Closed 1h 45m
Hand to God
Midtown W
84

Hand to God NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(878 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
6%
Negative
5%
Members say
Clever, Great acting, Funny, Edgy, Hilarious

About the Show

Fresh from a critically-acclaimed run Off-Broadway comes a lightning-paced comedy about a Texas town's Christian Puppet Ministry...and one of its shockingly foul-mouthed sock puppets.

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Member Reviews (878)

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80
Absorbing, Clever, Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a wild, wacky premise. Boyer soars as the boy possessed by a demon puppet. Chaos reigns. A bit out of control in the 2nd half.

Don't see it if you dislike violence on stage. Highly engaging, but intellectually a bit light. Better at the tiny early venue than on Bway (I saw both). Read more

95
Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Must see

See it if brilliantly written and acted. Hysterically funny.

Don't see it if if you don't like profanity

Critic Reviews (41)

April 7th, 2015

"In a Broadway season dominated by the usual fodder — Mr. Askins’s black comedy about the divided human soul stands out as a misfit both merry and scary, and very welcome...You can enjoy “Hand to God” merely as a festival of filthy hilarity..but as I watched the play this year, for the third time, I found myself peering more closely into its psychological depths, and finding in it a weird mirror of our unsettling times. "
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April 7th, 2015

"Praise be to the angels behind it:" Hand to God " has made it to Broadway. Some have wondered whether Robert Askins’s outrageous dark comedy—about a sweet Christian teen, Jason and his demonic puppet, Tyrone—would work as well in a larger venue as in its two hit Off Broadway runs. The answer is a resounding, full-throated yes. The freshest and funniest Broadway comedy in years, "Hand to God" is to plays as "The Book of Mormon" is to musicals: a welcome breath of foul air."
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April 14th, 2015

"Broadway’s unlikeliest new must-see play. I say “unlikeliest” in part because it’s the kind of intelligent, blood-dark comedy — disturbing as often as it is funny, vile as often as it is violent, and, to my mind, better for both..."Hand to God" is successfully disguising its larger concerns under the cloak of dirty puppet talk. I found this aspect of the play a bit belabored...But as the dark comedy more nearly approaches its darkness, the tale becomes more emotionally legible, and at times even heartbreaking."
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April 4th, 2015

"Director von Stuelpnagel and his terrific cast tackle this darkly funny material with a shrewd balance of heightened reality, warped sitcom and underlying pathos, landing all the jokes while never denying the genuine sorrow and anger driving both Jason and Margery to such erratic behavior. That said, the play delivers a steady stream of laughs, and one truly uproarious sight gag full of details that keep on giving."
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April 7th, 2015

"Robert Askins’ furiously funny comedy about adolescent rebellion against religious cant has made a smooth passage to Broadway. Moritz von Stuelpnagel hasn’t touched a hair on the head of his clever production and the original cast is still golden...Askins’ most impressive talent, though is his ability to make us laugh while juggling those big themes that make life so terrifying: death, depression, alcoholism, sexual guilt, emotional repression, religious hypocrisy and the eternal battle between your good puppet and your bad puppet."
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April 8th, 2015

"Nothing is more exciting than a new play that takes you by surprise, and Robert Askins’s “Hand to God,”, does so over and over again...Scratch the surface and you’ll find a dead-serious black comedy in which the disruptive power of lust is dramatized in a manner so outrageous as to recall the ruthlessly funny plays of Joe Orton...“Hand to God” isn’t perfect, but it’s staggeringly funny and promising without limit."
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April 7th, 2015

"A brainless barrage of trash, heresy, stupidity and nausea called "Hand to God" is the first time, in all my years on the aisle, that I have finally seen an entire stage filled with unmitigated crap. There is no plot, no narrative form, no theme...The hand puppet shrieks, screams, spits, vomits and fornicates profusely while the audience explodes with laughter so loud and raucous that it echoes from the Booth Theatre...With "Hand to God," the audience is a cause for serious concern."
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April 7th, 2015

"There are many reasons to celebrate the arrival on Broadway of Robert Askins’ "Hand To God". It wraps its seriousness in a veneer of XXX-rated irreverence. I don’t know which I want to do more: Sing Hallelujah — or wash its dirty little mouth out with soap. It’s probably no one’s idea of a Broadway show...song-free and purposely looking as though it was produced on a Cookie Monster-sale budget, "Hand To God" is a Book Of Revelations about what should be possible on Broadway."
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April 7th, 2015

"Arresting, funny and thoroughly disconcerting...highly original and laudably fearless and politically incorrect...Askins sets his play, which is directed with real punch by Moritz von Stuelpnagel somewhere in Texas. Crucially, though, the script and the production show great compassion for this group of struggling, lower-middle-class characters...That compassion is what takes "Hand to God" beyond the usual condescension you find on Broadway toward Texans or people of faith in general."
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April 7th, 2015

"Staged with unflagging energy by Moritz von Stuelpnagel...A scalpel-sharp show about the ways people cope with their troubles...it’s Boyer’s virtuosic performance that defines “Hand to God,” as he seamlessly toggles between Jason and [sock puppet] Tyrone — and if the actor doesn’t win a Tony for this, there’s no justice in the world. Just watch how the little fellow’s arms shake with rage when he reaches out to strangle someone — it’s simultaneously hilarious and scary, like the play itself."
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April 7th, 2015

"The new Broadway comedy “Hand to God” is so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny it’s bound to leave you sore from laughing. Ah, hurts so good. Askins proves deft at writing dialogue that's hysterical and at serving up insights. He’s unapologetically profane — prompting a handful of walkouts at a recent performance. Their loss...It’s not typical Broadway fare, but all involved deserve a big hand."
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April 7th, 2015

"Hand to God" - a dark, irreverent and smart comedy by the young, previously unknown playwright Robert Askins - is one hell of a great success story, having graduated step by step from off Off-Broadway to Off-Broadway to finally Broadway itself. This is the kind of raw and raunchy play you don't typically see on Broadway, but once there ends up making Broadway a more exciting place."
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September 14th, 2015

"One could choose to only concentrate on the show’s comedic elements (and it is nothing if not hilarious) but its beauty lies in the moments between puns and witty dialogues; it's in the pauses and moments of silence where we see the characters’ humanity shine through... For a play that appears to be so cynical on the surface, 'Hand to God,' actually makes us want to reach out to the person sitting next to us."
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C
November 17th, 2015

"Robert Askins’ completely outrageous and outrageously funny new play 'Hand to God,' proves two things: that sock puppets can be downright demonic and Broadway is readier than ever to offend just about anyone…For all its copious, jaw-dropping laughs, Askins’ script, which has been handled expertly by director Moritz von Stuelpnagel, is also full of heart…New voices of such wit and wisdom are rare in the theater these days."
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April 11th, 2015

"Robert Askin’s funny, filthy, violent and sensitive play...This is not a play for children. But it is a show for adults, with hints of psychological insights beneath the hysterical exterior...The triumph of "Hand to God" on Broadway is also a victory for Off-Off Broadway, where the show began, and it retains a quirky, raw, uncompromising quality more characteristic of its origins than its destination."
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April 8th, 2015

"A savage, often hilarious, and profoundly irreligious satire...it’s not a lot more irreverent than "The Book of Mormon", but it is a lot dirtier and there are no dance numbers. Askin's script often betrays an adolescent desire to shock and scandalise...Some of the motivations are explained away tidily and a lot of the humour is puerile. But the puerile bits are particularly funny. Askins is smart and engaged enough that even the play’s most outrageous actions seem grounded in character."
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April 7th, 2015

"Arguably the best play of the 2014-2015 Broadway season...Because Askins has written the figures so fully, they need to be played as fully. They absolutely are. Boyer's is the indisputably key performance, but the others, expertly directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, whip up all sorts of subtle character mannerisms that add to the production's unerring perfection. "Hand to God"'s assault on religion as irrevocable healer both tickles the ribs and gives them a powerful punch."
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April 7th, 2015

"In act two of this raunchy comedy, Askins and his able director Moritz von Stuelpnagel do introduce two hand puppets that very convincingly masturbate, perform oral sex on each other and then copulate in a series of strikingly human positions. While the story of “Hand to God” proceeds in a most linear fashion, the sex is novel, and the whole shebang ends in a maelstrom of self-inflicted violence that stops the laughter in your throat."
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April 7th, 2015

"Off-Broadway, "Hand to God" was a wicked little church satire...Improbably pumped up for Broadway, the offbeat reverence shrinks in charm and impact. The gory yet sweet-natured spoof feels more like a drawn-out sketch, and the gleeful dirty-talk gets childish when hammered by good actors encouraged to shriek...Late in the short evening, there is that clench of impeccably portrayed puppet sex. If the rest of the night just feels like foreplay, however, that's not play enough for Broadway."
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April 7th, 2015

"Structurally, “Hand to God” never quite adds up to the sum of its brilliant parts. There are only so many ways we can be told that faith isn’t quite enough, and that we need to find specific ways of dealing with our problems. Much of the dialogue seems designed merely to shock, though it builds with such intensity you may be too busy rolling in the aisles to notice."
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April 8th, 2015

"Messed-up, angry, needy, dark and in desperate need of mental help...It's like nothing else on Broadway and a brave choice both to open here and to attend...Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs with a flair for allowing the play's little absurdities to reveal themselves naturally and a skill with onstage physicality...Askins at times seems to fumble for a deeper meaning about the individual getting lost in the collective, but while he comes close to profundity, it's really his cast that leaves an impression."
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April 10th, 2015

"This is that rare show that changes and challenges the foundations of traditional theater… Equal parts dark comedy, absurdist drama and horror/gore show, 'Hand to God' is both funny and frightening...but playwright Robert Askins’ tale is highly original as well. At times scathingly hilarious but ultimately disturbing, this tragicomic masterpiece takes digs at everything from Christianity and teenage angst to taboo sex. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen on the New York stage in years."
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June 29th, 2015

"One of the funniest plays I’ve seen in years, and it reaches an unexpected depth that really impresses me...A series of wickedly funny and tragic events transpires. You’ll want to go along for the ride. "
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April 8th, 2015

"The path to the Tony Award season took a curve last night as Richard Askins’ original play, “Hand to God,” was such a hit that it took everyone by surprise...totally original, funny and angry and sad, and sure to leave a mark not only this spring but for some time to come...it’s also a full play, with fully realized ideas about religion and mortality, Big Ideas and small ones. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel's got this extraordinary ensemble on a tight leash and never lets up."
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May 12th, 2015

"Playwright Robert Askins has written a truly original play that at its core is an examination of a young man’s descent and, finally ascent, from a personal hell...Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel adroitly brings out the disquietude within the production. He creates a controlled mayhem and methodical rhythm to the play."
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R
September 15th, 2015

"A compelling tale of two lost people, caught up in their own lack of ability to cope with the death of a major person in their lives, who are losing their fight to chart a course of healthy reality and turn to escapism to get through the angst. The production is well conceived and performed and makes for a fascinating theatrical experience in which laughter acts as an escape from pain."
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April 8th, 2015

"God may have created the heavens and the earth and all living things - but the Devil surely created Tyrone, the filthy-minded, foul-mouthed sock puppet that has audiences howling at "Hand to God." Robert Askins' furiously funny comedy about adolescent rebellion against religious cant has made a smooth passage from workshop to Off Broadway to Broadway. Moritz von Stuelpnagel hasn't touched a hair on the head of his clever production and the original cast is still golden."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"A terrific, scary funny play...First seen at the Ensemble Studio Theater, “Hand to God” has been lovingly (and commendably) brought back by MCC Theater. The play struck me as smartly put together and scabrous then, and I’m pleased to find that it has blossomed on a larger stage..."Hand to God" is now almost as disturbing as it is uproarious...both hilarious and heart-rending."
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March 19th, 2012
For a previous production

"Behind its wired barbs of shock comedy—including puppet sex that makes Avenue Q look like Jane Austen—Hand to God is a smart, philosophically engaging character study with neo-Nietzschean overtones...Boyer gives one of the most memorable star turns I’ve ever seen. Curse yourself if you miss it: Talking to the hand has never been this good."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"If Avenue Q didn’t appropriately sate your appetite for explicit puppet carnality, then Robert Askins’ outrageous black comedy Hand to God will more than fit the bill. Though the whole cast is tremendously game, Boyer’s astonishing pas-de-un is truly special...giving Hand to God much-needed poignancy to balance the no-holds-barred comedy. Don't be surprised if some of the show’s laughs catch in your throat."
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March 11th, 2014
For a previous production

"As touching as it is screamingly funny... the puppetry is amazing and so are the professional skills of the puppeteers...playwright Askins’ most impressive talent, though is his ability to make us laugh while juggling those big themes that make life so terrifying."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"“Hand to God” first played at tiny EST back in 2011, and MCC is now bringing it off-Broadway. This most welcome theatrical second coming should make the show the hit it deserves to be...Directed with unflagging energy by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, the show moves at great speed...By the time "Hand to God" reaches its Grand Guignol finale, you're reeling from shock and laughter."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

" In Robert Askins’ “Hand to God,” an awkward adolescent’s hand puppet is possessed by Satan. Bad for the boy and all within reach, but it’s great for audiences of this devilishly funny comedy...The writer’s own unique voice and perspective gleam in this fast-moving work, which is shot through with smarts and dark humor. It works simply as a comedy about runaway ids, but it also makes sharp observations about religion, the cost of guilt and what makes families tick."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"This play is not for the faint of heart. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with an aversion to blood, profanity, or puppets. Everyone else is guaranteed to have one crazy night of hilarious and unforgettable theater...you really shouldn't miss this delightfully demented black comedy from one of the most exciting young playwrights working today."
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March 11th, 2014
For a previous production

"A wickedly funny comedy, “Hand to God” concerns a nice teenaged boy whose sock puppet becomes possessed by a raging, foul-mouthed devil...A devilishly droll show thanks to Askin’s nimble writing, a talented cast and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel’s pitch-perfect staging."
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March 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"The irreverent puppetry in "Avenue Q" is kids' stuff compared with the devil-made-me-do-it depravities in "Hand to God," Robert Askins' wicked little satire."
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March 11th, 2014
For a previous production

"Robert Askins' "Hand to God" is a chaotic comedy with some funny moments to compensate for its ragged edges...the evening goes for a feeling of off-the-wall antic comedy, and sometimes succeeds. There are other scenes, though – a few of them jarringly bloody – that are shaky and go on too long. And the interpersonal issues – feelings, connections, emotional availability – are standard-issue boilerplate."
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March 6th, 2012
For a previous production

"Ready for a remarkable display of amazing puppetry amidst a hurricane of raunchy fun? The zany, effervescent, and touching Hand to God deserves to be at the top of just about anyone’s list."
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November 8th, 2011
For a previous production

"This over the top comedy takes a turn for the serious in the second act...Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel handles the transition from wild humor to genuine emotion with ease...He and the rest of the cast are why this show gets a generous three stars out of four. The play is original but flawed, though refinement should make it better with relative ease."
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March 18th, 2014
For a previous production

"Two thirds of Hand to God is deliriously madcap comedy, deriving its dramatic momentum from a foundation of raw, sentimental heartache that comprises the other third. Askins proves himself a master of pathos here, and he's well-served by an adept cast under the direction of Moritz von Stuelpnagel."
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November 7th, 2011
For a previous production

"An overheated but appealing stew of religiosity, teenage angst, and sex...Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel has guided his excellent cast of five into an entertainingly antic production. It may not plumb the darker levels of the script as deeply it could but gets considerable mileage out of the comedy."
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