LaBute New Theater Festival 2018
Midtown E
74

LaBute New Theater Festival 2018 NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(26 Reviews)
Positive
77%
Mixed
12%
Negative
11%
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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Member Reviews (26)

65
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.

57
Disappointing

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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January 15th, 2018

“’Hate Crime': The only reason for this modest exercise in, perhaps, social presumptions, is to watch Sickman inhabit his character. Facial expressions are priceless. Timing is impeccable. Even the way the actor holds himself is entirely, specifically credible...’Winter Break’: The situation is plausible, well written, and unnerving...’Percentage America’ wryly examines the elusive search for truth...This play deserves further exposure...Director is better with blocking than emotional shades.”
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January 16th, 2018

“The current trio of offerings provide two very strong entries and one that isn’t. It’s the short-form champion’s own curtain-raiser that is the disappointment...’Hate Crime’...A serious malfunction that suggests Pierson hasn’t worked out the kinks with the author...’Winter Break’...Benefits from a forceful dose of realism...The dialogue is painfully real...’Percentage America’...A piece that’s different in tone and ambition...Satire set in contemporary, internet-influenced America.”
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January 15th, 2018

"The subtle brilliance of LaBute’s script, brought to life by these fine performances and John Pierson’s slick staging, is in making these men totally recognizable even in their monstrousness...Both of the other two one-acts on the bill are built around wonderful ideas, and both fail to play out entirely successfully...'Percentage America' starts with a compelling idea and falls short of blossoming...Halfway through, I was lost; I didn’t know what was happening anymore."
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January 18th, 2018

“The energy seldom lags, and all three cherry-picked one acts are provocative, timely and adroitly crafted...‘Hate Crime’...The dynamic between coolly predatory leader and eager protégé is expertly mined for both laughs and chills...‘Winter Break’...The action stalls somewhat...When it’s cooking, though, Haigney’s intelligent script shows remarkable insight and compassion...‘Percentage America’...Lewis’s razor-sharp satire...The story speeds to its dark, and unexpectedly touching, conclusion."
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January 15th, 2018

“‘Hate Crime’…Far more a study of character and oblique commentary on contemporary mores than a piece that relies on plotting and conveniently tying up loose ends. ‘Winter Break’…The debate that rages feels entirely authentic and will provide food for thought for anyone with young adults in the family. ‘Percentage America’…A fresh and amusing look at a serious subject that, like the others in this Festival, will exercise theatre makers across the world over coming years.”
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January 15th, 2018

"Haigney’s 'Winter Break' stands head and shoulders above the other two...Haigney has done a superb job in depicting the alternative realities perceived by the three Khouris, and Schaschl, Dornfeld, and Sickmann are terrific at conveying their distinctively differing emotional states...LaBute’s 'Hate Crime', on the other hand, was disappointing...'Percentage America' by Carter W. Lewis, is based on a very clever series of conceits...But it doesn’t quite work."
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