The Peculiar Patriot
The Peculiar Patriot

The Peculiar Patriot NYC Reviews and Tickets

(26 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing

About the Show

National Black Theatre and Hi-ARTS present a remounting of Liza Jessie Peterson's solo piece about the prison industrial complex and the racial disparities that feed the draconian system.

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Member Reviews (26)

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Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want to see a one person show that is as entertaining as it is informative. What first felt terribly cliched soon became obvious truth.

Don't see it if You’re a racist or hate one person shows. This is an eye opening look into some truths of how racially one sided the prison system is. Read more

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in jail overcrowding and issues of minority populations.

Don't see it if if you do not like one-woman shows or prefer happy more traditional plays.

Critic Reviews (10)

The New York Times
September 18th, 2017

"'The Peculiar Patriot' excels at visceral moments...even as it builds a strong case against the mass incarceration of African Americans...This is a comedy about a tragedy, and a patriotic call for reform...As both a writer and a performer, Ms. Peterson knows how to wield tenderness to leaven despair...The show is less successful when it is pointedly conveying political arguments or facts about incarceration."
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Time Out New York
July 17th, 2018

"The best way to truly care about a nation is to heal it, and Peterson’s solo play about black love, female friendship, and the perversions of state power is a gorgeous part of that work. It also happens to be a visual marvel and a masterful example of character creation...In this rich, sweet, hilarious production, Peterson illuminates what life in the U.S. is like now that mass incarceration has so handily disenfranchised some and enriched others...The takeaway is her astonishing warmth."
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September 19th, 2017

"Peterson is a wonderful storyteller...Her delivery smooths over some of the rougher edges of her play, which vacillates between personal or second-hand stories and didactic monologues about the injustices of the system in which she lives...Theatrically speaking, 'The Peculiar Patriot' is aching for a stronger through line to drive home the emotional impact of the statistics and faceless stories Peterson puts forward as proof of a racially biased incarceration system."
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Lighting & Sound America
July 18th, 2018

“The Peculiar Patriot doesn't have much in the way of dramatic action, and it turns a little preachy in its later passages. Then again, Peterson makes many penetrating points about a legal system in which prisons are for-profit enterprises often set up in struggling white communities...Even at its most dismaying, there's something joyful about Peterson's intensively detailed, deeply nuanced performance...She is a lively writer and an extraordinary performer with a vital story to tell."
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Theatre is Easy
September 19th, 2017

“A timely, moving solo show…Despite the dark subject matter, LaQuanda is an appealing character to spend two hours with, and Peterson has a commanding presence…The show tackles a lot of big issues…All are certainly extremely important topics, but it felt like too much to tackle in less than two hours, especially with only one main character. Still, I admire Peterson’s voice and think ‘The Peculiar Patriot’ is an important piece, particularly now.”
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Theater Pizzazz
September 26th, 2017

"The monologue seems most like a personal share...All together, it is some of the best multi-media combined with performance seen this year...She shifts effortlessly, playing Betsy, Pablo, and Curtis. Though there are moments of humor, the actress often finds a desperation beyond comprehension...Director Talvin Wilks guides the audience carefully through each moment...It’s too warm to be chilling, too poetic to be bleak, and too honest to be forgotten."
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July 20th, 2018

“Peterson is so absorbing in her portrayal...All of the people mentioned come to life in our imagination, or by character changes as Peterson, helped by sound effects and projections also portrays Pablo and Curtis...Intense and deeply moving, Peterson keeps the tale from becoming depressing by including a lot of humor. The story rings true, not only because of the exceptional writing, acting, and directing, but because Peterson brings real-life experience to the tale.”
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Amsterdam News
July 26th, 2018

"Sitting in the audience and listening to Peterson, it suddenly felt like a light went on somewhere. A bright light revealing all the capitalism and dirty deeds that go on behind making sure that prisons are filled with Black inmates...This play teaches you to never judge someone...Peterson’s portrayal of the various characters is mesmerizing...This play has superb, spot-on direction by Talvin Wilks...Peterson isn’t just talking the talk—this lady has walked the walk!"
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September 19th, 2017

“Peterson goes full-on Anna Deavere Smith in adopted body language, facial expressions, vocal intonations, emotional range, and expert timing. Not easy to do and sustain but, she's brilliantly on point at every turn...Peterson holds your attention...Alone, the living, breathing, ebulliently colorful person at the center of this machine. That's as it should be...Many unfortunate, outrageous things ’The Peculiar Patriot’ informs us about as it entertains us."
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September 20th, 2018

“A play about the human toll of mass incarceration on the communities that it inordinately affects...From the vantage point of a one woman show, Peterson captures the difficulty in staying connected to those who are encouraged to be forgotten...’The Peculiar Patriot’ is a searing indictment of the state of over-incarceration. It adds to the necessary discussion about how this needs to change.”
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