Ma-Yi Theater Company presents a new farce that examines the joys of owning an apartment with a washer/dryer, and the pressures of modern-day marriage in New York City. More…
Sonya and Michael’s recent elopement in Vegas seemed like a dream come true for both of them...until they try living together in Sonya’s Manhattan studio apartment. They soon discover that they haven’t been entirely honest with each other or themselves, and their secrets come home to roost along with an intrusive mother, the co-op’s strict Board president, a harsh best friend, and a fabulous washer-dryer. Mayhem ensues as the couple is forced to re-evaluate their relationship and decide whether all really is fair in love and real estate.
"I recommend ‘Washer/Dryer,’ a tasty piece of farcical cooking about an Asian fusion marriage. The characters are comically exaggerated yet never so much as to lose touch with reality; the dialogue is sharp and often witty; there are laugh-producing physical set pieces (even the washer/dryer plays its part); and the emphasis on the dangers of lying grounds the play in a meaningful context. Wisecracks about Asian cultural differences are used more for quick laughs than any deeper purpose." Full Review
"Sometimes you just want to be entertained, to laugh a lot, not be required to think too hard and just simply enjoy yourself at the theatre. No crying. No deep philosophical existential questions. 'Washer/Dryer' is just this kind of light delight...The witty dialogue covering subversive prejudices and the all-around absurdity of New York life is a pleasure...The audience just falls into fits of laughter and in love with everyone on the stage. This cast is perfect." Full Review
"'Washer/Dryer' is not just a silly comedy, though there is quite a bit of silliness throughout the evening. The play asked some really interesting questions, at least for me, about self-identifying, self-awareness, compromise and expanding pre-existing notions...Overall, there was a sweetness to the proceedings that I enjoyed and I think a breezy comedy is just the thing every now and then." Full Review
"Benjamin Kamine’s keeps the action moving like a fast paced sitcom. Who steals the show here is Mr. Dobson, who has terrific grace and makes putting on a sari a things of comical beauty. He manages to make us laugh with the silliness of it all. Is this great theatre, no, but it was enjoyable." Full Review
"It is essentially a well-acted sitcom with a weak plot. But Shenoy gets strong laughs from her broadly-drawn characters, whom she paints with gleeful excess, and the director, Benjamin Kamine, picks up on her raucous humor with some genuinely amusing physical comedy." Full Review
"Ma-Yi’s smart cast easily navigates Ms. Shenoy’s clever script to a happily-ever-after ending that makes the hearing of this tale sweet and satisfying...Ms. Shenoy’s well-crafted script is directed with a steady hand and each member of the ensemble delivers believable and authentic performances...The performance viewed for this review seemed a little under rehearsed with the timing a bit off. Given the credentials of the cast and creative team, this issue will have been resolved by now." Full Review
"As the play progresses, Shenoy introduces many caricatures...Shenoy seem to bring these stereotypes up to make us laugh, but some feel so overused these days and the playwright only touches skin deep when they could be culturally interesting moments...The pace is evenly timed at a slick 90 minutes, directed seamlessly by Benjamin Kamine...If you are looking for a light evening with easy laughs, and don’t mind clichéd stereotypes, this is a play worth attending." Full Review
"Shenoy’s situation comedy skates along on mostly fluffy charm. From time to time, the sexy leads deliver on this sweet promise, but for this kind of comedic froth you need the bubbly fun to last for the full 90-minute show. As the circumstances become more farcical (and not all the performances rise to the challenge), the laughs begin to feel forced…The performances need some tightening up with both comedic timing and when their characters get serious." Full Review
"Nandita Shenoy has the makings for a pretty good sitcom in her new play 'Washer/Dryer'… Shenoy has a good ear for dialogue and sets up some funny situations. The problem, though, is that she does this at the expense of logic...Nevertheless, 'Washer/Dryer' breezes along as Johnny and Sonya swerve around the complications that crop up over the course of one rather frenetic evening." Full Review
"'Washer/Dryer' is good-natured and Shenoy can write a funny line…But the script is overladen with gags -- mechanical gags, cheap-shot gags, gags that have nothing to do with the characters…Under Benjamin Kamine's blessedly light-fingered direction, at least all this silliness goes down fairly painlessly." Full Review
"Nandita Shenoy’s clunky new comedy...It may be asking too much of a farce to make perfect sense, but the good ones spin out wildly from a center of credibility that 'Washer/Dryer' lacks...The energies of the ethnically diverse cast are channeled into tired cultural stereotypes...Aside from Shenoy, who delivers her own dialogue stiffly, the actors find some moments of funny business between their lines, but there are only so many laughs to wring from material this washed out." Full Review
"Presented by Ma-Yi Theater Company 'Washer/Dryer' is only partly in keeping with Ma-Yi’s mission of producing 'new and innovative' work by Asian-American playwrights. New though it is, the play resembles nothing so much as a stale 1970s sitcom...Wry, skeptical and possessed of a dancer’s grace, Mr. Dobson brings hilarity to a play that badly needs it. In a small miracle, he also makes a fully human being out of a role written as a comic stereotype. The other actors fare less well." Full Review
"Once these five numbingly unfunny figures are gathered together she goes for jokes about Michael's background as Chinese, and Wendy's meanness and resistance to acknowledge her son Cameron's homosexuality. Those angles are only the beginning of the convolutions the playwright of this misguided production thinks might amuse ticket buyers...The actors don't embarrass themselves. Actor Shenoy does, however, in her other chosen assignment as author." Full Review
for a previous production "Refreshing would hardly be enough to merit non-stop audience laughter let alone a nearly unqualified rave from this reviewer were it not for a) Shenoy’s ingenious—and consistently hilarious—script; b) Peter J. Kuo’s inspired direction…If ever there were an East West Players World Premiere that deserves national legs, 'Washer/Dryer' is that play...It’s an absolute winner from start to finish." Full Review
for a previous production "A triumphant coming together of acting, directing, writing and timing. The situation is straightforward but the execution of it is extraordinary...The funniest play I’ve seen in a year, as director Peter J Kuo superbly handles the farce and family dynamics to bring Nandita Shenoy’s hilarious script gloriously to life. After you see it, 'Washer/Dryer’s' tale of love, lies and laundry will be spinning around your head for ages." Full Review
for a previous production "A fast, even paced ninety-minutes of social issues served up on a tasty elixir of laughter…'Washer/Dryer' vividly illustrates that similarities can outweigh the differences various cultures/beliefs might have...Very clever take on pre-conceived prejudice, exclusion, and motherly love...I'd recommend airing your dirty laundry at this 'Washer/Dryer.' Everything will come out brightly colored, spotless and fresh." Full Review
for a previous production "A humorous depiction of multi-cultural relationships in the present day, that is often ignored in your run-of-the-mill theater. Leave your political correctness at the door...The real scene grabber is Sonya’s downstairs gay neighbor, Sam. From his snappy one-liners, fabulous caftan dress, to his wine guzzling as the story unfolds, nearly every word out of his mouth brought a hearty laugh out of the crowd." Full Review
for a previous production "A charming play with characters that reflects the multicultural mosaic of New York City…This farce takes us on a wash cycle, rinses, and delivers…However, certain tropes may have been reinforced, such as the 'gay best friend'...Despite these issues, the play has opened up dialogue about people’s diverse experiences in the US...Not only does 'Washer/Dryer' serve as pure fun for the night, but it also tackles relevant issues about the Asian American identity." Full Review
for a previous production "Shenoy's play gets a mostly sure-footed staging under Ahmed's direction, and it's refreshing that the ethnic differences aren't foregrounded as the source of conflict...A familiar romp through the growing pains of newlyweds. But even though there are some undeniably shaggy components to Shenoy's comedy, it largely succeeds on its own sunny terms...Some gags get stuck in the lint trap, but 'Washer' provides a pleasant snapshot of a couple learning to overcome territorial static." Full Review
for a previous production "An amiable throwback…The proceedings are diverting in a Norman Lear way. Khatau’s fresh, understated heroine and Chung’s likable, short-fused hero are nicely matched...At its heart the piece is a sincere, well-intended contrivance that gets its laughs like clockwork but isn’t exactly unfamiliar. Audiences with an appetite for light comedy may well enjoy it, yet this 'Washer/Dryer' could use more realistic starch and less synthetic fabric softener." Full Review
for a previous production "'Washer/Dryer' is a lighthearted comedy that may take a while to heat up, but is highly entertaining once it does. However, the play is not without problems, principally staging. At times it can be difficult to see; audience members next to me leaned forward at one point to make out what was in a bag characters were looking in and holding up, because only those in the front could see clearly. Sightlines aside, 'Washer/Dryer' makes for a fun night out." Full Review
for a previous production "Nandita Shenoy’s new farce takes a look at the inevitably cute, and challenging, cultural differences that ensue after a quickie marriage between an Indian-American actress and a Chinese-American freelance writer...Packed with too many comedic cases of misunderstanding and mistaken identity, the show could use more insight into the couple’s feelings for one another and connections to their culture, particularly Sonya's (whose family is never seen)." Full Review
for a previous production "Reasonably well-acted and seasoned with some light hijinks, the show hovers at sitcom-level contrivances and shallow character development, rarely rising above its exhausted stereotypes…The show aspires to be a kind of 'Barefoot in the Park' for the 21st century, but the funny bits try too hard and ring hollow…The emotional heft here is no more substantial than one of Sonya’s wedding saris, bright and flimsy." Full Review
See it if You want an accurate snapshot of NYC, and the struggles of living here, played for big laughs by a diverse cast.
Don't see it if You can't relate to city folk, and the dream that is a washer/dryer.
See it if You enjoy cute, fluffy, funny rom coms type plays. You can be entertained by a simple fun story about marriage.
Don't see it if You like more serious, deep, profound story lines. If you are offended by references to sex or homosexuality.
See it if you like good natured comedies that try to reflect modern conditions, you wish you had a washer/dryer, you respect diversity in theater
Don't see it if you want meaning or a message, domineering mother and gay swish cliches anger you, extenuating situations bother you
See it if Definitely see if you want a good laugh. I loved all the characters. Especially mom & gay neighbor.
Don't see it if I'm really not good at giving a reason not to see a play if I liked it! So go see it! Enjoy!! I guess don't see it you don't like comedy
See it if you want a lighthearted, fun night at the theater featuring a diverse cast
Don't see it if you won't open up to it's style. The pacing can be a bit jarring in the beginning but if you go along with it, the play is enjoyable.
See it if You want to see a funny play. You like sit coms. You like shows about living in NY. You like family & relationship stories.
Don't see it if You don't like sit coms. You want a serious drama. You want a play about issues. You don't like domestic stories.
See it if you want laughs, to support multi-ethnic theatre makers, to enjoy NYC real estate in-jokes. Jamyl Dobson is hilarious. Real cooking a bonus!
Don't see it if you're in the mood for something serious and dramatic.
See it if you want to see a goofy play that pokes fun at pretty spot-on stereotypes. Or if you want to see/support Asian representation in theatre.
Don't see it if you want a thought-provoking show. It's cute, but nothing special.
See it if You like shows with quirky, funny characters who relate in unusual ways to other characters and NY based shows are your thing !
Don't see it if You are turned off by shows that could be part of a rom-com series .
See it if if you are interested in seeing a new farce featuring a diverse cast
Don't see it if if you have a functioning TV. This show never really becomes anything other than a mediocre sitcom that wallows in worn out stereotypes.
See it if You know the pains of NYC apartments, overbearing mothers, relationships, or just enjoy a good laugh and a enjoyable script.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy a good laugh, have no idea about NYC apartments, or only like very serious scripts with serious discussions.
See it if you're in the mood for some empty calories, light laughs, and/or New York in-jokes.
Don't see it if you are looking for a refined production, emotional depth, or much beyond an hour and a half of light but well-done entertainment.
See it if you'd like a cute story about relationships, romantic, with family, friends, and housing. The actors clearly have fun with the material
Don't see it if you're looking for deep theater. This is a fun rom-com. There's also some homophobia, and the characters are (loving) stereotypes.
See it if You want light laughs with clever plot points and appealing (if superficial) characters, and if you've lived the NYC real estate experience.
Don't see it if You are looking for a weighty plot layered with meaning, or if you object to gay/Asian stereotypes played for laughs ( not mean- spiritedly)
See it if You want to see a story about diverse characters in NYC. Also a comedy that's all done in one scene 90 minutes long.
Don't see it if Cliched and Stereotypical characters really annoy you (the flamboyant gay man, "insane" Chinese mother, etc.).
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