Review: Off-Broadway’s next big hit? Nomad Motel
“Carla Ching is going to be one of the most produced playwrights in the country. Without a doubt.”
If you look at theatre in 2018 and its trajectory in the ‘digital age’, it’s easy to highlight some of the brightest young playwrights in the industry. From Donja R. Love and Tarell Alvin McCraney to Jocelyn Bioh and Carla Ching, it’s clear to see who the leading playwrights of this period will be. In ‘Nomad Motel’, Carla exposes audiences to a world that is both familiar and unknown to many audiences. ‘Nomad Motel’ manages to be both incredibly inclusive but also situationally explicit in its message.
We’re in a transition period in theatre because of the voices that are now being heard being pit against those that are being drowned out because of old media and their lack of relevance. Before writing this review, I wondered what other people thought of ‘Nomad Motel’. I found some reviews that were so off base from my experience that I wondered if we saw the same show. It reminded me that your art isn’t meant to be consumed by everyone.
‘Nomad Motel’ is extremely self-aware and inquisitive of itself and speaks in such a relevant way about everything that I instantly connected to the story and got it.
That is the spirit of ‘Nomad Motel’ in itself. This is a show for modern audiences and that’s why I think the Horizon Theatre chose it to be apart of its season. ‘Nomad Motel’ looks at life from two different perspectives, having everything and having nothing. It sets those tracks then follows the inter-sectional nature of them.
This cast is (for lack of better words) dumb talented. They breathed into every line, word for word, beat by beat, and their comedic timing is perfect. It was like they’d been telling this story for years. Shoutout to the show’s director, Melissa Foulger. It’s really easy to direct a show within an inch of its life but what she did that most directors wouldn’t especially in a contemporary play. She gave moments of space to breathe, she allowed time for a joke or a moment to land. Most contemporary shows are delivered like the characters know exactly what’s happening next, which works occasionally; but she gave them space to discover, react, and make discoveries. I could tell and I thank you for it!
Shoutout to the Horizon for being committed to works like ‘Nomad Motel’ that will open eyes and hearts. Another shoutout to Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay, that is the most impressive set I’ve ever seen. Nomad Motel runs until October 21st at the Horizon theatre. Buy your tickets here and when you go, tag me @mwmivspeaks on Instagram and #mwmivrecommends.