The Tank presents this interactive solo comedy in which writer-performer Sam Soghor muses on cultural identity versus national identity. More…
Steeped in reverence for the F train as much as it is for the new Silk Road, 'Sam's Tea Shack' is an Ashkenazi Jewish boy’s fantasy he is among his ancestors: central Asian nomads. In this malleable exchange between the audience and Sam, he serves tea, talks about the neighborhood, Persian emperors, going to high school with Lin-Manuel Miranda, dumplings and samosas, and whatever is on your mind. Note: In addition to the ticket price, there is a one-drink minimum per person.
"The fact that 'Sam's Tea Shack' works is clearly thanks to co-writers Ben Gassman and Soghor. Now, you may feel mad awkward, but that’s Sam’s comedy style...You can’t be around a genuinely charming dude who thinks he's a failure for over an hour and not feel a little down yourself...See 'Sam’s Tea Shack' because it is funny and because it is a unique and tight theater experience. And be ready to dish it out, that'll really make it good fun." Full Review
"While 'Sam’s Tea Shack' is conversational and intimate, the thoughts feel scattered and the flow is bumpy...While the themes of culture and identity are clear, the flow of topics is sporadic, and it is occasionally too obvious where Ben Gassman’s writing meets Soghor’s improvisation...Within Meghan Finn’s organic direction, it is easy to watch Soghor tell these stories...With a little more polish and finesse, the purpose of this production will be clear and more poignant." Full Review
See it if You're willing to look beyond the surface to the underlying subtlety and allegory. It's here, but won't be shoved down your throat.
Don't see it if You cannot (or will not) appreciate nuance; you fail to find value where it hasn't been spoon-fed to you.
See it if you're interested in essentially listening to a man tell stories and interact with the audience for an hour
Don't see it if you don't have a basic understanding of jewish culture. A lot of the jokes are very niche
See it if The wandering inner life of a fellow human being holds your interest. Sam is an amiable host sharing fantasies & aspirations in fun setting
Don't see it if you require structure or arch. The monolog seems random although Sam consults a list from time to time suggesting some kind of order.
See it if Less stand-up comedy than stand-up therapy Soghor has a certain goofy appeal masking serious issues of identity & familial bonding
Don't see it if Despite interesting material, slacker delivery feels unnecessarily sloppy Interactivity with audience off putting Stronger direction needed
See it if You want to support a performer trying his hand at a solo show. You know someone involved with the production.
Don't see it if You value any sense of theatre: the story has no shape or direction & the actor isn't a professional-he was nervous, & easily distracted.
See it if Want to support a solo artist's attempt to freestyle a memoir of his life in a rambling, unfocused monologue.
Don't see it if You aren't a friend interrupting the confusing unfocused monologue with questions, thoughts and interjections.
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