Already closed | 2h 35m | Midtown W

Children of a Lesser God

From 771 member  reviews
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'). More…

Sometimes, a fleeting glance or a subtle touch can speak volumes. In an age where texts and tweets make it seem like the whole world is talking at once, this timeless play about the art of communication explores what it's really like to not be heard or understood.

In addition to the winning the 1980 Tony Award for Best Play, 'Children of a Lesser God' was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. Directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon ('A Raisin in the Sun'), this production marks the play's first ever Broadway revival.

2h 35m | Already closed | Studio 54 (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (771)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Dated
77
Avg Score

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

Also The plot leaves so much to be desired. Impossible to understand where ... Read more Read less

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

Also Feelings and emotions re the use of sign language, the need for go-bet... Read more Read less

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.

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

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.

Also The script for “Children of a Lesser God” never rises above the generi... Read more Read less

69
Dated, Important topic, Sparse set in large theater. not much to look at., Likeable & talented actors

See it if Interesting & important topic. But play is so dated & clunky it just doesn’t work now. Set is sparse & but does not add to interest.

Don't see it if You want to see an entertaining show. This is slow & very dated, a strange story that is even stranger in these days of #metoo.

Also Actors were all good. Exciting to see so much signing on stage. But ot... Read more Read less

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

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.

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

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a beautiful show that does a pretty good job of updating a classic.

Don't see it if Occasionally a little static despite great acting. It sometimes felt stilted. I did see it at the first preview, so I hope that changes.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You need a lesson on the world of the deaf.

Don't see it if If you’ve already seen it once.

73
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you like to see revivals of shows you've heard about.2 leads are excellent.Show rambles, unclear in spots.Not always clear what the point is

Don't see it if you're looking for insight into the world of the deaf.Play isn't particularly coherent or thought provoking.The play sort of just sits there

64
Dated, Disappointing, Slow, Absorbing, Cliched

See it if An important breakthrough play at one time. Deals sensitivity with the issues of the deaf community. Lauren Ridloff was electric.

Don't see it if Joshua Jackson, who I usually like, made the weird choice to read all his lines in a monotone. His character was kinda creepy.

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Romantic, Resonant

See it if I really enjoyed this production of a dated play which becomes relevant to many self vs other struggles seeking a bridge.

Don't see it if You dont want to sit through 2:35 of talk. The first act is basically exposition whereas Act 2 is more character driven.

Also If one looks beyond the setting, this play actually has a universal th... Read more Read less

68
Dated, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you're intrigued by plays exploring deaf culture. Lauren Ridloff is incredible, in a breakout performance.

Don't see it if // the play was written in the 70s and feels slightly dated but still seems incredibly relevant to today.

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Excruciating, Relevant

See it if a show dealing with the deaf and their education is of great interest to you. Great performances from several deaf actors.

Don't see it if quick paced dramas are what you prefer.

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Riveting

See it if A well produced revival. The leads and ensemble are excellent. Interesting and effective minimal scenery. A memorable evening .

Don't see it if Do not see if you prefer musicals or light dramas.

75
Dated, Slow, Boring, Disappointing, Just okay

See it if you enjoy blasts from the past (i.e. The Heidi Chronicles) that don't hold up now. The path of this romance is more cringeworthy than cute.

Don't see it if Joshua Jackson yelling each line as an irritating, mansplaining character will grate. If this was the director's choice, it was a poor one.

Also Jackson was strong in Smart People, so this stilted performance is baf... Read more Read less

60
Dated, Disappointing, Dull, Terrible set design

See it if Despite good acting, esp. by Ridloff, the show felt flat & lifeless, with a set so bare there was nothing to hold your interest.

Don't see it if Play doesn't hold up today. In light of #metoo movement, the teacher/student romance & sexist relationship dynamics were cringeworthy.

67
Dated, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you have never seen this show. Lauren Ridloff does a good job with a great role. Not my favorite script.

Don't see it if you want to care. I was frustrated by the lack of empathy I had for the characters. Joshua Jackson signs well, but sounded stilted.

85
Highly recommend, Very touching, Thought-provoking, Relevant / resonant, Excellent performances

See it if you know AND like the movie. Slightly different book, but it works beautifully on stage. Strong performances. Didn't feel like 2 & 1/2 hrs.

Don't see it if you don't know the movie (or original play) and are expecting a sweet love-story. Do your homework. There is conflict from the word "GO".

Also It's all about the acting, & Joshua Jackson is SUPERB.... Read more Read less

82
Human, Beneath some datedness, a poignant tale, Vital messages, Sparsely-designed, Silences that speak volumes

See it if seeking a sometimes old-fashioned-in-tone love story about language, communication, and the ways we come to understand ourselves and roles.

Don't see it if the repetition of lines, use of American Sign Language, rudimentary stage design, and mimed props sound off-putting; want a clear finale.

Also Albeit with some flat writing, Children of a Lesser God is a poignant ... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to consider intersectional topics like "who speaks for those who are marginalized"? You want to support Deaf art.

Don't see it if You are frustrated not understanding every piece of dialogue (ASL is not translated in the captioning).

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if If you enjoy seeing new visions of plays you’ve seen before. And see it if you’ve never seen it .

Don't see it if If you like plays with realistic sets and straight through time lines. And if it bothers you to read as well as listen

69
Good acting, Repetitive, Relevant, Sterile set, Confusing

See it if like shows about the handicapped, dealing with difficulties adapting to life in our society, complicated love stories and fine acting.

Don't see it if dislike very repetitive episodes that explore the same insights and themes and sterile sets.


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...
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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 r...
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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...
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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, res...
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