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. More…
What began as their quest for a better education soon became a national crisis, igniting the passions of a divided country and sparking a historic fight for justice in the Jim Crow South. On the cusp of the civil rights movement, a changing world watched as these nine children from Arkansas battled for their rights with only books and pencils. At once harrowing and hopeful, 'Little Rock' brings urgently to life the Nine’s untold personal stories of challenge and resilience, conjuring memories of America not so long ago.
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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 ... Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
See it if visceral tale of a horrific chapter in our history thru beauty in voice, humor, staging, deft actors in mult. roles. Sadly, an open chapter
Don't see it if Do see it, forewarned that brutal, painful, deplorable actions & words are brought to life; feelings of shame, hope, revulsion, wonder await
See it if you enjoy wonderful actors telling the story of segregation in Little Rock Arkansas.
Don't see it if You are a bigot, do not care about manners of humanity or only like light and fluffy theatre.
See it if If you are interested in learning about the history of the Little Rock 9. If you want a compelling, important story.
Don't see it if If you are sensitive to realistic portrayals of the early days desegregation in the South.
See it if you like seeing brave courageous children doing brave and historical events. The show should be shown in every high school in the country.
Don't see it if you are a fuddy-duddy racist who does not appreciate historical events shown on a day-day basis.
See it if you are interested in the history of civil rights from the 50s and 60s. You want to see something serious, inspiring and heartbreaking.
Don't see it if You only like fluff. You are not interested in civil rights, racism, or history.
See it if If you like historical events being retold. The acting was great and really tugged at emotions. It's very relevant to today
Don't see it if You don't like historical events being retold. Things get real and emotional.
See it if If you like historically relevant plays. Although I knew the story, seeing it presented, is so emotional and makes it real.
Don't see it if You do not like serious plays depicting deplorable historical events. This should be required viewing for ALL junior & high school students.
See it if You are interested in US racial history and segregation. It was eye opening to see the amount of baseless hatred occurring not that long ago
Don't see it if You aren’t interested in that period of history or may be triggered by the violence and hatred that existed (and still does) in the US
See it if Enjoy historical plays that depict the real life anguish of the subjects with empathy and insight. Kudos to the cast and director
Don't see it if Only enjoys fluff. Not interested in unresolved historical issues that still Resonate today
See it if you like historical dramas that reverberate with present times. riveting, hard to watch but told with humor and pathos.
Don't see it if you have no interest in serious stories or racial issues.
See it if You want to learn about the racism in our country in the late 50’s. This is very powerful with a very talented cast.
Don't see it if You want to see something light, happy and meaningless. Be aware that the n word is used a lot.
See it if you like historical stories about segregation coupled with some great strong voices.
Don't see it if you don't like smaller productions with actors playing several characters and uncomfortable circumstances surrounding race including slurs.
See it if you want to learn more about the feelings and reactions of the Little Rock 9 to their first year of integration.
Don't see it if you don't want to see white people at their worst. Occasional use of the N word.
See it if If you want to see some of what the Afro-American students had to endure while going to a mainly white school, and well acted.
Don't see it if If you do not care about the Afro-Americans.
See it if You want to view a good ensemble deliver history. See it if you are familiar with the story/ if you need to learn about this point in time.
Don't see it if If you are not interested in the Civil Rights Movement. HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT PART OF USA'S HISTORY.
See it if you enjoy historical reality. This was part of my history. The use of a National Army in the US is quite rare. The actors bring it to life
Don't see it if You need light entertainment.. NOTE: the A Capella singing is wonderful
See it if You are interested in American History in the mid 20th Century, especially concerning civil rights
Don't see it if I can not think of a reason not to see it unless you do not like music.
See it if want to have your vision enlarged by accessibly told narratives on difficult events in our national history. This story needs to be known.
Don't see it if you do not like serious shows that examine less-than-honorable behavior, preferring to restrict your theater diet to fluffy entertainment.
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