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
See it if new age sensibilities are your thing, want something 2 match tripping experiences, you need 2 arrive high on life or some other substance
Don't see it if you have no toleration for the new agey, need story markers to help you along
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.
See it if you want something different.. thats about all I can say..
Don't see it if you don't want to waste 2 hours.. Luckily the show was cut short for technical difficulties, so we only got to see like 30 mins..
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
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
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
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
"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."
"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."
"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?"
“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.”
"'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."
"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."
"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."
"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."