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AMERICAN SON Previews

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BroadwayConcierge
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AMERICAN SON Previews#1
Posted: 10/4/18 at 11:32am

Previews for Chris Demos-Brown's American Son begin in just a few days (Saturday, October 6, 2018) at the Booth Theatre. Starring Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale and featuring Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee, American Son is set to open officially on Sunday, November 4 for a limited run currently through Sunday, January 27, 2019.

Who's going?!

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Bwayfan292
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AMERICAN SON Previews#2
Posted: 10/4/18 at 11:51am
Im going in December!!! Im having a play only trip and im seeing 4 plays! So excited!
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CaseyBrent41
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AMERICAN SON Previews#3
Posted: 10/4/18 at 11:55am

Going next week! With the track record I'm having FERRYMAN and LIFESPAN I'm super excited! 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#4
Posted: 10/5/18 at 11:38pm

Was there an invited dress tonight?

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AMERICAN SON Previews#5
Posted: 10/6/18 at 1:48am
Someone posted a pic of a Playbill on Instagram so maybe?
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little_sally
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AMERICAN SON Previews#6
Posted: 10/6/18 at 9:34am

BroadwayConcierge said: "Was there an invited dress tonight?"

There was. A friend of mine was there.

A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
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AMERICAN SON Previews#7
Posted: 10/6/18 at 10:09am
Did your friend tell you the runtime?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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AMERICAN SON Previews#8
Posted: 10/6/18 at 5:46pm

anyone know if there is a rush policy?

 I'm actually surprised it hasn't gone on tdf.  Looked at the availability for this week and there are A LOT of seats available. 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#9
Posted: 10/6/18 at 9:16pm

90 min no intermission. 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#10
Posted: 10/6/18 at 10:14pm

I was at the first preview tonight and thought the four actors were already in great shape with their performances. The whole play takes place in a Miami police station waiting room and the set is appropriately ugly and depressing. Washington and Pasquale play parents of a recently turned 18 year old son who has been missing all evening (the play takes place at 4:00am) and they are desperate for any information from the cops about their son’s whereabouts. 

Jordan plays a young cop who has only been on the job for a short time; he basically has to keep the couple calm until a supervisor can show up at 8:00am. Jordan seems friendly and good-intentioned, but he quickly begins to commit even micro-aggression one could ever conceivably commit (he refers to the missing son Jamal as “Jerome;” does he have any identifying features?/Like a birthmark?/Yeah, or like tattoos or gold teeth?). I’m sure all of these questions are asked all the time, but the play teeters on being too heavy-handed a certain points just to cram everything in. 

The pacing is quick and the author doesn’t delve into blather about Neapolitan ice cream or debates about the capital of Morocco. There is focus and it is maintained throughout. 

Everyone was good, but people were there for Washington and she delivered. She only left the stage for like three minutes and had plenty of stuff to sink her teeth into. Eugene Lee, who enters late in the evening, did a lot with his small role.

It’s very topical, but doesn’t really offer anything new or profound to say about the subject matter. It’s entertaining and engaging though, which counts for something. 

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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AMERICAN SON Previews#11
Posted: 10/7/18 at 11:07am

WhizzerMarvin said: "I was at the first preview tonight and thought the four actors were already in great shape with their performances. The whole play takes place in a Miami police station waiting room and the set is appropriately ugly and depressing. Washington and Pasquale play parents of a recently turned 18 year old son who has been missing all evening (the play takes place at 4:00am) and they are desperate for any information from the cops about their son’s whereabouts.

Jordan plays a young cop who has only been on the job for a short time; he basically has to keep the couple calm until a supervisor can show up at 8:00am. Jordan seems friendly and good-intentioned, but he quickly begins to commit even micro-aggression one could ever conceivably commit (he refers to the missing son Jamal as “Jerome;” does he have any identifying features?/Like a birthmark?/Yeah, or like tattoos or gold teeth?). I’m sure all of these questions are asked all the time, but the play teeters on being too heavy-handed a certain points just to cram everything in.

The pacing is quick and the author doesn’t delve into blather about Neapolitan ice cream or debates about the capital of Morocco. There is focus and it is maintained throughout.

Everyone was good, but people were there for Washington and she delivered. She only leftthe stage for like three minutes and hadplenty of stuff to sink her teeth into. Eugene Lee, who enters late in the evening, did a lot with his small role.

It’s very topical, but doesn’t really offer anything new or profound to say about the subject matter. It’s entertaining and engaging though, which counts for something.
"

Well said WhizzerMarvin.

I was there last night also; first preview. I agree with the poster above regarding the heavy handed moments. 

Once I gave over to the idea that this was going to be more of a dialectic than a “well made play”, I was drawn deeper into the story. Kerry Washington gave a commanding performance with lots of levels. She knew exactly what she was doing up there. The young police officer role seems less a real character and more of a mouthpiece of opposition, at least as played by Jeremy Jordan. He gets in a few cheap laughs.

The play is a brisk 90 minutes, thoughtfully done. Kerry Washington was a pleasure to watch and I found it a very powerful evening, even with some the hackneyed dialogue.

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AMERICAN SON Previews#12
Posted: 10/7/18 at 11:44am

Always look forward to your thoughtful reviews WhizzerMarvin! 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#13
Posted: 10/7/18 at 6:08pm

I enjoyed the show, I know people are there for Kerry but I saw it for Jeremy and Steven.  Their singing talent is wasted of course, but they give solid performances.  It's a decent show but nothing to write home about.

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AMERICAN SON Previews#14
Posted: 10/8/18 at 12:30pm

Saw the show yesterday.  I thought it was incredible. It's very heavy and incredibly hard to watch, especially when Kerry is giving such a gorgeous performance.

i've got 99 problems and a revival of parade would solve like 94 of them
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AMERICAN SON Previews#15
Posted: 10/11/18 at 10:22pm

I thought this was good, but nothing to write home about , to borrow LuPita2's words. 

Most refreshing of all is that it's a brisk 90 minutes with a clear dramatic arc. So often are we bogged down with dreary, 2.5 to 3-hour-plays that you just wish got edited more. Christopher Demos-Brown deserves major props for clearly having a focused objective and getting it on paper crisply and effectively. The exercise of restraint is a talent that very few writers have these days.

However, neither the playwriting itself nor the performances ever reach heights of transcendent, gripping theater. To be sure, it is the definitive play that reflects this era's conflict between police and black youth, and it for that achievement alone, it ought to be commended. But for a Broadway play, I kind of was just expecting...more?

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AMERICAN SON Previews#16
Posted: 10/12/18 at 12:35am
Does it say anything new about the subject matter?
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AMERICAN SON Previews#17
Posted: 10/12/18 at 12:57am

RippedMan said: "Does it say anything new about the subject matter?"

Nope, and that's pretty much why I left feeling disappointed. The show didn't offer anything new beyond what I could read in newspapers from the past several years. 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#18
Posted: 10/12/18 at 7:59am

But consider the source, RippedMan. 

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AMERICAN SON Previews#19
Posted: 10/12/18 at 8:36am
It’s on TDF for a ton of dates next week.

Any merch?
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AMERICAN SON Previews#20
Posted: 10/20/18 at 5:38pm

I recently caught this, and I found the play to extremely powerful and relevant. The conversations about race and law enforcement were gripping, intense, and packed with raw emotion. The four actors are all giving remarkable performances. I never felt like the subject matter was handled with a heavy hand, which was my concern going in. The play raises some great questions and was definitely eye-opening (for me at least). All in all, another great play to add to the list of great plays this season!

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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AMERICAN SON Previews#21
Posted: 10/20/18 at 8:33pm
How has stagedoor been?
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AMERICAN SON Previews#22
Posted: 10/26/18 at 11:26am

Saw this last night and while I can't use the word "enjoy" to describe my feelings, it was very powerful and Washington gives an outstanding performance of a mother at her wits end. All the actors were great, actually.

That said, I've never had a worse experience in a theater in my life. A woman in front of me was drunk and had obviously not read up on what the play was about. During the entire first hour she wouldn't stop shaking her head about the subject matter and loudly complaining to her friend about how bad the play was and how it was "bull****." When not talking, she used her cell phone. Every single person around her either shushed her or asked her to stop/leave, and when she stopped getting attention, she decided to be the most vocal respondent to any laugh line or reveal. Finally a hero in an aisle seat got up to get an usher, who then escorted her and her friend out of the row. It was nuts!

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AMERICAN SON Previews#23
Posted: 10/27/18 at 4:53pm

Just saw the matinee and was blown away.  It's a play that should be seen...and that being said, it's not just spinach but it's a completely absorbing play that will keep you engrossed.  Kenny Leon has maximized the suspense elements and the quartet of actors is excellent.  Kerry Washington is onstage for almost the whole play and she delivers.   Another play to recommend.  What a season.

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AMERICAN SON Previews#24
Posted: 10/27/18 at 5:10pm

Age_of_Mendacity said: "Saw this last night and while I can't use the word "enjoy" to describe my feelings, it was very powerful and Washington gives an outstanding performance of a mother at her wits end. All the actors were great, actually.

That said, I've never had a worse experience in a theater in my life. A woman in front of me was drunk and had obviously not read up on what the play was about. During the entire first hour she wouldn't stop shaking her head about the subject matterand loudly complaining to her friend about how bad the play was and how it was "bull****." When not talking, she used her cell phone. Every single person around her either shushed her or asked her to stop/leave, and when she stopped getting attention, she decided to be the most vocal respondent to any laugh line or reveal. Finally a hero in an aisle seat got up to get an usher, who then escorted her and her friend out of the row. It was nuts!
"

I heard about this. Apparently, in the lobby, she was yelling about how it was the worst play she’s ever seen, and they had to call the police.

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AMERICAN SON Previews#25
Posted: 10/31/18 at 10:24pm
I’m shook.

The level of performance I saw tonight was top notch without being over the top. My only quibble was that Kerry Washington (for a few lines) went into a TV mode, where she was lasered into the show so much that it was hard to understand her unless I was up close.

The play starts off a bit slow and you can feel a little bit of palpable tension, but not much. The microaggressions in the interplay between Jordan and Washington felt a bit forced. When Pasquale enters in, he enters with a vengeance and everything comes very much alive, and he and Washington have a fantastically raw chemistry. Lee also comes in with a vengeance on his end and drives the entire play home. There’s a lot of discussion about quite a few different things related to the current state of racial affairs (privilege, appearance, police relations, biracial identity to name a few) and it sometimes threatens loss of focus a bit, but it always came back to the main point before seeming entirely tangential. There were also a few times and lines that I chuckled, but also felt uncomfortable when I did, which made me think more about my own privilege and how my ability to laugh such a tense subject off is a byproduct of it.

By the end, emotions are at an all-time high and, without spoiling (though someone may have already), it will take me a few days to get Kerry Washington’s hoarse, bone-chilling final screams out of my head.

Go see this, because it it one of the most important plays you will see all year.
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