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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Great singing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense
79
Avg Score

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You love great performances, great acting, direction and choreography and the intimacy and power of off-broadway theater.

Don't see it if You can't get past the subject matter.

100
Clever, Enchanting, Delightful, Masterful, Profound

See it if Love music

Don't see it if You are not much into music

79
Raunchy, Intense, Edgy, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if You like modern musicals.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with pedophilia that's a part of a culture.

50
Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Intense

See it if you like a show with strong production values that also tackles issues of personal and cultural identity.

Don't see it if you're easily disturbed by the premise of fathers selling their sons to be raised as dancing boys that are used for companionship.

Also This is a show that gets high marks on all technical merits - well-cas... Read more Read less

68
Great acting, Cliched, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you like to go on a person's journey

Don't see it if you don't want to step into someone else's shoes for a long time

100
Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Epic, Great staging

See it if You love musicals!

Don't see it if You don’t like shows

85
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Profound

See it if you enjoy great music and fine acting

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with subject matter

91
Thought-provoking, Profound, Must see, Intense

See it if You want to know how male children are sexually exploited in the Middle East And how it is excused as a tradition.

Don't see it if I think everyone should see it

During previews
85
Great music, Great writing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Challenging

See it if you're interested in exciting contemporary musical theater and stories that challenge you.

Don't see it if you're the kind of person who can't accept that musicals can deal with challenging subject matter beautifully.

During previews
9
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You want to support actors (some of who are making their off-Broadway debuts) who try their best.

Don't see it if You prefer a tight coherent storyline as this rambles on & on.. Very lengthy & boring. Very sparse set.

During previews
97
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Great writing

See it if You want to witness one of the greatest musical love stories! Almost flawless on the first night of previews. Oozing with talent.

Don't see it if Your mind is closed or you have a glass naval.

During previews
88
Great singing, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Unique, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in a unique story framed in a musical with surprisingly lavish numbers on a small stage.

Don't see it if an all male cast with a gay theme distracts you from fine performances.

Also This is a very well written and composed show that is evidently stunte... Read more Read less

During previews
72
Ambitious, Intense, Uneven, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you want to see a heartbreaking story and are interested in other cultures. It feels like it isn't quite ready yet but has potential.

Don't see it if you don't want to see depictions of abusive relationships.

Also The show made me want to seek out the Frontline documentary that it is... Read more Read less

During previews
39
Slow, Boring, Weak, Too dramatic, Amateurish

See it if you have nothing to do with 2.5 of your time. The cast tried but this production is weak overall.

Don't see it if you value your time. It was painful to watch the performers struggle. The outcome was: the effort doesn't always count.

During previews
98
Enchanting, Resonant, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you want to experience a thrilling love story that takes on difficult subject matter with nimble ease and a soaring musical score.

Don't see it if you enjoy fluffy escapist musicals. While touching and joyous, this musical packs some bite.

Also The music in this show is truly remarkable. The ballads run the gamut ... Read more Read less

During previews
25
Banal, Cliched, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You want to throw money away

Don't see it if You are looking for good theater

Also This 2.5 hour long rambling mess tries to evoke an emotional response ... Read more Read less

During previews
76
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intense, Slow, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in shows that portray other cultures whether it's the positive or negative aspects of those other cultures

Don't see it if You Don't like seeing shows that portray pedophilia. You want to see a lighthearted show You want to see something more mainstream

Also Heartbreaking story of what is unfortunately still going on in other p... Read more Read less

During previews
93
Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a sophisticated and deeply enjoyable take on a difficult complex subject. Filled with strong and well founded emotion. Daring.

Don't see it if other cultures don't interest you. But really see it and have your mind opened.

Also This was terrific! To turn such complex and relevant subject matter in... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you might like a serious musical, set in a contemporary context in Afghanistan, and dealing with the tradition of 'kept dancing boys'.

Don't see it if adult male 'ownership' of young boys for erotic purposes will disturb you too much.

During previews
70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if you have seen most everything and are willing to try something new.

Don't see it if you are disturbed by the subject matter.

Also I wanted to like this more. There is a potential for this show to be g... Read more Read less

During previews
82
Absorbing, Moving, Great casting, Unusual setting, Needs tightening

See it if you want to see fine performers in a setting you'd never expect for a musical

Don't see it if you have an issue with gay relationships

During previews
70
Ambitious, Indulgent, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if the subject-matter interests you, and you want to support lots of early career talent.

Don't see it if you are looking for a fast paced show with high production values.

During previews
52
Gratuitous, Flat, Blunt, Banal, Disappointing

See it if You saw the Frontline piece and want to see it in a dramatic presentation.

Don't see it if I can't think of a reason why you would want to see it--there is so much better theater out there. We left at intermission.

During previews
95
Must see, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Profound

See it if You like great songwriting and want to see a genuinely original new musical. Feels like a small gem people discover later via cast album.

Don't see it if You're squeamish about the subject matter, which includes physical and sexual abuse.

Also There have been a lot of great musicals in recent years ("Hamilton," "... Read more Read less

During previews
97
Exquisite, Great acting, Edgy, Great singing, Great staging

See it if If you like great story telling!

Don't see it if I can't think of any reson you would not see it!


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...
read more
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...
read more
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 ...
read more
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 ...
read more

Related content