Little Rock
81

Little Rock NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(113 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
9%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious

About the Show

This new drama centers around the riveting true story of the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to attend their city’s formerly segregated central high school.

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Member Reviews (113)

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84
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You like shows that mix history, music and plot so you almost don’t notice that you’re learning about a very ugly part of our history.

Don't see it if You’re looking for something light and fluffy. This is ultimately full of hope and love but it’s a pretty dark ride getting there.

62
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if A melodrama made for tv. A story that goes many directions but does not stay focused.

Don't see it if Sporadic acting, a show that is not solid in script in that lack of focus, consistency.

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
July 3rd, 2018

“Viscerally affecting...This is activist theater...Maharaj lays everything on worrisomely thick and fast. Each character reads as two-dimensional...But the play gradually rights itself, and the complexity of the students and their situation comes into focus...Dialogue sometimes suffers from the show’s desire to educate, but Maharaj does a beautiful job of balancing heartache with just enough humor...Not a perfect play, but it is a deeply moving testament.”
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Theatermania
June 14th, 2018

"That research shows in this highly informative, tuneful, and heavy-handed show. You'll learn a lot about this pivotal moment in school desegregation, but perhaps not so much about how to craft an artful theatrical story line...Unfortunately, most of the acting is not fully fleshed-out, often verging on TV movie melodrama...Maharaj has attempted to stuff so much into two hours that beats feel rushed and unnatural...The most impressive aspect is the music."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 15th, 2018

“There's no point in pretending that this is a sophisticated or accomplished dramatic work...Poorly constructed, stubbornly failing to build dramatic excitement. The playwright, who also directed, struggles to realize the large cast of characters...The dialogue is loaded with obvious and redundant statements...Still, if the overall arc of the piece is awkward and sluggish, there are many moments that leave a searing mark on the audience.”
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Talkin' Broadway
June 14th, 2018

"The playwright Mr. Maharaj, who also directs, handles this difficult material with great skill and clarity, and he is most fortunate in his nine-member cast, who take on some 50 different roles between them and manage to make most of them come realistically to life as individuals...Problematically, though, the play starts to fill up with a number of tangential elements that distract from the main story and from the authenticity and realism that are its greatest strengths."
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TheaterScene.net
July 4th, 2018

"Not only is Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj's 'Little Rock' informative and enlightening, it also terrific theater and the playwright makes a great deal of information easily digestible. The recounting of the many incidents both dastardly and kindly build up to a very complete and dramatic picture of those turbulent days. Ultimately, the students seem tremendously heroic to have stuck out their trials and tribulations to the end of the school year."
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Theatre is Easy
June 16th, 2018

"As important as this history is to remember, it's not always dramatized here in the most effective way...Maharaj would have done better to focus on fewer students in more detail, so we could really get to know their stories. As it stands, we are just given snippets, not enough to get to know anyone on more than a superficial level...The musical moments are by far the most memorable, thanks to the voices of the cast members and Darryl G. Ivey's vocal arrangements."
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CurtainUp
June 18th, 2018

"Although inspiring and prompting reflection on the early Civil Rights Movement in America, it over-reaches itself and tries to shoehorn too many historical personages into two hours...The play gains more theatrical traction when it focuses on local community members...Ultimately the play is at its most powerful when it takes us inside the walls of Little Rock High School and allows us to glimpse racism in the raw...'Little Rock' gives you an authentic picture of the Little Rock Nine."
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Front Row Center
July 29th, 2018

“There is a lightness and frivolity that dominates this play that is out of keeping with the story...The script doles out incident after incident while the projections attempt to show the protesters and their signs that screamed segregation. None of this is convincing or particularly daring...In addition, we are missing why and how this situation happened to begin with...This story is an important one. Kudos to Maharaj for making a run at this. Too bad he wasn’t willing to scratch below the surface.”
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Broadway Blog
June 15th, 2018

"A disappointingly hackneyed play with music…For all its implicit drama, and the presence of a competent cast, 'Little Rock' never rises to the level of polished, professional theatre. The characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue superficial, the staging uninspired, some of the performances overwrought, and much of the humor juvenile…The material is as relevant as ever, making its closing number,…'We Shall Overcome,' still capable of stirring hearts and minds."
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Off Off Online
June 20th, 2018

"Under the direction of Maharaj, the performances are uniformly strong...The play is structured in the style of a living newspaper. That is, the text weaves narrative scenes with historical commentary, media accounts, and songs...Although 'Little Rock' is a play that should be seen, it has some serious drawbacks...overstuffed with songs and peripheral material and is too long...The playwright has not quite overcome is individualizing the students...The play certainly has contemporary resonance."
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Manhattan Digest
June 15th, 2018

“The actors play multiple parts and this deliberate convention does add an interesting layer to the production...Their depiction of teenagers was on the young side and some of the smaller parts were broadly played. The actors shone most prominently in the meatier, more emotional scenes...This play makes an extremely important contribution...It reminds of the ugliness of racism that unfortunately still exists today. This story and its passionate cast deserve an audience.”
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