War NYC Reviews and Tickets

(74 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (74)

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63 Reviews | 26 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Edgy, Relevant

See it if you appreciate the brilliant writing of Brandon Jacobs-Jennings, who delivers another explosive, smart script (put in very capable hands.)

Don't see it if you don't like nonlinear storytelling, uncomfortable questions, irony, and experiments in general.

270 Reviews | 58 Followers
Smart, Creative, Intelligent

See it if You are a fan of BJ-J, and you should be, or of Woodard who is as good as it gets here. It operates successfully on several levels.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with mysterious, the sometimes surreal, with several levels of reality. OK, not everything works, especially the end.

148 Reviews | 36 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great writing, acting and staging, Intelligent, Must see

See it if you like layered, engaging drama with family theme and many sub-themes with fully realized characters. Relevant. great acting and staging.

Don't see it if You need to see a straight line narrative. Or you don't like family themes.

536 Reviews | 279 Followers
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.

95 Reviews | 28 Followers
Ambitious, Original, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if earnest & introspective; Albee-esque in concerns & approach; things connect as others dissolve; neurobio as metaphor for the human family

Don't see it if big and beautiful theatrical and thematic ideas that maybe haven't found their fullest articulation yet

97 Reviews | 64 Followers
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy

See it if u want a very cerebral interrogation of race/identity/heritage/social constructs/language couched as family drama. Amazing sets & lighting!

Don't see it if u don't want to float above the slight plot to unpack/probe the layers of ideas posited via dialogue & meta-theatrical devices. Slow.

75 Reviews | 19 Followers
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like abstract presentation of thought-provoking ideas.

Don't see it if you're looking for light subject matter.

710 Reviews | 252 Followers
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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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