English
Closed 1h 45m
English
80

English NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(79 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
14%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

About the Show

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

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Member Reviews (79)

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966 Reviews | 226 Followers
60
Overrated, Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if If you like a play about a bilingual person.

Don't see it if Show is slow, bad set and not interesting.

741 Reviews | 123 Followers
68
Confusing, Assumes a well informed audience, Awkward revolving set, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you are interested in an intense microscopic view of a Muslim culture.

Don't see it if There is a novel solution to actors speaking in two languages. However it is not used consistently. I found the rotating stage distracting.

677 Reviews | 152 Followers
79
Funny, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if curious about an Iranian-set play by Iranian-American female writer, clever use of speaking pace to distinguish languages, societal glimpse

Don't see it if no interest in Iranian set plays, easily confused by different styles of dialogue, have trouble figuring out character's motivations

616 Reviews | 273 Followers
80
An "english as a second language" class taught in iran is setting for fascinating study of characters and identity

See it if in Pirandello-esque classroom explores fascinating stories of 5 characters & dramatizes classroom conflicts; full pathos & humor

Don't see it if young playwright errors: after compelling first half, loses steam; revelations feel artificial; motivation of certain characters unclear

509 Reviews | 129 Followers
78
Some complex and interesting personalities, Funny, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you're interested in the differing reasons a person might want to learn English with some being more successful than others; good acting.

Don't see it if a rotating stage might drive you crazy and obstruct your view; some good character development but needs editing and quicker pacing. Read more

470 Reviews | 257 Followers
45
Intense, Overrated, Excruciating, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you enjoy glacially paced productions. This play is so slow-moving that you feel as if you have been sitting for more than 100 minutes.

Don't see it if you do not like slow-moving productions. Also, the rotating set may give you an obstructed view of the set. The set revolves way too much.

467 Reviews | 70 Followers
89
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Confusing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a well acted show dealing with important topics involving race and accessability

Don't see it if you want to be abIe to tell the female characters apart.They were all attractive young women, with the same skin tone and hair color.I wish Read more

430 Reviews | 115 Followers
78
Interesting play of how language affects human relations

See it if The play's theme is cultural identity and how language reflects it. Iranian students whose motives for taking the English course vary.

Don't see it if My enjoyment of the play was lessened by my difficulty hearing the dialogue. The accents, though charming and part of the plot, didn't help Read more

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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Theatermania
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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New York Stage Review
February 22nd, 2022

"3/5 stars...We gradually learn small details about their lives, motivations and feelings about learning a new language. But not enough. The play remains stubbornly undramatic, lacking any narrative propulsion and sadly bereft of the details that would make the characters or situations interesting...Director Knud Adams has staged the piece for minimum impact, making the production’s glacially paced, 105 intermissionless minutes feel much longer."
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