New York | 1h 30m | Already closed


From 13 critic and 1 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the show

Ground UP Productions presents a dramatic comedy love story following two young actors and their self-destruction, notoriety, and dark journey to purity and salvation. More…

After arriving to the City of Angels, an aimless young man catapults to movie stardom and into Hollywood's sleazy celebrity culture. Banking on his fame and name, he is selected to appear in 'Hamlet' on Broadway. Given full casting approval, he embarks to New York City to seek out his Ophelia and encounters his muse and his match - a young evangelical Christian woman set on getting the role...and saving his soul.

Theater Life

"A madcap yet touching two hander. In 'H20' Director West Hylers' captivating staging takes us on a emotional roller coaster ride of emotions with his two outstanding actors...The combustible chemistry of the two talented actors make for a thrilling evening of entertaining and engrossing power struggle of two determined spirits in search of fame and love." Full Review


"Martin’s superb writing precisely imparts biographical details, conflicts and actions in various locales during the eight scenes of this fast-paced two-character play. This is accomplished through monologues spoken to the audience and well-crafted exchanges between the characters...With all of these superior qualities what makes 'H2O' even more vivid is Jane Martin’s uncompromising writing that doesn’t flinch from honestly depicting the characters’ behavior even if it upends more desirable ... Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"The important play raises enduring and rich questions about the meaning of forgiveness and unconditional love...'H2O' has a short run and is a must see. Audiences will leave the theatre not quite knowing who they are or who they might become. And – for just a moment – that is a good thing." Full Review


"An emotionally charged play with exceptional writing by Jane Martin and superb direction by West Hyler...'H2O' is a poignant piece of theater, a revealing view of stardom, temptation and reverence. You will return to this play in your mind again and again." Full Review


"Martin’s work is disturbing and thought-provoking, darkly comic and compelling...The relationship dynamic between the two characters is magnificently constructed…Martin’s characterizations are profound; they intimate unconscious reasons for these two to continually engage…With minimalistic sets and stark direction by Hyler, we focus on Martin’s characterizations, and the fine actors amuse us with machinations and self-deceptions." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"This play takes on deep philosophical and moral issues in a sharply acerbic and entertaining way. It is clever, sometimes funny and surprisingly raw—just when you think you’re in familiar territory, it pulls you out…The actors are beautifully clear and often electric…The director had to have been brilliant —no play achieves this level of artistry without a graceful hand, and West Hyler has clearly done a beautiful job fulfilling the intentions of this play and the talent of his actors." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Playwright Jane Martin draws a relationship of two unhappy people who are stuck in their beliefs...'H2O,' a dynamic and excellently executed play, is an honest account of the hectic and unsustainable life of theater people. One wishes both characters a happy end, even as you fear that things will soon fall apart, as it is often the case when humans who strive for purity and love are challenged by their selfish egos." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Though Podulke’s Shakespeare is better than Mair’s, the two-hander is mostly well balanced. Agitated chemistry is palpable…Director West Hyler does a bang up job with 90% of this production, but to my mind, doesn’t vary the level of Jake’s anger quite enough. At this consistency, the character would’ve had a heart attack. The piece is well paced, immensely focused, and physically arresting…A fascinating play." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Ms. Mair and Mr. Podulke come across as earnest, hard-working actors, but neither transcends the often forced situations and dialogue to make us care for their unsympathetic characters...There are a few splashes of interest in H2O, and the actors sometimes generate a bit of heat, but the play itself never really comes to a boil." Full Review

Manhattan With a Twist

“'H20' is a well-written play...The two actors with the gargantuan task of keeping us interested are great to a certain extent. They both put solid performances on stage, but not always together. Their chemistry can be seen and felt in some scenes, while in others it goes missing...This production does not allow those moments to exist, therefore not letting the audience to emotionally relate." Full Review

The New York Times

"What’s conspicuously missing from West Hyler’s production is the necessary chemistry between Ms. Mair and Mr. Podulke...we never get a sense here that they’re even curious about each other, let alone that the friction between them results in a spark. There is, however, a lot of yelling....This production seems to be moving too fast to breathe...An intriguing play about the interdependence of the sacred and the profane, 'H2O' has been sapped of its vitality. It deserves a fairer chance." Full Review

New Yorker

"Life slavishly imitates art in this modern retelling of the Hamlet-Ophelia story, by the playwright pseudonymously known as Jane Martin...There’s pent-up attraction galore, which culminates, naturally, in a climactic breakdown during a performance of—you guessed it—the 'get thee to a nunnery' scene. Since this premise positively broadcasts its own spoilers, it won’t surprise you to learn that things don’t end well." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"The pair work well together and give impassioned performances...Many of the more intense scenes between Deborah and Jake turn into a shouting match with messy physical moments that director West Hyler might have smoothed over with a more discerning eye…The most tragic moments in the play read as the most ludicrous and unbelievable…All in all, it is bafflingly unclear why these two characters continue to stay together in each others' lives, let alone the same room." Full Review

Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You like an interesting twist on Hamlet and enjoy watching an ambitious fundamentalist chick caught up in getting a Bway start.

Don't see it if You have a problem with high drama and blood.

Cast & Creatives (6)