Nomad Motel
Closed 2h 0m
Nomad Motel
72

Nomad Motel NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(50 Reviews)
Positive
66%
Mixed
30%
Negative
4%
Members say
Relevant, Disappointing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

About the Show

This New York premiere for Atlantic is a surprising tale of kids raising themselves and making something out of nothing in the land of plenty.

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Member Reviews (50)

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80
Needs editing, Intelligent, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to see an absorbing show with interesting characters you’ll find yourself caring about even though they are cliched.

Don't see it if You can’t overlook some glaring flaws to see what is basically an interesting well done topical story. Read more

86
Meticulously observed, Beautifully played, Affecting

See it if you'd like to spend an evening getting to know several quirky, endearing characters so well that you are rooting for them all.

Don't see it if you want a perfectly constructed play: This one is a little baggy, & 1 character is under-used. Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
June 3rd, 2019

"Scrappy, peripatetic, now and then poignant, 'Nomad Motel' wants to hit you where you live. Sometimes it shows up at the wrong address...The director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar minimizes his showboating instincts, mostly giving the actors space to work, with varying success...The play that surrounds them can seem untidy, like a suitcase that will barely shut...But you’ll care for these characters, because Ms. Ching writes roles that actors enjoy playing."
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Time Out New York
June 5th, 2019

“Ching’s script, which veers from dark comedy to heartfelt drama to borderline farce, contains some truly lovely moments...But ‘Nomad Motel’ has a few too many plot threads and after setting up an admirably diverse cast of characters, it settles for a conflict in which two young men of color vie for the affection of a cute white girl...Despite a fascinating premise and solid performances, ‘Nomad Motel’ hasn’t quite made it home.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 4th, 2019

“For roughly the first three minutes, ‘Nomad Motel’ shows some quiet promise...But then the words begin, and the characters immediately wander into a bog of mushy, meandering cliché...Short on actual dramatic urgency, the play feels like an early draft...Iskander adds padding to the already saggy text in the form of labored, would-be pensive transitions...He lets most of his actors skim the surface of their roles. Not that they have much to dive into.”
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Theatermania
June 3rd, 2019

"Depending on your perspective, Ching's play will come off as either genuinely inspirational or overly rosy...Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's production doesn't always help, lending a certain artificiality to the proceedings...For all its shortcomings, 'Nomad Motel' is generous and heartfelt enough to never quite lose the audience's goodwill...Ching's play does offer genuine insights into a kind of familial relationship that is rarely depicted onstage with such acuity."
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BroadwayWorld
June 7th, 2019

“Spread a bit thin through two acts, there's nevertheless plenty of good writing in 'Nomad Motel' and the cast is fine. But there's also a cliched metaphor involving Mason caring for a wounded bird until it's able to fly, and an over-the-top father/son sword fight climax. At this point in development, 'Nomad Motel' comes off as a study in parent/child relationships in need of a firm dramatic arc.”
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New York Stage Review
June 3rd, 2019

"Their predicaments tug at the heart, especially with Griggs and Larkin playing the sometime chums, eventual lovers with such sincerity...The problem weighing on 'Nomad Motel' has to do with the depiction of the trouble-inducing Fiona and James. Ching seems to think she only needs to sketch them in to indicate the onus they place on their unfortunate, striving offspring...As this is the 'Nomad Motel' world premiere, perhaps it’s fair to regard it as a work in progress."
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Theatre is Easy
June 3rd, 2019

"The feeling of having no firm ground to stand on and a persistent itch to follow your dream might seem familiar...'Nomad Motel' wins over the audience with its occasionally naïve frankness and obvious metaphors, like the injured bird, and a full-on sword fight literally illustrating the father-son relationship dynamic. But further topics, like racial injustice, get thrown in the bag of misfortunes without getting sufficient development."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 4th, 2019

"This poignant exploration of two teenagers trying to essentially raise themselves in current-day California pierces the heart frequently enough that you'll want to check in to this 'Motel,' even if the show's too-leisurely pace (a combined fault of Ching's cinematic writing style, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's overly deliberate direction and Yu-Hsuan Chen's awkward unit set) may cause your brain to check out periodically over its prolonged two-hour-and-20-minute runtime."
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CurtainUp
June 3rd, 2019

"There's some heart here, and some wisdom. But too often I found myself wishing the play would have the courage of its convictions, or at least of its characters...This is a compelling premise, and indeed there are flashes of insight into the lives of people who have resisted the easy cynicism of our age...Yet despite this, something is missing in this production which, for all its complexity, seems at pains to keep its audience at arm's length."
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Exeunt Magazine
June 4th, 2019

"Playwright Carla Ching squanders the promising premise offered in this unusual juxtaposition by turning her two-act drama into a compendium of clichés, with hardly an authentic moment to be found...Each storyline holds interesting potential, but the writing either resolves them too quickly and without much spark, or keeps them center-stage long after they’ve hit a dramatic wall...More nuanced performances could have gone a long way in overcoming the play’s artifice."
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T
June 12th, 2019

"Under Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s lackluster direction, the cast – with obvious commitment to the script – cannot overcome competing with one cliché after another and Carla Ching’s less than fully developed characters. Additionally, both playwright and director make some odd choices...There is nothing new in 'Nomad Motel' and the important themes the play shrouds are ineffectively and weakly developed. The young actors give the play their very best."
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Gotham Playgoer
June 6th, 2019

"Well-meaning but muddled drama...The playwright touches many bases but does not dig deeply enough. The two central characters come across as less interesting to watch than their dysfunctional parents...The direction by Ed Sylvanus Iskander has its awkward moments such as when two characters are forced to sit quietly during a long scene not involving them. All in all, it came across as a missed opportunity to adequately address several timely issues."
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New York Theatre Guide
June 3rd, 2019

“Unfortunately, James and Fiona are on the outskirts of Carla Ching’s ‘Nomad Hotel...This work’s primary focus is on the very responsible offspring of these wild characters...Bonnie and Clyde they are not, yet Ching attempts to shape them into a pair of damaged heroes who find safety in each other’s arms...It seems that behind every door in this production, there is room for improvement.”
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Stage Left
June 5th, 2019

“'Nomad Motel’ is a draft of what might become a good play...The production is a mess of ideas in search of a gripping story and legible direction...Despite compassionate bursts of character development inspiring great pathos for our forlorn protagonists, ‘Nomad Motel’ employs a mélange of half-baked or else far too obvious metaphors, and several bouts of artificial and flowery speeches...A production that never establishes a consistent atmosphere or tone.”
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T
June 21st, 2019

"Ching’s play is a cliche-ridden amalgam of awkwardly unnatural dialogue. Towards the end of the play, the obviously bored audience seemed to bond while laughing at the play and rolling their eyes. Ed Sylvanus Iskander’s direction dragged on and on. The last twenty minutes feel like hours...The cliches in the script are too voluminous to make you care about themes...This one, from the Atlantic Theater Company, is beyond awful."
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NYC Splash
June 9th, 2019

“’Nomad Hotel’ is efficiently and imaginatively directed...Iskandar also winningly shepherds the play’s dual energies: a kind of desperate sense of reality fused with a more poetic or aspirational edge...Shaw's costumes allow the characters to successfully inhabit multiple playing areas...If the production seemed at times somewhat constrained by its spatial limitations, the fact that all the characters seemed to be bursting out of their emotional and physical lives seemed to suit the play fine.”
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