Slave Play coming to Broadway in September?

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#251
Posted: 9/19/19 at 1:57pm

poisonivy2 said: "Is this a play where it's better to sit close or is far away okay?"

I was up in the last row of rear Mezz with the wall on our backs and we had no problems. I had my theatre binoculars just in case, and only used them once or twice to see their faces up close.

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#252
Posted: 9/19/19 at 2:50pm

poisonivy2 said: "Is this a play where it's better to sit close or is far away okay?"

My seat was in the second row of the center orchestra stage right on the aisle.  There were a few very brief scenes in Act One that I couldn't get a few good view of action stage left because of simultaneous action center stage, but it really didn't detract from my enjoyment of the show.  Perhaps a seat a bit further back might be better.  When I see the show again in late October, I'll be sitting side orchestra further back, so then I'd know better.  I don't think you can go wrong with any seat in the house.

Updated On: 9/19/19 at 02:50 PM
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#253
Posted: 9/19/19 at 3:05pm

52889j said: "haterobics said: "Similarly, what shows has Madonna attended since Hamilton Off-Broadway? I can't recall any."

Sorry to drag this back, but it's too funny to not point out that Madonna did in fact seeSlave Play at New York Theatre Workshop:https://pagesix.com/2019/01/14/full-frontal-male-nudity-lures-madonna-into-off-broadway-show/
"

I think the nude scene is over-hyped.  I was in the second row of the orchestra and could barely see the nudity as the lighting is really dim. Besides, it comes at a very intense and absorbing point in the play.  At no time is the nudity gratuitous and if you're really paying attention to the entire action, t's not a distraction.  Sometimes the reporters who point out the nudity behave like they never left junior high.

Updated On: 9/19/19 at 03:05 PM
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#254
Posted: 9/19/19 at 3:48pm
What a great review jagman. I went the same night you did and had a similar reaction. Definitely a must-see even if you wind up hating it. Something new and exciting on Broadway!
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#255
Posted: 9/20/19 at 12:07am
I’m relieved that my disappointment with Daddy and this Rihanna nonsense didn’t stop me from seeing this play. It’s funny, disturbing, upsetting, and fresh. All the actors (especially the main six) are very strong and the writing, at the very least, will make you think. It will probably do a lot more than that. I will be digesting the play for days and weeks to come, and I can’t imagine skipping this one. I love going to the theatre alone, but I would recommend going with someone to this one. There’s just so much to unravel and depending on your own life experience, the effect this play has on you might be the exact opposite of the person sitting next to you. You might feel confusion, anger, rage, curiosity, guilt, hopelessness, inspiration... I left the play feeling a bit sad. The play is about a much bigger picture than just our own internal thoughts, feelings, and struggles and I think it should be discussed openly.

And for the record, the audience was extremely well behaved, I didn’t see or hear a phone and it was wonderful. :)
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#256
Posted: 9/20/19 at 11:19pm
Spoilers Below.

Saw the show tonight. It’s vey well done and thought provoking. I was planning to stop at TKTS to grab a ticket as a day ago there were a decent amount left. Got there at noon and there were none on the board. Went to the box office and was told the show was sold out except for a few single seats. The few people in front of me were picking up comps and when I got there tonight a guy was complaining that the person in front of him in line was picking up comps and had better seats that the seats he paid for. They must be papering the show to get the word out. It really deserves to be seen.

The actors are marvelous. The only possible acting Tony mods I can see are Joaquina (Kaneisha) and Annie (Alana). Both command the stage at times. Annie has a Julie White quality and really had the audience. She mastered the comedy. Joaquina has such a presence and gravity. Impeccable work.

I think it’s really sharp and insightful at times and other times it feels preachy and disingenuous. When the characters were speaking I was completely on board. When the therapists were speaking I found it less compelling. I didn’t find them as funny as the rest of the audience did. I think all of the actors are giving 110%. I did find the music obsession ritual an odd stretch and the overuse of the Rihanna song didn’t make a ton of sense to me.

I also was slightly disappointed that we get no follow-up on the couples who we’ve just spent an hour and 45 minutes with. So all the time we spent getting to know them was just to set up Kaneisha’s breakdown? I was hoping the last act would have all three couples in their quarters and give some insight into all of them.

Overall I found it well done and worth seeing. Thought provoking. I’ll be thinking about it for a while. To those who have seen the play do you think the final moments are Jim trying the fantasy again with Kaneisha to get her back to the place of feeling in control or a fantasy of how she feels in her mind when she is making love to him?
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#257
Posted: 9/21/19 at 12:04am
If anyone is curious, I won the digital lottery for tonight and received ORCH Q 108
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#258
Posted: 9/21/19 at 1:16am

Just saw Slave Play and found it stimulating and exciting but not particularly shocking having come up in the 70s and when nudity, sex etc was coming into its own.  It reminded me in some ways of Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill.  I loved that interracial sex and relationships were being addressed and that a lot of the cast was very sexy!  The cast is extremely strong!  Great acting.  Also great to hear an African American perspective which is sorely needed.

Updated On: 9/21/19 at 01:16 AM
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#259
Posted: 9/21/19 at 2:51pm

Bettyboy72 said: "Spoilers Below.

Saw the show tonight. It’s vey well done and thought provoking. I was planning to stop at TKTS to grab a ticket as a day ago there were a decent amount left. Got there at noon and there were none on the board. Went to the box office and was told the show was sold out except for a few single seats. The few people in front of me were picking up comps and when I got there tonight a guy was complaining that the person in front of him in line was picking up comps and had better seats that the seats he paid for. They must be papering the show to get the word out. It really deserves to be seen.

The actors are marvelous. The only possible acting Tony mods I can see are Joaquina (Kaneisha) and Annie (Alana). Both command the stage at times. Annie has a Julie White quality and really had the audience. She mastered the comedy. Joaquina has such a presence and gravity. Impeccable work.

I think it’s really sharp and insightful at times and other times it feels preachy and disingenuous. When the characters were speaking I was completely on board. When the therapists were speaking I found it less compelling. I didn’t find them as funny as the rest of the audience did. I think all of the actors are giving 110%. I did find the music obsession ritual an odd stretch and the overuse of the Rihanna song didn’t make a ton of sense to me.

I also was slightly disappointed that we get no follow-up on the couples who we’ve just spent an hour and 45 minutes with. So all the time we spent getting to know them was just to set up Kaneisha’s breakdown? I was hoping the last act would have all three couples in their quarters and give some insight into all of them.

Overall I found it well done and worth seeing. Thought provoking. I’ll be thinking about it for a while. To those who have seen the play do you think the final moments are Jim trying the fantasy again with Kaneisha to get her back to the place of feeling in control or a fantasy of how she feels in her mind when she is making love to him?
"

Addressing your question about the final scene, I got the impression that Jim realized that he lost Kaneisha.  He tried to give her what she wanted in the first act before he cut it short, so yes, he was trying to fulfill her fantasy, but I thought that he was also desperately trying to win back her love.  I think Jim really loved Kaneisha and realized he lost her and was making a last ditch effort to make himself desirable to her again.  When she rejected him during his intense lovemaking (actually, rape), he coils back in defeat.  It drains him of emotion.  When Paul Alexander Nolan came out for his curtain call immediately after that scene, he was visibly emotionally exhausted.  I think Jim's efforts were driven by his love for her, but he didn't actually 'hear' her comments when she discussed her repulsion of him and his kind (and of herself for having allowed herself to love him).  I read that Jim and Kaneisha are meant to represent all the couples in the final act, but it's not clear to me that each couple is truly represented.

I never felt that I was preached to, but I can relate to your feelings of the disingenuous nature of some content, particularly the therapy session because it's a stretch to try to simply very complex issues and blame them on a single source or factor.

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#260
Posted: 9/21/19 at 3:54pm

Do we know if it's changed very much from NYTW?

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#261
Posted: 9/21/19 at 3:56pm

Bettyboy72 said: "The actors are marvelous. The only possible acting Tony mods I can see are Joaquina (Kaneisha) and Annie (Alana). Both command the stage at times. Annie has a Julie White quality and really had the audience. She mastered the comedy. Joaquina has such a presence and gravity. Impeccable work."

I could also see Dustin (James Cusati-Moyer) getting a nom, too. I've only seen the invited dress so far (planning to head back after it opens to see any edits), but Annie, Joaquina, and him had equally crowd-favorite responses -- him quite possibly most of all, actually. I'm sure it helped that the audience was filled with professional theatre-makers/theatre students, therefore his many one-liners regarding his profession landed extremely well ("I said 'yes, and,'" brought the house down). 

Honestly wouldn't be surprised if they gave Nolan a nom too. He gave a great performance and the difficult subject matter relating to his role certainly won't hurt his chances.  

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#262
Posted: 9/21/19 at 11:43pm
Leigh, I agree with you. Cusati-Moyer also got huge reactions from the crowds during his diatribes. It was awesome to see him act. He quite marvelous. The other two roles I saw him in, he was just a body.

I don’t feel Nolan will get a nod. I don’t think he’s honestly given much to do. Yes he is required to do some very intense things but he has the least dialogue and development.

Also I think it interesting that the solely identified white male in the script is the only one who appears fully nude. I wonder if there is some subtext. Making the white male be the most exposed and vulnerable. Typically women are the most naked and vulnerable on film and stage.

I agree with DW Perkins that this feels like a play that would have been at home in the 70s. Very personal, political and visceral. Also very surreal.
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#263
Posted: 9/22/19 at 12:03am

I think the play is very at home in the present. It addresses things that we know exist but just don't talk about.

 

**********SPOLIER***********

 

 

 

Dustin's rant about his partner and the neigborhood they lived in was so on target about a segment of the black male community. And to hear it coming from the white half of the couple was what made it so powerful. My jaw literally dropped when he was talking. To have that put out there was actually like "Thank You. Someone is addressing this". There are black gay men who will not acknowledge me in the presence of a white person they are interested me but will speak when there is no white male around that they are interested in. I called one guy I knew for years on the carpet about it as he had gone on a date with a white guy I was dating. He had no clue and interrupted a pool game we were having while ignoring me. The show gave me vivid flashbacks of that night. I told  him off right there in the bar. This happened about 12 years ago and still happens.

Just give the world Love.
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#264
Posted: 9/22/19 at 12:33am
Updated On: 9/22/19 at 12:33 AM
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#265
Posted: 9/22/19 at 12:06pm

Bettyboy72:  Thanks for the Shoutout and validation!  

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#266
Posted: 9/22/19 at 12:21pm

Well I bought a ticket for October 9 in the afternoon (gotta love Jewish holidays for having a Wednesday afternoon off work). Really looking forward to this although I have a feeling it will be more of an experience than entertainment.

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#267
Posted: 9/23/19 at 9:00pm
Is there something wrong with theater turning out to be more of an experience instead of an entertainment? I can think of plenty of evenings in the theater that have turned out to be fantastic experiences and I have grown and learned from them. Can you imagine that?
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#268
Posted: 9/23/19 at 10:32pm

viagalactica6 said: "Is there something wrong with theater turning out to be more of an experience instead of an entertainment? I can think of plenty of evenings in the theater that have turned out to be fantastic experiences and I have grown and learned from them. Can you imagine that?"

Relax, I just said that I’m prepared for this to be a “difficult” evening. I’m going in with a different mindset than I would if I were seeing say Moulin Rouge.

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#269
Posted: 9/24/19 at 1:41pm

I'm in the minority on this.  I hated it and couldn't wait for it to be over.  The best thing was the legroom of my $39 ticket in the rear mezz.

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#270
Posted: 9/24/19 at 2:35pm

ArtMan said: "I'm in the minority on this. I hated it and couldn't wait for it to be over. The best thing was the legroom of my $39 ticket in the rear mezz."

It's curious that the show is rumored to have trouble drawing audiences and yet most responses here have been positive. Granted, very good work can be unpopular or have only niche appeal  (look at the first runs of most Sondheim-Prince shows). And with the cost of Broadway tickets, if you're willing to shell out, you're more likely to be someone who will appreciate what you experience. Still the very big gap between its reception here and what seems to be going on at the box office is a bit odd.

Any chance of you elaborating on what you disliked about it?

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#271
Posted: 9/24/19 at 3:05pm
I’m not sure what’s odd about a showing being liked and not performing well at the box office. It hasn’t opened yet and has no stars, it’s going to be a tough sell. The Prom did poor in sales for most of their run but their reception has been positive online for the most part. Some shows I think just provide more broad appeal to theatre goers who are willing to pay more $$, Slave Play likely won’t be that.
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#272
Posted: 9/24/19 at 3:10pm

Mike Barrett said: "I’m not sure what’s odd about a showing being liked and not performing well at the box office. It hasn’t opened yet and has no stars, it’s going to be a tough sell. The Prom did poor in sales for most of their run but their reception has been positive online for the most part. Some shows I think just provide more broad appeal to theatre goers who are willing to pay more $$, Slave Play likely won’t be that."

I don't think it's odd, except in the wide disparity between its reception here and at the box office. That the disparity exists to begin with is fairly predictable (non-musicals aren't generally as popular, challeging shows alienate the "I just want to relax" crowd, theater enthusiasts can be counted on to have more interest than the casual theatergoer). I would have expected to see a couple of more negative assessments to compare the positive ones to than I've seen so far.

Updated On: 9/24/19 at 03:10 PM
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#273
Posted: 9/25/19 at 10:30am

After missing this at NYTW, I finally had the opportunity to see this last night. It's a smart, very well acted and directed production, but not nearly as provocative or innovative as its hype suggests. It front-loads the "edgiest" content- the antebellum sexual stuff- into the first half hour. It then shifts and the meat of the piece, the largest part, its heart, reveals itself as something pretty conventional: the crucible ensemble play. You know, the play where a group of characters are placed in a controlled environment they cannot really leave (group therapy, an audition, a competition, etc) and then one-by-one have a major moment. The forward momentum is the fact that you know everyone will get a moment.

It's here that the play disappointed me as a piece of drama. Rhetorically, it's great. It is well-written and makes extremely insightful arguments about racial dynamics. But as a piece of drama... it's a letdown. It's an extremely contrived scenario that does not hold up to any sort of scrutiny, and the characters are less fleshed out people than they are vehicles for these arguments. It strains credulity that three characters each come to such profound epiphanies about their identities and themselves in rapid succession. Harris created an ideal situation for him to make pop-psychological and sociological arguments on his terms. And it gives the actors great showcase moments. But it feels just so... contrived and safe. The black characters' romantic partners are essentially straw men to be knocked down, while their therapist interlocutors are merely necessary for the action. 

The last third of the play is the most intimate and raw, the only time we see the characters seem truly human. It's largely a stunning monologue by Joaquina Kalukango, and it's here that Harris' dramatic writing is strongest. It is poetic and evocative, suffused with pathos. But, of course, since this sequence is just Kalukango and Paul Nolan, it means the other characters are denied such humanity. 

I could not help but think of two other plays this year that tackled similar themes, though I am loathe to lump these works all together- Fairview and Strange Loop. Of this trio of works by black writers that really interrogate what it means to be black and what it means to be black and live under white supremacy, it makes sense Slave Play is the one to go to Broadway. Its writer is the most charismatic... and the work, despite its hype, is the most conventional. Fairview made its point by deconstructing and then turning the form inside-out. Strange Loop was incredibly specific to the experience of its fat, black, and queer writer and used that to create a musical character study. But Slave Play is- depictions of some fetish-driven sex aside, and despite Harris' provocative posture- oddly accessible. I can't imagine anyone being made uncomfortable by its ideas, though I run in more progressive circles than many in a Broadway audience. 

It is giving voice to ideas that aren't really heard on Broadway, and that itself is a big deal. It means it will reach a larger, more diverse audience than it ever could've off-Broadway. But as a work of drama, I can't help but feel it's weighed down by a very thin center. 

 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#274
Posted: 9/25/19 at 10:41am

joevitus said: "Mike Barrett said: "I’m not sure what’s odd about a showing being liked and not performing well at the box office. It hasn’t opened yet and has no stars, it’s going to be a tough sell. The Prom did poor in sales for most of their run but their reception has been positive online for the most part. Some shows I think just provide more broad appeal to theatre goers who are willing to pay more $$, Slave Play likely won’t be that."

I don't think it'sodd, except inthe wide disparity between its reception here and at the box office. That the disparity exists to begin with is fairly predictable (non-musicals aren't generally as popular, challeging shows alienate the "I just want to relax" crowd, theater enthusiasts can be counted on to have more interest than the casual theatergoer). I would have expected to see a couple of more negative assessments to compare the positive ones to than I've seen so far.
"

Thats fair. I think your point of theater enthtuisiasts finding this show might be the more accurate thing. Id presume a play like this will attract more "serious" theatre goers or at least theatre goers who want something thought provoking. Its also still in previews, where I tend to find more hardcore theatre goers attend. I think it'll be more interesting to see grosses after opening and reviews have come out. Plays tend to struggle in gross anyways though, sadly. 

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Slave Play coming to Broadway in September!#275
Posted: 9/25/19 at 11:03am

ArtMan said: "I'm in the minority on this. I hated it and couldn't wait for it to be over. The best thing was the legroom of my $39 ticket in the rear mezz."

When I posted I didn't state why I didn't care for it.  I wanted to avoid any type of spoilers, but since viewing the thread, anything I would have said, was already mentioned, so I guess it's not a spoiler.  I enjoyed the first act and it kept my interest.  I also enjoyed the seriousness of the third act and thought it was well written and acted.  It was the middle with the therapy that just dragged on and on.  Some parts were okay, but the actresses playing the therapists, I just couldn't get into.  I also didn't like the set when you could see the orchestra audience.  It distracted  my attention at times.  I guess the director want the rest of the audience to see others reactions?  If wrong, please correct me.  They also filmed it Monday night, but I didn't see any cameras, since I was in the rear mezz.