The Portal

The Portal NYC Reviews and Tickets

(89 Ratings)
Members say
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Excruciating

About the Show

Equal parts rock concert, movie, and theatrical performance, this immersive spectacle chronicles one man's epic journey in pursuit of a woman.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (89)

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63 Reviews | 12 Followers
Great singing, Enchanting, Must see, Epic, Hyper-energetic!!!

See it if You like seeing non-linear shows that have a trippy vibe to them. The singing is phenomenal and the band is like Santana meets Grateful Dead

Don't see it if You are narrow-minded about multi-dimentional universes or you don't like seeing a show that is both a multimedia & musical event all-in-one

252 Reviews | 61 Followers
Absorbing, Edgy, Enchanting, Great singing, Hypnotic

See it if Can see beyond what is in front of you, like rock opera, can open your mind, understand Dante or want to trip in someone's else's mind.

Don't see it if Are close minded, never read or heard of Dante, don't like rock, need a linear show, if you listen to opinions of others w/o experimenting. Read more

754 Reviews | 128 Followers
Quirky, Slow, Indulgent, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you miss the Fillmore East, bubble fractals, incomprehensible singing with mystic overtones. There are also beautiful projections of scenery

Don't see it if you are expecting a play let alone an interactive experience instead of a music and dance performance. There is a weak suggestion of a plot

113 Reviews | 43 Followers
Unintentionally hilarious, Banal, Cliched, Shallow, Dumb

See it if you can go with friends and not take this show seriously at all. Tear it apart later over drinks. Make it an inside joke.

Don't see it if you're expecting a really deep exploration of the Divine Comedy or religion/death/spirituality. You get offended at cultural appropriation. Read more

110 Reviews | 55 Followers
Confusing, Slow, Quirky, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You like multimedia, noisy confusion

Don't see it if You want a story

147 Reviews | 28 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you like experimental multi- dimensional theater with good original music and dance in an intimate space.

Don't see it if you want fully developed story (i didn't know where it was going) or expecting recognizable songs to rock out to- expecting Pink Floyd-nope

126 Reviews | 26 Followers
Cliched, Indulgent, Repetitive, Slow

See it if you have taken rec drugs and want a visual and audio experience that goes well with that state (but let someone else drive you to the venue)

Don't see it if you would be bored by 90min of an utter lack of variety in sounds (music and percussion) and in choreography

575 Reviews | 362 Followers
Indulgent, Slow, Pretentious, good visuals, over long

See it if You appreciate some pretty visuals and a good looking, hard working cast.

Don't see it if An acid trip is not your idea of entertainment. Pretentious & overly long even at 85 minutes.

Critic Reviews (12)

December 3rd, 2016

"Not only is its mystical wisdom a generic mashup of Campbell and Jung, but its theatrical staging is mushy and lethargic…A serious sound-balance issue renders most of the lyrics incomprehensible. When a line or two does sneak through, one begins to understand that the overpowering music might be intentional…Billy Lewis Jr. has genuine rock pipes and a gorgeously pure falsetto. Sadly, his talents are misused in this ill-gotten project."
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December 10th, 2016

"The overactive echoing and distortion that seems intent on making the lyrics indecipherable may be an artistic choice...The live performers certainly give game efforts, but Comer's direction does little more than designate entrances and exits...The Portal' doesn't seem intended for a theatre crowd. But if you're in the mood to just veg out and cleanse your brain by taking in a light bombardment of sounds and images for an hour and a half, it may provide a pleasing escape."
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Lighting & Sound America
December 5th, 2016

"The only reason 'The Portal' is worth discussing at all is that it unwittingly functions as a kind of warning about where stage design may be headed...So solemn in manner and so vague in its intentions that at times it's hard to believe the whole thing isn't a joke...Really a film with live music, singing, and dance accompaniment, all of which are deployed to little effect...I certainly had plenty of questions, but will confine myself to only one: Why does this production exist?"
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December 12th, 2016

“Self-discovery is an oft-explored theme in the world of the theater, but Luke Comer has attempted to change the mold by packing his spiritual tale into a contemporary rock odyssey. Though there are certainly thoughtful questions that arise from spending an evening at ‘The Portal’, this theatrical journey that promises enlightenment and self-discovery never quite lands the intellectual punch it intends to deliver.”
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Theatre is Easy
December 5th, 2016

"'The Portal' is a cheesy experiment of culturally appropriated mysticism, but its production values are remarkable…'The Portal' has its advantages as a piece of digital film-based performance, but it lost me at its content—a cheesy and repetitive dreamscape without an endgame…’The Portal’ is probably better suited to an arena or an outdoor concert venue than an off-Broadway theatre. Its purpose is more experiential than narrative, and therefore should be treated as a concert first."
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Theater Pizzazz
December 5th, 2016

"We find unmistakable shamanistic glory in 'The Portal'...Billy Lewis, Jr. delivers a scaled back performance, recalling all of the fervor of Hedwig. The loud music is felt through his entire body...With every sense of guidance and no sense of gravity, 'The Portal' stops just short of full-scale success. What is missing in Luke Comer’s spectacle is the weight."
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Stage Buddy
December 5th, 2016

"Kind of like being on someone else’s acid trip, but you wish you were also on drugs...Lewis Jr.’s powerful voice is obscured by the echoey quality of the microphone, making the lyrics barely discernible. There are apparently 16 musical numbers but they all sort of blend into each other. There is some poetry spoken at different points but don’t expect it to make a whole lot of sense...While the odyssey’s narrative is esoteric, the cinematography is commendable."
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Broadway Blog
December 5th, 2016

"Completely unbearable...The lyrics are barely intelligible and glancing at the musical numbers in the program doesn’t clarify anything...The music offers no variety or clarity into what this any of this is all about...Jessica Chen’s choreography offers very little for the imagination but I can’t blame her. She doesn’t have much inspiration. Nor can I address Luke Comer and Paul Stancato’s direction because the word doesn’t suit the outcome."
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