Metropolitan Playhouse presents this highly theatrical 1968 drama from Arthur Kopit, which explores America's mistreatment of the indigenous tribes. More…
'Indians' tells the story of 19th century European Americans’ settlement of western North America and displacement and confinement of the Native American population, as well as its subsequent mythologizing of that time, all told as a Wild West Show starring none other than Buffalo Bill Cody. Written as a protesting inquiry into the Vietnam War, 'Indians' resonates anew with today’s confrontations between cultures foreign and domestic.
“Performed by 11 actors in 28 roles in a play originally staged with 50 actors, the production makes use of some rather strange casting so that not everyone is suitable for their assigned parts. The cross gender casting for the First Lady and Senator Dawes may be a contemporary touch but takes away from the historical authenticity of the drama. Actors recognizably reappear in second and third roles so that it becomes difficult to follow who is who.” Full Review
“This early work is neither linear history, nor unabashed polemic...It’s peppered with absurdity...Creative staging and playing farce earnestly are both paramount to make a production of ‘Indians’ successful. The first, Roe handles skillfully...The second necessary factor, however, has no moorings...This is an extremely mixed bag. The play would be served by cutting a good 20 minutes, but better served by better acting. Its message comes through loud and clear regardless.” Full Review
"Impressive theatricality does not offer sufficient razzle dazzle to mask the play's deficiencies...Unfortunately, the play seems very much of its time...Structurally and dramatically, the play keeps the audience at a distance, and the characters are not emotionally involving. Either we have grown numb to this national critique, or 'Indians' accomplishes a rare feat in making genocide seem dull...Ultimately, 'Indians' is a frustrating theatre experience." Full Review
“The Metropolitan commits actorcide by having only 10 actors play all the roles, occasionally crossing genders to do so. The Goliath of Kopit's play wins before the David of this theatre can even draw its slingshot…For all the promise dormant in its iconic Western figures, the play is essentially a progression of scenes with a static dramatic arc and a persistently polemical purpose…Dully paced direction lacks propulsion…The Metropolitan's actors range from competent to amateurish.” Full Review
See it if you want to be challenged with a play that is as relevant today as it was in the sixties. What a daring thought provoking piece of theater
Don't see it if you only want a pleasant night in the theater with no thoughts at all.
See it if Rarely seen Kopit drama gets a potent staging (esp w/P'house's limitations) Absurdist dramedy/spectacle concerning Indian genocide by US
Don't see it if Cast size limits needed dramatic scale despite strong lead performances (esp Hardart) Kopit's tone veers toward Bretchian with mixed resilts
See it if You want to see the same points repeated too often. Michael Hardart is excellent, but the script is tedious.
Don't see it if You are looking for a meaningful, entertaining evening
See it if You want to get a history lesson about how this country was really founded. Not the whitewashed version you were taught in grammar school.
Don't see it if You don't like disturbing facts about our country's history and on going issues with people of color.
See it if You want a conscience-stirring theatrical experience. Beautiful staging. Exquisitely acted.
Don't see it if You don't have patience for shows that dramaturgically are clearly a product of a specific time - however timeless the themes.
Also Praise to Metropolitan for reviving this challenging work.
See it if U are interested in the history of American West expansion told by Buffalo Bill Cody in a mythologized show with Indian ghosts giving facts.
Don't see it if U eschew subjects of American greed/arrogant power/violation of human rights causing tragic tolls & fail to see metaphor to present crisis.
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