Blood and Gifts OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • AP

  • TALKIN' BWAY

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
November 21, 2011
Closing:
December 21, 2011

Theater: Mitzi E. Newhouse / 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY, 10023

Synopsis: 

Commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater, and presented this past fall in London at the National Theatre, Blood and Gifts tells the story of the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington DC, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the play follows CIA operative Jim Warnock as he struggles to stop the Soviet Army's destruction of Afghanistan. The ground constantly shifts for Jim and his counterparts in the KGB and British and Pakistani secret service as the political and personal alliances between the men keeps changing. And as the outcome of the entire Cold War comes into play, Jim and a larger-than-life Afghan warlord find the only person they can trust is each other. Blood and Gifts tells the story of the unknown men who shaped one of the greatest historical events of recent history, the repercussions of which continue to shape our world.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Blood and Gifts

    Choosing Sides in Afghanistan: Spies Playing in the Great Game

    Charles Isherwood

    November 21, 2011: The gifts referred to in the title of “Blood and Gifts,” a superb new play by J. T. Rogers about the long history behind the American involvement in Afghanistan, are on ominous view throughout the play. Big boxes are carried onstage and cracked open to reveal piles of artillery. Shiny new rifles are waved in the air like harmless toys. Suitcases full of dollars are handed over with a cool smile.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Blood and Gifts

    Review: Blood and Gifts

    David Cote

    November 21, 2011: In his review of Blood and Gifts at London’s National Theatre last year, esteemed critic Michael Billington hailed J.T. Rogers as “that rare creature: an American dramatist who writes about global issues.” After you’ve washed the chalky tang of British condescension from your mouth, you have to concede Billington’s point: There aren’t many new American plays painted with a broad historical or geographical brush. Rogers has labored to fill that void, first with his Rwandan-genocide shocker, The Overwhelming (2006), and now with a historical docudrama, which tracks the unintended consequences of CIA interference in the war between Afghan rebels and Soviet occupying forces, 1981–91.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Blood and Gifts

    Shadowy spy world exposed in 'Blood and Gifts'

    Peter Santilli

    November 21, 2011: The opening scene of J.T. Rogers' ambitious and thoroughly captivating spy thriller "Blood and Gifts" instantly reflects the daunting complexity of the play's subject — the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and the covert, proxy warfare that surrounded it. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/11/21/entertainment/e171805S21.DTL#ixzz1eS4cJPMU

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  • TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW OF Blood and Gifts

    Blood and Gifts

    Matthew Murray

    November 21, 2011: If you're tired of geopolitical wrangling on the news shows you watch or the websites you read, J.T. Rogers is positing the ideal solution: Go to the theatre! Specifically, the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, where Rogers's play, Blood and Gifts, has just opened. And no, I'm not kidding: Though the show is as serious and in-depth an examination of the flashpoints and ignitions behind one of the most fiery hotbeds of conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan, as you're likely to find, it's also surprisingly entertaining — and theatre through and through.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Blood and Gifts

    Blood and Gifts

    Erik Haagensen

    November 21, 2011: In "Blood and Gifts," playwright J.T. Rogers takes a bracing, multisided look at how America came to be mired in a war against fundamentalism in Afghanistan. Rogers' pungent writing is full of sharp characterizations as it painstakingly charts how decisions made with even the best of intentions can lead to chaos. Add in the requisite amount of self-serving choices, and it's a wonder that anything positive ever gets accomplished. Evoking such writers as Graham Greene and John le Carré, Rogers nevertheless asserts a unique voice in this gripping and absorbing drama.

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