X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation
Closed 2h 15m
X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation

X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation NYC Reviews and Tickets

(183 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

The Acting Company brings back this play dramatizing Malcolm X’s life and death.

Read more Show less

Show-Score Member Reviews (183)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
167 Reviews | 59 Followers
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You don't want to miss the greatest ensemble acting in New York! What a pleasure to watch these immensely talented actors under some great

Don't see it if The story of Malcom X is not your cup of tea. The play is long, wordy and highly intelligent. A serious play. Read more

290 Reviews | 92 Followers
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if This is a MUST-SEE show for EVERYONE. Important. Get there.

Don't see it if ...See it anyway. No matter what.

201 Reviews | 21 Followers
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You want to see outstanding acting and writing and/or are interested in the life of Malcolm X.

Don't see it if You want a lavish production and/or you are not interested in Malcolm X. Also don't see if you can't climb steps. Not handicap accessible.

110 Reviews | 16 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Profound

See it if Want to know what really happened, with the assassination, of Malcolm X,as told by his wife, and what cause the deceit behind his death.

Don't see it if Dont like knowing the truth, as to what really happened, with the collaboration, of Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King.

302 Reviews | 87 Followers
Great writing, Great acting, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if you appreciate Greek tragedy & alternative perspectives on personality, motives, humanity, relationships, and assassination of Malcolm X.

Don't see it if you lack courage or intellectual energy to reconsider mainstream attitude about Malcolm X, or prefer primarily white cast, comedy, musical.

87 Reviews | 16 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You enjoy great theater! This was an excellently written, staged and performed political drama. This is theater at its best.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy engrossing, well executed thought provoking theater (so be that way).

252 Reviews | 61 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

See it if Strong cast members in a masterful production. To see history presented in various views, thought provoking, and profound piece. Wonderful

Don't see it if You are stuck in history, are not interested in history or subject matter or if you can't open your mind to alt possibilities. Read more

127 Reviews | 28 Followers
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if You want to see a great play, actors and storyline of an alternate side of the Malcolm X story. Well written and executed, a must see.

Don't see it if You’re not familiar with the Malcom X story to some extent, you might find yourself confused/lost in certain parts.

Critic Reviews (10)

Time Out New York
January 22nd, 2018

"'X' offers a compelling trip back in time, and we never forget how high the stakes are...Ian Belknap directs an excellent ensemble...But ultimately Gardley expends a lot of effort to convince us of something that most people who have been paying attention already assumed was the case. As an evocation of a not-so-distant past when even Martin Luther King Jr. was considered radical, the play is gripping and effective. But 'X' is not the shocking exposé it seems to want to be."
Read more

January 21st, 2018

"If you missed it the first time around, don't let it slip away again. This is an opportunity to better understand a man who not only reflects America's pain, but its possibilities...Gardley packs a lot of information into two hours and 15 minutes with a script that is simultaneously hearty and efficient...Cole is commanding and magnetic...Everyone in the cast savors Gardley's richly poetic yet undeniably snappy language...'X' gives Malcolm the robust reconsideration he deserves."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
January 22nd, 2018

"Malcolm isn't enough of a presence, and the script never comes close to suggesting the dynamic, polarizing figure that he was...The play also suffers from a surfeit of theatrical devices...Still, the play does an effective job of conveying the intrigue that swirled around Malcolm, and the entire cast, under the generally incisive direction of Ian Belknap, makes the most of their opportunities...A gripping investigation into the life of a man whose legacy remains urgently important today."
Read more

Theatre is Easy
January 27th, 2018

"Watching the dangerous games played by people in power leaves you with feelings of horror that you can’t shake off, even long after the show...For the most part, the cast shines brightly in vibrant performances...'X' is probably the darkest show I have seen lately, both visually and emotionally...Historically accurate yet heartfelt, 'X' tells the universal story of the opposition between a single man and the forces that created him."
Read more

Show Showdown
January 27th, 2018

"Gardley is a powerful and poetic writer, and 'X' is well worth a visit. However, the play is also overwritten, with much repetition and a framing device and songs that are wonderful in themselves but also slow down the play. 'X' is full of strengths but ultimately uneven; I suspect that, with judicious cutting, it would be brilliant. Director Ian Belknap maximizes X's strengths through dynamic, imaginative, and beautifully paced direction. The cast is excellent."
Read more

Plays to See
February 6th, 2018

"There aren't enough words to properly convey the magnitude of this show. The acting, the directing, and the writing each on their own are worthy of a five-star review. Part noir-murder-mystery, part courtroom drama, part Shakespearean tragedy, mixed with the haunting cries of a sort-of Greek chorus, 'X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation' is a masterful tribute to and reincarnation of the legacy of Malcolm X. There's nothing left to say except to go see it before it closes."
Read more

Off Off Online
January 21st, 2018

"Gardley’s play shifts the focus from Malcolm X as a powerful civil rights leader to a vulnerable man trying to hold injustice up to the light. Glimpses of this are beautifully revealed in moments between Malcolm and Betty, who knows how to make him laugh, but also senses how tired and even a little afraid he may feel. In 1966, several men from the Nation of Islam were convicted of assassinating Malcolm X, but Gardley’s play suggests that everyone, in the end, had a hand in killing him."
Read more

January 26th, 2018

"The flow among music, speech, documentary and drama is expertly handled by the 10-member cast and director Belknap. At its best, the play comes off like a sort of spoken-word oratorio. While the portrait of Malcolm himself is at times disappointingly wooden-it is understandably hard to humanize an icon...It is even tougher to fill a play with sermons, speeches and testimonies and still maintain nuance, suspense, surprise. Gardley is up to the task."
Read more