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Sydney Lemmon and Peter Friedman in JOB at SoHo Playhouse
Photograph: Emilio Madrid

Let me tell you—this suspenseful East Village play is one of the best shows playing in NYC right now

You will be holding your breath throughout the 80-minute play 'Job' by Max Wolf Friedlich.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

"Let Me Tell You" is a series of columns from our expert editors about NYC living, including the best things to do, where to eat and drink, and what to see at the theater. They publish each Tuesday so you’re hearing from us each week. Last month, News Editor Anna Rahmanan shared her wishes for the NYC kosher dining scene in 2024.

On a frigid early February evening, I headed to the East Village to catch a performance of Job, an 80-minute play by Max Wolf Friedlich that was originally mounted at the SoHo Playhouse in 2023 and has returned for a limited run at the Connelly Theater on 4th Street by Avenue B this month. 

This time around directed by Michael Herwitz, Job's premise is a pretty simple one: Jane (played by the astounding Sydney Lemmon, one part of the two-person cast ensemble) works at a big tech company until she's placed on leave following what appears to be a mental breakdown that was caught on camera.

The entire show unfolds inside Jane's crisis therapist Loyd's office (a stellar Peter Friedman of Succession fame), where the two discuss her troubles as Jane hopes to receive the green light to return to work—until the story takes a very unexpected turn.

Many elements contribute to the play's outstanding nature: it's a psychological thriller mounted inside a cozy theater (just about 100 seats in the heart of the East Village) that only lasts 80 minutes—the length that any film or theater production should adhere to. 

Don’t be alarmed if you catch yourself holding your breath throughout the entire show: you’ll survive … and then won’t be able to stop thinking about Job for days after the actors' final bows.

A clear commentary on the perils of the Internet and what Silicon Valley stands for, Job can also be interpreted as a horror production reminiscent of, as Sara Holdren of New York Magazine wrote after seeing the first run, "a Black Mirror episode with the sci-fi dialed down (because the horrors are real) and the punchy, cynical, HBO-ready dialogue dialed up." Basically, a very New York play that refreshingly moves away from the topics and genres that currently define just about any Broadway production (revivals, adaptations of already-proven-successful films).

Funnily enough, given the themes explored, when the show was mounted at the SoHo Playhouse, it enjoyed a modicum of success up until a TikTok user posted about it and, well, went viral. 

That’s the thing about technology, right? We can’t live with it … but we certainly can’t imagine life without it either.

Job plays at the Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street through March 23. Tickets are available right here.

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