The Death of a Black Man (A Walk By) NYC Reviews and Tickets
Absorbing, Must see, Relevant, Clever, Intelligent
About the Show
Theater for the New City presents an immersive exploration of gun violence that blends rap, poetry, song, and movement.
You can't understand a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. But who among us has tasted the paranoia, dread, and loss from gun violence that is, shockingly, so common among urban high schoolers and their families? For 'Death of a Black Man (A Walk By),' audiences move through a variety of uniquely designed environments suggesting the events before and after a shooting in a city playground. It's like a day lived with urban gun violence, complete with a candle-lit memorial service, police investigations, protests, and violence.
"A live wire of outrage runs through almost every moment of 'Death of a Black Man.' That’s just as it should be, and it’s a good reason to see this energetic piece of agitprop...As directed by Mr. James, the young actors play various characters boldly...Mr. James might have better used some of his energy to build situations with more complexity. There’s passion, yet the plot and characters risk being fairly standard...Still, the questions he poses are vital."
“I spent the entire hour and fifteen minutes looking for a moment of true connection with the reality of gun violence; instead I was met with a barrage of sensationalist antics that ironically distanced me instead of drawing me in...The cast, however, should be applauded for their commitment...I simply wish that their director had spent less time on montages and the endless array of props and more time on helping these promising actors achieve persuasive performances.”
“The confrontational nature of the play starts right away...The ensemble weaves through the audience, at times staring people down, at times looking at them pleadingly...But for all the uneasiness, it’s important to see the terrible ubiquity of firearms in this country…’The Death of a Black Man (A Walk By)’ hopefully brings some awareness to the issue by focusing on how gun violence affects children and their families.”
“The energetic young cast draws you in from the start...No immersive evening can work without a seamless integration of production and design, and this show’s creative elements work harmoniously to move the audience through the world of the play...Though the play is titled ‘The Death of a Black Man’, it is the play’s young women that are the real soul of the production, alternately, profane, witty, brazen and charming.”