"Master Harold"...and the boys
Closed 1h 40m
"Master Harold"...and the boys
88

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

88%
(194 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
3%
Negative
0%
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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Member Reviews (194)

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946 Reviews | 387 Followers
94
Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if you want to see a play that hits you like a fist to the gut. Knocks the wind out of you. Scary relevance to who half our nation is today!

Don't see it if you don't like powerful plays that might make you think about who you are or the choices you've made.

972 Reviews | 227 Followers
81
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Masterful, Profound

See it if was my first review ever! Loved it great acting, directing and super story. Very poignant and consuming. James Earl Jones was brilliant.

Don't see it if You do not like what the story deals about. Touching at times and is not for everyone.

689 Reviews | 152 Followers
86
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Relevant

See it if you are a fan of Fugard, enjoy gripping shows with believable characters played by a trio of marvelous actors & still resonate today

Don't see it if are not interested in South Africa's apartheid system and its relevance to our country today, don't like the South African accent

617 Reviews | 274 Followers
91
Close to perfect production of show in canon of must-see plays about racism

See it if /4 shattering production impeccably directed by playwright Fugard, personalizing pain of apartheid; fine actors in all roles

Don't see it if /part of message of play - forgiveness possible in face of hateful racism - somewhat dated in our era of heightened response 2 racism Read more

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
95
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if want to see one of the best plays of the season (and much longer) All 3 cast members are superb

Don't see it if you only want to laugh and sing. although one does want to sing with love and understanding. Read more

480 Reviews | 715 Followers
49
Slow, Excruciating, Indulgent, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you don't mind watching three characters reminiscing for most of the show, leaving you wondering what the point of it all is.

Don't see it if you can get a ticket for Sweet Charity in the theatre next door. Read more

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
98
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!!

431 Reviews | 131 Followers
77
Well-written and nicely directed., Absorbing and intelligent., Still relevant, but this play stunned when first produced., Parts are very moving and tender., Good performances by two of the three actors.

See it if You've never seen an Athol Fugard play.-some very beautiful moments here. "Harold" lacked nuance, but the other actors were quite good.

Don't see it if Insensitive/uninterested re apartheid,aren't up for tough drama, don't like plays w 1 set, little action, no break. Need to lean in a bit.

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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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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Deadline
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 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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Theatermania
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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