safeword.
73

safeword. NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(131 Reviews)
Positive
74%
Mixed
20%
Negative
6%
Members say
Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

About the Show

This new work explores power dynamics through BDSM and food and reveals how the people closest to us often have the most to hide.

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Member Reviews (131)

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139 Reviews | 39 Followers
92
Surprisingly entertaining play about sexual repression and secrets!!

See it if You are interested in a very well acted directed play about repressed sexual fetishes. Great lighting and sets.

Don't see it if You are looking for gratuitous nudity for nudity sakes...but it was very sensual on its own terms. Read more

196 Reviews | 83 Followers
91
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in a realistic portrayal of a BDSM relationship (psychologically) and relationships in general.

Don't see it if You are offended by sex, or trans people. If you are looking for something with a large cast or looking for a comedy. Read more

75 Reviews | 27 Followers
88
Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy shows based on “taboo” subject matter. You want an interesting story or secrets and relationships. You are curious of BDSM themes.

Don't see it if You don’t like touchy subjects. You are looking for a big showy musical. You are a conservative. Lol

188 Reviews | 39 Followers
86
Funny, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It opens up a world many of us don’t know much about. It’s also a fresh look on relationships and how varied we all are. great conclusion

Don't see it if Don’t see it if sexual material is too challenging for you. It deals with a wide array of emotions and views on marriage

379 Reviews | 92 Followers
84
Thought-provoking, Great script and direction, Terrific cast and performances, Edgy and honest, Ambitious

See it if You're open to an edgy, funny, sometimes rough play that's ultimately about love and communication, way past secrets, addiction or pain.

Don't see it if Themes of bondage, discipline or S&M disturb, or if you can't accept the validity or love possible in alternate life styles, however extreme Read more

150 Reviews | 47 Followers
82
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a subject matter that's not normally explored. Interested in the world of BDSM and the psychological reasons behind it

Don't see it if You don't like stepping out of your comfort zone. You're very conservative. Dont like themes of BDSM or plays with trans characters

341 Reviews | 29 Followers
82
Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play about how people deal with problems.

Don't see it if the subject matter of S &M would bother you.

70 Reviews | 7 Followers
80
Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you are interested with S&M gay couple. It is a play about relationships, love, differences. Good acting!

Don't see it if If you are looking for a comedy, light play.

Critic Reviews (8)

The New York Times
May 8th, 2019

“Gelman’s second play, ‘Safeword’, is hoping to do for bondage what ‘Afterglow’ did for open marriage. But here, the characters are unfinished, and overall the play promises more than it can deliver...Gelman, who also directs, seems more concerned with disproving myths and setting up perfect tableaus than he does in creating characters we want to spend time with. We’re never privy to what makes these people tick; they’re all painted in broad, generic strokes."
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Theatermania
April 25th, 2019

"Does 'safeword.' hold together as a gripping, well-written, original play that provokes meaningful discussion about BDSM — or, if not, at least provides some titillation? The answer is No...Few will be surprised by the ending of this story, which is curiously banal for such an intriguing setup...Despite the plot's triteness, the actors do their best to breathe life into Gelman's dreary dialogue."
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TheaterScene.net
April 26th, 2019

"Asher here continues to mine the subject of human sexuality, but lightning has not struck twice. That is chiefly due to Asher’s misguidedly grandiose direction emphasizing stylish spectacle at the expense of the clunky plot...We’re physically distant from the characters which adds detachment from them as well. The main problem is the flawed writing...Though 'safeword.’'s promising premise is frustratingly realized it does impart pertinent facts."
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Front Mezz Junkies
May 17th, 2019

“It’s an honest attempt to unmask the preconceived notions of this world, but unfortunately...the whole thing whips back and forth from pleasing to awkward, even when it’s not intended...The actors work their damnedest to keep it together...working hard to make the play feel real and important...For a show that wants to titillate and excite, ‘safeword.’ falters, finding a way to be overly instructional and explanatory, and not as progressive, exciting, or interesting as intended.”
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Broadway Blog
April 26th, 2019

"'safeword.' attempts to introduce audiences to bondage, domination, and sadomasochism, but mostly, it’s a lukewarm drama with whips and chains...The scenarios often seem too contrived...The major problem with this play is in the approach. Gelman wins major accolades for highlighting difficult topics. Yet here, it translates into the stuff of corporate training videos...Consequently, it doesn’t give the cast enough material to savor. Pacing is also problematic."
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T
April 25th, 2019

"There's a promising premise here for a comedy-drama about secrets and lies, hypocrisy, identity, friendship, love, marriage, power, and sexual boundary crossing. But the tortuous, if not torturous plot, and the two-dimensional characters and dialogue remain bogged down in insufficiently witty, soap-opera clichés…The actors lack the charisma, energy, and charm to make us care one way or the other…Gelman's dull pacing drags the piece down well before it's over."
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Off Off Online
April 26th, 2019

"Gelman’s plot feels more contrived, and its effect isn’t as strong...Gelman has respect for his subject, but at times the dialogue sounds more suited to an educational video about BDSM...But there are serious problems both regarding Micah’s willingness and logical plot points...Once the characters’ credibility falters, so does the story’s impact. Nonetheless, the actors are fine."
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Manhattan Digest
April 25th, 2019

"Might call to mind some steamy, sexy, gay bondage tale, but 'safeword.' is about so much more...'safeword.' thoughtfully and carefully uncovers these themes through excellent writing and the appreciable talents of its cast...More perfect actors could not have been found to portray these complicated but sincere people, and under Gelman’s splendid direction this play makes for a moving and thought-provoking evening of theater."
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