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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

Confusing, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Slow, Relevant

See it if You are a fan of LaBute’s work,one act plays,lengthy 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

Also I find it hard to score when the acts are not equally good. Some are e... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant

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.

Also It's difficult to summarize three separate pieces in a single blurb, a... Read more Read less

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.

Intelligent, Provocative, Interesting

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.

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

See it if You enjoy 3 short plays about relevant thought provoking topics which aren’t connected to each other.

Don't see it if You prefer an evening with a single threaded play and characters or you prefer musicals.

Entertaining, Great writing

See it if You like Labute's writing and are interested in new snippets of his work

Don't see it if if you don't like short vingette peices. Two are monologues

Absorbing, Funny, Edgy, Great writing

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.

Also Three simple, but incisive, short plays by a terrific writer.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy one-act plays that are intended to make one think and/or uncomfortable. Also, if you like "natural" dialogue (monologue?).

Don't see it if you become discomfited by sort of pro-Nazi talk or "subtle-ish" racism. People walked out of both the 1st & 2nd pieces.

Thought-provoking, Clever, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like short one act plays with characters and stories that can make you feel a little “ uncomfortable “.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of LaBute and the way he writes. Two of the acts are monologues and the staging is extremely minimal.

Clever, Quirky, Interesting pieces/ 3 one act plays

See it if you like short but poignant plays with minimal staging.

Don't see it if you like flashy big budget shows.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if "Great Negro Works of Art" is outstanding. LaBute at his best - love the dialogue. The other two were OK but not to his usual level IMHO.

Don't see it if you are triggered by Hitler, the Holocaust, race relations, gender issues, and mass shootings.

Brilliant relevant theater, brilliantly acted and brilliantly directed. not to be missed.

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.

Excruciating, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You value misogony, think women are all clueless morons, and think Hitler was brilliant guy who got a bad rap ONLY because he lost a war.

Don't see it if you have no patience for writers who write to incite or belittle, thinking this makes them edgy or thought provoking.

Confusing, Ok

See it if You like new work. You like Labute.

Don't see it if You don't like Labute. I guess I don't so it's hard to write this. A little heavy on dialogue. I dont even remember the third one.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a LaBute fan or looking for provacative theater

Don't see it if you are looking for a politically correct show

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you like to feel uncomfortable about topics that are relevant

Don't see it if you want mainstream, feel-good theater

Edgy, phenomenal actors, uncomfortable, entertaining

See it if You like Neil LaBute, you want to see top actors (working on major TV shows but with theater lives too), you enjoy one-acts.

Don't see it if You don't like LaBute's verbal style, you dislike short plays.

Also This is hard to score because it's three short one-acts. The Fourth Re... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you like political plays, plays about the current cultural moment. That's its strength. The second one act was my favorite.

Don't see it if you don't like analyses of our current culture.

Clever, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You like strong writing, performances, and one act plays. The second one was a highlight.

Don't see it if You don't like long monologues or are easily offended by discussions that involve the Holocaust, race, and shootings.

Also The first play moved slowly but the second and third were very engagin... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great writing, Uncomfortable in the best way

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.

Also I might have given this a higher rating if two of the three one-act pl... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Relevant

See it if LaBute is a master of dialogue and the use of the precise word for the moment. It’s revealing theater but seldom gentle or uplifting.

Don't see it if If you fear topics that are too sensitive to discuss with strangers. Or don’t like that his bothersome characters are a lot like us.

Provocative, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Neil Labute's writing or of edgy, funny one-act plays.

Don't see it if you don't like the "short story" format or drama that can be uncomfortable and possibly make you squirm a little.

Also Of the three plays, I thought that Great Negro Works of Art was pitch-... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Intense, Shocking

See it if YOu like thought provoking great drama that gets you almost angry. It is very shocking at times

Don't see it if YOu don't like being uncomfortable.

Clever, Entertaining, Enchanting, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like good writing and interesting subjects and good acting.

Don't see it if You are sensitive about topics about the Holocaust.

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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