Children of a Lesser God
Closed 2h 35m
Children of a Lesser God
77

Children of a Lesser God NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(777 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
16%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Dated

About the Show

The Tony-winning drama about the romance between a sensitive but spirited deaf woman and a devoted (and hearing) teacher returns to Broadway with Joshua Jackson ('The Affair'), Lauren Ridloff, and Anthony Edwards ('ER').

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Member Reviews (777)

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876 Reviews | 903 Followers
65
Disappointing, Slow, Lifeless, Confusing

See it if No major reason to go. It's not horrible. Just mediocre.

Don't see it if The constant translation and acting by Jackson were out of the narration of a children's book. Really unnatural, devoid of passion and silly Read more

794 Reviews | 216 Followers
77
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you would like to explore the difficulty of communication from the mind of a professional working with hearing and speaking impaired people.

Don't see it if you are not willing to pay full attention to every word, most spoken by Jackson as he speaks for himself and others, sometimes monotone-like

741 Reviews | 123 Followers
80
Clever, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Edgy, Intense

See it if issue based theater excites you. Beautifully abstract staging allows the many points of view on deafness to be presented w/o distractions

Don't see it if you dislike educational theater. The whole plot is focused on a romantic couple divided by their understanding & experience of deafness.

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
77
Dated, Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Resonant

See it if Still important, still poignant drama about disabilities both physical & emotional Yet good work by leads can't quite overcome clumsy script

Don't see it if Leon's direction fails to ignite action or balance drama's flaws Inert set hurts also Play feels more about gender issues than disability

668 Reviews | 155 Followers
60
Generic, Uninspired, Slow, Dated, Drab

See it if you are a fan of one of the actors & have to see anything that actor performs in.

Don't see it if you are looking for something smart, inspired, innovative or alive. Read more

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
70
Dated, Great acting, Intense

See it if Acting by the new female discovery Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson were on target. .The play explored problems: see more

Don't see it if see more Read more

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
63
Disappointing, Excruciating, Dated, Banal

See it if Speech teacher marries angry deaf maid, conflict results. Jackson translates for signing world, thus never leaves stage. Signing as artform.

Don't see it if Inexperienced deaf actor finds work on stage. Coupled w/ TV actors and static set make for frustrating evening. Jackson's monotone strecthes

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
70
Frustrating, Engaging, Inconsistent, Poorly staged, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a revival of a play from the 70s that should be very dated, and yet, is still very relevant today.

Don't see it if confusing directing and a mediocre performance from the leading man would make it difficult for you to enjoy the thought-provoking script.

Critic Reviews (46)

The New York Times
April 11th, 2018

"A knockout professional debut performance by Ridloff...A lovely performance by Jackson...Leon’s direction seems random...The play falters badly in its second act...Eventually you realize that Mr. Medoff simply did not have the wherewithal to dramatize the fundamental conflict any further because James is his hero but Sarah is right. The play, written when it was, can’t quite support that — not because of its deaf politics, but because of its sexual politics."
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Time Out New York
April 11th, 2018

"Maddeningly heavy-handed...Some of the problems are structural...But a larger problem is tonal. To today's audiences, James's relationship with Sarah is manifestly jerkish from the get-go...A different production might have hidden these failings or even jujitsu-ed them into virtues. But Leon's revival, broad and ungainly, exacerbates them...Ridloff is the only thing in the play that seems to have any inner life at all. She is a wonder; the rest is mostly unspeakable."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 11th, 2018

"There are two intense scenes...Both are performed with instinctive brilliance by acting rookie Ridloff, Broadway's most accessible show ever for the hearing-impaired is at times inaccessible or awkward for the hearing - which is maybe the most thematically resonant technical flaw ever to afflict a play...Leon’s direction leans into the play’s age as well as its loose plotting...Logistical concerns vanish in the play's best moments."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 11th, 2018

"The production tips the balance away from the author's sensitive handling of deaf politics toward the bland reaffirmation that the heart is a more powerful communication tool than the human voice...Leon's sluggish production does eventually gather some steam...Those basic rights of autonomy, respect and visibility should still resonate today, perhaps more than ever...And yet they are strangely muffled by Leon's insipid treatment of the love story."
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Entertainment Weekly
April 11th, 2018

"Urges its audience to '#StartListening', but struggles at times to relay a clear message of its own...Jackson's performance loosens as it goes and is especially noteworthy in the second act. Ridloff, however, is downright powerful from the moment she signs her first sentence...'Children of a Lesser God' hopes theatergoers will go home and give some deeper thought to the way they communicate...but the most lasting impression of the show is its two standout performances instead."
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Variety
April 11th, 2018

"Ridloff is a stunning performer...Conflict between the speaking world and the silent world was portrayed more forcefully in the original production...Lacking that solid thematic foundation, Medoff's play deflates into just another romantic drama about mismatched lovers...The writer doesn’t seem to have any special aptitude for the language of love, and his efforts to lighten it up are embarrassing...Jackson doesn’t give off much heat for a lover with a burning heart."
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The Wall Street Journal
April 12th, 2018

"'Children' is too dramatically creaky to survive its own transformation into a period piece. Today we want to see inside the deaf culture at whose existence Medoff hints, instead of merely looking at it through a window...The only other thing the play has to offer is a chance for a virtuoso deaf actor to strut her stuff...Ridloff's performance is stupendously bold and expressive—she signs like a ballerina dances—and I can’t imagine this will be the last that Broadway sees of her."
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Deadline
April 11th, 2018

"Lives on now mostly as a well-constructed if somewhat dated relationship drama and as a showcase for its two primary, argument-siding characters...Sarah's stance, hardly the revelation it once was, becomes clear at the play’s emotional peak...It is entirely to the credit of Ridloff's powerhouse performance that the moment still hits as hard as it does...Jackson’s performance can seem broad, pitched too big, but the exaggeration makes as James' importance as translator comes into focus."
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