American Moor (Red Bull Theater)
Closed 1h 25m
American Moor (Red Bull Theater)

American Moor (Red Bull Theater) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(143 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

About the Show

This drama takes audiences into the audition room as an African-American actor responds to the demands of a white director presuming to better understand Shakespeare’s iconic black character, Othello.

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Member Reviews (143)

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Cliched, Repetitive, Slow, Contradictory, Great acting

See it if You want to see a solid performance of a myopic text.Cute use of pedantic wording to try to give a vague Shakesperean ambiance to the script

Don't see it if The writing is very repetitive and often contradictory and hypocritical. Read more

Overly long, Great acting

See it if You enjoy 1 person shows and themes dealing with race.

Don't see it if You dislike 1 person shows. This one felt like it was a little too long.

Angry, Excruciating, Slow, Relevant, Indulgent

See it if Mostly a monologue, that attempts to draw a parallel between African American struggle for self-expression, and the Othello character.

Don't see it if Repetitive one-dimensional soliloquy by a resentful aging actor, who wants more creative freedom, spurred to rage by a bad director.

Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Author/actor Cobb dominates this semi-solo evening of performing Shakespeare's Moor in today's 'woke' environment Illuminating & powerful

Don't see it if Justifiable or not, Cobb's righteous anger often overwhelms the piece to a point of alienation It becomes as toxic as Othello's own jealousy

Lecture-like, Heartfelt, Pedestrian

See it if you need to see every consideration of the character Othello or the relationship of today’s black actor to the historically problematic role

Don't see it if you’re expecting deep insight into the character Othello or the relationship of the contemporary black male actor to the problematic role. Read more

Dramatic, Intelligent, Edgy, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy expanding your perception of material that you believed you knew. This is a study of acting, being Black in American and Othello.

Don't see it if you don't know & are not interested in knowing Othello. You are looking for a light entertainment. You don't like a challenge.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if A one man outstanding performance by the writer himself. So relevant today re: past treatments of plays. Who is the real Othello ??????

Don't see it if Really a one person show. although another actor is involved Racial problems tackled..

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

See it if You want a social commentary on Othello as is pertains to historic & contemporary race relations. You want an insider look at auditioning.

Don't see it if You want a lighter play. You're not interested in race studies and/or acting process stories. You want to see a full production of Othello.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
September 8th, 2019

"In ‘American Moor,’ an Insider’s Guide to ‘Othello’: A new play argues that no one knows more about Shakespeare’s great tragedy than a man “born black in America.”
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Time Out New York
September 10th, 2019

4/5 Stars "Cobb is as compelling a dramatist as he is a thespian; the play is disquieting, perceptive and often bitingly funny. Having spent more than 30 years trying to appease others, Cobb demands that the members of his audience, especially the white ones, see him and meet him where he stands."
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AM New York
September 8th, 2019

3/4 Stars "Keith Hamilton Cobb delivers a compelling turn in this deeply felt meditation on Shakespeare and racism."
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September 10th, 2019

"Seeing Othello Through a Black Actor's Eyes in American Moor: Keith Hamilton Cobb's play about theater and race in America has its New York premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre."
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September 15th, 2019

"Keith Hamilton Cobb's Breathtaking Exploration Of American Theatre's Intrinsic Racism, 'AMERICAN MOOR': A black actor, a white director, and a character named Othello"
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Lighting & Sound America
September 9th, 2019

"Cobb's text and performance, especially as guided by the director, Kim Weild, expands the argument in a way that implicates us all…as this remarkably rich and rewarding evening hurtles toward its wrenching conclusion, Cobb makes us see the absurdity -- and the resultant sheer waste -- of our failure, after so many years, to hear what must be heard."
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New York Stage Review
September 8th, 2019

3/5 Stars "Keith Hamilton Cobb Turns an Othello Audition Red Hot: The playwright/actor questions how effective any understanding between the races can be"
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September 16th, 2019

“Cobb is titanic in this piece bringing his resonant voice and impressive physical presence to bear on the most famous classic role for a Black actor in the canon as well as his thoughts about race and the theater.”
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September 14th, 2019

"There's a white man sitting in the audience taking notes at this 'American Moor'"
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Front Mezz Junkies
September 15th, 2019

"A dissection and dissertation of America as a whole, and our communal understanding of a strong African American male bursting force with anguished emotion, 'coming on like a stiff prick' making all those 'Mr. Director Man' characters wiggle uncomfortably in their seat."
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September 8th, 2019

"Mr. Cobb's almost-one-man-show is a trope, here an extended metaphor, for the pressing need for dialogue around the systemic racism. The playwright makes it clear that unless we take his cautionary tale seriously, we risk the opportunities for meaningful and transparent dialogue..."
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New York Theater
September 11th, 2019

"Journey towards understanding Othello, enhanced by Cobb's terrific performance… an exploration of the perilous, putrid waters even an experienced actor must navigate…shot through with what it's like to be a black man in America…ultimately feels like a staged argument."
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Broadway Blog
September 16th, 2019

“Burningly provocative…Speaking with ardent, even furious, authenticity, the actor uses an unusual mixture of ordinary discourse, earthy street talk, and polysyllabic, self-consciously polished rhetoric… The dice often seem a bit loaded to justify Keith's anger, frustration, and insights.”
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Off Off Online
September 19th, 2019

"The play toggles between the Director's comments and the Actor's thoughts. Watching Cobb makes it clear that he has the goods to play Othello. Strangely, his biography doesn't list it, although he's been Theseus and Oberon, Julius Caesar and Aufidius. Is the spur for this play his failure to be cast in the role? If so, what a missed opportunity."
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