SWEAT, the critically acclaimed new play from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lynn Nottage, comes to Broadway following its sold-out run at The Public Theater.
A “perfectly written” (Hilton Als, The New Yorker) play about the collision of race, class and friendship in a Rust Belt town at a pivotal moment in America.
Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, SWEAT tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
In “Sweat,” Lynn Nottage goes where few playwrights have dared to go — into the heart of working-class America. Her insightfully observed characters all went to the same schools, work at the same factory, drink at the same bar, and are going to hell in the same hand basket. Their jobs, their community, and their way of life are doomed, in director Kate Whoriskey’s mercilessly realistic production, although no one seems to have gotten the message yet.
For a brief moment before the November election, the news was filled with stories about disenfranchised blue-collar voters in the Rust Belt. At the same time, smack in the eye of the news cycle, “Sweat” — Lynn Nottage’s drama about lives destroyed when factories moved to Mexico from Reading, Pennsylvania — had a justly celebrated Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater.Although the cameras soon moved on to sexier topics, the drama, now on Broadway, is just as meaningful, just as powerful, equally far-reaching and intimate.
“Sweat” is an involving drama, calibrated to increase in intensity toward its brutal climax. Nottage, who won a Pulitzer for “Ruined,” explores her characters and their environment with the sensitivity of a master dramatist and the objectivity of a journalist. She doesn’t provide any answers, only the faintest hope that people will take care of each other, even in desperate circumstances.