In a Word
77

In a Word NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(51 Reviews)
Positive
90%
Mixed
4%
Negative
6%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Intelligent

About the Show

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

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (51)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
75
Ambitious in content and form, Great staging, Uneven, Quirky, Thought-provoking

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. Read more

70
Interesting storytelling, Uneven acting, Entertaining, Slow

See it if Some really great and some not really great acting. Interesting theme. Touching at times. Slow reveal storytelling keeps one thinking

Don't see it if Small production are not for you. Slow and at points confusing.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
June 28th, 2017

"A sad and breathless and often pretty funny play...Yee and Rafaeli tilt the play toward surrealism, keeping horror at bay with quick-fire dialogue and bad jokes...'In a Word' emphasizes metaphor and repetition in ways that sometimes feel dramatically potent, at other times self-consciously writerly...The play ultimately suggests that even if loss on this level can’t really be understood, it can be survived. That’s reason enough to see 'In a Word.' Here’s one more: the remarkable Mr. Mark."
Read more

Time Out New York
June 29th, 2017

"The Dead Child plot has become a familiar way to give a woman a dramatic arc through guilt and grief...Yee has chops, but she has trouble here in making something that doesn't seem like an echo of plays that have gone before. 'In a Word' does boast some genuinely fresh moments...What saves the day is Yee's demand that the whole thing be played at warp speed, which director Tyne Rafaeli accomplishes with wit and panache."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
July 1st, 2017

“Lauren Yee's ‘In a Word,’ winner of the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize and a finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award, is a powerful drama delineating the journey of a couple Fiona (Laura Ramadei) and Guy (Jose Joaquin Perez), whose adopted son Tristan, age seven, has gone missing. It is the second anniversary of his disappearance and Fiona is reviewing the events of the previous two years. Is it time to let go?”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
June 27th, 2017

"An immensely clever, well-written work that explores grief and memory, creating a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience...An immensely clever play from start to finish. Lauren Yee's intelligent script is matched by the production's staging ...The actors help to pull off a script that requires a lot of skill as time and characters shift constantly and quickly...The sort of innovative, well-written play that one hopes to find in Off-Broadway theatre, so see it before it closes."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
June 22nd, 2017

“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.”
Read more

Stage Buddy
June 22nd, 2017

“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.”
Read more

Front Mezz Junkies
June 30th, 2017

"'In a Word' is a compelling and emotional idea wrought with an alienating risk but also impenetrable connection. Yee succeeds, on both counts. Pushing us aside unintentionally at moments of overreaching complexity, but also grabbing our hearts quite purposefully. I only wish director, Tyne Rafaeli, were half as brave, allowing the phenomenal trio of actors to slow down and play a bit more in the abstract dimension Yee has placed them in."
Read more

T
June 25th, 2017

"This engaging play connects deeply with the emotions and raises rich and enduring questions...Under Rafaeli’s steady hand, the action moves forward with clarity and precision...The cast is uniformly believable, delivering authentic performances, exhibiting real conflicts that drive the intriguing plot. Although the issues raised here are not new, Yee’s handling of these important concepts gives them a freshness and a mystery that is agreeable and worthwhile."
Read more

New York Theater
June 21st, 2017

"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."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
June 23rd, 2017

“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.”
Read more

R
June 22nd, 2017

“‘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.”
Read more

A
July 16th, 2017

"This play delivers an introspective of what it can be like to work with and raise a mentally challenged child. At first, we are confronted with the heartbreaking situation of parents who have had their adopted son kidnapped and a mom who seems unable to move on with her life. As the play progresses, we become less empathetic as we get a clearer picture of the circumstances of the household and of the mother's true relationship with her son. The play is well-written, fluid, and makes you think."
Read more

T
June 21st, 2017

"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."
Read more

Off Off Online
June 29th, 2017

"It is a satisfying experience to listen to the wordplay, and link scenes, sentences and phrases together to understand the story...Director Tyne Rafaeli has kept the transitions tight, and the result makes the show easier to watch...All three leads create complex relationships within the short time frame...Although the actors take a minute to settle into the world of the play, once they are there, 'In a Word' is an engaging and quirky piece of theater, and definitely worth seeing."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
136 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy