Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge
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Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge

Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge NYC Reviews and Tickets

(30 Ratings)
Members say
Slow, Relevant, Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious

A dramatization of the historic debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (30)

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139 Reviews | 12 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in a reenactment of the famous debates. If you want a short play, with great acting,

Don't see it if If you want huge sets or a giant cast. If you don n’t like historic re-enactments.

461 Reviews | 238 Followers
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if The year is 1965.The place is CU|UK.The event is the hottest debate of the period bet J Baldwin&W Buckley. And you are there. Strong acting*

Don't see it if *on a bare stage. You may get offended by the N-word though I guess that is the way some people talked at that time. Read more

1145 Reviews | 461 Followers
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy Elevator Repair Service. This is one of their less clever-more straightforward pieces. Only a few moments of odd genius show thru.

Don't see it if You’re not in the mood for a debate style lecture about race. Very interesting to see that practically nothing has changed (surprised?). Read more

373 Reviews | 88 Followers
Concise, Resonant, Relevant, Clean and simple, Great acting

See it if you like reenactments of historical happenings in which the words come from the original source. The debate is intellectual and still timely

Don't see it if you want to see a big spectacle show with lots of scenes and plot twists. This is very concise and basic.

85 Reviews | 7 Followers
Reenactment, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if want to see a live reenactment of an important 1965 debate, demonstrating that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Don't see it if a word-for-word reenactment of this historical event (save for the last ~5 minutes) wouldn't give you bang for your buck. Read more

254 Reviews | 114 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Slow, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if If you like verbatim style theatre about relevant issues. Minimalist production gets right to the point of debate about race.

Don't see it if It felt like they didn’t have the rehearsal that ERS usually do? Pace was surprisingly slow. I liked the end, but I wish it were clearer.

623 Reviews | 97 Followers

See it if Unfortunately, debate's issues are just as relevant 57 years later to hear. Further drives the point that it may be forever to get better

Don't see it if Format is confusing with some recordings and additional speakers, additional scene is unclear, breaking of the 4th wall to present. Read more

90 Reviews | 16 Followers
Cliched, Ambitious, Clever

See it if Social justice shows touch you

Don't see it if You are racist

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
October 3rd, 2022

"What 'Baldwin and Buckley' does provide feels both dense and thin, with the translation from transcript to theater incomplete."
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October 2nd, 2022

" 'Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge' at least avoids the trap of preaching to the choir, giving Buckley's argument its full hearing in its very best form."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 5th, 2022

“The Cambridge debate offers a clarifying view of the original sin, built into this country's DNA, with which we are still coming to grips. At one point, Baldwin refers to Robert Kennedy's remark that in four decades we might see a Black president. ("And that sounded like a very emancipated statement, I suppose, to white people," he adds, witheringly.) That milestone has come and gone, only a couple of years after Kennedy's projected due date. Indeed, we've had our Black president. And yet, here we are.”
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Talkin' Broadway
October 6th, 2022

"As theatre, 'Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge' may lack urgency, but the impossible task of creating an equitable and accepting society remains as crucial as ever. And we must demand it."
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New York Stage Review
October 3rd, 2022

"Better to recall that the memorable Cambridge debate also happened and is importantly remembered here in only slightly compromised form."
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New York Stage Review
October 3rd, 2022

"If your goal is to savor Baldwin’s response, mull it over, plumb its depths, you may need to resort to the historical record or better yet YouTube, where the exchange is preserved for posterity."
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October 14th, 2022

Like "Lesson in Survival: 1971" which recreated the James Baldwin/Nikki Giovanni interview that had appeared on the television show “Soul!,” the question arises is this a play. Whether it is or it isn’t, it is definitely a theatrical experience and an historical one besides. It is not for those looking exclusively for entertainment but instead the heady play of ideas. It requires a good deal of concentration and those who follow its arguments will be greatly rewarded as to the question of race in America.
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Theater Pizzazz
October 6th, 2022

"The power of watching this debate is that we are there, live, in the audience. The house lights are on throughout the debate, and we soon come to realize that we are an essential part of the event."
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