Slave Play NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(160 Ratings)
Positive
80%
Mixed
11%
Negative
9%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking

About the Show

In this provocative new play, Jeremy O. Harris rips apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in 21st century America. 

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Show-Score Member Reviews (160)

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104 Reviews | 15 Followers
99
Funny, Absorbing, Dizzying, Profound

See it if You want to be challenged with a series of hard questions on desire, history, trauma and healing.

Don't see it if You're afraid of mirrors.

266 Reviews | 27 Followers
98
Clever, Ambitious, Edgy, Great writing, Unusual

See it if you enjoy a good story with some surprises; you like great writing with a cast to match;

Don't see it if you are offended by portrayals of explicit sex; you prefer musicals; you have no interest in plays involving interactions of blacks & whites

125 Reviews | 36 Followers
97
Absorbing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if You enjoy challenging, complicated, and complex plays about sex, gender, race, history, and how all of those things can intersect.

Don't see it if You prefer light and fluffy theater with less meaning or challenging material. You prefer escapist entertainment.

110 Reviews | 9 Followers
93
Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You have a pulse.

Don't see it if You are not ready to evolve.

80 Reviews | 39 Followers
90
Intense, Edgy, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see something you've never seen before on Broadway. DON'T let anyone tell you about it beforehand.

Don't see it if You can't handle sex and nudity on stage.

282 Reviews | 64 Followers
87
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if A very interesting play that surprises you in many ways. It is a clever concept very well done. The performances are excellent.

Don't see it if You are close minded or offended by issues pertaining to sexuality and race.

149 Reviews | 25 Followers
86
Scabrously funny, riveting

See it if you like being challenged and having your expectations turned inside out.

Don't see it if you aren’t in the mood for ruminating on how America’s original sin still reverberates on societal and personal levels. Read more

87 Reviews | 25 Followers
85
Intelligent, Relevant, Edgy, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You want to see modern drama, that pushes theater forward. It’s a show for todays times, incorporating ideas that we currently struggle with

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in an ambitious, modern story

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
December 9th, 2018

"Willfully provocative, gaudily transgressive, and altogether staggering...Its urgency and sheer cultural heft, deployed like weapons in a furiously entertaining production...Harris manipulates white discomfort expertly...Until I encountered his potent brew of minstrelsy and melodrama I hadn’t known it was possible to cringe and laugh and blush at the same time...It asks a lot of its superior cast, whose portrayal of arousal and fury and shame feels terrifyingly real."
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Time Out New York
December 14th, 2018

"What is it, exactly? A satire? A sex comedy? An exploration of identity as performance, in the vein of Jean Genet? A topical political provocation? A sincere dissection of race in America? All of these things are true, but even together they don't do justice to what Harris has cooked up...’Slave Play’ is funny, probing, and, at times, disturbingly sexy. It snaps like a whip, and its aim is often outward...It asks a lot of its spectators, and has a lot to give in return.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
December 10th, 2018

"The piece understands the old-fashioned showmanship of a good twist...The pitch-perfect and vulnerable-as-hell performances by the play’s splendid octet of actors are what keep the sense of compassion in Harris’s work at the forefront. Not only does director Robert O’Hara embrace the fierce, fast comedy of the script; he’s also helping his ensemble to go to places that feel simultaneously raw and immensely rewarding."
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New Yorker
December 18th, 2018

“The play acts like a whittling knife, refining and clarifying as it cuts. The first act is broad and impressionistic, and each of the next two sections is more realistic and denser with psychic danger than the last...What ensues is not only a deft exploration of what happens when love and power collide but also an excavation of a newly common kind of political-academic talk...Harris shows how the language of critical theory and that of Freudian talk therapy have come to echo each other."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 9th, 2018

"This wildly imaginative work asserts itself with a daringness rarely seen on our stages these days...'Slave Play' doesn't fully live up to its considerable thematic ambitions, suffering from stylistic overindulgence and repetition. But it definitely marks its...author as a talent to watch...Harris effectively taps the vein of today's white-hot, charged debates...But after the big reveal, the themes are hammered home in overly expository, heavy-handed fashion that feels laborious and overextended."
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Theatermania
December 10th, 2018

"Robert O'Hara directs this cringe-inducing comedy with a frank, unrepentant honesty that keeps us shifting uncomfortably in our seats. Yet to shy away from the play is to miss out on one of the most thoughtful and challenging theatrical works on interracial relations, institutionalized racism, and their effects on people of color since Antoinette Nwandu's 'Pass Over'."
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BroadwayWorld
December 10th, 2018

"Extremely daring, highly original and undoubtedly thought-provoking satirical drama...What makes 'Slave Play' so intriguing is its focus on how these residual racial issues may affect the intimacy between committed partners in some interracial relationships...This reviewer will leave it to the better qualified to discuss Harris' success in exploring the multi-layered issues at hand, but will certainly praised 'Slave Play' as completely engaging and emotionally challenging theatre."
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Lighting & Sound America
December 21st, 2018

“’Slave Play’ is a good stab at a sociopolitical shocker, even when hampered by structural oddities, a taste for repetition, and a rather too-obvious need to ride the audience's nerves. It's an original, audacious, sexually explicit work...Boldly exploring the link between oppression and eroticism. Even when it irritates you can't say you've ever seen anything like it...‘Slave Play’ begins with shock-and-awe tactics, but ultimately, it nearly talks itself to death.”
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