Already closed | 1h 45m | Midtown W

The Niceties

From 51 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent, Absorbing

About the show

In Manhattan Theatre Club's new drama, at an elite East Coast university, a polite conversation between a professor and a student becomes a powder keg of race, history, and power. More…

An ambitious young black student and her esteemed white professor meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly, discussions of grammar and Google turn to race and reputation, and before they know it, they’re in dangerous territory neither of them had foreseen – and facing stunning implications that can’t be undone.

Member Reviews (51)


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

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if if you enjoy plays about topical issues. Jordan Boatman was very good.

Don't see it if Unrealistic. The conversation did not ring true to me. Teacher so obnoxious, student so outspoken.

Also I was having trouble staying awake (and I was NOT tired). I left at th... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if you are willing to look past extreme, unrealistic dialogue and unbelievable characterization to deal with the very important issues of bias

Don't see it if you want your plays to draw you into the action rather than put you off. A missed opportunity to explore important issues of bias/ignorance

During previews
Confusing, Relevant, Dishonest, Cliched

See it if You liked "Oleanna."

Don't see it if You don't like emotionally dishonest plays or don't need a lesson on microaggression.

October 25th, 2018
“A bristling, provocative debate play about race and privilege in the US, and it begs to be argued with — partly because Burgess has manipulated the contest in ways that feel unnecessary. But it is also a drama about the destructiveness of internecine fighting...It’s odd that Janine, with all of ...
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October 25th, 2018
"The arguments Burgess presents—about free speech versus cultural sensitivity, and the difference between endorsing and enacting progressive ideals—are nuanced and timely...Despite the performers' excellent efforts, however, the combatants seem more like political positions than people; the plot ...
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October 28th, 2018
"In Burgess' thought-provoking 'The Niceties'...while one side appears to emerge victorious in the court of public opinion, neither is unscathed...Both actors give persuasive performances, with Boatman's Zoe seeming intimidated at first, but switching firmly into activist leadership mode...Though...
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October 25th, 2018
"The play of ideas starts careening out of control. The discussion turns into shouting, and Boatman talks faster and faster, divulging well-worded opinions she can't possibly have come up with on the spur of the moment...Janine, meanwhile, in Banes's calm, well-calibrated performance, is a voice ...
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