New York | Already closed

A Deal

From 3 critic and 47 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Entertaining, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

About the show

In Urban Stages' dark comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Li, like many new upper-middle-class Chinese families, are proud to give their daughter a life they could only dream of, but they soon realize she’s turning into a dangerous stranger. More…

'A Deal' features a Chinese family's home buying journey in New York in winter 2015, a time of increased real estate property ownership by overseas Chinese and a sharp decline in the value of the RMB against the US dollar. The play explores the ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of the global cash flow. This is the first Off-Broadway production for international known playwright Zhu Yi, and 'A Deal' will simultaneously tour China in Mandarin. 

Already closed | Urban Stages (Chelsea)

Theater Pizzazz

“A play that was crying to be written, its subject matter now front and center...It touches many of the great issues of today: Chinese values versus American; the family versus the individual; what constitutes truth and in whose eyes; the immigrant’s dilemma—to remain voluntarily ghettoized or to assimilate...’A Deal’ is interesting, innovative—it’s structured in a series of vignettes—and thought-provoking. It’s also rich with humor...The work is splendidly directed by John Giampietro.” Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Yi's well-performed…play covers a few too many bases within its episodic, roughly 90-minute format, preventing it from going very deeply into any of them, but it manages to be consistently entertaining and informative…Most of this is offered on a lightly satirical platter, creating a tone more sitcom than serious dramatic exposé… Wei-Yi Lin makes a fine impression as the daughter torn between her parents' values and her goal of American success, and she's capably backed by the supporting com... Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

“‘A Deal’ explores the illusory deals society makes to human beings that cross international waters like, 'work hard get rewarded 'or simply 'trust that life will guide you right.' In America, our biggest promises are welcome and opportunities for all, and this play reveals the lie…‘A Deal’ feels like a series of scenes from a film…Su’s “origin” lies devastate her parents who gave her so much, but Zhu Yi’s riveting writing goes on to question them, as well, in terms of the lies we tell oursel... Full Review

Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if If you like new works by upcoming voices.

Don't see it if You are expecting something light and without substance

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Clever

See it if Are interested in the differences of culture between the East and West

Don't see it if You are not interested in Asian culture

Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You have an interest in immigrants, especially Chinese immigrants

Don't see it if You dislike non judgemental treatments of casual sex, (although this was an aside to the story) sometimes over the top characterizations

Also Although this play says nothing new for those who are following the sc... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if looking for different slant on life in China

Don't see it if you love the communist regime!

Great writing, Relevant, Masterful, Funny, Clever

See it if You'd like to see a play about the great cultural divide between America and China, as people caught in the middle sort out their identity

Don't see it if You struggle to keep up with accents, you don't appreciate dark comedy, you can't relate to stories of immigration and culture clash.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Refreshing, Resonant, Slow

See it if you're an actor, New Yorker, Chinese or just interested in seeing a fun interesting play that is nicely staged and well performed

Don't see it if you can't stand it when some scenes are a bit slow or prolonged

Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you, want to see a drama disguised as a comedy or a comedy disguised as a drama, it is a little of both and well presented and worth seeing

Don't see it if It can be a little dizzying at times so if you don't like to have to work to keep up this might not be up your alley.

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if This play delves into the psyches of a You prefer characters. It exposes the flaws and humanity of both cultures.

Don't see it if I can’t think of a reason not to see it

Clever, Great writing, Relevant, Refreshing, Intelligent

See it if for the subject matters of deception, truth, family, individualism and consequences of trying to succeed

Don't see it if no reason not to see it

Clever, Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky

See it if You like a solid clever plot.

Don't see it if You are not interested in real estate or Chinese politics.

Ambitious, Enchanting, Great staging, Quirky, Relevant

See it if enjoy great staging, exploration of duo culture written by by a young ambitions chinese playwright.

Don't see it if cannot follow somewhat disjointed scenes and are upset about foreigners buying real estate in New York City!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a very ernest production of a play that will challenge your assumptions about its characters. Terrific central performance.

Don't see it if you'll be distracted by flaws in the play and the production; imperfect, but more effective than much of the more polished work out there.

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy seeing differing points of view from a cultural standpoint. View the pros and cons of each.

Don't see it if You want a light entertain me play. Dislike Chinese current culture. Do not enjoy one act 90-100 min plays.

Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Clever

See it if You enjoy plays that deal with current world themes and people. You're open to storylines about situations that are perhaps "foreign" to you

Don't see it if You only enjoy American/English, classic theater & revivals. You don't travel or have interest in the lives of people from other countries.

Also Show does need tighter focus and editing.... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a play based on the changing identity of the Chinese and how it is influenced by their changing economic reality

Don't see it if You want a big production with songs that will leave you whistling this is an intimate entertainment

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you are interested in Chinese families undergoing intergenerational conflict or the problems of first-generation Americans

Don't see it if you only want a happy ending or expect just one-liners

Also I enjoyed the enactment of political viewpoints expressed at a family ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Your interested in contemporary stories about Chinese in America, or just want to see a good play.

Don't see it if If you're looking for a dumb musical.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if This production tells a story about the differences between American & Modern Chinese culture with incredible acting and a funny rhythm.

Don't see it if You don’t like or discriminate against immigrants in America.

The trial well written, fine acting, relevant, powerful, interesting

See it if If you like a play(reading) that deals with questions about justice, violence and authority, uncertainty arbitrary politics that mimic today

Don't see it if if you hate readings, have no imagination

Also Inasmuch as Kafka (upon whose writing was done in 1915 ish), Steven Be... Read more Read less

Funny, Resonant, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like timely comedies about Asian people in America, you enjoy shows about the theater, you're interested in representation

Don't see it if you like period pieces, you think under-representation is either a myth or not a big deal

Relevant, Ambitious

See it if You're interested in immigrant experience; this one was hardly typical, told from a position of privilege, until it becomes a liability.

Don't see it if You expect a nuanced script and characters.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a well written story that teaches a lot about immigrants

Don't see it if You want to see a deep play

Relevant, Funny, Intelligent, Well-acted, Ambitious

See it if You like to compare and contrast cultures, ideologies, and generations. Serious issues, breezy treatment.

Don't see it if You seek answers. This play raises myriad questions and concludes that the problems are insoluble.

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy plays about families and their struggles of Chinese families living in NY. home buying, living in city all pose challenges.

Don't see it if if you want to see a light hearted play as this requires work and is not that interesting.

Disappointing, Cliched, Absorbing

See it if You've experienced the real estate rush in NYC. Insight to the relationship of young adults vs parents hopes & dreams.

Don't see it if Raw set, actors seem artificial, atypical Chinese parents, play can feel disjointed, needs more polish

Cast & Creatives (13)