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SLAVE PLAY
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SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

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EDSOSLO858
Broadway Legend
joined:10/28/19
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/28/19

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#1
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:00am

Back to work, work, work, work, work, work.

Slave Play returns to Broadway tomorrow night as previews begin at the August Wilson Theatre; opening night is set for December 2 and the limited engagement run will conclude on January 23. Slave Play is written by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Robert O’Hara. The ensemble piece features Ato Blankson-Wood, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Jonathan Chad Higginbotham, Devin Kawaoka, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan. 

I read this for a college class just days after the original Broadway production closed and the pandemic started to escalate. I have not seen this on stage yet, however.

“Over one explosive weekend, three interracial couples inhabit the confines of a sprawling Southern plantation. As the heat is turned up on their volatile relationships, the line between fantasy and reality blurs and history begins to repeat itself. In this ‘ballsy, ferociously funny work’ (The Hollywood Reporter) by Jeremy O. Harris, biting satire and dark humor couple with righteous anger and raw sensuality to create ‘one of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years’ (The New York Times).”

Who’s going?

"It's an idiom, you idiot!"
bwwLA86
Chorus Member
joined:3/10/20
Chorus Member | Joined: 3/10/20

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#2
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:44am

Can I share my honest opinion about this play...? <eyes dart left to right>

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n2nbaby
Broadway Legend
joined:10/22/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/22/10

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#3
Posted: 11/22/21 at 1:20am

I’m happy it’s coming back because I didn’t get to see it again. Financially I have no idea why it is. I also have no idea why it hasn’t shown up on TDF yet. 

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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#4
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:12pm

bwwLA86 said: "Can I share my honest opinion about this play...? "

Absolutely. 

 

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Call_me_jorge
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/15
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/15

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#5
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:19pm

n2nbaby said: "I’m happy it’s coming back because I didn’t get to see it again. Financially I have no idea why it is. I also have no idea why it hasn’t shown up on TDF yet."

I could be totally wrong, but I wonder if the stipulation of the production getting SVOG money meant that it had to reopen.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/18
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/20/18

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#6
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:25pm

Can anyone confirm that Slave Play DID receive SVOG money? I don't know what the entity name was, but keyword "slave" doesn't bring up any results in the publicly-available spreadsheet of recipients:

https://data.sba.gov/dataset/svog

ElephantLoveMedley
Leading Actor
joined:10/14/21
Leading Actor | Joined: 10/14/21

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#7
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:33pm

I saw this in its initial Broadway run and had very mixed thoughts, mostly negative in terms of the uneven structure and sometimes poor writing. The physical production itself was quite impressive, particularly in the scenic/costume design and direction. And I'm all for theatre that shocks, provokes, and requires you to think and internalize—but I kept expecting that the night would conclude with some more powerful, nuanced commentary other than racism is really bad. For me, shocking and provocative theatre needs to end by touching or moving you, but I didn't really get that by the end of the show. 

I know this show is very intensely polarizing and that others will wildly disagree with me, but those are my two cents. Curious to see if anything changes in this new run or if it'll be an exact remount. No way it sees a profit, though.

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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#8
Posted: 11/22/21 at 12:36pm

Yeah, I would love to know why they are doing this but I don't think we will ever get the answer. It's not about making any money which usually commercial theater is quite fond of so....just more attention for Jeremy? 

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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/4/10

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#9
Posted: 11/22/21 at 4:13pm

I keep forgetting this is coming back. Add me to the camp of folks confused by its return. I pretty much loathed this when I saw it a couple years ago.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/9/05

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#10
Posted: 11/22/21 at 4:25pm

Is it possible money was put up by someone with the intention to film it?

bwwLA86
Chorus Member
joined:3/10/20
Chorus Member | Joined: 3/10/20

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#11
Posted: 11/22/21 at 4:46pm

Jordan Catalano said: "Is it possible money was put up by someone with the intention to film it?"

This is quite possible. He has a lucrative deal with HBO, perhaps they're filming it to stream on HBO Max. I'm not a fan of his but I will give Harris his due, he looks to be putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to equity in theater.

Personally? I think the play is terrible. Offensive in ways it doesn't even intend to be. I also love theater that shocks and provokes, but the shocks have to mean something. And the provocation can't feel so cheap. 

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TotallyEffed
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/29/07

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#12
Posted: 11/22/21 at 5:00pm

If the reason they’re bringing it back just to film it then I’m shocked the full original cast isn’t returning.

I suspect they thought they’d win a whole bunch of Tonys, including Best Play. Tickets for the reopening appeared online just a few hours before the Tonys, from what I remember.

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Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/31/06

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#13
Posted: 11/22/21 at 5:35pm

I enjoyed the play, but I don’t think it is as sophisticated as it is touted to be. I found the the race elements handled very superficially, the “psychology” of the piece was muddled and it was dull at times. I think the cast, the staging, the costumes and the hype all elevated what truly feels like a first play. 
 

Harris is very very smart. He has parlayed this into celebrity and he’s currently in Madonna’s inner circle (another person who often used provocative themes to mask stilted work.) She posts with him all the time. Then again she loves attaching herself to whoever is hot and provocative. His time with her may be limited. 

 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
BwayStarlette
Chorus Member
joined:9/27/21
Chorus Member | Joined: 9/27/21

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#14
Posted: 11/22/21 at 5:43pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Can anyone confirm that Slave Play DID receive SVOG money? I don't know what the entity name was, but keyword "slave" doesn't bring up any results in the publicly-available spreadsheet of recipients:

https://data.sba.gov/dataset/svog
"

That list of grant money is.... WOW!  I didn't realize shows that were closed before Corona could get millions, and/or that producers themselves could get money for themselves??? And I would guess that's why Slave Play is coming back? But I'm happy because I'll maybe be able to see it finally. 

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poisonivy2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/16
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/3/16

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#15
Posted: 11/22/21 at 6:08pm

I absolutely loved this play and can't wait to see it again with a new cast.

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quizking101
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/25/09

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#16
Posted: 11/22/21 at 6:45pm

TotallyEffed said: "If the reason they’re bringing it back just to film it then I’m shocked the full original cast isn’t returning.

I suspect they thought they’d win a whole bunch of Tonys, including Best Play. Tickets for the reopening appeared online just a few hours before the Tonys, from what I remember.
"

I know Joaquin’s Kalukango is doing the pre-Broadway run of PARADISE SQUARE, but I don’t know what Sullivan Jones or James Cusati-Moyer are up to. Granted, this is probably also a very emotionally and psychologically demanding play and maybe not everyone was up to the task of wanting to do it again.

 

Check out my eBay page for sales on Playbills!! www.ebay.com/usr/missvirginiahamm
bwwLA86
Chorus Member
joined:3/10/20
Chorus Member | Joined: 3/10/20

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#17
Posted: 11/22/21 at 8:36pm

Bettyboy72 said: "I enjoyed the play, but I don’t think it is as sophisticated as it is touted to be. I found the the race elements handled very superficially, the “psychology” of the piece was muddled and it was dull at times. I think the cast, the staging, the costumes and the hype all elevated what truly feels like a first play.


Harris is very very smart. He has parlayed this into celebrity and he’s currently in Madonna’s inner circle (another person who often used provocative themes to mask stilted work.) She posts with him all the time. Then again she loves attaching herself to whoever is hot and provocative. His time with her may be limited.


"

Well stated.

SouthernCakes
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/29/19

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#18
Posted: 11/22/21 at 9:35pm

Yeah I agree it was more hyper than what it was, and he’s a smart man to name it such a provocative title.

To me this felt like Lori-Parks slave play - I can’t remember the title - but the message was basically slavery sucks. Like yes, we agree, but what else are you trying to say? There was no there there. But the production as a whole was well done. But no clue why this is coming back. You can’t even call it a revival so I don’t get how it does anything for anyone involved.  

hollebolle
Stand-by
joined:6/13/18
Stand-by | Joined: 6/13/18

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#19
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:02pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Can anyone confirm that Slave Play DID receive SVOG money? I don't know what the entity name was, but keyword "slave" doesn't bring up any results in the publicly-available spreadsheet of recipients:

https://data.sba.gov/dataset/svog
"

Yes, it's listed as Antebellum Fever Dream LLC, $6,257,672.

ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/10/08

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#20
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:17pm

bwayphreak234 said: "I keep forgetting this is coming back. Add me to the camp of folks confused by its return. I pretty much loathed this when I saw it a couple years ago."

Agree.  I couldn't wait for it to be over.

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poisonivy2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/16
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/3/16

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#21
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:31pm

SouthernCakes said: "Yeah I agree it was more hyper than what it was, and he’s a smart man to name it such a provocative title.

To me this felt like Lori-Parks slave play - I can’t remember the title - but the message was basically slavery sucks. Like yes, we agree, but what else are you trying to say? There was no there there. But the production as a whole was well done. But no clue why this is coming back. You can’t even call it a revival so I don’t get how it does anything for anyone involved.
"

I think he was trying to say that the legacy of slavery has irrevocably wounded relationships between black and white people, even in the bedroom.

 

Updated On: 11/22/21 at 10:31 PM
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KJisgroovy
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joined:1/30/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/30/04

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#22
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:31pm

I didn't love this but if you're takeaway was "slavery sucks" I feel like you didn't really engage with what the play (or the Parks play) was about. 

I don't think either play was particularly nuanced, but I think both are very clearly about contemporary issues and how the legacy of slavery can complicate interracial relationships today (among other things). If "slavery is bad" is what you got I feel like that's on you.  

Jesus saves. I spend.
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poisonivy2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/16
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/3/16

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#23
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:34pm

SouthernCakes said: "Yeah I agree it was more hyper than what it was, and he’s a smart man to name it such a provocative title.

To me this felt like Lori-Parks slave play - I can’t remember the title - but the message was basically slavery sucks. Like yes, we agree, but what else are you trying to say? There was no there there. But the production as a whole was well done. But no clue why this is coming back. You can’t even call it a revival so I don’t get how it does anything for anyone involved.
"

Also no offense but this is such a typical white person response to any play that tries to dig deeply into race relations. It reminds me of the hysterical parents screaming about banning Toni Morrison.

troynow
Featured Actor
joined:5/2/13
Featured Actor | Joined: 5/2/13

SLAVE PLAY 2021 Previews

#24
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:34pm

YOU ARE RIGHT!

This show can open and not sell one single ticket and complete their run. They received the full weight of the SCOG money. 

 

Is really a shame... There are meaningful shows like Dana H/ Is this a room, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and Trouble in Mind opening up without any government support just the will of the people. 

 

Then we have shows like this that take advantage of the system. Also for the record like Waitress did as well.

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Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
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#25
Posted: 11/22/21 at 10:54pm

troynow said: "YOU ARE RIGHT!

This show can open and not sell one single ticket and complete their run. They received the full weight of the SCOG money.



Is really a shame... There are meaningful shows like Dana H/ Is this a room, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and Trouble in Mind opening up without any government support just the will of the people.



Then we have shows like this that take advantage of the system. Also for the record like Waitress did as well.
"

And Slave Play closed before the pandemic lockdown. Not sure how it even makes sense that they were funded. It is a shame the Vineyard shows are closing early. 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello