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Nomad Motel

From 50 member  reviews
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. More…

In the not-so-sunny side of California, Alix bounces between motel rooms, taking care of her brothers for her mostly MIA mother. Mason is a budding songwriter trying to keep off the radar of his absent father in Hong Kong. Together, they must learn to scrape by without giving up their dreams.

Member Reviews (50)


Relevant, Disappointing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious
Avg Score

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.

Also This was too long. I couldn’t tell you what to cut but I can tell you ... Read more Read less

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.

Also Carla Ching has a great gift that should serve her well in the theater... Read more Read less

Sweet, Meandering, perplexing, tender acting,, Quirky

See it if Caught the last performance but found it enjoyable, the two leads did a good job, the play is a bit unreal as characters move between motels

Don't see it if The growing relationship between the 2 leads was tender & the resolution satisfactory but it took too long to develop, parents monstrous

Great acting, Relevant, Great staging, Cliched

See it if Camaraderie of two (plus 1) teens with parents, but no parental control or influence, embark to the land of displacement and individuation.

Don't see it if Character studies somehow at least still need arcs and they need something at sometime to be said about someone.

Also "First you flail, then you figure it out." Samantha Mathis has a small... Read more Read less

Mediocre, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy stories that explore the dynamics between parents and their teenaged children.

Don't see it if you have a hard time buying adult actors as teenagers.

Needs work, Disappointing, Relevant, Cliched

See it if Good basic story line that veers off into too many cliched directions. Play feels contrived & simplistic.

Don't see it if Needs better character development, editing, revisions & stronger direction; acting feels forced except for Ian Duff;

Not well written. acting and production ok.

See it if You like attempts at interesting subjects.

Don't see it if You want a well written play.

Slow, Disappointing, Cliched, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if are interested in the effects of poor parenting on talented teenagers trying to make something of their lives.

Don't see it if you are expecting any new insights about homelessness, parental neglect, police discrimination, undocumented status and financial hardship.

Also The two lead characters are sympathetic, but their story is cliche-rid... Read more Read less

Promising, Intriguing characters, Well acted, Chaotic conclusion

See it if Broke, hungry, homeless, and little parental guidance complicate coming of age story. Still pursuing dream is hopeful in the long run.

Don't see it if You hate seeing people that lack job skills, personal capabilities, & financial resources to be adequate parents - living in run-down motels

Also It feels like this play needs another rewrite to shorten and tighten i... Read more Read less

Pointless, Way too long, Acting is uneven., Good idea, badly executed, Overwritten

See it if you want to take a nap for 2+ hours.This is a waste of time. Atlantic usually does a lot better.The script is over written, bloated. Dull

Don't see it if you want an interesting show.Plot idea is excellent--homeless kids.Execution is tedious.3 male actors are very good.Women are inconsistent.

High school boy and classmate girl try to navigate life without parents

See it if Appealing teenage characters in a confusing muddle of parental dysfunction. Plot devices of injured bird and sword fight are fun but aimless

Don't see it if Couldn't figure the point of an Asian-American author writing about a Chinese teen left by himself in California by widowed gangster father

Absorbing, Relevant, Refreshing, Great acting, Underrated

See it if you like plays with a lot of character development, exploration of loneliness, teens with negligent parents, citizenship, racism.

Don't see it if you're expecting a fast-paced show or don't like character-driven-plays. Some may find it boring, but it's much better than reviews suggest.

Imperfect, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Winning young cast, Ambitious

See it if Lovely set, nice staging. A sugar coated look at homelessness. Episodic. Clear characterizations that mostly feel fresh.

Don't see it if You want a linear narrative. You need your characters to make sense throughout and not just be winning.

Also I really did enjoy this play. I dont think it is brilliant in any way ... Read more Read less

Slow at times, Good acting, Valid themes, Good characterizations, Relevant

See it if you like experiencing what poverty in our society is like and how it effects the lives and aspirations of a segment of our population.

Don't see it if you dislike the depiction of the failure of the "American Dream" in our society today and the sad struggles that people go through.

Indie film vibes

See it if Coming of age indie film vibes (esp. with the lighting) of 2 high school kids without their parents and learning to survive.

Don't see it if Slower, less plot bores you. Characters relied on some racial stereotypes without much transformation, which was a missed opportunity.

Also Diversity: Asian American playwright. I appreciated the Hong Kong undo... Read more Read less

Uneven, Relevant, Slow, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You are looking for an antidote to helicopter parenting.

Don't see it if You want characters you can care about or plot you can’t predict.

Also Given the subject matter, the only surprise was how unengaging this wa... Read more Read less

Well articulated characters but needs and edit

See it if for a new writer with insight into being an outsider expressed by a fine cast with clearly defined characters in a complex family story

Don't see it if a poorly crafted through line of action with a really weak ending will annoy you. Needs some serious dramaturgical attention in act 2.

Slow, Resonant, Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You like stories about growing up in difficult family situations. The acting is sincere and well done , good sets

Don't see it if You are in the mood for a fast paced lighthearted evening out. It’s a bit slow

Good acting all around, Well written, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy off-beat plays involving family relationships; you like the intimacy of a small theater

Don't see it if you expect a crowd pleaser; you prefer musicals to dramas

Cliched, Nonsensical, Unsympathetic, Melodramatic, Torturous

See it if you see everything.

Don't see it if you have access to a different air-conditioned space.

Also lovely actors, but this two hour cliche cannot be saved.

Relevant, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in the struggles of people who are trying to better themselves.

Don't see it if if you want a tightly directed play.

Also There were several scenes that were unnecessary, such as the fight sce... Read more Read less

Motel hell

See it if Love plays about at risk teenagers. Support any of Atlantic's artistic efforts.

Don't see it if Prefer adult crises. Hate inconveniently deep basement theater venues.

Also I felt all the more trapped once it was apparent that three teens carr... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Banal

See it if Your interested in a new play.

Don't see it if A play that moves at a slow pace and just doesn't deliver.

Inventive set, Amateurish, Embarrassing

See it if your heart goes out to young people in need to a degree you're willing to sit through 2 hours of agonizingly bad dialogue & mediocre acting.

Don't see it if you expect a mature, rich, play with complex characters. Many scenes are laughable, including father-son martial arts battle & finale 'run'

Good try, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You want to see an interesting play about teens who are forced to be on their own. Actors give their best with what was given to them.

Don't see it if You are not into the topic of teens on their own and dysfunctional families.

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 t...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 enou...
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