Ends Jul 08

In a Word

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing
75
Critics
80
6 reviews
Members
75
31 reviews
 

Lesser America presents this absurdist new play about the power of loss and how to get over, around, and through what haunts you.

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Today is the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Fiona’s son, and still, nothing makes sense to her. Not her blasé husband, the incompetent detective, or the neighborhood kidnapper who keeps introducing himself in the checkout line. As Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, hoping to uncover that crucial missing piece, grief and comedy collide, and ordinary turns of phrase take on dangerous new meanings.

 
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Cast & Creatives (9)



Reviews (37)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
80
Avg Score

75
New York Theater

"It’s Yee’s sharp perception that loss is often accompanied by uncertainty and confusion; and that at such times words can change their meaning and lose their power...Both the playwright and director Tyne Rafaeli seem more interested in driving home those feelings in us than solving the puzzle of the story for us...I suspect that what I’ll most remember from 'In a Word' is not the hint of a cogent story, nor even the semblance of psychological insight, but Lauren Yee’s use of language." Full Review

85
Theatre's Leiter Side

“A quality performance under Tyne Rafaeli's delicate direction…Lines of dialogue with words bearing particular resonance are woven through the script as markers, often serving to trigger recollections that instantly shift us from the present to the past…Rafaeli's production unfolds in a sleek West Elm-like living room designed by Oona Curley…Curley also did the evocative lighting, with one particular moment showing a ghostly Tristan staring through the doors…The effect is, in a word, haunting.” Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

“This three-hander offers a trenchant look at situations that raise painful questions about the family dynamic…An interesting, innovative and Pinteresque production…The power of the play is in its linguistic word constructions and in the scenes which shift realities much as Fiona’s memory shifts from past to present and at times merges the two…The performances by Laura Ramadei, and Justin Mark as the son are deftly portrayed…Justin Mark delivers an incredible performance.” Full Review

80
Reviews Off Broadway

“‘In a Word’ is an emotionally raw, true, painful and often funny new play. It accomplishes a great deal in 80 swift minutes. It tells the story of Fiona and Guy, a couple that lost their son two years ago, and they haven't been able to really talk to each other about it. Anger, guilt, frustration and self-preservation have thrown up a wall of silence between them. Lauren Yee has written a wonderful play where the words are important and critical and yet still not always enough.” Full Review

75
Stage Buddy

“Yee’s highly stylized language creates the world of Fiona’s mind…Some moments felt overwrought, particularly in the beginning, but Yee succeeds in bringing those moments together by the end, helping to make sense of some of the play’s more overly poetic instances. The result is powerful, and gives the play a poetic structure that externalizes the inner workings of memories viewed through a screen of trauma and grief…Laura Ramadei’s stricken performance grounds the show.” Full Review

75
The Reviews Hub

"The script takes off at breakneck speed in Lauren Yee’s new play, and Tyne Rafaeli’s direction keeps the dialogue flowing with technical precision...Lesser America has produced a show that evolves with every moment, and moves like music. Perez and Ramadei keep us guessing at their true intentions, living distracted lives searching for each other. Rafaeli leaves us with a final image that we won’t soon forget." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
75
Avg Score

78
Ambitious, Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you like challenging pieces in a unique theatrical language involving sound and action, an excellent performance by a recent Julliard grad

Don't see it if you don't like plays where secrets are only hinted at until final moments, deliberately confusing style that keeps one wondering

80
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if you want an interesting dialogue, which keeps you intrigued till the end, when the story finally reveals itself. Justin Marks was great!

Don't see it if you don't like intense plays about a families loss.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing

See it if enjoyable show. excellent wordplay within a touching story. well acted by all 3 performers. really well staged too.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to a story about a missing child. you want simple straight forward dialogue

79
Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant

See it if you can deal with a non-linear and non-realistic plot; this show involved make-believe characters which existed only in the mind of the mom

Don't see it if you want a totally realistic plot and characters; you don't care for non-linear plots; you don't care to think too much.

75
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great staging, Uneven, Ambitious in content and form

See it if you like experimental plays about difficult subjects (autism AND disappearance). More complications fr wordplay that obscures & fascinates.

Don't see it if you want lite stuff. Well-staged, tho. And protean character is well-written, well-acted. Even w sad plot, little emotional response.

Also Both the staging was impressive. Lots of imaginative touches and seaml... Read more Read less

86
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy watching the complexity of a woman's mind that feels guilty for the loss of her child.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in how we process loss and the complexities of a marriage after losing a child.

26
Slow, Fluffy

See it if you want to see a creative use of the "curse jar"

Don't see it if you are looking for something that will make you think. Everything is handed to us.

Also There are some plays that need a bit of a tweak but this needs to be b... Read more Read less

70
Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you like non-linear plays that are a bit absurdist.

Don't see it if you like straightforward stuff.

79
Clever, Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You like family drama told in a unique and quirky way. Great writing and acting.

Don't see it if You don't want thought provoking drama.

73
Funny, Dark, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Wordy

See it if you enjoy absurdist elements in your family dramas, you're into weird wordplay or child abduction mysteries, you love Laura Ramadei's acting

Don't see it if adults playing kids bothers you, if you have an aversion to cramped or uncomfortable seating, you like metaphors to make sense.

Also This show is fairly short-- less than 90 minutes, which is good, becau... Read more Read less

74
Intense, Resonant, Great staging

See it if Well-executed, well-acted, yet mercifully short piece on conflicted parents rearing an autistic kid. Tough to take but worthwhile.

Don't see it if The non-linear structure and unconventional language may confuse some, but it makes for a more interesting experience.

78
Ambitious, Intelligent, Indulgent, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You appreciate non-linear storylines, clever language, darker themes, small cast shows

Don't see it if The subject of autism or losing a child is hard for you to watch. You want something light with straightforward plot. Wordplay confounds you

Also I am very conflicted about this play. Loved the inventive staging. Thr... Read more Read less

40
Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Fluffy

See it if You like plays that scratch the surface of serious emotional issues in order to produce comic and stylistic effect.

Don't see it if You're looking for a serious, full bodied production produced by serious, full bodied theater artists.

Also After seven years as a theater company Lesser America seems to be spin... Read more Read less

87
During previews
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Great writing

See it if You enjoy being challenged. This is a play with multiple sides and states of consciousness. You are fascinated by wordplay within dialogue.

Don't see it if You need everything happening on stage spelled out clearly. You want to sit back and be entertained. Psychological drama isn't your thing.

65
During previews
Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Slow, Great staging

See it if You like slow moving, stylized writing for slow moving stylized writing sake. To see interesting staging, which was the production highlight

Don't see it if You're looking for a mature playwriting voice who's moved beyond the novice conceit that altering convention is the path to originality.

Also There were some interesting ideas in this play, and all the performers... Read more Read less

81
During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining, Quick

See it if You like short plays. Well acted though it felt a bit like watching Ping-Pong. I don't think any line was longer than 4-5 words.

Don't see it if You want a linear straight forward storyline. This bounces around quite a bit. It's easy to follow but you don't know where you're going.

74
During previews
Absorbing, Intense, Confusing, Slow, Implausible

See it if you enjoy a show that concentrates on complex emotions while overlooking the need for reality in a serious drama.

Don't see it if you care if a show doesn't hold together in the real world, even if the emotions involved are relayed strongly.

67
During previews
Quirky, Disappointing, Slow, Well acted

See it if Interested in stories of loss or difficulties of being a parents. Mark juggles multiple characters w/ ease & gives a great performance.

Don't see it if Found it to be on the slower side and didn't feel compassion or connected to the characters or story.

82
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You have an interest in this bleak topic, with seamless movement from past to present with central couple and brilliant everyman.

Don't see it if You have lost a child in any way, have known anyone who lost a child, have a vulnerable child. Want to laugh.

80
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if You like plays that deal with loss and are left unresolved.

Don't see it if You deal can't with unresolved loss.

30
During previews
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Poor direction

See it if you enjoy non-linear plays.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy non-linear plays.

Also This could have been good but the playwright, Lauren Yee, and director... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You want to see a play about a couple that lost their difficult adopted son and how they are coping with it.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a 3 person play with one person who plays many characters (and very well I might add).

Also This was a very good play. The fact that they lost their son and how t... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Absorbing, Exquisite, Intelligent, Profound

See it if you are looking for a unique, intense, sad drama about the loss of a child. The word play is masterful.

Don't see it if you need a linear plot or realism. You have to be ready to listen and pay attention.

70
During previews
Great acting, Resonant, Great writing

See it if If you like plays about deep loss, especially the loss of a child.

Don't see it if Don't see it if you find the deep pain of losing a child difficult watch.

90
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You love great acting. If you can relate to all experiences of parenthood. Go just to see Justin Mark who plays so many roles brilliantly.

Don't see it if If the subject matter of missing children is an unpleasant trigger. Other than that, GO! Really liked this and entire cast is excellent!