nottage's drama about the collision of race, class, family, and friendship in Reading, PA transfers to Broadway. 

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Member Reviews (685)

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85
Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You like a good blue collar drama. This is an on the money intense well acted well written Show of the decline of the middle class.

Don't see it if You don't like character development. You have to get to know these people to care about them and you will get to know them well. Read more

74
Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you enjoy stories about working-class folks dealing with the harsh realities of life.

Don't see it if you're looking for something fresh, original, or light. Read more

Critic Reviews (87)

The New York Times
March 26th, 2017

"Bracingly topical...Though it is steeped in social combustibility, 'Sweat' often feels too conscientiously assembled, a point-counterpoint presentation in which every disaffected voice is allowed its how-I-got-this-way monologue...'Sweat' is best at its muddiest, when love and hate, and the urges to strike out and to comfort, teeter in precipitous balance. That’s when Ms. Nottage’s characters, and the cast members who embody them, emerge in their full tragic humanity."
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Time Out New York
March 26th, 2017

"Nottage’s passionate and necessary drama is a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us...Director Kate Whoriskey’s fluid and propulsive staging benefits from an excellent cast led by the fearless triad of Johanna Day, Michelle Wilson and Alison Wright...'Sweat' communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there's humor and abundant humanity."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 26th, 2017

"A worthy attempt to put serious material before a wider public...What it isn’t, I’m sorry to say, is a great play; though improved in some ways, it remains pretty much as I found it downtown: gripping but disappointing...There’s a checklist quality to the dramaturgy that begins to feel obligatory...Great drama takes place in the space between people. The interplay of ideas can of course be a part of that, but only a part. Characters aren’t pundits, and plots aren’t treatises."
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Entertainment Weekly
March 26th, 2017

"A compelling new play...'Sweat' is a fascinating study of class and opportunity, or lack thereof...'Sweat' features a truly remarkable ensemble and it’s a struggle to take your eyes off any one of its layered characters. Far timelier now than when it debuted at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival back in 2015, 'Sweat' offers a heartbreaking glimpse into the domino effect of what happens when life as you know it is pulled out from under you."
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Deadline
March 26th, 2017

"Ferociously engrossing...'Sweat' never feels less than authentic — and crucial. That said, 'Sweat' still suffers from preachiness and some stilted writing that raise the volume and add exclamation points where none are necessary. This seems to have worsened in the expansion to a Broadway house, where the speechifying too often registers as harangue...These are not inconsequential flaws, but timeliness and Nottage’s uncommon empathy for each of these characters ultimately prevail."
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The Washington Post
March 26th, 2017

"Nottage bottles a flammable brand of white working-class resentment and spills it, in its superheated state, all over the stage. Audiences will readily recognize the vitriol unleashed in Nottage’s timely if too plodding drama...Its best moments anatomize the friendship among three women in the plant. How their camaraderie disintegrates is a far more nuanced bit of storytelling than the standard-issue crime-procedural track that 'Sweat' ultimately shifts onto."
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Chicago Tribune
March 26th, 2017

"Inarguably a schematic socialist drama that clearly decided in advance what it wanted to say about the state of the nation. Its conclusion is not a surprise. But—and, along with a mordant wit, this is its mitigating strength and greatest asset—'Sweat' also is a moral, passionate and richly articulated cri de coeur from one of America's leading African-American playwrights...'Sweat,' which is performed with relentless commitment and respect, feels very much of the moment."
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New York Daily News
March 26th, 2017

"The play grabs you with its ripped-from-the-headlines social and political resonance. It also loses its grip due to predictability and a miscalibrated staging...It is not a pretty picture. But it is as straight-up and real as it gets. Too bad performances frequently don’t ring true in director Kate Whoriskey’s staging. Too often actors don't look and sound like people talking, but performers emoting. It becomes distracting and pulls you out of the story."
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AM New York
March 26th, 2017

"Lynn Nottage’s timely, empathetic and critical-minded drama...An involving drama, calibrated to increase in intensity toward its brutal climax. Nottage explores her characters and their environment with the sensitivity of a master dramatist and the objectivity of a journalist...Kate Whoriskey’s finely textured production is a triumph of ensemble acting. Johanna Day is particularly effective in expressing her character’s shock, frustration and self-centered ego."
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NY1
March 29th, 2017

“A prescient study of an American dream gone belly up…How they each interact is portrayed in finely nuanced detail not only in dialogue but through performance and Kate Whoriskey’s sensitive and solid direction. This is a well-honed ensemble…The performers, all but one, reprising their roles from the Off-Broadway production, are excellent...If it seems overly ambitious, it is nonetheless a powerful chronicle of a modern day tragedy."
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Theatermania
March 27th, 2017

"All of the performances feel bigger, suggesting that director Kate Whoriskey has instructed her cast to play to the back row of this much larger Broadway house. Unfortunately, results vary...Even though some of the performances have gone astray, 'Sweat' is still the must-see play of the season. Nottage employs her ample intelligence and compassion in telling the story of why so many Americans feel frustrated and frightened."
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BroadwayWorld
March 27th, 2017

"A tense and finely acted production...Day and Wilson do excellent work playing the subtext of racial tension...While the decline of American communities when jobs are sent to other countries is a familiar subject, Nottage's even-handed treatment of multiple viewpoints, giving sympathy to all sides, makes 'Sweat' a truly realistic and moving tragedy that, sadly, has gained relevance on its way to Broadway."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 26th, 2017

"Nottage has not done a lot of complex narrative crafting here. But what she has done is strong and smart, and addresses the many simmering tensions on which the play is constructed...Nottage does not shy from exploring, occasionally in brutal fashion, how America's ever-evolving work life changes the souls of those who are subjected to it. 'Sweat' ultimately feels real because the people in it who are sweating feel real...Whoriskey's staging is fluid, sharp, and honest."
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TheaterScene.net
April 3rd, 2017

“From the dead-on realism of a neighborhood bar, designed to perfection by John Lee Beatty, to the heightened and naturalistic staging of director Kate Whoriskey, everything about ‘Sweat’ is geared to pull you in to its grip with a vise-like strength, and then not let go. This is a violent and powerful drama by Lynn Nottage that has transferred from New York's Public Theater to Broadway with all of its emotionally heavy-hitting impact intact.”
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Theater Pizzazz
March 26th, 2017

"Director Kate Whoriskey and Nottage have partnered before, and it shows. Words and actions move in lockstep. Everything seems organic. Whoriskey’s assembled a crackerjack cast, and they deliver bigtime. You never doubt these Pennsylvanians have worked together, played together, and bent many an elbow together. Touching and troubling, 'Sweat' is a powerful potion that candidly explores a piece of the American dream no longer worth dreaming."
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CurtainUp
March 26th, 2017

"The play is more relevant and timely than ever...The transfer overall is just fine with the entire team back on board (with just one new cast member)...The actors are better than ever...I still find the play's structure and conflicts too schematic and familiar to really tap into my deepest emotions until late in the second act. However, this seemed less important this time around...'Sweat' is now a worthy heir to Arthur Miller's American Dream destroying 'Death of a Salesman.'"
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Front Row Center
April 3rd, 2017

“Few great American plays take place in a bar. Nottage’s heart-wrenching 'Sweat' may well be the best one since O’Neill’s 'The Iceman Cometh'...As tightly operating an ensemble as you are ever likely to see on Broadway…Whoriskey directs with a sure hand, with minor flourishes...and major accomplishments like keeping the pacing of inevitable doom at a compelling slow bleed. This, along with Beatty’s perfectly wrought set featuring functioning beer taps, leave us thirsting for more.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
March 30th, 2017

"It still packs a wallop, this hard-edged play...What the sure-to-be Tony nominated director Kate Whoriskey has done with Nottage’s words is to not shy away from the horribleness that can surface in all of our collective hearts...Even knowing the final outcome of 'Sweat,' the power and the discomfort is still epically visceral and disconcerting...But the very last scene still feels a bit heavy-handed and the one startling component that remains implausible and manipulative."
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Exeunt Magazine
April 4th, 2017

“Worthy of all the considerable hype. Gritty, unapologetic, and never timid, the play examines the troubled lives of its blue-collar characters with stunningly compassionate introspection. Part of the play’s power comes from Nottage diving deep into a familiar and well-worn story line and bringing her masterful eye to it…The cast is universally strong…There is perhaps no better contemporary playwright at combing the rich nexus of history and humanity than Lynn Nottage.”
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T
March 27th, 2017

"The difficulty with 'Sweat' is that these characters seem to be stock composites of all those the playwright interviewed and they are not all likeable...They are not believable and therefore, their conflicts–as important as those are–seem less than engaging and authentic...Under Kate Whoriskey’s uneven direction, the cast of 'Sweat'–except Mr. Albán and Mr. Colby–deliver flat performances. They are not fully to blame, however: the story line is predictable."
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Broadway Blog
April 1st, 2017

"Nottage paints a complex picture of race, politics and economy in a story that could easily be pulled from today’s headlines. But in order to hit such hot-button topics, the play often feels heavy on exposition with characters talking about a situation instead of living it...Director Whoriskey keeps things moving at a brisk pace...'Sweat,' at times, feels stilted in its narrative, but there’s certainly enough thematic complexity to warrant its transfer from the sold-out run at the Public."
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C
March 29th, 2017

"Meticulously researched and populated with both realistic dialogue and true-to-life characters...A gripping tale of friendships gone wrong and prejudice run amok...Stunningly staged by Whoriskey and enacted by a flawless ensemble...Nottage has a glorious way with language...Her one major dramaturgical flaw here is not just the overwhelming amount of exposition in the play, but how clumsily it sometimes gets handled. But ultimately, Nottage succeeds in her mission."
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C
March 29th, 2017

"The timeliest and most dynamic play to hit Broadway this season...Nottage and Whoriskey, ensure that these flawed characters have depth and integrity...Whoriskey’s production pulses with tension, especially as it reaches its powerful climax. The outstanding cast shift smoothly from frivolity to fury. In the end 'Sweat' emphasizes the importance of looking out for each other when times are hard, and of the harsh consequences when rage gets the better of us."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
March 26th, 2017

“Significant but unavoidably depressing...Sweat' is...naturalistic drama, its dialogue prosaic and profane...It's more the dramatization of a condition than of an action...The play becomes a sequence of disputes forcing us to accept the barroom as...a crucible of overheated temperament...'Sweat' dramatizes a real national tragedy with careful attention to detail but it breaks no new ground, tells us nothing we didn't already know, and suggests no way out.”
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Times Square Chronicles
March 30th, 2017

"The cast is excellent with Wilson and Davis standing out. Whoriskey’s direction is ploddingly slow in the first act, but picks up in the second...Though much of this show is believable, who seriously wants to watch this? I don’t mean to sound heartless, because this is a reality for some parts of the country. Sadly we never really get to know the personal relationships of these characters...This may be an important play, but I do not see this drawing an audience."
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The Clyde Fitch Report
March 26th, 2017

"No play on Broadway addresses the political climate more immediately than 'Sweat'....Other productions this season have had superlative ensembles, but none is more prominent than this one. The details, small and large, filled in by each cast member are heart-throbbing. So much of this creativity in performance, of course, has to be attributed to director Kate Whoriskey...'Sweat' is a first-rate achievement."
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T
April 6th, 2017

"Nottage’s slice-of-lifer is moving and impactful even if the plot is somewhat melodramatic, thanks to Whoriskey’s detailed direction and the cast’s compassionate performances...Nottage’s script feelingly captures the plight of the working class...Yet too much of the action feels like a checklist as topics such as immigration and automation are crossed off...The play probably would have been more powerful if Nottage had not created such an obviously theatrical, tear-jerking finish."
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Daily Beast
March 26th, 2017

"An excellent, highly charged play...It is refreshing to hear characters talk about politics as urgently, and realistically, as people are affected by it. 'Sweat' is politics as lived and spoken about on the ground, not as an abstraction. 'Sweat' is the first, properly muscular play of the Trump era, directly addressing the political and cultural bedrock of his presidency...The politics of the play, while clear and emphatic, do not supersede the careful drawing of character."
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WNBC
March 26th, 2017

"Nottage eloquently captures the malaise among a group of longtime coworkers at a Berks County, Pennsylvania, mill...'Sweat' should be hailed for its visceral performance by Johanna Day...'Sweat' positively smokes through its two-hour-plus run...Nottage obviously hit on something vital in her research—with 20/20 hindsight. 'Sweat' gives off a tangible vibe, and if some better understood the issues raised by this play before the election, they wouldn’t have been surprised by the outcome."
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City Cabaret
April 27th, 2017

"With authority and a solid nine-person ensemble, Nottage finely crafts the disintegration of opportunities, friendships and families swept up in whirlpools of disappointment and a cycle of drugs, violence and poverty...With a sure hand, director Kate Whoriskey leads this well-cast ensemble in a relentless parade from hard days and close community to collapse...'Sweat' is a memorable play for our times, about our times and our people."
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T
April 10th, 2017

“As powerful and searing at Studio 54 as it was last year at the Public Theater…All of the actors give strong performances, but Johanna Day stands out…The play gets right to the heart of what has been happening in the United States…A fierce and fiery work with plenty of heart and soul, a brilliant microcosm of a deeply divided nation where hardworking people have to live with choices no one should be forced to make.”
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scribicide
March 26th, 2017

"Obviously, 'Sweat' is a play that is much needed right now...Down to its corporeal title, [it] reminds us that art is concerned with what often gets lost in large-scale politics and economics: the human cost of progress."
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TheaterScene.com
April 15th, 2017

“Directed with the utmost care by Kate Whoriskey and acted by the finest ensemble you’re likely to see this season…They may not sound like fascinating characters, but how real they are, and what exquisite detail Nottage has invested in them. The small talk’s true and funny…It’s an old-fashioned great American play, one that zeros in on a single community to make larger statements about who we are, what this country values, and the price it pays for it."
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Out Magazine
March 27th, 2017

"Under Kate Whoriskey’s direction, this is pulled off with a lot of energy and surprising humor—the characters don’t seem to have a lot of introspective time—and a game cast gives it extra heft. Best of all are the three lead women as figures in an embattled landscape, navigating through it while trying to survive. Nottage won the Pulitzer for 'Ruined,' and with this, her first Broadway play, she’s achieved something earnest but worthwhile."
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StageZine
March 31st, 2017

“The ensemble cast is so powerful and the performances so strong that it is easy to overlook most of the thematic clichés and directing flaws...Although Whoriskey gets first-rate performances from everyone, she and fight director Toppo have trouble choreographing a violent fight scene...Although Nottage’s twists are a bit hackneyed, the cast brings a sense of authenticity to these hard-working people...Despite some shortcomings, ‘Sweat’ is a thought-provoking drama."
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Showbiz 411
March 27th, 2017

"'Sweat' gives poignant voice to a disenfranchised microcosm of the American heartland, as if Michael Moore’s Flint, Michigan had taken center stage. A fine ensemble is featured under Kate Whoriskey’s expert direction."
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Drama Queen NYC
March 29th, 2017

“An important play, but boy is it depressing…Nottage packs the play to bursting with thoughts, emotions and incident, and director Kate Whoriskey keeps all that on track and moving lucidly and fluidly. With all the points of view Sweat tries to cover, it is by necessity an ensemble piece, and is blessed with a ferociously talented cast. For me, Carlo Albán is the standout as Colombian-American barback Oscar, the person lowest in this vicious pecking order.”
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Let's Talk Off-Broadway
March 26th, 2017

"'Sweat' is not a perfect play but it’s important and by the end has great impact...A strength of this play is the thoroughgoing examination of the tragic effects on individual lives of the factory system and of Wall Street...Although the play moves cleverly through time, the first act feels static...The play comes alive in the second act...The cast is uniformly excellent...Nottage writes honestly, she gives us characters we care about."
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More Than The Play Blog
May 22nd, 2017

"Nottage has written authentic characters who struggle with challenges and face consequences that cause their lives to spiral out of control...Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson shine in these brilliantly written, juxtaposed characters...They are the driving force that propels the action of the play. Their portrayals are riveting, true, and genuine...Kate Whoriskey masterfully directed this superb ensemble cast. She skillfully builds tensions that explode with powerful human emotions."
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The Modernist Beat
March 27th, 2017

"Even though I was fully aware of its gut-wrenching conclusion this second time, I still shed a tear when it arrived. 'Sweat' should be required viewing for anyone living in our republic – it is that important...What Nottage has constructed is an American play for the ages, a tragedy of the American dream that would be appreciated by the likes of Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets...Simply see it."
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Paste Magazine
April 4th, 2017

"Director Kate Whoriskey helms a superb cast that often favors absorbing a moment and letting it resonate in the deepest reaches of the soul over grandstanding with overwrought gestures...Nottage crafts a nuanced story where the villains remain off stage pitting working people against each other...The final line steps into preachy agitprop and diminishes the emotional intensity of the climax, but 'Sweat' is undeniably a painfully topical tragedy."
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T
May 10th, 2017

"As current as the headlines on CNN...Whoriskey has assembled a splendid cast of actors, led by Day as the terminally inflamed Tracey and Wilson as the more pragmatic Cynthia...The playwright is admirably sensitive to working-class rationalizations and frustrations. In addition to her dramatic flair, Nottage should be congratulated for reminding us that theater can be more effective than newsprint and television commentary when it comes to addressing contemporary political conflicts."
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Edge New York
March 28th, 2017

“The dialogue veers uneasily between realistic rough-and-tumble banter that disguises feelings behind its bluntness, and elegiac riffs. Rather than playing down the disconnect, the direction emphasizes it…Allowing New York audiences a (literal) front-row seat allows the dilemma these people face to sink in...If 'Sweat' is the imperfect vehicle to portray their angst, at least their angst is being portrayed in some way on Broadway."
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R
March 26th, 2017

"'Sweat' has a political message to impart, and it does so with conviction and a style teeming with grittiness and breathtaking poetry...It serves its characters with dignity and insight, and wears the mantle of metaphor for an economically challenged and increasingly inhumane nation with power and grace...It is also a triumph of compassion and furious truth. As directed by the great Kate Whoriskey, 'Sweat' boasts the very definition of ensemble acting...A profound and prophetic work."
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The New York Times
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Keenly observed and often surprisingly funny — but ultimately heartbreaking — the work traces the roots of a tragedy with both forensic psychological detail and embracing compassion. Ms. Nottage is writing at the peak of her powers, and the superb cast and the director, Kate Whoriskey, rise to the occasion...'Sweat' is an ensemble play, and crucial to its effectiveness is the camaraderie among the characters."
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Time Out New York
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Through her power as a dramatist, Nottage makes you empathize with the desperation and rage of citizens whose lives barely affect yours...Gripping and timely though 'Sweat' undoubtedly is, it’s not as polished or galvanizing as Nottage’s previous work...At times, the dialogue grows preachy or on-the-nose, ticking off points about NAFTA or intersectional racism...The acting is impassioned and full-bodied, and Kate Whoriskey’s naturalistic staging is assured, fluid and emotionally vibrant."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage’s gripping but disappointing new play...Though all the actors have excellent moments, those moments are too often interrupted with clunky passages that defy their intelligence and attenuate their portrayals. The erratic direction of Kate Whoriskey, especially in scenes of general tumult and cross talk, doesn’t help...If Nottage could just get her characters to fight for their own agendas instead of hers, 'Sweat' would be a lot more productive, and a lot less laborious."
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New Yorker
November 28th, 2016
For a previous production

"The director, Kate Whoriskey, stages this and the ensuing disasters with clarity and verve…Nottage and Whoriskey spent a great deal of time in Reading, interviewing factory workers and survivors—if that’s the word—of the economic downturn. You can hear the region in Nottage’s lines; the people there got into her bones. A kind of alchemy occurs in her rhythms, in the way a character’s lines jump on or sidestep another character’s emotions. Those emotions are harrowing."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"While Nottage doesn't always manage to incorporate her research into entirely organic dialogue in the overlong play's lumpy first act, what follows becomes a powerful and compassionate song of blue-collar despair...Nottage introduces issues of race with refreshing candor...Not all the performances are quite so finely etched...But Whoriskey coaxes sensitive work from Colby, Alban, and Wilson. The standout in the ensemble, however, is Davis."
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Variety
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage wrote 'Sweat' after extensive interviews with people in old factory towns like the one depicted here, which accounts for the solid character work and stretches of realistic dialogue. The plot is less successful for trying to cover every conceivable labor issue, from the failure of collective bargaining and the collapse of the trade unions to the toll on company towns when the local factory or steel mill goes under. But credit the writer for giving many forgotten Americans a voice."
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The Wall Street Journal
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"The cast has changed, in all cases for the better—the stylistic unanimity of Ms. Whoriskey’s new ensemble of actors is awe-inspiring—but the play itself, which mostly takes place in a blue-collar bar in Reading, is substantially the same one I saw in Oregon...It’s a deeply humane drama about real people with real problems, and no matter who you’re voting for, if anyone, next Tuesday, you owe it to yourself to spend an evening with the desperate folk whom it portrays."
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Deadline
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"A brilliant play...spectacularly staged by Kate Whoriskey with a smashing ensemble and design. But it’s not a great one...Nottage gives us fully realized characters who, even when acting on their worst fears, are grippingly human. And Whoriskey proves again to be her steadfast collaborator...I write those words, however, allowing for some stilted writing—particularly in the opening scene—and more speechifying than the play needs...It shouldn’t deter anyone from seeing it."
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New York Daily News
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Lynn Nottage writes with her signature smarts and sensitivity, and the fine ensemble impresses, but surprises are in short supply—even in a framing mystery—as the plot toggles between 2000 and 2008. After so much dog-eat-dog, a deeply moving ending that summons a ray of hope amid the bleakness leaves you shaken."
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AM New York
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"As directed by Kate Whoriskey, 'Sweat' is a timely and sympathetic exploration of a community on the verge of collapse and the economic stress and strain and overwhelming sense of hopelessness that has accompanied the loss of blue-collar manufacturing jobs. The excellent ensemble includes Johanna Day, John Earl Jelks and Miriam Shor."
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Theatermania
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage has crafted a microcosm of the recent past, showing just how fragile that ecosystem was. It ought to be required viewing for all Americans...Better than any playwright who has dealt with the subject in this century, Nottage delicately unpacks the interplay of race and class in American society...Much credit goes to Kate Whoriskey for directing an unrelenting production that keeps our eyes glued to the stage...The best new play of the season."
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BroadwayWorld
November 7th, 2016
For a previous production

"Day and Wilson do excellent work playing the subtext of racial tension lying slightly beneath their labor/management conflict...Inevitably, tensions build into onstage violence, staged with horrific realism by U. Jonathan Toppo. While the decline of American communities when jobs are sent to other countries is a familiar subject, Nottage's even-handed treatment of multiple viewpoints, giving sympathy to all sides, makes 'Sweat' a truly realistic and moving tragedy."
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BroadwayWorld
January 25th, 2016
For a previous production

"Director Kate Whoriskey does a superb job with this amazing ensemble…The talented ensemble was so realistic, I truly did not see any actors on stage but the people who worked at the factory. They were that good. The play has New York on its radar and I will not be surprised if Nottage collects another Pulitzer Prize. This is must-see theater!!"
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Lighting & Sound America
November 4th, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage has a real feeling for these people—how they talk, how they drink, and the memories and social myths that underpin their lives—letting us enjoy them just enough so we will feel their pain as things fall apart...'Sweat' only confirms what should have been obvious all long, that Nottage is one of the most accomplished playwrights working in America today...The message of 'Sweat' is a powerful one—and we ignore it at our peril."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Key portions of the action are dedicated to flipping forward eights years into the future to show us the aftermath of events, something that's anticlimactic and predictable...But the dialogue throughout is cutting and compelling...and the scenes that dig most deeply into their fears, as internalized and externalized, are gut-wrenching in their ferocity. Terrifically directed by Kate Whoriskey, who amplifies every moment, you are never less than an inhabitant in this world."
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TheaterScene.net
November 12th, 2016
For a previous production

“The rhetoric of the recent presidential campaign made it patently clear that blue collar workers are extremely upset about the loss of our jobs to Mexico and China and the closing of our factories. Lynn Nottage takes this demographic which is usually ignored on our stages and puts them front and center in her new play ‘Sweat’, having its NY premiere at The Public Theater. ‘Sweat’ beautifully dramatized the effect of this problem but offers no answers of its own.”
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Theater Pizzazz
November 13th, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage’s new heartrending drama...Tempers flare, tensions rise, friendships are torn apart as this truth becomes reality and the lockouts begin...The result: a more than disturbing and violent climax. This is truly a close-knit ensemble of fine actors who work brilliantly together under Kate Whoriskey’s fine tutelage. This socio-economic and racial tragedy gives pause to the many issues raised. The topic isn’t new but a reminder in its realistic portrayal of the problems that plague our country."
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Front Row Center
November 4th, 2016
For a previous production

"Ms. Nottage (and director Kate Whorisky) have succeeded in creating lives that connect directly to us in ways that the nightly news or this nauseating political campaign fail to do on any level. These people are us...All that remains to be done to this piece is to take a pair of shears and snip, snip, snip. Ms. Nottage’s writing is so clear and precise that she makes her points quickly. Most do not need to be explained or dissected, especially in the hands of such a solid cast."
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Front Mezz Junkies
December 13th, 2016
For a previous production

"It’s a triumph of a production, superbly written by Nottage, directed impeccably by Whoriskey, beautifully staged and performed, but what surprised me the most, was how disturbing it was to sit through...'Sweat,' the intense and riveting examination of those left behind in this global economy, is masterful...All of the actors are spectacular in their portrayals, giving us a glimpse into the reactive and frustrated minds of these struggling men and women, no-holds-barred."
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DC Theatre Scene
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"How did this solid town–and by extension, a significant swath of the working population in America—implode?...'Sweat' isn’t as concerned with answering as in bringing us into the world of her credible, engaging characters, embodied by a terrific cast...There is a feeling of general comity–until it is shattered when the company starts making clear its ominous plans for cost reductions. What might have been under the surface all along, explodes into envy, resentment and prejudice."
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The Guardian (UK)
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Incisive, uncondescending and quietly compassionate...Nottage allows drama to emerge through prisms of race, gender and class. She is passionate about making the political feel deeply personal...In this regard, 'Sweat,' which is attentively designed and dynamically acted, is a roughed-up jewel...Very occasionally the balance between dramatic action and social thesis goes wobbly...But more often this is a trenchant and moving play."
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B
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"While corporate greed, globalization, racism and immigration policy all underlie the action, the play is not a sociopolitical screed. Nottage wisely keeps our attention on vividly drawn characters and on how forces beyond their control are refracted in their lives...It all makes for a gripping experience. The cast is uniformly excellent...Director Kate Whoriskey once again does Nottage full justice."
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The Huffington Post
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage, author of the Pulitzer-winner 'Ruined,' returns with her new play 'Sweat,' which is every bit as powerful and accomplished...The play moves briskly and the actors are directed so that scene after scene impactfully lands. But it is the writing which gets us. Nottage spins her tale and her characters’ lives, and wraps everything up superbly. After which she provides a final scene that grabs you by the heart and leaves you gasping at the curtain. Beautiful writing, and a beautiful play."
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The Wrap
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"She’s not scoring points for some leftist, anti-capitalist screed. There’s nothing agitprop about her play...Nottage deploys this gift for naked disclosure at various key moments...Kate Whoriskey directs a remarkable cast that never condescends, and always finds the humanity in Nottage’s characters...'Sweat' leaves us with the hope that only people take care of people. It is a play that will be performed long after the era it defines has passed."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
November 14th, 2016
For a previous production

"Director Kate Whoriskey is on the same wavelength as Nottage, and rarely lets up on the tension that brews. There is lots of shouting by the impassioned cast members, and the heat level of the play is high...Lynn Nottage clearly has insight to the characters about whom she is writing, and also is well-attuned to the situations in which they find themselves. 'Sweat' is very powerful drama."
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Broadway & Me
November 30th, 2016
For a previous production

"The basic tale is familiar…The American Dream is becoming more and more elusive for working-class people. Whoriskey directs the narrative with straightforward efficiency. And the nine-member cast lead is strong…As she did with 'Ruined,' Nottage can't resist ending the play on a hopeful note that seemed unrealistic to me. Still...those of us who are doing reasonably well need to do a better job of understanding the distress of those of us who aren't. And 'Sweat' is a good place to start."
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Newsday
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Thanks to an excellent cast and an ace design team, we get close to slices of vivid life, sliced very thin, so the proud bones and the broken hearts become visible under the ordinary structure of the straightforward, naturalistic plot with its leisurely exposition...For all the modern technology that spins the scenes with a cinematic sweep, this is an old-fashioned Depression-era drama. The depression, however, is ours."
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NorthJersey.com
November 4th, 2016
For a previous production

"No other playwright has captured the social upheaval in America as acutely as Lynn Nottage does in her powerful, troubling drama 'Sweat'...Nottage's effort, vibrantly directed by Kate Whoriskey and performed by a strong ensemble cast, looks at the broader impact of financial stress, at the tearing apart of the country's hard-won social fabric...With each character deftly defined, we're quickly drawn into their interactions...The play is sobering, and deeply affecting."
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Financial Times (UK)
November 8th, 2016
For a previous production

"It all adds up to a solid Marxist critique of US political economy and the conditions underlying the rise of Trump. As theatre, 'Sweat' is less successful because Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey stick to a ploddingly conventional dramatic style, which leaves little room for surprises or even critical reflection about its grim ideological message. There are some strong performances, but at over two hours Nottage’s play often feels like hard labour."
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WNBC
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"The story is suspenseful but hardly new, and certainly a fixture of our daily election season media diet...All the characters are honorable people who want to put in an honest day's work and be respected accordingly, though they're given varying degrees of likability. 'Sweat' is a remarkably nimble and lucid drama, and for that reason alone I’m probably guilty of having expected profound wisdom—instead, it left me more upset than enlightened. All these good questions, with no easy answers."
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Off Off Online
November 18th, 2016
For a previous production

"This complex, beautifully written drama premiered more than a year ago...And its themes transcend the present moment...The playwright’s gift for dialogue and characterization are so assured and accurate that the spectator is likely to overlook the periodic grinding of the play’s expository machinery…Like all the best naturalistic drama, it’s an exhaustive journey through the tortuous byways of the human heart."
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NJ.com
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Lynn Nottage's hugely ambitious and moving new play 'Sweat' is a 'Death of a Salesman' for a new generation...'Sweat' never feels like a civics lecture. That's because Nottage has crafted fully lived-in characters and placed them in a believable, gripping story...All nine of the actors are terrific...In an age where most politically-minded theater is allusive and occasionally precious, it's thrilling to see a writer strip away the veil of allegory and speak straight from the heart."
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W
November 5th, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage has written the great American play we need right now...Nottage leaves a loose plot thread or two, but she captures something important: when factories start closing, people in this close-knit, economically-depressed place turn on each other, often in race-baiting ways, instead of turning on the political and economic system that failed them...'Sweat' is even-handed, nuanced and empathetic."
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Epoch Times
November 9th, 2016
For a previous production

"Powerfully acted and strongly directed, the story sharply resonates due to its lack of easy answers. Yet the very familiarity of the tale is also the play’s weakness...While 'Sweat' offers a very compelling story, it’s one that’s been told many times before and offers no new ground. The play hits all the emotional moments and too-familiar refrains almost as if checking them off a list..It’s a testament to the actors that the play works as well as it does."
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Reviewing The Drama
November 3rd, 2016
For a previous production

"It is fascinating to watch this in an election year. With 'Sweat,' Nottage takes a sensitive, non-judgmental look at an oft-misunderstood segment of America...Through Nottage's fully drawn characters (and Kate Whoriskey's direction and the actors' performances), we see that there isn't something sinister about these people; they are not stupid or low class or deplorable. They are in transition; the world they knew and helped build is changing quickly."
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Theatre Reviews by John Clum
November 16th, 2016
For a previous production

"Lynn Nottage's play has powerful moments, yet there is something that rings false about the play...The play seems to hover between realistic drama and docudrama…The second act, in which tensions come to a violent head, is far more effective than the talky first act…There are powerful moments in 'Sweat,' but there are flaws…The ensemble couldn't be better...Kate Whoriskey has given the play as much of a sense of authenticity as the script allows."
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T
November 10th, 2016
For a previous production

"Nottage draws consistently insightful characters...Their doomed way of life is quickly disappearing, and the skilled Nottage allows us to empathize with the desperation and anger of their plight...Whoriskey helms a harshly realistic production while leading her gifted ensemble to potent and sensitive portrayals of the struggles intrinsic in their individual predicaments. The beauty of 'Sweat' is the compassionate picture that Nottage illuminates of people you might never know."
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Edge New York
November 15th, 2016
For a previous production

"The relentlessly authentic production brings to mind earlier work of the playwright…However, Nottage's working class drama is a revelation because of its anima. This is a play that demands itself to unearth the meaning and the stigma of disenfranchisement...Having won the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, do not be surprised if 'Sweat' is shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize next year."
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A
November 15th, 2016
For a previous production

"A a powerful play…Day does a great job of showing that Tracey is a fighter who does not care about being politically correct...As Cynthia, Wilson goes from one of the girls to a confident leader to a woman finding herself alone...Expertly directed by Kate Whoriskey, the show features a top-notch creative team..The climactic scene is intense and not easy to watch, which makes the ending all the more touching, even beautiful."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
January 22nd, 2016
For a previous production

"A splendidly searing, raw, and real production…‘Sweat’ is an incisively written, adroitly performed, heroically sharp examination into the lives of ordinary and diverse union workers who lose their jobs...Under Director Kate Whoriskey’s affectionate touch, caring decency, and attention to the realness of the characters, 'Sweat’s' ensemble each receive high praise for their performances…’Sweat’ is a powerful production that must be seen."
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DC Theatre Scene
January 31st, 2016
For a previous production

"Even what is ostensibly the driving dramatic question of the play is reasonably guessable by the early on in Act II, though Nottage has found a brilliant and unexpected extra twist of the knife…The characters’ treading water in that existential ocean is honest and fair though the storyteller in me wishes that they would actually do more to grapple with their situation than talk about doing it…An extraordinary night of theater…Do her, and yourself, a favor and take a look."
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MD Theatre Guide
January 22nd, 2016
For a previous production

"The production is outstanding, rising to the challenges and rewards of a truly exceptional piece of theatre...It has the complexity of contemporary drama, but the elegant construction of classical theatre. While it is an important, searing critique of 'The American Way,' it is also incredibly exciting drama heightened by the inevitable tragedy of misplaced rage. So don’t feel obligated to go and see 'Sweat' because it is ‘important’...See 'Sweat' because it is simply fantastic theatre."
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AXS.com
February 4th, 2016
For a previous production

"‘Sweat’ is a beautiful realization of an ugly reality. It's a human way into a brutally dark corner of the American experience…The content isn't always pretty, but Nottage gives her characters keen senses of humor which translate into moments of audience bliss…One might well think that heavy subject matter dictates a heavy night at the theatre, but not so; the satisfaction of seeing a story so well told is nothing less than exhilarating."
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