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New York | 1h 45m | Ends Dec 16

Wild Goose Dreams

From 21 critic and 56 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great staging, Clever, Quirky, Disappointing

About the show

Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this original play with music about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom. More…

Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible? 



90
StageBiz.com

“One of the most visually spectacular plays that still retains its sense of simplicity...The tenderness, comedy and heartbreak of this masterful piece are owed to...the fantastic cast all through the visionary, clever direction of Silverman. But the most credit must be given to the female playwright Jung, who has breathed life into such incredibly and beautifully human characters who exhibit the timeless and universal traits of strength, fragility, love and longing in the most modern setting.” Full Review

85
New York Theater

“’Wild Goose Dreams’ is cluttered with cleverness, awash with theatrical invention. What makes the play worth seeing, though, is its quieter but in many ways richer aspects – the complexity and pathos of the three central characters...There is much humor and several awww-inspiring moments...Silverman also deserves credit for the three central performances, which manage to be both unaffected and affecting, straightforwardly credible and somehow also deeply lyrical." Full Review

83
Front Row Center

"I rarely have the experience of being extremely excited and engaged in the beginning of a play, and at the end being unsure of what I was supposed to be taking away...There are so many good elements to this production. So many good ideas about presenting a computer chorus which worked – but it needs to be carried through a whole piece. Kudos to Hansol Jung for thinking of it and kudos to Leigh Silverman the director for shaping it so well." Full Review

80
Plays to See

"'Wild Goose Dreams' counters this energetic and immersive setting with a quiet, upsetting, and timely story about the chasm between the connections we dream of and the loneliness we contend with...The show demands a range of affect from its leads – Peter Kim, Michelle Krusiec, and Francis Jue – and they mostly deliver. They each delve into loneliness, love, anger, tenderness, terror, hope, and humor. But the stagecraft, under Silverman’s direction, was even more impressive." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

“Jung’s maginatively told Internet Age romance...If the text and staging's complicated (and admirably realized) impersonation of 21st century communication sometimes overwhelms the emotional factor, it's an apt comment displaying the parallels between storybook fables of angels and woodcutters and technologically sophisticated fantasies, sometimes involving defectors and goose fathers.” Full Review

75
Gotham Playgoer

“All the lavish ancillary bells and whistles smothered the main event. While I was often entertained by the latest surprise in Ramos’s set, Cho's clever costumes and the inventive direction of Silverman, I felt that they somehow diminished the central story. There were occasions when it was confusing to know what was transpiring. My favorite moments were the quieter ones when there was less attempt to grab attention...I was certainly never bored.” Full Review

75
New York Magazine / Vulture

“A tale of loneliness in a globalized, mediated, relentlessly ‘connected’ world...Jung’s play is in part about getting lost in technology, and it’s exciting to see the production create that effect physically and theatrically...A bulk of this human effort comes from the play’s chorus...Jung’s writing always has a light touch, even when things get heavy, and Silverman is doing sensitive work with the cast, especially Krusiec and Kim...Connection, Jung is arguing, is life, but connectivity can ... Full Review

72
Front Mezz Junkies

"Playwright Jung, while doing an excellent job in the quiet moments of the struggle to find meaning in the modern-day connection, loses herself in 'Wild Goose Dreams‘ overly conscious cleverness...It’s a grand spectacle and some YouTube fun, even when drenched with sadness, that create an enjoyable dive into the modern world of emotional engagement, but the overall effect leaves you as satisfied as a fine internet date that you know, in the long-term, will be forgotten quickly." Full Review

70
Lighting & Sound America

"Jung is a perceptive, talented writer with a fresh point of view and material that is both exotic and oddly universal. Now, if only she could learn to dial it down a bit...On balance, I'd say that 'Wild Goose Dreams' is worth seeing, for the many emotionally resonant passages, the acute lead performances, and the window into a world that the theatre rarely shows us. But in the urge to theatricalize everything about their story, its creators nearly destroy the delicate situation at its heart." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"The diverse and untethered world has been given remarkably coherent life by a design team...Ms. Jung, a writer of industrious imagination, has a poet’s gift for sustaining and interlinking motifs and metaphor. Still, the piling up of incidents and images and subplots has a congestive effect here, blurring our focus and blunting our emotional responses...Holding fast as the play’s still but agitated center, Mr. Kim and Ms. Krusiec bring a lovely, low-key air of bewilderment to the proceedings." Full Review

70
Time Out New York

“A tricky play, full of both richness and distraction. The core story of Nanhee and Minsung is artfully constructed...This beautiful center, though, is often obscured by the stagey ‘online’ and dream elements; the chorus and the penguin stuff feel extraneous and cutesy...Still director Leigh Silverman draws keen, vivid performances from Krusiec and Kim, and their interpersonal drama is quite moving in its combination of stunned sadness and gallows humor.” Full Review

70
CurtainUp

“Jung's method of overlaying the digital onto the physical world is clever, and Silverman's realization of the intricate script is skillful...But with so much attention devoted to sorting through all the digital noise of this world, some of the underlying plot points become jumbled. Kim and Krusiec offer charming and appealing performances, yet the Minsung/Nanhee love story ends up feeling unevenly developed." Full Review

70
New York Stage Review

“This new play centers on two lonely South Koreans and attempts to song-and-dance-ify the internet itself. The different pieces, each powerful on its own, yields a result that manages to be sometimes intriguing, occasionally heartbreaking, and not a little soporific...When ’Wild Goose Dreams’ is best is when it’s examining...the faults in a seemingly happily neon-lit culture...For the purposes of this story, the distractions of the internet are just a distraction.” Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"I’m not sure the play could possibly succeed at all the things it’s trying to do, and in the end I think it sometimes leans on its structural complexity at the expense of a fully realized emotional landscape...But there’s still so many things to enjoy, ruminate on, appreciate, and startle at. 'Wild Goose Dreams' is worth seeing for its innovative approach to our twenty-first-century identities and its dreamscapes even if it doesn’t catch all the balls it throws into the air." Full Review

65
TheaterScene.net

“In offering a window on a world most New York theatergoers know little about, Hansol Jung's ‘Wild Goose Dreams’ is a fascinating look at Korean culture. On the other hand, what appears to be a Korean obsession with the Internet and smartphones often becomes tedious as it goes on so long without bringing us much that is new. Leigh Silverman's busy production creates a world of its own but is often overwhelming rather than enveloping.” Full Review

60
Theatre's Leiter Side

"Theatrically and intellectually interesting if insufficiently moving and dramatically diffuse…Mingles straightforward realism with surrealistic sequences of highly stylized voice and movement…The scenes between the lovers tend more toward the ordinary and conventional than anything notably insightful or touching…And, given the sacrifices involved, the defector theme seems weak…Most memorable is Ramos's exuberantly imaginative set…I can't really say my heart goes where this wild goose goes." Full Review

60
The Hollywood Reporter

"A flavorful if wildly over cluttered portrait of star-crossed romance...The simple tale is quietly touching. Unfortunately, the playwright overwhelms her slight story with overelaborate theatrical gimmickry...There's not enough meat on the play's bones to withstand all the theatrical affectations; the characters and storyline become subsumed long before the evening's conclusion...Its quiet charms are too indecipherable amid the internet babble.” Full Review

60
New York Stage Review

“Silverman directed the cast and the traffic with her usual expertise. The chorus members exhibit much vigor and verve...Kim and Krusiec imbue Minsung and Nanhee with the correct measure of uncertainty. The right measure of chemistry between them, however, is missing...The most exciting ‘Wild Goose Dreams’ element is Ramos’ set...Ramos’ environment promises more amusement that the more than occasionally tedious ‘Wild Goose Dreams’ delivers.” Full Review

55
The Wrap

“If 'Wild Goose Dreams' were set in the last century, we might expect to find some of this computer lingo exotic, maybe even amusing...Sexually skittish characters played by Kim and Krusiec appear to be performing in a very conventional rom-com despite all the talk of North Korea. Also mawkish is the stilted English they speak, even though this couple is apparently talking in their native Korean...That always-lively computer chorus is far more engaging than Yoo and Guk." Full Review

55
Broadway Blog

"As the underutilized Greek chorus filled the stage delivering the cacophonous sounds of technology...Ninety minutes later...Jung’s play continued to spew extraneous technobabble...Director Silverman and playwright Jung deserve major accolades for attempting to push the boundaries of conventional theater, and there is some poetically beautiful language. Yet the abstruse nature of 'Wild Goose Dreams' ultimately clouds the vital message about human connection." Full Review

55
Interludes

“Jung’s 'Wild Goose Dreams' is lost in translation in several respects...I found the dialogue between the two protagonists to be excruciatingly naive, especially given their thus far respective painful life journeys. Nevertheless, I took to some of the themes Jung has on her agenda...loneliness in our world of connectivity, as well as the definition of love...Silverman valiantly endeavors to bring pizzazz to Ms. Jung’s busy but flat play, as do her over-eager cast.” Full Review


94
A brilliant, affecting evening in the theater that is political, intimate and must be seen.

See it if With great sophistication explores the interplay of world politics, intimate life and the cyber revolution..

Don't see it if you prefer your entertainment without intelligence. But really, ignore my sarcasm: this is a must see.

89
Absorbing, Epic, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You want to see something different--is it a play or a musical? You are interested in stories about loneliness. You like Korea.

Don't see it if You want to see something more conventional. You don't like the idea of non-Asians taking part in an Asian story.

88
Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you are curious about North Korea, conflict within the American-Korean community. if you want to see quit unusual set design and staging

Don't see it if you don't like fast pace talking, American slang, lots of social media and technology references. don't like translation on stage

Also I liked how a play about North Korea can be funny at times and have so... Read more Read less

86
Brilliant staging of a social media-saturated love story.

See it if You can appreciate a bittersweet tale set on the Korean peninsula and built on a classic myth/legend framework.

Don't see it if you hate the world of bits and bytes.

85
Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if you want to see Asian-Americans add to the diversity of the stage to reflect the real world. This play was thought-provoking and poignant.

Don't see it if you want a linear plot or if you don't like metaphors.

Also The play makes you think about connection vs. connectivity. We are all... Read more Read less

82
Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining, Unique

See it if You like unlikely love stories set in a fantasy wold. Loneliness of two opposites who become lovers, wary of their future. Set in Korea.

Don't see it if You expect a linear story line with earthly characters, and all action tied up in a neat little bow. Be prepared for simulated sex.

Also A quirky presentation complete with a fantastic neon set design. Suppo... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you are interested in relationship plays that touch on deep and serious themes. Sad and touching and very well done by all. Loneliness hurts

Don't see it if you are not interested in the pain of missed opportunity and failure.This is about the need for contact and the mistakes that thwart success

80
Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You'll like this if you're up to a different type of show - not linear - that utilizes digital media for high impact. Terrific set!

Don't see it if You need something straightforward, linear, and pre-digital.

Also If you are fascinated by Korean culture as well as the dilemmas faced ... Read more Read less

80
Great staging, Fresh, Compelling topic, Occasionally cloying musical styling

See it if Loneliness takes on depth when applied to particular situations in the two Koreas. Small stories almost overwhelmed by intricate staging.

Don't see it if The Tory is a drama wrapped in glistening technology. Remember that at denouement. Also, be aware some of the technology & music is loud.

79
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Poetic

See it if Rhythmic & symphonic in its structure exploring loneliness, yearning, freedom, family & the difficulty of communicating even in same tongue

Don't see it if It is not a linear narrative but in its exploration of storytelling and creating our own narratives this is a beautiful and creative tale

79
Weird but interesting

See it if you are interested in the life of a North Korean defector and a South Korean working in Seoul whose family is in the United States.

Don't see it if you expect a "normal" play. This is more of an experience with imagery and dreams acted out.

Also At first I thought, what?! But after about 10 minutes, I found I was h... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if an assured, fanciful, funny new work by exciting new writer to the theatre scene directed with skill and flair by veteran director

Don't see it if if plays with choruses and dream scenes are not your cuppa tea for some reason, this may not be for you

78
Funny, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Slow, Long

See it if you're interested in a fascinating story set in a particular culture that nevertheless uses a diverse cast well, and an ensemble inventively

Don't see it if you need big stories, don't have patience for a bit of a slow burn, or dislike shows with extensive ensemble participation.

78
Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if Like imaginative quirky topically relevant theater. Ethereal piece..Great Staging and acting.

Don't see it if For a totally linear piece. Prefer not to pay close attention from beginning to end to put all together.

78
Funny, Quirky, Confusing

See it if If you wan't to see Asian-Americans in a more favorable light.I thought they were portrayed as a couple who were searching for love.

Don't see it if I was glad to see no discernible stereotyping of Asian-Americans.This was a story of two people who were lonely and needed to find some comp

Also anionship by any means necessary.The scenes were a little graphic but ... Read more Read less

76
Unusual and moving story of relationship of south korean "wild goose father" (separated from family in the us while working in korea) and north korean defector

See it if this is quirky touching/funny story of how two very lonely and awkward people deal w feelings of isolation, insignificance & failure

Don't see it if bolted on to story is simulation of effect of internet culture on story by talented chorus of actors; cute but distracting/irrelevant

75
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy theater that is relevant and inventive at the same time.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional storytelling or don't enjoy the use of a "Greek chorus" to move the story along.

74
Clever, Quirky, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of creative staging and of plays that consider the significance of technology and social media on individuals.

Don't see it if You need to bond emotionally with the characters. These were not readily relatable.

73
Ambitious, Indulgent, Overrated, Great design work!

See it if you want to see how a design team—set, lighting, costumes, sound—can overshadow a so-so play.

Don't see it if you like interesting central characters. The chorus steals the show from the two leads. Francis Jue is, as always, remarkable.

70
Ambitious, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy Brecht and experimental, quirky theatre. The cast is good. The production and staging felt like a high end college show from 1990

Don't see it if you're expected a polished piece of writing. Little play, what do you want to be? It also felt oddly dated for such a relevant story.

70
Disappointing, Promising, Uneven

See it if you are interested in a relationship between a No, & So. Korean & the family ties that thwart the chance of a life together.

Don't see it if you prefer a plot that flows with some consistency.

70
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want to see a romance from a different culture and hear some interesting singing from a talented chorus

Don't see it if You’re triggered by intense dream imagery involving penguins (really) or if you’re looming for a more traditional play.

70
Ambitious, Dizzying, Resonant, Romantic, Indulgent

See it if See comments

Don't see it if See comments

Also A Romeo and Juliet like romance set in South Korea with North/South ov... Read more Read less

69
Clever, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if No new messages. Feel like I should do this in binary, but not enough keystrokes. Creative view using people of countries not normally used.

Don't see it if You need the "wow" factor.

62
Quirky, Disappointing, Slow

See it if some clever staging and use of internet concepts in the play

Don't see it if seems if you are over a certain age this was not for you younger audience seemed to like it not an interesting story and overdid the compu


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Cast & Creatives (18)