Diaspora NYC Reviews and Tickets

(49 Reviews)
Members say
Ambitious, Disappointing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

About the Show

In this provocative new play, 73 AD meets 2017 as young Jewish tourists on a Birthright-style journey in Israel come face-to-face with their heritage.

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Member Reviews (49)

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Confusing, Absorbing, Great acting, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You are familiar with Jewish history, customs and traditions. Want to see a well acted piece that blends old ideas with modern characters.

Don't see it if You’re not familiar with Jewish history, customs and traditions. Without that background I was lost and couldn’t follow most of the story.

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant

See it if you are interested in the relevance of religious issues today and like to see them juxtaposed with their origins.

Don't see it if you are easily confused by change of character, setting and time, even though an excellent job is done with the projections.

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
November 20th, 2017

"The teenagers he creates don’t have any definitive opinions...Shapiro slams them for their silliness and ignorance and raunch, the women particularly. Trouble is, Shapiro, at least as evidenced by this play, doesn’t have much of an opinion either...He hasn’t found a way to express his obvious confusion...The intersections of 2017 and 73 never resonate meaningfully. They are two stories that play simultaneously: one narrative is ugly and frivolous, the other is a catastrophe."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 30th, 2017

“But if Shapiro's ear for dialogue is lethally accurate in the contemporary scenes, he sometimes struggles with the historical aspect...It's easy to admire Diaspora's desire to strip away every layer of cant that has accrued to one of the world's most controversial and contested places, but Shapiro works so hard at it that he eliminates any possibility for drama...For all its ferocity, the play ends up being as dry as the desert that surrounds Masada.”
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Theatre is Easy
November 20th, 2017

"The 'Masada today' sections of the show resonate as true and familiar...I appreciate what 'Diaspora' is trying to do, but the drastic contrast between horny young adults and the somber subjects of war, treachery, and death might need some reworking. And some characters and storylines deserve more focus...Also contributing to the confusion is an abrupt ending...If Shapiro would only bring us into his world further, it would be more rewarding for all."
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Theater Pizzazz
November 26th, 2017

"Nathanial Sam Shapiro’s splendid 'Diaspora' is so packed with feelings, history and ideas that it’s easier to laud than to describe...Director Saheem Ali deserves great credit for his sensitivity to the 8 actors in search of 22 characters in two time zones...Nathaniel Sam Shapiro is a playwright with a future. Three days after seeing the play, I’m unable to stop thinking about it...His scenes are intriguing. His dialogue is bold and funny."
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November 14th, 2017

"Though the characters portrayed in 'Diaspora' are largely archetypes, they raise many significant issues for the audience to contemplate...The playwright Mr. Shapiro and director Saheem Ali take an interesting approach to the telling of 'Diaspora' by including the audience as a character...Their use of humor helps make their points resonate, particularly with the younger members of the audience...The eight actors, several of whom play multiple roles, form an engaging ensemble."
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Tablet Magazine
November 20th, 2017

"The play tries to engage in both nuances of American Jewish culture and the history and politics of Israel, but what it does instead is give brief mentions to a series of surface arguments...Full of unlikable characters each representing a different half-baked perspective, the show is offensive to everyone and no one...I have yet to see an onstage reflection of the nuanced, thoughtful, complex approaches to Jewish identity."
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