I And You
Closed 1h 20m
I And You
67

I And You NYC Reviews and Tickets

67%
(122 Reviews)
Positive
53%
Mixed
31%
Negative
16%
Members say
Cliched, Quirky, Clever, Slow, Absorbing

About the Show

The night before a class assignment is due, Caroline and Anthony plumb the mysteries of a Whitman poem, unaware that a deeper mystery has brought them together.

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Member Reviews (122)

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20
Banal, Cliched, Slow, Amateurish, Unbelievable

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.

40
Cliched, Insipid, Quirky, Relevant

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.

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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Time Out New York
January 29th, 2016

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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New York Daily News
January 28th, 2016

"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."
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NY1
January 28th, 2016

"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."
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Theatermania
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
January 29th, 2016

"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."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 28th, 2016

"'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."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
February 4th, 2016

"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."
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Theatre is Easy
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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Theater Pizzazz
January 29th, 2016

"'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."
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CurtainUp
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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Stage Buddy
January 29th, 2016

"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."
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Front Mezz Junkies
January 19th, 2016

"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."
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T
January 28th, 2016

"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."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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DC Theatre Scene
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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Broadway & Me
January 30th, 2016

"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."
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BlogCritics.org
January 28th, 2016

"'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."
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Z
January 28th, 2016

"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."
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Stage and Cinema
January 31st, 2016

"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."
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TheaterScene.com
January 28th, 2016

"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."
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NY Theatre Guide
January 27th, 2016

"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."
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Hot Pepper Theater
February 2nd, 2016

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
October 23rd, 2015
For a previous production

"Her dialog is smart and funny but never self-indulgent. With every off-hand revelation or subtle turn of phrase she takes the audience deeper and deeper into her characters...In a deeply affecting 90 minutes, removed from the world below in a music and memento-filled attic, we have managed to share a lifetime, as well."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"One of the challenges for the adult playgoer in the audience for 'I and You' is to remember what it felt like to be a teenager. Fortunately, the playwright has the technical skills to craft a story of the first order that captures those feelings as clearly as if in a snapshot. Her powerful play achieves its potential with authentic performances...We can't help but like these characters and perhaps see our younger selves in them."
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B
October 20th, 2015
For a previous production

"Funny and moving by turns, 'I and You' is suffused with a warmth that does not cloy, an intimacy that does not stifle, and a wit that connects it all together. The two-character, one-act play climaxes with a coup de theatre that, while startling enough to draw gasps from the audience, does not come across as gimmicky, but rather feels of a piece with what came before."
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Theatre Mirror
October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"Director Sean Daniels carefully adheres to Gunderson’s acting instructions to the letter, starting slowly, allowing the characters to get to know each other, then rising to a touching climax and stunning ending, drawing a collective gasp from the audience. No, I won’t reveal it. You’ll have to see it for yourself. And be sure to bring your teenagers with you."
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On Stage Blog
October 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"As I walked out of the theatre I found myself completely at a loss for words...That silence is entirely because of the indescribable, mind-blowing brilliance that is 'I and You'... This show will make you laugh, but it will also pull on your heartstrings as it brings tears to your eyes. And just when you think you have it all figured out, it will astonish you and take your breath away."
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N
October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"When a play brazenly advertises that it has 'an ending that will leave you breathless,' one may enter the audience with a bit of jaded skepticism...With 'I and You,' this bold assertion is met and exploded, like a dazzling array of fireworks in an inky night sky...This is a master work of dialogue, storytelling and set design, and another brilliant presentation by MRT...This level of theater so close to home and so affordable is a real gift. Now you have no excuse to miss it."
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T
October 16th, 2015
For a previous production

"Lauren Gunderson’s 'I and You' is a gem of a play that is guaranteed to make you gasp at its surprising conclusion and leave the theater reveling in its lush language and the outstanding performances...It is a rare comedy that can cross back and forth into moments of heart-felt anguish and tearful drama. 'I and You' is 90 minutes of mesmerizing emotion and, under Daniels’s skillful direction, the drama never drags or wavers."
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