Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth NYC Reviews and Tickets
Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Cliched, Clever
About the Show
The Playwright's Realm presents this world premiere comedy about conception and deep-space travel.
Friends William and Betsy haven't seen each other since high school. They've both followed their dreams, but something is missing: his all-consuming job at NASA doesn't leave time for a family, and she can't bear another unsuccessful round of IVF with her partner Shoshanna. When Betsy texts William out the blue and asks him to be her sperm donor, both friends are forced to make decisions that will shape the rest of their lives. This new comedy explores a different sort of coming of age - when dreams give way to plans, and idealism becomes realism.
"Ambitious and labored...Nguyen has a fine concept and a genuine sweetness to his writing...The characters feel like rough sketches rather than people and despite a few nicely observed moments, they act in ways that have less to do with human behavior than with Nguyen setting up jokes and set pieces...When the stage realism fails, there are enjoyably surreal interludes, courtesy of a creature called the Farthest Explorer...Played with cheery wonder by the adorable Olivia Oguma."
"Nguyen wants the play to be grounded in life experience, but neither the work itself nor the production earn the serious emotions that he and director Carroll are trying to elicit...A play in the style of a traditional television sitcom, one that relies too heavily on jokes...All of the performances feel too false to convey the necessary humanity needed in order to make the final scenes work...Unlike her costars, Oguma is able to create a wholly original performance that is oddly believable."
"An apparently sincere attempt at dealing with a modern phenomenon, it consistently relies on lame gags and tired tropes to make its points...It's a tired sex-farce idea, and it hits the trifecta, being awkwardly written, directed, and performed...Under the direction of Jade King Carroll, the actors skate across the surface of the dialogue, playing for laughs that aren't there and declining to probe the characters' deeper feelings."
"An uneven mix of sitcom humor and a tender-hearted examination of love, friendship, and hope...Nguyen shows some real strengths whenever he touches on the emotional elements of the story...But none of this is explored adequately...The playwright falls down the rabbit hole into the world of television comedy and bromance movies...The actors and director King-Carroll do their best with the underwritten roles."
"Nguyen's poetically sly sensibility comes through loud and clear. When it comes to the human characters, though...we have a problem...Sitcom-style characterization and banter...None of the capable quartet makes much of an impression. Their performances all operate within the same basic bandwith. Carroll's staging doesn't help them find room...Oguma, this anthropomorphized Voyager I, becomes the production's most recognizably human creation."
"Written, acted, and directed…for broad farcical effects - there was…laughter…even at the most innocuous comments - but, eventually, things settle down...'Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth' is the kind of play in which…men have their private conversations while defecating in adjoining stalls…, or in which the sperm donor, given a thick stack of porn…, chooses…to masturbate to a copy of 'Little Women'...These and other puerile choices make it difficult to take anything seriously."
"A sweet look into the ups and down of being human and making one...A play that gives hope in humanity...Your heart grows bigger and bigger for these characters because you understand them...Funny, kind, and plays like a living film...Oguma (Farthest Explorer) steals the show...Surprisingly 'Oprah-esque' in its desire to reach and elevate audience's hearts...A celebration of people's resilience to not simply fight against those that oppose them, but to love those that support them."
"A sitcom-y space drama about family-making and personal risk...Clunky but sweet, Nguyen's piece is an invitation to value impossible odysseys, no matter where they might end...An odd mixture of thudding cliché and engaging ode to personal growth...The play's central comparison is between a fetus and a space probe...Won't launch you on a journey to wildly unknown terrain, but he'll lead you onto familiar ground with compassionate humor."