REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Charm” Opened with a ShowScore of 75

Show-Score | Sep 19, 2017
“Charm,” written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Will Davis, opened on September 18, 2017 in New York City. “Charm,” written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Will Davis, opened on September 18, 2017 in New York City.


9 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 77.

Jesse Green 
The New York Times 
ShowScore: 60 
"However predictable their arcs, these characters are far more fascinating than the usual lifeboat crew...Whenever 'Charm' focuses on their lives outside of class it maintains at least a documentary interest. But within the class, the noisy action—all shade and byplay—is too often superficial. The potential for real conflict is largely left unexplored...Lacking scenes that truly test her philosophy, Mama is reduced to a collection of uplifting attitudes and sassy ripostes."

Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 90
"It's that rare play that is simultaneously funny, smart, and emotionally gripping...As Mama, Caldwell gives one of the most heartfelt performances of the year. Her maternal warmth radiates off the stage...Under the thoughtful direction of Will Davis, plenty of excellent performances emerge over the course of two hours...'Charm' exercises our brains, or hearts, and our funny bones, resulting in a very satisfying night at the theater."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 75
"A bona-fide charmer...Davis directs a terrific ensemble cast in this bittersweet fantasy of perfect comity within the LGBTQ community...The characters aren’t as stereotyped as they sound, and the uniformly excellent cast humanizes every last one of them...For all its soft satire and good-natured laughs, 'Charm' has some sharp points to make...Dawkins treats his characters with respect...But he doesn’t know what to do with them in the shapeless second act, which lands with a dull thud."

“Charm” was also reviewed by Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Samuel L. Leiter of Theatre's Leiter Side, Charles Wright of CurtainUp, Diane Snyder of Time Out New York, Thom Geier of The Wrap, and Tim Teeman of Daily Beast.


The show was also reviewed by 34 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 75.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious, Great acting

SW, ShowScore: 81
See it if…"You want to see an amazingly talented and diverse cast of young people, and a play which grapples with heavy issues and yet somehow still feels light." 
Don't see it if…"You're expecting easy answers, if you want model minorities, or if you're uncomfortable with the complexities/shifting sands of teen identities." 
Buzzy, ShowScore: 65
See it if…"You do not expect too much 'charm.' A superficial portrait of transgender youth rejected by society being taught by a 'model' trans volunteer."
Don't see it if…"You expect insight into the challenges transgender youth face, or expect nuanced portraits of those young people. Acting is variable; some humor."
Moose Murders, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You want emotionally and socially powerful and relevant theater. Superb acting, a story full of heart, and strong messages. Caldwell soars."
Don't see it if…"You're not open to LGBT-affirming work, particularly about homeless and racial minority trans and queer-identified youth. Strong language."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
131 reviews
Overall Score

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