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LaBute New Theater Festival 2018

From 26 member  reviews
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. More…

In 'Hate Crime,' a man plots the murder of his fiancée with his lover. In 'Winter Break,' a politically charged brother ignites a firestorm over his sister’s choice to convert to Islam. In 'Percentage America,' a couple on a first date, hoodwinked by each other’s dating profile, parse a story on the local evening news for “alternative facts.”

Member Reviews (26)


Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
Avg Score

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.


See it if You enjoy short one act plays.

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

Also I scored hate crimes a 52. Winter break and 80 and percentage America ... Read more Read less

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.

Also Percentage America by Carter W. Lewis is among the finest plays I have... Read more Read less

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.

Also The actors deserved better. The men even had to double as stagehands b... Read more Read less

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.

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!

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.

Also LaBute's work look like a rough treatment for a series. And the festiv... Read more Read less

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.

Great acting, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if The LaBute show the best of the three.Full of tension, manipulation and good acting. Second show, Winter Break very timely subject matter.

Don't see it if You don't like three unrelated one act plays.

Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Short plays with thought-provoking insights. At least 1 of the 3 will leave you with something to talk about. Intimate theater setting.

Don't see it if You are a perfectionist.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Three timely one-act plays. Phenomenal acting and engaging storylines. Bravo!

Don't see it if Small theaters.

Engaging, great cast, humorous, fresh

See it if You enjoy fine theatre. All three plays are entertaining but my favorite was Winter Break.

Don't see it if You don’t like cliff hanger endings

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Edgy, Intelligent

See it if Great short plays. Loved it!!!

Don't see it if Unfortunately I saw it on the last day. If you didn’t catch it, give it a try next year

Great acting, Must see, Intense, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if Entertaining and fast paced. Very talented cast, paying multiple roles. Very enjoyable

Don't see it if Small theatres are an issue for you

Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if Three well acted and well written short plays, all of which give some food for thought. My favorite was the second, Winter Break.

Don't see it if Discussions on homosexuality, religion and politics make you uncomfortable

Also All four actors were great. Spencer Sickmann is excellent and I forese... Read more Read less

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Must see, Intense

See it if you want to see something new, edgy, different, well written and well acted

Don't see it if Are looking for a musical. I saw this tonight and loved it, but it is totally outside the box

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you want a quick paced, fun yet thought-provoking night out at the theatre

Don't see it if Never mind. Just go. Live performances are always better than staying home binging on Netflix.

Good showcase, good scripts, good actors, fun evening

See it if You you crave something fresh and unexpected. A fun evening that left me hungry for more

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy cliff hanger endings

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you want to be entertained by a talented group of actors performing three cleverly written short plays in a cozy venue.

Don't see it if you are not ready for something other than big budget Broadway musicals

Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you love great theater written by emerging playwrights, performed by one our Nation's finest small professional theater Companies.

Don't see it if there is not a reason not to see it, you should support new works.

Biting, funny, sharp dialogue, intimate, timely

See it if you want to feel like you are practically inside three short and captivating plays. Impressive new talent. Last two plays were great!

Don't see it if you had a long day and think you might doze off... The theatre is so small that the actors will be able to see it!

During previews
3 one-act plays, One overwrought, one cliched, one fresh, Some very good actiing, some less, Strong, engaging topics

See it if You like to see what's in the dramatic pipeline. Two of these are good enough in the hard-edged Labute tradition, one quite fresh in subject

Don't see it if & sensibility. Performed in repertory by a quartet of able actors in a very small space.

During previews
Confusing, Preachy, Rambling, Cramped, Disappointing

See it if you like one-acts dealing with topical events in such a way that you can be ensured to make wittier, savvier comments offstage afterwards.

Don't see it if you're someone who can comfortably say, "I've never seen a Neil LaBute play I haven't liked." I was that person and am that person no more.

During previews
Entertaining, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you are up for something different and entertaining. A fun night out! Talented cast and three absorbing short plays. Very entertaining!

Don't see it if you must have happy endings.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant

See it if in the mood for three very different vignettes — all well written, engaging and powerfully performed. Very timely and very good acting.

Don't see it if religion, homosexuality, swearing and political satire might offend you.

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 ...
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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 lab...
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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 pro...
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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’ c...
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