Ends Oct 05 | 1h 25m | West Village

American Moor (Red Bull Theater)

From 103 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 (103)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent
82
Avg Score

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

See it if you want to see a well written, acted essentially solo piece dealing with the audition process thru the experiences of a black American man.

Don't see it if don't like solo autobiographical shows, don't like Shakespearean verse, not interested in racial issues within the theater audition process

Also This play had some very funny and some insightful moments. I really en... Read more Read less

70
Intense, Resonant, Relevant, Profound, Great acting

See it if you're sensitive to or curious about racial stereotyping in theatrical casting... or if you love Othello or Shakespeare in general.

Don't see it if you're not prepared to be yelled at for a good portion of the play. He's angry for good reason, but yeah, it's intense.

Also Up until the middle of this play I was following along and riveted. I ... Read more Read less

75
Intelligent, Clever, Great acting

See it if If you like one man show, if you are interested in race issues .

Don't see it if If you are looking for comedy, light subject.

83
Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if You can handle 90 minutes without intermission...welcome confrontational material about racism

Don't see it if You want light entertaining material and escape

78
Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy a (basically) one person show by a very accomplished actor which delves into important issues of race in casting.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy what is basically a one sided argument which sometimes feels like a polemic.

83
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like thwarted about the African American experience

Don't see it if You don’t like challenging theater

100
Impactful, visceral, necessary

See it if Want to see EXCELLENT writing and EXCELLENT acting. See it for the truth it speaks. You leave exhausted *for him* !

Don't see it if You are not where it's playing because EVERYONE should see this play in person.

Also This is the first play I have given 100 to. "American Moor" is so forc... Read more Read less

77
Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if If you enjoy good plays. Was very thought provoking. Acting was great.

Don't see it if If your looking for something light.

87
Banal, Must see, Relevant, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you like an intensive monologue reflecting the reality of theatres from a black actor's experience

Don't see it if you like shows with music and a lot of actors

78
Repetitive, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if ... if you are interested in issues of racism in America, enjoy one-man shows, and are okay with sometimes hyper-dramatic acting.

Don't see it if ... you like fluffy plays or dislike stripped-down productions. This play has one man onstage and one offstage, who has only a few lines.

Also The play may be more enjoyable if you’re familiar with Othello, but de... Read more Read less

82
Timely,, Ambitious

See it if Substantive and deeply felt about an important subject relevant to all of us.

Don't see it if You don't want to deal with race

62
Dated, Clever

See it if You like a bit of politically incorrect humor, but nothing too outrageous.

Don't see it if you're very easily offended.

100
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Must see, Profound, Masterful

See it if You want to leave the theater better than when you walked in.

Don't see it if If you are afraid of change in the theater community and change in the nation we live in.

During previews
80
Repetitive, Well staged, Strong acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to think abt race in Amer theater. Insights into racial barriers...and some well-spoken Shaksp verse. Effective set/gr lighting.

Don't see it if you want plot. AM is autobio study of Cobb's career/constraints on bl men. Some swearing/sexual content. Ambitious, provocative, a bit slow.

Also The racially diverse audience was behind Cobb. Lots of finger snapping... Read more Read less

During previews
86
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Insightful

See it if You want what is almost certainly a new way to look at...Shakespeare; African American actors; directors; Othello; masculinity; & much more.

Don't see it if Your well of empathy runs shallow.

Also There’s a lot to take in here and I’ll admit some of it stung. But it ... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Thought-provoking, Slow, Ambitious

See it if An interesting concept for a play. Bl actor wh director, the clashes, the cultural differences.

Don't see it if If you want a complete, good work all the way through. This one was slow at times and lost its way.

During previews
85
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Compelling, Absorbing

See it if u want to hear a thoughtful, cogent indictment of the unfair limitations, perceptions & expectations placed on black actors in the theater.

Don't see it if u don't brush up your Shakespeare; you want a play with a plot & an arc, as opposed to a one-man diatribe/opinion piece.

Also Although very well-written, the script does get repetitive & goes on a... Read more Read less

During previews
81
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy 1-person shows, an actor's relationship with Shakespeare & limited opportunities to perform, deeply personal & revelatory stories

Don't see it if Don't like one person shows, have no interest in seeing or performing Shakespeare, don't like Othello or learning about an actor's growth

During previews
67
Intense, Edgy, Disappointing, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if You like relevant discussions of the African American experience, as told through an actor’s eye.

Don't see it if You dislike solo(ish) shows that feel very “actory” and don’t so much tell a story as espouse a singular opinion for 90 minutes.

During previews
90
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Riveting

See it if you enjoy excellent acting by 1 person who has also written a splendid piece, loaded with much to think about as he cleverly helps you learn

Don't see it if you are not up to listening to a monologue that includes some interaction with a "director," individual thoughts and breaking the 4th wall.

During previews
91
Brave, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if In a confrontational power struggle, a white director with an upper hand, explains it all to an African-American actor interpreting Othello.

Don't see it if An Af-Am prez isn't permitted to flare, lest he suffer derision.Here, in the dramatic realm, the "Angry Black Man" trope is explored safely.

Also Brave is the writing choice & for all those who signed on as well.Brav... Read more Read less

During previews
87
Powerful, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate one of the most thought provoking plays in a long time.Very powerful performance. Will keep your attention riveted.

Don't see it if you enjoy comedy or less intense theater.

Also There is no let up in this powerful show. Very thought provoking which... Read more Read less

During previews
79
A little one-note, Needs some editing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Want to see the world thru another’s eyes. Interesting concept, nicely acted and staged. A challenging role in a play that goes on too long.

Don't see it if Don’t like solo shows, references to Shakespeare, know nothing about Othello, don’t want int. monologue of actor auditioning for a role.

During previews
85
Othello actor bristles at inane notes of white director

See it if Masterful performance of a black actor auditioning for a clueless white director. The anger of the black actor having to be repressed.

Don't see it if White theatergoers and theater professionals need to see Keith Hamilton Cobb demonstrate the effects of racism on the stage. Riveting

During previews
80
Intelligent, Clever, Ambitious, Well acted if a tad slow, Gorgeously written

See it if Racial politics in Acting is of interest. Some lovely bits of Shakespeare. I read it was 2h so felt long then ended at 95m. Was perfect.

Don't see it if You dont like swearing or racial politics or a basically one man show.


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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Cast & Creatives (3)