"Adam Mansbach's cultishly popular novel about an "Angry Black White Boy" who ignites a nationwide race furor seemed an unlikely property for stage translation. But adaptor (as well as title-role player) Dan Wolf and collaborators have pulled it off. This very funny, frequently electric take on an outrageous story is billed as a "new play with live music" -- though it's no musical. Rather, it's hip-hop theater that seems destined for extended life. The book's careening parable feels like a more multiculturally aware equivalent to the literary provocations of older cult author Chuck Palahniuk, with its wild plot hooks, credibly eccentric characters and trenchant apocalyptic comedy.... ingenious street-dance-slash-mime stylized movement [and] occasional recorded snippets mesh with the cast's rapping, human beatboxing, singing and keyboarding -- all cleverly driving the narrative forward rather than overpowering it. Visual design contributions are sharp but minimal, as the dynamic four performers' multiple-role-playing, multidisciplinary talents supply all spectacle needed."
"Intersection for the Arts' new play "Angry Black White Boy," based on local author Adam Mansbach's celebrated 2005 novel, blasts through what could have been a tired debate on racial identity politics. With incredible energy and seamless staging, the show has the effect of being lost in a good book, not sitting in a theater. Adapted by and starring Dan Wolf as Macon Detornay, the angry white boy in question, the show feature members of the hip-hop collective Felonious - Myers Clark, Keith Pinto (doubling as choreographer) and Tommy Shepherd (also the composer) in alternating roles. The spare set proves to be big enough for elements of dance to intertwine with dialogue. Amazingly, the sound is controlled by the performers on stage, either through live beat-box effects or recordings. The play ends amid the confusion of who, exactly, should be apologizing to whom and for what. The issues are anything but black or white".
—San Francisco Chronicle
"For all of its form crunching and boundary pushing, "Angry Black White Boy" rises or falls on the strength of its storytelling. Dan Wolf’s stage adaptation of Adam Mansbach's novel tells a fierce, funny, fascinating story that cuts to the core of what we talk about when we talk about race in this country. There’s satire and sincerity in ample supply, and this dynamic Campo Santo/Intersection for the Arts production, directed with sharp focus and experimental glee by Sean San Jose, is compelling as it is entertaining... fluid sound and movement that make the story feel like dance, poetry and music without ever detracting from the forward motion of the plot and the characters’ trajectory. The storytelling along the way crackles with energy that comes from the fusion of mostly live music – a blend of hip-hop, rap, beatbox, doo-wop, gorgeous harmonies -- and incisive movement. The excellent quartet of actors fuses sound, movement and storytelling to create a uniquely theatrical experience."
—San Francisco Examiner
Vigorous and inviting... very entertaining. Director Sean San Jose and cast propel the action through a fluid, combustible mixture of music and movement, with sharp choreography. The cohesive, versatile ensemble and Wolf's sympathetic approach translates into an engaging theatrical hybrid, whose punctuations and rhythms carry their own share of emotional content and cultural meaning."
—San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Adapted from Adam Mansbach’s hip-lit novel of the same title, the stage version doesn’t dilute the potent conversation about race, racism, and identity. In fact, I’d venture to say witnessing the Mansbach’s deeply complicated subject matter as live dialog is possibly more powerful. Featuring members of the hip-hop collective Felonious (Myers Clark, Keith Pinto and Tommy Shepherd), it’s also very lyrical in its execution, featuring and ballet-influenced choreography and stage blocking from Keith Pinto. This is a thoughtfully complicated production. The issues are muddy, the resolutions are unclear, and the show on the whole has a great sense of humor.Wolf’s play is an amazing and consistently challenging journey through one’s psyche... an extremely nuanced play."
“Angry Black White Boy
is bananas! Actually, it’s a banana split with razor blades in it. Adam Mansbach is the white Richard Wright, and Angry Black White Boy
is our generation’s Native Son.”
—William Upski Wimsatt, author of No More Prisons
“Startling, subversive, and raucous, Angry Black White Boy
is a novel about how we became who we are, and why that’s not good enough.”
—Daniel Alarcón, author of War by Candlelight
“With this brutal, hilarious, and tragic novel, Adam Mansbach proves once again he is one of the most ambitious, insightful, and daring writers of our generation.”
—Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
“Angry Black White Boy
is full of hilariously twisted racial politics. Adam Mansbach is like a wigger Ishmael Reed running wild through the world of hip hop.”
—Touré, author of Soul City
“An insanely smart novel that pulls no punches . . . wild, comic, and dark.”
—Percival Everett, author of Erasure