Tambo & Bones
Closed 1h 45m
Tambo & Bones

Tambo & Bones NYC Reviews and Tickets

(94 Ratings)
Members say
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Clever

Two characters are trapped in a minstrel show. They have a plan to get out, get bank, and get even.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (94)

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166 Reviews | 9 Followers
Must see, Great writing, Great acting, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like an incredible blend of history and contemporary performance, thought-provoking dialogue, high-energy, fast-paced & smart show

Don't see it if you are easily offended by racial topics, want something slow & chewable, don't like to be challenged or uncomfortable, intense lights/sound

175 Reviews | 22 Followers
Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like rags to riches

Don't see it if if you dont like hip hop

439 Reviews | 79 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You want the history of Blacks in America told in a clever creative way. Three sections..the past, the present, the future. Acting good.

Don't see it if You want an easy show. This show can be confusing; one must pay attention especially to beginning and definitely the ending. Read more

271 Reviews | 47 Followers
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want to be challenged and actively engaged in the theatre, particularly around themes of race and capitalism.

Don't see it if you do not want to be challenged or are not ready to face valid (while intense) questions & views of the current state of this country.

130 Reviews | 12 Followers
Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if You like thinking critically about what you’re seeing.

Don't see it if You don’t like absurd style, non realistic plays or participation. Plays that don’t function around plot but rather character/theme/trope. Read more

98 Reviews | 15 Followers
Brilliant acting, thought-provoking, edgy

See it if you don't need a linear plot, intense stage effects are ok, you want to see amazing acting and if you want to see how avant-garde theater.

Don't see it if you wait more than two days, since it is about to close. Don't see it if you are not comfortable in your own skin. Read more

1166 Reviews | 464 Followers
Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if you enjoy not understanding the plot until you reach the end and can see the whole picture. Be ready to laugh at some dark, twisted beliefs.

Don't see it if If you are easily offended, especially by the n-word. I think it was hilarious and appropriate, the guy behind me was about to walk out.

752 Reviews | 145 Followers
Quirky, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if Watching at time not sure what's happen. Interesting for it take you full circle, and that makes you think.

Don't see it if The n word is use slot. Watching did not see the direction it was going

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
February 7th, 2022

"The director, Taylor Reynolds, doesn’t help clarify or illuminate Harris’s shallow script, defaulting to only one mode: loud and emphatic. And the transitions between sections do little to connect the parts in service of a grand thesis. A satire and a concert and an off-road turn into speculative fiction: “Tambo & Bones” is a lot of things, but nuanced is not one of them."
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New York Theatre Guide
February 8th, 2022

"The bajumbled storyline is amplified with bold lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, along with Mextly Couzin and Dominique Fawn Hill's rags-to-riches costumes that serve as a mix of rag tags and 90s streetwear. Through every act change — each an important and necessary elevation of the plot — Tambo and Bones believe the only way out of this constant loop of oppressed caricaturism is through the extinction of white people. Whether or not that’s true is not very clear after the show ends, but the plot line does offer bubbles of nervous laughter."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 7th, 2022

"Tambo & Bones, however, fades in its coda in a way these other two plays do not. Its deepest thrusts are made in the blistering first two sections, and while the third is certainly trying hard for the coup-de-grace — any mention of genocide is sobering — Harris leaves this part’s most powerful statements in the stage directions where we don’t see them. “There is no line between actor and character / between audience and actor. We are responsible for everything we have ever done,” goes one such lyrical stage direction, which is impressive to read but unplayable in this production. The weight of those early minstrelsy images is also difficult to get over. Harris is trying to accelerate past them, to use their gravity as a slingshot into even more extreme territory, but they keep pulling the show backwards. His purified Afrofuture keeps paling in the bilious light of the real past."
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February 7th, 2022

"Emotional whiplash is piled into these three disjointed acts that make bounding leaps from one to the next like a mechanical bull trying with all its might to shake the cowboy off its back. Tambo & Bones may not be the story that breaks free of its historical trappings, but Harris clearly will not be leaving the stage until he's at least broken a few cardboard trees."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 8th, 2022

In Tambo & Bones playwright Dave Harris builds a bleakly comic essay around two iconic minstrel characters. It's a prank, a provocation, a satire of extraordinary richness that has no intention of taking a single prisoner. It's also an assault on the very idea of what one might call performative Blackness -- for example, in plays like this…There's a degree of self-absorption here that some audiences may justifiably find off-putting. But make no mistake; this is an attention-getting debut from a writer of no small talent>
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Talkin' Broadway
February 7th, 2022

"In short, I found about three-quarters of Tambo & Bones unendurable, save for a few funny lines, and then came a rather brilliant finale that impelled me to forgive some of what preceded it. Harris has plenty of legitimate gripes about social injustice to unpack, but there are a great number of plays about race out there right now. And while it's high time more of these voices were heard, you have to wonder if the market isn't being over-saturated, and audiences won't be able to cope with the sheer volume, and the well-intentioned companies producing these plays won't be subverting their cause. Tambo & Bones, let's say, isn't among the more compelling of them. But the trapped-in-a-preposterous-entertainment motif is still pretty intriguing."
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New York Stage Review
February 7th, 2022

"Throughout Tambo & Bones, obscenities are tossed at patrons like custard pies in silent-film comedies. It’s hardly news that this expanded vocabulary is prevalent. “Fuck” and “shit” and forms of them are commonplace on stages nowadays. There’s another word that may or may not be obscene. Possibly, linguists might be able to explain whether it’s a slur when spoken by whites but not when uttered by, primarily, young Black men. Somehow, its many Tambo & Bones repetitions raise the challenging-to-answer query."
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February 8th, 2022

laywright Dave Harris’ Tambo & Bones’ evidences his stellar poetry slam career with its tart punchy dialogue, hip-hop flourishes and fierce insights. In three satirical scenes lasting 90 minutes, Mr. Harris offers an irreverent exploration of racism and capitalism in the U.S.A. Under the prevalent comic tone there’s pain. The N-word is used in abundance and matter-of-factly.
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