Closed 1h 30m
Where Did We Sit on the Bus
Midtown W

Where Did We Sit on the Bus NYC Reviews and Tickets

(18 Reviews)
Members say
Relevant, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Radio Drama Network present Brian Quijada's autobiographical solo show about what it means to be Latino through the eyes of a child, turned teenager, turned adult.

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Member Reviews (18)

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Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if Not bothered by solo shows; terrifically talented Quijada constantly engages our emotions but misses many thoughtful analyses

Don't see it if Expecting an overt political statement; have problems with autobiographical and at times sentimental material

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Funny

See it if you like one person shows, loud hip hop music and a deeply personal story about growing up Latino in a culture in which you felt different

Don't see it if Personal stories don't entertain you, you expect more drama and travail in a one person play, cultural differences don't interest you Read more

Critic Reviews (13)

September 20th, 2016

"Engaging and obliging...Though the show begins as an exploration of his place as a kid of 'brown persuasion/a product of U.S.-bound migration,' it morphs into Mr. Quijada’s efforts to sell his folks on a career in the arts...Mr. Quijada seems half desperate to please his audience. His face, an appealing mix of handsome and goofy, is always ready to split into a smile, and his feet are quick to dance...Ultimately, the show doesn't offer much drama or conflict."
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September 20th, 2016

"It's clear that the young Quijada is something special. He's just playing it too safe...Aside from the title query, the performer eschews uncomfortable questions...These subjects come up...But they're not explored in any depth. Quijada quickly moves on to the next beat, not wanting to ruin the rhythm of our good time. And it is a good time that spotlights his many skills...I'd definitely hear his song again, I just hope next time it will be less familiar."
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September 19th, 2016

"While issues of race and identity run throughout the play, they are only a small part of a muddled whole. Quijada clearly has an expansive range of interests (dance, music, ethnicity, family), but none of them quite feel like the crux of the show. Luckily, Quijada compensates for this lack of focus with his unique intensity as a performer...While the title may be a bit misleading, there is still much to enjoy in this artfully crafted memoir from an undeniably gifted storyteller."
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September 29th, 2016

"What starts out to be a breezily amusing, if derivative, evening quickly acquires a distinctive voice of its own, as Quijada -an appealing presence with crack comic timing- skillfully mines his early years for laughs...Under the direction of Chay Yew, human talent and modern technology combine to singular effect...This new offering only confirms that Quijada is a bright talent, both as a writer and actor, with a distinctive view of this immigrant country of ours."
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September 20th, 2016

"This remarkably talented 27-year-old writer-actor-dancer-musician-sound master is sure to become a star...This is one dynamic bundle of energy...Mr Quijada dazzles in his 90-minute work, which incorporates Latin rhythms, hip-hop, spoken word, theater, identity, immigration, beat boxing and so much more...Chay Yew’s direction is perfect for this hyperkinetic performer, who is sure to win several awards and become as big as Miranda and Leguizamo."
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October 4th, 2016

"The piece is brilliant. Drawing on his many skills, Quijada begins with prenatal silent happiness in the womb...and then fills in just about everything he did as he grew up to deny his father's wishes and became the accomplished playwright-actor he ineluctably proves to be...Perhaps Quijada's most compelling element is his humanity...Anyone reaching the denouement without feeling an emotional tug might want to do some serious psychic introspection."
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October 12th, 2016

"Quijada was engaging, shining brightest through his musicianship. He possesses a skill that many have: actually being a multi-faceted performer. Unfortunately, his skill set didn’t translate into the writing. Quijada’s text lacks bearing...Despite an OK script, 'Where Did We Sit On the Bus?' is a great production...For a solo show, the technical advancements were mesmerizing. Director Chay Yew tightly choreographed the piece, moving Quijada fluidly through the space and the stories."
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September 24th, 2016

"Quijada is a vivacious talent…But the show is called, ‘Where Did We Sit on the Bus?’…Before the civil rights movement, black people sat in the back of the bus…But where were Latinos?...A show exploring that question is something I'd really like to see. Quijada doesn't do that, focusing on autobiography…It seems a particularly tone-deaf dispatch in our current, racially-charged political moment. And surprisingly shallow for a performer who clearly has sparkling depths."
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March 20th, 2016
For a previous production

"Some of the threads that Quijada introduces don’t play out with satisfying conclusions…One wishes he did more to address the dichotomy between ‘the loop in my head’ that tells him ‘don’t forget where you came from’ and the fact that he doesn’t reveal a lot about his larger family history...Ultimately, though, what comes through clearly is that Quijada has forged his own bridge as a storyteller...With verbal dexterity and warmhearted charm, Quijada shows us that the journey can get better."
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March 18th, 2016
For a previous production

"A bravura one-man show that should have ticket-buyers lining up at the box office…A dazzling, heart-piercing 90-minute work…Not since Mr. Miranda and John Leguizamo burst onto the scene has there been such an explosion of energy, comic verve, playful sexiness, raw emotion and irresistible storytelling emanating from one man…Here is autobiography at its most artful (and political), with the language of rap, hip-hop, spoken word and live looping."
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April 1st, 2016
For a previous production

"I enjoyed every minute of the performance even though I generally find rap, of whatever kind, entirely unpalatable…Some of the most moving stories were the ones told by other characters who Quijada inhabits well, particularly the heartrending story of his father’s flight from El Salvador, perhaps even better than in the narration of his own story, which is in itself extremely impressive. Director Yew directs Quijada well, moving him effectively around the stage."
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March 20th, 2016
For a previous production

"Chay Yew directs an engaging autobiographical portrait of Quijada, which seeks to reconcile his own identity as a Latino man in America to sufficiently answer the questions of his future child. As a solo performer, Quijada is a charming guide…Though it was delightful to see the experiences that have made Quijada into the man he is today, I was left wishing certain moments were given more time than others...Yet even with this drawback, the journey is delightful to watch."
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March 25th, 2016
For a previous production

"Every so often a movie, a book, or a play like this one comes along and is so timely and focused on the world, and particularly the United States, that it engenders a 'must see' command from a reviewer. Brian Quijada has written such a play. He is also the sole performer and firmly holds the audience through 90 minutes of his life story, a story that might be told by millions of Latinos had they had the power to speak."
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