Already closed | 1h 20m | East Village

Red Speedo

From 122 member  reviews
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. More…

Lucas Hnath makes his NYTW debut with Red Speedo, directed by NYTW Usual Suspect Lileana Blain-Cruz. Ray has swum his way to the eve of the Olympic trials. If he makes the team, he’ll get a deal with Speedo. If he gets a deal with Speedo, he’ll never need a real job. So when someone’s stash of performance-enhancing drugs is found in the locker room fridge, threatening the entire team’s Olympic fate, Ray has to crush the rumors or risk losing everything.

Member Reviews (122)


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

Interesting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Surprising, Great acting

See it if Well written and acted. Great set. Fast paced after initial setting up and full of twists. Realistic flawed characters.

Don't see it if You want a play with any traditional hero.

Great acting, Great staging

See it if You're interested in stories about doing what it takes to get what you want.

Don't see it if If you need a little less talk and a little more action. It does pick up steam after awhile.

Absorbing, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if you have enjoyed previous plays by the very talented Lucas Hnath. Although a slightly lesser effort, a nice addition to his oeuvre.

Don't see it if you are looking for a light comedy or unchallenging drama.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to wonder about the ethics of Big Sport Money, The Media and our society

Don't see it if you want dancing singing and dazzle.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy topical plays, see a dazzling set, enjoy stage confrontations and delicious twists, enjoy good acting and see a great young actor

Don't see it if Sports stories don't interest, don't like shows without an easy resolution, don't like plays in which all characters act badly

Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you like well made plays that are character driven. A pair of brothers depend on each other but have individual needs creating opposition.

Don't see it if you are looking for something light or silly. There are many funny moments but this is serious drama.

Disturbing, Great writing, Intense, Relevant, Sad

See it if you want to see a fascinating exploration of what happens when you combine the pressure of success with money and family.

Don't see it if you like a fun night out.

Relevant, Violent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You like sports stories. You like stories about issues. You like unique staging. You don't mind violence portrayed on stage.

Don't see it if You don't like sports stories. You don't like violence on stage. You want a light comedy.

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.

Disappointing, Cliched, Edgy, Indulgent, Intense

See it if You are interested in seeing a Lucas Hnath play.

Don't see it if You like unrealistic, though topical, plays.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Original, Overrated, Needs work

See it if you want to exit the theatre talking about the set rather than the play.

Don't see it if you are used to David Mamet's rapid-fire language. The author/director try to use it here, but are unsuccessful.

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

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

See it if You like a drama that is relevant to today's challenges in the athletic community

Don't see it if There is no reason to miss seeing this one

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if like mediocre acting and a show that is all set, no depth. The set is a gimmick. The lead's acting is absurd--kid can't be that stupid.

Don't see it if you don't want to waste a couple of hours of your life.

Clever, Great staging, Dizzying, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you are a big fan of Lucas Hnath

Don't see it if you enjoy concise writing with a point.

Absorbing, Resonant, Great staging, Edgy, Relevant

See it if you enjoy taut, complex dramas in which your allegiance never really stays with any character.

Don't see it if you require a satisfying resolution.

Fun set, Credulity challenged

See it if You would like to see a drama of conflicted (and very limited) morality on the most unique set of the season.

Don't see it if You have problems with suspension of disbelief when little of what you are seeing and hearing rings as authentic.

Great staging, Great acting, Original, Intense

See it if enjoy well performed original plays that leaves you thinking.

Don't see it if you are looking for an easy going time at the theatre.

Banal, Cliched, Excruciating, Insipid, Slow

See it if you want 80 minutes to feel like 800.

Don't see it if you're looking for a modicum of originality or intelligence.

Absorbing, Snappy, Great set, Morality play, Timely

See it if Enjoy moral dilemmas, contemporary settings, fast-paced dialogue, and/or sports themes. You won't see a set like this often/ever again!

Don't see it if You think sports and the Olympics are a waste of time, dislike dialogue-heavy plays, find family violence disturbing.

Great staging, Relevant, Intelligent, Strong performances

See it if You enjoy tension & ethical quandaries - are looking for fresh topics relevant to modern institutions

Don't see it if You want something light or fanciful

Also The playwright - Lucas Hanth is a major talent - be on the lookout for... Read more Read less

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Original, Intense

See it if you like edgy, inventive writing and staging. This play takes a cutting look at "the American dream" of money and success, whatever it takes

Don't see it if you want it to be perfect. It needed to move a little more quickly and be more consistently bloodthirsty and angst-ridden for that.

Resonant, Relevant, Original, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you like watching a hot boy in a red speedo; you like culturally relevant dramas; you like moral-problem plays that make you think

Don't see it if you don't enjoy sports oriented stories; don't like watching a hot boy in a speedo for 80 minutes; don't enjoy mild violence and bad choices

Ambitious, Entertaining, Dizzying, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if You enjoy pondering "what price fame?" You like family relationships mucking up goals and achievements. Being wowed by a set.

Don't see it if You don't like fast talking, wordy dialogue. You don't like shows which include dysfunctional family dynamics. Or sports analogies

Original, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if You want a deep dive into the pretzel logic of ethics in sports. some parts are overwrought, but overall there's more meat than fat here.

Don't see it if You're bored by sports topics or come in expecting the text to be as perfect as the set design.

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 mea...
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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 am...
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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, ...
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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 awa...
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