Review: Sound, or Silence? A Passionate Debate in ‘Children of a Lesser God’ Review REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Studio 54 / 254 West 54th Street, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

Aside from a brief prologue, the first thing the character Sarah says in “Children of a Lesser God” is — well, I can’t tell you.

Even if I could, it wouldn’t be as funny or as powerful as the way she delivers it, using a combination of poetically vulgar gestures to paint her friend Orin as a suck-up.

That’s because Sarah speaks American Sign Language, and I have only polite English at my disposal. A.S.L. wins, hands down — or, as the case may be, hands up.

The pungency of sign language is not the subject of Mark Medoff’s “Children of a Lesser God,” which opened on Wednesday at Studio 54 in a mixed bag of a Broadway revival directed by Kenny Leon. But it’s a wonderful bonus to the play’s fierce rivalry between those who promote spoken English as the highest attainable form of communication and those who are staunch partisans of silence.

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