Downtown Race Riot
Downtown Race Riot

Downtown Race Riot NYC Reviews and Tickets

(102 Ratings)
Members say
Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Absorbing, Intense

About the Show

Chloë Sevigny headlines the New Group's world premiere drama which offers a snapshot of a time not so different than today, when a new social freedom ran smack into the forces of reaction.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (102)

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98 Reviews | 18 Followers
Intense, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You like character dramas tinged with comedy, enjoy seeing aspects of love and loyalty, like to see different aspects of “family” portrayed

Don't see it if You are not interested in race relations, are not open to the various struggles of the underclass, don’t care for ensemble theater Read more

92 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Edgy, Great writing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you like disturbing plays that capture what separates and unites us.

Don't see it if you prefer not to be challenged at the theater.

60 Reviews | 22 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Slow

See it if you're interested in a piece that doesn't romanticize the "gritty" days of New York.

Don't see it if you have a short attention span.

155 Reviews | 26 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if although imperfect, i was captivated throughout by this intimate and ambitious show. (and chloe sevigny did not disappoint!)

Don't see it if the fight choreography could've been tighter, but it was in previews...

567 Reviews | 151 Followers
Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing, Underrated

See it if Sevigny's brand of passive aggression is on full display is this druggy '70s dysfunctional family. Elliott's direction is superb. O'Neill?

Don't see it if Rather odd set too large for space. Casual nonchalant drug addiction by Mother Chloe. Brief unrealisticlly threatening violence at the end.

224 Reviews | 42 Followers
Edgy, Intense

See it if Your a fan of Chloe Sevigny and willing to sit through a rough and tumble play. Reminded me of Eugene O'Neil in some ways.

Don't see it if A raw play with hostile characters is a turn off and a very hard sit through.

683 Reviews | 161 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if or a loved one has a problem with recreational drugs, or have the courage to look at a broken family unit under pressure.

Don't see it if only like to see plays that tell stories that can only be told in the theater: this is gripping TV drama done live, very live!

166 Reviews | 22 Followers
Great acting, Edgy, Intense

See it if if you like a gritty in your face drama,then you will enjoy this play.Acting was superior and quite believable.A very good production.

Don't see it if if you don't like plays about problems with drugs and somewhat questionable life styles.Problems abound in this play.

Critic Reviews (29)

The New York Times
December 3rd, 2017

"About as likely to raise your blood pressure as a homeopathic sleeping pill...You are likely to have felt your eyelids getting heavier and heavier...The action seems to be occurring at a hazy remove, as if it were operating according to sense memory...Sevigny exudes an air of defensive detachment...But it’s not always easy to tell how much her affectless mien is an acting choice and how much it comes from being infected by the somnolent rhythms of a leaden script."
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Time Out New York
December 3rd, 2017

"There was a black man among the attackers. It’s the most interesting aspect of 'Downtown Race Riot,' which otherwise indulges in clichés as liberally as Mary does heroin...The New Group’s subpar production—which includes comically on-the-nose design, unconvincing Noo Yawk accents and strangely slack staging by Scott Elliott—exacerbates the play’s flaws. Tension should mount as the onstage clock ticks down to riot time, but you’ll likely be counting the minutes until you can leave."
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December 8th, 2017

“’Riot’ concerns a smacked-out mother and her son and daughter, the former a lesbian except when she’s not; the latter a tough pretty boy who hangs with a group of mini-gangsters...I can’t recall another play in which every actor appeared to dread the words about to emerge from his or her mouth, and I can’t say I blame them. The performances under Scott Elliott’s uncharacteristically enervating direction are as halting as the writing is stilted.”
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December 7th, 2017

"Sevigny plays a sexy-hippie drug addict like a pro in Rosenfeld’s unfocused new play. But she also gracefully shows us the better side of her character...Rosenfeld can’t seem to focus his attention on a central character — and director Elliott can’t seem to do anything about that...Mary is such a compelling character that Rosenfeld is forced to confine her to her room and have her shoot up and nod off in order to concentrate on the other players in his muddled story."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 3rd, 2017

"The play never conjures up the sense of danger you associate with the period. Watching it is like walking through a seedy neighborhood in the middle of the night, only without the suspense...While its premise would seem to hold the promise of tension, the play is a listless affair marked by long stretches of tediously inconsequential dialogue. Rosenfeld's characters are never remotely interesting, and so we never come to care about them."
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December 3rd, 2017

"It's hard to argue against the authenticity of director Elliott's carefully designed and furiously acted production...Yet something about the play itself feels excessive...Sevigny embodies the tension between her self-image as a hippie earth mother and her reality as a junkie...Resulting in a performance that veers wildly between nuanced and completely over-the-top. That's true for the rest of the actors as well...Elliot aims for gritty social realism, but too often lands in sensationalism."
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December 12th, 2017

“Despite its provocative title, and despite a game effort by director Elliot’s ensemble cast, Rosenfeld’s fact-inspired drama ‘Downtown Race Riot ‘ is a bit of a bore...There's a full-out brawl in the apartment involving almost everyone, during which Sevigny gingerly taps someone on the head with a break-away bottle, causing it to shatter. Given the cliched characters and flat dialogue, that was pretty much the dramatic highlight.”
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Lighting & Sound America
December 4th, 2017

"Succeeds as both a tense drama and a flavorful slice of Greenwich Village life in the bad old 1970s....Rosenfeld's writing thoroughly captures the temper of the times...Elliott's production abounds in good performances...Those seated in the left and right sections -- especially in the first couple of rows -- will be forced to crane their necks constantly just to get a glimpse of what is going on...Eminently worth seeing. Just be careful about where you sit."
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