The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd
Closed 2h 15m
The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd

The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd NYC Reviews and Tickets

(66 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Princess Grace Award-winning playwright Jonathan Payne makes his New York debut with this story based on his experience as a social worker for Playwrights Realm.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (66)

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548 Reviews | 1903 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Resonant

See it if Loved it. Felt like an important experience to have. One of the best of the year so far. Really raw script and performances. So engrossing.

Don't see it if You don’t like very real scenes and rough language. Some challenging stuff for sure. Or if you want a traditional story.

62 Reviews | 9 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound

See it if like new forms and black theatre that breaks boundaries.

Don't see it if you want to see black narratives done with a kitchen-sink realism motif.

65 Reviews | 11 Followers
Absorbing, Quirky, Relevant, Riveting, Clever

See it if you like complicated, timely and electric work that is equal parts funny and thought-provoking

Don't see it if you don't want to think, or be engaged and only want pure "entertainment"

272 Reviews | 57 Followers
Brave, disturbing, superbly crafted

See it if for riveting, profound writing about the hard facts of life in racially torn communities that tell the inside story (good, bad and ugly)

Don't see it if you expect a happy ending or neatly packaged answers Read more

748 Reviews | 421 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if If you like a conceptional play with deeper meaning.

Don't see it if Minimum sets.

444 Reviews | 79 Followers
Powerful thought-provoking impact, Based on social worker’s observations, Rough ghetto street life portrayal

See it if Breaking the fourth wall and demanding audience engagement, a talented team of actors gives a vivid and disturbing performance.

Don't see it if You dislike experimental theatre. You want answers to questions and solutions to problems, but maybe raising awareness will help. Read more

240 Reviews | 41 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Creative

See it if you enjoy relevant issues presented in a creative, audience-interactive direction.

Don't see it if you don’t like stories dealing with current issues such as racism or if you’re easily offended by violence or cursing.

131 Reviews | 46 Followers
Long, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Quirky

See it if / for an inside, human look at the racial disparity we're living in now, and the toll it takes on all of us.

Don't see it if you want some escapism, or a comedy. Read more

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
September 19th, 2018

“In both style and content Payne tries to do too much, even though his chief concern, the hole left in society when its young black men disappear, is important and powerful...Audience participation is like plutonium; it needs to be handled delicately. Ideally, it is narrowly tailored to drive home the point of the play...The metatheatrics of ‘Revolving Cycles’ the opposite: They undermine...That’s a shame because the scenes that don’t try so hard to be clever are so good."
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Time Out New York
September 20th, 2018

"Doesn't break the fourth wall so much as completely dismantle it. From its very first moments, the play insists that the audience participate in the action, no matter how uncomfortable that becomes...Through Payne’s poetic language and keen psychological insight, the people of the Oblong seem multidimensional and real, even when they are pushed to their limits. They’re embodied by a stellar cast...Awoye Timpo's production is funny, heart-wrenching and profoundly disturbing."
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September 19th, 2018

"Payne is undaunted by accusations of Brechtian pretension: Actors directly address the audience to comment on the play, and helpful projections tell us what will occur in each scene before it takes place...While some viewers might find this style of undergraduate metatheater off-putting, the play keeps us engaged due to director Awoye Timpo's fully committed and tightly staged production."
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Lighting & Sound America
September 26th, 2018

"'The Revolving Cycles' merely repeats points made more strongly in a several other recent dramas...Occasionally, Payne lands a jab that truly stings...But the lack of drama proves debilitating, and the director is unable to save the action from a general listlessness...At moments when 'The Revolving Cycles' should provoke, it sometimes turns dismayingly coy...In any case, the cast works hard and honorably at inhabiting the denizens of this sometimes fuzzy, ill-defined dramatic universe."
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Front Mezz Junkies
September 20th, 2018

"The cast, made up of a stellar crew of talented professionals, brings authenticity to the maximum, pulling us heavily into Payne’s social experiences as he writes from his witty and distraught heart and mind...Particularly relevant and well-crafted by Payne are the illusionary stereotypes that we...tend to jump to quick judgement of pointing the finger of guilt, just like Karma, but we all find the tables turn just as quickly, knocking Karma’s accusations and blame solidly to the floor."
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New York Theater
September 19th, 2018

"The two women, both portrayed by extraordinary actresses — Kara Young as Karma, Lynda Gravátt as Madam Profit — more or less compete to dominate the play by Jonathan Payne, who is making an arresting New York debut...These scenes present a picture of individual and systemic neglect and indifference, although most of these characters are at least somewhat well-meaning."
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Off Off Online
September 20th, 2018

"Unleashes a Pandora’s box of theatrical devices, including symbolically named characters, direct audience interaction, screen projections, a live-streaming cellphone, and actors not only breaking the fourth wall but breaking character as well. Timpo molds it all into a bracing panorama of societal failures amid institutional racism. That is, until the final scene when, with the play’s momentum waning, she and Payne risk one last gambit that unfortunately swallows up all that came before it."
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Broadway & Me
September 29th, 2018

"Taking more than a few pages from Brecht's playbook, Payne names the mortician Profit and blames the Oblong's woes on the ruthlessness of capitalism. He also breaks the fourth wall with direct interactions with the audience...It isn't the kind of theater I usually like but I was fascinated by the passionate intensity with which Payne...makes his case about the not-so benign neglect of these young people...The cast, most of them playing multiple roles, transforms his thesis into vivid life."
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