New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

The Body of an American

From 16 critic and 69 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

About the show

Primary Stages and Rhoda R. Herrick present the New York premiere of an award-winning play, exploring the ethical and personal consequences of Paul Watson’s famous photograph. More…

Dan O'Brien tells the true story of an extraordinary friendship as two men, a war photojournalist and playwright, journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul. It is an award-winning glimpse at a moment in recent history when a single, stark photograph - of the body of an American dragged from the wreck of a Blackhawk through the streets of Mogadishu - reshaped the course of global events.



90
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you enjoy listening to a compelling story with minimal props.Their passion had you feeling every emotion as if you were there in the moment.

Don't see it if you're looking for glitz, glamour or a larger than life musical show tune to appear.

90
During previews
Entertaining, Intelligent, Original

See it if you like new, innovative theater.

Don't see it if you don't like minimalist theater.

90
During previews
Great acting, Profound, Intense, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy a powerful narrative!

Don't see it if stories about blood and corpses is something you can't handle

88
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like meta deconstructions, even-handed discussions of trauma and equivocation, current events, politics, and journalism.

Don't see it if If you want an easier night at the theater, where you don't talk about the show over drinks after.

87
During previews
Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Confusing, Intense

See it if You want to see a show that makes you think and is brilliantly performed.

Don't see it if You prefer light hearted fare.

86
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like documentary theatre. This play is wonderfully acted and will challenge you to think about war & the internal conflicts it creates.

Don't see it if you don't want a heavy or thought-provoking evening. This play requires attention and reflection from its audience.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound

See it if You enjoy good acting and don't mind a little of "narraturgy"

Don't see it if You are looking for light entertainment.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Original, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like historical pieces. Particularly recent history.

Don't see it if You do not like to hear true-to-life war stories that are sometimes graphic.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Intense

See it if You enjoy seeing what a brilliant director can accomplish with two top-flight actors, artful projection and superlative sound design.

Don't see it if You are looking to be lightly entertained. This is potent and deeply moving stuff.

84
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if If you are interested in serious theatre that explores contemporary war themes and psychological issues. Strong acting and creative staging

Don't see it if If you want a light carefree theatre experience.

84
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Profound, Intense

See it if you want a weighty exploration of trauma, both global and personal, played out in the lives of the subject/photojournalist & the playwright.

Don't see it if two-person plays, rapid-fire shifts in time/place/characterization, "meta" works, minimal staging, and digital projection are not your thing

82
During previews
Clever, Great writing, Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like true stories and like a two person cast.

Don't see it if If you don't like war stories or if you don't like having an intermission.

81
During previews
Thought-provoking, Layered, Original, Relevant

See it if You like shows about the intersection of psychology and world events.

Don't see it if You don't want to see serious drama.

81
During previews
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like topics that make you aware that there is life outside NYC. See it if you love great acting and fast pace information.

Don't see it if You don't like 2 handers, don't want to admit that there is war being waged around the world or need a story straightforward.

80
During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense, Profound, Original

See it if you like intellectual drama with a relatively fast pace, and thought provoking works that make you ponder the meaning of life's events.

Don't see it if you like puffy plays that are easy to follow and plays that repeatedly bombard you with the meaning of the play, or if you dislike dramas.

80
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Original

See it if you like plays that are non-fiction, present day stories and unresolved personal issues. Great acting with an untraditional, non-linear plot

Don't see it if you want to see a fun and fluffy play & not think. Also if you like theaters with lots of heat on cold days.

80
During previews
Compelling portrait of horrors-of-war photographer and playwright with his own demons

See it if you enjoy story that brings to life the confusing horror/rush/guilt of war photographer, fine acting duo and direction/set

Don't see it if you don't appreciate story without narrative drive, and character (playwright) with confusing motivation in pursuing story of photographer

78
During previews
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you want to see an original perspective on war, bravery, and friendship.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with the topics of war, PTSD, and violence.

78
During previews
Original, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing, Intense

See it if You want to see great acting in a very poignant play

Don't see it if If your looking for a flashy, glamorous time.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Resonant

See it if A play dealing with emotional and psychological trauma with insight and humor

Don't see it if Slightly confusing as the actors switch roles very fluidly

75
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if You want to be challenged and see something original.

Don't see it if You aren't in the mood for something serious and weighty.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in current events and psychology

Don't see it if You like only light and entertaining theater.

75
During previews
Great staging, Great performances, Two-hander

See it if you're looking for an engaging two-hander.

Don't see it if you don't like having two people on stage the whole show (?)

75
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Confusing

See it if You like political based drama containing a personal story that is engaging, if at times unfocused. Overall an interesting piece.

Don't see it if You like easily digestible material that is spoon fed and familiar. In other words, if you don't like to think don't see this play.

73
During previews
Good use of projections, Realistic, Starts slow but gets better, Funny, Autobiographical

See it if You're a fan of documentaries because that's pretty much what you're getting. Plus some eye candy in the form of Michael Crane.

Don't see it if You're put off by descriptions of gruesome images or 9/11 stories.


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