Trouble in Mind (Broadway)
Trouble in Mind (Broadway)
81

Trouble in Mind (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(193 Reviews)
Positive
90%
Mixed
9%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great writing

LaChanze stars in the Broadway premiere of Alice Childress's 1955 play.

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Member Reviews (193)

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81
Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if Great performances in a still relevant show from the past. Moves a little slow. LaChanze is her amazing self per usual.

Don't see it if you don't like serious works or plays about plays.

83
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're into Black, historical plays; interested in racism issues--even in the theatre; a fan of LaChanze or Chuck Cooper, like dramedies

Don't see it if you don't like slow build-ups, don't like plays from 1955 with up-to-the-minute resonance; not a fan of plays about the theater; Read more

91
Destined to become classic in black protest theater; shows why lachanze is queen

See it if fierce critique "Mammy"/"Tom" portrayal blacks; hilariously acerbic; cast-brilliant interplay, Chuck Cooper clever clowning, LaCh Tonyworthy

Don't see it if shift from spiky comedy to serious dramatic critique of racism is too abrupt; white characters stereotypes Read more

92
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you like LaChanze.She's perfection in this.Show is a bit heavy handed; performances are top notch.Entire cast is excellent.Important topic

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable confronting racism.Isn't a light weight musical comedy.It is funny at times, there is some singing, but it's heavy too,

85
Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you like well written, intelligent shows about important subjects. The density of dialogue is more typical of plays written decades a ago.

Don't see it if you expect simple breezy banter rather than serious conversations and complex characters.

82
Relevant

See it if To be older, gifted, and Black, LaChanze stands up as an artist. Director defends his racist views with excuses that society's not ready.

Don't see it if Anti-Blackness, racism, sexism, ageism written over a generation ago are still going; very vocally upset White audience reactions. Read more

83
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Important period piece on race in America!

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable on the topic of race in America, don’t see it.

85
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a thoughtful play about racial inequity in theater. Acting was excellent and script very interesting.

Don't see it if You need something more modern. Although this play is very relevant to today. Read more

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
November 18th, 2021

"Critic's Pick! What begins as a backstage satire of white cluelessness and Black ingratiation gradually broadens and darkens into something far more mysterious: a peculiarly American tale of lost opportunity."
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Time Out New York
November 18th, 2021

"“I hate the kind of play that bangs you over the head with the message,” says Wiletta’s blustery white costar Bill (Don Stephenson). What keeps Trouble in Mind from being such a play is the texture that Childress provides: astute points about financial realities, funny observations about backstage power dynamics."
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Variety
November 18th, 2021

"It seems unbelievable this play from the 1950s fits so neatly into the 2021 Broadway puzzle...What helps smooth this show’s slow race to the crux is the stellar acting from a cast led by Tony winner LaChanze, under the marvelous direction of Charles Randolph-Wright."
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The Wall Street Journal
November 18th, 2021

"As for LaChanze, she is extraordinarily fine, and while it is easy to see why Wiletta is tired of working in musicals, her singing in “Trouble in Mind” is as thrilling as her acting. Mr. Zegen, lately of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” is unafraid to be totally unsympathetic, and the six supporting cast members are all very good. Charles Randolph-Wright, the director, has worked mainly in musicals until now, and he weaves speaking and singing together with sure-footed skill."
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Deadline
November 18th, 2021

"Sixty-four years late and right on time, Alice Childress’ wise and stirring backstage comedy-drama Trouble in Mind is making its long-in-coming Broadway debut tonight, and to describe the play as prescient would be an understatement. Uncanny rings truer. With a star turn by LaChanze that takes a strong place in a theatrical season already formidable in its roster of performances, Trouble in Mind takes a behind-the-curtain look at the racism, coded prejudice, self-flattery, sexism and built-in bigotry that Broadway has always professed to eschew."
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The Washington Post
November 18th, 2021

"Alice Childress’ searing play “Trouble in Mind” has finally made it to Broadway and the only frustrating thing about the show is that it has taken this long. The two-act play takes place — appropriately enough — on a Broadway stage and is an uncomfortable exploration of the racial divide in the 1950s. So it works perfectly in the 2020s."
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New York Stage Review
November 18th, 2021

"Director Charles Randolph-Wright doesn’t successfully balance the play’s comic and dramatic elements, with the result that the evening sometimes feels like a backstage comedy and other times like a polemic on race relations. The performances, too, vary in effectiveness, with the most memorable work coming from the luminous LaChanze, the veteran Cooper, and Dukes, who makes the most of the sardonic Millie. From a historical perspective, Trouble in Mind is an important, groundbreaking work. It’s just a shame that it feels so dated now upon its long belated Broadway premiere."
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New York Stage Review
November 18th, 2021

"LaChanze is luminous and fierce in the central role, showing us the dignity and warmth that have sustained Wiletta where others might have simply become embittered...While Trouble in Mind clearly and potently reflects its era, its enduring freshness speaks to how much progress has yet to be made."
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TheaterScene.net
November 21st, 2021

It is to be regretted that Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind had to wait this long to reach Broadway but it was worth the wait. Ironically, it can be better appreciated now when so many revelations have come out than back in the late 1950’s when it might have been dismissed as going too far.
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New York Theater
November 18th, 2021

Trouble in Mind, debuting on Broadway after 66 years , takes place entirely during rehearsals for a (fictional) Broadway play. The movement that can be called Black Theater Matters. makes this play more than just a historical curiosity. It makes it stunningly relevant for people who care about the theater…and less so for people who don’t. Luckily, [even casual theatergoers can be] hooked by the magnetic performance of LaChanze.
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T
November 24th, 2021

‘Trouble in Mind’ is a curious curio. It’s a rather uneven play, the dialogue can sometimes be clumsy or clichéd, and Charles Randolph-Wright’s sometimes overwrought direction is not a sine qua non of the art. Nevertheless, it holds a compelling socio-political-historical place as a prescient work reminding us of how many of today’s hot-button issues were just as disturbing then as they are now…LaChanze…wrings her part for every ounce of comedy and drama in it, and also gets to show off her Broadway-level singing chops.
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