Aubergine
Closed 2h 10m
Aubergine
78

Aubergine NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(162 Ratings)
Positive
84%
Mixed
13%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent

About the Show

Playwrights Horizons presents the NYC premiere of Julia Cho's new play, a mediation on family, loss, and the expressive power of preparing a meal.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (162)

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266 Reviews | 27 Followers
100
Clever, Original, Touching, Mystical

See it if You like family dramas that involve food, family, and philosophy.

Don't see it if You don't like plays that deal with death.

100 Reviews | 64 Followers
100
Masterful, Intense, Resonant, Original, Great writing

See it if you want to watch an incredibly moving and heartfelt piece of theatre that came from the hearts of the writer, actors and everyone involved

Don't see it if you're not ready for a serious night of theatre and tears

98 Reviews | 23 Followers
95
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Profound, Entertaining

See it if you love plays about fathers and sons and food that will linger in your memory long after.

Don't see it if you only like musicals, are triggered by plays about dying fathers, or aren't willing to read a few supertitles (some lines in Korean),

124 Reviews | 173 Followers
95
Absorbing, Clever, Masterful, Emotional, Great acting

See it if you love captivating new plays that show different parts of the American experience than the usual white middle class living room play.

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by the subject matter, which is about death and specifically losing parents. It's really masterfully written, though. Read more

548 Reviews | 1904 Followers
91
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Riveting

See it if So moving. Sweet, raw, touching, personal. The actors were so good! Recommend highly.

Don't see it if You can't handle emotional works or works that explore death.

111 Reviews | 17 Followers
90
Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent

See it if the relationship between food, love, culture and power fascinates. This smart play that deals with a parent's death among the struggles

Don't see it if watching a character deal with Hospice and death onstage is too much for your personal sensibilities Read more

393 Reviews | 101 Followers
90
Evocative, Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting & tight direction

See it if You're ready for a beautifully acted & sharply directed meditation on death & dying, being/not being, life & living & food as metaphor.

Don't see it if You lack imagination, or fight it; only appreciate fast food; believe like some critics Aubergine's a fancy word & not just simple French.

186 Reviews | 37 Followers
90
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in a diverse cast, a thoughtful play dealing with death, good writing, and moving performances

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy. There's humor and funny moments, but it's an emotionally wrenching play.

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
September 12th, 2016

"A sensitive but sometimes sluggish drama...There’s a languidness to the proceedings that had me slipping down in my chair...Sadness and frustration can make for a less than enthralling evening of theater. Nor is 'Aubergine' wholly free of a preciousness that got under my skin...The monologues that pepper the text can be more disruptive than engaging, despite the excellent acting...Your affection for 'Aubergine' may fundamentally come down to how sentimental you are about food."
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Time Out New York
September 12th, 2016

"Cho’s concept is savory enough to sustain the audience for most of the play. But the focus on sense and memory gets repetitious, and much of the play is lumpy: Flashbacks seem horned in, the denouement stumbles, and the writing becomes explanatory...Depending on your taste, the play’s dusting of magical realism may give Aubergine a pleasant zest. To me, it felt like the showy seasoning of a chef who doesn’t trust her ingredients."
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New York Theatre Guide
September 12th, 2016

"The show is virtually flawless in almost every regard...With ‘Aubergine,’ Cho has composed an astonishingly beautiful tale that firmly establishes her as a major talent in the pantheon of modern playwrights. Her words present a daunting but rewarding task for the director and cast, who must demonstrate their own virtuosity with every line to properly convey the artistry and heart that unfolds throughout. All of them succeed, and it’s remarkable to behold."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 12th, 2016

"Julio Cho writes in a program note about the way food attaches to memory, and vice versa. Unfortunately, the play itself does not so much demonstrate this connection as state it over and over: a recipe for dramatic starvation. It’s a curious botch, full of intelligence and watchfulness but almost entirely lacking in propulsion...'Aubergine' is all points and no play...Were it not for some very fine actors doing careful detail work, you would really have nothing to watch."
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Variety
September 12th, 2016

"'Aubergine,' a new play by Julia Cho, poses a unique challenge. The language is lovely, the dramatic structure is impressive and the polished Playwrights Horizons production directed by Kate Whoriskey is impeccable. But the play itself is a somber meditation on death and, as such, as relentlessly depressing as a three-day wake."
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The Hollywood Reporter
September 12th, 2016

"A moving meditation on love, loss, and the emotional power of food...The structurally ragged drama includes several lengthy monologues that slow down the narrative momentum...But for all its flaws, 'Aubergine' has a deeply felt emotionality, beautifully rendered in Kate Whoriskey's sensitive direction and the ensemble's excellent performances. Anyone who's ever shared a quiet late-night meal with a loved one, especially one who's no longer here, will find much to relate to."
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Theatermania
September 12th, 2016

"At times, the play is insightful and moving, although Cho could make it even more so by taking a meat cleaver to all the fat...While director Kate Whoriskey has led the cast to credible performances of highly specific characters, the design is a lot more aimless... Between the smart acting, thoughtful prose, and underwhelming production, 'Aubergine' is the theatrical equivalent of a functional yet unmemorable meal: It might fill you up, but it is entirely devoid of flavor."
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BroadwayWorld
September 14th, 2016

"‘Aubergine,’ a light drama full of sweetness and warmth, explores that connection between food and emotions in a tale about a chef who, in the midst of tragedy, seems to have lost his magical knack for making things better with his culinary creations…While the subject of death is always present, Cho and director Kate Whoriskey do a fine job of sustaining a sense of comfort and humor…‘Aubergine’ may make you hungry for a post-performance snack, but it's certainly satisfying theatre."
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