REVIEW ROUNDUP: “The Portuguese Kid” Opened with a ShowScore of 70

Show-Score | Oct 25, 2017
“The Portuguese Kid,” written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, opened on October 24, 2017 in New York City. “The Portuguese Kid,” written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, opened on October 24, 2017 in New York City.


14 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 47.

Jesse Green
The New York Times
ShowScore: 35 
“The jokes are ancient. I’m not sure you can credit as jokes the mechanical dings that the play spews every 15 seconds. They are, at best, the husks of jokes...Did I mention there’s a plot? Well there is, sort of, but it doesn’t make sense...A strong countervailing force might have encouraged Shanley to look beyond the sitcom laugh track...Certainly, a better director would have done more than let the play coast on the sorely tried inventiveness of its stars.”

Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 40
“A strong cast and some high-end design work but all of it is wasted on material that can’t begin to measure up to the playwright’s best work...Whatever you do, don’t think plot, of which there is none...The play is all talk, none of it amusing or interesting...The best Shanley can come up with is the occasional one-liner...Instead of adding some substance to the lightweight characters, all these references to the heroes and heroines of Greek myth only remind us of what we’re missing.”
Adam Feldman
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 40
“The script is literally written in comic sans...Shanley’s strained, hoary sex comedy...It’s like Bergman’s 'Smiles of a Summer Night,' if the smiles were forced wacky grins...Amid the stale trashiness are salvageable morsels: a few decent jokes in the first scene, a neat revolving set by Beatty, a choice performance by Testa...The play's ideas about passion and gender are shot through with retrograde banality...It’s 2017. Whom does a play like this think it's kidding?”

“The Portuguese Kid” was also reviewed by Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Shoshana Rubin of Theatre is Easy, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, David Gordon of Theatermania, Robert Sholiton of Gotham Playgoer, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, and David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter.


The show was also reviewed by 96 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 74.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Funny, Entertaining, Fluffy, Great acting, Disappointing

Rochelle 7040, ShowScore: 71 
See it if…"You like very light comedy and a good set." 
Don't see it if…"You like serious drama or sophisticated comedy. There is no subtlety to the jokes." 
Theatre Reviews, ShowScore: 78 
See it if…"You're looking for a comedy with a great cast and many genuine laughs. You want an evening of light entertainment an nothing too intellectual."
Don't see it if…"You're looking for a deep piece of theater or something original (it plays to conventional comedy tropes, but they are funny.)"
glenn m 6154, ShowScore: 80 
See it if…"You just want a fun time and lots of laughs. Mary Testa is a scream."
Don't see it if…"You can't get past a silly sitcom feel."

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.