The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    November 13, 2016
    Closing:
    December 18, 2016

    Theater: Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre / 480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

    Synopsis: 

    A woman tries to feed her husband a fried drumstick. Dragons roam a flat earth. The last Black man in the whole entire world dies again. And again. Careening through memory and language, Parks explores and explodes archetypes of Black America with piercing insight and raucous comedy. A riotous theatrical event, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead hums with the heartbeat of improvisational jazz.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World

    ‘The Death of the Last Black Man,’ a Nightmare Hypnotically Retold

    Ben Brantley

    November 13, 2016: Surely no fruit has ever been heavier than the watermelon now on display at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Make that watermelons, plural, though for all intents and purposes (and those are myriad), they are one oppressive entity. They are carried at different times by each member of the cast of Suzan-Lori Parks’s “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead,” a play from 1990 that is as dense and forbidding as its name. But the watermelon is the special burden of the title character of this phantasmagorical theater piece, which opened on Sunday night in a hypnotic staging by Lileana Blain-Cruz. “The black man moves his hands,” says the figure identified in the program as Black Man With Watermelon, portrayed in a state of bewildered resignation by Daniel J. Watts. But he can’t move his hands, because of that big green, hard-rinded oval in his lap that seems to anchor him to his chair.

    READ THE REVIEW

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