Already closed | 1h 15m | Midtown W


From 30 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Ambitious

About the show

New Federal Theatre and Castillo Theatre present a biographical solo play about renowned Harlem pastor and congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. More…

Set on the island of Bimini, in the House of Representatives, and the iconic Abyssinian Baptist Church, this history-filled play chronicles Powell's extraordinary life, largely in his own words. Timothy Simonson plays the handsome and magnetic Powell on his political journey as Harlem's first black congressman between 1945 and 1971.

1h 15m | Already closed | Castillo Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (30)


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

Absorbing, Entertaining, Delightful, Informative

See it if You like one man historical shows. You want to hear more about Adam Powell and his trials and tribulations.

Don't see it if You don't like one man performances. You are not interested in Mr. Powell's life.

Also I learned a lot more about Mr.Powell than I knew before coming to see ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound

See it if You enjoy historical biographies of important political figures

Don't see it if You are looking for spectacle

Absorbing, Great acting, Romantic, Profound, Resonant

See it if You want to hear a heartfelt energetic touching monologue this is show for you.

Don't see it if You don't like one-man shows with minimalist staging, you don't like history

Also This show will emotionally and intellectually engage you

Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're interested in history, you like one man plays. The acting is great in this, while the writing is middling. A shame.

Don't see it if you don't like one man plays.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if mini history lesson about the first African American elected to Congress; Simonson captures the driven, charismatic, confident personality.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the civil rights movement.

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

See it if you want to learn more about a great leader of the people and game changer who had his own human flaws. Very relevant today!

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows. Timothy Simonson has great respect for Adam Clayton Powell and never loses himself in the character.

Also This show needs to be seen especially by those who have no memory of P... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if You like one-man shows. You like political topics, especially the African-American civil rights movement of the last century.

Don't see it if You don't like one-man shows or African-American experiences. The narrative of Adam is far from comprehensive due to the time limit.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a well done, biographical show on a man who did a lot for his community, but is probably mostly known for his boulevard.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy one person, historical shows with minimal stagecraft.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if if you want to know more about a controversial historical figure.His life was fascinating and the government's part in his undoing was typic


Also While many people have differing opinions about Adam,there is one thin... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Good acting, good writing

See it if You enjoy a biographical play about a very interesting and iconic Man!

Don't see it if You don't enjoy a one-man show or anything to do with Black Culture and Heritage!

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if If you like one person shows that also teach you a great deal about Somwonw who helped carve out civil rights.

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows or like highly elaborate shows or are not interested in historically based shows.

Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if like one man shows, learning about history

Don't see it if need a real story with action or movement. Information was important but somehow not gripping enough for me

Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You're looking for an inspiring, one-man show about an important figure in US history

Don't see it if You want something silly/fluffy

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like one-man shows, are interested in the great, important life of Clayton-Powell, and enjoy being greeted warmly at the door!

Don't see it if You're looking for a more conventional evening in the theater, with lots of characters, played by lots of actors in lots of scenes.

Clever, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you want to support good Black Theater and watch a very talented actor tell an interesting story.

Don't see it if don't like storytelling and monologues.

Absorbing, Great acting, Funny

See it if An excellent production of a real-life story. Well-acted and staged.

Don't see it if Not interested in transsexuals journey to sexual and political freedom.


See it if You like one-man shows about political figures

Don't see it if You like "big" productions

Slow, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if I thought the play about Adam & his life was very informative & inspiring. But I found it at times slow and I fell asleep.

Don't see it if Also to be just a hour - play need more action, another player interaction., a little more excitement for amount of my time & ticket.

During previews
Confusing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Distracting

See it if You enjoy portraits of historical figures. You're familiar w/Mr. Powell, Jr. & other names from the '50s & '60s.

Don't see it if You want a traditional biography. You value solid acting skills: the story is told in a 1-tone voice, which makes it hard to follow.

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You'd like to feel some hope for our political present & future by looking at our political past thru a remarkable & inspiring life.

Don't see it if You dislike historical monologues, civil rights issues, history, or doubt that theatre can influence or change lives for the better.

Also The distance between spirit & substance may well be measured by inspir... Read more Read less

During previews
Interesting story, but not transferred well into a play, Disappointing, Slow

See it if If you like plays that feel like you're being read an autobiography. The acting wasn't bad - he just wasn't given anything to work with.

Don't see it if You prefer the story to be shown rather than told. I learned as much reading the blurb about Powell in the program as I did from the show.

During previews
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if want to learn about Adam Clayton.

Don't see it if you want to see a full show. way to short

During previews
Did not do adam clayton powell jr. justice

See it if you know nothing about the subject -- his is a great story.

Don't see it if you are looking for a well-written play.

Also I noticed that some other reviewers said "great writing." I actually t... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent, Overrated, Excruciating

See it if You enjoy seeing a Wikipedia style theatre where facts are told.

Don't see it if If you are looking for interesting story and a point of view on the events of who adam Clayton Powell jr was.

Also I believe in the time of trump this would be a great time to learn of ... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if to support the theater or to signal interest in Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Don't see it if seeking insights; it's a recitation of facts, no character development or dramatic detail to deepen connection the man or his significance.

February 17th, 2017
"Well-written, with biographical details dramatically integrated...Due to Mr. DeAnda’s expert research and schematic construction, it’s an informative and interesting 65 minutes, but lacking in depth. DeAnda hasn’t provided enough conflict in his catalogue of incidents, and at times the script is...
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February 19th, 2017
"Director Ajene D. Washington’s interpretation of this story is simple and effective, never getting in the way of the text, as conveyed by Timothy Simonson’s fantastic performance...Simonson knocks it out of the park here...If I’m going to nitpick, there are some anecdotes that are more exciting ...
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March 6th, 2017
"It’s the delivery of this one-man show that makes it unique and downright captivating...Timothy Simonson channels the passion of Adam Clayton Powell Jr...Director Ajene D Washington provides us with waves of emotion through an excellent sense of timing, and skillfully pulls out the little things...
read more
February 17th, 2017
"An excellent sketch of an intriguing man, wonderfully performed. The play's main lack is simply that it doesn't spend even more time digging into Powell's character. We get a pretty good sense of the man, but I would have liked to see a bit more complexity and to learn more about any tensions be...
read more

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