Already closed | 1h 50m | Brooklyn


From 41 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant, Intense

About the show

In this world premiere, a recently widowed white book editor invites a younger black writer to her apartment, only to find that a night of passion turns into a tumultuous morning-after. More…

From the show:

The Billie Holiday Theatre Artistic and Executive Director Dr. Indira Etwaroo presents the theatre’s world premiere of James Sheldon’s Reparations, a centerpiece of the inaugural New Windows Festival, a major highlight of The Billie’s 2019-2020 season. 

Reparations tells the story of a recently widowed white book editor (Alexandra Neil) who invites a younger black writer (Kamal Bolden) to her apartment, only to find that a night of tenderness and passion turns into a tumultuous morning-after when he threatens to reveal a dark secret from her past. As family friends – played by Lisa Arrindell and Gys de Villiers - join them for an Upper East Side lunch, we discover whether the young writer will succeed in claiming his “reparations” for a life of racial injustice and personal betrayal.

1h 50m | Already closed | The Billie Holiday Theatre (Brooklyn)

Member Reviews (41)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant, Intense
Avg Score

Compassionate, Funny, Edgy, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Nervy #metoo play w/twists. Racial & sexual abuse themes. Shifting power dynamics. Funny moments amidst the pain. Excellent acting/staging.

Don't see it if After the thrilling fireworks of the first 3/4 of the play, the last 1/4 felt like an extended denouement. A bit contrived in spots.

Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you love good theater with a dynamic plot and great characters. The acting is terrific. Some very funny and unexpected material.

Don't see it if you have issues with May December relationships or cannot empathize with characters acknowledging difficult life positions.

Great writing, Edgy, Great acting

See it if You like dramas that deal with important but very touchy subjects that a lot of people are afraid to explore

Don't see it if You are hoping for something light. This is definitely a play that will strike a nerve and get some emotion out of you

Also I loved this. I really like when I’m watching a play and I’m starting ... Read more Read less

Must see, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want to see a very well written play performed by some amazing actors in a wonderful theater space in Brooklyn about relevant issues.

Don't see it if You want to see something light and fluffy . You don't want to see some amazing performers. You want to miss out on a great performance.

Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if Suspenseful, thought provoking idea of how society's now treating sexual assault, but what about racism, how do we heal from racism?

Don't see it if Race talks (Black/white institutional racism) or sexual assault are triggering / not your thing. Don't like going to deeper Brooklyn.

Also Diversity: half of the 4-person cast is Black. Black male (American) a... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Resonant, Refreshing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Great acting, sets and story that doesn’t shy away from developing complicated characters and situations in an honest and intelligent way

Don't see it if You want an easy light night out. With a frivolous theme at over 2 hrs the pace seemed fast and fascinating. Nice theater too

Complex identities, Intersectional, Relevant, Great acting, Unraveling plot

See it if you like plays that explore the intersectionality of the many issues -race, justice, gender, and equity using deeply personal perspectives.

Don't see it if you want to feel comfortable with the choices that the characters make. Also, beware of the mass transit system to Brooklyn - lots of delays

A well-written and acted play, The set designs are attention grabbing, An emotional journey, It pulls you in and doesn't let go!

See it if You enjoy plays about conflict, memory, and what lies beneath the human psyche which drives all that we are and do.

Don't see it if All of the above is too heavy to ponder and absorb.

Also This was my first time at the Billie Holiday Theatre, an absolute jewe... Read more Read less

Well told story, Intense, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy seeing a complicated surprising plot. Great acting, great writing. Also, love intro to a venue new to me.

Don't see it if Has some triggers

Must see, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play which puts a spin on the idea of "reparations". The twist is intriguing and makes you think.

Don't see it if If you have no idea what is reparations and/or dont think it necessary.

Intense, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a show that makes you think. You want an extremely well acted performance. You enjoy great staging and storytelling.

Don't see it if You have a trigger to Sexual Violence or Political Issues. You are looking for a straight comedy. You want a fluffy musical.

Also This is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. The a... Read more Read less

Superb acting, great script, thought-provoking, intelligent

See it if you like very serious drama on difficult issues, with complicated solutions, performed by magnificent actors -- all four of them.

Don't see it if you only like musical comedy and prefer not to think much.

Great writing & acting, powerful, intense, intelligent, thought-provoking, relevant, surprising

See it if you want a well written & acted tale of racism, sexual abuse & power dynamics that makes you think. Many unexpected plot twists and turns.

Don't see it if racism, sexual abuse or power dynamics are triggering for you or serious dramas don’t appeal.

Also Don’t want to give anything away (although, unfortunately, other revie... Read more Read less

Must see, Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting

See it if You want to spend a fantastic night out seeing a powerful well acted play.This production is top notch.You will be moved by seeing this.

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this!!

Relevant, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You're interested in intelligent writing and issues. Excellent cast explore personal secrets, inter-personal conflicts & paths to resolution

Don't see it if You're not interested to face challenges and expectations in life, or examine topical issues, our histories and our closest relationships.

Intense, Great acting, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if See it're interested in people and culture; a subject critical to how we view each other and how cultural stigmas shape us today.

Don't see it if Don't see it if you're not open minded and if you're hypothetically traditional.

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If want to see good acting with intense subject matter that address sexual abuse. Good writing with good banter between the actors.

Don't see it if If sexual abuse, interracial, June/Dec relationships make you feel uncomfortable.

Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Clever

See it if you want to see strong writing, great performances and like a twist in plot that leads you down a new path.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that takes on issues such as sexual abuse to minors.

Masterful, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see excellent acting and introspective on culture, politics, and sex, and not presented in fluff

Don't see it if Sexual violence is too close to you, you don’t like intense plays

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Relevant, Intense, Great acting

See it if It's not what you think. The twist will make want to scream WOW! It will make you think about your past & are you entitled to Reparations

Don't see it if No reason not to see it. All perspectives were represented.

During previews
Powerful messages, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want a great exploration of the issues of racism and sexual abuse. Wonderfully woven story that takes you in multiple directions.

Don't see it if you are not open to understanding how the mind works for different people, how secrets & pettiness hurt or your trigger is sexual abuse.

During previews
Excellent production, Great writing, Compelling, Superb acting, Fascinating

See it if you desire excellent plot development, writing, acting, directing, production values, character development & thematic elements.

Don't see it if you favor light humorous plays that don't tackle serious themes of racism, sex deviancy & people suffering psychological hurt.

During previews
Riveting, Refreshing, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Well-written plot told by an excellent cast. Bravo to this production which should be on Broadway!

Don't see it if The play addresses teenage rape & will not be suitable for all.

During previews
Dismayingly vocal audience, Relevant, Intense, Intelligent

See it if fraught dialogues and silences around sexual abuse, trauma, racial politics & elitism appeal. Fine acting efforts. An attractive set.

Don't see it if audience members audibly reacting to cast throughout the performance irritates you. It may irreparably deflate the drama & your experience.

Also I saw Dael Orlander Smith's terrific Yellowman at this venue last year... Read more Read less

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you want to see a timely, well written and acted drama.

Don't see it if you don’t like serious dramas.

Also I’ve seen 3 productions at the Billie Holiday Theatre. Each one has be... Read more Read less

November 6th, 2019
"In ‘Reparations,’ Righting Wrongs Comes With a Cost: James Sheldon’s play examines what happens when trauma is used to material ends."
read more

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Cast & Creatives (3)