We Live by the Sea
Midtown E
84

We Live by the Sea NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(142 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
4%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Relevant

About the Show

Patch of Blue's devised production explores the life of an autistic girl as she connects with a boy who changes her world forever. A hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Part of 59E59's Brit's Off Broadway series.

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Member Reviews (142)

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80
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Touching, Relevant

See it if Poignant story with slow reveals. Brain's extraordinary performance is not to be missed. Simple but fun and creative staging.

Don't see it if Issues of autism are not for you. Some of the cast is subpar. Read more

72
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You are interested in seeing a show about the challenges surrounding autism. The lead actress is great!

Don't see it if You dislike small intimate shows with simple staging.

Critic Reviews (18)

April 18th, 2018

"Creates an expansive world out of seemingly little...Brain's warmly empathetic performance never feels 'acty'...The other cast members are just as good in relatively more straightforward roles...Tight, imaginative staging...Throughout, the company maintains a sure sense of tone, playful and grave at the same time, and pulls off a cathartic ending that's neither cloying nor cheesy - though be warned that it is a five-hankie tear-jerker that may leave you a sobbing mess."
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April 18th, 2018

"'We Live By the Sea' works best as a loving and empathetic portrait of a neurodivergent teen. Director Howarth's 15 years of experience as a drama therapist for people on the spectrum imbues the play with authenticity. The narrative, however, is less believable...The play flags whenever it shifts to Hannah and Ryan's points of view. Katy's special needs may be challenging, but her atypical perspective is what gives the show a specialness of its own."
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April 19th, 2018

"It is an insightful portrayal of a teenager on the autism spectrum that shouldn't be missed. This is a show that both entertains and informs...The troupe of actors brings this well-crafted show to life with true authenticity...'We Live By The Sea' is a heartfelt show that will raise people's awareness of people on the autism spectrum and the struggles that are often faced by handicapped people and their families."
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April 19th, 2018

"This isn't a tidy play, but it's a bracing one...In its best passages, 'We Live by the Sea' makes clear Hannah's deep devotion to Katy, as well as its terrible cost...'We Live by the Sea' is a company-created work, which may explain why it feels underwritten...Katy is a fiercely imagined character and Alexandra Brain realizes her down to the last detail...The rest of the cast performs with an appealing mix of candor and tact."
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April 26th, 2018

“If, at this point, it sounds like Katy is an actual person, good, because she felt that way all throughout the remarkably engaging play ‘We Live By The Sea.’ As Katy, Alexandra Brain avoids all the acting shortcuts and, instead, gives a performance that is pure empathy. Whereas someone else may have been satisfied simply depicting the physical manifestations of Katy's mental condition, Brain beautifully achieves the much higher goal of humanizing Katy's autism.”
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April 19th, 2018

"A captivating examination of an autistic girl’s struggles...Oceans are notoriously vast, which is a good thing because the sea is called upon here to support enormous metaphorical weight...Still, we buy into the conceit, thanks to strong acting all around and the wonderfully immersive world built by director Alex Howarth and his creative team. Ms. Brain is nothing less than ferocious."
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April 18th, 2018

"A well-executed work of devised theatre…Brain…plays Katy like an overgrown six-year-old...She squeals, fidgets, shakes her hands tremulously, holds them to her head as if to prevent it from exploding...She can be sad, she can be funny; with Katy, you never know what's coming…On the other hand, the piece seems overlong at 90 minutes. Brain offers a tour de force portrayal of Katy's mannerisms but, like me, you may eventually tire of them, no matter how well acted. But maybe that's the point."
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April 24th, 2018

"Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 is off to a strong start with this powerful play about autism...The stories Katy likes to tell to provide order to her experience are cleverly recreated with such simple props as an electric fan and a pair of desk lamps...My heart went out to Hannah, because Katy’s erratic behavior with its frequent outbursts of raw emotion was hard to endure for 90 minutes, let alone 24 hours a day...Much as I admired the play, I often found it painful to sit through."
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April 21st, 2018

"Tightly directed and boasting four strong performances...What elevates this story to something more than a tale about a person with a disability is that it allows the audience to see Katy both from the outside and from within...Howarth seamlessly juggles the production's elements for maximum impact and nothing comes across as over the top or clichéd...Intimate, insightful, and ultimately uplifting...Offers some simple yet powerful lessons about growth, change, and acceptance by others."
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April 27th, 2018

"Alexandra Simonet brings a subtle, emotional and empathetic performance as Hannah... All are skillfully directed and staged by Howarth, who uses the small space expertly to tell this tale...A gorgeous, moving story about loss and personal triumph. From start to finish, every little touch in this production is well conceived, from the effective and imaginative set all the way down to the postcard from Katy in the program."
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W
April 28th, 2018

"The story is brilliant — hilarious and heartbreaking all at once — but in the small, intimate theater you’ll witness one incredibly courageous and truthful performance by young Alexandra Brain...The script is a scramble of overlapping lines, with characters talking over and around each other throughout. The performance and direction of it, however, looks so easy and so natural at times that of course it must have been incredibly difficult to get just right. But right it is, remarkably so."
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August 26th, 2016
For a previous production

"An inventive and well-judged piece…It feels like everything has been very carefully considered. Alex Howarth’s production is so light and tight that you can forgive it the occasional sidestep into fairy-lit whimsy...There are no easy answers or magic cures. The standard of performance is high all-round, but Alex Brain’s performance as Katy is incredible, sustained, rich and funny, her timing exact. Informative without being worthy, this a really appealing piece. Lovely stuff."
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August 14th, 2016
For a previous production

"Katy is on the autistic spectrum and finds it difficult to connect to people, but with stories, well that’s when she does some of her best and bravest thinking...Live music and video projections form a backdrop to the utterly credible central character. The other parts are less well rounded. Ryan’s back story and the ease with which he is accepted feels somewhat underdeveloped. A unique, inventive piece of theatre that is touching, heart-warming and enlightening."
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August 22nd, 2016
For a previous production

"The modestly masterful storytelling is warmly delivered by intelligent performances. Beating loudly at its heart, Alex Brain–playing Katy–is breathtaking. It is rare to see such an enchanting example of autism depicted so sensitively…Sea-deep and honestly interpreted research renders 'We Live by the Sea' an informative and special immersion into the lives of those shaped by autism…This is my Fringe gem, a treasure that I will bury in the burning cockles of my heart."
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August 22nd, 2016
For a previous production

"It's feel good and funny, honest and above all completely believable…Alex Brain’s performance in the central role is mesmerizing…'We Live by the Sea' is an outstanding piece of theatre with a big heart and carefully honed performances. I cried freely throughout as did the rest of the audience. It's rare for theatre to connect in such a way and Patch of Blue has created something very raw and beautiful."
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February 23rd, 2017
For a previous production

"Alex Brain gives a stellar performance as Katy, taking the audience along with her as she moves rapidly from laughter through sadness, frustration, anger, and at times back to laughter...We witness episodes of sensory overload – when Katy is subjected to music, loud speech and flashing lights and then on a car journey, which Katy does not enjoy, when Hannah inadvertently tells a lie regarding their direction...I was moved to tears by this performance and cannot recommend it too highly."
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T
August 15th, 2016
For a previous production

"The show is a well constructed, wonderfully conceived, and cleverly executed piece…There are elements of the piece that are underwhelming. The projection design fails to add significantly to the show, and certain elements of the writing...Despite this, the piece is a truly unique piece of theatre…The show manages to craft a truly credible central character, offering a window into living with autism...Coupled with fantastic performances, the show really is captivating."
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T
February 22nd, 2017
For a previous production

"A richly detailed, gently presented study of autism as experienced by Katy, a high school student parented by her loving, often exasperated sister Hannah. Katy has an invisible friend and meets Ryan who has demons of his own. While candidly portraying the difficulties and isolating effects of autism, this play captures the intensity and originality of Katie’s experiences and is an excursion well worth taking."
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