See it if You are in the mood for a fun, soap opera like adventure. Great staging and acting.
Don't see it if could be a bit shorter.
See it if you like southern Asian dancing, family stories with drawn-out twists, stories of immigrants of various wealth, south Asian casting
Don't see it if you need time periods and specific characters within them clarified early on, plays that introduce new issues toward the end, heavy accents
See it if enjoy a new voice for those not often seen on stage. well staged and balanced production.
Don't see it if want everything spoon-feed. need to pay attention to figure out what's going on, when - as it takes place in multiple time frames.
See it if You like family dramas. Are interested in Indian culture and the U.S. immigrant story.
Don't see it if You need a polished & focused script and production. Need the entire cast to be believable.
See it if You appreciate diversity of culture and want to support more Indian-American theater. The actors tried their best with the material.
Don't see it if The play is poorly written, full of cliches and predictable twists. It drags on without saying much.
See it if you're interested in plodding family drama
Don't see it if you're not
See it if you like shows that reveal themselves slowly, don't mind not being sure what is going on at first. Interested in stories of immigrants.
Don't see it if you want an action driven play. Are bothered by sections of untranslated dialogue (although you get the idea in context of what is said).
See it if I have to admit I had no idea what was going on for the first act.Only in the second act did it come together and work.Good acting, plot
Don't see it if having a significant part of the dialogue in a language unknown to you is confusing and off-putting. Universal themes of self versus should
“Patel’s Charu is perfect...Charu is comic and reckless, selfish and decent, myopic and real. It’s an exhilarating performance, a work of actorly alchemy.”
3/5 Stars...Under Awoye Timpo's uncharacteristically unfocused direction, Elyria takes a while to find its rhythm in the exposition-heavy yet confusing first act, which builds to a telegraphed reveal. Act II is more engaging intellectually, if not emotionally, as Purohit unpacks the baggage that all immigrants schlep with them. But by then we’re not wholly invested in the contents."
“Awoye Timpo’s fluid production is not to be missed, and its ghosts will haunt you after the lights go down.”
“Shagginess and confusion aside, the production boasts a few fine performances...But that's not enough to recommend ‘Elyria,’ which struggles to find a cohesive plot to put flesh on the bones. It is an ambitious attempt, but ultimately experimental theatrics get in the way of a potentially good story.”
Ambition is a great thing in a playwright but, in the case of Elyria, Deepa Purohit's reach exceeds her grasp; this tangled, multi-generational tale might test the skills of her more accomplished colleagues, and certain aspects of Awoye Timpo's direction don't prove helpful. Purohit certainly has something but wrangling her many characters and imperfectly woven plot strands proves to be something of a struggle. There's enough material here for at least eight episodes on Netflix; condensed, confusingly, into a little over two hours, one strains to keep up.
“The performances by Nilanjana Bose and Gulshan Mia as the two central characters are solid and engaging, but neither the plot, nor Awoye Timpo's direction, nor the sometimes confusing design elements are able to pull the disparate pieces into a fully realized production. Elyria feels like a work in progress, its potential as yet unmet.”
What makes "Elyria" intriguing is how its American location affects the hidebound ritual social rules of its Southeast Asian characters. That all the characters emerged from an African diaspora that seemed to have little influence on their ingrained Indian culture only adds to the colorful rendition of an old-hat story.
“In Deepa Purohit’s ‘Elyria,’ most of the characters are off-balance...Unfortunately, the play itself struggles with the same problem—there are compelling scenes and uniformly winning performances from the cast, yet the show is frustratingly uneven, adding up to less than the sum of its parts.”