Already closed | 3h 15m | East Village

White Noise

From 167 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant

About the show

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ("Topdog/Underdog," "In The Blood") returns to The Public with a world premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. More…

Long-time friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph, and Dawn are educated, progressive, cosmopolitan, and woke. But when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides extreme measures must be taken for self-preservation.


Member Reviews (167)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant
83
Avg Score

70
Disappointing, Long, Relevant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're fascinated by American racial issues. Strong acting. Well staged, altho in-the-round w difficult sight lines.

Don't see it if you need a focused work; many subplots. Doesn't fulfill promise of premise. Needs cuts. Engrossing, but unsatisfying. Plot holes. Talky.

97
Profound, Must see, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Everything about this was stunning, especially the script. Show of the year so far.

Don't see it if You can’t stomach riveting shows about race.

63
Slow, Insipid, Indulgent, Edgy

See it if You want to see another play about race relations...yawn.. a minimalist set. Parks top dog/ underdog was much better.

Don't see it if Play was too long, minimal set had to long monologues, too preachy. If you want something really cutting edge.

85
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Disturbing

See it if Black & white friends embark on a stomach-churning experiment. All of us are damaged - and continue to suffer - from the legacy of slavery.

Don't see it if You don't want to squirm. It's long, indulgent, and contrived, but not meant to be realistic.

80
Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Upsetting, Compelling

See it if you want to see a show with an incisive point of view on what it means to be black today and also what it means to love black people today.

Don't see it if you can't handle a show that doesn't provide easy answers and makes you sit in the discomfort of never quite being sure who's "good."

60
Overrated, Disappointing, Didactic, Provocative, Ambitious

See it if ur a fan of Parks & want to see her strain credulity in an effort to incite & challenge our notions of what it means to be black in America.

Don't see it if you don't want to be lectured and preached to by a platitudinous playwright via four archetypal characters' interminable monologues.

Also What starts (after an long, wordy opening monologue -- the first of ma... Read more Read less

82
Relevant, Great acting, Edgy, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if A first rate cast led by a charismatic Diggs keep us riveted throughout Park's provocative but overwritten 3hr opus Sharp, shocking & timely

Don't see it if Parks' dramas while always overstuffed w/intelligence are often messy & didactic; no exception here Eustis unable to corral all the subplots

84
Sharp, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You’re interested in relevant plays about racism that are smart and witty, and don’t feel stereotypical or banal.

Don't see it if You can’t deal with a 3 hour play with some lengthy monologues, no matter how fast it moves. This still needs some light tweaking, too.

84
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Confrontationally comedic and then provocatively dramatic look at race, class, and slavery. Well cast with Diggs ("Hamilton") in the lead.

Don't see it if Four long monologues.Ebonics.Stunt request to don slave choker.Overly long doesn't make it epic.Audience to sort meaning inside the verbiage

Also "Some folks are doing their best to do things right."Dual meaning titl... Read more Read less

88
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a quartet of fine actors in what is probably Suzan-Lori Parks's best play.

Don't see it if plays about race and racism make you uncomfortable. This play is thought-provoking and is great for after-show discussion.

92
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a masterful performance by Daveed Diggs in a modern play about racism in the modern world. Great supporting cast.

Don't see it if Seeing behaviors that will make Caucasians squirm with recognition of unknowingly behaving badly among friends of color.

Also Susan Lori Parks has written a masterful play with a modern setting to... Read more Read less

84
Didactic message, Shocking imagery, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Two interracial couples torn apart by the aftermath of an event that evokes deeply rooted racism, a legacy of white male power culture.

Don't see it if Racism (slavery) dehumanizes everyone it touches. Starts as a realistic story then becomes implausible as more improbable elements pile up.

Also What does it take to shock an audience out of complacency? A human in ... Read more Read less

85
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you're interested in plays that deal with relevant social topics like racism, appreciate great acting, or like intelligently-written plays.

Don't see it if you don't like to feel uncomfortable. Some scenes are very disturbing to watch. It's a long play, but pacing moves quickly.

79
Thought-provoking, Heartbreaking, Intense, Great acting, Clever

See it if Great acting by all. Brilliant premise and well executed. Disturbing and funny in turn. Every scene was a revelation.

Don't see it if It was a little long. Which is why it doesn't get a better grade from me. Don't see it if you don't like being uncomfortable

73
Creative and adventurous. not always succeeding.

See it if You appreciate creative shows about race.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate creative shows about race.

83
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Terrific, engrossing play with an original approach to racial issues. Great performances. Left me breathless.

Don't see it if I wish the ending was more conclusive. A terrific premise that the author didn’t quite know how to end.

80
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like nuanced, ambiguous plays with fully realized characters.

Don't see it if you feel uncomfortable watching discussions of racism and prejudice.

91
Great writing, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a beautifully crafted, disturbing piece about white privilege and the African American experience. play knows no bounds

Don't see it if you are easily disturbed by a playwright that shakes the dice and alters the playing field in ways that may make you uncomfy

79
Falls short, Ambitious, Uncomfortable, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you’re okay with being uncomfortable. YOU WILL BE. That is absolutely intended.

Don't see it if you’d be disappointed this doesn’t quite reach where it’s trying to head.

Also Daveed Diggs is affecting and raw in this role. Sheria Irving gives a ... Read more Read less

91
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if intense stories on how racial relations have been affected by our histories, our personal ones and the legacy of slavery; 4 characters*

Don't see it if don't want violence or sex on stage; 3 hours would be too long no matter how riveting (although a couple of the monologues got a bit wordy)

Also *each with a moving monologue that makes their characters very develop... Read more Read less

84
Well-acted and directed, Thought-provoking, Absurdist-tinged-realism, Powerfully discomforting, Disturbing

See it if a fan of the provocative Suzan-Lori Parks’ work, which is sometimes “hit or miss”: here, it’s mostly “hit,” with stronger believability.

Don't see it if you will feel uncomfortable with “real talk” about race, slave history, abuse and violence, manipulation, and the breakdown of friendships.

Also White Noise throws everything into a pot—race, self-identity, sexualit... Read more Read less

75
Contrived, Complex, Intelligent

See it if You want a smart, well acted play focused (surprise!) on racism, from one of the best in the genre.

Don't see it if You will be vexed if it goes down endless, often contrived alleys for over 3 hours getting to know its characters and their motivations.

91
Quite long, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Top acting

See it if A chance to see Daveed Diggs talent in a smaller venue, amazing. Unusual premise, challenging monologues, Parks always delivers a jolt.

Don't see it if It felt very long, I began to blank out during some of the longer speeches. If you are not interested in issues of racial identity do not go

80
Archetypal, Overly long, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You want to be challenged by an original premise, albeit logically flawed.

Don't see it if Scenes of racially and historically-based emotional violence will disturb you beyond repair.

Also Baggy storytelling, unnecessary monologues, and cliched characters mar... Read more Read less

63
Intense, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you want to see some great performances.

Don't see it if you do not want to see another white-savior-is-actually-bad show.


March 20th, 2019
“Parks’s enthrallingly thought-packed new play...Directed with a radiant clarity...Superb four-member cast...Any annoyance I felt with Parks’s plot contrivances was erased by the thrill of the play’s uncompromising revelations of character...Four ravishing monologues, give this production its pul...
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March 20th, 2019
“The brilliance of Suzan-Lori Parks’s eviscerating new play ‘White Noise’ is that underneath the finely crafted, often sharply funny apparent realism of its surface, its roots stretch deep away into archetype. Each one of its quartet of characters is at once an individual, nuanced and developed.....
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March 20th, 2019
“Parks' new play deals with many important issues...It sacrifices credibility, coherence and a compelling narrative in favor of didacticism. Parks doesn't quite seem to know what to do with her provocative premise once it's been established...The play feels bloated...with unnecessary subplots...T...
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March 21st, 2019
"Opens with a burst of brainy energy that lasts through the first act. But it takes a nosedive in the sloppy second half, confounding the assured direction of Oskar Eustis and the best efforts of a small, ace cast headed by the magnetic Diggs...Director Eustis has created a warm environment that ...
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Cast & Creatives (12)