New York | 1h 50m | Already closed

White Guy on the Bus

From 21 critic and 137 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing

About the show

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. 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.


"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


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

Times Square Chronicles

“Bruce Graham’s 'White Guy on the Bus' speaks a lot of truths, but I don’t necessarily know if audiences are ready to admit or face these hideous facts…The cast all excel in their roles. Director Bud Martin keeps this play moving like a fine-tuned roller coaster. Mr. Graham has written a piece that will have you thinking…This is a powerful play with much to say.” Full Review

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

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


"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

Manhattan Digest

"Thanks to award-winning playwright Bruce Graham, the progressively minded will not be patting themselves on the back when they see 'White Guy on the Bus.' However, they are going to squirm a little bit and, by the end, they’ll have a helluva lot to think about...'White Guy On the Bus' is a provocative piece of theater and it manages to make a loud point without preaching. Director Bud Martin has assembled a fine cast, all of whom should be commended for tackling this fearless play." 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

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

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


"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

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

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 air of artificiality hovers.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“The plot is inventive and brave. Bruce Graham has come up with a story and an in-your-face relationship between Ray and Shatique that is provocative and brutally honest…The production elements of this show do not measure up to Graham’s intent. The writing is often sophomoric and illogical. The direction is stilted, confining actors to spaces where they seem trapped…The performances are uneven, with the relationship between Ray and Roz lacking a much needed credulity.” 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 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

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

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


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


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

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.

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

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.

Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like a well-thought out, well-acted, relevant play about race, class, wealth, privilege, life-changing decisions, etc. The 2 leads are ✔

Don't see it if No reason you shouldn't see it, except now it's closed. So intense. Great plot twist and once again the 2 leads. Saw them embrace backstage

Also After it was all said-and-done. It took you there. The audience was en... Read more Read less

Riveting, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate frank, politically incorrect dialog from realistic modern characters addressing directly race, relationships and attitudes

Don't see it if you are offended by stereotypes, realistic and genuine expressions of racial bias by ghetto blacks and privileged whites, violence and crime

Relevant, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like thought provoking plays Like perspectives on class struggle

Don't see it if You are expecting light hearted entertainment

Relevant, Profound, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want good theatre

Don't see it if You don't want good theatre

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

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

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

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

Riveting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Honest, Refreshing

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.

Relevant, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

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.

Bus, train, walk. just go.

See it if Crackling drama requires staying to see conclusion. Two leads great. Tony nominee Cuccioli should win Obie in dazzling perf. Go Cucc go.

Don't see it if stuck in rear. Last five rows too distant. I was C.

Also Show has had many productions. Actors all in prime condition now.

Thought-provoking, Must see, Profound, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if See it if you love good theater twists in a plot and thought provoking ideas

Don't see it if If you don't like serious theater and current social issues

Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like to get totally absorbed in a play.

Don't see it if don't like plays that turn very dark

Also The play is a little contrived but that doesn't interfere with it tota... Read more Read less

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

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

Bruce graham's best work ever

See it if you want to see a perfectly written and executed play

Don't see it if you need your theater to be politically correct

Also I have seen a few BG plays and this is by far his best work. I can't s... Read more Read less

Resonant, Intense, Great writing, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate great actors working with a great script. You will be challenged. You will be shocked.

Don't see it if plays about racial relations make you uncomfortable.

Timely, Great acting, Edgy, Provocative, Chilling

See it if You're up for a challenging, at times uncomfortable experience. Cuccioli is effortless, disturbingly natural & ultimately disturbing. Go.

Don't see it if You're an O'Reilly Republican; or at least one with a closed mind. Or have no patience.

Also The arc of Robert Cuccioli's effortless, disturbingly natural and ulti... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if A play of our time dealing with racism, poverty, oppression by way of the class lens. Extraordinary performance from Danielle Lenee.

Don't see it if you believe that class does't matters for African Americans or there is no racism in America or you are proud to be a white supremacist.

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if Challenging, thought provoking, makes you want to discuss with people who might see it differently. A natural for a post show "talk back"

Don't see it if Serious or "heavy".

Riveting, Relevant

See it if You like raw disturbing portrayals of race relations. Not a family show.

Don't see it if You would find an intense drama upsetting and would prefer lighter entertainment.

Provacative, Powerful, Relevant, Intense, Absorbing

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.

Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

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

Riveting, Relevant

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.

Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

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.

Relevant, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in learning/thinkng more about inequality and racial bias in the USA.

Don't see it if You only like musicals and fun shows. This is a powerful work.

Cast & Creatives (14)