Dolphins and Sharks
Closed 2h 0m
Dolphins and Sharks
80

Dolphins and Sharks NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(38 Reviews)
Positive
87%
Mixed
8%
Negative
5%
Members say
Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

About the Show

Labyrinth Theater Company presents the world premiere of this timely comedy, which grapples with income inequality, gentrification, and cutthroat capitalism.

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Member Reviews (38)

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83
Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing

See it if Tyler's tight, well written play about vicious office politics in Harlem copy shop. Fine ensemble shines in cut-throat economic environment

Don't see it if Brathwaite's staging a little too showy & distracting but not overly harming A slight scene trim could help pace Great immersive set

95
Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if wish to see 5 talented actors delving into the multi-cultural racist views with clever insight.Many powwere struggles ensue. Great sets and

Don't see it if from above.. Scenic Design Super.. Only negative could be some rapid dialogue..

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
March 5th, 2017

"What comes across most forcefully in this overstuffed workplace drama is tedium: the ceaseless petty bickering of employees amid a surfeit of exposition about their jobs...At the very top of the play, things look promising...But this is a production divided against itself. Between each flat scene, Ms. Brathwaite imposes jolting moments of sensory overload: a confusion of projections, flashing lights, video and high-volume sound that contributes little to telling the story at hand."
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Theatermania
March 1st, 2017

"A brilliant new play…Encapsulating the cruelty of 21st-century capitalism in one retail outpost, Tyler conveys a gut-level understanding of this world in which more and more is expected for less and less...Director Charlotte Brathwaite builds the tension of this seemingly mundane workplace drama slowly and surely, leaving us gasping for breath by the end…The production benefits from excellent performances…It's a strikingly accurate depiction of where we are as a society.”
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Lighting & Sound America
March 2nd, 2017

"Under Charlotte Brathwaite's direction, the tension level is constantly on the rise...All five roles feel fully lived in, thanks to the aces cast...A lot of passion has gone into staging 'Dolphins and Sharks,' but a little light and noise goes a long way, and the production might benefit from toning it down a bit. That doesn't mean Tyler doesn't have a knack for writing scenes that ripple with tension and confrontations that crackle."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 2nd, 2017

"The play is a fiercely comic, provocative, and, at times, harrowing work that explores with great insight the tense socio-economic and racially charged landscape...A real strength of the play lies in the way that the atmosphere changes gradually...Charlotte Brathwaite directs all of this with the precision of a choreographer...It is a great tribute to the playwright and to the cast that everyone 'keeps it real,' with performances that are completely character-driven."
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Theatre is Easy
March 5th, 2017

“The drama that results from these overlapping conflicts is absorbing, and the excellent cast goes all in…From time to time, Tyler’s dialogue puts his message right into the characters’ mouths, turning what is mostly an extremely well-crafted portrait of a specific environment into a polemic. Despite leaning a bit too much on metaphor, ‘Dolphins and Sharks’ is an engaging addition to the theatrical conversation about the people American capitalism has left behind.”
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Theater Pizzazz
March 1st, 2017

"Daily power struggles are entirely credible under the direction of Charlotte Brathwaite, who masterfully incorporates movement sequences...Some of the repetition becomes wearisome. However, there is a satisfying and simple truth to the main characters trading stories about their home lives...Playwright James Anthony Tyler...keeps it real. The language is rhythmic, and the negotiations are incessant. The tiers of struggle are felt before resolution is approached."
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CurtainUp
March 8th, 2017

“The play's roles, as written by Tyler, are distinctive and minutely observed; and, under Charlotte Brathwaite's sensitive direction, the superb cast makes quite a meal on what the author has given them…Tyler's dialogue crackles with street credibility; and the events of the play are generally believable. Despite its strengths, though, the script is overlong. Parts of the twisty plot are predictable; and, in the second act, bickering among the co-workers becomes wearisomely repetitive.”
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Front Row Center
March 3rd, 2017

"Flavored with sharp observations on race, the economy, class, and culture. The dialog is zingy, the pace is crisp, and the ensemble cast works supremely well together...Kudos to director Charlotte Brathwaite for moving the tale along so nicely. Where the playwright’s youth betrays him is in the ending of the play. There really isn’t one...Tyler has an exciting new voice in the theater and I’m interested to see what it will say when he matures a little."
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Stage Buddy
March 6th, 2017

"A stunning new play...In a superb examination of the intersections between race and socioeconomic class, playwright James Anthony Tyler’s work opens up the internal workings of a customer service job, questioning the validity of a system in which it is impossible for any of the players to win. Tyler crafts nuanced characters supported by sharp dialogue...Tensions are brought higher still through the cast’s excellent performances, skillfully directed by Charlotte Brathwaite."
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Exeunt Magazine
March 2nd, 2017

"A blisteringly funny comedy...Tyler’s deck is stacked. Yet it’s hard to mind his heavy hand since he deals us one ace after the other...A whip-smart look at race and class – one that frequently smarts, too. The actors are a real treat to watch...Brathwaite’s direction exposes layers of the characters’ turmoil in the cast’s strong performances...Tyler might overplay his hand at times, but we all cash in on the chips of his stinging dialogue and mordant exploration of ambition, race and class."
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T
March 16th, 2017

"The themes resonate as cliché and the characters appear as stereotypical. The proceedings and plot do not offer any new information or constructive solutions to several systemic problems addressed...The extremely competent cast earnestly tries to overcome flat scenes with undeniable energy, swift dialogue and excellent timing...Despite these admirable performances 'Dolphins and Sharks' is like the cash drawer at the Harlem Office at the end of the day. It comes up short!"
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Theatre's Leiter Side
March 11th, 2017

"It's not a particularly original work, being a workplace drama such as regularly appears on New York stages...but it holds together so well and is so smartly acted and staged it stands out among the crop of recent Off-Broadway openings...The dialogue is often raw and nasty—the 'n' word gets a lot of play—and the actors get right in each other's faces, spewing words faster than speeding bullets. Still, every intonation is as natural as life."
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Theater In The Now
March 2nd, 2017

"Tyler’s text is colloquial and realistic. He has a strong sense of character development and personal relationships...Even with the stakes being perfectly high, Tyler could benefit with some shrinking. 'Dolphins and Sharks' could be shorter...Brathwaite’s vision was superb. The way she guided her company through the retail world while isolating the important themes allowed Tyler’s truth to hit a bit harder...Tyler wrote vibrant characters but this ensemble elevated them, drawing from truth."
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Off Off Online
March 2nd, 2017

"Under director Charlotte Brathwaite, Tyler’s play unfolds with masterly plotting, but with excessive visual frippery left intact from the script...Luckily, the flashy overkill doesn’t obscure the playwright’s dramatic abilities and urgent voice...The five actors are superb...Unfortunately, the play ends with a jarring and unnecessary moment of agitprop, yet this work confirms that Tyler’s voice is not only necessary, but one worth listening to."
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NY Theatre Guide
March 2nd, 2017

"It is going to be my best show of 2017. I cannot imagine how another show is going to be able to top the experience...This seminal work blew me right out of my skin...Chilling and uncompromising...It’s a brilliant, brilliant text...All of the performers bring every ounce of their energy, focus, and commitment to telling this necessary story...This play is a working-class anthem that needs to be sung everywhere."
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Village Voice
March 1st, 2017

“James Anthony Tyler's smart new play, expertly directed by Charlotte Brathwaite…‘Dolphins and Sharks’ owes much of its power to Brathwaite's stellar production. The ensemble cast is excellent, imbuing their characters with sympathetic detail…The production's strength lends the play a sophistication it might otherwise sometimes lack. Tyler's writing is packed with thoughtfully observed psychology, but becomes structurally repetitive in the second act, as screaming matches pile up.”
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