Already closed | 1h 30m | East Village

The Gospel of John

From 21 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the show

Drama Desk-winning Broadway actor Ken Jennings ("Sweeney Todd," "Grand Hotel," "Side Show") performs "The Gospel of John," playing all the parts and bringing the Gospel to life. More…

From the show:

St. John’s Gospel is breathtakingly poetic, containing soaring theology, yet it is filled from start to finish with eyewitness details that came from John’s life with Jesus. For over 2,000 years, this written testimony from John’s personal experience has been proclaimed all over the world. 

Ken started memorizing The Gospel of John as a spiritual practice during a difficult time in his life. He always had an affinity for John, which seemed to him to truly be a firsthand narrative by a man who was actually there. So he memorized it. To make it theatrical, he made a few cuts for time, which he cleared with a Jesuit priest, an Episcopalian priest, a Baptist minister, and a sister of the Sacred Heart — all encouraged him to go on with his presentation.

Ken will tell it to audiences as if for the first time, as it was originally told by the Beloved Disciple — so that they too may have a personal encounter with Jesus during this Advent-Christmas season. 


Member Reviews (21)

MEMBERS SAY:

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Ambitious, Thought-provoking
84
Avg Score

87
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if fan of Ken Jennings, interested in this Gospel, are a Christian, enjoy 1-person shows, have seen performances of other Gospels (ie. Mark)

Don't see it if Not a Christian or interested in the Gospels, don't enjoy 1-person shows, uncomfortable around religion, not familiar with John

85
Intense, Masterful, Profound, Ambitious, Great staging

See it if as an alternative to all the holiday hype. Ken Jennings does an astounding job of creating a personality for each of the speaking characters

Don't see it if you find Biblical text repetitious to the point of irritation. The fundamentals of Christianity are represented if that's a problem for you

79
Ambitious, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Powerful performance on the topic of Jesus Christ’s adult life thru one performer. His performance spoke of truth and strong beliefs.

Don't see it if You don’t want to watch a performance on the topic of Jesus Christ.

77
Devout, Intelligent, Great writing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're a "Believer"-Christian & especially Catholic; you want to hear a virtuoso recitation of the Gospel of St. John by a good actor.

Don't see it if you're expecting a Gospel reenactment w/ multiple actors; you dislike religion,especially Catholicism.You'll struggle w/being still so long

Also IMO, Jennings overdoes the "ordinary man" approach. Someone else shoul... Read more Read less

78
Simple staging, Meaningful -- but for a niche audience, Unusual, Roman catholic beliefs focused on, Gospel shared in a story-telling form

See it if you're Roman Catholic; you've never heard "The Gospel of John" spoken aloud; you're a New Testament fan; you've ever wished for a miracle

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional play with scenes, costumes, a large cast instead of a 2-hr recitation by one actor; you're an Atheist

Also Though his solo show highlights Jennings' trained memory, he fails to ... Read more Read less

90
Intense, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if you want to be inspired by the WORD and that someone would memorize the complete Gospel of John and share it with an audience.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of the BIBLE or dislike one man performances.

91
Great acting, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you want to watch the life of Jesus unfold before you in this moving, verbatim dramatization of the Gospel of John by a consummate actor.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy solo-performances, a minimal set, or the subject matter which is essentially a Christian scripture with theology and dogma.

Also I caught the opening day 3PM performance by Ken Jennings in the Gospel... Read more Read less

93
Profound, Relevant, Masterful, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a master craftsmen grab his audience as he speaks the language of the Bible.

Don't see it if You do not like solo performances.

80
Great writing, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if you'd enjoy seeing a Biblical text in a physical way. With some staging and lighting, the words come to life in a different way than read.

Don't see it if You do not like one-person monologues with some voices of different characters, or will fall asleep. It was about 2 hours long,

100
Resonant, Relevant, Masterful, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in learning about the book of the gospel of John

Don't see it if You do not want to be enlightened by one of the most powerful gospels

90
Masterful, Profound, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if If you love good theater this is a must see. Ken Jennings transports you back in time making one feel you are actually there.

Don't see it if If all you like is big Broadway productions, this might not be the play for you.

Also I was completely absorbed by the masterful storytelling by Ken Jenning... Read more Read less

94
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great acting

See it if Like great acting with a powerful message.

Don't see it if Don't like solo acts with minimal staging.

100
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting, Must see, Absorbing

See it if you have an interest in the Bible or Christianity.

Don't see it if you don't like a one-man play or if you have no interest in a play based on the Bible.

84
Great acting, Masterful, Resonant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if If you enjoy religious works and want to feel deeply moved. Mr. Jennings is masterful with a full memorization of the Gospel.

Don't see it if You are adverse to religious works. Are unable to stay in your seat for almost 2 hours. Don't enjoy 1 person shows.

During previews
62
A labor of love, Beautifully written, Unvarying

See it if you’d like to experience a heartfelt recitation of a truncated version of the most literary of Gospels.

Don't see it if you are expecting much more than a recitation of the (truncated) story of John’s Gospel.

Also The opening of John’s Gospel is the most inspired stretch of “writing ... Read more Read less

During previews
76
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You want to see an incredible acting display.

Don't see it if You don’t have any interest in the Bible.

Also For any of us that grew up in a religious home, we became religious be... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Great recitation, Masterful, Ambitious

See it if You are religious or are interested in the book of John in the Bible, or enjoy one man performances

Don't see it if You are expecting to see a traditional play or musical, want to see a lavish production or don't like the Bible

During previews
82
Masterful, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great writing

See it if Ur an advocate4 transparency &yearn for the truth.Then,disregarding pref x religion you'd enjoy the perform of a reduced,yet illuminating *

Don't see it if No interest in the Bible as a literary masterpiece or you negate openess to religion and geo/ethnic reason.

Also *version of the most poetic of the Gospels.

During previews
81
Religious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see the gospel come alive on stage as a beautiful prayer

Don't see it if u don’t like flawless acting, one man shows that bring back memories of innocence and true faith, the bible

During previews
78
Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It seems like it’s Ken Jennings’ passion project. Great story telling, whether you are a religious person or not, you’ll be engrossed in it.

Don't see it if You don’t like a solo play or the Bible story.

During previews
100
Masterful, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you are an artist, actor, seeker or explorer who enjoys a masterful inspirational monologue of spiritual significance. Very moving.

Don't see it if 90min no intermission, solo work, no set, you are triggered by Christian dogma/mythology told with great passion

Also I was completely emotionally absorbed by the masterful storytelling & ... Read more Read less


December 9th, 2019
"What's missing in Jennings' performance is any sense of specificity, a moment-to-moment reality that would make the words come alive."
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December 8th, 2019
"What makes Jennings' execution all the more remarkable, and especially deserving of the tour-de-force appellation, is his ability to make the discursive, nearly two-millennia-old, literary work pulse with urgency and wonderment.
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December 11th, 2019
"After marveling at Ken Jennings' power of memorization, one has to also admire his ability to deliver the entire text of 'The Gospel of John 'with unwavering clarity and devotion to its meaning both as literature and as a Christian lodestone."
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Cast & Creatives (3)