“Calderon writes florid, rapid-fire New Yorkese, which is necessary because his characters’ gift of gab is all they have. Yet it all feels a little forced, as if the play was going down a checklist of tough-guy tropes...The best dramas dealing with violence use it to uncover greater truths about human nature. No such revelation happens in ‘Divine Horsemen,’ whose petty ruffians somehow make tragedy feel small.” Full Review
"This high-stakes drama is jam-packed with fast-paced banter...To be clear, zipping from wit to explosive violence is quite the feat, and the ensemble meets the challenge...But when you take away the punches, the New Yorkese, and the over-abundance of machismo, there isn't much else...A production showcasing toxic masculinity and ableism without any self-reflection makes for an awkward participant in the conversation of current events." Full Review
"Calderon’s dialogue captures the cadences and embellishments that distinguish New York Street-speak. He and Zayas make the most of their staccato exchanges and imagistic monologues...For all its vitality, 'Divine Horseman' is still in a raw stage of its development. It needs a more even pace, and a smoother execution of its fight choreography. Most likely, though, if the production gets the longer, better-funded run it deserves, these rough edges will correct themselves." Full Review
“Though it feels like every other mob story, 'Divine Horsemen’ tells an engrossing story with sensational actors. It's easy to get swept up in the action and go along for the ride...While the play doesn’t delve very deeply into the characters’ motivations, it covers a spectrum of themes...It is an incredible delight to see such compelling actors onstage together....An intriguing portrayal of hungry men on the down-and-out side of life.” Full Review
"Calderon's script piques our interest from the very beginning. He also plays the intimidating Willie and has the audience in the palm of his hand from his first entrance, completely comfortable on stage and within his body. Every performer in this play was outstanding...All in all, 'Divine Horsemen' is at once interesting and heartbreaking, and well worth the experience." Full Review
"The play explores morality among unapologetic men. Their downfall is precipitated by what they perceive as weakness and how they attempt to protect themselves. Zayas paints his strength with vulnerability...Deblinger’s Raffi has the exuberance of a proper show-stopper, but captures the poetry of the piece with a striking immediacy. Calderón has realized an authentic and complex piece in a limited setting." Full Review
“The acting in ‘Divine Horsemen’ is so good you cannot believe that these gritty characters aren’t real people...A true masterclass in acting...The raw dialogue, politically incorrect playwriting, and characters overflowing with machismo are somehow refreshing in this play, which hasn’t been on stage since 1995...If you like badass characters and situations à la ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘The Sopranos’, then you’ll love ‘Divine Horsemen’.” Full Review
"Calderon’s staging possesses a thoughtfully constructed sense of unease that undeniably provokes urgency. Although the narrative often seems a little slight, the tension is beautifully rendered...The drama’s dialogue is intimate and strangely organic, with patter that is full of profanity and brittle edge...It’s the character work that ultimately carries the piece: The repartee between Zayas’s surprisingly subtle Iffy and Calderon’s brutish Willie is particularly compelling." Full Review
See it if you want to see some good actors perform a depressing story. The acting/writing was good, but I can't say I enjoyed myself.
Don't see it if skip this if you're averse to hearing animal torture; that's what utterly lost my sympathy for the characters. It's a rough show.
See it if Bring a friend who's not into theater but loves gangster/crime caper films. Great street-a-logue (I made that word up)
Don't see it if One of the actors was clearly out of his league. He slowed things down a bit. The other two are knockouts. Needs some pauses for laughter.
See it if well written fast paced stories are enjoyable, even if they aren't terribly profound
Don't see it if violence, whether psychotic, socio-economic, or protective, is something you can't tolerate.
See it if You loved the Labyrinth Theater of the early 2000s - See it if you like raw story lines about tough neighborhoods - see if you liked FARGO
Don't see it if U R looking for light fare or are challenged by rapid dialogue - Don't see it if u don't like grit - don't see it if you hated Pulp Fiction
See it if you enjoy gritty, raw and non-PC theater which is nearly too realistic. Violence against people, animals, the disabled; women are disparaged
Don't see it if you don't enjoy any of the above; not for the squeemish, especially description of cruelty to animals, women as nags; very dark humor
See it if good plotting and engaging tragedy catches your attention regardless of performance
Don't see it if Excess profanity and expletives annoy you, if lines are missed due to being unable to hear them, then skip this show.
See it if If you want to see 4 powerhouse electrifying performances in an intense dark play about bad men doing bad things.
Don't see it if If you are offended by criminal behavior and rough language.
See it if you are interested in a fast paced crime drama with spots of humor. The acting is amazing, powerful with well choreographed fight scenes.
Don't see it if you are easily offended by remarks and behavior that are anti-women and cruel to animals and the handicapped. Bad men doing bad things.
See it if Desperate trio courts the devil, with devastating consequences. Violent, yet ultimately a satisfying morality tale. Excellent acting.
Don't see it if Extremely dark humor. Graphic descriptions of violent acts to people and animals. Four flight walk-up to theater.
See it if If you want to see intense acting laced with violence and well staged fight choreography.
Don't see it if Might have a bit of trouble understanding quickly spoken slang- but this did not diminish raw power of this production.
See it if You like tense, American Buffalo like dramas with clever wit and authentic everyday characters struggling to achieve the American Dream.
Don't see it if You don't like gritty, true to life plays, or are way too politically correct and easily offended by characters who speak the way they feel.
See it if you enjoy watching loathsome characters engaging in loathsome activities. Plus you get amazing character actors from TV.
Don't see it if you insist on political correctness. If you are looking for amazing sets, lighting, etc you should look elsewhere; this is bare bones.
See it if you love great actors and great writing, you want to laugh, but also be surprised by the meaning it holds, if you like Stephen Adly Guirgis
Don't see it if you don't like violence, you are sensitive around subject matter involving developmental disabilities
See it if You like gritty, male-oriented, intense drama with a good dose of humor and violence thrown in and excellent acting.
Don't see it if You are sensitive to a story involving loan-sharking and questionable moral activity.
See it if You like heist/crime stories. You're into comic books. You are not easily distressed by stage violence or descriptions of animal abuse.
Don't see it if You want female characters to be more than off-hand remarks about nagging wives and hysterical mothers.
See it if You like great acting! David Zayas is a tour de force, forreal. It's incredible to see him up close. The ensemble rounds it out nicely.
Don't see it if You're gentle. There's a lot of hyper-masculinity in this play, and not a lot of redeeming characters. Women are poorly represented.
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