Closed 2h 40m
If I Forget
Midtown W
84

If I Forget NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(407 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
4%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents Steven Levenson's new drama about the personal politics of family, heritage, and history, and the scars they leave behind. Starring Kate Walsh from 'Grey's Anatomy.'

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Member Reviews (407)

75
Absorbing, Funny, Overstuffed, Jewish-themed, Unconvincing

See it if you are fascinated w issues of Jewish identity. IIF is a funny, intellectual dysfunctional family dramedy that, ultimately, seems pointless.

Don't see it if you dislike when every character has horrible issues. Holly seems to be in a different play. I wasn't bored, but I wasn't enlightened.

85
Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if great complex family dynamics. Recognizable characters. Moving absorbing stories. Interesting!

Don't see it if you don't care for dramas or jewish themes. It takes 20 min to get settled and then it's riveting to the end. Read more

Critic Reviews (37)

February 22nd, 2017

"'If I Forget' speaks to both the head and the heart...It isn’t perfect. The plot, which turns on a question of real estate, takes its time arriving and mostly hangs around to facilitate debate...Under Daniel Sullivan’s sensitive direction, the ripe interstitial music nudges emotion too obviously and the ending, which shifts the play into magical realism, makes its themes too explicit. But the script and the remarkable actors make you embrace the Fischers."
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February 22nd, 2017

"Directed by Daniel Sullivan, who has a gift for raising dialogue to its smartest expression, 'If I Forget' is ambitious and often very funny...Although some of Levenson’s plot twists are contrived, the play is fearless in its confrontation of Jewish self-image before a New York audience that surely includes many Jews...He gives us a lot to talk about, and a play to remember."
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February 22nd, 2017

"'If I Forget' can feel overstuffed at times. But it all works beautifully, thanks to the richness of the writing, the superb performances of an ensemble that doesn’t strike a false note and the impeccable direction of Daniel Sullivan...The razor-sharp dialogue makes the two-and-a-half-hour running time fly by...Some of the plot elements are admittedly not fully convincing...But for the most part, the play rings with stunning emotional truth...Each of the actors is outstanding."
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February 23rd, 2017

"Sharp and thoroughly touching...Levenson has already proven himself as a craftsman of compelling, poignant drama and his skills serve him well again here...Shamos, Walsh and Dizzia make those family bonds feel authentic...The setting and subjects they tackle really resonate...'If I Forget' succeeds both as a thoughtful family drama filled with wit and as a compelling dissection of the world we live in."
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February 22nd, 2017

"The problem with many, if not most, family dramas is that the families are so often hateful. Playwright Steven Levenson avoids that trap...Heritage means a lot to this closely knit family, which is what keeps us engaged in their quarrels...In the tradition of domestic drama, Levenson’s play involves a lot of talk and precious little action. But the talk is surprisingly gripping, especially when one secret after another is teased out of the siblings."
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February 23rd, 2017

"Brilliantly staged and at once funny and deeply unsettling...Levenson is such an expansive and gifted writer – and Sullivan so expert at drawing true-to-life performances from an extraordinary cast – that we never feel trapped in a situation comedy...In a stellar cast, Shamos blazes forward; this gifted actor is giving the performance of his career...This is the play of the season so far. I won’t soon forget it."
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February 22nd, 2017

"One character’s controversial and incendiary take on the Holocaust and Israel-Palestine conflict makes Levenson's work singular. There are some issues. Credulity strains at times — wouldn’t a professor wait until he has tenure before publishing a surefire hot potato of a book? Just asking. And the plot snowballs in the final stretch. Still, the excellent cast mines every bit of fury and humor. 'If I Forget' is whip-smart, bold and, finally, memorable."
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February 22nd, 2017

"A deeply absorbing, issues-oriented family drama that's likely to hit a nerve in both head and heart...Levenson captures the family dynamic with great ease. The dialogue is fluid and intelligent; and he manages to slip in some pointed laughs along the way...And thanks to a flawless ensemble, we're hooked from the very first scene right through to the bitter end...There aren't many plays that can twist your head around 180 degrees. But this one does, and most convincingly."
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February 23rd, 2017

"Rare is the opportunity to quietly take in all sides of so many emotionally fraught subjects through such witty, articulate, and impassioned voices as Levenson has created...With more room for his words and thoughts to breathe, this small story explodes into a cloud of provocative questions, none of which are answered, but all of which are mined with impressive depth and efficiency."
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February 23rd, 2017

"The playwright, Steven Levenson forges powerful arguments about the decline of Jewish liberalism across the twentieth century...There are no easy answers in Levenson's elegantly constructed, wide-ranging, often scaldingly articulate drama, which features seamless ensemble work under the supremely assured direction of Daniel Sullivan. Seizing the opportunity, Jeremy Shamos gives what is arguably his finest performance to date."
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February 22nd, 2017

"The setting has an arbitrary nature that seems to function only as a way to let Levenson examine our own time from a glib remove, or to let him work in cheap jokes that are a decade or more out of date. Worse still, a handful of major plot points are mechanically articulated and executed, more for maximum surface-level effect than to hit you in the gut. With the exception of Michael, these are not people you feel strongly for one way or another."
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March 15th, 2017

"Steven Levenson's 'If I Forget' is the kind of family drama that doesn't get written much anymore: one that has something to say other than just depicting a dysfunctional situation. Not only are we pulled into the family wrangling, the issues under debate are major ones and their outcome is serious business. Director Daniel Sullivan and a splendid cast of seven make this one of the most compelling plays of the season. This is a play you won't soon forget."
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March 2nd, 2017

"Levenson’s ambitious play raises broader questions pertaining to family, loyalty, and generations–issues with which we all can identify, Jewish or not...All these questions and conflicts make for thought-provoking, moving theatre. As masterfully directed by Dan Sullivan on Derek Lane’s terrific rotating set, the dialogue crackles at a breakneck speed, and we’re caught up in a taut family drama that’s (blessedly) laced with humor and heart. The ensemble is uniformly excellent."
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February 22nd, 2017

"The play is rather too filled-to-the-brim with provocative ideas, some of which are hard to believe. But these credibility stretches aren't sufficient to spoil the many a pluses on offer. Setting the heartbeat that brings everything to rich theatrical life is Levenson's dialogue...Much credit for keeping us engaged belongs to the actors...Under the direction of Daniel Sullivan the scenes and conversations flow smoothly into each other. All that talk is never allowed to get too talky."
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February 28th, 2017

“The play flies by on the wings of lightning and thunder due to the smart, fast, clever, hilarious dialogue of Steven Levenson, the carefully choreographed staging of Daniel Sullivan and the amazing performances of this ensemble. Everyone is perfect…I left the theatre with so many thoughts and images and questions in my head. I left the theatre changed. The show closes April 30th. You have some time but not much. Go.”
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March 5th, 2017

"A well-acted, often funny and always engaging Jewish family drama...The concerns of Levenson’s play feel both up-to-the-minute and age-old, as Michael (Jeremy Shamos) and his two sisters Holly (Kate Walsh) and Sharon (Maria Dizzia) argue politics and religion and identity...All of this unfolds expertly, each character maintaining their appeal and our interest, even those on the periphery...But this conventional drama also ties into the larger issues the playwright skillfully weaves in."
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February 22nd, 2017

"There are layers upon layers of plot, themes, and revelations in Steven Levenson’s new play now being given an immaculately acted production...Indeed, if the play occasionally feels overstuffed, and even slightly derivative, it also manages to be incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking, hilarious and sad, and highly personal and highly political...This extraordinary ensemble deserves not to fade from memory."
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March 2nd, 2017

"These are not really likable people nor are their circumstances believable. They are neurotic, bitchy and cruel...The show is wonderfully cast, with Mr. Shamos taking the helm. The direction by Daniel Sullivan’s keeps the material moving and has a sensitive touch. Mr. Levenson does have a way with dialogue, which is like a roller coaster. The problem with 'If I Forget' is it crashes and burns to a strange halt. Also some of the plot lines are highly implausible."
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March 11th, 2017

“There’s enough plot for three plays. On the positive side, the play presents a compelling picture of family dynamics, fortunately relieved by frequent flashes of humor. It raises important questions about Jewish identity in America today that seem even more relevant in the light of recent headlines. The dialogue is sharp and the cast is excellent…Daniel Sullivan directs with his usual skill.”
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February 22nd, 2017

"Steven Levenson, currently represented by the excellent libretto for 'Dear Evan Hansen,' demonstrates that he is a powerful dramatist as well with 'If I Forget'...Director Daniel Sullivan does his customarily incisive job...Levenson combines rivalries, religion, technology, illness, money and even hanging chads into a bubbling jumble of guilt, jealousy, remembrance and soap opera, resulting in a juicy melting pot of drama, comedy and realistic family strife."
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March 1st, 2017

"A very funny play...The humor lies between what’s said and what’s meant and the history that the latter reveals...The miraculous thing about Levenson’s talent is that he makes us understand the Fischers’ private code...'If I Forget' is packed with revelations, but Levenson is so expert with his exposition that the pregnancy, the online affair, the mental breakdown, the career implosion, and the exploding debts never turn into soap opera. To tell more would be a mistake. An amazing play."
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February 26th, 2017

"A family drama rich in both laughs and angst...Levenson is skilled at mixing seriousness with laugh lines and that renders 'If I Forget' consistently entertaining. Sullivan’s direction makes the most of the comic elements, abetted by performers who extract the maximum out of Levenson’s brittle dialogue and observations...Unfortunately, the author goes astray on occasion...Flaws aside, this family drama comes across in its way as vital and enjoyable."
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March 1st, 2017

"Levenson manages to tell a compelling story. That's in part because he has an ear for the way regular people speak to one another...But it's also because Levenson has the ability to talk about complex issues without sounding preachy...Levenson does throw too much into the plot with subsidiary story lines...But the stellar cast director Dan Sullivan has assembled, and skillfully directs, makes it all go down easy."
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February 23rd, 2017

"It’s a somewhat muddled play, and parts of it are not quite believable, but Steven Levenson’s acidly funny script, Daniel Sullivan’s keen direction and three terrific performances make it a very fulfilling evening of theater...'If I Forget' is a play with flaws – the final scene is, unfortunately, the weakest of the evening – but I was involved in it from beginning to end."
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February 22nd, 2017

"Never has the American theatre taken such a direct shot at the Israel lobby within the US itself...Such obvious polemical intent creates both political and dramatic imbalances. The second half never quite regains the ferocious intensity of the clash before the interval...But under Daniel Sullivan’s precise, formally conventional direction, 'If I Forget’s' taboo-shattering boldness nonetheless makes this a memorable night in the history of political theatre."
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March 13th, 2017

"Fluidly directed by Daniel Sullivan, Jeremy Shamos is a standout...Secondary characters add color as well as gravitas...One might say that Levenson's familial dynamic is somewhat overstuffed with subplots, yet this remains a powerful drama with crisply defined characters and sharply counterbalanced with humor...A provocative production where boldly honest performances explore beliefs and compromises, 'If I Forget' is not an easy play to forget. Nor should it be."
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March 1st, 2017

“An exemplary Off-Broadway production…Hardly a moment seems false or forced…Levenson unwinds it all in deft fashion, alternating and punctuating gut-grabbing serious moments with expertly set-up laugh lines and reactions that further define character as well as entertain. It’s all sharply defined by Daniel Sullivan’s extraordinarily sensitive direction and the talents of a cast that’s probably perfection…A supremely sure-handed piece of playwriting.”
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March 8th, 2017

“Beautifully rendered by Mr. Levenson’s keen ear and probing pen. It is a great pleasure to spend 2 1/2 hours with this very real and dimensional family…He resolves that story very movingly. He is helped enormously by the consistent truth in the performances of the seven actors who bring these characters to blazing life…Daniel Sullivan has extracted from his excellent cast the very real rhythms of naturalistic speech, which is full of surprises…Director Sullivan has done a terrific job.”
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February 28th, 2017

“In the hands of director Daniel Sullivan and his more than excellent cast, this play succeeds even where it shouldn’t…Levenson has provided witty, swiftly moving dialogue that keeps the audience both thinking and laughing…Levenson does an admirable job juggling the many issues he brings up. But even with this tremendous cast and accomplished direction, there are more than a few issues that could have easily been left out."
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February 23rd, 2017

"An astounding new play...One of the most definitive texts of our time. Levenson’s mastery of dialogue carries the weight of generations of trauma...This is one of the most extraordinary plays I have ever witnessed and completely relevant for the tumultuous times we are living in today...I often found myself holding my breath at the sheer brilliance of the script...It’s what theatre should be...The heavyweight cast brings magnificent performances to this groundbreaking text."
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February 25th, 2017

“Levenson masterfully braids together a family living room drama, the political atmosphere of the era, and a discussion on what it means to be a Jew in the United States today…’If I Forget,’ slightly dragging in the beginning, is a great family drama that unfolds against the backdrop of broader political issues.”
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February 22nd, 2017

"Levenson forces audiences to confront what are, for many, long- and strongly-held beliefs, stances that have cemented as a matter of fact without critical thinking or questioning. Chiefly, he asks what it means to be a modern American Jew...Ultimately, the question driving 'If I Forget' is one Joey, the teenager, poignantly asks: 'What's my inheritance?' He's asking a literal question, but, of course, we can infer the broader question, what is my history, and where do I fit in?"
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March 17th, 2017

"Offers something just about everyone can identify with...The remarkable and satisfying point about Levenson’s play is that it offers to the greatest extent possible all sides of the arguments, both political and personal...The entire cast is superior. We see a remarkably smooth and integrated ensemble; they actually seem like a real family...Even after two-and-a-half hours, the interest never flags. There’s a lot going on in Levenson’s engrossing play."
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February 22nd, 2017

"While each individual calamity is credible, cramming them all into the second act challenges our 'willing suspension of disbelief.' More important, the focus on religion and tradition in the first act appears to have little to do with the events and the characters’ responses in the second act. Still, Levenson is a skilled character craftsman...It’s still an interesting portrait of a contemporary American 'mishpacha.'"
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February 27th, 2017

"The adult sibling relationships in Levenson’s ambitious new drama 'If I Forget' are hilariously, and sadly, convincing...The plot of the play is less compelling, despite terrific performances by the cast...Levenson seems to want to raise the same issues about the Holocaust and Israel that Michael does– but it doesn’t quite work...It’s a credit to director Sullivan that the plot faults aren’t more noticeable. He’s pulled very natural, all-too-recognizable performances from the entire cast."
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February 26th, 2017

"While not entirely successful, the play bristles with provocative declamations on American Jewish life, Holocaust politics, gentrification, parenthood, and other aspects of middle-class angst. It’s often very funny, and highly intelligent throughout...Sullivan’s brisk direction keeps the focus on the social currents underlying the time just before the September 11 attacks, which would change so much in the country’s psyche. An engaging play for open-minded theatergoers."
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March 1st, 2017

“Nuanced discussion of the American Jewish experience is welcome; ‘Pew Study: The Play!’ is not. And this play drifts back and forth across that line…While it’s impossible for a play to be comprehensive in its exploration of Jews and views, the uninformed may leave 'If I Forget' thinking that the issue of American Jews on Israel is a false binary…Still, the cast and direction are both excellent...Some of the most riveting moments of the play happen when one person just listens to another.”
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