New York | 1h 10m | Already closed

Billie, Malcolm & Yusuf

From 1 critic and 29 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Great staging

About the show

"Billie, Malcolm & Yusuf" opens at a funeral. Among the guests mourning are Malcolm X, Billie Holiday, and a black teenager, Yusuf Hawkins, who was brutally murdered by a white mob in 1989. More…

As the funeral procession makes its way through the Gates of Heaven, we learn the identity of the “departed,” the conflicts between Billie, Malcolm and Yusuf, and their struggle to live, love and laugh without gods or icons. "Billie, Malcolm, & Yusuf” features songs, humor, powerful reminiscences, historical footage, and more than a few surprises.

1h 10m | Already closed | Castillo Theatre (Midtown W)


80
TheaterScene.net

"At a time in which discrimination and violence continue to plague Americans-particularly, African-Americans-'Billie, Malcolm & Yusuf' reminds us that artists' responses to tragedy need not keep audiences steeped in despair. A lighter artistic touch can sometimes engender hope and keep people energized in a way that harrowing dramas cannot." Full Review


97
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Intense

See it if Want to feel engaged in the oppression and brutalizations of American Blacks.

Don't see it if You don't want to acknowledge the atrocities that American Blacks are forced to endure

95
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you are interested in a refreshing history lesson about Billie's, Malcolm's & Yusuf's lives and deaths. Great acting and staging!

Don't see it if you can't handle plays about racism and murder or if you recently lost a loved one.

91
Engaging, thought provoking, and very entertaining

See it if You like shows with a message, like minimal staging, and want to see Billie Holiday perform.

Don't see it if You are looking for a big Broadway musical.

91
Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want/need an entertaining history and social politics lesson. Very cleverly executed

Don't see it if If political plays that deal with racism are not your cup of tea perhaps you should see this anyway.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Informative

See it if You want to see a play that is very well put together with some very great performers. You want to be immersed in some history.

Don't see it if You are not interested in hearing and seeing some pieces of history. You don't want to see a great performance.

Also This writer had a very good concept, put it on paper and brought it to... Read more Read less

89
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like political plays that carry an important message or you like elaborate sets

Don't see it if you're bothered by talk of racism and murder. You can't handle profanity

78
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if You want to see something different. Mostly good...Sometimes great, but with a few major flaws you’re going to have to overlook.

Don't see it if You expect all the “t”’s crossed and the”i”’s dotted. Some weird moments. Some just plain bad moments in an otherwise interesting fun ride.

Also I liked this show but I feel like it has to be pointed out that the en... Read more Read less

76
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if Enjoy unique staging. The show exposed,in a thought provoking way,the daggers of racism.

Don't see it if You enjoy traditional staging.

76
Moving, Relevant, Quirky, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You're interested in black history and harrowing stories of racist violence, mixed with mellow songs from Billie Holiday.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear stories of racism and violence. But perhaps you should anyway.

Also Spoilers: The brief funeral eulogy and trek to the seating area was ra... Read more Read less

76
Ambitious, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if You’re into a new exploration into racism problem; you’re interested in stories of any of the three key character;

Don't see it if Uneven acting; minimalism staging;

75
Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd enjoy a glimpse of the title characters together offering some of each's story to a new arrival. Mostly effective staging and video.

Don't see it if you are bothered by action from many directions having you craning your neck or do not think some silly should affect the memory of the 3.

74
Ambitious, Slow

See it if Re-evaluating Black memorials to inspire change now. Billie's singing is good.

Don't see it if Caskets, funerals, or Black deaths are triggering. Play with a few songs. Uneven performances from actors.

Also Free ticket from Show Score. You start standing in the lobby like a fu... Read more Read less

72
Imaginative, Thought-provoking, Good music

See it if You like to see an interesting play that explores the legacy of Billie Holiday, Malcolm X and Yusuf Hawkins You’ll like drama with music

Don't see it if If you don’t enjoy a drama mixed with a musical Don’t care about the stories of Billie,Malcolm and Yusuf

72
Great singing, Fluffy, Ambitious, Dizzying, Confusing

See it if You want to hear beautiful renditions of Lady Day's songs, hear Malcolm X speak or be enlightened by Yousef's Dad...

Don't see it if You think you will be enlightened with information about the titled figures.

Also One character was extremely annoying and ruined the entire play for me... Read more Read less

72
Relevant, Refreshing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You are fan of political theater, want to hear stories of iconic historical black figures, with use of multimedia looking at their lives

Don't see it if Are not interested to learn about black history, racism, police brutality towards black people, discrimination based on skin color,profanity

Also I really enjoyed the play and discussion led by the artistic director ... Read more Read less

70
Edgy, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Clever

See it if You want to learn a little about the main characters and hear a few Billie Holliday songs; interesting staging and the use of media footage.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear about discrimination and racism against African-Americans or learn a small bit of African-American history.

70
Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if Want to relive some racial injustices, that were high lighted on the seventies.

Don't see it if Dont like plays that deal with racism, that Doesn't really explain how it was resolved.

70
Disappointing, Slow

See it if You’re not a veracious theatre patron & don’t expect much at this performance.

Don't see it if You are interested in seeing acting, staging & writing at its best. Very amateurish work.

69
Ambitious, Disappointing, Disjointed, Quirky, Slow

See it if you like off-beat, imaginative concepts; enjoy efforts to interlace song & music in plays & fresh perspectives on these public figures.

Don't see it if you put a premium on momentum, cohesion & coherence in the story, prefer more interaction between characters & clearer resolution.

Also Program distributed only after performance provides useful clarity!

68
Actor playing billie h sang well, Disappointing

See it if If you want to support all the work at the Castillo. The effort's noble, intentions are good, wardrobe is fine.

Don't see it if Hate when 1 singer is way off-key, 1 character is annoying, story is all over the place, piece doesn't know what it wants to be, incoherent.

67
Interesting, Ambitious, Indulgent

See it if You like black history and identify with minorities’ struggles or you are a fan of Malcom X & Billie Holiday.

Don't see it if You want strong story telling and well defined characters or do not care for historical fantasized characters.

64
Banal, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if If you want to see a show about malcolm x or Billie holiday.

Don't see it if Show was disappointing in direction. Acting wasnt bad. Story was so so

61
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You are having strong feeling about the characters...

Don't see it if You prefer something lighter or with bigger production

50
Ambitious, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if I don't advise it. I went with others who all felt it was lacking in a point. One character too loud the other whispered.

Don't see it if Not worth it. Didnt have a plot. I didn't like it at all. As though something was missing.

35
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You like a whitewash of the importance of these black figures.It was really bad.I find it most difficult for anyone to invest money to see

Don't see it if If you don't know about these black people because you really wouldn't know anything about their lives.

Also this play.This was a play which was all over the place and i never und... Read more Read less


Cast & Creatives (7)