New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

The Black Book

From 7 critic and 9 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious, Funny, Absorbing

About the show

IJB Productions presents a psychological thriller about a troubled college student who leaves a veiled suicide note in the form of a poem on his professor's desk. More…

Arthur Chase, the apprehensive professor, is compelled to delve into his student Collin's past to decipher the clues hidden within the poem, understand the guilt Collin feels for the loss of the girl he loved, and ultimately save him from taking his own life. The Black Book is a haunting exploration of a mind on the verge of collapse and the struggles inherent with oneself. The play propels the audience members through a psychological chess game, challenging them to always stay one move ahead.

Stage Buddy

"This head scratcher of a play may be convoluted at times, but it is utterly mesmerizing...Fifteen minutes in, I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath awaiting the next development, not wanting it to end before I could figure out what is going on...The speed of 'The Black Book' is very quick, leaving you almost breathless. Shocking at times, it deals with very heavy themes of mental illness, death and suicide, yet leaves you questioning what these things really mean in the context of ... Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The intriguing way all the seemingly disparate elements come together in the denouement makes for a satisfying, very involving evening in the theatre...The entire cast becomes a great ensemble, totally in synch with each other. That they are also great looking takes nothing away from their acting talent." Full Review


"This fast-paced trip of unsettling imagery addresses issues of adolescent depression but fails to culminate in a cogent thesis on the subject...Blechman’s engaging script and direction are clearly calculated. Each line weaves together with another, forming an intricate web of detail and nuance. The result is a shade away from a brilliant Christopher Nolan screenplay: thoroughly gripping from start to finish but failing to achieve the satisfying point of dizzying cohesion required of such sto... Full Review


"By design a psychologically complex but also inexplicably confusing and totally confounding play. It is meant to keep its characters, all well acted, in emotional transition as well as the audience in a state of quandary. That's fine as far as it goes except that one is likely to lose track of the who, what, where or when about halfway through." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"It immediately suggests that dramatist Phil Blechman, who also directs, is about to make a point of life's being a game of chess. Yes, the old, dreary saw...Utterly pretentious...It's difficult for onlookers to determine what's going on...Who can say for sure? I can't. Nor have I any interest in trying. From time to time sound supplier Marc also pipes in a male voice sing-songing the phrase 'I am slowly going crazy.' Watching 'The Black Book,' I, too, was going crazy -- and not so slowly." Full Review

Applause! Applause!

"After seeing this play, my interest in suicide was not piqued. All I desired to know was why Phil Blechman hadn't yet burned every copy of this convoluted, incomprehensible script that leaves audiences scratching their heads and wondering why they had to be subjected to such unfocused, ridiculous drivel...On a positive note, all the actors in this production were top-notch professionals." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"While its goal of dealing with the problem of suicide is certainly laudable, the play is such a confusing mishmash of surrealism and realism—mingling dreams, memories, soliloquies, direct address, violence, loud whooshing noises, and numerous other pretensions— that whatever message it seeks to convey is lost in the dramatic detritus." Full Review

Ambitious, Clever, Hard to follow

See it if very unique. makes you think. super ambitious project. sets were cool for a small theater

Don't see it if you need an easy night of theater with a linear plot

Entertaining, Clever, Epic, Refreshing, Must see

See it if you like something fresh and over the edge.

Don't see it if if you're easily offended.

Clever, Funny, Epic

See it if You want a good laugh

Don't see it if You don't want to be blasphemous

Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great singing, Edgy

See it if All ages, anyone who wants a good laugh

Don't see it if You are small minded or easily offended

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Impressive rhyming. Good music. Some novel ideas, even for someone familiar with the science.

Don't see it if no reason not to see it

Entertaining, Quirky, Relevant, Hilarious, Raunchy

See it if You like funny musicals and don't get easily offended.

Don't see it if You are conservative or wanting a see a show with your family.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying

See it if i remember seeing this little play in a little theater quite sometime ago, it was really thought provoking, had a lot going on with it...

Don't see it if you want a clear cut plot and answers to what is presented to you - good story telling tho

Great staging, Intense

See it if I wish this show would return. I like small theaters where all the big stuff is born and nurtured. The staging was incredible.

Don't see it if Suicide and strobe lights bother you

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if Want to see something original and funny funny funny. The music and lyrics are singable and danceable and even educational.

Don't see it if Just see it

Cast & Creatives (16)