Closed 1h 30m
[PORTO]
Upper W Side
72

[PORTO] NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(49 Reviews)
Positive
78%
Mixed
14%
Negative
8%
Members say
Funny, Quirky, Clever, Intelligent, Disappointing

About the Show

After a hit run at The Bushwick Starr, Kate Benson's surreal play about the patrons of a local bar in a gentrifying neighborhood transfers to the WP Theater.

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Member Reviews (49)

77
Ambitious, Quirky, Resonant, Well acted & written, Clever

See it if Usual 'single, intelligent woman in urban jungle' tale gets a funny, hipster spin Comic situations with a dark ironic twist in boho Brooklyn

Don't see it if Omnipresent vocal consciousness (the author) may not appeal to some; dark tone at times harsh but lovely Sirna-Frest gets us over bumps

90
Quirky, Smart, Wry, Wise, Wiseass

See it if you'd enjoy a wry take on how hip, straight, not-so-young anymore Brooklynites meet, sniff each other out &, when the planets align, mate.

Don't see it if you want a piece that transcends the local & the everyday, or have an aversion to mild challenges to traditional dramatic form. Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

February 6th, 2018

"'[PORTO]' sneaks up on you...It's a smart, surprising ode to the modern woman's anxious, circuitous quest for simultaneous self-actualization, pleasure, and perhaps even love...The minute that Benson took clear aim at the vexed territory of feminism, sex, desire, shame, what we want from our partners, and what we feel we should do for them...I could feel her punches right in the chest...Evans gets smart, pointed, playful performances out of her entire cast."
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February 6th, 2018

"A strictly realistic presentation of this story might look like a poor onstage imitation of HBO's 'Girls', but Benson delivers something uniquely theatrical with a script that is magical, mischievous, and just plain hilarious...Evans maintains Benson's intoxicating cocktail of magical realism and timely satire with a pitch-perfect production...With humor and honesty, '[PORTO]' dramatizes the late capitalist paradox of having a million avenues for pleasure, but still feeling a gnawing dissatisfaction."
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February 7th, 2018

"Whenever Benson stops talking, her play threatens to be a funny and touching romantic comedy tinged with the anxieties of early middle age. Too much of the time, however, we are forced to cope with the playwright's voice -- insistent, intrusive, and intent on stealing focus from the characters she has created...The result is death by extreme editorializing...The biggest problem with '[PORTO]' is that, shorn of all its tricks and traps, its observations aren't terribly original."
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February 16th, 2018

“Kate Benson's ‘[Porto]’ (the title refers to the voice in the heroine's head) will please die-hard feminists most who will be glad to hear the play's messages spoken from the stage. However, many of the rest of us will be forgiven if thinking the play trades in platitudes and is overly derivative. We have met all these people - and their problems - before. The play's gimmicks may either strike you as novel and fresh or as tired and trite.”
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February 9th, 2018

"More a lab experiment than a stage play...The entire night walks a fine line between pretentious and high satire...Benson's writing is most accessible when she's making fun of millennials and their penchant for 'serious' bars and anything pickled...As directed by Evans, the cast all inhabit their characters earnestly. Chukwu stands out for creating a sympathetic Raphael, while the others, in a work that is funny-strange instead of funny-ha-ha, tug more on the brain than on the heart."
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February 8th, 2018

“A comic cocktail with a bitter twist of feminism...A kick more closely resembling a Shirley Temple than a Long Island Iced Tea…In its indirect way, the play is as critical of our overindulgent eating and other habits as it is about anything else…So much time is consumed by Bracket's verbiage, much of it with…the lights off, you begin to look forward to such moments to catch some z's…I must dutifully report that the play elicited a fair share of laughs…; my own humor meter barely moved.”
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February 10th, 2018

"A rom-com for millennials to love. And judging by the knowing laughter from the 20 and 30-somethings in the audience at the performance I attended, she's hit her intended mark...There's a tongue-in-check quality to most of the characters...The one exception to these one-note characters is Porto...Sirna-Frest makes her the anchor of this one. And she gives Porto (and [porto]) such sincere vulnerability that you almost don't need to be a millennial to appreciate it."
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February 6th, 2018

"An incisively clever, extremely funny, and imaginatively surreal rom-com by the Obie Award-winning team of Benson and Evans...Benson creatively interweaves the angst of the Millennial generation with observations on our socio-political climate...The terrific cast, under Evans' expertly-tempered direction, offers hilarious yet believable performances that lampoon the all-too-familiar figures...A razor-sharp show."
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February 6th, 2018

"In the very funny, very smart '[Porto],' Kate Benson has a lot to say...Splendidly directed by Lee Sunday Evans to not only coax out the humor but also the humanity of the characters...These actors fully inhabit their roles, yet the audience has the luxury of filling in the details...Sirna-Frest plays Porto in an exquisite match of character and performer...Approachable, offbeat, clever, smart, thoughtful, and hilarious, '[Porto]' is just about perfect theater."
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February 9th, 2018

"Brilliant...A 90 minute play that is funny, bright, and so raw it becomes wise. You cannot fight the truths Benson has written, from reality unto the stage...Frest’s portrayal of Porto is intelligent and nuanced...The narrator, Benson, whom is unbelievably smart and sultry...Though unseen, her voice is so commanding...Every character in Porto is relatable or, at the very least, someone you know."
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February 9th, 2018

"Following the structure of a romantic comedy, Kate Benson delivers a typical narrative with jaded characters in this dry, self-aware play. Director Lee Sunday Evans takes care with the ironic tone by telling the story with unique pictures...Benson brilliantly crafts this theme into a story about a woman who desires romance, but who has also come to terms with being alone. There are several poignant moments...Entertaining and engaging on social, emotional, and intellectual levels."
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February 28th, 2018

"The play reunites Benson with her fellow Obie Award winner, director Evans, whose steady imaginative hand draws sharp, lively performances from the excellent cast...The play itself is a feminist act exploring the stereotypes, pressures of accepted behavior and principles that make finding love ever more difficult...'[PORTO]' argues with wit and charm the importance of breaking free of societal confines, accepting who you are and opening yourself up to the possibilities of life."
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January 16th, 2017

"Stealthily ferocious, comfortingly hopeful, very funny new play...A delicate mechanism, it hasn’t fully found its rhythm off the page, despite a largely excellent cast led by the wonderful Ms. Sirna-Frest...There is plenty of longing to go around in '[Porto]'...The path to pleasure in sausage, as in life, can be brutal, messy and seriously disgusting. A little precious, too. Yet the play is ultimately an exhortation to get out of your head and live, in thoughtful pursuit of joy."
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January 13th, 2017

"A feel-weird comedy...While the cast is lovable, Benson's project is to use these endearing elements for a dark end. Essentially, '[PORTO]' undermines self-gratification itself. In the script, the word underbelly keeps emerging in different contexts, and the word's ugly, sagging quality lurks everywhere. The play, while presenting as an adorable comedy, forces us to feel revulsion at our basic pleasures, whether that's bacon or sex or company. It's a good piece, but beware—it's also effective."
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January 17th, 2017

"Kate Benson's sweet, thoughtful new play...The poetic, slightly surreal drama meditates on habit and indulgence and the social and economic structures shaping our private lives…Evans's intimate production serves the play's delicacy…The ensemble cast...delivers warm, sympathetic portraits of figures that, to a Brooklyn audience, are familiar: evoking our own daily lives, with our own unexamined habits and pleasures, awaiting us after the lights go down."
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January 17th, 2017

"A thoughtful and often surrealistic meditation on the contradictions and hypocrisies of contemporary urban life…Benson and her director Lee Sunday Evans gently and not so gently lampoon the milieu in which the play lives…The play is universally well acted…Issues frustrated me, but it’s a testament to Benson and Evans’ engrossing work that I felt so invested with getting to the bottom of my own feelings about what they had presented...This is a compelling work that deserves to be pondered."
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