16 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 70.
Time Out New York
“Since Beau is played by the marvelous Fierstein, the time we spend in his history is engaging—at least until Sherman places him, Forrest Gump–like, at the scene of a real-life 1970s tragedy. Will younger audiences to whom this cultural-preservationist work seems tacitly oriented—much of it will be familiar to older ones—find it interesting? I’d like to imagine so. But the play is essentially passive. It doesn’t sink or swim; for better or worse, it bobs in currents of the past.”
The New York Times
"For a show about the transmission of gay culture, casting the creator of 'Torch Song Trilogy'...means that your lead actor’s baggage (in the best sense of the term) becomes an integral part of the story...This may all sound like peripheral information, but it’s impossible to ignore as it places the audience in a hall of mirrors that refracts and amplifies the new play’s modest charms. The show’s allure derives almost entirely from Fierstein’s fairly restrained, impeccably timed performance."
“Works like these have a tendency to feel clumsy, with the hand and opinions of the author often apparent in heavy, broad strokes. Admittedly, ‘Gently Down the Stream’ walks a tightrope between didactic and dramatic. But overall, it's a warm, lovely play about opening your heart, and Sean Mathias' production is gentle and absorbing. The same can be said of Fierstein's performance, his best ever…His quietly devastating, beautiful turn gives the play its gravity and its heart.”
“Gently Down the Stream” was also reviewed by Dave Quinn of WNBC, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Robert Sholiton of Bob's Theater Blog, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Frank Rizzo of Variety, and Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter.
The show was also reviewed by 82 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 79.
Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining
See it if…"You are a fan of Harvey Fierstein and/or you enjoy a heartfelt, moving story."
Don't see it if…"You are not into plays, or are looking for a lighthearted time at the theater."
See it if…"You have an uncompromising passion for LGBT love stories, or if you're a big Harvey Fierstein fan—it's always a treat seeing him on stage."
Don't see it if…"You're looking for something really moving and impactful. There were some nice monologues but the show never really came together for me."
See it if…"You are a fan of Harvey Fierstein, Gabriel Ebert, Martin Sherman or Mabel Mercer, and are interested in gay history."
Don't see it if…"You don't like gay themes or if Harvey's voice offends your ear, especially when combined with a New Orleans accent via Brooklyn."
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.