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Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train

From 213 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis ('Between Riverside and Crazy') begins his residency at Signature with a revival of his darkly comic meditation on redemption and faith. More…

Angel Cruz is a 30-year-old bicycle messenger awaiting trial for the death of the leader of a religious cult. Inside Rikers Island, a terrified Angel is befriended by a charismatic serial killer named Lucius Jenkins. Lucius has found God and been born again, and now, Angel's life and the course of his trial will be changed forever.


Member Reviews (213)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense
86
Avg Score

70
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Rambling, Clunky

See it if you like an engrossing prison drama, full of harshness. Lots of religious discussion, but what's Guirglis' point? Well acted, but often loud

Don't see it if you want to leave enlightened. Act I is stronger than Act 2. Very talky play, but often not insightful (1st D murder requires intent).

Also JHTAT is highly theatrical...lots of speeches and intense discussions.... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if riveting performances. intense, poignant and thought-provoking. Intelligent debate on the nature of good & evil.

Don't see it if you dislike gritty portrayals of humanity and/or profanity.

70
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You want to see great performances & are interested in a raw depiction of what it can be like in prison.

Don't see it if You have no interest in stories taking place behind bars or are offended by swearing.

95
Ferocious, Miraculous, Dizzying, Riveting, Profound

See it if Unexpected sides of characters emerge in jail and work God’s will. What is freedom? Brilliant writing and acting. Mesmerizing dialog.

Don't see it if You are not up for a very intense experience that poses deep questions.

70
Slow, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Unengaging, One-note

See it if you're interested in thinking about the intersection of the criminal justice system, morality and religion.

Don't see it if you're interested in great acting and exciting drama. There are a lot of ideas to chew on here but it's not the most compelling production.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Resonant

See it if Guirgis' dramatic talent comes into its own w/this work Superb acting & muscular direction power the drama into the spiritual realm intended

Don't see it if Ugly, dark prison drama unrelenting in scope Guirgis' impeccible instinct for dialogue studded w/profanity & sexual crudity Grim world view

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Powerful

See it if You like challenging, albeit gritty, work by a great playwright and outstanding leads about redemption, salvation and truth.

Don't see it if You don't like prison plays, discussions of Christian salvation, seemingly hopeless situations, lots of foul language and descriptions

87
"a" train presents colossal struggle between born-again mass murderer and non-believer trying to get out of jail

See it if raises big questions re religion & redemption; brilliantly staged like prize fight w 2 prisoners in adjacent cells trading verbal punches

Don't see it if ending where prisoner accepts responsibility 4 crime works in concept, tho feels inauthentic; binary good/bad jail guards is facile

Also Two leads as prisoners explosively strong. Pacing of this verbal prize... Read more Read less

92
Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you find explorations of God and faith stimulating and worthwhile, especially when presented in an unconventional way.

Don't see it if you’re easily offended by language or find prison scenes disturbing.

89
Absorbing, Intense, Great acting, Great writing, Edgy

See it if Realistic prison drama with outstanding acting from newcomers. Violent outbursts create threatening mood.

Don't see it if Very gritty outlooks of caged men. Pessimism abounds in the mind of a serial killer. This is a downer, but that makes it great.

95
Better than the original—and the original was excellent!, Absorbing, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if your want to see one of Guirgis' early plays performed by a first-class ensemble with astute direction by Mark Brokaw.

Don't see it if you don't like intense dramas or an overuse of the "F" word. This is taut, riveting theatre—not for the "Hello, Dolly!" crowd.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Disquieting

See it if you like an engrossing story and exceptional acting in a play encompassing topics of morality, religion, justice, race and inevitability.

Don't see it if you have no interest in prison themes or those who are incarcerated, along with their reactions to themselves and their crimes.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Resonant

See it if You like good dramatic production. Could be a bit shorter.

Don't see it if You’re looking for upbeat entertainment

79
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Must see, Slow

See it if You are a fan of intense theater masterfully done. Beautiful acting and awesome staging.

Don't see it if You don't like to be preached at or want a happy ending. This story is harsh and sad.

87
Distinctive, Original, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you’re unfamiliar w/ Guirgis—solid production of an established hit. The writing makes a strong impression & whets the appetite for more.

Don't see it if you’re uninterested in a play re spiritual redemption; someone you know was killed in a violent crime; you want to identify w/ characters.

Also This play wasn’t what I expected. I thought the criminal justice syste... Read more Read less

77
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want insight into the judicial system and wonder sometimes whether the law is just.

Don't see it if you expect a real plot and action. Dialogue is wonderful, but I sometimes wondered whether it meant anything or just sounded good.

90
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you love great performances of work by a playwright that knows dialogue. Real, refreshing, and wonderful.

Don't see it if prison dramas are not your cup of tea

78
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Talky, Relevant

See it if you are interested in discussions about morality, religion, justice within the prison system.

Don't see it if you don't want long monologues about serious subjects. Very loud, but not always clear.

90
Powerful, Mesmerizing, No holds barred emotion

See it if ...tragedy of consequences of motives not being understood, of nature of faith, of falling on one's sword, set in prison. Beautiful language

Don't see it if - you may never hear the f word used so lyrically again - stunning acting, grim circumstances. Who is favored with salvation?

79
Absorbing, Cliched, Great acting, Riveting, Intense

See it if An intense look ( possibly a bit dated ) of social class difference and injustice of the prison system and our society. Great acting.

Don't see it if Do you not see if you and only enjoy musicals or light dramas.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if riveting monologues with moral arguments on belief in God, justice, forgiveness;

Don't see it if Offended by obscenity-filled dialogue even though it is appropriate to the setting and characters

Also Some parts seem right out of Law and Order & while they do add more co... Read more Read less

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see outstanding acting by the entire cast. Great direction. Great script. Intense. Moving. I recommend it.

Don't see it if you are looking for a fun, fluffy show. The story about born again serial killer & the trial of a man who decides justice for a cult leader.

85
Must see, Absorbing / thought-provoking, Strong performances, Loud / intense / edgy, Well-written & staged

See it if you understand this is prison-themed high-drama, w/LOUD intense intimidating non-stop cursing. LOTS of monologues but the acting is strong.

Don't see it if you're a wuss. Enough humor & the intermission helps you process & digest Act I. Big crescendo in Act 2, w/seemingly inevitable resolution.

Also WORDY as hell, but very powerful script.... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Resonant

See it if You want to be suckered into the penal system and the lives of some really unsavory characters

Don't see it if You want black and white responses to everything , this exists in the grey areas of life

Also Someone tell the director that intense doesn't have to equal loud. A l... Read more Read less

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a well crafted and beautifully acted show about religion and redemption in a prison context.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy thought provoking plays that keep you thinking long after you leave the theater.

Also All the actors were great but the two leads who played the prisoners w... Read more Read less


October 23rd, 2017
"When performed, as it is here, by a cast that can recreate its rapture as well as its moral gravity, it achieves the doubleness of great art, burrowing deeper the higher it flies...In a series of monologues that pull further back from the action, Hanrahan’s reflections on the case dissipate the ...
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October 23rd, 2017
"These near-monologues are often gorgeous, but they can also be weirdly self-negating; in 'A Train,' they don’t even always make sense. Still, they’re full of rhetorical fireworks...Carvajal does beautifully, but DiMaggio seems to be performing for a larger room, while Gathegi infuses Lucius with...
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October 23rd, 2017
"A superbly acted revival...Reveals a young playwright's awkwardness with its overwritten passages and reliance on expository monologues. But it also displays incendiary passion and insight into its troubled characters, qualities that are fully realized in this riveting production staged by Broka...
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October 23rd, 2017
"Guirgis is the go-to guy for riveting monologues and choice dialogue exchanges...The author’s one-line zingers are just as pointed than his longer and more reasoned arguments on faith and redemption...Director Mark Brokaw has spring-wound this production so that taking too long a breath means mi...
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