"Mrs. Krishnan's Party" - by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis - ArtsEmerson at the Emerson Paramount Center (Boston, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: Kalyani Nagarajan in a scene from "MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis, now playing at ArtsEmerson in Boston, MA. through April 7, 2024. Photo Credit: Nimmy Santhosh, Grabb for Image Excellence)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

“Onam is not only a festival of joy. It is a moment to recognize the goodness around us. May King Mahabali bless you with good health and happiness."  

                                                                                            - An Onam Blessing


At the 

Emerson Paramount Center





Limited Engagement! Two Weeks Only!

Written by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis

Directed by Justin Lewis

Starring: Kalyani Nagarajan and Justin Rogers

Additional Creative Team:

Production & Tour Manager - D. Andrew Potvin; Dramaturge - Murray Edmond; Set And Props Designer - John Verryt; Lighting Designer - Jane Hakaraia;  Costume Designer - Fiona Nichols; Sound Designer - Liam Kelly; General Manager - Jude Froude; Producer - Pene Lister; Administration & Development Manger - Naomi Campion; Next Gen Programme Leader - Te Huamanuka Luiten-Apirana; Digital Marketer - Olivia Brinkmann


March 27, 2024 through April 7, 2024

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times)  

EMERSON PARAMOUNT CENTER, Robert J. Orchard Stage, 559 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111 


Tickets for "MRS. KRISHNAN’S PARTY" may be purchased 24/7 at ArtsEmerson.org, or by calling 617-824-8400 (Tue-Sat from 12:00PM ET - 6:00PM ET). 

The EMERSON PARAMOUNT CENTER Box Office (559 Washington Street, Boston) is open for walk-up service Thu-Sat from Noon - 6:00 PM ET. 


Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information. 

(Note: The following review is of a production that is currently SOLD OUT)

ArtsEmerson, in association with New Zealand’s Indian Ink Theatre Company, brings to the table at Emerson Paramount Center the very palatable "MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" which quickly proves itself to be a heaping helping of absolutely scrumptious entertainment. 

While technically it would be difficult to consider this true "dinner theatre," it certainly has the feeling of dinner theatre but with a side dish of a tender, touching story buried deep within this show's recipe.

A meal is prepared by shop owner MRS. KRISHNAN (Kalyani Nagarajan) aided by her "boarder," a young college student named James, aka "DJ Jimmy J" (Justin Rogers).

The only thing is: MRS. KRISHNAN has no idea she will be preparing a festive meal for almost 100 guests. 

Before she arrives, that little element - or ingredient - of surprise is provided by James, who seats the entire audience while dressed in full celebratory regalia for the evening's festivities.


(Cover Photo: Justin Rogers as "James" in a scene from "MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis, now playing at ArtsEmerson in Boston, MA. through April 7, 2024. Photo Credit: Nimmy Santhosh, Grabb for Image Excellence)

Another ingredient added is humor - and it isn't humor that comes from cleverly placed witticisms, of which there are many - it comes from the sincere, heartwarming relationship felt between the two characters in the show.

Yes, there is a lot we learn about Onam, the ancient Hindu festival of Kerala that celebrates rice harvest, from James and MRS. KRISHNAN.

However, that isn't the main purpose behind the well-structured story by Jacob Rajan and the show's director, Justin Lewis.

What we learn about "MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" in slow, gradual dollops rather than in one big "ready to serve" microwave dinner, is the actual bond that is shared between these two characters.

We learn that widowed MRS. KRISHNAN sacrificed a lot and worked tirelessly to run her store for as many years as she has.

Now, with her own son supposedly thriving in college (unlike the more irresponsible James), she considers selling the store.

When she does finally sell, that would leave New Zealand import James without a roof over his head - and that concerns him, to say the least.

He feels this party might just be the distraction he and MRS. KRISHNAN need right now.

It certainly is the party WE all need as we become involved in much of the night's proceedings.

(Photo: Kalyani Nagarajan in a scene from "MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis, now playing at ArtsEmerson in Boston, MA. through April 7, 2024. Photo Credit: Nimmy Santhosh, Grabb for Image Excellence)

Oh, yes - this is a VERY interactive show. 

So, come prepared to cook, clean and quite possibly be put on the spot (or quite possibly even embarrassed) at any point during the show.

Once the meal is ready, you may also be in for a few reveals you had not anticipated.

"MRS. KRISHNAN'S PARTY" continues at the Emerson Paramount Center until April 7th, 2024 and performances are currently SOLD OUT

However, to see if there have been any cancellations and to be waitlisted, please contact ArtsEmerson at ArtsEmerson.org or by calling # 617-824-8400.

There is a highly unusual General Admission seating method involved. So, it is highly encouraged to allow for some additional time for seating upon your arrival.

Approximately one hour, 45 minutes with no intermission 

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




MRS. KRISHNAN is renting an apartment to larger-than-life college student James, aka "DJ Jimmy J."

James has invited a few friends into the back room of MRS. KRISHNAN’S corner shop as a special surprise to celebrate Onam—an ancient Hindu festival of Kerala that celebrates rice harvest—and the return home of her son. 

But when dozens and dozens of strangers turn up (the audience), MRS. KRISHNAN has no choice but to throw the party of her life. 

This is an immersive experience like no other; join the party with music, dancing, and more. 

Watch as the cast juggles cooking, music, and welcoming guests in an unfolding drama where no two performances are ever the same.

From Indian Ink Theatre Company comes this immersive and utterly disarming new comedy that celebrates life, death, and rebirth.


ARTSEMERSON is Emerson College’s professional presenting and producing organization. As part of an institution that believes in fostering creativity, passion, excellence, and inclusivity, we are using art to bring the world to Boston, and to bring Boston together.



559 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02111