...what the end will be (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Ends Jul 10 1h 30m
...what the end will be (Roundabout Theatre Company)
79

...what the end will be (Roundabout Theatre Company) NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(104 Reviews)
Positive
86%
Mixed
13%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

Under one roof lives 3 generations of men that grapple with their intersecting identities. 

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Member Reviews (104)

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741 Reviews | 121 Followers
72
Cliched, Relevant, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you are curious about how the playwright differentiates between 3 generations of Black gay men in one family. There are some revelations.

Don't see it if you dislike plays using significant issues such as mixed race relationships & euthanasia without acknowledging their significance

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
57
Portrait of three gens of gay men dealing with serious illness of oldest member, then takes left turn as tearjerker: essence of meh

See it if gets the medicine right; competently acted; big manipulative tear jerker speech evokes tears

Don't see it if not smart, flabby, without direction, no foundation for ending; how many ways can I say meh?

464 Reviews | 70 Followers
98
Great set, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like terrific actors and great writing.Play explores relationships and sexual identity.Keith Randolph Smith is absolutely brilliant.

Don't see it if you are a right wing bigot.Or actually you should see it and learn something about gay relationships. Beautiful story, well told,well acted.

410 Reviews | 61 Followers
83
Black and queer-ass american off-broadway

See it if A family showing how the traumas of homophobia, being Black, masculinity issues may take generations to fade. Predictable but still healing.

Don't see it if Family drama, queerness, Blackness, male masculinity, intergenerational trauma, end of life decisions/conversations, death. Read more

356 Reviews | 199 Followers
100
Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if An outstanding drama & must see! Powerful performances, beautiful set & moving to tears script. Bravo to all involved with perfection 🏳️‍🌈

Don't see it if If you want a musical then skip this one.

342 Reviews | 100 Followers
68
Swing and a miss, Slow, Cliched

See it if multigenerational queer family dealing with love, trauma, and loss...a few very strong performances...support black queer artists

Don't see it if you want all of your characters to be fully developed; all of the plot points beyond grandpa felt superficial and first-thought Read more

336 Reviews | 70 Followers
79
Short, Interesting

See it if the themes interest you.

Don't see it if I can't think of a reason not to. Read more

307 Reviews | 68 Followers
80
Resonant, Slow, Intense, Absorbing

See it if the story of three generations of gay black men dealing with illness and death will resonate with you

Don't see it if a bit cliched, a bit ponderous and very slow but beautifully acted--- most of the audience was choked up at the end.

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
June 2nd, 2022

"In '… What the End Will be,' facing death really means reckoning with life — what makes it worth living despite its impermanence — and learning how to seize some measure of joy for yourself. It’s everything that is meant when we say that Black lives matter."
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The Wall Street Journal
June 2nd, 2022

"While the intergenerational dynamics can also sometimes feel schematic, the characters are crisply defined, and there is an undeniable pleasure in watching the tensions in this unusual family surge and subside. Under the direction of Margot Bordelon, the actors slip easily into the skins of their characters, although the actors with the richer roles tend to outshine the others."
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Theatermania
June 2nd, 2022

"This play sparkles too (despite the occasional mushiness) because it gets to the heart of some shared human experiences that have little to do with race, sexuality, and gender, such as what it takes to let go of your own pain, and what it means to let someone you love let go of theirs — rules be damned. Ultimately, as the play's title suggest, we all know what the end will be ... the ellipsis is how we get there."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 3rd, 2022

The overall result -- Bartholomew's big scene aside -- is pleasant but glib, affirmative yet sketchy. It's certainly possible that, filled out with more detail and shading, ...what the end will be could become the funny, yet heart-wrenching, drama it aspires to be. But, packaged as a slick, ninety-minute evening of laughter and tears, it strains credulity. This is a tale that wants more intensive telling. Is it too late to hope that it might yet get it?
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Talkin' Broadway
June 2nd, 2022

"A singular spellbinding performance and a beautifully scripted, deeply moving story of self-determination, redemption, and love lie at the heart of Mansa Ra's '... what the end will be,' a play about a cross-generational family of Black gay men"
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New York Stage Review
June 2nd, 2022

"As calculatedly happens throughout '…what the end will be,' there are discussions of many potential ends — including one quite significant, quite literal end. But the play itself suggests there is no end in sight for the societal changes that have occurred over the last several decades and will surely uncork surprises for decades to come."
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TheaterScene.net
June 2nd, 2022

In four scenes spanning a few months, Ra renders his gay family trio’s life events, medical situations, numerous clashes and resolutions with pungent topicality. The pandemic is referenced, gender and pronouns are discussed, and cultural bromides are stated: “Black people can’t be racist. I read that on the Facebook.” Ra’s characters are given rich portrayals by the splendid cast. With his melodious voice, priceless facial expressions and stage presence, veteran actor Keith Randolph Smith grounds the production with his towering performance as Bartholomew. As Maxwell, the fiery Emerson Brooks supremely conveys the character’s bottled-up emotions, offering a moving psychological portrait. The personable Gerald Caesar’s Tony is a vivid take on adolescent struggle.
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Theater Pizzazz
June 2nd, 2022

"What does it mean to be a gay black male in America today? It’s a question that’s been pondered on many New York stages this past season ... Here, that thorny, topical question is examined through the lives of four very different, interconnected men, each of whom grapples with his sexual identity differently. "
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