REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Men on Boats" Opened with a ShowScore of 82

Show-Score | Aug 2, 2016
“Men on Boats," written by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by William Davis, opened on August  1, 2016 in New York City. “Men on Boats," written by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by William Davis, opened on August 1, 2016 in New York City.

"Men on Boats" was originally produced by Clubbed Thumb as part of its 2015 Summerworks series. It's now enjoying a limited run at Playwrights Horizons as part of its Company Residency program.


9 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 86.

David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 85
"Playwright Backhaus gender-flips her hardy crew and asks director Davis to stage the impossible: vessels barreling over waterfalls and hairsbreadth escapes from drowning. Silly? Sure. Thrilling? Oh, yes...Although Backhaus’s sly inventory of male weakness can grow repetitious after an hour or so, the cast is a dream team of experimental pros and fresh faces, mining the pathos and genuine heroism of the story...'Men' has simply the best acting ensemble Off Broadway right now."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 85
"The rationale for casting an ensemble of actresses to enact Major John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Colorado River expedition eludes me. But as penned by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Will Davis, 'Men On Boats' is off-the-canyon-walls funny. A joint Off Broadway production of Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons, the show combines the playful inventiveness of the former with the theatrical discipline of the latter. Paddle or portage your own boat to the theater—but get there."
David Gordon
ShowScore: 90
"There's no attention drawn to gender in this boisterous new comedy, imaginatively directed down to the punctuation by Will Davis. 'Men on Boats' uses the lens of the present to explore a story from our shared cultural past. The result is kind of ingenious...This perfect 10-member ensemble perform their roles with laser-like precision. It's their skill, and the tug-of-war between the old and the new, that makes 'Men on Boats' such refreshing, enjoyable theater."

"Men on Boats" was also reviewed by David Roberts of Theatre Reviews Limited and Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway.


The show was also reviewed by 16 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 80.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Original, Clever, Great staging, Funny

moonchange, ShowScore: 80
See it if…You want to see a super-well-directed play with some hilarious broad performances—a very entertaining night out.
Don't see it if…You want to see a drama that deals with contemporary issues.
jane 6048, ShowScore: 90
See it if…You like clever, imaginative storytelling. 
Don't see it if…You don't want ninety minutes of fun.
Susie 6156, ShowScore: 86
See it if…You want theater to endlessly surprise. Innovative and irreverent, this play lovingly mocks/records human egotism facing nature's grandeur.
Don't see it if…You don't appreciate history doled out with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.