Ends Apr 16

White Guy on the Bus

Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent
18 reviews
78 reviews

Delaware Theatre Company presents the New York premiere of this drama, a provocative and unflinching look at race and inequality in contemporary America. Starring Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli.... Read more

A wealthy white businessman and a struggling black single mom ride the same bus week after week. As they get to know each other, their relationship sparks a candid and surprising examination of racial and economic divides.

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Reviews (96)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

“The opening scene is a deliberately moralistic prelude that soon opens into a riveting, thought-provoking piece of theater…To reveal much more...would be to spoil Mr. Graham’s deftly constructed play…This is decidedly not a feel-good play about mutually beneficial bonds formed across the racial and economic divides. Mr. Graham, with the work’s stark conclusion, leaves you feeling like a simplistic ninny for ever thinking it might have been.” Full Review


"Graham finds little ways to needle his audience in this ultra-contrived setup. We understand that progressive sacred cows will be rhetorically slaughtered, although Graham's reliance on archetype and hypotheticals make this somewhat of a facile endeavor...A radical tonal shift late in the first act changes things...Scenes bleed from one to the next in Martin's clever staging...Hiding everything behind his cold, calculating eyes, Cuccioli delivers a fascinatingly dynamic portrayal." Full Review


"Written by Bruce Graham, directed by Bud Martin and featuring an outstanding cast, this is a brilliant, poignant production. The show will encourage viewers to have essential conversations about the disparity that exists between people of different races and economic backgrounds...'White Guy on the Bus' is drama at its finest. It is a thought-provoking theatrical piece that presents multiple perspectives. It is a must-see production for metro area audiences." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“‘White Guy on the Bus’ surrenders any pretense at analyzing America's racial divide, instead becoming a florid melodrama loaded with speechmaking. Graham's play is already perilously overloaded with white grievance; the addition of thriller elements seemingly lifted from an old Charles Bronson movie does nothing to advance his argument. ‘That White Guy on the Bus’ remains watchable is largely due to Robert Cuccioli's performance." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Ray's conversations with his family, at one side of the stage, and his relationship with Shatique at the other eventually converge in a disturbing shift...that throws the play off balance into a schematic ditch of unconvincing crime melodrama...Little in the physical production itself serves the play's interests well...More seriously, most of the acting plays only with surfaces; the performers have technical polish but, except for Danielle Leneé...an air of artificiality hovers.” Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

“An interesting story line, despite the play’s frequent forays into unrelated thematic territories…Unfortunately, Mr. Graham’s characters seem more stock than well rounded and experience no growth. Their conflicts are so stereotypical that the dramatic arc of the play leaves the audience without any catharsis. And some of the action of the play is simply not believable...Graham takes on too much in his play and in doing so lessens its overall impact.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“This is a very cleverly written play drawing the audience in slowly, then binding us in an intense, unrelenting bombardment of truth about how money, power and privilege position one in society. It also speaks harshly and, many times, wisely to how political correctness will not solve the problems of poverty, oppression and prejudice…They are all brought together under the guiding hand of Bud Martin who directs this cast with vision.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“An explosive, provocative drama…No one is wholly righteous; neither is anyone wholly bad. Yet the deals we agree to—the concessions we allow in order to feed ourselves and our kin, and the amount of BS we swallow or ask others to swallow—make for an intense and complex dynamic that eschews a trouble-free coexistence…The well-paced dialogue is punchy, pointed, and taut, and numerous tangents are well-woven into the plot.” Full Review


"It packs a wallop!...The cast is headed by Cuccioli, who is giving one of the finest and most chilling performances of the season...In turn blistering and bracing, the tautly constructed play becomes dramatically radioactive...Don't be afraid to see this blistering play that may actually change your mind as it challenges your well-intentioned motives." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

“Cuccioli and McKey have a splendid chemistry...He and Lenee have a different kind of sparks flying between them, but they find as much nuance as the script gives them…Director Bud Martin has also found the nuggets of gold in the script and has let the actors get the most out of them...The show tries to take on the whole matter of race and in doing so, it generates heat but precious little light…It is there to get the audience to consider the problems." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Under Bud Martin’s skilled direction, the performances bring the play’s central conversations on race and privilege to life...At times, the conversations within the play itself become overshadowed by its dramatic plot, as some of its twists feel too overstated to be authentic...Those underlying conversations manage to ask tough questions of them, and though they aren’t always able to answer, it leaves both its characters and its audience with plenty of food for thought." Full Review

Plays to See

"'White Guy on the Bus' offers a thought-provoking examination of current race relations in America. Graham’s writing is imaginative and compelling, and the plot adeptly blends a coherent structure with intrigue and surprise. Cast members convincingly interpret the complicated vicissitudes their roles demand, and the performance flows effortlessly. A triumph at most every level." Full Review


"While transcending its focus on racism, this smart, powerful, shocking—yet moving—new play by Bruce Graham deserves and rewards your attention." Full Review

Broad Street Review

for a previous production “What seems like chatter actually lays a complex foundation for what's coming…Graham flips the whole play upside down in the first act's final scene…Ray and Shatique's combustible negotiation makes the short second act tremendously powerful…Would that Delaware's production served the play better. Paul Tate dePoo III's flat set sticks two clashing walls side by side…Graham's greatest achievement in this fine and important play may be knocking us from our comfort zone." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

for a previous production “Graham entertainingly and dramatically shows race relations in action. Director Bud Martin follows Graham’s lead with a production that unfolds naturalistically, giving each scene room to make its point...’White Guy on the Bus’ is a play that can open discussion and open eyes…Graham lays out his ideas with brilliant precision and smart dialogue. Martin builds to high points and helps various characters’ dilemmas unfold grippingly while keeping a sense of suspense in the air.” Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

for a previous production "It excites theatrically, if bending the boundaries of belief a little too far in its attempts at perfect, no-loopholes logical construction…Graham's play brutally examines contemporary racial and class tensions in America - and this production soars in Bud Martin's unflinching direction. Cuccioli, in particular, shines...Whatever beliefs you sit down with at curtain call, prepare to have them assaulted. Whatever courage you possess, muster it to see this production." Full Review


for a previous production "Sadly, the story unfolds during act two like an episode from ‘Law & Order.’ Ray is deftly portrayed by Robert Cuccioli…Danielle Leneé imparts an earnest, realistic personality to the character of Shatique…I recommend and encourage theater patrons to see 'White Guy on the Bus' with an open mind in the hope that diverse, uncomfortable discussions, not just about race but also about privilege, inequality, social injustice, and all that goes with today's societal ills, ensue." Full Review


for a previous production 'This production pulled no punches. There were no shades. It was black and white…A series of flashbacks move the show forward. The audience becomes easily assimilated and the blistering impact of the plot could not have been told otherwise…Renee’s is a gut-wrenching role. She feels it throughout every charged fiber in her body. Both she and Cuccioli give strong performances…A powerful and brave drama." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Surprising

See it if Very thought-provoking, intelligent and nuanced discussion of a controversial topic. Unexpected plot twists. Definitely absorbing.

Don't see it if Acting is solid but could be better if made into a movie (which is pretty much ready to be). Why 1hr50min with intermission? Make it 100min.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy intelligent thought provoking theater...

Don't see it if you don't like shows that deal with racial topics...

Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Powerful, Provacative

See it if you appreciate timely, serious drama and want to be challenged.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play that addresses issues of race and class in a frank manner.

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

See it if You like plays about current climate about race relations. Are a fan of Robert Cuccioli. Like twists and turns in plot.

Don't see it if You do not like plays about race relations. Are tired of plays about rich v poor. Think these topics are cliched.

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like thought provoking drama that gets people talking and dissecting in intermission.

Don't see it if you are looking for a musical. Pretty much any thinking person will enjoy the multi perspectives.

Honest, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if you want to see an important play about race relations that's as honest as it is absorbing. We need more plays like this one.

Don't see it if you're tired of the same-old, same-old about this topic.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you want to see an honest script played out very well that explores issues of race, wealth, entitlements, and morality - with a few twists.

Don't see it if you are looking to be entertained and don’t want to take a deep look at issues that deal with racism and how we perceive and treat others.

Also This play was thought-provoking with twists that made it even more com... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if A realistic play that pretty much hits the nail on the head. Powerful acting that drives a number of racial issues to light.

Don't see it if not in the mood for a tale about a white man with a mission and listening to his feelings on racial issues.

Relevant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy a current topic about how whites & blacks perceive each other as told through the eyes of a white man and black women on a bus.

Don't see it if you are bothered by a play that addresses racial prejudice & stereotypes about whites & blacks & how one feels can be considered racist.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Riveting

See it if You love Cuccioli who is superb. Direct honest race discussions. Well written good dialogue. Twists and turns. Original. Serious drama.

Don't see it if Black and White in America is not of interest to you. A tough disturbing play. No laughs.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if Outstanding acting by all. Raises important issues and questions. Not easy

Don't see it if Looking to light evening out.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy thought provoking drama

Don't see it if you only want light entertainment.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Must see, Relevant, Incendiary

See it if you want to see a pointed, intelligent, well-written and acted play regarding race

Don't see it if it's too important not to see

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if solid acting and examination of racism which slowly unfolds into unexpected ending.

Don't see it if don't want to sit for nearly two hours of mostly conversations.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a play examining racism in honest terms and very relevant to the constant division in America today. It is also good drama.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with topic of racism or tired of hearing about it or prefer to be politically correct at all times. This is heavy stuff

Also Playwright Graham wrote a superb courageous honest play about racism, ... Read more Read less

Must see, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You love theater. Best play I've seen this year.

Don't see it if Youre looking for something light.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to see a story delving into race relations

Don't see it if you are bothered by characters who are tone deaf to, and apologists for white privilege.

Ambitious, Slow

See it if You like plays about racial issues. This show could be a little less stereotypical.

Don't see it if If you expect deep, thought-provoking play.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Relevant

See it if You enjoy theatre that explores our current racial climate. Are ok with being uncomfortable.

Don't see it if You don't want to be challenged. This isn't light, and it's not meant to be.

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if deals with real issues of race and shakes up your perceptions leaving you thinking and talking. You can't stop talking about it.

Don't see it if Your not interested in being challenged

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if Liked Disgraced. Enjoy theatre that stirs conversation. Are interested in material that takes on race relations.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with conferential material. Need your main characters to be simple and likable.

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

See it if You are interested in issues of moral ambiguity, class, race, social advantage, revenge, and what it means to have a lot of money.

Don't see it if You see moral issues as black and white and can't imagine anything that would induce someone to cross a line.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a very well acted, powerful and thought-provoking play about racial attitudes.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a drama or are unfcomfortable about the subject of tace.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You're up for a challenging night out that will make you think, and see a leading performance that puts you in mind of a young Viola Davis.

Don't see it if No reason not to see it, unless you only like musicals! This play is good!!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Resolved, Surpriising

See it if If you'd like to hear characters speak the truth without realizing how truthful they actually are.

Don't see it if If you're a lemming.