Already closed

Sell/Buy/Date

Members say: Great acting, Clever, Intelligent, Funny, Absorbing
84
Critics
80
20 reviews
Members
85
138 reviews
 

Manhattan Theatre Club presents a new solo show from Tony winner Sarah Jones, inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the commercial sex industry.

... Read more

Set in the not-too-distant future and presented as a historical lecture, 'Sell/Buy/Date' explores the sexual exploitation of women in our current age. Through her multicultural characterizations, Jones offers an array of diverse perspectives on a fascinating and incendiary subject, all while preserving the full humanity and humor of voices seldom heard in the theater.

 

Cast & Creatives (7)



Reviews (158)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
80
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

"Jones seems to slip into the soul of another person with the casual ease that most of us use to slide into a pair of flip-flops...Although the play’s subject matter is ostensibly dark, there is a lot of unexpected humor...Indeed, if 'Sell/Buy/Date' has a flaw, it is perhaps that the show is almost too entertaining, too slight, for the harsh subject underlying it...I do wish that she had delved a little deeper, and allowed the darkness of the details to come through with more grit." Full Review

90
Theatermania

"Her performances go beyond convincing mimicry to get at something every genuine theater artist strives to achieve: profound empathy...Director Carolyn Cantor has smartly opted for simplicity, allowing the production to speed along at a breezy 85 minutes while Jones does what she does best...Beyond policy considerations, Sarah Jones is making a special kind of theatrical magic in 'Sell/Buy/Date' by taking a difficult issue and putting multiple human faces on it." Full Review

80
BroadwayWorld

"Though solo performer Sarah Jones is rightfully celebrated for her exacting skills that quickly morph herself into a seemingly limitless collection of characters of diverse ages, ethnicities, nationalities and personalities, she doesn't seem to get proper credit as a playwright...'Sell/Buy/Date' has a thin plot that connects ninety minutes worth of vividly realized character monologues. While each can stand on its own, they gather strength together as an exploration of the play's subject." Full Review

80
Variety

"Even as the show expands, darkening the content and making the subjects more pitiable, Jones never entirely loses that cutting humor...Each character that Jones inhabits gives her a hook on which to hang some damning fact about contemporary sexual mores...If the show does get a bit preachy at the end, it helps to remember that Jones is a political activist...The theater community has previously awarded her with a Tony, and now, as always, our sincere admiration and undivided attention." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Anyone who saw the performer's equally jaw-dropping 2006 turn, 'Bridge & Tunnel,' will know her ability to vocally and physically transform...Here, she does not disappoint, blending virtuosic mimicry with a sly feminist message that if erotic power relations do not evolve, it could be the death of us. Directed with maximum style and clarity by Carolyn Cantor, 'Sell/Buy/Date' shows the protean Jones staging a one-woman orgy of provocative ideas." Full Review

75
The Hollywood Reporter

"Jones delivers characters who are vividly rendered and wittily written, making many insightful points about the complex subject matter in the process. And she displays an amazing ability to morph from one to the next...Still, despite all of Jones' linguistic and performing aplomb, the elaborate narrative structure proves needlessly distracting...There are so many powerful and real stories on display in 'Sell/Buy/Date'...that the fictional construct seems superfluous." Full Review

75
New York Magazine / Vulture

"It’s a rococo frame, to be sure, and a bit rickety as well. Some of the writing in these sections comes off as bald reportage...At other times, she goes for jokey commentary...The characters are constantly being hammered into an argument rather than being allowed their full independent interest...But if there is some opportunism in the setup, Jones eventually makes it pay off...When the jokes and the argument merge into something much less easily classified." Full Review

85
Lighting & Sound America

"When it comes to the multiple-character solo show format, the lady simply has no peer. Her ability to slip into a variety of personae is beyond compare...If 'Sell/Buy/Date' is going to have an extended life, Jones might want to take another look at the piece's structure...Under Carolyn Cantor's light-handed direction, however, Jones deftly walks a tightrope, hitting her comic targets with unfailing accuracy and never slipping into exploitation." Full Review

70
Talkin' Broadway

"Of all the stage artists whose chosen medium is the one-person play, Jones stands alone as a uniquely gifted interpreter of the endless swath of diversity, color, and craziness we call humanity...But 'Sell/Buy/Date' as a piece of writing is considerably less captivating...The sheer number of figures Jones portrays prevents her from delving too deeply into any of them, which gives the show a choppy quality that doesn't help it say much of anything that hasn't already been said." Full Review

90
The Clyde Fitch Report

"A brilliant discourse on commercial sex practices that puts everything into an intelligent, amusing, politically profound context...This is anything but dry. Jones’ lecturer is constantly funny. The jokes are like condiments: broadly spread...She’s a welcome beacon of wisdom at a time when idiocy is our chief political commodity. If you ask me, she could not have strolled in with her perspectives soon enough. Let’s crown her with laurels." Full Review

80
New York Daily News

"Writer-performer Sarah Jones is a human chameleon. In her new solo piece she summons a melting pot of characters in the blink of an eye, along with a shift in voice, posture and attitude. Jones is so spellbinding that you you almost — but not quite — don’t notice that the futuristic story about the commercial sex trade — buyers and sellers — adds up to less than the sum of her vivid characters. Carolyn Cantor’s sleek direction is a plus, a weak subplot isn’t." Full Review

75
CurtainUp

"Jones is a remarkable performer and sharp observer. And she's come up with an amusing futuristic spin on the sex industry's growth and reach into themes of gender dynamics, personal identity and feminism. That said, her characters do slip into stereotypical territory, and the piece, even at just 85 minutes, feels overly long...My quibbles notwithstanding, director Carolyn Cantor has staged this multi-voiced monologue fluidly." Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"Each one of her many multicultural portrayals is brilliantly detailed in mannerisms, accent, and body language, while also being very real and moving in content...But these characterizations are just the tip of the iceberg in regard to where the true artistry lies is this dazzling new work. Her power and genius is based more on what this assortment of characters are saying...Teaching us through storytelling...Enlightening and engaging us while being entertained." Full Review

80
Bob's Theater Blog

"Most of the characters are vividly created and some of the points they make are thought-provoking. The lecture is punctuated by several interruptions during which the professor attempts to resolve a problem that is delaying her appointment as head of a new department. I thought this subplot undercut rather than enhanced the main idea...While is was a great pleasure to see Sarah Jones again, I was slightly disappointed by the material." Full Review

70
NorthJersey.com

"Jones dazzled Broadway audiences 10 years ago with 'Bridge & Tunnel'...In her new solo work, her remarkable impersonation skill, using gestures and expressions as well as her voice, is just as prodigious, even if her subject, the sex industry, is somewhat limiting...The show goes down easy, which isn't necessarily a good thing...The stories offer few revelations, and generally sound like things we've heard before. What holds us is Jones' stunning facility in turning herself into everyone else." Full Review

80
Theater Pizzazz

"A poignant and surprisingly amusing exploration of the sex work industry...For all its strengths in blending the personal and the political, the one-act piece might have been slightly more effective without a rather forced subplot...There are a few other weak spots in the show that director Carolyn Cantor, who does a mostly excellent job with the proceedings, simply fails to cover up. But by the show’s end, you’ll definitely be convinced how seriously invested Jones is in her subject." Full Review

55
Broadway & Me

"It's a real treat to watch Jones bring her disparate characters to life with sharp-edged artistry and a generous spirit that almost saves them from coming across as caricatures. But the message they're supposed to be delivering isn't as successful. And a melodramatic subplot about the professor's pending promotion and her uneasy relationship with her mother merely distracts from the main subject…It felt wrong to be laughing in the presence of the larger subject matter." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

"Jones' ability to seamlessly transform from one character to another is mind-blowing, and that she has won Obie and Tony Awards for her prowess will surprise no one who sees this production. It’s tight, nuanced, and brilliantly-written...It’s complex stuff and Jones has done a masterful job of uncovering its many layers. Indeed, while she makes no effort to hide her perspective, 'Sell/Buy/Date' is presented with a light enough touch to encourage open and freewheeling discussion." Full Review

80
Act Three - The Reviews

"In another one-woman show coup, the indomitable Sarah Jones brings her cadre of characters to life in a creative, clever new show 'Sell/Buy/Date'...Ms. Jones' characters all have accents, mannerisms, and voices that she flawlessly and seamlessly blends in and out of...Ms. Jones has a unique voice and that voice delivers a potent message via all her shows." Full Review

80
Magical MissTari Tour

"Each character is pitch-perfect in dialect, attitude, physicality-everything that makes a character more human and more relatable, Jones gets right...The show is pretty fast and often very funny about a very serious topic. I maybe would've had more darkness and more pain to more sharply contrast...I like a good deep painful theatrical catharsis. I probably left 'Sell/Buy/Date' without that huge catharsis, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a huge, incredibly good time." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

90
Insightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Astonishing

See it if one actor portraying many different characters, issues facing sex workers

Don't see it if offended by sex

90
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you'd enjoy thoughtful, creative, nuanced takes on female sexuality & sex trafficking. Enjoy a conceit of a near future present.

Don't see it if you don't care for one person, multi-character shows. Or women's issues. Or human issues. Or humanity.

83
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you are impressed by versatile one-woman show performers. Sarah Jones seamlessly shifts between accents, genders, and age groups.

Don't see it if nothing would get you to a one-woman show. It's engaging and tought-provoking, but if you hate the format this isn't for you.

88
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you are interested in seeing the fantastic Sarah Jones embody dozens of characters and provide a unique take on the sex industry.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows.

88
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Sara Jones has written the show and gives a riveting performance portraying many characters on the sex trade.

Don't see it if you don't like one woman shows with an emphasis on a socio political theme.

Also Even though the show has closed, Sarah Jones indicated that it will be... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you want to see the amazing Sarah Jones. She is a national treasure. The most amazing actress.

Don't see it if must see

90
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if like intelligent exquisitely performed by Sara Jones. Look for extended performance in other venues.

Don't see it if If you do not like one actor performances.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Brilliant writing and character portrayals; doesn't feel like a one woman show; look through various lenses on this important issue

Don't see it if Although there are many funny moments and lots of laughter, it's not just light entertainment

80
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy theater with a message and that intends to start a debate. You enjoy politics and like theater that really makes you think.

Don't see it if You prefer non-political theater or mindless entertainment. Also if you prefer a more traditional plot or storyline with an arc.

88
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if like plays that are thought provoking and explorations of relevant topics in society. She gives a riveting performance about sex trade

Don't see it if If you don't like one person shows with no frills in a small theater. Her performance was flawless as she morphed into characters

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Exquisite, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you can at least tolerate one person shows. Masterful. Like a pool pro running the table. Show is moving soon. Just go.

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional cast and dialogue experience. Perhaps five minutes too long. One predictable punch line.

83
Funny, Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like one woman shows,sarah Jones does a great job being so many characters

Don't see it if You don't like one woman shows or don't want to see a show about sex workers, trafficking and the sex industry

73
Original, Clever, Great acting

See it if You like one woman shows in which multiple characters are skillfully portrayed.

Don't see it if You don't find the subject interesting.

92
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if To see incredible acting in a fascinating one woman show. It was really astounding how convincingly she portrayed so many characters.

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows.

Also I was impressed by the lighting design. The set is simple but sufficie... Read more Read less

86
Original, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want something different, entertaining, involving and intelligent that takes place in the future. SJ is amazingly talented. Go see it

Don't see it if You want to see a traditional play, musical, or you do not like single person shows. Oh, but SJ is many people.

90
Funny, Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you liked Bridge and Tunnel or you appreciate a versatile performer at the top of her form.

Don't see it if can't think of any reason not to see this show.

91
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Resonant

See it if Sarah Jones is masterful in her portrayal of her grab bag of characters. Funny, touching and thought-provoking

Don't see it if "Plot" is a thin framework to allow for the delivery of all the characters seen in the evening

83
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like interesting solo work or haven't yet encountered the exquisite talent that is Sarah Jones.

Don't see it if you're looking for a fearless exploration of the sex industry. Jones is a brilliant performer, but the piece itself doesn't dig deep enough.

94
Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want to see a remarkable perfomance by the chameleoun Sarah Jones who creates a dizzying and memorable array of characters .

Don't see it if you don't enjoy one woman shows with a feminist theme.

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Tour de force

See it if you are interested in contemporary social issues (in this case, sex work) or even if not, just to see Sarah Jones incredible performance.

Don't see it if you don't like one woman shows or have a hard time understanding a variety of accents.

80
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow

See it if you're interested in seeing the wonderful Sarah Jones in her take on future sex and its ramifications.

Don't see it if you don't care for one person shows. Though clever, could benefit from some tightening.

90
Clever, Delightful, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want to be totally engaged in a show and its characters. Sarah Jones one women show and her characters are brilliant. The story in depth

Don't see it if you need more then one actor take you to a new level in theater.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Great writing

See it if You are interested in women or human rights issues and love innovative theater.

Don't see it if You don't care about the rights of others

90
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if You want to see an amazing actress seamlessly transform herself into numerous characters & talk about issues re women & their rights.

Don't see it if You are misogynistic, don't care about women's rights and issues, or don't like solo performances.

81
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you can laugh at/with a comedy about the futuristic sex industry, including prostitution, robots, and internet porn.

Don't see it if you want a big production. This is a one-woman show ... one very talented woman, expertly staged.