Already closed | 1h 35m | East Village

Luft Gangster

From 16 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the show

Nylon Fusion Theatre Company presents this WWII drama based on the true story of U.S. Army Air Corps veteran Sgt. Lou Fowler, the cousin of playwright/star Lowell Byers. More…

After bailing out of his crippled B-24 bomber under heavy fire from German forces, waist gunner Lou Fowler is captured by the Nazis. Incarcerated along with other Allied fliers in an inhumane Nazi prison camp, Lou has to heal his own battle injuries as his captors treat him as just another ‘luft gangster’—a term Joseph Goebbels coined as propaganda to convince Germans that all American flyers were criminals released from prison in order to fight in World War II. In a time and place where men on both sides of the war were stripped of all things civilized and reduced to the bare essentials of life, where a single slip of the tongue could mean death, Lou has to rely on his faith to make it out alive. Directed by Tony nominee Austin Pendleton.

Member Reviews (16)


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

Made personal as the real daughter of the protagonist was sitting in front of me

See it if a small, intimate true tale of war and capture appeals. Characters were real and distinct and I committed to their story. Think Stalag 17.

Don't see it if A black box theater with 7 playing many is not your favorite meal. You want to know more about the Luft Gangsta propaganda.

Also It's really a winning cast and the audience was very much a part of th... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you appreciate a well-written and directed play about WW2 with a superb cast. Bravo to Byers who wrote and performs in this chilling tale.

Don't see it if you only enjoy comedies.

Great acting, Resonant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you are a history buff, like WW2 war stories, and are a fan of simple stagings but masterful intense and funny acting

Don't see it if you're dislike war stories (although it's really about camaraderie and perseverance), or you can't sit through 1h40min without intermission

Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great creative team!

See it if WWII stories. Interested in a real POW's personal story that will lead audience into the harsh survival realities of Allied POW's.

Don't see it if U dislike war stories & bothered by cruel captive treatment. U dislike intense drama although there are funny moments-humor for survival.

Also This is a simple clear story of US airman Lou Fowler captured by the N... Read more Read less

Great staging, Conventional

See it if you want to see a fairly straightforward WWII play with well-defined linear plot and good (if not particularly inventive) staging

Don't see it if if you prefer more daring and out of the way productions

Also This is generally competently staged and acted but doesn't really have... Read more Read less

Great acting

See it if you enjoy WW2 plays. It delicately begins to humanize many of the players in this chunk of history.

Don't see it if you want a more provocative play, or a more intense portrayal of WW2 POW, it is much more sensitive than that.

Absorbing, Great staging, Resonant, Must see, Ambitious

See it if You're looking to see a play based on true events in WWII. It really transports you to a different time and place.

Don't see it if I mean, if you have a taste for a tap musical tonight, maybe this isn't for you, but I believe we should all see this.

Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if It's definitely a good topic to explore on stage. Real life father and son (who is also the playwright) act together

Don't see it if It doesn't feel "real" to me. The reality must be way grimmer than this.

Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Epic, Disappointing

See it if you like stories of WWII, you like a mostly male cast, you like to see actors act.

Don't see it if you want a comedy, you want a well-paced show, you hate actors.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you're looking for a solid, well written and well acted drama about WWII.

Don't see it if no reason not to (oh wait except it's already closed and I'm a couple months late on reviewing it oops)

Entertaining, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You would enjoy a true, entertaining and vulnerable story about WWII POWs.

Don't see it if You would prefer a Hollywood, macho story with explosions

Riveting, Resonant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if Like dramatic intensity on stage

Don't see it if You can't handle war and holocaust stories

Great acting, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you like story about WW2 POW since its based on true story of Low Fowler. Great acting.

Don't see it if you dislike WW2 POW story, expect fancy props, big stage

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you are a history buff, love non-fiction and/or war stories (WWII).

Don't see it if you want to see a lot of female characters.

Intelligent, Masterful, Dated, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an excellent, unified show with a gripping story. Production company Nylon Fusion does their best work to date.

Don't see it if are afraid of WWII prison camp stories.

Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intense, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in American History, World War II, and stories about survival against the odds.

Don't see it if You're looking for a light musical comedy.

April 3rd, 2017
"Incisive direction of Tony Award winner Austin Pendleton...Authentic passages of dialogue in German, Slovenian, and Italian underscore the difficulty Allied soldiers had in communicating with the Europeans in their native tongues, contributing to their sense of displacement, alienation, and unce...
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April 4th, 2017
"Byers’ absorbing wartime drama...The story of Lou Fowler is vividly brought to life in 'Luft Gangster,' and directed with unflinching yet graceful flair by Pendleton...'Luft Gangster' becomes more riveting and engrossing as it progresses, slowly revealing its emotional center and taking great ca...
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April 17th, 2017
“This is a riveting and intense drama that reveals the tedium of being a POW and the different psychological and emotional coping mechanisms each individual prisoner uses to get through. The play builds in intensity and keeps the audience engrossed in the story and the ultimate fate of Louis ‘Lou...
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April 18th, 2017
“Austin Pendleton’s even touch as a director provides the right restraint and prevents the play from falling into melodrama and stereotypes…The depiction of both American POWs and Nazis is well rounded, and undercuts some of the broader stereotypes. Instead, the play unearths the subtler terrors ...
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