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"Cynics might see Caroline and Anthony as descendants of two notorious cultural stereotypes...The performances, while lively and in the moment, don’t go far in contradicting this assessment...If you believe that the end justifies the means in play writing, then 'I and You' could be described as a success. Its conclusion is genuinely shocking, on several levels, and does a lot to explain any inconsistencies that may have annoyed you before." Full Review
"About halfway through, you give up hoping that an offstage, oft-mentioned mom will suddenly appear, and you become aware of how much playwriting skill it takes to keep an audience focused on a 90-minute two-hander that is basically an attenuated sketch...The actors are lively and likeable...I wanted to care more about them or else spend 15 minutes less in their presence. No 'gotcha!' denouement can substitute for restlessness." Full Review
"Gunderson has written an extraordinarily compassionate work with a shock most won't see coming…Director Sean Daniels creates an enormously sensitive production that is befitting of the script, with two vivid, believable performances at the center….Admittedly, there are a few heavy-handed elements in the play...But those qualms can mostly be overlooked. Big-hearted and simple, 'I and You' is one of the most life-affirming plays you'll currently see onstage." Full Review
"Don't miss the New York Premiere of this award-winning play that is meticulously crafted by renowned playwright, Lauren Gunderson...'I and You' is an original and absorbing play that is an important work of modern theater...The two actors bring the perfect tone to this extraordinary play...'I and You' is a play like you've never seen before." Full Review
"'I and You' isn't unpleasant, and at times it offers flashes of insight, but structurally it is a bundle of contrivances that doesn't begin to earn the emotional knockout punch that it wants to deliver. Like her characters, Gunderson has a little more homework to do." Full Review
"The acting and directing in the New York production are competent, the design team does wonders in the relatively small stage of 59E59 Theatre A, and the playwright has something profound she wants us to take out of the theater. But just knowing there is a surprise ending, yet not knowing what it is, provides a narrative suspense that propels us through the seemingly aimless patches." Full Review
"I won’t reveal the unexpected ending, but it’s brilliantly produced nonsense that follows a common trope found in too many movies and TV shows; it's also the most outrageously manipulative, unearned, big reveal in any play I’ve seen in years. Ms. Gunderson’s iterations of teen-speak are fun; her playwriting, though, stumbles, with too many forced dramatic crises or revelations...its characters lack authenticity, its structure is artificial, and its conclusion is off the charts." Full Review
"I’m not sure which is more dispiriting: the play itself or what it says about the theatrical scene in the hinterlands...'I and You' isn’t at all dumb — rather, it tries too hard, like the two teenagers who are its only characters, to wear its intelligence insouciantly...What we were supposed to care about is not what’s really been going on; 'I and You' is a classic bait-and-switch, with about as much profit to the hapless audience." Full Review
"As written, acted and directed, the two-character drama comes off as really phony…Over 80 minutes of teenspeak…By the play’s end, preceded by a pull-the-rug-out turn, all is revealed. As if that explains and absolves the clanging script and clunky artificial performances guided by director Sean Daniels...Some may see Gunderson’s construction and 11th-hour shift as a heart-warming payoff. My take: it’s a cop-out. No mystery, there I stand." Full Review
"Under Daniels’ careful direction, Ms. Ferguson and Mr. White deliver exquisite performances that manage to keep the suspense in high gear...It is only after the unanticipated ending that the audience member reviews all that has transpired and experiences dozens of 'aha' moments that only register as relevant after the play’s dénouement...This well constructed play will remain with you for quite some time after the end of the performance and perhaps lure you back for a second look." Full Review
"This new play by Laurie Gunderson is such a well written piece of teenage angst and drama that the audience is curious almost immediately...My main criticism of the whole interactive play, that more layers and deeper intentions need to be explored to bring this piece to the powerful end it is striving for...I wish it felt a bit heavier at times, but 'I and You' is still quite a ride, so go and enjoy." Full Review
"Just when you think the play might be too long for a four-hander, Gunderson reveals that she has a trick up her sleeve which some will applaud and will put others off. Suffice it to say, it is not only a real surprise but it changes much of what went before...A rich, layered story of teenagers on the brink of life who undergo a cathartic relationship in one afternoon following high school. Under Sean Daniels’ direction, it takes you by the scruff of your neck and never lets go for a moment." Full Review
"The playwright, the actors, and the director Sean Daniels undoubtedly expect the audience members to formulate questions in their minds about the sometimes clumsy plot elements, questions that will remain unsatisfied until the very end. But if you are willing to go with the flow and embrace Whitman's expression of universal love, you will find that the end justifies the journey." Full Review
"Even though the show practically put me to sleep, it earnestly accomplishes what it sets out to do...The young actors display an easy rapport with one another but they've been given a big job to do…Despite the fact that both actors are reprising performances they've given in previous productions they're only partly successful, struggling with the subtext of the piece and compensating by trying too hard to be ingratiating, as though sensing the restlessness of the audience." Full Review
"While the twist ending explained quite a lot, the unnatural shifts in tone and extreme reactions would have worked better if we had had some hints of the revelation to come. Director Sean Daniels delivers an otherwise stirring production...Gunderson recognizes that adolescence is itself a sort of twilight zone, and Whitman's cosmic poetry fits right into her themes. It's a compelling enough conceit that dramatically shouldn't have needed a bombshell to make it fly." Full Review
"'I and You' cheats the audience from the moment the lights rise...'I and You' takes what might have been an enlightening look at two teenagers, both angst-ridden and needing each other in their own ways, and pulls the rug out from under the viewers with a gimmick so old that it was ancient even before 'The Twilight Zone' used it...The director couldn’t quite manage to move the mostly lethargic play along, and wasn’t helped by Ms. Gunderson’s verbosity." Full Review
"I find myself guessing plots and spoilers while watching most productions and I greatly enjoy when I am taken off-guard. The unexpected is appealing...The culmination of each aspect at the climax of this production placed me into an incredible twister of surprise...The show itself packs a good punch. My gut feels as though it has been walloped…but in a good way." Full Review
"'I and You' is an intricate, humorous and profound work whose delicate metaphorical undertones echo in one’s mind long after the lights go up…The dialogue is clever and thoughtfully rendered. For the most part the direction is well paced, though in the middle there was a tell-tale dead spot that lulled the import of the conversation between the characters…This valley was compensated for by the play’s spellbinding conclusion." Full Review
"Gunderson writes believable, if sometimes pedestrian, dialogue. The most striking aspect of the whole is the the ex machina device with which Gunderson ties things up... It's not downright cheap, but it's not fully earned either...One is likely to feel that Gunderson takes a long time getting her characters to their destination and that the payoff, though superficially touching, isn't as satisfying as it ought to be." Full Review
"It’s got the snarky dialogue that hides the pain…Ferguson and White do their best at whipping those collections of quirks into actual human beings, but they don’t quite get there...The inconsistencies and over-familiarities nearly bring the whole tottering structure down. But—and it’s a big but—the play pulls out that wowser of an ending that I guarantee you won’t see coming and you almost, almost leave the theater thinking you’ve seen something really cool." Full Review
"The play really captures the uncertainty of youth, that indescribable feeling of not knowing what your future will bring...The direction keeps the one-act moving quickly and, before you know it, you’re breathlessly waiting to see what will happen to these unlikely, fast friends...Heart-breaking, humorous, and chilling, 'I And You' is a good reminder that being a teenager is not easy, especially when death is literally knocking at your door." Full Review
"The performers’ abundant charm can’t overcome the script’s shortcoming in 'I and You,' Lauren Gunderson’s tedious comedic drama about two high schoolers...His straightforward, surface approach only exacerbates the play’s failings. And although the big revelation at the end succeeds in pushing emotional buttons, it’s little more than a gotcha moment, which, in retrospect, renders the preceding spectacle even more vacuous." Full Review
"While sustained heightened energy in a play can be intriguing and even thrilling, for 'I and You' it’s ultimately too much of a good thing...The cast deserves commendation for their efforts – each actor puts everything they have into their roles. This fierce commitment to going all out would have benefited from some restraint...While the much-buzzed about plot twist is inspired, its impact is diminished by all the frenzied pacing." Full Review
"The majesty of Whitman’s language thoroughly shows up the inanity of the discourse between Caroline and Anthony...Throughout 'I and You,' something stirs beneath the banal surface...'I and You' may feel overlong (at 90 minutes, yes, overlong). So what? The end of the play has such impact, it’s well worth wading through the setup, to get gobsmacked by the finish." Full Review
"It's only one scene but it feels like a lot. It feels like the play's always going—it was a really good play...Caroline has been very sick and she hasn't been able to leave the house and the set really portrays that...Both [actors] really bring things to life." Full Review
See it if you really love Walt Whitman. This play makes an admirable attempt at explaining why you should. For quirky teens. Well-dressed set.
Don't see it if you like to watch people on stage who feel real. Even teenagers who love poetry don't sound like this. Entirely false with decent acting.
See it if Teenage theatre goers might enjoy this more, although one of the problems was that the two actors seemed a bit old to be teenagers.
Don't see it if You or anyone in your family has a chronic illness likely to result in death.
See it if your interested in a mediocre new play with stiff dialogue, who's twist ending doesn't make up for the terrible 80 minutes that precedes it
Don't see it if if you're interested in good writing or acting and value your time
See it if You like a show that holds your attention throughout, and then a twist-- a surprising and totally unexpected ending.
Don't see it if If want to see a production that is totally predictable and light.
See it if Want to support local theater.
Don't see it if I honestly wanted to like this but the acting was so-so, the story fell flat, and by the twist ending I was already completely uninterested.
See it if if you are perplexed as to why the folks at 59E59 Theatres thought this was a good choice for New York audiences. Amateurish, at best.
Don't see it if you enjoy good dialogue, good acting, and good staging—you'll find none of that here.
See it if You love plot twists and enjoy new works.
Don't see it if You have an angry teenager at home & already listen to someone bitching all the time. If sudden mood swings outbursts make you want scream.
See it if you like teen angst and an overly repetitive storyline. You like massive plot twists, this has a huge one.
Don't see it if you hate teen slang, texting, or dramatic fake crying that's supposed to be realistic.
See it if you don't mind the slow build which leads to an epic and heartbreaking conclusion.
Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that does't make sense or seem to be going anywhere until the very end.
See it if you enjoy an intimate theatrical experience with actors who have great chemistry together. Also if you're a fan of Walt Whitman & yawp-ing!
Don't see it if you prefer larger, flashier shows &/or musicals. Also, there are lots of intense flashes of emotion, followed by calm, which can be jarring