Already closed | 1h 25m | West Village

American Moor (Red Bull Theater)

From 143 member  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. More…

From the show:

Keith Hamilton Cobb’s AMERICAN MOOR is the award-winning, tour-de-force new play that takes audiences behind-the-scenes and 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.

A passionate and poetic exploration, AMERICAN MOOR is an essential look at the experience and perspective of black men in America while challenging the capacity of theatre to make all people fully visible and embraced.

Member Reviews (143)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent
Avg Score

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.

Also For all that the writer tries to impart, for all the disparaging comme... Read more Read less

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.

Also Perhaps my expectations going into “American Moor” were too high. I ha... Read more Read less

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..

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, 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.

Intense, Disappointing, Too long, Angry, Slow

See it if Actor wanting to play Othello and the director coming head to head about it.

Don't see it if Its repeat it self over and over. It would have be more powerful shorter.

Passionate, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Great writing & acting by a charismatic & emotive Keith Hamilton Cobb; topical, heartfelt, angry & clearly personal.

Don't see it if quick moving play slows down to the point I found myself getting antsy; picks up again & takes us to a poignant, sobering ending.

Repetitive, Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Ambitious

See it if You want an interesting and relevant look at Othello through modern eyes. Phenomenal acting and great premise.

Don't see it if You don't know Othello or care about Shakespeare. A little repetitive which slowed it down at times.

Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Cliched, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you want to be berated for being white & not understanding a black actor's point of view & experiences; or you are black & want to be remind

Don't see it if you have enough of this experience and don't need to be harangued.

Must see, Pointed, Thought provoking+, Innerdialogue+, Monologue+

See it if you've ever auditioned or have been the auditioner, want to experience what isn't said at an audition or what a black American actor feels

Don't see it if don't want 2 empathize with what might be said, don't care 4 anything regarding Shakespeare, see Othello as non-problematic, want status quo

Intelligent, Contrived, Great writing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if ppl who play devil’s advocate set your teeth on edge. U hate softening a msg to appease the mainstream/not be dismissed as "angry minority"

Don't see it if want to feel transported; u r plagued w/ the double consciousness of how white ppl in particular will react to an adversarial black argument

Also Some predictable quips, but others come down like a hammer! Sharp reto... Read more Read less

Repetitive, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Insightful

See it if interested in theater;the role race plays in casting Othello; hearing different perspectives. Keith Hamilton Cobb is mesmerizing.

Don't see it if Have little interest in Shakespeare; don't care for what is essentially a one person show. Can get repetitive, but still holds your interest

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

See it if mostly solo* show about casting of African-American actors in Shakespearean plays; black actor's take on Othello vs. white director's

Don't see it if most of the monologues take place in the actor's head; some to a 'director' *- changes in lighting help to differentiate somewhat; much rage

Also *another actor playing the director stands in the aisle of the dark th... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you’d enjoy a frank examination of the preposterous belief of whiteness that it is the leading authority on every subject, even blackness.

Don't see it if your white fragility will not allow you to listen to a fair and needed critique of white nonsense. If you can listen you’ll learn AND laugh.

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if Cobb is excellent as an actor trying out for Othello with an extraordinary inner dialogue of what it means to be a man of color.

Don't see it if Do not see if you do not enjoy a solo performance.

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

See it if You have ever wondered what actors are actually thinking while auditioning . Is Shakespeare still relevant ? Short answer..yes.

Don't see it if You have no patience for actors and/or Shakespeare , but in that case you wouldn't have come to this show at all.

Also Actors who write and perform their own shows are sometimes vanity indu... Read more Read less

Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a brilliant actor tackle the subject of race, through the spectrum of auditioning for the role of Shakespeare's Othello.

Don't see it if you aren't open to hearing an illuminating story of one black man's plight as he attempts to audition for Shakespeare's Othello.

Also Keith Hamilton Cobb is AMAZING in this play about a black actor strugg... Read more Read less

Provocative, Repetitive, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if U want to see very good acting;are interested in an African-American actor's views of racism in American theatre.

Don't see it if u dislike one-person shows--the director's role is so small it is really a 1 person show; dislike repetitive shows and discussions of racism

Relevant, Powerful, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great concept

See it if If this was not all one note I would have been blown away--its an amazing concept but the hour and a half monologue was all rage and discord

Don't see it if there was just​ not enough nuance for me--I would have preferred more anecdotes and also would have liked to see the Shakespeare performed

Also in all the many myriad of ways described.

Eternally timely and relevant, Intense; at times riveting, Intense, commanding performance, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Up for a supremely talented actor using all his skill, craft, body & voice in his intense rumination of being black—& an actor in America.

Don't see it if Not into poetry, Shakespeare, racial issues, politics or the itinerant emotional life of an actor, particularly a classical one.

Also Kieth Hamilton Cobb commands the room and audience with quick changes ... Read more Read less

Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if Cobb, a terrific actor, tackling perceptions of race through the medium of auditioning to play the role of Othello. appeals to you. WOW!

Don't see it if you don't care for Shakespeare or the experience of being a Black man portraying Othello.

Relevant, Great acting

See it if You like 1 man monologues , Shakespeare and relevant discourse on race A Well acted rant

Don't see it if You want a traditional theater experience with sets and plot

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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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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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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