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safeword.

From 132 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

About the show

This new work explores power dynamics through BDSM and food and reveals how the people closest to us often have the most to hide. More…

An unlikely meeting between New York City neighbors fosters a new friendship among two couples, laden with secrets. After an incident in which everything is revealed, they must all come to grips with the pieces of themselves they keep most hidden.



Member Reviews (132)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy
74
Avg Score

75
Intelligent, Interesting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a smart show about lies, secrets, communication and relationships set in a world of BDSM. Well done and not too explicit.

Don't see it if BDSM makes you uncomfortable.

51
Torturous, Talky, Ambitious, Unerotic, Slow

See it if you really liked Afterglow & want to see a fairly frank (if mostly chaste & clinical) look at BDSM, fidelity, identity & sexual boundaries.

Don't see it if u expect to satisfy ur prurient, voyeuristic curiosity via onstage titillation; u want more than clichéd characters in an awkward talkfest.

Also Though moderately more successful than Afterglow (by the same creative... Read more Read less

70
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great staging, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if Normalising attempt (gay v. straight juxtaposition) fifty shadings of the ties-that-bind outlier topic. Unexpected dungeon in the attic set.

Don't see it if Titilations of "Afterglow" not to be found here. And the final word is "Done," as in done and dumber.

Also "Done with you."

75
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like a well written drama about S & M with good character development. No nudity and any action was part of the story and not gratuitous

Don't see it if you don't like any story about S & M or plots involving gay or gender bending characters.

Also The staging is very good but is much more effective if you sit further... Read more Read less

69
Frustrating

See it if You want to see a show that deals with an interesting fetish that many people are probably not aware of or at least do not understand

Don't see it if You are expecting a lot of nudity like the last play by this author

Also I’m going to try not to ruin anything if you have not seen this. The p... Read more Read less

75
Good acting, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if If you would enjoy examining different points of view on SNM and relationships, if you like plots about topics not usually address in plays.

Don't see it if You are sensitive about SNM snd fo not particularly enjoy plots about alternative relationships.

78
Ambitious, Quirky, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to understand the motivations behind BDSM. Since the lead is a nurse, I would rename this show Fifty Shades of Gray's Anatomy.

Don't see it if seeing variant lifestyles depicted on stage makes you uncomfortable.

Also I was actually pleasantly surprised with the complexity of the plot, t... Read more Read less

78
Interesting, Edgy, Well develop characters, Fine acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in sadomasochistic affairs, psychological difficulties of marital & non-traditional friendship relationships & good plot.

Don't see it if you dislike phychological exploration of "deviant," often sexual, behavior, it's effects on relationships & possible origins.

50
Promised one thing and delivered something different and unwanted, Ambitious

See it if you enjoyed being teased by the idea of a GAY S &M story only to find out later that there's a major heterosexual twist. Huh!

Don't see it if if you don't enjoy being teased with the promise of and S & M story and then are presented with a sprinkle of S & M. YUK!!!

Also The audience was filled with single and coupled gay men who thought th... Read more Read less

64
Provocative, Indulgent, Reserved, Great staging, Intriguing

See it if you want to gain some insight into BDSM culture. Well acted and well staged, but....

Don't see it if you want to see a completely flushed out story. I felt like this piece only scratched the surface of the story it was trying to tell.

Also Felt like the story had a lot of holes in it and the characters were n... Read more Read less

84
Thought-provoking, Great script and direction, Terrific cast and performances, Edgy and honest, Ambitious

See it if You're open to an edgy, funny, sometimes rough play that's ultimately about love and communication, way past secrets, addiction or pain.

Don't see it if Themes of bondage, discipline or S&M disturb, or if you can't accept the validity or love possible in alternate life styles, however extreme

Also Beautifully cast with a terrific ensemble; script, direction and perfo... Read more Read less

79
Not sexy, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Coming from the makers of Afterglow, I expected this to be a sexier show than it was. And I'm pleasantly surprised that it wasn't. This was

Don't see it if a thoughtful examination of power and relationships framed through BDSM. And Maybe Burke gives a standout performance. They are a star.

75
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Absorbing, Clever

See it if You want to know a bit about the dynamics of BDSM, for a good show, if you are on a date. To have a good night out. You are curious

Don't see it if You are a prude, don't want to see the theme of BDSM, want a musical, are a BDSM purist.

Also The way that the BDSM theme was introduced at the beginning of the sho... Read more Read less

82
Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play about how people deal with problems.

Don't see it if the subject matter of S &M would bother you.

68
Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if You feel the subject matter is of interest and exploring this 4 characters story can make you understand their situation.

Don't see it if You expect a raunchy show with nudity. This does not occur unlike the playwright's last play Afterglow.

91
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in a realistic portrayal of a BDSM relationship (psychologically) and relationships in general.

Don't see it if You are offended by sex, or trans people. If you are looking for something with a large cast or looking for a comedy.

Also I thought this was terrific.... Read more Read less

65
Indulgent, Fluffy, Dated, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if i liked AFTERGLOW / support gay theatre

Don't see it if this was corny. also, bad writing and acting. :/

69
Thought-provoking, Profound, Great staging, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if you want some understanding of what true love means under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Don't see it if If you have problems with strange relationships.

92
Surprisingly entertaining play about sexual repression and secrets!!

See it if You are interested in a very well acted directed play about repressed sexual fetishes. Great lighting and sets.

Don't see it if You are looking for gratuitous nudity for nudity sakes...but it was very sensual on its own terms.

Also I hated Afterglow but i was amazingly surprised by Safeword which has ... Read more Read less

78
Edgy, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if you are looking for an interesting psychological drama about BDSM.

Don't see it if you are a prude or if you are looking for something hardcore. People in the BDSM community are like to find this very vanilla and BDSM 101.

Also I think this is a very good play with some unexpected twists and turns... Read more Read less

82
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a subject matter that's not normally explored. Interested in the world of BDSM and the psychological reasons behind it

Don't see it if You don't like stepping out of your comfort zone. You're very conservative. Dont like themes of BDSM or plays with trans characters

71
Disappointing, Great staging, Funny

See it if You like this writer’s work.

Don't see it if You are easily offended by sexual situations.

75
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You are looking for something on the outter edge of contemporary theatre and are not disturbed by explicit sexual activity.

Don't see it if You are looking for a polite discussion of interpersonal relationships and would rather no know about the darker side of the sex world.

Also Sorry folks, but BDSM is about sex! Just because you leave your shorts... Read more Read less

70
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if you are curious about the power dynamics of BDSM. and are seeking a sort of intro to it.

Don't see it if you are in "the scene" as it not a realistic portrayal. The wife's interest and quick embrace of BDSM unreal. Hetero men aren't subs to men

75
Thought-provoking, Great tech. light & sound design, Wonderful stage design, Some great acting, Great staging

See it if Fantastic stage set, lighting&sound Story though seemingly convoluted really works until a late plot development making my # score lower

Don't see it if ... you are opposed to lgbt... discussions sexuality and relationships.


May 8th, 2019
“Gelman’s second play, ‘Safeword’, is hoping to do for bondage what ‘Afterglow’ did for open marriage. But here, the characters are unfinished, and overall the play promises more than it can deliver...Gelman, who also directs, seems more concerned with disproving myths and setting up perfect tabl...
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April 25th, 2019
"Does 'safeword.' hold together as a gripping, well-written, original play that provokes meaningful discussion about BDSM — or, if not, at least provides some titillation? The answer is No...Few will be surprised by the ending of this story, which is curiously banal for such an intriguing setup.....
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April 26th, 2019
"Asher here continues to mine the subject of human sexuality, but lightning has not struck twice. That is chiefly due to Asher’s misguidedly grandiose direction emphasizing stylish spectacle at the expense of the clunky plot...We’re physically distant from the characters which adds detachment fro...
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May 17th, 2019
“It’s an honest attempt to unmask the preconceived notions of this world, but unfortunately...the whole thing whips back and forth from pleasing to awkward, even when it’s not intended...The actors work their damnedest to keep it together...working hard to make the play feel real and important......
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