Passage NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(23 Ratings)
Positive
87%
Mixed
9%
Negative
4%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Ambitious

About the Show

Soho Rep presents this new fantasia on colonialism past and present by Obie Award winner Christopher Chen.

Show-Score Member Reviews (23)

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115 Reviews | 23 Followers
85
Beautiful design, Thoughtful, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to watch an immersive play about oppression & otherness without the material being too heavy-handed. Reminded me of Caryl Churchill

Don't see it if You are tired of watching plays about oppression and otherness. It's getting old, but this play isn't loud and overt like most plays today.

425 Reviews | 103 Followers
84
Abstract, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like beautifully designed, zen-like sets, simple costumes/props/lighting w/ abstract, but rich dialogue. Makes you think about humanity

Don't see it if you prefer shows with a clear wall between the audience and characters. Not for those who want a concrete, understandable, & confined story. Read more

546 Reviews | 66 Followers
83
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if enjoy intelligent discussions, acted well, regarding those that have and those that don't. very topicial

Don't see it if want logs of action. most scenes are just two people so not a lot of interaction.

69 Reviews | 11 Followers
82
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Epic, Absorbing, Enchanting

See it if You want intelligent, thoughtful meditations on deep sociocultural traumas embedded in us all.

Don't see it if You need very linear, very clear theater and have no patience for philosophical discourse or metatheatrics Read more

73 Reviews | 21 Followers
81
Riveting, Relevant, Clever, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if theatrical allegory for xenophobia/colonialism/racism appeals to you.

Don't see it if Have back problems (seating favors limber bodies), prefer literal stories. Read more

408 Reviews | 86 Followers
80
Great acting, Relevant, Clever, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in topics of racism, prejudice, and immigration. Some scenes more effective than others, but terrific acting from all.

Don't see it if you prefer a play that isn't purposefully ambiguous. Nothing is given a proper name so audience brings own interpretation. Read more

95 Reviews | 6 Followers
80
Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love being challenged and have some introspection. The balance of subjectivity and objectivity is simply fascinating.

Don't see it if you have a weak back! There are only a few seat that have back support and it's 90 minutes without an intermission. My only complaint!

58 Reviews | 9 Followers
80
Resonant, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if if you like theatre that skillfully provokes and raises uncomfortable questions

Don't see it if you prefer comedy and musicals to serious drama. Read more

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
May 5th, 2019

"'Passage' sometimes feels more like a therapeutic workshop than a narrative drama. But the cast members speak their lines with a care and conviction that gives mooring specificity to instincts that many people traditionally experience in strange lands. It’s in the play’s second part...that Mr. Chen’s adherence to Forster’s original plot shows strain...Nonetheless, Mr. Ali confidently modulates the pace throughout. And his production includes two exquisitely theatrical moments."
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Time Out New York
May 9th, 2019

"Chen’s text takes colonialism out of any specific racial or temporal context in order to examine power, exploitation and resistance as nakedly as possible...Yet intertwined with these political arguments is a real and affecting drama...Chen’s remarkable writing is supported by a design team that does wonders while seeming to do very little...Unashamedly political yet deeply humane, it’s a difficult journey that is well worth the trouble."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
May 6th, 2019

"There’s something so earnest, so calmly and smilingly solicitous, about 'Passage' that the production can begin to feel like a focus group or a seminar on some particularly sensitive topic — and, in a sense, it is. But all the same, I couldn’t help feeling the play’s engine sputter whenever the audience had to have its temperature taken...At its bravest, 'Passage' leans into its own possibly insoluble complexities and keeps making its way forward and down."
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Theatermania
May 5th, 2019

"Chen and his director Saheem Ali ensure that, if nothing else, their audience members are on equal footing...If it all sounds a little clinical, that's occasionally how it feels. Chen does his best to draw nuance from characters that inherently sound like placeholders, but that being the case, it's not always clear whether to empathize with them as human beings, or dispassionately study their situations like a political analyst."
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Lighting & Sound America
May 6th, 2019

"The sheer absence of detail makes the early part of 'Passage' rather dull, reducing the characters to abstract talking heads...Still, Chen's approach begins to pay dividends as one exchange after another quietly explodes with conflict...That 'Passage' becomes steadily more gripping is also a tribute to the keen-eyed direction of Saheem Ali and his fine ensemble."
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New York Stage Review
May 6th, 2019

"'Passage' is an interesting experimental work that maintains one’s attention, but its deliberate intent to make viewers think about the issue rather than feel about the characters makes for a more clinical than dramatic experience. Some rather stiff dialogue and a hasty conclusion also undermine the play’s effectiveness...Some capable performances by a multinational ensemble and a fine production directed by Saheem Ali strengthen the work."
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TheaterScene.net
May 19th, 2019

"Christopher Chen's exquisite and mystical 'Passage' is inspired by E.M. Forster's 'A Passage to India,' borrowing its plot and character relationships. But while the novel was simply about the British colonization of India, Chen has something bigger in mind. Chen calls the two locales Country X and Country Y so that the audience can fill in whatever two countries they wish in whatever time. Director Saheem Ali's superb multicultural cast offers the maximum in diversity."
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Front Row Center
May 8th, 2019

“A great big Nothing Burger. It is, however, presented by some top-notch actors. Thus, what could be a disaster of an evening remains afloat,..Has the feel of a spiritual seminar...This is a supremely well-intentioned piece...With ‘Passage’ Chen swaps out specificity for generalities, details for philosophy, and emotions for platitudes. It ends up being a singularly uninteresting event – despite the intentions of the author and the fine work of this cast.”
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