Already closed | 2h 20m | Midtown W

The Boy Who Danced On Air

From 59 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great singing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

Abingdon Theatre Company presents this new musical, a modern-day love story set in rural Afghanistan. More…

Paiman and Feda have spent their young lives as performers in the world of bacha bazi, where wealthy men take in boys from poor families, train them to dance at parties, and often abuse them. The two boys’ chance meeting changes the course of their lives and sets them on a journey to find their independence in this musical fable about love, tradition, morality, and the strength of the human spirit.

2h 20m | Already closed | June Havoc Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (59)


Ambitious, Great singing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense
Avg Score

Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great singing

See it if Ambitious chamber musical about culturally condoned (?) pedophilia in the Arab world. Very well sung & acted despite uncomfortable depiction

Don't see it if Overly plotted (the subplot is extraneous) & many songs hinder pacing The gay relationship between the bacha bazi dancers is underwritten

Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if Great songs, great singing by all 5 male actors, fascinating (but..see below) tale. 2 great dancers.] Play needs a longer run.

Don't see it if disturbing topic of life in Afghanistan

Different. good music. lovely voices. good performances.

See it if You like all kinds of theatre..

Don't see it if You are not open to all kinds of theatre.

So much new, so much old, so much borrowed

See it if you want to learn about this custom. you want a glimpse into Afghan disillusionment in US.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with pedophilia, Muslims as victim, hero, and villain. With USA strictly villainous.

Also This was an amazing performance, in a black box theater transformed in... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Exquisite, Great singing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if it gets the new life it deserves. It's a moving portrayal of a real issue most haven't even heard of. The story, score & cast are 1st rate.

Don't see it if you need happy-go-lucky theatre. This is about perseverance through unthinkable obstacles & finding the courage to grab at joy when you can.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Great singing

See it if Beautiful music and touching love songs. Excellent selection of cast members!

Don't see it if If you have difficulty with gay topic.

Heart-wrenching, Exquisite singing, Excellent acting, Deeply moving, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to experience some of the most beautiful & pristine singing on stage today. Story is controversial: so what. RUN & SEE THIS SHOW!

Don't see it if same-sex PDA's make you squeamish. It's SO much more than what we bargain for. Deserves to be in slightly larger theater w/MUCH longer run.

Eye opening, Culturally informative, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are open to learning about aspects of other cultures. An interesting insight into the Afghani culture and a unique love story.

Don't see it if You prefer more traditional content in a musical or you are uncomfortable with the depiction of violence.

Intense, Surprising, disturbing, moving

See it if you want to be shaken, moved, tense, relieved, enchanted, frightened, by new material that is inescapably emotionally complex.

Don't see it if a difficult play about conflicting moral values, traditions and cultures isn't your taste. Not for the those who want simple happy endings

Also This play/musical is disturbing. It tells a story based on real life e... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Great scenic design

See it if You are open to seeing a work that while not great, is different and with characters we don't often see on stage.

Don't see it if You hate musicals, particularly if you feel the music should reflect the setting.

Engaging, Good music, Heart felt

See it if young gay love

Don't see it if deals with pedophilia

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you like an intimate political musical with great tunes, an absorbing plot, and high stakes. A both challenging and emotional little show/

Don't see it if you don't like political musicals, are uncomfortable with gay abuse, rape, or a show set in Afghanistan.

Ambitious, Great singing, Absorbing, Intense, Resonant

See it if you like dark themes, you like new musicals, you like small casts, you like great singing

Don't see it if dark topics make you feel uncomfortable, you want a large cast, you want a standard storyline

Also Interesting new musical looking at tradition and morality, love and dr... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great singing, Edgy, Intelligent, Beautiful music

See it if you are ok with difficult subject matters staged to beautiful music. great voices. wonderful actors.

Don't see it if overly complex story lines. politics could have been left out. trying to be too clever. very difficult topic

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great singing, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if you enjoy a musical that's a bit different and doesn't always end the way you want it to. Troy Iwata is someone to watch.

Don't see it if you have qualms about the realities of life and how cruel it can sometimes be. And yes, it is about same sex relationships.

Sincere, Ambitious, Great staging, Great cast, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see an excellent, charismatic, fully-committed cast at work; if you're intrigued by premise (& prospect of making it a musical)

Don't see it if premise squicks you out; if you can't w/ utterly conventional approaches to tricky material (Newsies x MissSaigon, but not as accomplished)

Exquisite, Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Must see

See it if You like a good story. If you're open minded to other cultures' source of pain beautifully acted. If you want to learn and to think and feel

Don't see it if You're closed minded about traditions/ other cultures view about " men have needs". You're squeamish about men and young boys together.

Absorbing, Great writing, Resonant, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if you have the stomach for a really good musical that is about a very rancid subject: pedophilia in Afghanistan. So well done and worth it.

Don't see it if you only like "My Fair Lady" musicals that don't try to open our minds to strong subject material.

Good singing, Well staged, Interesting subject, Slow paced

See it if You like unusual subject matter. Well written but often repetitious score. Good off stage orchestra.

Don't see it if You don't like slow pace, quite a few people left at intermission. Don't like somewhat confusing endings.

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

See it if You like musicals that make a social and political point as well as psychologically complex

Don't see it if You have a problem with mediocre dance (partially because of the small stage) You do not like political themes or seeing them simplified.

Also The set director did the best he/she could with the set given the smal... Read more Read less

Must see, Exquisite, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if You want to see a beautiful yet tragic production with some fantastic singing.

Don't see it if You’re sensitive to physical abuse or the idea of slavery.

Also Absolutely brilliant. This show is stunning. I can’t remember the last... Read more Read less

Intense, Disturbing, Great singing, Moving, Riveting

See it if exploring a controversial part of the Afghan culture, exquisite singing, dance, acting & tragic but uplifting stories excite you.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with pedophilia or same sex relationships on stage, or if you want a traditional musical or something light.

Ambitious, Cliched, Great singing, Edgy

See it if You want to champion new original musicals.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with pedophilia on stage.

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you're into dark musicals that make it okay to laugh sometimes while still being depressing and if you like great music.

Don't see it if you don't like heavy musicals about hard topics

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in culture like musicals​ and are open minded

Don't see it if You are offended by homosexual interaction

May 25th, 2017
"The ick factor here is dangerously high, a problem that the production labors hard to mitigate through aesthetics...It would be enough of an achievement to make this story palatable...But Mr. Rosser and Mr. Sohne were even more ambitious: They have two more stories to tell...Still, the music rew...
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May 25th, 2017
"An unusual, profoundly affecting chamber musical...Creators Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne amp up the drama in the second act, and push it further still in a coda. Their musical, optimally staged by Tony Speciale, taps into a universal source of pain and confusion: that phase of youthful innocence...
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May 25th, 2017
"A challenging, courageous, and beautiful new musical...Rosser and Sohne employ a comfortingly familiar songwriting style to push thrillingly fresh ideas...Sohne's book efficiently places this human tragedy in the context of its society...Director Tony Speciale realizes Rosser and Sohne's vision ...
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May 31st, 2017
"An impressive feat of imagination, delving with remarkable sensitivity into a culture that might seem bizarre, even repugnant, to American audiences...Rosser and Sohne lay out the situation with clarity and without melodrama...The big issue in Speciale's production has to do with the casting of ...
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