Aubergine
Closed 2h 10m
Aubergine
78

Aubergine NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(163 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
14%
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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Member Reviews (163)

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539 Reviews | 1877 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.

692 Reviews | 152 Followers
81
Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Slow, Intelligent

See it if You like father-child stories, meditations on death and loss, like to prepare food, eastern mystisism, endearing characters

Don't see it if You don't like written translations of dialogue on set, father-child issues, stubborn characters, overly cute endings

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
84
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Slow

See it if Thoughful, moving work on loss (particuliarly a parent) and an after-life. Cho's best work as playwright; fluid direction & acting

Don't see it if Recent loss of someone close or a hospice journey. Bothered by deliberate (slow) story development & pacing. Multiple endings saddle finish

464 Reviews | 128 Followers
60
Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Depressing, Morbid

See it if You really enjoy scene after scene of a dying man and people hanging over the bedside. You need to see every Julia Cho play.

Don't see it if You are wanting to see a play that leaves you smiling and pleased you made the effort to spend your evening at a brand new play !

423 Reviews | 99 Followers
80
Absorbing, Slow, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you liked Wit. you are interested in the uneven progression of acceptance of death.

Don't see it if You are troubled by ruminatios on death and dying. you dont like stagy, less than fluent staging.

417 Reviews | 69 Followers
73
Intense, Relevant, Great food monologues

See it if You believe in the transformative power of food and food memories.

Don't see it if Discussions of death upset you. You like sophisticated dialogue that explains through conversations between characters, rather than preaches

385 Reviews | 72 Followers
60
Boring, pointless, choppy,

See it if you like the kind of plays Playwrights seems to do now....korean family so that is new on stage....

Don't see it if you want a moving serious intelligent story..this is choppy, short scenes, pastrami sandwich stupidly links it together, forgettable

384 Reviews | 54 Followers
78
Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy an intelligent, well written and performed play about a subject that affects us all.

Don't see it if You have trouble understanding a familiar topic presented in novel and unique way.

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 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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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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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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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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Lighting & Sound America
September 13th, 2016

"For a play about the salubrious effects of good food, 'Aubergine' could use a little spicing up…It's not bad, but it's certainly not flavorful…A certain falsity sets in, and it is never fully dispelled…’Aubergine’ has a fair number of funny, perceptive, and touching aspects, but, ultimately, it feels too polite, too obviously calculated to provide a sense of uplift, too determined to scrub its central situation of anything too ugly or disturbing. Real life is messier than this."
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