Already closed | 3h 15m | Midtown W


From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Enchanting, Great writing

About the show

The first play of Annie Baker's residency at Signature Theatre, this world premiere follows a young couple trying to reconnect in a Pennsylvania bed-and-breakfast. More…

Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker and frequent collaborator, director Sam Gold, team up once more for 'John.' It's the week after Thanksgiving in a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and a young couple struggle to stay together, while thousands of inanimate objects watch on.

Member Reviews (25)


Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Enchanting, Great writing
Avg Score

Overrated, Long/slow, Well acted, Rambling, Great set

See it if you're an Annie Baker fan. I find her work lacking. She has interesting settings/characters...and then little plot. The pace creeps.

Don't see it if you want more than interesting character studies. The acting is strong, at least, especially Engel. Good atmosphere, no coherent point.

Also I'm catching up on old reviews (things I saw before joining Show Score... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a major new work by an important new playwright.

Don't see it if You can't sit still for three hours, no matter how interesting the play.

So interesting, Lois smith, Great performances, Fast paced, Surprising

See it if If you do not appreciate Lois Smith, perhaps this will change your mind. The show is quirky and unusual. Georgia Engle was a surprise!

Don't see it if You like clear cut straight line themes. This show needs you to hang in to hear what is happening.

Great acting, Lifelike, Sometimes-uncomfortable, Slow

See it if You like relationship dramas with slow "reveals" of character and no other action. And for the performances of Georgia Engel and Lois Smith.

Don't see it if A scanty plot and pause-laden script stretched over three hours with two intermissions is not your idea of a fun night at the theater.

Slow, Long, For theater people

See it if U R very serious about drama & off Bway, or devoted to new writers & directors Really get into nuanced detail and character development

Don't see it if You get restless with plays where most of the drama is in small exchanges and not actions

Absorbing, Great acting, Great set, Slightly long, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy acting in real time-pauses, quiet times, not everything points to resolution. Great acting by Georgia engel. You like Annie Baker

Don't see it if Clocks in at about 3 hours. Some conversations do drag a bit. Not everything ties up neatly and makes sense. If you fear dolls

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you're fans of brilliant young theater artists Annie Baker & Sam Gold, who've been inspired by the ol' magic of Georgia Engel & Lois Smith.

Don't see it if you're plum mystified by how a play with minimal plot can last 3+ hours & leave it's 1 big mystery unanswered. I could have stayed 4 more.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Otherworldly, Transporting

See it if You loved any of the other Sam Gold + Annie Baker collaborations (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, The Flick, etc.)

Don't see it if You disliked any of the other Sam Gold + Annie Baker collaborations (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, The Flick, etc.)

Clever, Slow, Overrated, Funny, Confusing

See it if You REALLY love Annie Baker and you don't mind being confused for much of the play; you have a LOT of patience.

Don't see it if You need everything explained to you; you don't like things not tidily wrapped up; you don't like weird for sake of weird.

Great acting, Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if Talented writer about lost souls but boring characters. many meaningless pauses, and a plot that goes nowhere. Georgia Engel excellent!

Don't see it if you wish to be fully engaged and care about the characters. Truly disappointing.

Great writing, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Masterful

See it if you love Annie Baker or Sam Gold...or if you've never seen any of their terrific work!

Don't see it if you really require a driving, action-based plot.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Profound, Original

See it if you want a gorgeous, deft, observant, and playful deep-dive into compassion and indifference. Surprising, bold, and totally unique

Don't see it if you need a play to be plot-driven rather than atmosphere-driven

Slow, Funny, Cliched, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you like slow burns, slice-of-lifes, or mysterious stories with some great performances, especially from Georgia Engel.

Don't see it if a 3+hour play with no clear indication of where the story is going is going to drive you batty.

Slow, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You like very slow moving plot lines that eventually arrive at a destination, but not necessarily the destination you had hoped for.

Don't see it if Like big plots and multi-layered characters that stay with you for a lifetime.

Absorbing, Original, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy Annie Baker; you think dialogue is the most important part of a play

Don't see it if you need plays to be short and sweet; you don't want to have to pay close attention for 3 hours

Slightly eerie, Magical, Enchanting, Funny, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a play about relationships.

Don't see it if you are looking for an action-packed evening.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Profound

See it if You want subtle, exceptional theatre that makes you think and leaves you wanting more

Don't see it if You need lots of action

Clever, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You love Baker's skill with words and pauses and whispers. I loved this.

Don't see it if Baker's drawn out pacing infuriates you.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You can really watch life happen onstage and open yourself up to the pain of others. Enjoy a smart piece of writing with some poignancy.

Don't see it if You can't sit still for three hours.

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You like Annie Baker plays

Don't see it if You can't sit for 3+ hours

Absorbing, Quirky, Resonant

See it if you love theater that explores the infinite space between lovers and friends, and envelops you in a sweet and quirky song of loneliness.

Don't see it if you are looking for an action packed plot, or if a couple of slightly saccharine moments ruin a play for you.

Clever, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if This play rocked my world. Go see it if you like dramas.

Don't see it if You want something fluffy.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you are drawn to theatre that explores the poignant loneliness of the human condition.

Don't see it if you like action packed adventure.

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Ambitious, Original

See it if You are interested in watching the honest truth about love relationships.

Don't see it if You are interested in one-sided or unsubtle theatre with a political message.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Relevant, Slow, Quirky

See it if You want to waste 3 hours of your life.

Don't see it if You get triggered by abusive relationships.

August 11th, 2015
"Ms. Baker stretches her talents in intriguing if sometimes baffling new directions. The membrane between life and death, the world of things and the realm of spirits, seems strangely permeable in Ms. Baker’s appealingly odd — and perhaps less appealingly long — drama...The dialogue in 'John,' or...
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August 11th, 2015
"Baker has written a deeply mysterious drama, with a thematic patterning that seems to warp and dissolve as each act progresses. At times 'John' seems to be a study of the inner lives of objects...Like much in the cozy yet unnerving world Baker has created here—her most formally experimental to d...
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August 11th, 2015
"The play is haunted. It is also so expansive that it becomes, in the third act, when you want it to buckle down, a bit unsatisfyingly diffuse. I sense that this is intentional. Baker is interested in the grace that may accompany great age and suffering, but why leave it there...? With no special...
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August 17th, 2015
"'John' is so good on so many levels that it casts a unique and brilliant light...Baker returns us to the naturalistic but soulful theatre that many of her contemporaries and near-contemporaries have disavowed in their rush to be 'postmodern.' With 'John,' Baker has done something exceptional on ...
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