The Great Leap
Closed 1h 40m
The Great Leap
84

The Great Leap NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(50 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
4%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever

About the Show

Inspired by events from her father’s life and (short-lived) basketball career, playwright Lauren Yee ('The Hatmaker’s Wife') makes her Atlantic debut with this new cross-cultural drama.

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Member Reviews (50)

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706 Reviews | 214 Followers
85
Enchanting, Intense, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Fascinating contrast of Chinese vs American values in sports, family, and politics. Excellent characters, funny moments, and plot twists.

Don't see it if You would not enjoy a non-linear basketball themed show with Chinese chatacters, history and themes.

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
75
Cliched, Relevant, Intense, Intelligent, Slow

See it if Yee's homage to her father is really a tale of two countries (includes a Dicken's reference) Well acted w/ solid dramaturgy yet lacks punch

Don't see it if Using game strategy (basketball) as metaphor for life; drama only ignites around Tiananmen Square events B D Wong's efforts help greatly

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
90
Highly entertaining, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great staging, Riveting

See it if you enjoy plays dealing with both basketball & an important historical event in China. BD Wong is giving an extraordinary performance.

Don't see it if you don't like plays dealing with historical events or other cultures.

501 Reviews | 103 Followers
92
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound

See it if You want to see an incredibly well balanced cast of amazing actors.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a play that deals with basketball and more importantly the crazy history of a communist country Read more

435 Reviews | 117 Followers
84
Chinese basketball twisty yarn

See it if Interesting drama of political history of US recognition of China to Tiananmen Sq -- overlain with sports diplomacy and family relations.

Don't see it if Tony Aidan Vo is the new BD Wong. You get to see both of these charismatic Chinese-American actors in the same play

406 Reviews | 188 Followers
83
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if Family and team bonds amid international diplomacy, set in Communist China 1971 & 1989. BD Wong as a basketball coach v USA.

Don't see it if You expect an elaborate set, action-packed sports, and perfect endings. No one has a reason to miss the messages in this play. Read more

425 Reviews | 62 Followers
93
Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if BD Wong's tear-jerking act of a man surviving in Communist China decides to take a stand. Explores the love of a sport vs loved ones/family.

Don't see it if Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 / Communist China in the 70s/80 are triggering. Can't stand profanity. Read more

387 Reviews | 132 Followers
80
Entertaining, Absorbing, Cliched, Smart direction

See it if you have a soft spot for sports/underdog stories; different takes on the American Dream; history that's not widely taught anywhere.

Don't see it if you expect analysis of current events. Chinese nationalists will have bones to pick here. Would be a mistake to think this tells all sides. Read more

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
June 4th, 2018

"Congested tale of two countries...Ambitiously straddles several well-worn narrative forms, and not without strain. The play is replete with the clichés of sports underdog nail-biters, angry-young-teen stories and roads-not-taken dramas of middle-age regret...But Ms. Magar keeps the more conventional machinery of “The Great Leap” moving at a well-oiled pace. And the performances are smooth and credible, even when the plot is not."
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Time Out New York
June 5th, 2018

"'The Great Leap' can feel hasty and overstuffed; there’s a whole prestige-TV season’s worth of big reveals crammed into her two hours. Yee's writing for Manford and his cousin Connie shows its expository effort, and her last-minute repurposing of real-world heroism is unintentionally offensive. Yet there’s a lot to applaud here. Yee knows how to make her characters seem like real people and Taibi Magar’s precise production has visual flair."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 4th, 2018

"Smart, feisty, highly enjoyable...Here in Magar’s swift, punchy staging, anchored by four excellent performances, we feel the kind of up-and-down-the-court rush Yee is striving for...They don’t illustrate the game — rather, they help us imagine its stakes, its dangers, its magic...If 'The Great Leap' is a touch Hollywood-ish in its narrative neatness, it’s still an exhilarating, deeply satisfying piece of work, powered by gutsy performances and full of bright, inquisitive, humorous life."
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BroadwayWorld
June 10th, 2018

"Its kicker of a finish...is both surprising and makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, despite a fine company and a story with some spark to it, getting to that terrific ending is a bit of a trudge...At its best when comparing the two cultures' contrasting styles of play to their contrasting styles of life. But Yee's story seems too large and action-packed to be satisfactorily told in a four-character play. Too much is described rather than seen, which saps the piece of potential excitement."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 5th, 2018

“Magar, has handled her cast of newcomers and old pros deftly...Engaging as it is, ‘The Great Leap’ runs into trouble in its later passages, as things get increasingly tangled in the wildest coincidences...Still, the cast and dialogue are usually lively, and Wong gives one of the first notable performances of the new season. His quietly focused, witty, and often moving depiction of this complex character provides plenty of evidence that this fine actor still has plenty of game.”
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Talkin' Broadway
June 4th, 2018

“Yee draws some interesting parallels between sports and politics even though she's guilty of falling back on clumsy contrivances to advance her plotting...The absence of actual basketball playing isn't necessarily a problem—until it is. Magar keeps the action moving and her superb cast in motion...Despite its flaws, it's gratifying to see an innovative play hold up a mirror to sports and finds politics and our shared humanity reflected back.”
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New York Stage Review
June 8th, 2018

“Thrilling basketball action with only one player, no basket, and barely a Spalding in site...Yee is in thorough control. She manages to mix the sweep of the Chinese and American dynamics, the humor of her borscht-belt-like Ugly American, and the harsh-but-tender family drama. And basketball...The performance of the evening, though, comes from Wong...I don’t know that I’ve seen him give such an affecting performance since ‘M. Butterfly.'”
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Theatre is Easy
June 4th, 2018

"Although the topics of international diplomacy and competitive sports may seem like disparate themes, Yee’s fine writing and fiery wit allows the two subjects to intertwine effortlessly...Yee’s script is bolstered by the dynamic and seemingly effortless direction of Taibi Magar...It is BD Wong’s portrayal of Wen Chang that brings the play to its knees. His tender portrayal of a man who had survived both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution feels stirring and soul-shattering."
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