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LaBute New Theater Festival 2019

From 108 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Relevant

About the show

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.

Member Reviews (108)


Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Relevant
Avg Score

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You would enjoy 3 short plays that shine a light of truth into some of the darkest, ugliest and scariest parts of ourselves.

Don't see it if You’re not willing to be challenged and probably first and foremost with a look in the mirror.

Also These plays made me squirm! All in different ways and for different re... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

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

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Three acts, three different stories, will have you thinking.

Don't see it if Some uncomfortable types

Also All were interesting in some way. Story One left a lot of people uncom... Read more Read less

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

See it if Not a fan of LaBute but liked these short plays. Well written and acted. Almost conversational style dialogue and very effective.

Don't see it if you want a full length drama, beautiful set and emotional drama. The dialogue and set in this play very low key.


See it if You want to see three short one act plays. Two of them are solo shows

Don't see it if You are expecting the normal brilliance that you used to get from Neil Labute

Also Here are my individual scores and recaps of each one act... Read more Read less

Intense, Resonant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You can’t miss any La Bute film or play. This is 3 one acts, 2 monologues and 1,2 hander. La Bute trades in making audiences uncomfortable.

Don't see it if You might not like the way La Bute pushes you directly into the line of fire in his plays. This selection of One Acts is no exception.

Excruciating, Indulgent, Insulting, Disappointing

See it if You like short well acted one act plays, stories designed to provoke a reaction, you really enjoy LaBute's work, or you like edgy theater

Don't see it if you don't like your intelligence being insulted, or want subtlety, decent characters, or nuance.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Edgy writing, Prompts discussion

See it if Three one-acts reflect dark thoughts and misbehaviors of characters that challenge your preconceptions. Two monologues; one two-hander.

Don't see it if With LaBute you know what you are going to get: you will be made uncomfortable and leave with unanswered questions and unsettled ideas.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you like short pieces that make you think.My favorite was Fourth Reich.Very timely.LaBute rarely lets me down.He did not disappoint!

Don't see it if you want a Mamet play or a light and fluffy musical.These 3 shows plays have a lot to say and they say it well.

Three provocative one-acts -- creepy to uncomfortable

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.

Very happy to see labute back on nyc stage, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Great acting

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.

Also I have been told that the opening play has triggered audience members ... Read more Read less

Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if An exceptional trio of short plays which encourages lots of thought on the subjects.

Don't see it if If you prefer musicals or light dramas.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Epic, Intelligent

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.

Contemporary, Discomforting, Edgy, Indulgent

See it if You enjoy short 1-Act plays that make you feel slightly uncomfortable.

Don't see it if You want a large production. 2 of 3 plays are monologues and the third has 2 actors.

Absorbing, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if These are three brief plays all done in less than two hours. If your attention span is short, this is for you.

Don't see it if Plays that challenge political correctness, or rather slap it in the face, are offensive to you.

Also I entered into the theatre with a bit of trepidation, since I haven't ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

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

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like LaBute plays and enjoy short plays with great acting.

Don't see it if You like plays with more full sets and longer plays.Are uncomfortable with material you don't agree with.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You like character pieces that make you think.

Don't see it if You are bored by one-person plays (this has a cast of 4, but 2 of the three acts are solos).

Excruciating, Insipid, Overrated, Self-indulgent

See it if I don't care for the rambling patter of LaBute's monologues. They attempt to challenge and make you think but are cliched and shallow and

Don't see it if don't go far enough. They just meander along the border of dangerous. Acting was decent, but not worth sitting through​ this mush.

Edgy, Relevant, Slow, Wry, Provocative

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

Also LaBute, sitting in last row, whispered "relax, it's not real!!" to the... Read more Read less

Provocative, demanding, acutely written

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.

Also No easy pieces. Hits all the tough stuff about history, politics, race... Read more Read less

Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Neil Labute and monologues in an intimate setting about racism. 2/3 of the 1 Acts were very good

Don't see it if You are offended by controversial subjects and want easy theater

Ambitious, Edgy, Relevant

See it if you want interesting takes on some current issues

Don't see it if gun violence or the Holocaust are triggers for you

Brutes and truth

See it if Three short gut punches thrown by one of today's best. Nice cozy shoe box theater.

Don't see it if Hate small casts and a short running time.

Also Another treat from this brilliant, fertile mind. Eric Dean White is am... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if Bold scripts: provoke thoughts on Hitler & making/unmaking of history, “blackness”/PC, gunshot/“modern mourning” process... 4 great actors!

Don't see it if Easily offended; not into political topics; expecting a flamboyant production; 2 of 3 plays are monologue-play;

January 17th, 2019
"'Great Negro Works of Art' is an ur-LaButian text, starting with a title that should inspire an anticipatory wince, but vague enough to make it difficult to pinpoint the issue...Mr. LaBute’s writing is as skillful as ever, but Tom and Jerri’s date spins into a predictable downward spiral...Mr. L...
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January 17th, 2019
"'The Fourth Reich': Under John Pierson's direction, White's portrayal is quite warm and thoughtful, even flashing a bit of stand-up comedy showmanship on occasion...The program's third entry, 'Unlikely Japan,' is directed by LaBute and is decidedly more low-key than its predecessors...What conne...
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January 18th, 2019
“Ninety minutes of pure LaBute, a format that may not be in the playwright's best interest...In each of the plays featured here, one feels two steps ahead, fully aware of where the action is headed and impatient over the time it takes to get there...The best piece, ‘Unlikely Japan’...LaBute's adm...
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January 14th, 2019
"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 s...
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