John NYC Reviews and Tickets

(25 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.

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Member Reviews (25)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
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. Read more

605 Reviews | 226 Followers
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.

256 Reviews | 197 Followers
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.

228 Reviews | 57 Followers
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

178 Reviews | 279 Followers
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.

175 Reviews | 58 Followers
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

164 Reviews | 94 Followers
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.

162 Reviews | 73 Followers
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.)

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
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,' orchestrated with intuitive delicacy by Sam Gold, proceeds in the natural fits and starts of lifelike conversation...The acting is exquisitely honed and artifice-free."
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Time Out New York
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 date—I don’t quite get the significance. But if I lower the lights and wait, some glimmering form might appear around the corner."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 effects except that player piano, she’s produced a real ghost story, which is to say a semblance of life."
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New Yorker
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 a political level, too: she has declared her ambition. The truth is that it’s still an anomaly for women artists to claim this kind of space for themselves and their work."
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The Hollywood Reporter
August 11th, 2015

"This is a big show — three hours and change dealing with love and relationships and sadness — but also a humble, cerebral one, without bells and whistles...'John' is recognizably a Baker play, her characters trying to figure out how to exist with each other, with wise insights inside mundane observations, comfortable with long pauses and a slow pace...It is thoughtful, however, and softly mesmerizing as these characters slowly reveal themselves."
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August 11th, 2015

"It’s a great setting for the scary story that we long to hear. But as one would-be storyteller sheepishly admits, 'I can only do build-up to scary, not scary itself.' Sadly, that’s the problem here...The only takeaway from all the buildup is the strong intimation that Jenny is getting ready to break up with Elias for treating her like an inanimate object. And while it’s a valid conclusion to draw about a character, we could have had this whole conversation in a coffee shop."
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August 27th, 2015

"I loved the four oddball, disconnected people in it and the way their stories intersect, carom off one another and then refuse to neatly resolve...The beauty and the point of 'John' is not the conclusion but the journey as these four make and break connections and struggle to make them again...The Gold/Baker collaboration is impeccable and the performances are as true-to-life — even as predictable — as the unfolding tale they tell. You shouldn’t miss it."
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New York Post
August 11th, 2015

"There’s a vaguely supernatural vibe, but Baker and Gold don’t push it. 'John' is what you make of it. It could be a Freudian fairy tale in which youngsters find a strange house with its own rules, except it belongs to a nice lady instead a witch. Or it could be about women dealing with repressed traumas. The beauty of the show is that my guesses are as good as yours. Baker knows exactly what she’s doing — she gives us just enough to open up possibilities. What a thrill!"
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