Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W

X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation

From 182 member  reviews
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. More…

The assassination of Malcolm X—both the story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared—is brought to vivid life in Marcus Gardley’s new play. Shakespeare’s 'Julius Caesar' provides a framework for Gardley to deepen our understanding of one of America’s most complex and compelling historical figures, and explore the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s.

2h 15m | Already closed | Theatre at St. Clement's (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (182)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant
87
Avg Score

83
Powerful, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Great writing & acting paired with exciting storytelling style. Fast-paced and riveting. Very moving.

Don't see it if You don't care about issues of race struggle.

Also This was surprisingly good. I was expecting a dry documentary and inst... Read more Read less

80
Engaging, Great direction, Great acting, Informative

See it if I was very impressed with the production, direction and performances. Enjoyed how the story was framed & told - really engages the audience.

Don't see it if Even if you don't have an interest in the story of Malcolm X there is no denying this is a solid production with commanding performance.

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging, A little too long

See it if You want to see a Shakespearean style courtroom drama discuss truths and myths about Malcolm X and The Brotherhood. Well done. Believable.

Don't see it if You’re racist or believe even half of what our present commander in Chief is trying to scare us with about Muslims. You’ll feel surrounded.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if The acting from all is fantastic. A tad slow but compelling and insightful. Really enjoyed the experience.

Don't see it if A play about Malcolm X doesn’t interest you. But try it... you will be surprised an might learn something too!

76
Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing, Edgy, Dizzying

See it if it does not live up to the history of Malcolm X . It never finds it's footing as a raw, edgy play that it wants to be. good directing and

Don't see it if cast. If you want a truly thought provoking play, this one falls short of what it wanted to be.

90
Intense, Thought-provoking, Clever, Relevant, Historical

See it if Life story and events leading up to the assassination of Malcom X. Immerses you in Malcom’s circle of colleagues and family. Compelling.

Don't see it if You are not interested in history, biography, or speculation. You don’t want to learn more about Malcom X.

Also Is an “honorable man” doomed in a world of those who “transgress”?

85
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also

Also Average of an 80% & a 90%. Loved the double acting roles.... Read more Read less

83
Rousing combo of carnival, court room drama, black church revival meeting and sharp scenes vividly bring to life the story of malcolm x and the conspiracies that killed him

See it if you are thrust into the middle of the teeming civil rights struggles of the 1960s; dynamic performances of entire cast

Don't see it if too reverential towards X; X remains a polarizing and inspiring figure to this day, play not wholly successful in showing why

84
Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy superb acting about a historical figures with possible new takes on what really happened presented in a courtroom scenario.

Don't see it if you are not open to concentrating on the various points of view presented and making up your own mind.

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent in both writing and presentation, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you want to see two extraordinarily nuanced performances from Roslyn Ruff and Jimonn Cole. Harriet D. Foy is quite the scene stealer!

Don't see it if you don't like intelligent, thoughtful theatre. Also, if you are not a fan of historical plays.

Also Marcus Gardley has written a play that shows the complexities of Malco... Read more Read less

90
Stunning, Absorbing, Whole production is excellent, Gorgeous staging

See it if You want to see a well-written drama with a fine ensemble cast, great direction and staging. Fascinating concept re the life of Malcolm X.

Don't see it if Not interested in the intense struggles of the Black Power movement in the 60’s. This requires some serious listening, but worth it.

Also This production is so skillfully directed. All the elements work in co... Read more Read less

71
Very well done. a little preachy

See it if Like Black History plays.

Don't see it if If you don't like Black history plays.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if An historically based drama set during the mid-60's about Malcolm X and his relationship to his family & the Nation of Islam

Don't see it if you want something light, want happy endings or definite answers; don't want to see the humanity in historical figures

Also The added row AA seats were not the cushioned ones but I was so absorb... Read more Read less

71
Very professional, Fine acting, Overly long, Preachy, Repetitive

See it if you are interested in Malcom X's "story," excellent production values, superb acting and racial relations and politics.

Don't see it if you dislike repetitive dialog, non-traditional staging and play construction and, what I felt, an overly long production.

100
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.

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

See it if You want to see a well acted and inventive exploration of Malcolm X.

Don't see it if You are not interested in history or do not like talky plays. I was mesmerized by the tight and well directed production.

85
Important, Good acting, Overlong, Too talky, At times too slow

See it if You want more information or another perspective on Malcolm X. You are interested in history of the Civil Rights Era. Really fascinating!

Don't see it if You don't want over 2 hours of talk. You are not interested in internal struggles of civil rights, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

89
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Funny, Intense

See it if You're interested in modern history

Don't see it if You don't want to think

87
Relevant, Intelligent, Profound, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You are interested in a terrific show about Malcolm X. Engaging, with great acting.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in a biographical show, or in black history.

100
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.

95
Superb staging, direction & writing, Visually striking, Great ensemble acting, Timely and resonant, Must see

See it if You want to see a sharp and compelling piece of theatre. Outstanding ensemble and production with memorable use of music, rhythm and voices.

Don't see it if You neither know nor care about racial issues, past or present. Or, of course, if you're racist. A timely show, more relevant now than ever.

Also A stunning look at the death of Malcom X, Marcus Gardley's inventive, ... Read more Read less

94
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if strong Black woman fighting the patriarchy while we learn the complex evolution of Malcolm X's beliefs and social justice work

Don't see it if guns and #MeToo are triggering

95
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.

Also I thought I was going to see a diluted version of the TV movie, boy, w... Read more Read less

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You want to see a new spin on civil rights and some great acting. The characters are very well developed. The message resonates with today.

Don't see it if You don’t like history pieces or want lighter fare.

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

See it if you are interested in history, particularly history of the 1960s &/or civil rights movement; if you like shows that are set up like a trial.

Don't see it if You want a "plot," you aren't interested in Malcolm X, you don't like direct address to the audience, you want an elaborate set.


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 evoc...
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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 e...
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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...
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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....
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