The Whipping Man OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • NY POST

  • AP

  • CURTAIN UP

Opening Night:
February 1, 2011
Closing:
April 10, 2011

Theater: MTC - Stage 1 / 131 West 55th Street, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

April, 1865: The Civil War has ended. Caleb DeLeon, a Jewish Confederate soldier, returns wounded from the battlefield to find his family home in ruins, abandoned by everyone except Simon and John--two former slaves, who were raised as Jews in the DeLeon home. As the three men reunite to celebrate Passover, and recall the exodus from Egypt in light of their own new liberties, they uncover a tangle of secrets... ties that bind them together and that, ultimately, might cost each man his freedom.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Whipping Man

    Candles, Matzo, Wine and Some Unusual Hosts

    Charles Isherwood

    February 2, 2011: New Yorkers both Jewish and gentile are probably aware that Seders come in all styles and sizes. But the ceremony honoring the first night of Passover in “The Whipping Man,” an atmospheric period drama by Matthew Lopez that opened on Tuesday night at City Center’s Stage I, surely has few equals in its arresting strangeness.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Whipping Man

    Freed slaves celebrate Passover in a high-concept period piece. Read more: Review: The Whipping Man - Theater - Time Out New York

    Adam Feldman

    January 31, 2011: The ritual meal observed by Jews on Passover is called a seder, from the Hebrew word for “order,” but the one at the climax of The Whipping Man strays far from the prayer book. It is the spring of 1865 in Richmond, Virginia, and a Jewish Confederate officer, Caleb (Wilkison), has recently returned to his gutted family manse. Having lost a leg to gangrene, and his trust in God to four years in the Civil War, he reclines lamely on a couch as two of his former slaves, raised as Jews in his house—the loyal Simon (Braugher) and the dodgy John (Holland)—try to approximate the traditional feast as best they can. (A horse’s leg stands in for the seder plate’s shank bone, a brick for mortarlike haroseth.)

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF The Whipping Man

    Civil War-era drama goes out on a limb

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    February 1, 2011: An early scene in the new off- Broadway play "The Whipping Man" demonstrates the devastating power of words. We're in April 1865 and the war has just ended. A young Confederate soldier, Caleb (Jay Wilkison), limps back to his family's ruined Richmond, Va. home: He's been shot and gangrene has set in.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF The Whipping Man

    'The Whipping Man' Marks Playwright's Strong Debut

    Mark Kennedy

    February 1, 2011: The Civil War officially ended when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865. A brash new play from a playwright making his New York debut puts the day of reckoning a little later. Matthew Lopez's "The Whipping Man" explores what freedom, religion and family means for a returning Confederate soldier and his former slaves in the days shortly after the signing ceremony at Appomattox.

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  • CURTAIN UP REVIEW OF The Whipping Man

    The Whipping Man

    Elyse Sommer

    February 1, 2011: Yes, the war's over, as John, the former slave in the Richmond household of the DeLeons, a wealthy Jewish family, tells Caleb his former master who's returned to the devastated family homestead with a bullet in his leg — and a secret revealed in the course of Matthew Lopez's gripping history play. But winning and losing is never a clear cut proposition when it comes to war,. This was especially true of the Civil War which left both the winners and losers still facing another battle: to find a way of dealing with their pasts as well as their future. That battle is intensified in this story with its particular set of unresolved resentments and secrets to add to the roadblacks standing in the way of anyone being on the "we won" side.

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