New York | 1h 25m | Already closed


From 6 critic and 55 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Disappointing, Relevant

About the show

Black Lab Theatre presents 'Crude,' a dark comedy about the fallout from an ecological disaster and the price you pay for selling your soul in the new millennium. More…

When a catastrophic environmental accident threatens to derail Kurtz Petroleum, it's up to documentarian turned big oil public relations flak Jaime Kurtz (TV Land's Younger's Nico Tortorella) with the help of his commercial making bro-buddy Aaron and Aaron's drug dealer Manny to come up with the perfect pitch to save the company, his relationship with his environmentally conscious wife Brittany, and his stolen dog .

1h 25m | Already closed | Ars Nova (Midtown W)

The Huffington Post

"'Crude' is Jaffe’s grenade thrown at questionable oil practices...It’s doozy banter...'Crude' is also a character study the handsome Tortorella calls on his major acting chops to portray. One of Jaffe’s achievements is that in only 85 intermissionless minutes he presents one promising young man’s total disintegration, and Tortorella is up to the demands...Directed with understanding and skill by Kel Haney." Full Review

On Stage Blog

“With a good amount of things that somebody might consider lowbrow and in bad taste, ‘Crude’ is full of self-irony and little delicious nuances...This is not a theatrical production to which you would take your grandmother. The good part is that all the salty humor is backed up with fresh and somewhat unconventional performances, inventive director’s work and a disturbing drama of the modern generation.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The play, by Jaffe, pits societal issues such as environmental responsibility against the ugly realities of the corporate world and its money-driven agenda...Under Haney’s tactical direction, 'Crude' challenges audiences to consider what is worth fighting for. This dark comedy boldly makes a statement about the struggle of staying true to one’s identity and values – and how failing to do so can be the reason one's life goes up in flames." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"This isn’t to say that the well-acted play doesn’t offer some worthwhile thoughts; it’s just that its socially important concerns are buried in a playwriting spill of marital squabbling and irresponsible behavior that are more concerned with the personalities involved than the larger issues. ‘Crude’ covers its potentially potent ideas with sitcom attitudes the way the dispersant Corexit dissipates oil into smaller particles; it may look better on the surface but the underlying problem remains." Full Review

The New York Times

"Watching Mr. Tortorella is the pleasure of this production…The play itself is too much like an extended sitcom, and the issue-based arguments that Mr. Jaffe orchestrates can seem wildly inorganic…What keeps things interesting is Mr. Tortorella, who surfs the switchbacks of Jaime’s moods with unusual grace…Do we care, though? Mr. Tortorella’s impressive effort notwithstanding, I don’t know why we would." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"If 'Crude' is any indication, Jaffe isn't doing much for the environmental cause; so blatant are his tactics that his play ends up a sermon aimed straight at the already converted. Rarely have the dramatic possibilities of a catastrophic situation been mined to so little effect...The director, Kel Haney, struggles to get much of anything out of this and her cast seems equally lumbered...The title also applies to its dramaturgy." Full Review

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Original

See it if If you want your belly to hurt from laughing this is your show. An original based on what could happen to an oil company.

Don't see it if If you are conservative and don't like drug use or profanity .

Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You want to see absolutely top-notch acting in a well-written piece which ably breaks down a relationship, friendship and moral challenge.

Don't see it if Youd like a creative challenge-this is a straightforward piece. Also, you may dissaprove of characters choices & thus, not sympathize w/them

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Raunchy, Tumultuous, Unsettling

See it if You enjoy dark seriocomedies with antihero leads whose choices when dealing with real-life tragedy often produce questionable results.

Don't see it if You don't like contemporary plays with strong language and suggestive adult themes that depict a little more of the dirty side of humanity.

Resonant, Relevant, Original, Funny, Great acting

See it if a brisk, unsparing tale of choosing between your best & worst self appeals. "Younger" fans will enjoy this departure for Nico Tortorella.

Don't see it if Crisp, unmerciful writing and acting that fully realizes it aren't your thing.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Refreshing

See it if Like to see a married couple argue about different points of view on a topic. Are a fan of Nico Totorella and like wonderful young actors.

Don't see it if You are under age 16 or are offended by heavy drug use and sexual innuendo.

Intelligent, Original, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if You like topical dramas told with humor.

Don't see it if You can't look at an issue from both sides.

Absorbing, Funny, Edgy, Original, Quirky

See it if you like a good storyline; you want to see a contemporary story

Don't see it if you are offended by language or drug use

Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a solid comedy with a great performance by Nico Tortorella

Don't see it if You can't tolerate a slow start, or you can't get past imbalanced acting talent

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You like a dark comedy well written and well acted.

Don't see it if You're looking for something completely original

Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow, Funny

See it if you like dark humor, like world premieres, want to see the business of oil compared to drug dealers, and like modern problem plays.

Don't see it if you hate the F-bomb, hate references to Houston, aren't comfortable with drug use on stage, and hate intimate and small venues.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Hilarious

See it if you'd love watching a great comic actor upclose in a tiny venue - male lead's rendition of a drug-fueled ad brainstorming session is AWESOME

Don't see it if you're expecting a serious or hyper-informative criticism of our fossil-fuel addiction, that scenario provides the conflict but is not focus

Ambitious, Clever, Disappointing, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy socially relevant topics that weave raw relationships into the mix

Don't see it if Sex, drugs, or arguments offend you

Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You'll enjoy the scenes with the woman since they're lively and fun.

Don't see it if You probably won't like the scenes with the 3 guys as they are cringe-worthy (frat boy antics and poor acting). Storyline far-fetched.

Mad men with cocaine up its bum, Funny, Edgy, Indulgent

See it if Jamie must contain the PR mess of his family's oil co spill. On 1 shoulder:His wife, a green angel On the other-Aaron a devilish colleague.

Don't see it if You need protagonists you can root for. Bad influence Aaron (W Tre Davis) & the philosophical drug dealer provide the most entertainment.

Funny, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you want a silly/funny show about a serious subject that makes you think about how you view big corporations and the environment

Don't see it if you don't arrive early! Seating was terrible and being short did not help. Also don't see if you don't care about the environment, etc

Entertaining, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You like living room sit-com style shows. Although the main character is very good.

Don't see it if You want substance in the writing.

Edgy, Hilarious, Intense, Original, Raunchy

See it if Present environmental issues, or raunchy, realistic shows

Don't see it if You are under 13 or are not open minded about drug usage

Clever, Overrated, Slow, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you appreciate dark humor

Don't see it if you are looking for a profound story line or good writing

Interesting, Inconsistent acting, Original, Disappointing, Funny

See it if you want to see some eye candy with the main actor. Like modern plays

Don't see it if Don't like plots that don't resolve the conflict.

Cliched, Funny, Muddled, Thought-provoking, Fine

See it if you're a fan of Nico. He's good. You want to provoke a conversation about the subject. With low expectations, it's funny. Solid, not boring.

Don't see it if offended by a bit of language and drug use. You want fully realized characters with coherent arguments. Lots of cliches. Mixed messages.

Insipid, Funny, Cliched, Needs focus, Just a little contrived

See it if If you want to laugh at some lewd, crude humor and don't mind slightly trying-too-hard-at-substance motifs/want an easy 80-90min. of laughs.

Don't see it if you need immersion/investment, are critical of actor's portrayals of drug influence, find excessive cursing a poor sub for better dialogue

Entertaining, Funny, Cliched, Sitcom-y

See it if you're up for a chuckle.

Don't see it if you're expecting deep social commentary on serious environmental issues.

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You're passionate about the environment.

Don't see it if You want a riveting play. This is not that.

Cliched, Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you like new works. It has a familiar hit them on the head feel. A lot of the dialogue could be reworked, however, some of it is funny.

Don't see it if you don't like long winded shows. It was too much big oil bad, green energy good. Characters have no depth and fall flat.

Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if you have nothing better to do. An occasional good moment but few and far between.

Don't see it if You require a good play. Issues with the writing and directing.

Cast & Creatives (11)