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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

During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you are a LaBute fan and enjoy his ear for dialogue and monologue; enjoy plays which jog your sensibilities.

Don't see it if you are a holocaust survivor; or a black person with oversensitivity to whites tiptoeing around PC subject matter.

Also After Act 1, several older (and probably Jewish) patrons left; after A... Read more Read less

During previews
Best labute in a while, Great acting, Resonant, Provocative, Accessible

See it if Thoughtful one act plays where individuals try to make peace with inner demons & with the world. Ruminative but not as bitter as past plays

Don't see it if Two are monologues. Be forewarned: one topic is who writes history using Hitler as prism.

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
Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if you're a fan of Neil LaBute and enjoy great, thought provoking dialogue.

Don't see it if you dislike one person plays, and if you'd prefer lighter dialogue that does not require you to think.

Also Neil LaBute greeted the audience before the performance and was very a... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent dialogue, Involving

See it if Liker Labute plays, actors give intense discourse on benign and hot-spot topics. You find yourself arguing and/ or agreeing with them.

Don't see it if These plays will push you buttons. You will be challenged to think. Perhaps you want a light, mindless entertainment. Then, this is not f

During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Relevant

See it if you like LaBute's desire to shock with what's behind seemingly polite facades, or plays where characters speak apparent truths w/o guile.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate somewhat rambling, albeit usually interesting monologues (2 of the 3 pieces) where characters reveal un-PC thoughts.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy, Provocative, Intelligent

See it if You like La Bute and short, provocative pieces. La Bute has never shied away from shocking statements, and these pieces follow that pattern.

Don't see it if You're looking for something light. These one-acts are like a punch in the gut - the first two stronger than the third, but all good.

During previews
Ambitious, Edgy, Funny, Great acting, Slow

See it if You like Neil LaBute, who may very well be in the audience! The plays definitely had HIS tone. "The 4th Reich" and "Unlikely Japan" were

Don't see it if SoloS, which I generally shy away from- the latter was more emotional. The middle piece, "Great Negro Works of Art", was the strongest and

Also Was a 2-character play- without this one, the night may have been a du... Read more Read less

During previews
Intelligent, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if Like LaBute’s work- as this is consistent with other pieces. LaBute touches important issues and feelings, but then shys away.

Don't see it if Don’t like monologues-two of pieces are monologues by not terribly sympathetic people.Object to women being portrayed as silly or dumb

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.

During previews
Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You like Neil LaBute and want to see really terrific acting in thought-provoking, short one-acts.

Don't see it if You can’t handle some uncomfortable material, or don’t like workshop-style pieces.

During previews
Clever, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if What you hope Off-B’way would always be. Good writing, good directing, and good acting. Three provocative one-acts explore dark places,

Don't see it if Shoulder-to-shoulder seating in an over-warmed theatre. You prefer multiple characters interacting rather than one doing a monologue.

Also subtle bias, and the mystery of fate. Not wanting to give too much awa... Read more Read less

During previews
Intelligent, Disappointing, Great staging, Great acting, Great writing

See it if appreciate the language and flow of LaBute and want to experience it excellently done.

Don't see it if will be disappointed by work that is clever but tame on making a point.

During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like short vignettes back to back to back for about 90 minutes by a talented writer, who also directed the last story

Don't see it if you need elaborate staging or comfortable seating

Also First story- one man discussing Hitler and other cheerful thoughts. In... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Relevant

See it if You want to see three short contemporary works by a thinking (well, usually) playwright in low budget but professional production.

Don't see it if This is trigger warning city. You get the sense Labute purposely tries to challenge perceptions. The one with the Hitler apologist. more so.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy short 25 minute plays— 3 of them.

Don't see it if You expect a regular 90 minute play on a single topic.

During previews
Edgy, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy 1 act plays, topics that challenge us, and dialogue that requires looking below the surface for more complex meaning

Don't see it if You are easily offended, are uncomfortable with topics involving racism and hate both hidden and overt.

During previews
Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if you can tolerate short, great, one act plays, so you don't get bored if you don't like one...

Don't see it if you like to laugh with happy stories

Also Such great writing, even if you don't care for the subject matter, you... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Boundary-pushing

See it if You're a LaBute fan, like me; 1 out of 3 good ones makes this worth it. Great Negro Works of Art hits it out of the park.

Don't see it if You don't like monologues or are sensitive about the topics of the Holocaust and race.

During previews
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Provocative, Slow

See it if you like Neil LaBute and want to see his new works; like short one actor monologues and two-actor dialogue with uncomfortable themes.

Don't see it if You don't like LaBute's writing, want easy entertainment; are easily offended with provocative writing and views. Themes include racism.

During previews
Sparse, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you're a fan of the writer.

Don't see it if you don't like having your buttons pushed.

Also Neil LaBute never fails to entertain. Not in an escapist way, but quit... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want to experience different perspectives relevant to today’s political climate.

Don't see it if You don’t like long monologues.

During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Slow, Intelligent, Edgy

See it if You're a LaBute fan. The third piece: Unlikely Japan is some of his best writing in years and beautifully performed by Gia Crovatin

Don't see it if You don't like LaBute or can't stand uncomfortable, squirm-inducing material

During previews
Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if like plays that are edgy and may make you uncomfortable.

Don't see it if you are looking for light comedic fare.

During previews
Edgy, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in thought provoking one act plays. If you don’t mind feeling uncomfortable hearing about subjects that are disturbing.

Don't see it if You want to see something light and fluffy. Mr Labute never writes that kind of thing. He always makes you gasp. In a good way.

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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