Red Speedo
77

Red Speedo NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(123 Ratings)
Positive
84%
Mixed
13%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

About the Show

New York Theatre Workshop presents a play about sports, survival of the fittest, and the American dream of a level playing field—or leveling the playing field yourself.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (123)

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97 Reviews | 32 Followers
100
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if What a terrific play. The acting is outstanding as is the set and staging. Ambitious and thought provoking. Really enjoyed this!

Don't see it if You have no interest in fine acting... Or swimming!

95 Reviews | 28 Followers
95
Intense, Intelligent, Great writing, Riveting, Relevant

See it if bracing, incisive, and important. A scathing indictment of our fetish for winning, with a revelatory lead performance by Alex Breux

Don't see it if you don't like stylized rapidfire dialogue

89 Reviews | 37 Followers
94
Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Must see, Relevant

See it if You think about the shifting line of ethics in our American culture; people we hold up as heroes, and the motives of those close to them.

Don't see it if You are not open to issues of doping and athletes or dysfunction in society.

509 Reviews | 338 Followers
94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Edgy, Original

See it if You want to see a totally original show with a fantastic set and great acting. Very intense story.

Don't see it if You want a light night out at the theater. Starts tense and gets worse as the show goes on. But it is worth it if you're interested.

538 Reviews | 158 Followers
94
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if Brilliant acting and directing and unusual staging of meaningful absorbing content are what is important to you. You want to see NY's newest

Don't see it if You can't handle any violence on the stage. You want to sit back and be amused. RS grabs you from moment one and hurls you into a moral mess

PMF
57 Reviews | 22 Followers
93
Thought-provoking, Funny, Entertaining, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like new plays. If you like dialogue that whizzes by. If you like characters caught in moral dilemmas.

Don't see it if you look for lots of stagecraft and moving scenery (although the set is AMAZING!)

207 Reviews | 34 Followers
91
Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to think. I found the theme of doing whatever it takes to win far reaching. The acting company was fantastic.

Don't see it if are easily scared by loud sounds.

60 Reviews | 34 Followers
91
Relevant, Original, Must see, Refreshing, Fresh

See it if You enjoy going to the theatre to see something that will really make you think where you stand.

Don't see it if You see the world in only black and white.

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
March 3rd, 2016

"With fragmented dialogue that often comes at you like artillery fire, 'Red Speedo' recalls the (good) work of David Mamet, distilled and compressed...But Mr. Hnath’s voice and style are fundamentally his own. There’s an elemental, stylized simplicity to his work that focuses attention on the meanings behind the matters at hand...The characters are palpably, at times movingly, human in their complexity...'Red Speedo' only grows in intensity as the clock winds down on its brief running time."
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Time Out New York
March 3rd, 2016

"Hnath’s swift, slippery play moves in Mametian lunges of rapid dialogue and desperate gambits. It’s full of opportunists whose stories don’t check out, and the actors speak in clipped, deliberate ways. Warmer performances could enhance the play, but the chill fits 'Red Speedo’s' dissection of ambition...Doesn’t [Ray] deserve a shot at what he calls “the American thing”? He means dream, probably, but the word is out of reach for this beast of burden, whose greatest hope is to brand himself."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 3rd, 2016

"Blain-Cruz’s work here is also a brilliant rendering of a difficult text, one that reads nearly like gibberish on the page but plays like a thriller onstage...It takes some very smart acting to get that kind of unintelligence just right. Also some very smart playwriting. If 'Red Speedo' is not, finally, as profound as 'The Christians' — the pool is only four-foot deep — that’s doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Shallows, too, are worth exploring."
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New York Daily News
March 3rd, 2016

"Welcome to the dopey drama 'Red Speedo,' written by Lucas Hnath and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. Logic and even remotely authentic-sounding dialogue have sunk to the bottom of the deep end. This is an 80-minute exercise in unconvincing broad strokes...Yes, the set, which includes a one-lane pool, is splashy. But so is a bellyflop."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 3rd, 2016

"Unfortunately, the provocative themes are undercut by mannered dialogue, one-note characterizations and melodramatic, contrived plotting. The play is also, despite all its sensationalism, so tedious that the frequent blasting of an air horn between scenes seems necessary to keep the audience awake...For all their hard-working efforts and those of the other performers, 'Red Speedo' is disappointingly skimpy."
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New York Post
March 3rd, 2016

"As in last year’s 'The Christians,' Hnath tackles moral issues without lecturing...The production is overall superb, and Breaux, who spends the entire time in the title trunks, has the right balance of doofus earnestness and selfish cunning. It all culminates in a physically and emotionally bruising conclusion that left a recent audience reeling."
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AM New York
March 3rd, 2016

"The tank is an impressive touch, and the lead actor swims a lap or two in it, but the real reasons to see 'Red Speedo' lie in Hnath’s lean and muscular writing, his complicated characters, and their desperate situations and morally questionable responses, all of which come to light in Lileana Blain-Cruz’s brutally focused production."
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Theatermania
March 3rd, 2016

"Director Lileana Blain-Cruz thrives within the physical constraints of the production, leading the cast to thrilling and dangerous performances...As he did with 'The Christians,' Hnath raises hugely important questions about our society and the occasionally perverse behavior it encourages...As always, Hnath leaves us to slug it out after the show, a fight certain to be as exhausting and fruitless as the one at the end of this troubling and truthful play."
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