Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Turn Me Loose

From 70 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking

About the show

Westside Theatre presents a bio-show about the explosive life and career of Dick Gregory ('Scandal's' Joe Morton), the first African-American comedian to expose white audiences to racially charged humor. More…

Gretchen Law's two-hander tracks the course of Mr. Gregory's personal and professional history. When he forced himself onto the stage at The Playboy Club in front of an audience of Southern, white, frozen-food conventioneers, he transformed their racist heckling into howling laughter, and initiated an unprecedented comedy career. 'Turn Me Loose' explores Gregory’s struggle between his new-found celebrity and his yearning to join the civil rights movement. Produced by Grammy Award-winning pop star John Legend.

Member Reviews (70)


Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Intense, Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Moving

See it if You want to be stirred by a caring man's fight for racial equality. Dick Gregory was more than just a comedian.

Don't see it if You prefer lighter subject matter.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Masterful

See it if You want to see an absolutely incredible performance and to learn about Dick Gregory. Totally enthralling. Amazingly topical.

Don't see it if You'd rather not think about hard issues. Very intense but funny too. Totally worth seeing.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you want to see a brilliant, tour de force performance by Joe Morton, providing insight into the life, wit and passions of Dick Gregory.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with activism and racially charged themes. Even so, this is a performance not to be missed.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a magnificent performance by Joe Morton.

Don't see it if you are put off by rude language.

Absorbing, Great acting, Remarkably topical

See it if you're interested in race relations in the last 50 years, & you want to see a great perf by Morton. Stunning & sad how little has changed.

Don't see it if you have a problem w/ a tiny theater w/ no leg room where the lights smoke & smell, & an even tinier lobby w/ 2 show audiences packed in.

Great acting, Relevant, Must see, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if you care about social issues, specifically racism and if you lie a show where you are laughing one minute and deeply moved the next

Don't see it if Everyone should see it. But don't see it if you really, really can't handle racial humor.

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

See it if you think ninety minutes of Joe Morton channeling Dick Gregory would be amazing -- you'd be right.

Don't see it if you're easily offended by criticisms of white privilege. Actually, scratch that -- you NEED to see it more than anyone else.

Outstanding acting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a tour-de-force. Joe Morton is astonishing (he scores 100), And the play is good as well.

Don't see it if You aren't willing to hear some real and perceived criticisms of the US. The play draws directly from Dick Gregory's life.

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

See it if You want to know more about Dick Gregory, and if you want to see that formidable man from Scandal in real live action. It's brief and great

Don't see it if I can't think of any reason to not see it, except if you go to theatre for pure escapism.

Great acting, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you have any love of great writing and acting and recent history that rings incredibly relevant to current politics.

Don't see it if You can't accept the reality of racial inequalities that continue despite the civil rights movement and the small steps forward.

Relevant, Riveting, Must see, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You are fascinated by interesting and lesser-known true life stories, barrier-breakers, and social justice issues made funny and relevant

Don't see it if No reason not to see this inspiring show unless you're allergic to hearing (entirely appropriate and necessary) words "nig***" and "mofo"

Absorbing, Ambitious, Exquisite, Funny, Great acting

See it if Joe Morton is a wonderful performer and the show is compelling and powerful.

Don't see it if You're not interested in Dick Gregory or don't want a slice of history

Great acting, Relevant, Must see, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are/not familiar with Dick Gregory. If you want to learn what he stood for and how he expressed it. A fan of John Morton

Don't see it if You are an ignorant racist. Nah your the one thst should see it.

Great acting, Funny, Great writing, Must see, Profound

See it if You want to see a funny and moving play about the comedian and social activist. Dick Gregory. Morton is great. Very relevant today.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about politics or social cchange.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You know DG's career, so it's a walk down memory lane. You may need to do some research. Do you know who Medgar Evers was?

Don't see it if You expect it to be all comedy, all the time

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Must see

See it if you like memoir type theater done masterfully, exquisite acting, great humor, and themes of social justice and black rights.

Don't see it if you're easily offended by swear words, or don't like one-man shows. This is a great one though!

Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Beautifully acted by Joe Morton, brilliantly conceived, pungent and stimulating. Important themes!

Don't see it if A polemic about race relations and inequality do not interest you.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Hilarious

See it if you want to a reliably excellent actor working that the top of his game...

Don't see it if you are rattled by frank talk (and frank language) on the topic of race in America...

Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if want to get inside the mind of the most intelligent comedians of the 20th century who was ahead of his time. Joe Morton is masterful.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear about the civil rights movement or race relations.

Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if A funny and beautifully performed chronicle of the comedian's controversial career with some unexpected​ and painful personal anecdotes.

Don't see it if you never liked Dick Gregory's brutally honest, politically-charged humor or delude yourself that you now inhabit a post-racial America.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if Love great performances by an actor. Should be videotaped and shown nationally on PBS. An important and outstanding show

Don't see it if Absolutely no reason

Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Must see

See it if you want an uplifting, intense, complex, hilarious to heartbreaking production. the most inspirational piece of theater i've seen in AGES.

Don't see it if you're triggered by racial violence/ harassment (mostly off-stage; some happens on stage), fat shaming, or minimal audience interaction.

Also probably the most unexpectedly uplifting show i have ever seen. i expe... Read more Read less

Hilarious, Must see, Profound, Important, Virtuosic

See it if you're familiar with Dick Gregory or Joe Morton, you like stand-up, you have a social conscience, you like stories that punch in the gut.

Don't see it if you don't like shows about race, how far our society has to go, or 1-man shows (the structure is slightly uninspired). Well worth it anyway.

Mesmerizing, Masterful performance by joe morton as old and young dick gregory, Edgy, Intelligent, Original

See it if You want to go back in time to hear the impact of Dick Gregory 's words in the 1960's so fitting for this moment in time. Stellar Joe Morton

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with confrontation about black and white racist attitudes in the U.S. If you don't want to think!!

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if An amazing performance that is funny, tragic, moving throughout. Totally captivating.

Don't see it if If you are a racist.Or better yet, DO see it it if you are a racist. Maybe you will learn something!

May 19th, 2016
“The show feels as raw, vital and funny as any stand-up set you’re likely to find in New York today. Some jokes feel so topical it’s hard to believe they date from decades ago...When Mr. Morton’s Gregory takes the stage, it’s as if a wrecking ball suddenly shattered the back of the theater. He’s ...
read more
June 8th, 2016
"Even if you know the routines of Dick Gregory by heart, 'Turn Me Loose' still has the power to surprise, shock and galvanize. That's in part due to his insightful and uncomfortably hilarious views on our country's race and class problems...His scathingly accurate analysis wouldn't land with such...
read more
May 19th, 2016
“It's certainly a tour-de-force vehicle for its star...Morton doesn't deliver an exact impression but certainly channels his subject's biting delivery and sharp comic timing...The play, which touches on the many phases of Gregory's career, may be slightly too esoteric for non-fans. But even those...
read more
May 22nd, 2016
"In one of the most astonishing performances of this or any season, Joe Morton plays the enduring comedian, activist, gadfly and author with a warmth and precision that has nothing to do with versimilitude and everything to do with passion, knowledge and chops…The intimate play is expertly staged...
read more

Related content