REVIEW ROUNDUP: “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” Opened with a ShowScore of 78

Show-Score | Feb 20, 2019
“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Kamilah Forbes, opened on February 19, 2019 in New York City. “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Kamilah Forbes, opened on February 19, 2019 in New York City.


12 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 74.

Alexis Soloski
The New York Times
ShowScore: 85
"Though the director, Kamilah Forbes, doesn’t always nail the fouetté-on-a-dime rhythms and not all of the actors are on the same page it’s still a delight...For a play about a former maid, 'Vera Stark' is not especially orderly. But it is such a good show — so clever, so playful, so keen to shapeshift and timeslip and whiz through half a dozen separate genres...that I spent the next several days trying to figure out why it isn’t an absolutely great one."
Marilyn Stasio 
ShowScore: 70 
“Nottage switches styles from screwball comedy to backstage realism, and director Kamilah Forbes effortlessly keeps in step. The comedy is still plenty tasty, but the style is much more cutting...The second act...retains its jarring shift in style...This switch to satire bears out Nottage’s cutting point...But these one-dimensional parodies are too mean and obvious to offer either intellectual enlightenment or belly laughs."
Elyse Sommer
ShowScore: 80
“A fiendishly clever satire...Forbes has done her utmost to help her actors make the most of the play's many hilarious acting opportunities...The stagecraft is excellent...The second act's structural shift is fun...However, the parts focusing on the symposium panel are somewhat awkwardly staged and overly broad...Despite the second act not being a straight A, I was happy to meet this 'Vera Stark' — as I think you too will be.”

“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” was also reviewed by Jesse Oxfeld of New York Stage Review, Melissa Rose Bernardo of New York Stage Review, Aaron Botwick of scribicide, James Wilson of Talkin' Broadway, Thom Geier of The Wrap, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, and Robert Sholiton of Gotham Playgoer.


The show was also reviewed by 98 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 79.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Funny, Thought-provoking, Clever, Entertaining

BeatnikPlaywright, ShowScore: 95 
See it if…"You want an intellectual AND emotionally incisive look at casting and its relationship to identity. What was groundbreaking is now derided." 
Don't see it if… "If you like realism. The play gets meta in the second act."

Bart 6266, ShowScore: 90 
See it if…"you are fascinated by classic Hollywood films and the way they are reinterpreted in later periods. And if you just enjoy wonderful acting.
Don't see it if… "you prefer plot-driven stories. Don't enjoy period shows."
Theater Reviews, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You want to see a play that illuminates the problems with black representation through the years, told in a satirical and entertaining way.
Don't see it if… "You're not interested in themes of race and representation, don't like satire, or prefer these topics presented in a more serious way."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.