New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

Hand to God

From 41 critic and 874 member reviews
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. More…

This comedy is about shy, inquisitive student Jason, who finds an outlet for his burgeoning creativity at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. That is until his hand puppet Tyrone — once soft-spoken — takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. As Tyrone’s influence over Jason steadily grows, Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us.

1h 45m | Already closed | Booth Theatre (Midtown W)

The Huffington Post

"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." Full Review


"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 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." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"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." Full Review

New York Post

"Staged with unflagging energy by Moritz von Stuelpnagel...A scalpel-sharp show about the ways people cope with their’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." Full Review


"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 betw... Full Review

The New York Times

"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. " Full Review

Time Out New York

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"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." Full Review

As Her World Turns

"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. " Full Review

Showbiz 411

"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’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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

"A savage, often hilarious, and profoundly irreligious’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." Full Review

New York Daily News

"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." Full Review

AM New York

"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." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"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." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

Stu on Broadway

"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." Full Review

Boston Herald

"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." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"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 ... Full Review


"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." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"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." Full Review

The Associated Press

"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 ... Full Review

The Wrap

"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." Full Review

Hilarious, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Saw twice on Broadway, once in Seattle. Incredibly witty, clever, entertaining; get ready for a crazy ride!

Don't see it if aren't embracing of irreverent comedy.

Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Riveting, Must see

See it if Funniest show since "Book of Mormon."

Don't see it if You are sensitive to language and/or humor.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Edgy, Great singing

See it if you want to see a crazy, hilarious, and slightly disturbing play.

Don't see it if you get easily offended

Creepy, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Intense

See it if You you like creepier-like theatre.

Don't see it if You get nightmares easily and are afraid of the devil.

Funny, Clever, Hilarious, Quirky, Profound

See it if U have religion, dont have religion, believe in a higher power or just believe in the life of broadway & theatre! Gives mankind some faith!

Don't see it if You dont have a sense of humor about religion.

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Must see

See it if You're a fan of edgy, dark comedies. Or if you're prepared to question religion and faith.The acting performances in it are also remarkable.

Don't see it if You're deeply religious and not ready to question that.

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Original

See it if you are open to an insane tour-de-force with puppets and religion.

Don't see it if you aren't looking for something that challenges the status quo.

Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Funny, Great acting

See it if You like vicious satire

Don't see it if if prudish

Clever, Funny, Edgy, Intense, Riveting

See it if You're up for something unlike you've ever experienced. You'll laugh your ass off but also leave the theatre contemplating humanity.

Don't see it if You hate vulgarity, or if you have a fear of sock puppets.

Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Edgy, Hilarious

See it if You like hilarious, unique, slightly absurd shows.

Don't see it if You are expecting the run of the mill normal story line.

Hilarious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Original, Must see

See it if You like dark humor and lots of action on stage

Don't see it if You have delicate sensibilities

Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if You can afford a plane ticket to England lol

Don't see it if You can't

Hilarious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Quirky

See it if You want to see a thought provoking show

Don't see it if You are easily offended.

Clever, Edgy, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy dark stuff

Don't see it if Things easily offend you

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you want to see the best and most surprising show on Broadway.

Don't see it if you're an idiot.

Clever, Hilarious, Raunchy, Original, Must see

See it if Want an original story or just to laugh it is hysterical from start to end great cast very different kind of show !!!!

Don't see it if You have kids not for children or if you don't like cursing and sexual situations

Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Raunchy

See it if You want to be shocked out of your seat while crying and laughing.

Don't see it if You hate dark theater. This is as dark as it gets.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Hilarious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like thought-provoking theatre that is very relevant and may make you uncomfortable with its truth-telling. Great performances!!

Don't see it if You like your theatre sugar-coated, are easily offended, don't like theatre that requires you to think.

Delightful, Hilarious, Masterful, Must see, Riveting

See it if you want to laugh hysterically at a brilliant play!!! I was HOWLING with laughter!!

Don't see it if you are easily offended by bad language.

Clever, Delightful, Original, Hilarious, Must see

See it if You love Avenue Q and/ or Book of Mormon

Don't see it if You are easily offended

Clever, Edgy, Hilarious, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you want to see something shocking and original that may make you jump a few times. It's and edge of your seat black comedy.

Don't see it if you're afraid of puppets or are easily offended.

Absorbing, Funny, Challenging

See it if you want challenging thoughtprovoking theatre that is constantly surprising and is heartbreaking yet gut wrenchingly hilarious.

Don't see it if you like to know what you are getting.

Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Original, Raunchy

See it if You enjoy shocking moments

Don't see it if You don't enjoy crude humor

Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Funny, Intense

See it if you love unexpectedly dark and terrifying shows, you loved Avenue Q, you like puppets, you have a twisted sense of humor.

Don't see it if you are easily offended or deeply Christian, you hate puppets, or you hate fun.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You like edgy comedy...

Don't see it if You are easily offended...

Cast & Creatives (14)