St. Louis's one-act festival returns to New York with a new lineup featuring three premier one-acts by Neil LaBute: "Unlikely Japan," "Great Negro Works of Art," and "The Fourth Reich." More…
In "Unlikely Japan" a young woman spots an old flame on television and vividly recounts how a single choice can alter the course of multiple lives.
"Great Negro Works of Art" follows a meeting between an under-celebrated artist and his gallery manager as they debate race, culture, and what is/what is not “art” today.
"The Fourth Reich" focuses on a public speaker as he presents his unique views on modern history, thoughts about the future and ruminations on his favorite painter.
"If LaBute intended to provoke, his circumspect treatment has undermined that intent...The final and, in my opinion, least successful work is 'Unlikely Japan'...As is often the case with LaBute, the women do not come off well; one is a bit dim and the other lacks compassion...In all three plays, LaBute seems to be holding back and showing a muted, less confrontational side. The actors in all three plays were first-rate." Full Review
"Offers neither fodder for the salacious nor the gut punch and unlikely poignance of his best work, it’s a timely affirmation that LaBute remains among our most vital and necessary observers of messy modern life. That timeliness extends to the subject matter of the new plays...'Unlikely Japan,' another one-character piece, ends the collection on a high note, reminding us that LaBute’s female characters can be as sharply drawn and as vexing as his guys." Full Review
"Suggests that LaBute wants to remind ultra-sensitive audiences that his plays do not represent his views, but rather illuminate the dark truths lurking within the dubious characters he fashions...Curiously enough, one can’t help but notice that much as the playwright strives to present what he sees as the truth within his characters, the two women he creates here are not as self-aware as the men, even though one of these guys advocates for Hitler." Full Review
See it if The performances are outstanding. Labute's ear for contemporary speech and psychology is breathtaking.
Don't see it if you are looking for light fare or melodrama or easy comedy.
See it if you crave intellectual/social challenge- off mainstream and sometimes politically incorrect viewpoints reflecting efforts to fit into world
Don't see it if you prefer multi-actor, complex set and plot plays, comedies, or musicals to soliloquies
See it if Well acted and absorbing one-act plays. Always had you on the edge of being uncomfortable, but totally engaged.
Don't see it if You are easily offended. Doesn’t shy away from race or politics. Not a light night at the theater.
See it if you enjoy LaBute's sustained awkwardness, sketching out in few short minutes whole personalities, deeply flawed,annoying, always relate-able
Don't see it if you see through some of the dramatic devices, don't enjoy provocation that sometimes feels like it's there for provocation's sake alone.
See it if You enjoy fast paced, one act vignettes addressing contemporary issues in a thoughtful, deep way
Don't see it if You need action and fast pace, don’t enjoy reflective contemporary dialogue
See it if you are willing to do the hard work to get below the surface of LaBute's work. My initial score was lower. Thinking made me raise it.
Don't see it if you dislike works where none of the characters are likeable and all are self absorbed.
See it if you want to see interesting & flawed characters. LaBute exposes the ugliness of humanity in ways that are recognizable & at times relatable.
Don't see it if you cant bear watching potentially unlikeable characters in squirm-inducing situations, as this is often LaBute's trademark.
See it if you know & expect LaBute's provocative content—some in audience awkwardly talked back to actor during first playlet; enjoy slow-burn work.
Don't see it if you hate realizing your sense of humanity & moral outrage is reserved for what offends you personally; your ignorance is bliss, set in stone
See it if LaBute is out to make you think and feel uncomfortable. First monologue portrays a smarmy Hitler apologist yelled at by audience members.
Don't see it if Women behaving badly -- in act 2, a woman on an internet date cannot hide her racism. Last act -- a woman regrets standing up her boyfriend.
See it if you are keen to check out a trio of one-acts that are meant to be a little uncomfortable in the sense of provoking thought and conversation.
Don't see it if you want to stay far away from hot-button topics like mass shootings, race, PC culture, and white supremacy/Adolf Hitler.
See it if Writing that unsettles but challenges your mind and preconceptions performed by excellent actors is for you. Nothing comfortable here
Don't see it if You want easy answers and an night of familiar persona. You will get mad, feel sad, laugh, think.
See it if You like this remarkable playwright. You want to think. want to cringe. Want to feel "Oh my...did she SAY that?". No free laughs here.
Don't see it if You dont like Labute. You want a big production. You dont have patience to wait for the foot in mouth inevitability.
See it if You will enjoy three short, very different pieces all dealing with how people perceive and treat, or mistreat, others.
Don't see it if Monologues and non-linear conversation annoy or bore you.
See it if Partner upset with the Hitler one act 75 is our Ave. Great acting by all four performers. All 3 fascinating topics Typical of the writer
Don't see it if Ask yourself i f you like his previous work. Two of the one acts are solos, the other a duet. If you do not like 1st row, take Row F 4th row
See it if You are a fan of LaBute’s work,one act plays,lengthy monologues.one was might be a controversy about Hitler,another one through online app
Don't see it if You are offended/bothered by one act about admiration of Adolf Hitler by a guy, online dating of interracial couple, and Vegas attacks
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