Is God Is NYC Reviews and Tickets

(31 Reviews)
Members say
Intense, Ambitious, Absorbing, Riveting, Great acting

About the Show

Soho Rep brings us this darkly comic world premiere, a modern myth about twin sisters who sojourn from the Dirty South to the California desert to exact righteous revenge.

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Member Reviews (31)

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Riveting, Vicious, Gruesome, Burning, Tragic

See it if Ultimate dysfunctional family is fated by a revenge curse. Cycle of violence in the extreme. Gripping language. Jolting staging & sound.

Don't see it if You aren’t prepared for a grotesque, brutally violent play. The few moments of humor just set up more intensity.

Stunning, Riveting, Refreshing, Intense, Cathartic

See it if you like theater that goes for your guts; will see a play about volcanic, justified rage (not the more commonly known blind, stupid rage)

Don't see it if you prefer the intensity of people’s emotions to be tempered, suggested, and never fully revealed; favor revivals of tried & true material Read more

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
February 18th, 2018

"A snarly new master of high-octane carnage has risen into view...'Is God Is' may be pitched in a key of absurd exaggeration...But this production also implicitly asks us to consider the roots, futility, and inevitability of cyclical violence...No allusive echo is merely random in this play, written in a vernacular epic style...Its masterstroke is newly contextualizing ages-old themes and motifs into a thoroughly contemporary, divided African-American landscape."
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Time Out New York
February 18th, 2018

"Characters crack jokes, but the play is far more tragedy than comedy...Although the action in Taibi Magar’s excellent Soho Rep production happens in two planes it feels appropriately epic...The performances are strong, particularly by the two pairs of twins. Harris writes so blisteringly that the actors could just let the language’s flames carry them along. But the masterful Hughes proves to be the perfect kindling for it, and Fuller is heartbreaking."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 18th, 2018

"It feels both exciting and… well…not quite as epic as it could...I kept longing for the work within it to feel more expansive, more explosive. The potential is there. Harris’s play is a rich, funny, unnerving, exhilarating goldmine — its current production is only unearthing some of its treasure...It’s ultimately Magar who could push the production further...The current staging often leaves the twins feeling static...The attacks become more theatrically interesting than shocking."
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February 18th, 2018

"Considering its subject matter, 'Is God Is' shouldn't be a funny play, but it often is — albeit with diminishing returns...Harris's superficial treatment of the ancient theme of revenge feels like an excuse for her true passion: giddy gore topped off with a snappy throwaway line...Harris and Magar seems less interested in elucidating this zero-sum violence than shoving it into an awkward box and allowing us to gawk at its grotesque extremity...The theater can do so much more."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 20th, 2018

"More an act of provocation than a fully realized play. Harris also owes a debt of gratitude to her director, Taibi Magar, whose knack for bravura staging marks her as someone to watch. 'Is God Is' runs the gamut from gripping to grating, but, in any case, it makes an impression...Either the bleakest of tragedies or a blatant piece of manipulation...Might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, but I'm betting it will leave you curious to see what it's author does next."
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March 14th, 2018

"Aleshea Harris' ‘Is God Is,’ the second winner of The Relentless Award, now having its world premiere at the newly renovated Soho Rep is an absolutely ferocious play. Channeling the Greek plays, ‘Electra and Medea’, the Jacobeans, the early plays of Sam Shepard and the Spaghetti westerns, this is the revenge play to top them all. Directed by Taibi Magar who also staged the equally relentless ‘Underground Railroad Game’ at Ars Nova, ‘Is God Is’ makes for riveting theater.”
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February 20th, 2018

"Harris, Magar, and the cast and designers delicately situate themselves at the intersection of high and lowbrow. The play's narrative would be at home in a pulp film, yet its approach is a rigorous one, interrogating questions of ethics, morality, genre, and representation. The real feat, though, is that it does this while telling a darkly funny and, at times, genuinely disturbing story. There are moments where the content of the play is hard to watch. Fortunately, this production never is."
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Front Row Center
March 2nd, 2018

"The story that rolls out is not filled with hearts and flowers. It is not happily ever after. It is ruthless and oddly comic at the same time...Purely feminine. There is no man on whom the sisters rely or with whom they confer...Depend only on themselves...This is writing that goes deep, not wide...There is nothing and no one who is extraneous...Ditto for the direction by Magar which is spare and spot-on...An allegory about the human condition."
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New York Theater
February 24th, 2018

"This play, in a well-acted world premiere production, is an intriguing if sometimes disconcerting mix of genres and allusions and tones that marks a noteworthy Off-Broadway debut of a playwright we’ll be hearing from...Magar has assembled a first rate cast...It required a little digging, a little after-performance contemplation, but, for all its crazed violence, 'Is God Is' is more nuanced than it first appears."
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The Clyde Fitch Report
February 19th, 2018

"We begin to suspect that Harris is overloading her thematic elements. So many balls in the air — one might fall to the ground. Or it might not...She needn’t push quite so far...As Taibi Magar’s direction grows more and more intrepid, the cast of 'Is God Is' is uniformly good...All the actors toss themselves unabashedly into the fight scenes, and are kept safe by fight director J. David Brimmer...Let’s just say there is more here than ain’t."
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Off Off Online
March 1st, 2018

"Harris’s storyline is straightforward, but her influences and cultural shout-outs are full of curves, swerving from Greek tragedy to spaghetti Westerns to hip hop, and back again...Meanwhile, secret meanings and allusions ricochet across broken homes, amid suburban malaise, matriarchal power plays, and desperate authority figures...A pull-apart set that is as strange and violent as the characters themselves."
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Village Voice
February 22nd, 2018

"While Harris's story sometimes reduces itself to a supermarket-tabloid bluntness, her way of telling it - postmodern, formalized, distanced - keeps it from ever seeming a piece of facile sensationalism...Magar's skillful direction creates an outré kind of dynamic tension...Whether one can feel purged, transfigured, or even informed by a play like 'Is God Is' remains an open question...Something more than sensationalism is going on. And down that path lies hope."
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