The Sound Inside

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The Sound Inside
Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

The Sound Inside is a deep journey into the consciousness of a writer told to the audience by the writer herself, revealing how she presents herself to the world, and what her own narrative is. She is a damaged loner, known for her work, difficult to be in a relationship with.

She tells her own story, with the dexterity of a seasoned author.

Mary-Louise Parker plays Bella Baird, a writer who is also a Yale professor, and she commands the stage as she self-consciously tells her tale.

The Sound Inside unfolds like a novel, or maybe even a great audiobook. We meet the play’s central characters, professor Bella Baird, and a student in her class, Christopher Dunn, who is kind of awed by her. He wants to meet with her in her office repeatedly to discuss his own novel. And although he is quirky and somewhat annoying, she continues to allow him to meet and speak with her. Bella is clearly super intelligent, but kind of odd. She is carelessly dressed in drab colors, with unattractive shoes, and carries a worn yellow pad with her, to have the  ease of opportunity to write down spontaneous notes or lines.

Soon Bella and Christopher have befriended each other in an awkward kind of way. In due time, she asks him to do something for her that is that is a shocking request, one which requires a great deal of trust.

I leave that for you to find out what that act is, because you should approach The Sound Inside like you approach a new book. Unsure of where the story will go, but willing to go along for the ride.

Mary-Louise Parker is incredibly nimble in her role as Bella, and her counterpart, Will Hochman, the young actor who plays her student, Christopher, does a great job in this two-hander.

The Sound Inside is a profound piece, brilliantly written by Adam Rapp and directed by David Cromer.  When the show ends, in addition to the great performances you’ve just seen, you will note how well written The Sound Inside is.

For more theatre news, conversation and entertainment listen to “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” radio show and podcast, Saturday morning from 9-10 on WNYM radio, online, Alexa and podcast.


  • Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has joined The Story Plant Entertainment Company and is currently working on a film and Broadway play. Visit her website at

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