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West Hartford | 25-34 | Male

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Reviews (79)
91
Relevant, Bold, Bittersweet, Caustic, Beautiful

See it if you seek the rare delight of a sharp-tongued, bitterly funny play that somehow also feels like a warm hug, so kind and human.

Don't see it if you're put off by portrayals of terminal illness that may hit too close to home, or occasional loud and aggressively combative dialogue.

Also Yes, there is something to say about how important it is to see Asian-... Read more Read less

82
Brisk, Contemporary, Sharp, Relevant, Witty

See it if you like quick, sharp, incisive shows with flawed but recognizably human characters. Witty, sexy dialogue plus a little social commentary.

Don't see it if you'd be bothered that a show addressing serious ecological issues ultimately would prefer to settle for humor rather than be too political.

68
Frustrating, Impractical, Charming, Unsatisfying, Entertaining

See it if you want to see crisp staging and pacing from Will Davis, who's getting to be a master of that. Plus, some really delightful folksy humor.

Don't see it if you want legit answers or social commentary on the violence at the heart of the play. It's content to just be witty and light instead.

Also This is one of those situations where a play is doomed by misleading m... Read more Read less

59
Witty, Smartly staged, Overdramatic, Forgettable, Sluggish

See it if you enjoy quick set pieces. So if one set of characters isn't doing it for you, they'll be gone soon and you can try again with a new pair.

Don't see it if you really want to invest in characters. Each scene starts kinda slow before ramping up. By the time you care about anyone, they're gone.

Also There's overly dramatic violence in this play, and I wish there wasn't... Read more Read less

31
During previews
Well-intentioned, Ponderous, Stiff, Tepid, Flat

See it if you want to promote well-intentioned shows dealing with serious contemporary issues.

Don't see it if you normally love Rebecca Taichman - it's shocking that a director whose work is typically vibrant would be attached to such a wooden show.

Also There's a common thread between this and another Lindsey Ferrentino sc... Read more Read less

43
During previews
Showy, Bitter, Slow, Meandering

See it if great big, showy roles for veteran actors can be rare and this show offers one (Dan Lauria here, Judd Hirsch in its out-of-town premiere).

Don't see it if it's really never been clear, in both times I've now seen this script, what it's trying to say about art and about balancing art with life.

Also Characters' motivations seem to be shifting back and forth inconsisten... Read more Read less

63
Relevant, Solid, Thoughtful, Snappy

See it if you love twisty, contemporary stories about modern America. A great performance by Eisa Davis and a delicious role for Zach Grenier.

Don't see it if you're so fed up with politics that you crave real fire-and-brimstone, burn-it-all-down fury. This play doesn't believe that's realistic.

Also You wish the script could punch up the jokes. There are several lines ... Read more Read less

58
Meandering, Inconsistent, Sluggish

See it if you're really into family dramas, the kind where a whole family sits around a kitchen table hashing out issues and secrets are spilled.

Don't see it if you'd be disappointed that the most interesting theme - middle-class economic uncertainty - gets lost amid lesser, soapier subplots.

Also The first hour feels more like a TV pilot than a play, just introducin... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Spirited, Delicate, Well-crafted, Smart

See it if you want to see a smart play that delicately treats uncomfortable material with grace, compassion and good humor.

Don't see it if obvious narrative trigger warnings here, and even though I think it smoothly navigates through them, could just be a non-starter for some.

Also It's crisply paced and smoothly directed, a two-hour show with an inte... Read more Read less

22
During previews
Slow-moving, Arch, Disappointing, Heavy-handed, Silly

See it if you lap up any queer content (though not exactly an underserved market in NYC). You want some easy political red meat to get riled up over.

Don't see it if you can avoid writing that isn't as clever as it thinks it is, with broad supporting characters undermining any serious social criticism.

Also An overly elaborate set design requiring long scene changes kills the ... Read more Read less

93
Beautiful, Melancholic, Relevant, Spirited, Resonant

See it if the world outside is scary to you, with a crap economy, dying dreams, horrifying news cycles, and trouble finding meaningful relationships.

Don't see it if you'd be put off by the weird and spooky plot elements around the fringe; you don't relate to under-employed and desperate millennials.

95
During previews
Thoughtful, Warm, Eye-opening, Smart

See it if you want an eye-opening glimpse into how other cultures are not so different after all; you want to see and support exciting new performers.

Don't see it if you easily write off young people's attitudes and concerns as trivial; you want more out of theater than a simple single stage setup.

41
Disappointing, Spirited, Slight, Quirky, Tonally inconsistent

See it if you want to see something weird, different and challenging. You like unconventional love stories.

Don't see it if you'd be frustrated by an inconsistent tone wishing you to take this issue seriously in the midst of broad, over-the-top acting and staging.

79
During previews
Unforgettable, Provocative, Intense, Jarring

See it if you're ready and willing to send your heart racing with intense, unflinching depictions of violence in contemporary America.

Don't see it if the play has serious trigger warnings about gun violence and graphic descriptions of violence, esp. toward women. Heed those warnings.

45
Dreary, Overstuffed, Slow, Joyless

See it if you want some fine acting performances - but there are too many characters, so any actor you like will disappear for long stretches of time.

Don't see it if you need to like any characters. I love a sad, bleak play if there are people to care for, but everyone in this is just joyless and leaden.

98
Relevant, Authentic, Compelling, Thoughtful, Blistering

See it if financial issues scare the hell out of you, or the idea of not living up to who you thought you'd be as a kid scares you. Real, scary, true.

Don't see it if you want escapism from modern American economic malaise, or you're so judgmental that you'd write off complex characters for bad decisions.

Also The Boston premiere of this was one of my top five favorite plays of 2... Read more Read less

40
During previews
Unlikable, Mediocre, Flimsy

See it if you want to knock out a show quickly, since the runtime was even shorter than advertised, less than an hour.

Don't see it if you need to like or empathize with any character. These characters all have broad, transparent, gross motivations, so nothing surprises.

55
Choppy, Quirky, Smart, Enjoyable

See it if you feel at home among pop-culture-saturated millennials and the way they talk; you want to see very contemporary people and ideas on stage.

Don't see it if you need to get emotionally invested in a plot or in rooting for individual characters. The structure of the play keeps you at arm's length.

Also To expound on that last part, all of these characters are at least som... Read more Read less

74
During previews
Unfulfilling, High-minded, Sweet, Thoughtful

See it if you enjoy one-character performances, and like when scary real-world issues are personalized on a small scale.

Don't see it if you're hoping for emotional catharsis. Style doesn't lend itself to that. Kinda hoped to leave this play an emotional wreck; didn't happen.

11
During previews
Phony, Pointless, Foolish, Self-indulgent

See it if I mean, I hated this less than I hated BJJ's An Octoroon. So ... progress? Maybe you like Jacobs-Jenkins. I think he's a fraud.

Don't see it if you want to see honest, relatable human characters; you have no patience for art more concerned with being transgressive than being genuine.

8
During previews
Yen
Bleak, Lifeless, Miserable, Grimy, Dreary

See it if you think dreary, heartless content is more palatable just because it has a foreign accent.

Don't see it if you hope to get anything emotionally redemptive out of it, or you think there might be some humor here. It's just stillborn instead.

Also Bad plays happen, and usually you just move on and forget about them. ... Read more Read less

18
Slow, Pretentious, Nonsensical

See it if I mean, it's rare that a show is simultaneously so slow while also having obnoxious scenery-chewing characters, so I guess that's notable.

Don't see it if either you aren't that familiar with Catcher in the Rye, or you love it and seeing it depicted as only for angry white men would upset you.

44
Great acting, Sluggish, Relevant, Slow, Well-meaning

See it if you're invested in the struggles and values of veterans and the families left behind.

Don't see it if you need more dynamic plotting. This is a well-meaning production, but you can find many stronger plays about soldiers' troubles.

7
Cheap, Cliched, Hacky, Sluggish, Overwrought

See it if um, it's got a cool puppet and tries to create a distinct atmosphere?

Don't see it if you respect your time and expect a story to proceed with some sense of urgency; you care about your fellow man and don't want cheap clichés.

Also What a disaster. The Sol Project was created so that Latinx writers co... Read more Read less

95
Smart, Relevant, Sharp, Fast-paced

See it if you like your plays to move quickly, with smart and snappy dialogue and dynamic movement; you're interested in the state of the modern man.

Don't see it if the emotional struggles of straight middle-class men seem self-indulgent to you, or you hate the idea that men find self-worth via sports.

83
Kind, Witty, Well-paced, Thoughtful, Smooth

See it if you want a theater experience that's deeply human and open-hearted. This feels so honest and genuine about a contemporary American woman.

Don't see it if you expect a lot of big theatrics; this uses a really simple set and lighting. Don't expect big, show-stopping speeches that'd win awards.

Also This production is so smooth, with actors flawlessly and efficiently f... Read more Read less

80
Compassionate, Thoughtful, Relatable

See it if you want a novel spin on the classic family drama, with keen insights, strong performances and a tremendous and memorable final scene.

Don't see it if you need bold, visually enticing staging, as the set is kinda bland and most of the dialogue is at a table on one end of the stage.

72
Bumpy, Funny, Well-paced, Meaningful, Affecting

See it if you want to support a badly underrepresented population on our stages, and learn something in the process. Legitimate laughs, too.

Don't see it if you need a perfectly performed show; there are going to be awkward pauses and bumps along the way. Somewhat moving, but not too powerful.

Also I wasn't a fan of the set design. A blue backdrop and gray floor made ... Read more Read less

81
Promising, Thoughtful, Enjoyable, Sweet, Resonant

See it if you like smart social commentary delivered by engaging characters, with memorable dialogue and monologues and a lot to ponder afterward.

Don't see it if you need pat answers about the world in your contemporary dramas, rather than open-ended admissions that things are scary and complicated.

Also I always give bonus points to a show where actors successfully complet... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Unforgettable, Funny, Intense, Smart, Jarring

See it if you crave crisp, fiery dialogue and love complex modern female characters. Nasty women, if you will. An intense show that pulls no punches.

Don't see it if you're easily shaken. 'Well, that's clearly the most shocking thing that'll happen in this play,' I thought about an early gag. It wasn't.

Also Be prepared for a looooong intermission. I was at the first show of th... Read more Read less

90
Intense, Thoughtful, Visceral, Raw, Smart

See it if you love meaty roles where actors get to ferociously verbally go at one another. You care about what makes art worthwhile.

Don't see it if drug abuse is a trigger. Or you don't accept shows with zero female roles (even if written by a promising young woman).

Also Should be so simple to stage (just a couple of actors and basically on... Read more Read less

84
Clever, Cringe-worthy, Sincere, Quirky, Funny

See it if you know the painful nature of working in small committees, where every turf battle over small issues can become an epic struggle.

Don't see it if you don't like alternative comedy. This show is all about subtle moments of uncomfortable humor, not big broad belly laughs.

65
During previews
Rushed, Messy, Kind, Thoughtful, Scattered

See it if there are some smart, thoughtful ideas here, and engaging characters, though the play probably tries to bite off more than it can chew.

Don't see it if you need a fully realized world, or need to see the final word on a play: I feel like this script may be revised and tightened some day.

Also The script is probably a little too ambitious: nine actors (nine chara... Read more Read less

35
During previews
Shameless, Inauthentic, Inconsistent, Disappointing

See it if you can stomach some cartoonish sitcom-like plotting and wouldn't be disappointed by a lack of authentic concern toward the subject matter.

Don't see it if you're legitimately interested in place-building and the future of small towns; this show is supposedly about that but shows no respect.

Also So oddly plotted. The playwright ended up deciding he wanted to write ... Read more Read less

99
During previews
Delightful, Engrossing, Beautiful, Innovative, Remarkable

See it if you want a dynamic, engrossing experience with staging that makes surprising and wonderful use of the space. A beautiful, funny, sad script.

Don't see it if you'd be uncomfortable with non-standard playwriting, since characters rarely interact face-to-face, instead communicating via phone.

Also Special mention must go to the sound design, as you can see into the t... Read more Read less

72
Safe, Thoughtful, Solid

See it if you want to support the voices behind Women's Project and Colt Coeur. It's a solid but not overly challenging or earth-shattering script.

Don't see it if it's not really great feminist art, OK? You learn that the lead character got her job by sleeping with the boss, a "wait, what?" situation.

Also A lot of the press around this revival calls the script as timely as e... Read more Read less

26
Flabby, Insipid, Provocative, Gratuitous

See it if you want to see one of the year's coolest design elements, with about 100 knives and daggers suspended from the ceiling over the action.

Don't see it if even if you enjoy gleeful hedonism, this is amateurish. Too long (3 hrs), too many characters. Settles for shock value instead of depth.

84
Great acting, Honest, Gripping, Great staging, Crisply paced

See it if you love the stomach-turning intensity of a well-played, back-and-forth sports match. This play really gets that feeling right.

Don't see it if you can't relate to the competitiveness of world-class athletes. You'd be expecting politics in a play about Americans versus Russians.

91
Edgy, Surprising, Hilarious, Sly, Dark

See it if you're up for the challenge of seeing death and unspeakable tragedy dealt with in scandalously funny terms. Wonderful performances.

Don't see it if I think it successfully walks the tightrope between glib & poignant on death, grief, and catastrophe, but some won't tolerate the glibness.

85
During previews
Compelling, Witty, Heavy, Bleak

See it if you want a sad but true look into the lives of people in modern America with rotten luck. Depressing and heavy, but some good gallows humor.

Don't see it if you want some escapism and don't want to feel some feelings. If you see this show, you're gonna be in for a few real gut punches.

Also I also saw this play at Williamstown last summer, and a second viewing... Read more Read less

94
Ambitious, Sweet, Surprising, Funny, Delightful

See it if you want a show to grab you by the hand and take you in unexpected directions; you like a blend of crass humor and a sad, beautiful heart.

Don't see it if you need everything smoothed out - there are subplots here that could be whole shows, and so they can't get full attention and detail.

6
Lifeless, Offensive, Amateurish, Self-indulgent

See it if you're willing to indulge total nonsense and don't respect your own time.

Don't see it if you expect a plot, sympathetic characters, or a decent pace. This production starts off lifeless, and then proceeds to drag on and on.

Also Most of the show has the characters playing make-believe in a non-comm... Read more Read less

29
Infuriating, Poorly plotted, Contrived, Phony

See it if you can be emotionally manipulated even by a story that's poorly structured and makes no sense.

Don't see it if you respect good plotting (see below). You believe in fairness or karma. You want to believe that higher education serves a noble purpose.

Also It's a 75-minute play in which both characters' big secrets aren't rev... Read more Read less

80
Raunchy, Smart, Scandalous, Funny

See it if you want some legit laughs, and aren't afraid about getting them from gross and shocking material. Interesting, fully realized characters.

Don't see it if the subject matter of porn, and/or the nudity and graphic dialogue required to make the play feel authentic, offend you.

46
Unhurried, Underwhelming, Uneven

See it if you think that a scattered, aimless plot and pacing might be fitting for a story about Alzheimer's. But there are better Alzheimer's plays.

Don't see it if you'd be frustrated by going back and forth between attempts at dramatic insight and broad comedy, which end up accomplishing neither well.

85
Absorbing, Clever, Hopeful, Smart, Nostalgic

See it if you appreciate contemporary stories of young people struggling in life but trying to forge ahead, with humor and heart.

Don't see it if you have no connection to the old computer game, in which case some of the references might fly past you.

46
During previews
Slow, Stagnant, Relevant, Contemporary

See it if you're interested in new parents and work-life balance (but, um, be warned that the one woman who's career-focused is demonized for it).

Don't see it if you're expecting a little more liveliness - it's slow and surprisingly humorless, with just a few mild chuckles but no big laughs.

Also It's actually hard to figure out the target audience for this play. Th... Read more Read less

39
Fluffy, Bland, Forgettable

See it if you're content with a few, but not enough, laughs; you'd appreciate some nostalgia in the 1958 first act.

Don't see it if you expect that the two time frames would have anything to say about changing gender norms or relationship attitudes; there's nothing there.

91
Fast-paced, Hilarious, Entertaining, Impressive

See it if you'd like a hilarious comedy show that also happens to involve a super-impressive skill, Nina's ventriloquism.

Don't see it if you're nervous about audience participation, or think that ventriloquism is just a gimmick.

Also This was my first Nina Conti show, and the first full ventriloquist co... Read more Read less

88
Spirited, Energizing, Important, Thoughtful

See it if you care about issues on college campuses, mental health and domestic violence. A high-energy package with hidden emotional depth.

Don't see it if maybe you need more structured, formal staging. Or you'd be bothered by the light touch on serious issues (though it's a smart approach!).