Already closed | 1h 30m | Upper W Side

The Headlands

From 32 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging, Clever

About the show

In LCT3's new drama, Henry (Aaron Yoo) is an amateur sleuth and true crime aficionado who sets out to solve the ultimate case: the unsolved murder of his father.  More…

From the show:

Using his memories and the family stories he was told as a child growing up in San Francisco, Henry begins an investigation through a labyrinth of secrets and deceptions that leads him to question those closest to him. THE HEADLANDS is a contemporary noir that explores the stories we tell ourselves and the fallibility of the mind.

1h 30m | Already closed | Claire Tow Theater (Upper W Side)

Member Reviews (32)


Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging, Clever
Avg Score

Refreshing, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Want to see plays by & about the Asian-American experience, enjoy mysteries about one’s background,

Don't see it if Not interested in Asian-American takes told in a noir style or stories about trying to find one’s roots, open ended plots

In noirish mystery, son tries to solve "cold case" involving murder of his father; raymond chandler has little to worry about

See it if interesting aesthetic as story channels pulpy detective novels & video screens evoke film noir; humor leavens; solid cast

Don't see it if takes implausible left turn at end; ultimately w/o crisp plotting or deep insights into behavior of son/family, lets you down

Also Let's play the "name game". The title "The HEADLANDS" refers to (1) th... Read more Read less


See it if Like cautiously walking through a murder mystery in a long standing San Francisco fog for the picture to emerge.

Don't see it if Slower murder mysteries aren't your thing. Entertaining but cold narration style made it harder to feel the emotional side of the drama.

Also Diversity: almost all Asian American cast (6 of 7)! Asian American pla... Read more Read less

Journey, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You appreciate a slow-boil, relationship-based play with well-rounded characters.

Don't see it if You don’t like talky shows.

Also After a slow start, complexity takes over this family-secret dramedy, ... Read more Read less

Timely, Good use of projections, Keeps you interested, Great acting

See it if You like Family drama that is not what it seems to be. Intriguing writing. Great use of live camera projections. Memories are bad narrators

Don't see it if 90 minutes with no intermission. You don’t like mysteries or family secrets. You don’t like bare sets. Character breaks fourth wall

Great use of projections, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if U enjoy a great ensemble cast solving a cold case mystery from 20 years ago with romance and a thought provoking story.

Don't see it if U don’t like mysteries, prefer more linear story lines or musicals.

Insipid, Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like mediocre and cliched whodunnits and don’t mind something that is obvious from the start:

Don't see it if You are an aficionado of crime thrillers and expect an interesting, well written play.

Also The whole plot is pedestrian and the acting is amateurish. You can see... Read more Read less

Quiet, Great projection design, Great staging, Riveting, Enchanting

See it if you're a fan of true crime or mysteries and/or of Christopher Chen's work; support diverse stories in the theatre, love San Francisco

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something heightened and uber-theatrical, a "big show."

Interesting, So-so acting, Underdeveloped, Cold case mystery

See it if You enjoy watching cold case mysteries on TV, this should be your cup of tea. Good production values but acting is less than convincing.

Don't see it if Expect depth in the story of a young man discovering family secrets. Underdeveloped characters give little to think about beyond “who dunit”

Riveting, Great staging, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You love a good noir detective story; you love a well-written, nuanced drama with a fresh take on family secrets

Don't see it if you like big staging, big casts, music; need a happy ending

Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like stories that take their time to unravel.

Don't see it if You want a comedy. There are lighter moments, but definitely on the serious side.

Also I found the performances to be engaging. And further into the mystery ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Riveting, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy plays that are both character studies and plot driven.

Don't see it if You want a play you can drift in and out of.

Also Great ensemble. Great use of projections. I found the story to well pa... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you’d enjoy a tight, engaging kinda who-done-it that smartly raises profundity moral and cultural dilemmas.

Don't see it if you're disinclined to pay close attention.

Refreshing, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy the current "sleuthing" trend of solving mysteries. You enjoy fine acting by Asian-Americans and a tight ensemble cast.

Don't see it if You hate projections. You dislike family dramas or mysteries.

Also This is a refreshing show and very entertaining.

Intense, Great writing, Great staging, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want a twist on film noir genre and to dive into what feels like a visual staging of a personal crime podcast.

Don't see it if you want something traditional. Also don't see this if you hate monologue-based plays b/c the lead character is narrating the entire time.

Quirky, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a mainly Asian cast and if you're open to an ever evolving mystery

Don't see it if you are sensitive to loud noises as there are occasional bursts of sound

Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like mysteries involving characters who are usually underrepresented in theatre.

Don't see it if You do not like mysteries, noir, or plays.

During previews
Interesting characters, Handsome, Uneven, Confused

See it if you’d like to see a stage full of interesting, flawed, engaging characters, even if their stories are confused.

Don't see it if you like your jigsaw puzzles to, ultimately, present a picture: This one never comes together.

Also I didn’t find the combination of murder mystery & family psycho-drama ... Read more Read less

During previews
Well written, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Excellent acting by all, particularly charming performance by Aaron Yoo as Henry. Interesting depiction of current and past time.

Don't see it if you want something lively, this is quiet and somewhat slow. Ultimately story is not that compelling.

During previews
Slow, Great staging, Good story, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Great use of video and lighting that enhance the story; interesting topic and characters; very well acted by all; worth seeing

Don't see it if don't appreciate minimalist staging, sets & costumes; being an amateur childhood/adult sleuth or an orphan can have serious consequences.

During previews
Interesting story. well done.

See it if You appreciate new plays told in hew ways.

Don't see it if You like traditional storytelling.

During previews
Uneven, Clever, Good story, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a modern story about a Chinese-American amateur sleuth investigating the mysterious death of his father 10 years before.

Don't see it if you don't like murder mysteries or plays that depend heavily on projections.

Also The mutability of memory plays an important role in telling a good sto... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Young Chinese adult decides to investigate father's death which occurred several years earlier. Excellent performances by multinational cast

Don't see it if There is nothing to dislike about this play. The story is well told and performed.

During previews

See it if A family drama with a mysterious element sounds appealing.

Don't see it if You don’t want to be challenged and want pure entertainment.

Also Well acted, led by a charming performance by Aaron Yoo. I found the st... Read more Read less

During previews
Uncomfortable, Different, Slow, Interesting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a different kind of story. You want to learn family secrets.

Don't see it if You want something fast moving.

February 24th, 2020
"‘The Headlands’ Nods to San Francisco Noir: A cold case. An amateur sleuth. A new clue. But sometimes the murder isn’t the real mystery."
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February 24th, 2020
3/5 Stars "Taking his time as the plot unravels, Adams elicits believable performances from the entire cast...Considering the intense nature of the story, it’s strange how rarely it stirs the pulse. Intellectually stimulating but emotionally distant, it lands in your head but goes no further."
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February 24th, 2020
"Men to Watch in 'Cambodian Rock Band', 'Blues for an Alabama Sky,' and 'The Headlands'"
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February 25th, 2020
"'The Headlands' Blends Film Noir, Crime Thriller, and Family Drama: An amateur sleuth sets out to solve his father's murder mystery in Christopher Chen's new play at LCT3."
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Cast & Creatives (3)