LaBute New Theater Festival 2018
LaBute New Theater Festival 2018

LaBute New Theater Festival 2018 NYC Reviews and Tickets

(26 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the Show

St. Louis's one-act festival returns to 59E59 with a new lineup including the New York premieres of 'Hate Crime' from Neil LaBute, 'Winter Break' by James Haigney, and 'Percentage America' by Carter W. Lewis.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (26)

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522 Reviews | 150 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You are a serious fan of new, edgy drama. You love short plays that pack huge amounts of content into short periods of stage time.

Don't see it if You are looking for laughs. Not one of these plays is a comedy ! You don’t enjoy plays whose themes are painful to watch. Read more

555 Reviews | 85 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like short plays, well acted, that make you think.All 3 were really worth seeing.The last was my favorite.All were well written.

Don't see it if you don't like 1 act plays. I love them when they are tight and have something to say.All 3 of these did that. Go see 'em!

440 Reviews | 126 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you are a Labute fan; some of the pieces better than others, but all well written and interesting; good dialogue and quirky plots.

Don't see it if you want comedy, PC subject matter, a uniting theme.

749 Reviews | 237 Followers
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Indulgent, Edgy

See it if Three satires with creative risk taking and something to say. 1. Gay relationships: 75. 2. Islamophobia: 80. 3. Fake news: 40.

Don't see it if All three dark comedies are intended to make you squeamish. The fake news play fell flat and made me cringe.

274 Reviews | 601 Followers
Labute's work was poorly written, 3 ones acts., Poorly directed

See it if Spencer Sickmann was wonderful. Thank goodness, because the writing was eh, and the direction was awful. 3 new works that needed guidance.

Don't see it if You don't want you under 2 hours to feel long. Don't like new works. Mind weak acting and poor direction. Read more

613 Reviews | 114 Followers

See it if You enjoy short one act plays.

Don't see it if You are expecting the normal edgy LaBute type plays Read more

472 Reviews | 118 Followers
Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if you really, really like one-act plays even when they offer no insights and wear out their welcome rapidly.

Don't see it if you don't like stale, repetitive, half-baked material with little saving grace. Read more

283 Reviews | 23 Followers
Poor writing, Slow

See it if You're interested in seeing new works debut or you're really into one act collections.

Don't see it if You don't want to watch actors struggle through 3 poorly written and aimless new plays with no through-line or cohesion.

Critic Reviews (14)

January 17th, 2018

“Superbly directed by John Pierson...Theatergoers who look forward to the annual festival will not disappointed...Each of the three pieces presents audiences with an opportunity to see engaging theater with an excellent cast...The creative team has done a top job...An outstanding opportunity for all those who enjoy fine theater."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 16th, 2018

“The LaBute New Theater Festival consists of entries that...focus on high-concept premises and plot twists...'Hate Crime’ is ‘Double Indemnity’ with an all-male cast...’Winter Break’ consists of endless circular conversations...’Percentage America’...Consists of an unconvincing idea pushed to laborious extremes...An unimpressive lineup, with all three plays weighed down by thinly drawn characters and plots that don't really track."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 14th, 2018

"It's not that LaBute's piece, 'Hate Crime' eschews sex and power...It's just that the playwright has nothing new to say about either of them...Fortunately, the actors, as well as the festival's director John Pierson, fare much better with the evening's other two entries...Both of these plays provide fresh takes on topical issues...What makes the evening worthwhile is the opportunity to see the well-constructed, thought-provoking, and original works by Mr. Haigney and by Mr. Lewis."
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January 16th, 2018

"All smartly written, crisply staged, and delightfully performed...'Hate Crime'. LaBute skillfully dusts off this old film noir premise...Haigney’s engrossing 'Winter Break'. This culture clash includes funny jokes...and fierce debates...A divorcée and pharmacist...are on a first date in Lewis’ comical though somewhat convoluted 'Percentage America'...Pierson has staged all three works with thoughtfulness and strong pacing that realizes the dramatic and comedic aspects of each.”
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Theatre is Easy
January 30th, 2018

"While 'Hate Crime' features excellent acting and some compelling dialogue, it fails to reach the level of quality seen in LaBute's other works...Haigney wisely leaves 'Winter Break' ending open to interpretation, giving some fresh juice to a well-trodden topic...'Percentage America' is a timely work, echoing the sad state of affairs of 'fake news' and biased, untrustworthy reporting. All three actors maximize the power and humor of Lewis's script."
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Front Row Center
January 17th, 2018

“The first and most compelling play is by LaBute...LaBute lets his language and its rhythms guide us along...’Winter Break’ is the overwritten story of a college student...'Percentage America' almost succeeds...These are able actors, but they are hindered in some cases by the scripts which make them work too hard; in other cases by Pierson’s direction which is unimaginative – the action is stilted and the actors’ shining moments are random and disconnected.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
January 14th, 2018

“In past showcases featuring LaBute plays, his have usually been the most sharply honed. Not so in this one, which leads off with his mediocre ‘Hate Crime,’ about two anonymous gay men who are plotting a murder…More dramatically satisfying, and socially relevant, is James Haigney's ‘Winter Break,’ which deals with a situation one can actually imagine taking place in an American household…In ‘American Percentage,’ the potential…is strong but the treatment…isn't as funny as it seems to think it.”
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Gotham Playgoer
January 21st, 2018

"Unfortunately, not only has the number of plays diminished, but the quality has gone down as well. Not one of this year’s plays could be called a success...'Percentage America' is the most ambitious play, but unfortunately trips over its attempts at satire...It is disheartening to think that these are the three best plays they could find for this year’s festival. The acting could best be described as competent."
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