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.

During previews
Riveting, Slow, Dizzying, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to hear an interesting story about struggling with mental illness. It touches on interesting themes but could've gone further.

Don't see it if You can't sit still for an hour and a half.

During previews
Political, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if A minimalistic, political commentary with a reflective narrative is your interest.

Don't see it if An NPR-esque (à la Radiolab podcast) journey of an artist and their "struggles" and his subject interviewee is considered boring to you.

During previews
Absorbing, Confusing, Relevant

See it if You enjoy intimate pieces about contemporary topics.

Don't see it if Non-traditional story telling confuses you.

During previews
Slow, Great staging, Confusing, Great acting, Excruciating

See it if You like great staging, apt direction, and pro actors elevating the material.

Don't see it if You'll get bored watching 2 people on stage talking for what feels like 2 hrs. Too personal and not enough meat on the story.

During previews

See it if You enjoy a play concerning contemporary events with psychological impact.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy a play where the playwright is so enamored of his writing skills that he dials up the language to a 13 on a scale of 10.

During previews
Breakneck pace, Interesting, Great actors, Narration-heavy, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a play about two fascinating, haunted men told at a pace that dares you to keep up.

Don't see it if you can't stand shows that don't follow the principle "show, don't tell."

During previews
Confusing, Dated, Documentary, Great staging, No heart

See it if it's a documentary. It reports on the problems and facts with little self-reflection or evolution. You are not lead to care about the people

Don't see it if Good staging & acting but the back & forth writing style is dated and confusing. It's made to look cooler than the material ever is.

During previews
Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You enjoy smart, contemporary, thought provoking new work that delves deep on psychological issues.

Don't see it if You're squeamish - some graphic descriptions and photos of wartime violence.

During previews
Intelligent, Disappointing, Rapid-fire verbiage, All talk, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a history lesson on the atrocities of war. It's a brilliant exposition, but not really a play in the traditional sense.

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional play with a story-line and an emotional journey.

During previews
Dragged out, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You like deep thought-provoking narratives, and different ways of storytelling.

Don't see it if You are bored easily and don't like dragged-out narratives.

During previews
Slow, Informational, Long winded, Boring, Historical

See it if You like watching the discovery/history channels. Very informational. There will be those who really like this, Im just not one of them

Don't see it if Writing style is dated & you never feel connected to characters. Long winded & Hard to stay interested. Would make a better book/documentary

During previews

See it if You like like shows that are so slow and boring. Actors were good story slow felt my mind wander and throughout most of it

Don't see it if I would just say don't see it

During previews
Disjointed, Confusing, Good concept, Thought-provoking, Feels long

See it if You are familiar with the subject matter and think you might find it interesting to see it onstage; If you don't have anything else to see

Don't see it if You want a play that is easy to follow, easy to latch onto. The subject matter was interesting, but the execution was very unfocused.

During previews
Confusing, Boring, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you need to catch up on your sleep since this play is B*O*R*I*N*G.

Don't see it if you don't like boring, slow-moving, and confusing plays.

During previews
Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting

See it if If you love current events, journalism, clever interplay of ideas and technology.

Don't see it if If you need things slowly spelled out to you or a very literal viewer.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You Crave a raw, on the face theatrical experience. This play won't dissapoint and will have you on the edge of your seat.

Don't see it if You are addicted to your phone and have the attention span of a June bug! This play deserves all the attention.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Original, The timing was impeccable! didn't even miss a beat when a patron's cell phone rang out during a crucial moment of the plot! excellent delivery.

See it if You are a play buff You enjoy witty, quirky, original pieces

Don't see it if You are interested in pretty, neat packages with happy endings.

During previews
Great staging, Thought-provoking, Slow, Confusing

See it if you're interested in a documentary/interview style show.

Don't see it if if you have a hard time with a quick back and forth dialogue.

For a previous production
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if you like thought provoking theatre

Don't see it if you want light entertainment

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Cast & Creatives (10)