War NYC Reviews and Tickets

69%
(74 Reviews)
Positive
59%
Mixed
30%
Negative
11%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Original

About the Show

Lincoln Center presents the New York premiere of Obie-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' drama about a family forced to deal with the ghosts of its past.

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Member Reviews (74)

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876 Reviews | 906 Followers
75
Entertaining, Uneven, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Interesting idea interposed with realistic themes.Believable writing. Solid performances. Relatable, sought-provoking, moving.Very enjoyable

Don't see it if Tool that makes it interesting in the beginning is overused turning the protagonist into narrator.Meyers is miscast agewise (not talentwise)

851 Reviews | 1007 Followers
76
Interesting, Entertaining, Clever, Original

See it if I enjoyed the story & performances. It's an interesting concept & aspects of the production are definitely clever & unique!

Don't see it if Parts of it can seem a bit slow. Myers is talented but is miscast as Tate. Would have been better with an older actor.

965 Reviews | 339 Followers
55
Boring, Confusing, Edgy, Unfocused, Long

See it if you're willing to tolerate stretches of boredom and incoherence for occasional glimmers of insight and intelligence.Some strong performances

Don't see it if you want BJJ to know what he's doing. Terrible jumble. Gorilla parts demeaning. Second act is much stronger, if you stay (many left).

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Intelligent, Slow, Uneven

See it if you want to see an early (albeit less deft) work by BJJ, one the freshest current voices in theatre; you like to explore issues of identity.

Don't see it if you expect a fleshed out, cohesive, masterful addition to BJJ's impressive oeuvre. (It's not very good, but lesser BJJ is still worthwhile).

605 Reviews | 226 Followers
83
Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You're a fan of the work presented at LCT3, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' previous plays, or ambitious new plays/playwrights in general.

Don't see it if You dislike family dramas, especially those about class, privilege, race, and/or illness.

534 Reviews | 488 Followers
75
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you're interested in a really exciting, really messy new play that goes all over the place but ultimately lands.

Don't see it if you're expecting the perfection that was An Octoroon, Appropriate, and Gloria. This show is something else.

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
89
Intelligent, Original, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Terrific acting ensemble

See it if you are interested in the writings of Jacobs-Jenkins. Not one of his best plays, it still makes for an interesting night of theatre.

Don't see it if you do not want to engage in a conversation after the performance. The play contains a lot of food for thought.

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
33
Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Slow

See it if You enjoy lengthy rambling shows and long monologues (2 hours 15 minutes). You think it's insightful to see humans make ape noises and crawl

Don't see it if You don't want to see a disjointed mess of a show that's poorly written

Critic Reviews (23)

The New York Times
June 6th, 2016

"This is a heavily confused play about cultural confusion, a consideration of identity that never settles into a coherent identity of its own…It is so replete with ideas and arguments—and tries to cover so much territory within a confined space—that it chokes on its ambitions. Not that many of the ideas, and the various ways in which they’re presented, aren’t provocative in themselves…This production still seems to exist in limbo in ways that its seriously gifted writer never intended."
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Time Out New York
June 6th, 2016

"The play’s violence is emotional and rhetorical, not literal, and derives from tensions about race and class; the playwright’s sharp voice resonates above those of the individual characters, who register semi-symbolically…'War' pokes the audience with racial discomfort—in this case, by playing with culturally loaded simian themes...The race it’s most concerned with is the human one."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 6th, 2016

"Veering uneasily between naturalistic drama and stylized surrealism, the work doesn't fully succeed on either level…There's no denying the play's cerebral ambitions, even if the playwright is dealing with more themes than he can comfortably handle...Director Blain-Cruz wrestles with, but never pins down, the play's unruly disparate elements...A fluidly staged, visually imaginative production whose technical elegance provides an intriguing contrast to the messiness of the dramaturgy."
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Variety
June 6th, 2016

"A bit of a buzz-kill. The play has something potentially interesting to say about language as a means of defining our common humanity and asserting our individual identity. But in its current over-thought, overwrought, and overwritten state the idea is stalled in the format of a strained domestic drama… Although he loses sight of the subject in the heat of the domestic drama, Jacobs-Jenkins seemed to have been onto something about language."
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New York Daily News
June 9th, 2016

"Jacobs-Jenkins’ overloaded play about the need to connect and communicate set in motion by a matriarch's stroke is at war with itself. It careens from theme-to-theme as it toggles between realistic moments and surreal sections. In a production packed with overacting, Rachel Nicks’ natural and quietly affecting performance is refreshing. After the author’s terrific 'Gloria' and 'An Octoroon,' I’ll follow him anywhere. But this latest work goes nowhere."
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Theatermania
June 6th, 2016

"This whip-smart play uncannily captures the family politics that rupture around the mortality of a parent...Director Lileana Blain-Cruz negotiates between two distinct planes of existence with showmanship and efficiency...With 'War,' Jacob-Jenkins proves that family dramas can be intellectually stimulating, formally innovative, and emotionally engaging all at the same time."
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BroadwayWorld
June 7th, 2016

"Jacobs-Jenkins has never been one to back off from the possibility of making his audience feel uncomfortable...'War' is a play that is loaded with ideas, surprises and some of the sharpest writing around...As characters debate issues of communication and identity, Blain-Cruz's graceful production smoothly transitions from the real to the surreal, as the playwright's intriguing situation twists and turns."
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Talkin' Broadway
June 6th, 2016

"Engrossing, and at times shocking...So rich and unusual is all this, in fact, that it sets a standard the second act is not capable of meeting. Though it resolves all the necessary plot implications, it gets there by way of a bunch of conventional, and too often uninteresting, arguments...If this lapse in subtlety hurts the evening as a whole, it's about the only one there is. Director Lileana Blain-Cruz keeps everyone else on point, and beautifully blends the competing realities."
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