I don't usually write about shows before they officially open but Chavkin mounted this show about the emotional journeys of six people at a silent retreat at Ars Nova last year. It sold out then and I couldn't get a ticket. So I grabbed a couple as soon as I heard there would be a return engagement this summer and I'm just as eager to report that my theatergoing buddy Bill and I had a great time.
But the major challenge for the actors is to tell their stories and, just as importantly, their backstories (the reasons they're seeking solace at the retreat) almost entirely through their facial expressions and body gestures since their characters are supposed to be silent. It's a real workout and they not only obviously love doing it but ace it as well.
At almost two hours without intermission, Small Mouth Sounds is a bit long but it's also nirvana for smart theatergoers.