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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

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

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, 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.

Talky, Seems unfinished, not polished, Misogynistic, Very simple staging, Modern setting

See it if you are a Neil LaBute completist; you like new work even if it's unpolished; you have a friend in the cast; you're really into monologues;

Don't see it if you prefer dramas w/ relatable characters; Adolf Hitler admiration riles you up; you need material less static than a rambling monologue;

Also How is this a "festival"?... Read more Read less

Edgy, Indulgent, Insipid, Overrated, Intense

See it if You like shock value.

Don't see it if You want something sincere.

Edgy, Slow, Mediocre, Confusing, Insipid

See it if ONLY if you are a dire LaBute fan.

Don't see it if You like actors to make strong choices instead of being wishy-washy.

Also ********Spoilers-ish Below***************... Read more Read less

Dizzying, Intense, Insipid

See it if you like to think and feel uncomfortable, sometimes it feels like that is the goal

Don't see it if you see through some of the dramatic devices and want a shows that's less scripted and more unpredictable

Relevant, Cliched, Intelligent, Disappointing, Not complex

See it if You want to see LaBute's latest work.

Don't see it if You do not like superficial treatments of racism and prejudice.

Ambitious, Edgy, Indulgent, Overrated, Confusing

See it if You like being provoked or are not easily provoked and get stand back from it.

Don't see it if You are sensitive about issues like race and the Holocaust. I thought it went too far to make a point that wasn't worth it.

During previews
Thin, Undramatic, Well played, Talky, Slow

See it if you would like to experience a less-dyspeptic side of Neil LaBute (for the most part).

Don't see it if you're looking for drama: these 3 one-acts are bookended by monologs & the central 2-hander is pretty much all talk as well.

Also The middle play of these 3 one-acts has moments of humor & even charm.... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Edgy, Indulgent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you must see everything Labute writes. Two monologues and a dialogue. Only the dialogue really works,

Don't see it if you are looking for linear plays. These almost seem like exercises.

Also Be warned that the first monologue, The Fourth Reich, is extremely dis... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Intelligent, Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like LaBute, like confrontational / edgy one acts. These are slight compared to some of his other works, but still retain his voice.

Don't see it if you don't want to be provoked, don't like short plays, don't like LaBute.

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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