New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

Comfort Women (Dimo Kim Musical Theatre Factory)

From 9 critic and 138 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great singing, Absorbing, Intense

About the show

A new revival of the 2015 musical about Korean comfort women who were sold as sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. More…

The story revolves around a young Korean woman, Goeun, who was promised a job in Japan, but is soon transported to Indonesia as one of the comfort women. The audience witnesses how such a tragedy can permanently and painfully transform the life of a young woman.

1h 40m | Already closed | Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (Midtown W)

Stage Buddy

"'Comfort Women: A Musical' is poised to take its place in musical theatre history besides iconic shows like 'Miss Saigon' and 'Les Miserables'. All these shows tell the story of people who have fallen (or, more accurately, have been pushed down) by the wayside of war but are nevertheless important and deserve to be heard...The choreography is imaginative and fantastic...Highly recommended." Full Review

Let's Go to the Theater

“The book for the show does some good character development...There are some very fine songs both of despair and hope. The songs with choreography are well done as well. Overall, this is a good show with a tremendous story to tell. History buffs will want to see this to get a view of events not well-known. As little known as they are, they need to be put out there. ‘Comfort Women’ does that in a stern, yet lyrical manner.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“The production shows a noteworthy attention to detail...The scenes of sexual assault are delicately handled, depicted through interpretive dance...Although the show gets off to a rough start, these young actors eventually prove their depth (though some are stronger than others)...Too many songs, that at times one seems to blur into the next, but overall the production is strong with varied and compelling characters, beautiful lyrics, and quality stage combat.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Although some of the text is drawn out, the overall production is dramatically moving, as the important concept is fleshed out by an excellent cast...One comes away appreciative of all the work that has gone into ‘Comfort Women’, and even if it hardly rises to the level of a great musical, it boasts a reasonably good score and is indeed often moving, enlightening and dramatic in remembering the sad fate of so many Korean women who fell prey to the Imperial Japanese Army." Full Review


“The subject is certainly worth exploring, though it's hardly conventional musical material...The young cast's relative inexperience is at times glaringly obvious...Like watching a competent college production...Generic musical-theater idiom in their score...Melodramatic book...This banal and forgettable musical leaves you thinking less about the historical atrocities it dramatizes than about how much more illuminating a Wikipedia page on the subject would be.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The current revival of 'Comfort Women' is difficult to watch, think about, and certainly sing about...It’s hard to imagine that a tragedy of this depth and these dimensions could be regarded as the basis for entertainment. Good intentions are not enough. Everything has to have artistic coherence...It just didn’t work for me...All I could think of during and since the play was the horror the women suffered. This subject needs to be shown, not in a musical, but as a film documentary." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"A regrettable misfire...The scattershot sequence of scenes is often weakly integrated, and long, static passages with little dramatic progress are frequent…A superior score would have helped, but…the music is barely tuneful…Too many lyrics are bogged down in clunky, pompous verbosity…Perhaps the greatest problem is the cast, an eager but largely inexperienced…group of young actors who appear more like a group of college students than a company of professionals." Full Review


"Trying to portray the violence subtly, an oxymoronic idea, blunts viewers from the horror of experiencing the victims' pain and also limits their sympathy...The music has a sameness making you wonder why this disturbing story must even include music...On the upside, the large cast offers roles to many talented Asian actors...Unfortunately, this lightweight production and musical score does not come close to packing the necessary emotional and dramatic punch." Full Review


"In telling the rest of this shattering story, the creators of 'Comfort Women,' inexplicably, rely heavily on musical theater conventions that result in wrongheaded, if not downright offensive, choices. The most cringeworthy is the choreographed sequence of a Korean woman being gang raped by Japanese soldiers. At some point, in their effort to visualize this atrocity, director Dimo Hyun Jun Kim and choreographer Natanal Hyun Kim should have realized that they were, in fact, trivializing it." Full Review

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Profound, Must see

See it if Tells an important story about a group of women who were silenced. Excellent performances from young Asian American actors, and great choreo

Don't see it if You're bothered by sexual violence and/or general violence

Absorbing, Ambitious, Powerful, Relevant, Engaging

See it if You want to see an dramatic, beautifully choreographed musical about a real life tragedy. It Kept you riveted to the action every second.

Don't see it if If you don’t like true stories about the horrors of war, sexual Abuse and violence

Also Touching and sad, you found yourself caring deeply for the actors. man... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Intense

See it if One of the best theatrical performances I have seen lately. Great dance and fighting hereography, very emotional and dramatic experience.

Don't see it if The show was so moving it left the whole audience crying. A must see for everyone, including kids, about women's life during the war.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you like history related stories, especially those happened during WWW II in Asia and which are thought-provoking

Don't see it if you don't like shows involving serious topics, like sex-slaves, gun violence.

Great singing, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you are open to a historical show about Korean women enslaved by Japanese soldiers for sexual purposes during WW2, while being set to music

Don't see it if you are so critical that you demand Broadway Tony winning actors to entertain you. The cast is young and did a really fine job.

Also Disregard the 2 hyper-critical Critic reviews as they may know more ab... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Relevant

See it if The very talented all-Asian cast and crew used song, dance, and mannerisms to depict stylistically the brutal mistreatment of Korean comfort

Don't see it if You are not interested in history, or/and you like light-hearted musicals

Also women in the WWII by imperial Japan. For five decades after the War th... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Ambitious, Great choreography

See it if You enjoy musical in general. Although the story is intense and historical, there was not a dull moment. Kudos to the production team!

Don't see it if You genuinely won't enjoy the sad story based on WW II. It's hard to appreciate the good acting & production for the sadness of the history

Relevant, Epic, Absorbing, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if want to see a wonderful and moving depiction of a complicated aspect of history, with a huge and talented cast--odd and unexpected.

Don't see it if you don't like a huge cast with complex interwoven stories and threads.

Absorbing, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you like original musicals that does not have a melody you can hum on the way out, but rather does have subject matter to discuss.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a difficult and heartbreaking plot based on true stories. and if your only kind of musical is a big Broadway show.

Absorbing, Little to long, Entertaining

See it if It is a story that needs to be told and it's interesting because a lot of people don't know that it happened.

Don't see it if Violence and abusing women these are the topics, but it also has to do with strength to stay alive.

Also The cast was young and some of them had excellent singing voices. This... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if The story has to be told. Huge cast. Great opp. for many young East Asian talent My favorites.. Abigal Choi Arader? and Matheus Ting.

Don't see it if Character development limited as too many in the cast. Sets and staging may need more time effort and $$$$$ Small Audience (see more) .

Also I am ambivalent re the musicalization re this tragedy but more on the ... Read more Read less

Intense, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy explorations of tragic historical events through music and dance & you like the idea of a majority Asian production

Don't see it if you dislike sad storylines or cannot stomach war, violence, and the implications of non-consensual interactions

Also note that it is a straight 110 minute show with no intermission & that... Read more Read less

Passionate, Well played, Informative, Great ensemble work, A bit confusing

See it if you're interested in new musicals , Korean Culture or the history of Southeast Asia in the 1st half of the 20th century.

Don't see it if you prefer your musicals huge. This one stays lean & intimate, even after we land in the middle of World War II

Also I was deeply touched by this tale of the Korean Comfort Women, tricked... Read more Read less

Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Great staging

See it if you're looking for an exploration of a seldom seen piece of history

Don't see it if you're not comfortable with depictions of violence

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a more creative off broadway experience. Difficult topic handled tastefully. Not that much “history” as much as historical story.

Don't see it if You like you theater experiences light and fluffy although considering the topic surprisingly entertaining

Also Some good songs but much of the music was generic musical theater but ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Quirky

See it if You like musicals based on historical events or facts.

Don't see it if You only like traditional musicals with no disturbing content.

Absorbing, Relevant, Profound, Intense

See it if You care about learning about a sad episode in world history.

Don't see it if Violence and man's inhumanity is painful for you to watch.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great singing, Intense

See it if You are interested in historical events with the back drop of war and sexual exploitation. Off set by music and dance. Effective set. Staged

Don't see it if You are disturbed by themes of war and sexual abuse and the simulated use of guns and gun fire. This is no trivial musical.

Also by an all Asian cast. A first for Broadway or off Broadway.

Deeply-moving / must-see, Great music / excellent singing, Unnecessary choreography, Very creatively staged, Enlightening / relevant / absorbing

See it if you're interested in learning about this not so well-known horrid, tragic, somewhat hidden side of Korean & Japanese 20th century history.

Don't see it if you can't handle sadness & despair. It's intense, there's verbal & physical-abuse, non-stop intimidation & bullying, plus str8-up shootings.

Also Really torn. SO MANY mixed emotions.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intense, Riveting

See it if You are OK with realistic war dramas that are gory, and depict violence and brutality toward women. Only light song was "Nami's Lament".

Don't see it if Realistic, brutal war dramas are upsetting to you, especially when they pportray violence and brutality toward women. This isn't lite fare.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy history. There were some very strong individual performers. It needs some tightening up but it has a lot of potential.

Don't see it if you do not like a heavy subject. Sexual slavery is not a light matter.

Truthful, realistic, absorbing, sad

See it if I enjoy theater that is based on fact no matter how uncomfortable that might be. such as the play Allegiance was, some years ago.

Don't see it if If you are faint of heart or live in a make- believe world

Also This play sent a message that history isn't always pretty. I'm so glad... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you want to see a talented, young cast giving it their all in a true story, not likely what you learned about in school. Sound and lights +.

Don't see it if you can't sit for 2 hours without an intermission or you expect a fun and frolic musical - this is a serious subject w/ song & choreography.

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Important

See it if Enjoy historically based productions of important events which are largely ignored.

Don't see it if If you are not a fan of historically-based productions or do not like musicals. I felt that the musical numbers compromised the plot.

Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if With a group of over 20 talented Asian actors telling the true story of the brutality of the Japanese soldiers mistreated the Korean women.

Don't see it if The subject matter is not for the fainted heart and it could use a bit editing of the storyline.

Cast & Creatives (35)