New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

God Said This

From 15 critic and 139 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Resonant, Funny, Entertaining

About the show

Wry and bittersweet, Primary Stages's new drama is a portrait of five Godless and God-loving people finding that their struggles bring them together in unexpected ways.  More…

With her mom undergoing chemotherapy, Hiro, a NYC transplant, returns home to Kentucky after years away, struggling to let go of the demons she inherited. Sophie, her born-again Christian sister, confronts her faith while tackling inevitable adversity. James, their recovering alcoholic father, wants to repair his fractured relationship with his daughters. And John, an old classmate and thirty-something single dad, worries about leaving a lasting legacy for his only son. 

Front Row Center

"My fingers are poised now over this keyboard and I am trying to compose a series of words to get you, Dear Reader, to understand that I witnessed a miracle last night. You don’t get the perfect blend often in New York theatre performances...Winkler’s writing goes deep into the real...I love this family. I want them to make it...You can’t, you can’t, you can’t miss this show. Really. I’m not kidding. This is gold I’m giving you here." Full Review

Broadway & Me

“Specific and universal drama about a fractured family...It pulses with an authenticity and a generosity of spirit steeped in that lived experience. And although laced with wry humor, ‘God Said This’ also dares to ponder serious questions about what it means to live a good life or to have a good death...The play admirably manages to sidestep every conventional trope it encounters...A fresh riff on an old standard...A lovely showcase for the play, filled with entertaining performances.” Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"To say there is something in 'God Said This' for everyone sounds trite, but it's accurate...Winkler knows we're each only the leading characters in our own life stories. The play delicately weaves together different genres, once again replicating the unpredictability of existence. One moment it's all sitcom-y harmless fun, the next it's ripping your heart out...An evening spent with this family at the theater, is an evening where humanity is on display in its rawest form." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"The play would have been better if it had kept its sole focus on the family members. Winkler has a way with relatable characters and a satiric touch that takes the edge off a basically tragic situation. The play raises the issue of the good being punished while the undeserving thrive without providing any illuminating insights. The cast is uniformly strong...There are some fine moments, but the play drags occasionally and the various strands do not come together with complete success." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“’God Said This’ is superior to its predecessor in every way but one...The new play is a vehicle without a dramatic motor. Winkler charts small changes to her characters, but mostly this is an evening of sitting around as they attend to Masako. Some problems have carried over...But ‘God Said This’ is a relatively painless example of the genre, with some expert actors and real moments of insight. It's not an attraction to go out of your way for,'re likely to have a pretty good time.” Full Review


"Theatergoers who have been in the same situation as Leah Nanako Winkler's characters in 'God Said This' may be very moved; others may be put off by the disagreeable nature of the majority of these people, family members who in other circumstances you would not want to get to know or spend time with. In any event, under the assured direction of Morgan Gould, the quintet of actors has some juicy if familiar roles to sink their teeth into." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Winkler’s characters overflow with unexpected contradictions and loaded repartee that make them seem to exist beyond the confines of this story...That verisimilitude, bolstered by solid performances from the cast, is the finest attribute of this vivid character study. But although 'God Said This' grapples with compelling themes...the narrative isn't particularly cohesive or convincing...Winkler brings a singular voice and important perspective to the stage, but her Hiro’s journey wanders." Full Review


for a previous production "A play about family and loss that connects deeply with its audience...The dysfunctional family is a ubiquitous theme in American culture...But she grounds her story in authenticity, and steps lightly around the multiple clichés that the material offers by giving the characters unique yet identifiable voices...Winkler detours away from her conventional narrative structure to carry us through final scenes that fill out the emotional needs of the story in a most satisfying manner." Full Review


for a previous production "This story has ingredients contained within many Hallmark movie family dramas, but it mixes in familiarities local audiences will recognize...Winkler has written rich characters with dialogue that has an unpretentious familiarity to it coupled with undercurrents of complex wrought emotion...While the play is not about addiction, its timing is particularly thought-provoking as it premieres when Kentucky is dealing with all kinds of addiction issues." Full Review


for a previous production "The play’s technical and performance elements work together to create an engaging experience...However, except for references to local flair and the multicultural component of the show, it is treading on very familiar ground...While well-wrought and acted, 'God Said This' isn’t particularly original, but it does show Winkler’s talent for creating relatable characters and for writing scenes that give actors room to sink their teeth into a role." Full Review

Must see, Great writing, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if What a great story -- very moving and quite funny while tackling serious issues. Worth seeing and a talented new playwright!

Don't see it if You want a musical.

Formulaic, Uplifting, Great acting

See it if You like very well acted family dramas with an uplifting, though sad, ending

Don't see it if You believe that uplifting endings are too corny. You have a problem with foul language or seeing graphic depictions of sickness

Also This has some of the best acting I have ever seen, and I have seen a l... Read more Read less

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

See it if You and/or your family have experienced the struggling of illness and the strain of family relationships.

Don't see it if You are looking for a fluffy, carefree, light show.

Relevant, Bold, Bittersweet, Caustic, Beautiful

See it if you seek the rare delight of a sharp-tongued, bitterly funny play that somehow also feels like a warm hug, so kind and human.

Don't see it if you're put off by portrayals of terminal illness that may hit too close to home, or occasional loud and aggressively combative dialogue.

Also Yes, there is something to say about how important it is to see Asian-... Read more Read less

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

See it if you love family dramas, redemption,good acting, well written stories, terrific set.Makes you think about forgiveness, love, patience.

Don't see it if you detest loud rock music playing before the show.Show has NOTHING to do with that world.No idea why they chose such awful music.

Masterful, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You appreciate skillful writing about sensitive subjects-family dynamics, illness, death, love. Wonderfully directed and acted, a winner.

Don't see it if You have no patience for a sensitive story without dancing girls.

Delightful, Refreshing

See it if This was great, and totally unexpected. A tear-jerker in the best sense of the word. Family portrait draws through a full set of emotions.

Don't see it if Uneven in some scenes, but always worth the payoff emotionally. I imagine some viewers might find this "too much"

Resonant, Great acting, Funny

See it if you're interested in seeing how a story about cancer can be infused with great humor; seeing multiracial stories on stage; tight 90 minutes!

Don't see it if no reason i can think of

Relevant, Masterful, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy family relationships that are discussed and tested during the course of the mother's chemotherapy which bring the family together.

Don't see it if you're not interested in family drama and don't want to watch a mother's chemotherapy experiences on stage which serve as the catalyst.

Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if You want a well written, beautifully performed play that will have you caught up in a family experience that you can relate to.

Don't see it if No reason. Go see it. It is worth your time.

Edgy, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy gripping family dramas

Don't see it if you want only comedy

Moving, Sad, Sentimental, Funny, Resonant

See it if Family with broken relationships rallies around mother's cancer. Realistic and sad. Redemption through kindness. Many tears.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy relatable family drama, focused on character development and relationships. A little sappy & predictable.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if This is a family drama about what it is like to face a severe illness in a family that is basically dysfunctional. Mends fences.

Don't see it if You have recently lost a family member to a long-term illness. There is a minimal amount of profanity.

Also The characters in this play are very real, and the subject matter is s... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if are interested in a family drama.

Don't see it if want a comedy.

Also It's worth seeing. I will say that it does feel "formulaic" - dying mo... Read more Read less

Predictable, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if An absorbing story of how a strained family deals with their mother’s cancer treatment. Good performances. Amusing.

Don't see it if I wish the characters were better developed. With the exception of the father, the portraits were quite superficial.

Entertaining, Ambitious, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if A poignant complex story about family ties, illness, coping mechanisms and survival.

Don't see it if If stories about family and illness are not what you are in mood for

Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy family drama

Don't see it if you don't like family drama, plays with no intermission, plays about cancer, or sprawling plots.

Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if want a glimpse into a family and their drama as they deal with ailing family members and each other

Don't see it if you don't want to see themes and stories around cancer and addicition and how those affecct families

Intelligent, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you like plays with realism and seemingly genuine characters, are interested in play about family coping with a dying family member.

Don't see it if you don't want to be confronted with story about a dying relative. Audience members were crying, most likely because the play is relatable.

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Funny

See it if Family drama and dysfunction can make you laugh.

Don't see it if End of life stories upset you. This is very honest, focused and laugh out loud funny.

Also Well written, mostly, and truthful. I’ve never been to an AA meeting w... Read more Read less

Relevant, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you're up for a tightly written script, great performances (Jay Patterson is stunning), and satisfying family drama.

Don't see it if hospital rooms or medical dramas make you ill.

Also A story about a family member's illness bringing a family together is ... Read more Read less

Relevant, Funny, Entertaining

See it if want to observe biracial family coming to terms with difficult years of growing up. Good story, familiar with humor.

Don't see it if you have had your fill of family drama, are triggered by addiction and parenthood.

Intense, Intelligent, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You understand the complex nature of families each dealing with their own demons. You laugh. You cry.

Don't see it if You seek fluff or have trouble confronting your own issues as portrayed by a fine troupe

Resonant, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if you like dealing with a dysfunctional family that eventually comes together

Don't see it if you have no interest in a biracial dysfunctional family or dislike dealing with chronic illness [cancer]

Quirky, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting

See it if You enjoy watching contemporary family drama with a dark comedic edge, that is steeped in sentiment.

Don't see it if You are looking for something that digs just a little deeper under the surface of the circumstances.

Cast & Creatives (12)