"Master Harold"...and the boys
Closed 1h 40m
"Master Harold"...and the boys

"Master Harold"...and the boys NYC Reviews and Tickets

(194 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Relevant

About the Show

Signature Theatre revives Athol Fugard's Tony-nominated drama about the insidious power of institutional racism. The playwright directs his seminal work.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (194)

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98 Reviews | 18 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You like plays with a compelling story arc that take you in an emotional journey, give insight into a culture, fully committed actors

Don't see it if You need a happy story, don't enjoy or follow dialects

65 Reviews | 10 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You appreciate a classic that still resonates with its poignant depiction of how white privilege destroys the souls of whites and blacks.

Don't see it if You don't like intense depictions of the pain of white racism or a well-acted revival of a classic Fugard play that still hits home. Read more

66 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see Fugard tenderly, but not sappily direct his most prominent work with pitch perfect acting in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if See it!! Read more

97 Reviews | 32 Followers
Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Relevant

See it if You like masterfully written dialogue and an important, absolutely relevant story for our times coupled with incredible performances!

Don't see it if not relevant. It's a show that must be seen. An important message in these troubled political times.

558 Reviews | 286 Followers
Stellar acting, A first-class revival of a contemporary classic, Resonant, Great writing, Thought provoking given what is happening in our society today

See it if you are interested in one of the best plays of the 20th Century. Great trio of actors. Very thought provoking given our recent election.

Don't see it if just see it! It is worth it!!

151 Reviews | 19 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You enjoy political theater and talented actors

Don't see it if You have problems with dialect as it takes a little while to get into the rhythm

290 Reviews | 92 Followers
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Profound, Masterful

See it if It's moving and much needed in these troubled times. Bring tissues and take it all in. Beautifully done. So moving.

Don't see it if If you want a lighthearted play.

65 Reviews | 10 Followers
Exquisite, Great staging, Intelligent, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a play with a "slow burn". The final punch to this show really comes as the lights fade to black and your mind starts turning.

Don't see it if You want a happy feel-good show or don't like shows with lots of layers to think about.

Critic Reviews (26)

The New York Times
November 7th, 2016

"As the sterling new production attests, this quiet drama remains a powerful indictment of the apartheid system and the terrible human cost of the racism it codified and legalized...Directed with care by Mr. Fugard himself...The emotional power of the play resides at first in the affection Sam shows toward Hally. Mr. Brown gives an understated and deeply touching performance...As the more juvenile Willie, Mr. Ngaujah is bubbly and likable...Mr. Robbins is superb, as well."
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Time Out New York
November 7th, 2016

"The 80-odd minutes that precede this bitter climax is exposition, backstory and windup. Richly detailed acting and Fugard’s solid direction make the journey there fairly engaging. The grown Robbins is totally convincing as the sweet, priggish but deeply repressed Harold, and Brown and Ngaujah have an easy rapport as two men cheerfully negotiating an unfair system."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 7th, 2016

"In the last 30 minutes, what has sometimes seemed a bit desultory and kitchen-sinkish, with a lacy overlay of pretty imagery involving kites and quicksteps, becomes gripping and then devastating...At times you might wish for more imaginative direction, or at least a more explicitly charming treatment of Hally...Even somewhat muffled, it cannot help speaking to something larger than South Africa in 1950, which was not the only place or time on earth when black lives didn’t seem to matter."
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November 7th, 2016

"When a company of actors clicks, as do the three men who make up the entire cast, a great play becomes ineffable, or nearly so: transporting, transfixing and transformative, all at once. That was the impact of this South African playwright’s devastating roman à clef when it opened on Broadway in 1983, and it’s no less so in the piercing revival...A highpoint of the season."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 7th, 2016

"Directed by the playwright himself, this deeply moving and powerful 1982 play is now receiving an emotionally pitch-perfect revival...The play receives superlative treatment from the ensemble...'Master Harold' requires patience during its lengthy, meandering build-up, before reaching its emotionally devastating conclusion. But it's worth the time, and to see it again, especially as staged once more by the 84-year-old playwright, represents a privilege not to be missed."
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The Washington Post
November 7th, 2016

"The catalyzing moment is handled expertly by the actors in this commendable revival...The political context does not feel as urgent now and, as a result, an audience shifts its attention even more resolutely to his dramas’ emotional cores. Fortunately, ‘Master Harold’ has a powerful one. Fugard himself has directed this revival, and though it comes across as talkier than some superlative past versions, it still builds potently...It’s a particular pleasure to witness the work of Robbins here."
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AM New York
November 9th, 2016

"Athol Fugard’s 1982 apartheid-era drama proves to be both timeless and timely. Intimate and tightly constructed, sharply political and emotionally bruising, autobiographical yet universal, despairing but with a glimmer of hope, the drama uses the fragile relationship between a white schoolboy and his family’s longtime black servants to tackle the tense cultural climate of South Africa circa 1950...It is a masterful and accessible piece of writing."
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November 7th, 2016

"It's a beautifully rendered yet somewhat sleepy revival of Fugard's best-known work, which feels unfortunately diminished amid its own grandiosity...Under Fugard's steady direction, 'Master Harold' reaches its emotional climax at a slow boil. This is as it should be, but the necessarily nuanced performances occasionally drown in the cavernous Diamond Theater...Still, those looking for a traditional and well-acted production of Fugard's masterpiece won't be disappointed."
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