aka

Manhattan | Male
About:  Been involved in theater for years -- writing, composing, performing and producing. I also served for many years selecting entries for a theater festival. Currently, I enjoy sharing my opinions with anyone who cares. Cheers!
Reviews (198)
79
Slow, Hilarious, Ambitious
August 14th, 2022

See it if into an extremely Jew-centric surrealistic play about going back in time to screw up teenage Jared Kushner before he turns bad for the Jews.

Don't see it if well - some tightening is needed.

Also This is not for the easily offended: blood libel, the holocaust, and a... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Fluffy, Funny, Ambitious
August 13th, 2022

See it if into a new hybrid of a show - improv meets hypnosis; in the one I saw, some incredibly creative moments...

Don't see it if ...but as in any improv, lots of empty calories.

Also Incidentally, the only two audience members asked for their profession... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Patience (2st)
Upper W Side
Resonant, Disappointing
August 6th, 2022

See it if into a play about relationships - personal and professional, with oneself and with one's chosen path.

Don't see it if well - bring your patience indeed, because it drags a bit and ends disappointingly

Also Strong beginning, interesting weaving of themes we all struggle with, ... Read more Read less

60
The Panic of '29
Midtown E
Indulgent, Banal
August 3rd, 2022

See it if into what seems like a string of sketches, performed amiably. Enough action and non-sequiturs to almost entertain.

Don't see it if ...little depth, little development, little wit -- there was little for me to hold on to.

Also Apparently the writer contributed to McSweeney's and The New Yorker, e... Read more Read less

69
During previews
The Nosebleed
Upper W Side
Confusing, Ambitious
July 24th, 2022

See it if into an homage to a Japanese father, with lots of padding

Don't see it if sensitive to excruciating moments

Also The Nosebleed is not about a nosebleed, nor is it about failure in gen... Read more Read less

82
Fat Ham
East Village
Absorbing, Hilarious, Great acting
July 24th, 2022

See it if into a very loose Hamlet - black, queer, southern; some of the funniest bits ever and interesting tie-backs to the original

Don't see it if However - the audience, adopting this, often laughs at lines I found bland. I cringed a few times - but, again, some scenes are the best.

79
During previews
The Butcher Boy
Chelsea
Intense, Quirky, Ambitious
July 23rd, 2022

See it if into the decline of an Irish teenager into madness and violence, with songs and hallucinations

Don't see it if well... this is not a light night out

Also A believable portrayal of slow decline, a charismatic lead performer, ... Read more Read less

85
Delightful
July 20th, 2022

See it if into the saga of the icon of passion and survival.

Don't see it if well - it does not "break every rule", but is well-made, emotional, and fun.

Also Oh - there is an added mini-concert post curtain call, and more Tina i... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Oresteia
Upper E Side
Indulgent, Great acting, Ambitious
July 18th, 2022

See it if into a modernized version of an epic Greek tragedy

Don't see it if well - modernizing a Greek tragedy, originally propelled by Gods and child sacrifice, can come off as forced, even ridiculous

Also Of course, the acting is excellent and there are exquisite visuals and... Read more Read less

72
Ambitious
July 17th, 2022

See it if into a rare presentation of a Spanish classic with all female characters

Don't see it if well - this is a drama about a suffocating household; expect some darkness.

Also Kudos to the Gallery Players for bringing us this important classic. T... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Ambitious
July 16th, 2022

See it if into the condensed Richard III: key scenes presented seamlessly and mostly verbatim by 2 talented performers.

Don't see it if ...It really helps to know the original.

Also Performances are strong, mixing classic acting with modern interpretat... Read more Read less

75
Quirky, Intelligent, Slow
July 15th, 2022

See it if into 2 graffiti artists' quick banter about art, success, and audiences; well performed.

Don't see it if well -- it is cerebral, slow at times, and on the experimental end.

Also The notable element is the banter, almost non-stop, so naturally perfo... Read more Read less

65
Indulgent, Ambitious
July 14th, 2022

See it if a real fan of ERS and pretty familiar with the original play; I am only one of these two.

Don't see it if well -- I left at intermission.

Also Some will enjoy this for sure, but for me, this seems like a vanity pr... Read more Read less

69
Corsicana
Midtown W
Surprisingly banal, Great acting
July 3rd, 2022

See it if into a play about "caring for people" featuring a Down-Syndrome performer.

Don't see it if it is slow, uneven, and aimless.

Also "This will go nowhere!" the show seems to declare by having a rotating... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Between The Lines
Midtown W
Enchanting
July 2nd, 2022

See it if into a terrifically executed, family-appropriate musical about being lost in fantasy.

Don't see it if Actually, this has an appeal beyond its genre. It is charming, witty, and emotional, with good tunes and hidden dirty nuggets.

79
Chains
Midtown W
Exquisite
June 25th, 2022

See it if into the conflict between life stability and risky new beginnings

Don't see it if on the old-fashioned side, but wonderfully executed

76
Quirky, Great staging, Disappointing
June 23rd, 2022

See it if into a current-day old-English humorous presentation of that classic

Don't see it if almost 4 hours, though it ended not being a problem... I despised the last scene...

Also As almost expected nowadays, this bard's work comes with gender-mix, v... Read more Read less

80
The Refugees
Midtown W
Fresh, Intelligent, Ambitious
June 19th, 2022

See it if into a play about refugees and the generation gap, presented as if in ancient Greece.

Don't see it if well - there are those slow moments...

Also A quirky take on the subject of refugees, with a less-than-predictable... Read more Read less

74
Uneven, Riveting
June 15th, 2022

See it if into a family imploding (or not?) following a request for organ donation. Some riveting moments, resonant family dynamics

Don't see it if well... noticeably uneven; some scenes are much stronger than others, and some actors are much stronger than their peers.

75
Great acting, Disappointing
June 14th, 2022

See it if into the detention of 6 students of color that is (of course?) a metaphor for something bigger

Don't see it if well - this was mixed

Also The acting and direction are top-notch, but I went hoping for another ... Read more Read less

77
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting
June 13th, 2022

See it if into the tale of a bee colony-collapse research gone wrong

Don't see it if well - a bit cerebral at time

Also This is mostly great. Some weak points for me: Ariel's position switch... Read more Read less

70
Fluffy, Entertaining
June 11th, 2022

See it if Into a self-described "fluffy" comedy about a not-that-young man getting back into gay dating

Don't see it if well - this has its share of cliches, slow moments, and indulgence...

Also This mostly flows well and has some clever jokes and playful acting. L... Read more Read less

69
Disappointing, Great acting
June 1st, 2022

See it if into stories about the black female experience

Don't see it if well - by definition, this is not for everyone

Also This can be empowering as evident by the ladies in front of me voicing... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Epiphany
Upper W Side
Intelligent, Slow, Great acting
May 27th, 2022

See it if into a dinner party with strangers and, hmmm, the human condition

Don't see it if well - this feels like it is happening in real-time...

Also During a psychological game, a guest is asked to estimate how many yea... Read more Read less

69
Snow in Midsummer
East Village
Great staging, Confusing
May 25th, 2022

See it if into a modern expansion of an 800-year-old Chinese play about a wrongly executed woman and the ensuing weather phenomena

Don't see it if well... this was uneven

Also some gorgeous staging, exotic visuals, and well-acted moments. But thi... Read more Read less

72
About Love
East Village
Exquisite, Confusing
May 22nd, 2022

See it if into a Russian-y story about the weirdness of love

Don't see it if despite the exquisite execution, this 90-minute play dragged on

Also Sometimes more is less, such as the added music here. The story was to... Read more Read less

70
Dated, Great singing
May 21st, 2022

See it if into a bare-bone production of a show about conflicting life decisions

Don't see it if well - IF they looked at this with fresher eyes THEN surely I would have enjoyed myself more

Also Perhaps I was spoiled by the Gallery Players' artistic take on "Cabare... Read more Read less

70
Disappointing, Funny
May 20th, 2022

See it if into the intersection of a quarreling lesbian couple, their newborn, and a helpful orthodox mother-daughter pair

Don't see it if well - a wonderfully balanced first act and an underwritten second one

Also The first act is both entertaining and efficient. The second one gets ... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Great acting, Disappointing, Relevant
May 15th, 2022

See it if if into the story of a multi-generational queer family suddenly facing a life-and-death situation

Don't see it if well -- the shift into "the serious" felt manipulative, avoiding a deeper focus on the unique multi-generational situation

Also A mixed bag of interesting but barely-explored situations and a showca... Read more Read less

69
Disappointing, Great singing
May 8th, 2022

See it if into vignettes from a small Scottish island presented by 2 heavy-accented "teenage girls", beautifully harmonizing with their looper device

Don't see it if well - as charming and fresh as the performances were, the disjointed story did not engage me.

Also This came off as a product of an improvisation workshop prematurely el... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious
May 4th, 2022

See it if curious about a revival that tries to cleanse the palette from "the greatest star"

Don't see it if well - this is uneven

Also There are some stellar moments, such as the Ziegfeld numbers and the e... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Golden Shield
Midtown W
Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious
April 27th, 2022

See it if into a play about translations - of language, personal relations, moral boundaries

Don't see it if well - this casts such a wide net that it struggles to reconcile all its subplots at the end

Also The Golden Shield is the internet firewall that the Chinese built, wit... Read more Read less

70
Mildly entertaining
April 26th, 2022

See it if into a series of seamless birthday events spanning one woman's lifetime

Don't see it if well - some good jokes among the bad ones, some emotional peaks among manipulative ones

Also The concept is interesting, but depth is the first to go when rushing ... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Dated
April 20th, 2022

See it if into a recreation of the iconic "coming-of-age into an incestuous relationship" play

Don't see it if well... (see below)

Also This is a first-rate production, and yet... While THAT driving scene s... Read more Read less

80
Exceptional staging, Great writing, Great acting
April 17th, 2022

See it if into the budding friendship between 2 single dads, creatively staged

Don't see it if a two-hander, even if done well, is not for you

Also Do not expect religious arguments here - the title is seemingly here j... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Funny, Great writing, Great acting
April 15th, 2022

See it if into a laugh-a-minute play about fandom, being actors, sexuality, and relationships

Don't see it if well... this is by and for theater fans

75
Confederates
Midtown W
Disappointing, Great staging, Great acting
April 13th, 2022

See it if into a play operating concurrently in the now and the antebellum south

Don't see it if well... too talky at times, speech not always understood, and ultimately unfocused

Also the playwright forgot to adhere to her own advice. Early on, a student... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Hangmen (Broadway)
Midtown W
Great acting, Excruciating
April 11th, 2022

See it if into a good production of dark play

Don't see it if you are not in the mood to be entertained by cruelty

Also The production is first-rate and the grade here reflects my own frustr... Read more Read less

75
During previews
The Patsy
Lower E Side
Great acting, Ambitious
April 8th, 2022

See it if a fan of Greenspan's iconic work, or of a one-person multi-character recreation of an old movie

Don't see it if Sound and projection issues might greatly affect your enjoyment

65
During previews
Disappointing
April 6th, 2022

See it if into a Cirque-isation of a beloved story with dated sounds and visuals

Don't see it if seeking edge; this is so "safe" they seem to skimp on wow moments lest they startle us

69
During previews
To My Girls
Midtown W
Dated, Great acting, Confusing
April 6th, 2022

See it if into gay guys vacationing together, cliches and all.

Don't see it if well... I rolled my eyes a few times

Also Seemingly trying to capture the magic of "Love! Valour! Compassion! ",... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Confusing, Ambitious, Exquisite
April 6th, 2022

See it if into an epic depiction of us humans with time-bending and fourth-wall-breaking

Don't see it if well... this is hard to digest if unfamiliar; some parts just dragged on

Also This show with about 30 performers mixes elements to surrealistically ... Read more Read less

60
Larry And Lucy
East Village
Banal, Dated
April 3rd, 2022

See it if into a sincere, East-Village bootstrapping-type play about "real people"

Don't see it if with all respect to the effort, this is also unfocused and overacted

78
During previews
At The Wedding
Upper W Side
Quirky, Great acting, Entertaining
March 19th, 2022

See it if into the ups-and-downs of a witty outsider-type at her ex's wedding

Don't see it if well... it is just a lovely little play.

55
Fluffy, Indulgent, Great acting
March 17th, 2022

See it if into an amiable storyteller hamming it up in the name of Japanese tradition

Don't see it if C-level material, even in the hands of a talented performer, will bother you

Also Little here is about the essence of stories, Japanese or otherwise. Af... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Great dancing, Great singing, Banal
March 16th, 2022

See it if into a musical about Black/Irish relations around the Civil War

Don't see it if well - this is old-fashioned, a pastiche of the expected

Also Some may enjoy the execution, but I could not see beyond the by-the-nu... Read more Read less

70
Bruise & Thorn
Midtown W
Confusing, Entertaining, Ambitious
March 12th, 2022

See it if into a queer drama with some beatbox rapping and a surprise drag-ball extravaganza

Don't see it if well - this seems confused and confusing

Also This is memorable if not necessarily satisfying. The playwright (Julia... Read more Read less

70
Flash/Frozen
Midtown W
Old-fashioned, Great acting, Ambitious
March 12th, 2022

See it if into 2 interwoven monologues about competitive figure skating in the shadow of a tragedy

Don't see it if it is stubbornly old-fashioned, from acting style to usage of media

Also The phrase "dancing about architecture" came to mind as the amiable pe... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Mildly entertaining, Ambitious
February 27th, 2022

See it if forgiving - this is a sincere attempt with lukewarm results; some funny situations and an emotional ending.

Don't see it if well - just like the generic title, the play is unfocused, resorting at times to eyeroll-inducing quirks. Could use sharper dramaturgy.

80
Confusing, Great acting, Ambitious
February 10th, 2022

See it if for the acting, the historic place of the play in British drama, for the love of DHL

Don't see it if oh, the accents... the first scene was mostly lost on me, but what followed was worth the patience