I Was Most Alive with You
I Was Most Alive with You
77

I Was Most Alive with You NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(173 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
23%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the Show

In Craig Lucas’s new play, Ash has a blessed life, thankful every day for the gifts of his family, his addiction, and his son’s Deafness. But on one fateful day, everything is taken from him. 

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Member Reviews (173)

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691 Reviews | 212 Followers
60
Indulgent, Preachy, Repetitive, Scattered, Excruciating

See it if Book of Job set in modern times with deafness & addiction issues. Theological discussions about faith. Good acting.

Don't see it if Explicit biblical quotes followed by lengthy enactments. No subtlety. The idea repeats and gets annoying. Depressing and humorless.

593 Reviews | 264 Followers
77
With rich stew of characters of all stripes, deaf/hearing, homosexual/not, religious/not so, and parade of modern ills including addiction shows relevance of "book of job," for us today

See it if magical stagecraft esp music 2 tell rich modern day Jobian tale/reading passages from Book of Job shows relevance 2 today’s chaos; fine cast

Don't see it if by 2nd Act know where tale is heading, so loses much of its power; at end central issue remains: why terrible things happen to good people

585 Reviews | 220 Followers
72
Great acting, Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Slow

See it if You’re really intrigued by Deaf culture and want to see members of that community portrayed wholly and unflinchingly.

Don't see it if You dislike unwieldy plays with too many characters with too many [depressing] issues in too many storylines.

461 Reviews | 710 Followers
64
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Confusing, Intense

See it if you’re interested to learn about some of the complexities of being deaf in a hearing world.

Don't see it if you prefer clear, “plain-spoken” narratives. This show is confusing at times with lots of voices and subplots muddling the story.

601 Reviews | 88 Followers
91
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you wish to see creative drama at its best. The show requires a lot of concentration but this modern retelling of Job is worth it.

Don't see it if you do not like topic of deafness or drama involving religion. There is signing on the stage and on the level above the stage. Read more

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Unique

See it if I found this very absorbing. Lois Smith, Russel Harvard and the rest of the cast were excellent.

Don't see it if you want a light, fun experience. This is shocking, dark and unrelentingly serious.

434 Reviews | 125 Followers
89
Must experience, Many leveled, Don't know where to look, Great acting & staging, Will be an asl classic

See it if desire theatre experience unlike any other, unity of storytelling, religious beliefs, ASL plus visual aids intrigues U, like Craig Lucas

Don't see it if don't want 2 engage in puzzlement, gay & family themes, Book of Job, religious beliefs, addiction or ASL, need spelled out ending

429 Reviews | 93 Followers
80
Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Quirky, Intense

See it if You want to see a beautiful and hard story well told. You like ASL as a language and art form.

Don't see it if You don't like dramas, can't focus on several things happening at once. You don't like plays that don't give you all the answers.

Critic Reviews (28)

The New York Times
September 24th, 2018

"Chaotic yet profound...Aside from the beauty of the signing actors’ delivery, they provide, even for a hearing audience, a channel of information that sometimes feels deeper and more direct than the spoken one. Supertitles provide yet another. But it’s a lot of information to process, and the play’s fracturing of time does not make it any easier...It has always been Mr. Lucas’s gift to reveal the awfulness behind things that look charming and to make that awfulness compelling."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 24th, 2018

"It should be no snub to say that 'I Was Most Alive With You' does indeed juggle many ideas and aspirations, and that as with many an expansive project, some moments shine while others are less finely polished...Harvard anchors the production, giving its big ideas, which can at times feel rhetorical...a compelling human center...Ultimately, 'I Was Most Alive With You' feels like half head and half heart...the elements themselves are less alchemically merged than laid out side by side."
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The Hollywood Reporter
September 24th, 2018

"The playwright deluges the audience with so much relentless misery that we come to feel as victimized as old Job. Although the drama has admirable qualities, 'I Was Most Alive With You' is a trial to endure...It's an awful lot to pile into a single evening, and the playwright doesn't manage to finesse it into palatable form...It's a shame, because the production is elegantly staged...and superbly acted by an ensemble of hearing and deaf actors."
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Theatermania
September 24th, 2018

"A sensitive synthesis of ancient wisdom and modern sensibilities...The result is a drama that is about as messy as real life, but infinitely more interesting to watch. Director Tyne Rafaeli's sleekly staged production reels us in and keeps us hooked...A shadow cast of actors signs the script from a mezzanine...Dennison has choreographed this interplay with impressive synchronization...The beating heart is Harvard, who gives one of the most electric performances of the year."
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BroadwayWorld
September 25th, 2018

"Somber and overstuffed drama...This reviewer and his ASL fluent guest (who was focused more heavily on the signing) was unable to see the principal cast and the shadow cast simultaneously, thus shining far greater attention on the company performing with a full set and denying those relying on the shadow company the experience of seeing the full staging...While there is fine acting throughout, the play appears overwritten and purposeless."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 3rd, 2018

“Lucas’s exhilarating and risk-taking new drama, an iconoclastic and thoroughly original probing of the meaning of tragedy in contemporary life...The rock upon which Rafaeli's production is built is Harvard as Knox..He makes scene after scene crackle...Signing is part of the play's central coup de theatre; each member of the cast is shadowed by another actor...It is a gracious gesture typical of a play that embraces the audience while forcing it to consider scalding truths.”
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Talkin' Broadway
September 24th, 2018

"Inclusion! Here's to it. Only that doesn't quite happen...If you're hearing-impaired and following the American Sign Language upstairs, you won't see any of the action below. If your eyes wander below to follow the action, you'll miss the signed dialog. Which, given some of the dialog, may not be a bad thing...Lucas's program notes suggest that he feels deeply about this play; it's a shame that he's so unable to convey a clear message."
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New York Stage Review
September 24th, 2018

"The playwright’s point for unleashing such a tsunami of misery upon the characters—as well as over the audience—is not tangible...The play/production’s experiment with the shadow performers lends gravity to this event. Director Tyne Rafaeli’s actors help to moor the drifting themes with generally solid performances. These positive components at least manage to rescue this unfocused and terribly lugubrious drama from turning laughable."
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