India Pale Ale
Closed 2h 0m
India Pale Ale
68

India Pale Ale NYC Reviews and Tickets

68%
(114 Ratings)
Positive
52%
Mixed
40%
Negative
8%
Members say
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Ambitious, Quirky

About the Show

In MTC's new comic drama, a tight-knit Punjabi community gathers to celebrate the wedding of a traditional family’s only son, just as their strong-willed daughter announces her plans to move away and open a bar.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (114)

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266 Reviews | 27 Followers
95
Relevant, Profound, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Timely

See it if you enjoy plays that involve ethnic (Punjabi) families; you appreciate a good script with superb acting and a few very funny scenes

Don't see it if you might find some of the scenes confusing; you prefer more traditional theater; you only like big Broadway splashy musicals

98 Reviews | 18 Followers
89
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Funny, Informative

See it if You have an interest in learning a little about Indian culture and are not triggered by some recent religious tragedies in the news.

Don't see it if You are not interested in seeing a play about a culture that’s not typically visible in mainstream productions. Read more

108 Reviews | 35 Followers
85
Cleverly original, Entertaining, Intelligent, Multi-cultural, Great cast

See it if you enjoy new nontraditional plays, question what it means to be an American from a non-WASP pov, care about family touched by hate crime

Don't see it if you're only comfortable within your own ethnic group & don't want to learn about others. Serious & timely play presented in lighthearted way Read more

65 Reviews | 11 Followers
80
Enchanting, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Quirky

See it if you want a play that is fundamentally uplifting, about love, family, and community. You want a politically relevant or soul-feeding night.

Don't see it if you don't want to see something with a sense of humor and a positive and complicated lens, or you hate plays about families.

761 Reviews | 167 Followers
80
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Funny, Refreshing, Slow

See it if interested in work by Indian-American writers & actors, like family sagas about tradition vs. new culture, relevant yet heartwarming tale

Don't see it if Don't care about Indian-Americans culture & assimilation, don't like large family sagas, don't want reminders of tragic current events

514 Reviews | 96 Followers
79
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if a story about a different kind of family peaks your interest.

Don't see it if think a story about spreading your own wings is less important than the wishes of your family because you aren't gonna like the message here

83 Reviews | 12 Followers
79
Entertaining, Relevant, Funny, Confusing, Resonant

See it if you enjoy watching strong, independent women who know what they want out of life.

Don't see it if You don't agree that people who are "ethnic" should be treated with empathy.

184 Reviews | 17 Followers
78
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Well staged and acted, Entertaining, Confusing

See it if you want something that is ultimately uplifting, albeit sometimes confusing. Relevant to the news [Oct.-Nov 2018]. Plus a dance number.

Don't see it if you feel that second and third generation offspring of immigrants are still foreigners.

Critic Reviews (20)

The New York Times
October 23rd, 2018

“A cheerfully instructive work...Even in its bleakest moments, the dialogue is punctuated with the wholesome teasing and perkiness of a family sitcom. The supporting characters, drawn in the same vein...They’re a likably peppy lot, although all that matey ‘yaaargh-ing’ can get a bit tedious. I’m assuming that Ms. Backhaus deliberately shaped her characters in the mold of familiar domestic comedies to underscore their universality...But they seldom register as fully dimensional beings."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 24th, 2018

“It’s not fun to criticize a play like 'India Pale Ale,' which so badly wants to be a model of good citizenship and generosity, and falls so dismally theatrically flat. But from its very opening moments, the sketchily drawn story of the Batra family feels confused about everything from tone to intention to narrative focus...It wanders and hiccups and fails to get any sort of real emotional foothold, then latches onto a tragedy in order to catapult its engineless plot forward.."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 23rd, 2018

"Badly in need of further development...There's very little plot to speak of...There are some amusing moments...But the relentless quirkiness and didactic speechifying reveal a playwright trying much too hard, and neither director Will Davis' amateurish staging nor the ensemble's uneven performances help matters. ‘India Pale Ale’ concludes with a lovely offering to the audience but it's not enough to compensate for the otherwise empty feeling this ‘promising’ work leaves.”
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Theatermania
October 23rd, 2018

“A play that has more "teachable moments" than genuine ones...This urgency to moralize only keeps us at arm's length from the family with which we're supposed to be breaking down barriers...The events that unfold neither support each other nor carry their own tension...You feel Backhaus hint at the friction between Americanization and Punjabi tradition, and then immediately withdraw as if to avoid the implication that those two things are incompatible.”
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Lighting & Sound America
November 9th, 2018

“’India Pale Ale’ is all exhortation and no drama. The family relationships are not explored, and most of the characters are one-dimensional: The women gossip about relationships while making food, and Boz's brother and ex-boyfriend are a pair of stereotypical bros...In many ways, the play turns on Boz's relationship to her father, but the character barely exists...Everyone is fine, but nobody makes a strong impression...Davis' direction is pacey but lacking in nuance.”
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Talkin' Broadway
October 25th, 2018

“What ‘India Pale Ale’ isn't good at is exposition. That, and organization. Jaclyn Backhaus's drama, an immersive plunge into the deep end of Punjabi culture as transplanted to the present-day U.S., has some rewards down the pike, specifically in the handsomeness of MTC’s production and the revealing to us mainstreamers of an unfamiliar, singular subculture. You just have to take some unprepossessing side roads to get to all that...You just wish it were laid out more clearly.”
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New York Stage Review
October 23rd, 2018

“Often lively, certainly sincere but ultimately lightweight play, which is well directed by Will Davis, and obviously produced by Manhattan Theatre Club as an antidote to today’s promulgated-from-the-oval-office divisiveness and its too often-homicidal repercussions...Despite the rather sizable complication, the play slides to a likable and conciliatory but not sufficiently deep, conclusion...There’s no arguing with the cast’s performances or Davis’ overseeing them."
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TheaterScene.net
November 8th, 2018

“Jaclyn Backhaus' ‘India Pale Ale’ is a revealing window on a world not usually seen on our stages. Unfortunately, the play often feels like it is written in a private language and that this family story is of things we are not privy to like the son Jol who no one will talk about but we eventually find out that he moved to India where he died young. As a result, the play seems longer than its actual running time. Backhaus may still be too close to her material to have had an objectivity.”
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