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"Character and atmosphere are the stronger elements...In matters of story and structure, it’s somewhat weaker...Any action, when it comes, seems halfhearted, if not superfluous. Mr. Hoyle’s larger scheme is to depict a neighborhood by showing why people go and how they stay. Mostly, he does this by letting his characters talk. If Mr. Hoyle lets his story get away from him, he presents warm, robust sketches of the neighborhood’s gutsy dwellers." Full Review
“It's not the rather predictable narrative that makes ‘The Block’ so enjoyable; it's the highly colorful street lingo that Hoyle appropriates and reinvents in a manner that recalls the vivid - and largely made-up - slang used in the plays of Clifford Odets...Under Tamilla Woodard's direction, the conversation is always lively, often profane, and sometimes scathing...Even if it ambles a bit, I feel sure that it will have much to say to audiences around the city.” Full Review
"The beauty of Hoyle’s writing is that he incorporates no clichés into the multi-dimensional characters. They’re instantly recognizable and yet unpredictable. They’re certainly street-smart, but they’re also informed about things far beyond the block...Thanks to the utterly humane script, Willard’s savvy directing and the playing by a flawless cast, this writer’s 'Block' is completely convincing and completely successful." Full Review
“An all-around tour de force, ‘The Block’ is a stark portrayal of the times at hand in the Bronx. Filled with interesting, thoughtful and sympathetic characters, this is a play that offers a harsh glimpse of some people’s realities. The characters of ‘The Block’ leave one with the sense that though the struggle seems absolutely insurmountable, every day is a new opportunity to escape the past as long as one holds onto that most sacred trait: hope.” Full Review
See it if you want to hear the stories of the South Bronx, empathetically told. Some hilarious monologues and exchanges between characters.
Don't see it if you don't want to be lectured on gentrification and racism. The seats in the Brooklyn theater are uncomfortable.
See it if You would like to understand the human cost of gentrification. Well developed characters struggling with relatable economic and social issue
Don't see it if You are not interested in venturing way beyond Broadway into the heart of Brooklyn.
See it if you like ambitious plays with jive talking teasing, joking, bragging and scrapping characters. Plots about gentrification, drugs, and cars
Don't see it if you're offended by obscenities, hip-hop slang, crotch grabbing, and loud bragging, complaining characters
See it if you like urban dramas and New York City stories. Excellent acting, story a little familiar but meaningful and realistic.
Don't see it if you don't like gritty stories about struggles in the real world, right here, right now. Don't go on a hot day - a/c isn't great.
See it if U like relevant theatre that has to do with the city we live in.
Don't see it if U are looking for more adventurous aesthetics. This play is more about t reaching your heart than exploring theatricality.
See it if you want to see a funny, yet real, play about a man who regards his choices as a youth in an attempt to stay out of the Bronx hood lifestyle
Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with profanity; topics of racism, or gentrification and its effects on the native residents; you want something upbeat.