Small Mouth Sounds
Closed 1h 40m
Small Mouth Sounds

Small Mouth Sounds NYC Reviews and Tickets

(325 Reviews)
Members say
Clever, Great acting, Absorbing, Original, Funny

About the Show

After a hit run at Ars Nova, Bess Wohl's (mostly) wordless dramedy about six urbanites at a silent retreat transfers Off Broadway. Directed by Obie winner Rachel Chavkin.

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Member Reviews (325)

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906 Reviews | 924 Followers
Funny, Entertaining, Current, Slow

See it if Funny & entertaining. Familiar characters. Smart staging. Enjoyable. The silent parts are not overwhelming but can be slow at times.

Don't see it if you want to see characters evolve. It's a funny sketch more than a story arc. Slow at points.

884 Reviews | 1014 Followers
Clever, Original, Slow, Interesting

See it if Super clever & original concept. Found it interesting. Not the most entertaining play but it gets points for creativity.

Don't see it if You don't have patience to sit through a mostly silent play. At times it's slow & in end I didn't feel super connected to characters.

1002 Reviews | 412 Followers
Masterful, Profound, Original, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You've ever contemplated the meaning of life, read a self help book or course or if you just want to see one of the best shows of the year!

Don't see it if You don't like shows that make you look at yourself with brutal honesty. You may learn something magical but it might hurt a little.

975 Reviews | 341 Followers
Clever, Original, Relevant, Well staged, Well acted

See it if you like creative pieces. With almost no dialogue, SMS is an unusual play. Occasionally, the no-words conceit can be annoying.

Don't see it if the everyday problems of everyday people bore you. All the middle-class retreat-ers are dealing with issues, some large and some small.

546 Reviews | 1881 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Original, Resonant

See it if Great staging. Original narrative. Strong performances.

Don't see it if Non traditional work; male nudity.

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Original

See it if you want to remember why you go to theater instead of binge watching TV. I left feeling as if I had spent a week in the country,

Don't see it if you need everything spelled out -- subtleties, implied relationships and unspoken backstories are what makes this production exciting.

643 Reviews | 279 Followers
Master class in nonverbal humor leaves audience ruminating/rolling in the aisles; "waiting for godot" for the 21st century

See it if director Chavkin satirizes/turns new-age retreat's vow of silence into basis 4 hilarious physical comedy & moving depiction of broken lives

Don't see it if play sometimes works too hard to milk a laugh from the audience, pseudo-profound ending doesn't land

496 Reviews | 727 Followers
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if you're in the mood for something original and quiet, or if you like watching diverse characters with hidden personal stories.

Don't see it if you're bothered by or uncomfortable with silence.

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
July 19th, 2016

"A quiet gem of a play that has been restaged with all its wit, compassion and sparkle fully intact. The sound of silence onstage has rarely made such sweet music…Ms. Wohl’s ingenuity and the sympathetic direction of Rachel Chavkin allow us to read the bleeding hearts of the characters with a lucidity that no amount of dialogue could improve upon…It’s heartening to renew acquaintance with a play that leaves you moved, refreshed and, yes, maybe even a little enlightened."
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Time Out New York
July 13th, 2016

"Silence is golden in Bess Wohl’s exquisite play...The sight of deeply unhappy people trapped in a series of embarrassing situations makes 'Small Mouth Sounds' one of the funnier sad plays you’re likely to see...This is a smashing cast, all navigating tonal and emotional shifts with passion and aplomb. Chavkin’s beautifully direct and transparent staging covers a remarkable range of pain, joy and hope in 100 deeply engrossing minutes."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
July 13th, 2016

"'Small Mouth Sounds' is a terrific new play in a beautiful production that deserves to be seen on its own merits...Six mostly incompatible people show up for a five-day retreat...The retreat is meant to be silent and, for the most part, the participants comply...All of these nonverbal clues combine, in Chavkin’s incredibly confident orchestration, to form a profoundly entertaining and quasi-musical portrait of people living under great pressure...Everything pulls you in."
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July 13th, 2016

"Wohl's play is hilarious, made even more so by top-notch physical performances from the cast. The retreat is a silent one, so most of the story is told outside of the dialogue...'Small Mouth Sounds' is an excellent, perhaps even enlightening, evening of theater. Wohl is not satisfied to merely present a satire of spiritual capitalism: All of her characters are real and their problems are genuine. The different ways they cope with those problems also feels authentic."
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July 27th, 2016

“‘Small Mouth Sounds’ is an unusual evening in the theater. Not only does it oblige us to listen in a way we usually don’t during a play, it also asks us to consider our own state of mental and emotional health as we watch six people attempt to come to terms – or not – with their life situations. Max Baker, Babak Tafti, Brad Herberlee, Marcia DeBonis, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Jojo Gonzalez, and Zoë Winters give perceptive performances without having words to reveal who they are.”
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July 14th, 2016

"Wohl's clever conceit and Chavkin's inventive and smartly focused direction are in place...Moving this production from a small off-the beaten path locale to a larger, more high-profile location probably accounts for Wohl's striking originality at times feeling a bit gimmicky...Thanks to Wohl's vivid voice and the way the actors make silence as dramatically potent as dialogue, 'Small Mouth Sounds' is a truly unique and entertaining experimental theater experience."
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July 18th, 2016

“There is a surprising amount of humor, sparked by the smallest actions and expressions, and plenty of tears...The play, nicely directed by Rachel Chavkin, is a bit too long and seems to spend the last fifteen minutes in search of an ending. The bottom line turns out to be not much more than 'you are not alone.' Still, the pivotal issue is feeling disconnected in these strange and fast times. And who doesn’t?”
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New York Theater
July 13th, 2016

"Wohl’s play about six characters who are attending a silent retreat contains almost no dialogue, but it speaks volumes. It is a satire, but it treats its subject with respect. It is a comedy, but it slowly reveals each individual’s tragedy. In the hands of Chavkin and its exquisite seven-member cast 'Small Mouth Sounds' is a remarkable work of theater."
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