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"Several interesting moments emerge here. To get to them, however, requires patience, even for a show that runs just over an hour…What begins with energy — the first scene is anxious and involving — loses steam once that trial starts. The script, by Barry Malawer, teases at complex moral questions and the possibility of a did-he-do-it plot. Yet revelations and details are kept scarce, and Mr. Malawer passes up chances to bolster the tension." Full Review
"An excellent piece of theater...This poignant drama explores the subjects of police brutality and racial tensions. With a superbly written script and extraordinary direction, the play's talented cast will keep you throughly captivated...'Dead Dog Park' presents multiple perspectives of a complex social issue that has taken center stage in America's news cycles and political debates. It is a play that should be seen by everyone to encourage an essential discourse about civil rights." Full Review
"While the play sounds as if it could be torn from tomorrow's tabloids, it is neither an indictment of police brutality nor the opposite; nor is it a thriller. It is a taut, provocative drama of ideas...While keeping our attention for a rapid and never-lagging seventy minutes, Malawer and Tucker also stun us—late in the action—with a grand theatrical surprise. All told, 'Dead Dog Park' is an intriguing, topical and thought-provoking piece of drama." Full Review
"A tough, taut drama, filled with some of the least sentimentalized characters in recent memory...In Eric Tucker's diamond-hard staging, five members of the company of six are omnipresent on stage...Malawer provides a complete and honest inventory of the collateral damage involved...This is a play that will stimulate many a conversation; for that alone, it's worth seeing." Full Review
"The play’s subject of police brutality toward black victims couldn’t be timelier even though its issues of guilt and responsibility are deliberately left ambiguous...We become immersed in the murkiness of the tragic events and each character’s response, before, during, and after the trial...Eric Tucker handles the multiple scenes and locales in his cleverly minimalist way." Full Review
"Mr. Tucker includes the audience into the decision-making process and challenges the audience to grapple with the play’s themes...Playwright Malawer offers more questions than answers and engages the audience in the maelstrom of crime and punishment...An important piece of theatre that engages the audience in the thrilling matrix of ideas and enduring questions that will somehow determine the quality of life in our collective future." Full Review
"Minimally staged but tautly performed by a polished cast, the play draws its impetus from the hyper-politicized climate in which clashes between white policemen and black civilians have come under intense public scrutiny...The play offers no easy answer to the question of culpability...The most compelling character is the young man's mother, a working single mom, exquisitely and honestly portrayed by Eboni Flowers with a mixture of anger, weary frustration, and gritty determination." Full Review
"Malawer tackles the social and economic fallout of residual racism, the unjust legal system, police brutality, and the travails of law enforcement by focusing on this incident and plunging it into uncertainty...The ensemble works well to reveal the measure of anxiety, pain and suffering...Though there are some minor slow spots...overall the production hits its mark. 'Dead Dog Park' is an important play because of its powerful message and because of its undercurrents." Full Review
"'Dead Dog Park' is proof that theater can be vocal, aware, present, raging and engaging...[Director] Tucker unfolds the drama moment to moment, building up playwright Barry Malawer’s script towards its most heated exploration of justice...Tucker weaves poetry out of moments of stillness, then unleashes heartbreak within a single sentence. He effectively raises the tension, creating an aura of anticipation, keeping the cast – and the audience’s – nerves raw." Full Review
"In lean, believable dialogue, playwright Malawer captures the conflicting perspectives of his characters...Director Eric Tucker has assembled a highly competent cast...Five of the six actors are kept on stage throughout the play...This directorial choice emphasizes the fact that each person ensnared in the catastrophe in Washington Heights is destined to remain entangled with the others...The result is fierce momentum and a degree of poignancy that the drama wouldn't have otherwise." Full Review
"Director Eric Tucker has done a terrific job in making no one in the play truly likeable, though all are sympathetic, which is ideal considering the overall message...You don’t walk away from 'Dead Dog Park' feeling good about what you saw even though what you saw was well done. It handles important issues well and makes you look at them more deeply than you might have when you first sat down in the theater." Full Review
"With everything stripped away, the actors are left to rely on their rawest emotions and instincts. The results are effective, and Tucker has crafted a production which is brimming with vulnerability from the small cast of six...'Dead Dog Park' is a powerful new play which is full of empathetic and complex characters. Backed by outstanding direction from Eric Tucker, this minimalist production addresses a touchy issue which is all too relevant to the times at hand." Full Review
"This ensemble cast is nothing short of exemplary and the script by Barry Malawer is powerfully bold in its construction of character-driven, intelligent dialogue...Eric Tucker deserves accolades for nurturing such compelling performances from his top-notch cast and creatively staging the action. All involved with this production should feel pride...If one play deserves to makes the jump from Off-Broadway to Broadway this year, it should be 'Dead Dog Park.'" Full Review
"There isn’t much to criticize in terms of character development, either in the script or in the efforts of the more-than-game cast...Because 'Dead Dog Park' forces us to view this conflict from the perspective of a presumed-innocent white police officer, we are then forced to ask of it: why?...There is a reactionary danger in asking a mostly-white Manhattan audience to side with the white authority figure." Full Review
"Malawer's dialogue is precise and curt, though at times inevitably bordering on cliché…The six-person cast delivers a first-rate performance, sustaining the story's compelling pace…Tucker knows how to get the most of a story told with a small cast…The result: a story that would normally take much more time to be told in a traditional production unfolds at a break-neck pace, often affecting intense raw passion. And the result is a memorable play." Full Review
See it if you are interested in a taut drama, where everything is not tied up with a pretty bow. Great staging by Eric Tucker. The ensemble, sublime.
Don't see it if you do not like thought-provoking drama.
See it if you enjoy stripped-down thought/emotion pieces with relevant subject matter
Don't see it if you like comfort. The subject matter, the conversations between characters, and the pauses for effect are all purposefully uncomfortable.
See it if you are a die-hard Bedlamite. There are some strong performances and a few nice staging moments.
Don't see it if you haven't seen Bedlam's Sense and Sensibility yet. This play is an ernest and well-intentioned but obvious and ham-fisted.
See it if you're looking for great acting, writing, and staging and want to leave the theatre thinking about what you saw
Don't see it if you don't want to see another drama looking at our prejudices and where everyone's empathy stops, regardless of how compelling it may be
See it if -you like theater to spark discussions on relevant social issues. -you like intense acting and beautiful picturesque direction
Don't see it if -your looking for a 'black' POV to police brutality issues. Script fell short of being fully realized in voice for 'black' teenager and mom.
See it if You enjoy well acted and thought provoking dramas that leave you thinking about the show, hours after you've left the theatre.
Don't see it if You're in denial about racism still existing in 2016.
See it if you would like to be totally absorbed in what's going on in the play. This show is awesome!
Don't see it if you're looking for a comedy --- but even if you generally prefer comedies, this show is so good that you should see it anyway!
See it if you want to see something very well done: arresting story, excellent acting, innovative staging, crisp dialogue. Constantly surprising.
Don't see it if you're looking for production value. It's quite stripped-down, but the simplicity serves the script & only makes the action more immediate.
See it if you are a Bedlam fan (which if you are not you should be) and want a current topic (race relations) addressed well in the theatre.
Don't see it if race relations and thinking are not your thing
See it if You're looking to be moved by riveting theater that engages your imagination and stimulates conversation.
Don't see it if You're looking for a good comedy.
See it if You want to believe every moment and want to be trusted to understand a profoundly relevant story being told in a minimalist style.
Don't see it if You care about all the trimmings of realistic sets and props and you don't want your biases challenged.
See it if You enjoy a thoughtful playwright's interpretation of a revealing, riveting story of social imbalance and its psychological impact.
Don't see it if The subject matter is reminiscent of something too close to home...
See it if You enjoy being drawn into a timely story that will leave you affected by the experience. Expertly written, staged and acted.
Don't see it if You are not a fan of great writing, acting and staging.