Lockdown NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(37 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
5%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

About the Show

"Lockdown" takes an authentic, intimate and powerful look at the impact of long-term incarceration and the reality of what life inside prison is really like. 

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Member Reviews (37)

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85
Insightful, Moving, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Volunteer develops a deep friendship with a lifelong prisoner. Effective depiction of prison life & social injustices. Poetic writing.

Don't see it if You are uninterested in a relationship story in a prison setting. There was an enlightening "community discussion" afterwards.

79
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if Potent, dramatic indictment of American penal system esp parole process Well acted & simply staged; packs a punch despite some mawkishness

Don't see it if Thomas' juxaposing of political & personal story lines don't make for smooth transitions but as a cri de coeur for social justice it excels

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
May 9th, 2019

"Keith Randolph Smith plays Wise with great warmth and subtlety...'Lockdown' is capaciously compassionate, with excellent performances by Eric Berryman and Curt Morlaye. What’s sometimes awkward is Ernie’s part of the story, which can feel superfluous and forced...If 'Lockdown' prompts you, as it means, into thinking about this nation’s prisons...stick around for the post-performance 'community conversation'...A rare night at the theater, and a valuable one."
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The Observer
May 2nd, 2019

"It’s a good premise, but not a very good play...The problem is that it’s all been done on cable television shows, and on stage a lot of talky repartee cannot duplicate the power of what the eye can see...By restricting Wise’s heinous acts to verbal descriptions, we only fleetingly feel the impact of his crimes, and a call for compassion seems manipulative...The other two actors...They have no impact at all. The perfunctory direction is by Kent Gash."
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Lighting & Sound America
May 10th, 2019

"As long as 'Lockdown' focuses on Wise and his struggle...the play poses troubling, not-easily-answered questions about the conflicting roles of individual responsibility and a disturbed social order in the making of a criminal...Thomas loses focus from time to time...Even so, 'Lockdown' is filled with moments that vividly render the cruelty of our justice system and, under Gash's acute, well-paced direction, all four members of the cast make a solid impression."
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TheaterScene.net
May 8th, 2019

“Thomas’ moving prison drama...The 100 minutes are a bit slack but ultimately the play’s searing sincerity transcends dramaturgical flaws...Thomas has created very appealing characters...She’s crafted a simple and compelling narrative that poignantly plays out with its wistful dialogue...Gash’s adept staging realizes the play’s sensitivity through expert placement of the cast during the numerous scenes that swiftly flow from one to the next.”
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Theater Pizzazz
May 7th, 2019

"'Lockdown' is essentially preaching to the choir about what they already know from countless films…The chief problem presented is how difficult it is to for someone…to earn parole. No answers are provided, though…Making the play as much about the writer's personal issues as those of the prisoners is problematic and tends to split the play's focus. Thomas also relies too heavily on monologues spoken directly to the audience…Zenzi Williams demonstrates a potent stage presence."
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Broadway Blog
May 9th, 2019

"Thomas plays with a theatrical convention where the facts and the wished outcome don’t necessarily correlate; delivering a denouement that’s as unsatisfying as it is honest...'Lockdown' effectively uses this personal narrative to delve into the sprawling issue of prison reform and to show that the mechanisms we use to keep poor men of color in line are just as damaged as the unjust society that puts them there in the first place."
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