Yen NYC Reviews and Tickets

75%
(148 Ratings)
Positive
78%
Mixed
13%
Negative
9%
Members say
Great acting, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the Show

MCC Theater presents Anna Jordan's play about two teenage brothers living alone with no adult supervision. Directed by indie theater vet Trip Cullman.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (148)

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81 Reviews | 48 Followers
100
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Intense

See it if You love Lucas Hedges

Don't see it if You are above the age of 55 .. just my opinion.. these are young Ten age kids struggling, not sure you would get into if you are older .imo

93 Reviews | 15 Followers
100
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if You like to see real theater for intelligent people You liked Bug or Red Light Winter

Don't see it if Are afraid of humanity Have something against the best show to play off broadway in years. Read more

106 Reviews | 17 Followers
98
Raunchy, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful

See it if Incredible performances, great writing, great staging...could not recommend this phenomenon more!

Don't see it if There is serious subject matter regarding child neglect, mental disorders, and trauma.

95 Reviews | 23 Followers
95
Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Must see

See it if you want to experience the full drama of dystopian relationships, wild character portrayals, emotional violence and masterful storytelling.

Don't see it if you're a prude, closed-minded or afraid to engage in authentic tragedy, loss, or humor. This play is keenly aware of its own power. SEE IT.

TL4
96 Reviews | 10 Followers
93
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you liked Look Back in Anger or enjoy plays about dysfunctional families.

Don't see it if you have trouble relating to lower income people or those with substance abuse problems (audience was commenting)

183 Reviews | 44 Followers
92
Edgy, Ambitious, Riveting, Intense, Must see

See it if you are interested in contemporary English drama, exploring the recesses of society, and the effects of negligence and hostility on kids.

Don't see it if you enjoy a pleasant and un-challenging evening at the theatre. Read more

157 Reviews | 63 Followers
91
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy remarkable acting and gritty urban dramas. Hedges and Smith tear up the stage as feral brothers in UK wasteland. Great direction.

Don't see it if you don't like references to viiolent porn, profanity, drugs and booze. Also at times British accents hard to understand.

305 Reviews | 60 Followers
90
Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Disturbing, truthful

See it if you want 2 see a drama that is raw, disturbing, but truthful about 2 brothers living alone & how a girl awakens them 2 the realities of life

Don't see it if you don't like dysfunctional family plays that are upsetting and show us how regular people live and survive.

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
January 31st, 2017

“These feral creatures, who live on their own in a rancid apartment in a suburban London housing project, are portrayed with equal sensitivity and fierceness by Lucas Hedges and Justice Smith…’Yen’ is a thoughtful play, for sure, but too often you’re aware of the wheels churning behind it...You may feel that the characters are being pushed into climactic positions by authorial hands...Despite the resulting sensory overload, ‘Yen’ never quite packs the wallop it so obviously intends to.”
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Time Out New York
January 31st, 2017

“Writing with vigor and sympathy, Jordan evokes the boys’ volatile combination of poverty, misogyny and piss-poor communication skills, and Trip Cullman once again adeptly charts a modern teenage wasteland. Although ‘Yen’ peters off after its climax, the intense and soulful Hedges and the astoundingly energetic Smith give a pair of extraordinary performances. It’s impossible to shift your eyes from them as they bounce off or hit their walls."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 31st, 2017

"Were 'Yen' content to explore this one situation, it might be a successful-enough lost-boy social drama…But it is much more ambitious and open-ended than that, reaching toward the bigger and bleaker greatness of poetic dramas like 'Of Mice and Men'…The play and production never make a false step onstage. The roles are immensely actable and, in MCC’s production, immensely acted."
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Deadline
January 31st, 2017

"If you’ve seen 'Manchester By The Sea' you already know that Lucas Hedges has the seething sullen-teen thing down. This gifted young actor raises the stakes to James Dean-ian heights in his smashing stage debut…’Yen is a not entirely controlled drama, and it’s predictable in some aspects. But the writing, and this superb production, bristle with youthful talent — the kind that makes you remember names."
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New York Daily News
January 31st, 2017

“Hedges impresses in his stage debut…He nails a roller coaster of emotions as Hench, a haunted 16-year-old bed-wetter with a future as grim as the dreary flat he shares with his half-brother…Broken people falling through the cracks is familiar territory. But the play’s dark shadows and surprising flickers of tenderness get under your skin in director Cullman's staging. Which isn't to say there aren't issues. Characters and plotting could use more heft, while the dialogue is too much.”
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Variety
January 31st, 2017

“A powerfully acted and impressively staged production…The effects of abandonment and isolation mixed with a longing for human connection are brought to stark, vivid life under Trip Cullman’s unsparing direction…Hedges once again shows heartbreaking depth in his sense of stillness, shame and repressed feelings as the brother who aches for the human touch. The young actor evokes a world of hurt in his hopeless gaze and strangled speech.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
January 31st, 2017

“The play doesn’t offer so much a slice of life as a barely digestible bite…The play’s descent into turgid, contrived melodrama at least rescues it from the tediousness that had preceded it...Director Trip Cullman tries to energize the slow-paced proceedings with jarring sound effects and video projections...But these embellishments mainly smack of theatrical desperation, since the playwright never makes clear what she’s actually trying to say. The younger performers are excellent.”
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NY1
January 31st, 2017

"MCC Theater is delivering a powerful production bristling with high energy and bravura performances...Playwright Anna Jordan is unflinching in her portrayal of a wretched British family drowning in a pit of despair. But Jordan and her ace director Trip Cullman somehow manage to inject enough humanity to make us care about these deplorables...Hard to love certainly, but given such a gutsy production, it’s equally hard to turn away."
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