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"While 'Chokehold' most decidedly delivers a powerful message about racism in America, it equally focuses on issues of ethics, morality, and the nature of cold-blooded vengeance...This taut, 70-minute drama, so well acted under Tim Cusack's fine-tuned direction, eloquently captures the sense of unmitigated sorrow and helplessness that has gripped so many in this country, as day after day we witness the continuing racial strife and unfulfilled promises that haunt our history as a nation." Full Review
"This ensemble of six incredibly talented actors immediately creates a world of high-stakes tension...'Chokehold' is packed with twists and breathtaking moments, but overall provides a refreshing, honest look at a conversation ongoing since the summer of 2014...'Chokehold' packs just enough of this topical punch with nuanced character backstories and delicious moments of comedy to leave the audience feeling not overwhelmed, but determined to get down to business." Full Review
"Its reliance on outdated stock character and its lack of authenticity end up hurting a powerful concept...What we end up getting is a play trying too hard to be important, but not giving us any reason for it to be...The power of the plot is sucked away by a string of half-done moments...I felt drained and disappointed because this could have been a very important play, but it wasn’t...While there are good performances in the show, there’s not much I can recommend." Full Review
"No matter your beliefs, 'Chokehold' is a remarkable view inside the lives of people readily affected by this painstaking issue who are out to make a difference...The director, Tim Cusack, should be commended for taking such a huge issue in our country and still finding the humor in the text, in the actors and the beauty in each character's story...Overall, 'Chokehold' had everyone on the edge of their seats. This show is funny, provocative, honest and gut-wrenching all in one." Full Review
"Playwright Pennino’s characters are anything but one-sided in this issue. Delivered through a wise series of dialogue and back-to-back monologues, the affirmations and self-doubts swirl around the stage in an all-too-human fashion...Given the controversy of the topic, 'Chokehold' takes a multifaceted issue and puts it on display with as much fairness as is allowable at this point. Respectful, cool, and riveting, it provides the bipartisan discussion we so sorely need." Full Review
for a previous production "'Chokehold' is a provocative topical piece about racial injustice and the reactionary frame of mind...Pennino’s script is unafraid of causing a reaction and getting the audience to emote...The characters had depth and stories that were genuine and honest. Pennino allows right and wrong to play out in a fantastically dramatic fashion...The material is heavy...And the ensemble did an astounding job bringing truth to the stage...It’s a must-see." Full Review
See it if you are looking for a radical take on the #BlackLivesMatter movement that is intense but darkly funny.
Don't see it if you are upset by violence or not politically minded.
See it if You're not racist/conservative and understand the struggles with police brutality that many face
Don't see it if You're not interested in political theater, don't like the Black Lives Matter movement
See it if You want to see some incredibly skillful actors who shine despite the text they are working with.
Don't see it if You are interested in a play that actually adds something to the conversation surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.
See it if You enjoy contemporary pieces about modern societal topics such as racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and police brutality.
Don't see it if You're sensitive to issues of race or mentions of current political affairs, or are interested in a fun, lighthearted piece.
See it if you want to see an incredibly timely issue (race relations in the USA) explored through theatre, or if you want to see a young, fresh cast
Don't see it if you don't want to witness occasionally violent, vigilante mentalities through the characters or dialogue that doesn't always seem believable
See it if You like intense drama. It could have been set in todays world. I was totally absorbed.
Don't see it if If you like light theater. If you like things to be wrapped up nicely.
See it if You want to see a drama that examines a current issue -- police killings of POC -- in an out-of-box way. Challenges the audience to act.
Don't see it if Are looking for a light romantic comedy.
See it if If you're familiar with people like Nat Turner, and his rebellion, or if you're aware of the current plight of African-Americans in America.
Don't see it if Seeing violence is a deterrent; or if you're a person who has tunnel-vision & is uninterested in seeing the whole picture of Black struggle.
See it if You believe in everyone being treated fairly and equally. Don't agree that we live in a post-racial America.You're aware of police brutality
Don't see it if You hate small productions/minimal staging; youth; activists; those who are anti-police, racial issues. Saw this @ "Planet Connections" fest
See it if You like delving into current issues and exploring root causes. A passionate plea to explain some of the reactions to police brutality.
Don't see it if You avoid avant-garde plays with distressing themes and difficult dialogues.