"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"A superb piece of theater, achieving the rare trifecta of A+ writing, A+ direction, and, of course, A+ acting...It is hilarious, but also quite serious...a dangerous tightrope act that can usually only be pulled off by shows with that trifecta...Belknap ensures that this show remains wildly engaging...drawing you in quickly to the fast-paced action as the 10 actors get to work...Literally every single one of them knocks it out of the park." Full Review
"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." Full Review
for a previous production “Mr. Gardley and the director, Ian Belknap, bring the feuds that roiled the radical black-liberation movement of the 1960s to vivid life. Although he clearly did his research, Mr. Gardley is not interested in naturalistic docudrama…The best scenes pit the ramrod-straight Shabazz, convinced that the Nation of Islam fomented her husband’s 1965 assassination, against the silver-tongued Louis X, who defends the organization...This double bill rewards alert teens and jaded adults alike.” Full Review
for a previous production “A compelling requiem for a complex man…The play clearly means to indict the larger society for allowing the assassination to happen. Still, Gardley investigates all the options, leaving the final verdict up to each viewer. At heart, though, Gardley is a poet and the play is filled with gorgeous soliloquies…The acting, under Ian Belknap's robust direction, is across-the-board superb...This production, like Malcolm, deserves a longer life." Full Review
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.
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
See it if An important theme very well acted and beautifully directed! So relevant to our time and important.
Don't see it if You are not interested in the political or racial history of the United States and are more interested in light fare.
See it if I saw this at The New Victory theater and i thought it was a brilliant rendition of part o Malcolm X's life.I believe if you want,go see it.
Don't see it if If you don't want to really know about one of the most controversial figures in our lifetime.If you just accept the rhetoric.This is not 4U.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
See it if You want to get a diverse picture of the controversial figure who is either praised or maligned but completely misunderstood.
Don't see it if Racial issues is not your idea of entertainment or you are completely closed minded.
See it if you like historically accurate dramas in an interesting form (court hearing/spiritual séance). Great performances, minimalistic design.
Don't see it if you are in the mood for something light and entertaining.
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.
See it if Powerful story of a leader betrayed, an examination of leadership and power. A well-researched play on US civil rights era.
Don't see it if You want a light show or you're unfamiliar with Malcom X, since play assumes audience has some knowledge of civil rights leaders/issues.
See it if You enjoy a well acted story describing the life of Malcolm X. Very intelligent and very moving. Highly recommended.
Don't see it if No reason not to see this unless you are looking for a musical
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies