Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

The Sound Inside (Broadway)

From 458 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the show

Tony, Emmy & Golden Globe winner Mary-Louise Parker returns to Broadway in Adam Rapp's new play about a tenured professor, a talented student, and a troubling favor.  More…

Bella Baird (Parker) is an accomplished professor at an Ivy League university who prizes her solitude. But when she faces a challenge she cannot tackle alone, she allies herself with a brilliant and mysterious student, Christopher (Will Hochman). Intensely intimate, this haunting play probes the question of what one person can do for another.

1h 30m | Already closed | Studio 54 (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (458)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Clever, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if If you want to see an interesting story with good acting. This keeps the attention of audience. A deep at times play.

Don't see it if Can be depressing for some who want something litehearted and less intense.

Exquisite, Dark, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound

See it if Professor and student have a brief, deep, scary & fateful relationship. Exquisite writing. Is the "sound inside" the will to live or die?

Don't see it if You won't enjoy an introspective play with unclear meaning. Dark stage & depressing themes. Narration mixed with dialog.

Also Recommend sitting close to the stage. Off to the side is ok.

Quirky, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Parker & Hochman are riveting in this spooky two-hander about creative lost souls Cromer's nuanced staging aided by Gilbert's eerie lighting

Don't see it if Rapp's best writing in a while despite some questionable developments near the end It's Parker's story yet Hochman grows more interesting

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if fan of Parker or Rapp, enjoy easy to follow but intriguing stories, plays about creative minds & troubled people, subtle unexpected twists

Don't see it if don't like to listen in a quiet, dark setting, don't like brief 2-actor plays with reticent characters, or want to think right at the end

Gripping, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if Psycho-thriller.A writing prof's health status urges her to draw in creatively(if not fictitiously) to her writing charge.Gorgeously written

Don't see it if Rapp has matured here, outgrowing his past gimmicky stunts. Monologues. Tiny, gripping drama with tiny ideas in a very big space.

Profound, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy stripped-down productions that let the characters and words shine. This is a beautifully written & acted piece w/o ornamentation.

Don't see it if you’re turned off by stories featuring depressed characters and self-harm.

Intense, Disappointing, Confusing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like Mary-Louise Parker and enjoy listening to a professor spout off her opinions and then take advantage of an unstable student.

Don't see it if you enjoy a drama that has a point. I had English professors but thankfully none like this one.

Also What she asked a young person to do was atrocious. I felt like booing ... Read more Read less

Slow, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in two character heavy drama. I found it to be very depressive, and lost my train of thought 3/4 of the way into the play

Don't see it if You are the least bit depressed. You do not like dialogue spoken directly to the audience. Become mesmerized in a darkened room.

Also Mary-Louise Parker is spellbinding in her role as a college professor ... Read more Read less

Depressing, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see MLP on stage doing a phenomenal job. You like dialogue driven plays. You want an easy 90 minutes, and you don't mind dramas.

Don't see it if The story doesn't quite add up to a full cohesive play for me. I was left with a lot of questions, which is fine but also exhausting.

One of rapp's best, Brilliant lighting, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like plays that make you pay attention, that challenge you, that twist & turn.Literate,well paced, beautifully acted.Amazing lighting

Don't see it if you want a Neil Simon comedy.This play makes you think, demands your attention, and will stay with you.Characters are flawed & very real.

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if If you LOVE great performances of GREAT pieces by master author and actors. This piece evokes gasps, tears, smiles all while you ride along

Don't see it if you don't enjoy great drama, no musical here

Clever, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy everyday stories with unusual characters and surprising interactions. If you like dark characters and unique relationships.

Don't see it if If you are sensitive to may-december relationships, suicide ideation or terminal disease. If you prefer traditional stories.

Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if an intense & moving play about a creative writing professor, a talented student of hers & their writing processes; troubling aspects

Don't see it if don't want actor directly addressing audience; don't want dark sets or dark topics including cancer; want something light

Also the monologues/discourses are very descriptive as would be expected of... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Cliched, Pretentious, Indulgent, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy two-character plays and cerebral fare. Both performances are quite good, though I doubt will garner Tony notice.

Don't see it if you’re over the steady onslaught of WASP-y Ivy League stories in theater. We’ve seen twelve hundred versions of these characters before.

Also the experience is enjoyable enough, but this is nothing new under the ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like Mary Louise Parker who gives a great performance. A complicated interesting story which I am still figuring out.

Don't see it if You want easy light weight theater. This play can be depressing...cancer suicide murder loneliness...(but really about so much more).

Also Two character play with little action but lots happens through a narra... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy a two actor play with strong character development and powerful, yet subtle, plot development.

Don't see it if you don't like a small cast with a minimal set that allows for the focus to be on the characters and plot.

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to see a really great scrip, well directed and well acted. I was riveted for the whole thing.

Don't see it if You want to see something lighthearted or a musical.


See it if Clever story of a lonely creative writing female professor in her 50s meeting an intense freshman.The plot moves unexpectedly with dry humor

Don't see it if Suicide, loneliness, cancer are triggering. High brow, frequent name dropping of authors, literary works, and Ivy league life annoy you.

Also Diversity: lonely woman in her 50s is the protagonist. But super upper... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Absorbing, Intense, Great acting, Great writing

See it if great acting in an excellent written two-hander. captured one's attention the whole time. good story and characters.

Don't see it if want light theatre, then this is not for you.

Clever, Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of Mary-Louise Parker and you want to have one of those special theatrical experiences.

Don't see it if you hate two character plays. PLEASE NOTE: You will be kicking yourself when you realize just what you missed! DUH!!!

Also I love a GREAT one man show, but I am NOT a fan of two character plays... Read more Read less

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious

See it if An entertaining 90 minute, two character play about the interactions between a professor and her student. Great acting by Parker and Hochman

Don't see it if Too much info could spoil future theater goers enjoyment of the play.

Not a thriller!, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want to see a cleverly constructed script performed by two great actors. It requires your attention, but I didn't mind giving it.

Don't see it if you are into plays that are dialogue heavy or that don't have a lot of action. As I said above, this requires your full attention

Also One thing I was thrown by was the description of this play as a thrill... Read more Read less

Cliched and sleepy, Underwhelming to say the least, Predictable and "meh", Slow, muted, underplayed, Didn't buy the relationship nor performances

See it if Like two-handers with ponderous dialogue that sounds like writing instead of actual conversation.

Don't see it if Need authenticity in writing or acting. Did not find any of this production to be believable.

Also Avoid a matinee where the audience whispers to each other and says "wh... Read more Read less

Clever staging, Funny tragic, Great acting, Lively writing, Absorbing

See it if Energized writing and grounded performances excite you.

Don't see it if You avoid heavy subject matter or atypical writing style.

Also Liked this much more than I thought I would based on previous scores. ... Read more Read less

Pretentious, Inspiring, Literary, Intense, Absorbing

See it if A thrilling two-hander that twists and winds through the human condition. Desire, fate, fame, self-loathing, and good books abound.

Don't see it if This play stirs powerful emotions. (see more) You don't like contemporary plays that are self-consciously heightened in language.

Also There's a lot going on that might upset an audience. I found it ultima... Read more Read less

October 17th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "Mary-Louise Parker in the Subliminal, Sublime ‘Sound Inside’: Adam Rapp’s play transfers to Broadway in a rivetingly dark and detailed production by David Cromer."
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October 18th, 2019
4/5 Stars "'The Sound Inside' is engrossing the way a good novel can be: It invites imaginative engagement, and it keeps you off balance with a steady stream of surprises as Bella’s and Christopher’s narratives—fictional and real—find an elegant equipoise."
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October 17th, 2019
"David Cromer directs Mary-Louise Parker as an Ivy League writing professor, with newcomer Will Hochman as the gifted student who assumes an unexpected role in her life in Adam Rapp's new drama."
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October 17th, 2019
"Mary-Louise Parker and Will Hochman's Pas De Deux on the Edge in 'The Sound Inside': A fantastic new play marks the Broadway debut of playwright Adam Rapp."
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Cast & Creatives (4)