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English NYC Reviews and Tickets

(85 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent

About the Show

2019 Kilroys List & L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award winner Sanaz Toossi's New York debut.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (85)

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97 Reviews | 15 Followers
Inteliligent and thought-provoking, entertaining

See it if you have ever known and sympathized with someone struggling to learn English or someone trying to adjust to the strange American way of life

Don't see it if you have never struggled with cultural issues or only want fluffy musicals. Read more

137 Reviews | 23 Followers
Absorbing, Resonant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You love a show about the foreign experience, love a well written show, enjoy a medium dramatic show

Don't see it if You don't like shows about foreign lands/people, don't like plays/dramas, don't like shows dealing with immigration and ideas surrounding it Read more

184 Reviews | 29 Followers
Riveting, Relevant, Must see, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You like plays dealing with contemporary issues. In this instance, four Iranians learning English as a second language. Wonderful plot.

Don't see it if If you are expecting a comedy. Altho their are humorous moments, English deals with the seriousness of cultural pressure.

180 Reviews | 26 Followers
Must see, Resonant, Riveting, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy whip-smart plays, small but vibrant casts, and are interested in the concept of "home" and how "leaving home" complicates that

Don't see it if you want a show chock-full of song and dance numbers?? (Honestly, there's no good reason not to see this show -- it's incredible!)

117 Reviews | 11 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You want a super original idea, I loved the way they communicated in this play. Very good.

Don't see it if Can't think of a reason, brilliant play.

121 Reviews | 13 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy intelligent explorations of language and identity.

Don't see it if You only like traditional, straightforward comedy-dramas.

437 Reviews | 81 Followers
Elegant, Moving, Profound

See it if you can.

Don't see it if there's absolutely no reason not to. Read more

277 Reviews | 83 Followers
Fascinating look into lives of students taking english as a foreign language

See it if intested in reasons to take/teach TOEFL course, subtleties of learning/speaking 2nd language, what's gained/lost in process. Great acting.

Don't see it if you can't empathize w non-English native speakers. Set blocks some views 1st row. My Fair Lady is enuf insight re difficulties of language.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
February 23rd, 2022

"Both contemplative and comic, it nails every opportunity for big laughs as its English-learning characters struggle with accents and idioms. But the laughter provides cover for the deeper idea that their struggle is not just linguistic...In dealing with characters who could easily be exoticized in their chadors, Toossi has chosen instead to focus on their familiarity; like most of us, they deal less with the disaster of geopolitics than with an atmosphere of mild if daily discomfort."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 22nd, 2022

"The play, like a language lesson, is therefore full of games; it requires humor (Lalezarzadeh nails this) and a sure step. But although Knud Adams’s production looks gorgeous — Marsha Ginsberg sets them inside a huge rotating classroom that responds to Reza Behjat’s lighting like a sculpture — its pace is too lugubrious for Toossi’s quickfoot dramaturgy."
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New Yorker
March 11th, 2022

"Toossi has found a fantastically effective way to depict the double self of the novice language learner: when her characters are 'speaking' Farsi, we hear quick, idiomatic American English, but, when they speak English itself, their voices slow down, and their accents grow thick. There’s an obvious political valence, which Toossi treats lightly but attentively, as when Marjan asks her students to 'feel any pull you have to your Iranian-ness and let it go.'"
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New York Theatre Guide
February 23rd, 2022

"5/5 stars...That one play can accomplish as much with wit, ease, precision, and heart, as 'English' does in a swift 115 minutes, makes it among the best new plays of the season...Toossi approaches big, thorny questions with an expertly light touch, rooting her play’s intricacies in well-shaded characters. But take a slight step back and the full picture comes into view — a stunning meditation on what makes us human."
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February 22nd, 2022

"Not everything is explicit, mysteries are allowed to linger, and the unsaid regularly hovers over the stage in moments of exquisite dramatic tension. 'English' feels like a breath of fresh air when so many new plays seem to follow a thesis with which the playwright delights in bludgeoning the audience. It's a remarkably mature off-Broadway debut for Toossi."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 2nd, 2022

English requires a bit of patience; Toossi is painstaking about casting her spell and she is not to be hurried. But it is well worth it; by the final fadeout, it's likely you'll feel intimately acquainted with these characters. And you'll have a better sense of what it's like to live in a world where cultures bump up against each other so uncomfortably. Sanaz Toossi is a real find.
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Talkin' Broadway
February 22nd, 2022

"Beautifully directed by Knud Adams with welcome touches of levity and cultural humor...Despite a handful of contrivances in Toossi's writing, as well as a couple of head-scratching eleven o'clock revelations, the cast is uniformly superb, with rich portraits of complex characters created by everyone on stage. Adams' adroit direction gets out of the way of his talented actors, providing a showcase for their exceptional gifts."
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New York Stage Review
February 22nd, 2022

"4/5 stars...Toossi is not interested in heavy dramatics—and director Knud Adams serves her well in that aspiration. Through the many scenes she’s written as the six-week course advances, nothing of explosive import occurs...'English' is especially pertinent when increasingly so many of us aren’t speaking the same language, such as, for one prominent contemporary example, the language of truth in contention with the language of lies."
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