Already closed | 2h 45m | East Village

Party People

From 71 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Absorbing

About the show

The Public Theater presents the New York premiere of Universes' explosive new work about the complicated legacies of the original Black Panther Party and the Young Lords. More…

Inspired by dozens of interviews with members of these groundbreaking, society-changing groups, this unconventional show imagines a present-day reunion at an art opening curated by two young counterculturalist. But these new radicals have complex relationships with the Party members, who fought injustice and provided free food and medical care for their communities—often at the expense of the people who loved them most. Old wounds and generational divides collide in this multimedia theatrical event about the price of being a revolutionary, and what it means for those who come after.

Member Reviews (71)


Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Absorbing
Avg Score

Slow, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you want to learn more about Black Panthers & Puerto Rican groups in late 60's set as a musical, minority politics & compelling songs

Don't see it if setting the Black Panther story to music discomforts you, you'd like genuine character development, don't like too many visual distractions

Resonant, Must see, Messy, Thought-provoking, Compelling

See it if you have a pulse. Just go and let it inspire you and frustrate you and make you think and galvanize you.

Don't see it if you want to pretend the world we live in is 100% wonderful.

High energy, Relevant, Slow, Busy, Interesting topic

See it if you are interested in the politics of the sixties and seventies, most specifically, the evolution of the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

Don't see it if you want a coherent play from start to finish; more story in a more concise presentation; a more involving first act; good editing.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Great dancing

See it if you are interested in the Black Panthers and Young Lords of the 1960's and how they are relevant to today's politics. Inventive staging!!

Don't see it if you are not interested in historical pieces. Also, if you need all questions answered that are raised in this production.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if I don't really have anything good to say. I left at intermission. The story was banal and unmotivated. The songs were astoundingly bad.

Don't see it if The acting wasn't awful but the plot was...plotless. The one hard hitting moment missed its mark for me buried between bad dance and music.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if enjoy a piece that ties together the minority political experiences from 50yrs ago to today. It's a meaningful connection.

Don't see it if creative historical-contemporary theater using multi-media, song, dance and angst isn't your thing

Also While the show is uneven in it's story telling, it is an important pie... Read more Read less

Overwrought, yet thrilling, Self-indulgent yet powerful, High energy, Demanding

See it if Some great talent in this rueful and still angry historical view of Black Panthers/Young Lords, but so needs editing! The older characters..

Don't see it if ...are the strongest, the young Primo character completely out of place. This rousing musical piece has a very dark center and is overlong.

Slow, Relevant, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you're unfamiliar with the history of the Black Panthers and Young Lords. While a bit too long, the music is edgy and refreshing.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with political themes or would be frightened by incredibly realistic gunshots.

Also This play is almost three hours long but covers very important subject... Read more Read less

Clever, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if See if you are interested in the history of the Black Panthers and Young Lords from the 1960s on.

Don't see it if feel uncomfortable with a new form of play which centers on race relations.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you like an interesting Political Topic seen from multiple points of view. Great coverage of the Black Panther Movement.

Don't see it if you don't like distracting live cameras with multiple screens at the theatre. Aren't a fan of historical pseudo- documentary / Art pieces.

Confusing, Dizzying, Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you like musicals, American history, and/or bold, experimental theatre.

Don't see it if you want to avoid political activism, wrestling with the past, or don't like the use of video / screens in live theatre.

Also So this play is a real play, with a (fictional) plot, and some musical... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Earnest

See it if You are interested in a thorough history of the Panthers and the Lords, have a lot of time, and a great deal of patience.

Don't see it if Your attention span isn't unlimited, and you can't grant the creators time to show every last wrinkle in this interesting revolution story.

Great singing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Riveting

See it if Sprawling art as revolution reflecting on themes of intergenerational activism from the sixties to cyberspace expressed in music rap &dance

Don't see it if You need a narrative instead of themes that are not linear but express idealism, commitment, betrayal and disillusionment

Also Interesting play within a play structure that explores youthful ideali... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Profound, Great singing

See it if you want to show with a powerful message, a talented cast, history mixing with the present to give us a show relevant to our times. Awesome!

Don't see it if You don't give a damn about events happening in society, the past or the future. Social commentary pieces are not for you.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Excellent, talented cast

See it if the history of the Black Panthers & the Young Lords interests you.

Don't see it if are looking for an escape or a quiet time at the theater

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great singing, Uneven

See it if You want to experience a social action theater experience

Don't see it if You prefer to be shown rather than told in a show.

Confusing, Disappointing, Lacking good songs, Choreography that misses, Biased

See it if you know a lot about the Black Panthers and Young Lords and are very sympathetic to their cause.

Don't see it if you enjoy a theater experience that teaches you something through memorable songs and dialogue.

Also Don't see it if you appreciate good voices (with one or two exceptions... Read more Read less

Relevant, Ambitious, Disjointed, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in learning about the Black Panthers and/or Young Lords and don't mind an extremely meta approach to storytelling.

Don't see it if you're expecting a cohesive theatrical work -- there's some interesting staging ideas, but on the whole the show feels all over the place.

Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are in need of a show that speaks directly to what is happening right now...socially, politically, economically.

Don't see it if often times clunky structure, and forced staging frustrate you.

Relevant, Profound, Overrated, Banal, Ambitious

See it if You like a too simplistic conception of Black Panthers and Young Lords!!!

Don't see it if You are looking for a more energetic way to dig deep into socila justices issues. Like Master Harold does on Signature Theater.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Intense, Relevant

See it if you're up for a powerful, provocative history lesson about the recent past; you want to encounter the formidable talent of Mildred Ruiz Sapp

Don't see it if you can't with seriously political theater; if you don't have it in you to wait until last 20 minutes to have your socks blown off

Ambitious, Necessary, Dizzying, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to be left with a lot of questions and thoughts, you want to be provoked and challenged

Don't see it if you're not ready to deal with intense themes, you're not willing to experiment and try a new feel of theater

Also This is not a 'traditional' theater piece of any kind - there are non-... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a challenging piece of political theater using music, are interested in the history of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords.

Don't see it if You have no interest in a play told from the perspective of Black Panther and Young Lords members years later. You don't like hip hop music.

Also My husband recognized the historical events and names referred to duri... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Confusing, Great singing

See it if You like hip-hop musicals with a message and a loose story. Creatively written and staged and very talented performers.

Don't see it if You don't like cursing or hip-hop. Are tired of the political.

Timely, Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you're interested in learning more about the history of the Black Panthers & the Young Lords & how it connects to today's political climate

Don't see it if you don't like multimedia in stage productions (there are a lot of tv screens and live video feeds) or if you don't like political theater

November 15th, 2016
"In the current political climate, it may be the most frightening and exciting piece of theater now up...'Party People' derives its language, vibrant and volatile, from actual interviews. Yet the storytelling is less than cohesive...It is too long, too unfocused and perhaps too democratic...Yet i...
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November 15th, 2016
“A wildly ambitious and overstuffed homage to grassroots activism and in-fighting among the Black Panthers and the Young Lords…’Party People’ is nothing if not kinesthetically engaged…The piece is a researched yet original blend of docu-musical, family comedy, live video and hip-hop, defiantly un...
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November 15th, 2016
“Two young men are introduced in the process of putting together an evening of performance art to explore the ways in which the activism of their forebears might be carried out in the present. This apparently includes gassy monologues, overacting, and a mortifying clown show…However much this his...
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November 15th, 2016
"Nonstop music, movement, and energy undergirded by scant thematic substance…As Primo, Ruiz portrays the most insufferable theatrical creation in recent memory…It all feels incredibly exploitative with very little redeeming value…Liesl Tommy delivers a production that does little to clarify the h...
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