We round up the reviews for Kenny Leon’s production now playing at the American Airlines Theatre.
Hollywood Reporter: “Leon’s muscular production makes a solid case for the play, if not as a top-tier classic then at the very least as a stirring indictment of the cancer of racism. And his ensemble channels the frictions and frustrations of a simmering cauldron of masculinity, its hierarchy cruelly enforced along lines of rank and skin color.”
The New York Times: “Leon draws smart connections between Fuller’s portrait of black men trapped in a system with no viable choices and the prison-industrial context of our time.”
Variety: “The beauty of this production is the way the well-oiled ensemble works in sync to balance the racist structure of the unseen outside world with the more subtle social and political breakdown of life on this all-black Army base.”
Deadline.com: “The production is not without its missteps – a few self-conscious moments seem like gratuitous elbow jabs to make sure we understand the contemporary relevance – but director Kenny Leon drives the narrative with a solid feel for momentum.”
Time Out: **** “Leon’s direction emphasizes the beauty of the men’s blackness. At the start of the play and during transitions between scenes, the servicemen—played by Nnamdi Asomugha, Rob Demery, Billy Eugene Jones, McKinley Belcher III, Warner Miller and tap dancer Jared Grimes—raise their voices into rich, deep blues.”
AM New York: “Some scenes depicting Davenport’s fact-finding and investigation can be dry and clunky. But under Leon’s sharp and ensemble-oriented direction, the play’s cultural and political dimensions take on extended emphasis, bringing the gap between World War II-era America and the present day in its exploration of the effects of racism and the need to confront uncomfortable facts and arrive at the truth.”
Talkin’ Broadway: “Through and through, this is an exceedingly well-thought-out and riveting production.”