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The Light

From 18 critic and 150 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

MCC's new drama introduces us to Rashad and Genesis on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives, but their joy quickly unravels when ground-shifting accusations from the past resurface. More…

Can their relationship survive the growing divide between them over who–and what – to believe? "The Light" is a reckoning that unfolds in real-time and peels away the layers of truth, doubt, pain, and ultimately the power of love. 



95
Theater Pizzazz

“Smart and riveting...An insightful and provocative look at a young couple’s relationship...Webb has a distinct ear for realistic dialogue, and is damn near expert at taking each of her two character’s smart and passionate positions in equal measure...Directed at a perfect pace by Logan Vaughn, by the time the play’s full time is up, and we are at its finish, we feel as wrung out and raked over the same coals as the characters—which is exactly how theatre is meant to make you feel." Full Review

93
TheaterScene.net

"'The Light' is an explosive, riveting New York premiere by Chicago author Loy A. Webb on the subject of race, sex, gender, trust and loyalty ripped from the headlines at the beautiful new MCC Theater complex on W. 52nd Street. Opening the Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater, a black box theater, one of two theaters at the brand new Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 'The Light,' developed at Chicago's The New Colony theater company, is so stunningly directed by Logan Vaughn." Full Review

93
Front Row Center

"'The Light' is the full package – great writing, superb acting, sensitive direction, excellent production values and timely, relevant subject matter presented with honesty, humor, dignity, passion and love...What makes this production of 'The Light' so special starts with playwright Loy A. Webb’s tackling of a sensitive and not often explored subject matter, and her fine ear for dialog. Logan Vaughn’s light touch at the helm and excellent use of space allow the actors to use themselves fully." Full Review

90
Stage Left

“’The Light’ is an urgent and painful story of revelation, redress, and hopeful reconciliation cued at the intersection of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Tautly and evocatively sketched by playwright Loy A. Webb, this exquisite two-hander starts like a rom-com before embarking on tragic territory, forcing the audience to reckon with its own baked-in biases and assumptions based on race and gender, and to do and be better.” Full Review

90
Splash Magazines

“A piercingly stunning new work...A play devoted to various manifestations of seeing...Webb creates a fiercely winning twosome, one so very tender and satisfying that it is a big part of what makes ‘The Light’ so completely believable and watchable...Exquisite production, directed with an acutely sensitive touch...At times, can seem objective or presentational...In any case, the writing, acting and direction are so substantive and knowing, it hardly matters.” Full Review

90
UInterview

“Webb‘s powerful two-person play ‘The Light’ is so of-the-moment that the playwright revised it in October to incorporate the sexual harassment claims from Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court nomination fight...A heated exchange ensues which shows off both actors formidable skills. We won’t spoil the play’s twisty and ambiguous finale, but Webb navigates the fraught moment with pitch-perfect skill – illuminating the murky intersection of love and abuse.” Full Review

85
Lighting & Sound America

"This compact, superbly acted two-hander opens a new front in the ongoing -- and, too often, fractious -- dialogue about race and sex. It also introduces a playwright and director who are very much worth knowing about...'The Light' is not a polemic. Webb, a canny dramatist, provides both characters with plenty of firepower...The director, Logan Vaughn, confidently guides the action." Full Review

85
New York Stage Review

"Abundant thanks to director Logan Vaughn and the strapping Belcher and the beautiful Masden. They all dive bravely into this emotional maelstrom. They handle the lighter moments with blithe dexterity, yes, but their approach to the tougher twists is inspiring. It’s one of those situations where spectators leave awed that actors choose to go through such draining exercises eight times weekly." Full Review

85
Talkin' Broadway

"A compelling play receiving a superb production with excellent actors makes it something of a minor miracle...Logan Vaughn has directed a taught, rollercoaster of a love story...'The Light' is ten minutes too long and Webb needs to tighten the ending....Belcher & Masden's interactions are painfully real and there are moments you'll want to look away for fear of voyeuristically eavesdropping on such personal conversations. But don't. You won't want to miss a second." Full Review

80
Gotham Playgoer

"It resembles a mashup of themes underlying the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements. Both Genesis and Rashad have incidents in their past that make it difficult to achieve mutual understanding. As the play turns didactic, the freshness and vitality take a hit, which is a shame because the beginning is so promising. The acting is very strong...Director Logan Vaughn occasionally lets the pace lag. The result is a flawed but interesting play." Full Review

80
The Wrap

"A fast, sometimes funny, and ultimately furious 70 minutes, and what makes it all the more remarkable is that Webb tells the story of Rashad and Genesis in real time...'The Light' plays host to a number of issues, but what’s really at the core of Webb’s play is the eternal battle of the sexes. Rashad and Genesis can’t help but talk around each other’s pain." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"The play doesn’t push any theatrical envelopes, but it does fill its sturdy, conventional box with affecting articulation and real feeling...The play works because Webb, Vaughn, Masden, and Belcher III give us not only ideas and arguments but full, familiar, suffering and striving human beings. They’re working inside a form that has its literalism and its limits, but they’re bringing dimension, tenderness, and the audacity of hope to the task." Full Review

80
New York Stage Review

"A blazing show that reaffirms the company’s mission to produce works that provoke timely conversation...The first 30 minutes or so of Webb’s 75-minute drama is thoroughly beguiling...Sharp observations punctuate the latter parts of the drama, which stir up audible reactions from the audience...Vaughn ably navigates the play’s changing rhythms, which rise and ebb several times, and she cultivates superb performances from her two actors." Full Review

80
CurtainUp

“Webb's provocative new play...The acting is the real ace of the production. Belcher III inhabits Rashad with a natural charm...Masden as Genesis, has the right blending of back-bone and feminine vulnerability to make her character credible...If I have any reservations...it comes down to the dramaturgy and dialogue being a bit too manicured to truly mirror real-life. That said, this new theatrical venture not only speaks, but adds fresh muscle, to the MeToo movement.” Full Review

75
CitiTour

"Rarely have I seen the line between actor and character evaporate as completely as it does in the hands, bodies and faces of McKinley Belcher III and Mandi Masden's in Loy A. Webb's timely and often painful two-hander 'The Light,' which inaugurates MCC's gorgeous new Robert W. Wilson Theater Space." Full Review

70
Theater Life

"Webb is interested in social justice…she allows that interest to supersede the writing of a convincing play about…an issue of significant concern among black women…Suffice it to say that the latter two-thirds are a vitriolic debate between the lovers over [Genesis's] disgust at…Rashad's black male privilege…The excellent performances of Belcher and Masden, both as lovers and as debaters, give great vitality to the dispute but their artistry only underlines the play's contrivances." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"A play — sometimes dubious and sometimes devastating — about sexual assault and its aftershocks, it’s a rom-com, a drama and very nearly a tragedy. Do we have a word for that yet? Do we want one?...Webb writes great lines and great one-liners, but they don’t always sound like spontaneous back-and-forth. The characters matter less than the arguments. If that’s a questionable trade-off, the debate is compelling and sometimes complicated...This is a tear-struck thesis play." Full Review

65
Time Out New York

“Webb's drama starts as delirious, wish-fulfillment romance...The characters are too carefully expositional, and later we're too aware of their being manipulated...by their playwright-puppeteer. Yet their fight is bruising. The actors commit themselves totally...‘The Light’ is about choosing to feel someone else's pain, and its best illustration of that idea consists in simply watching Masden and Belcher lift their internal floodgates and let a terrifying tide course right through them.” Full Review


100
Profound, Masterful, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Want to understand the complications of relationships, especially between Black men and women.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see great acting and superb writing. The set was very inviting.

100
Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Intelligent, Exquisite

See it if you hate that any policy/cultural progress in favor of women or black people occurs at a 1 step forward, 30 steps backward pace.

Don't see it if you’re undisturbed by the never-in-our-lifetime rate of change because even w/ regression the future of you & yours is foreseeably bright.

Also This is it. “That taught me how to be a better human,” is what I overh... Read more Read less

100
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound, Relevant

See it if Extraordinary acting from Mandi Masden; the story line develops enjoyably, almost enchantingly, but make no mistake this is a

Don't see it if You do not like dramas

Also very serious, earthshaking, devastatingly tragic moment.

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful

See it if Rarely have i seen a play which just makes you hold your breath in one instance and laugh out loud to other circumstances.This play is a tou

Don't see it if If you don't like a situation which routinely is overlooked in our society regarding females specifically black females.

Also r de force.The acting is of a superlative nature.The subject matter go... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to experience true acting in a must see play with many pertinent issues that are in the forefront of current social issues.

Don't see it if You’re uncomfortable with confronting issues related to the Me-too and Black Lives Matter movements as well as our political state of affair

Also Well written, provocative, suspenseful, thought provoking.

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a difficult subject handled well. A small wonder.

Don't see it if You want a big extravagant play

98
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like well written, well acted shows that make you re-think your beliefs.This is as good a show as I've seen recently.Absolutely riveting

Don't see it if you want a light rom-com.There are elements of that, but it is more about Black Lives Matter/Me Too issues.Touching on a very deep level.Go!

95
Resonant, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Great drama and superlative acting.

Don't see it if you only like light-hearted happy musical/comedy shows

95
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Young couple discovers intense differences due to biases based on past experiences. Can they continue to love each other? Deeply moving.

Don't see it if You are not up for heavy themes including racist oppression and rape, from the perspective of black men and women.

Also After the show, a moderator engaged the audience in an intelligent, en... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Relevant

See it if you are interested in very intense dramas about sensitive topics presented with thought provoking points of view. The actors are brilliant.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with an intimate staging or don't want to witness unflinching depiction of a couple on the brink of destruction.

95
Riveting, hard-hitting, terrific acting, Terrific, hard hitting, masterful

See it if You care about important issues, especially those concerning racism and sexism. You want to see a very important relevant piece of theater.

Don't see it if You are vapid and only care about yourself and only like comedy. This play is about real life issues, not fantasy.

95
Relevant, Resonant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you want to see an important piece of theater that will start an intense and important discussion - but is still filled with grace & humor.

Don't see it if you want something light and happy

95
Relevant, Riveting, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you're ready for a serious play that tackles many current issues in a thoughtful and emotional manner.

Don't see it if you don't want to be faced with a multitude of themes in one show (listed below).

Also Wow - what a powerhouse of a story! Starting with the excellent set de... Read more Read less

94
Great writing, Great acting, Intimate, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are okay with heavy themes—sexual assault, race, discrimination, bias—in a play that’s tone is not always consistent. Still amazing.

Don't see it if You can’t handle the above, or want a comedy. My only complaint was that the writing sometimes felt like exposition and less like dialog.

93
Great writing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if play that begins as romantic comedy & then becomes an intense look at issues of gender, race, power - accusations & who is believed

Don't see it if don't want emotional drama, heavy topics

Also wonderful acting & great chemistry between the 2 actors

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Resonant

See it if you enjoy an excellent, well acted, resonant story in a great thrust stage theatre. Outstanding in every way!

Don't see it if you prefer light topics or large musical productions.

93
Riveting, Powerful, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if powerful performances in this astoundingly realistic gut-wrenching writing. Such relevant issues treated with depth and respect. A must see.

Don't see it if you can't handle heavy emotional drama.

Also The range and intensity of emotions depicted by these 2 actors is wide... Read more Read less

92
Must see, Masterful, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if The point of this show is so spot on and so important. I left thankful to the playwright and amazed that the actors do it 8x a week.

Don't see it if If you are not triggered about sexual violence it is a must see. This message needs to be out there.

92
Great acting, Great staging, Riveting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy the exploration and development of emotional reactions and different points of view between a loving couple

Don't see it if you don't like topics about me-too, or issues mostly facing black males or females

Also I was very moved by this play. There were some funny parts and some ve... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Profound

See it if Strong, beautiful and disarming story. Great actors.

Don't see it if No reason not to.

91
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to explore themes of power in society, race relations, #metoo. and for the great acting.

Don't see it if you are triggered by descriptions of sexual assault.

90
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy good drama where the characters make sense and give you something to think about

Don't see it if two character plays are not big enough for you

Also Very intelligent show that starts happy and then has conflict. And tel... Read more Read less

90
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Relevant, Intense

See it if Well written, acted, and staged. This is a damn fine play.

Don't see it if It deals with sexual assault in a pretty explicit (verbal only) way. One woman in the audience was in tears when I saw it.

90
Riveting, Relevant, Masterful, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if Great acting. Relevant story. Bravo!

Don't see it if You don't care about human relationships.

90
Riveting, Intelligent, Powerful, emotional, Great acting

See it if You want deep performances by 2 actors whose emotional investment & chemistry make the play believable. You’re drawn into their perspectives

Don't see it if Don’t shy away from the important themes discussed. The dialogue & acting created empathy for the characters & their experiences. So moving.


Cast & Creatives (9)