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Aubergine

From 163 member  reviews
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. More…

A man shares a bowl of berries, and a young woman falls in love. A world away, a mother prepares a bowl of soup to keep her son from leaving home. And a son cooks a meal for his dying father to say everything that words can’t. In Julia Cho’s poignant and lyrical new play, the making of a perfect meal is an expression more precise than language, and the medium through which life gradually reveals itself.


Member Reviews (163)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent
78
Avg Score

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.

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

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

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 !

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.

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

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

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.

70
Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You want a thought provoking production about family, food and death

Don't see it if You don't like plays about illness or dying

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if You enjoy plays about family, food, and how it all intertwines.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with heavier themes of death and revelations of the self.

84
Resonant, Great acting, Warm-hearted, Profound

See it if You enjoy deep family dramas with realistic, well-acted characters, and a glimpse into the history of a Korean-American family.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about death.

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.

70
Ambitious, Slow, Uneven

See it if You are crazy for food- driven story lines.

Don't see it if Are annoyed by uneven acting.

49
Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent, Unfocused, Uneven acting

See it if You like plays that deal with sickness/ death issues

Don't see it if Unfocused writing and uneven acting are unforgivable.

15
Excruciating, Terrible acting, Terrible lighting, Illogical set design

See it if You're very interested in food and droning monologues that lend nothing to the story.

Don't see it if You expect something more than amateurish acting, a first draft script and terrible design elements.

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.

70
Ambitious, Great staging, Slow, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy Asian culture.

Don't see it if you hate watching a character's slow, painful demise center stage.

82
Refreshing, Unhurried, Thought-provoking, Bittersweet

See it if You want to see South Asian families stories represented on stage Are up for delving into care giving, death and unresolved relationships

Don't see it if You are freshly grieving and need distance

Also The play uses the sensations and memories of food to connect to experi... Read more Read less

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.

70
Cliched, Absorbing, Thoughtful, Sappy, Uneven

See it if Asian family dramas

Don't see it if sappiness

69
Original, Quirky

See it if You want to see something original. Interesting combination of food and death.

Don't see it if You don't want to feel depressed. Strongest theme is death. Good actors, but not the strongest writing or we'll strunget plot line

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Original

See it if You love food and family dramatics

Don't see it if It runs a little long at the end. A few of the last scenes (but not the last) could be cut

79
Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You can relate to the ways in which food can intimately link our memories, familial connections, and emotions.

Don't see it if You need more humor. There are funny moments and lines, but ultimately it is a slower-paced show steeped in loss, disappointment, and death.

85
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you're a foodie. Or if you enjoy exploring the topic of death and how it affects us. I loved this play. Beautiful performances.

Don't see it if you're going to expect everything to make logical sense. There's an air of magical realism here. It worked for me.

88
Great acting, Poignant, Enlightenting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a poignant and enlightening play about death and dying, but mostly about living and loving, as well as the meaning of meals

Don't see it if you are not interested in a lyrical, steady-moving, play dealing with the special ways a Korean family shows its love, family, and loss.


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 th...
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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...
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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 almos...
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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 dir...
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