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 (106)
80
Uneven, Delightful, Ambitious

See it if into an extravaganza about a 18th-century black scientist and his legacy

Don't see it if expecting "a play"; prefering Serious to Charming

Also This is unique and a creative if a bit messy, utilizing a never-ending... Read more Read less

75
Plasticity the Play
West Village
Disappointing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if into a well-executed multi-media, multi-character one-person show about humanity and biology

Don't see it if seeking an easy watch

Also The aftermath of a brain injury told by a talented actor, aided by cre... Read more Read less

69
Disappointing as theater, Great as cabaret, Great singing

See it if if into a charming quartet doing a cabaret act with Maori flavor

Don't see it if expecting substance

Also I was hoping for some insight into Maori culture, but this variety act... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Entertaining, Great acting

See it if into a crowd-pleasing comedy about elderly breakup and their way-too-invested kids

Don't see it if not in the mood for anything; this mixes family-drama, rom-com, dirty-deeds and schmaltz to entetain most of us.

69
Uninspired, Great staging, Great singing

See it if into a mostly-glitz jukebox marathon

Don't see it if too much fluff gives you a headache

Also Moulin Rouge is both too-much and not-enough: hectic in styling, low o... Read more Read less

85
Where Are We Now
East Village
Intelligent, Great singing, Funny

See it if into a first-rate entertainer taking on Bowie

Don't see it if cabaret is just not for you

Also Many of Bowie songs are hard to cover - they are strongly connected to... Read more Read less

85
During previews
West Side Story
Midtown W
Intelligent, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if into a brilliant though not fully there present-day take on a classic; want to see the exceptional performance of Isaac Powell as Tony

Don't see it if a strict purist, though musically this has not changed that much; not into Ivo's style and tendency to hammer points

Also The translation to present-day setting works, with notable updates of ... Read more Read less

75
Cerebral, Quirky, Great acting

See it if into creative storytelling of ancient Jewish tales

Don't see it if not in a cerebral mood

Also This is very Jewish - not just for its subject, but for its pursuit of... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Simplistic, Colorful, Great singing

See it if into a great production of a 19th-century Jewish operetta; curious what our ancestors called entertainment

Don't see it if well - Yiddish, supertitles, simplistic

Also A tale of good vs evil in a Romanian village with an excursion to Ista... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Old fashioned, Great singing

See it if into accomplished but out-of-context musical numbers

Don't see it if you need your cabaret shows served with a side of alcohol

Also Gerard Alessandrini of "Forbidden Broadway" brings his talent in casti... Read more Read less

80
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if into a fine production of a modern American classic

Don't see it if expecting "drama!" Here, tragic events are presented in a low key, every day, may I say - relatable style.

Also This play is about the unpredictability of life, the lack of clarity o... Read more Read less

82
The Four Seasons
Midtown W
Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you can whistle Vivaldi right now; if into modern dance

Don't see it if not into ballet even when playful

Also Mixing impressive Broadway-worthy moments with the familiar, experimen... Read more Read less

82
Great ensemble, Great direction, Gender bending

See it if into a gender-bending, era-blurring, casual-at-times interpretation of the Scottish play

Don't see it if you like your Shakespeare as God intended, thank you very much!

Also Much is done with gender-bending lately, but here what matters is what... Read more Read less

69
Virgo Star
East Village
Quirky, Unique, Uneven, Indulgent

See it if into performance art / queer cabaret

Don't see it if shying the experimental even when mild

Also Virgo Star is at its best when queerifying western tropes - a cowboy w... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Must see, Great direction, Great acting

See it if interested in our communal reality

Don't see it if looking for easy entertainment

Also Focusing on the days leading to President Carter's Confidence speech, ... Read more Read less

74
An Enchanted April
Midtown W
Old-fashioned, Great singing

See it if will enjoy a perfectly-serviceable inoffensive candy for seekers of musical lozenges

Don't see it if you prefer Edgy to Soothing

69
During previews
Confusing, Banal, Great acting

See it if you will enjoy watching women just shooting the breeze

Don't see it if you need your plays to have a contemporary point

Also The play touches on an intimate platonic friendship between women, in ... Read more Read less

85
Delightful, Great acting, Dated, Ambitious

See it if you like zaniness

Don't see it if preferring the sensible

Also "You can only be a virgin once," says the proverb; and being that many... Read more Read less

45
Strangers in the Night
Upper W Side
Entertainingly misguided

See it if into a single interesting stage transformation surrounded by inanity

Don't see it if eye-rolling is painful for you

Also This was SOMETHING! ... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Mayakovsky and Stalin
West Village
Flat, Meandering, Great acting

See it if interested in the Stalin era

Don't see it if impatient

Also This one offers a limited glimpse into Russia in the early 1900s and s... Read more Read less

85
Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if into a pop-musical using the rabbit-hole as a metaphor for an artistic block

Don't see it if you like your musicals stuffy

Also Presented in a large gallery space in LIC, this work mashes well sever... Read more Read less

66
Indulgent, Great acting

See it if into a mostly-a-reading of old letters by a society-columnist, a wealthy gay man and his lover/adopted son.

Don't see it if readings of old letters are not for you

Also The show comes alive in the last 10 minutes, but for the preceding 80,... Read more Read less

80
Stupid F**king Bird
West Village
Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if into a current-day, good production of an inspired-by-a-classic

Don't see it if if you need your classics "proper", or a 2-intermissions show is just too much

Also There is nothing revolutionary here - just 7 actors bringing it to mak... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if into 19th-century stories

Don't see it if avoiding solo storytelling

Also The talented Mr. Jones brings 4 Poe's tales to life in a period-approp... Read more Read less

72
Ludwig and Bertie
East Village
Uneven, Intelligent

See it if interested in philosophy or history

Don't see it if avoiding mostly-cerebral plays

Also A decent production of a decent play, there is much to enjoy and much ... Read more Read less

65
Dated, Ambitious

See it if into what is sometimes called Experimental...

Don't see it if you need a point to your theater

Also There is something sadly ironic about this resurrection-themed play. R... Read more Read less

75
Dated, Great stylized acting, Great staging

See it if into a well-executed campy melodrama; want to see Charles Busch make his signature moves

Don't see it if expecting old-shticks to return with a new twist

84
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if into a play about the writing process, and the role of death in getting attention to the work.

Don't see it if seeking something light.

Also On the surface, this is about a connection between a professor and a s... Read more Read less

65
Is This A Room
Gramercy
Slow, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if into a reenactment of Reality Winner's first interrogation.

Don't see it if you want drama, or anything substantive.

Also Little is gained here beyond showing empathy with Winner's act of rebe... Read more Read less

69
Great acting, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if into a super-animated storyteller take on a ghost story

Don't see it if you prefer storytelling be about the story

Also Dandy Darkly is animated and expressive, but there is a problem when o... Read more Read less

65
Orpheus & Eurydice
Soho/Tribeca
Indulgent, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if into storytelling with songs by amiable British performers

Don't see it if expecting drama or insight into the titular characters

Also The 4 lovely performers reminded me of the traveling troupes of the pa... Read more Read less

50
Good-natured fan reenactment

See it if you are OK with improv-level performances in theater context; "Belushi" could have been better in a more focused vehicle. The band was cool

Don't see it if you want "theater"; seek to understand the genius that Belushi was and you have access to Wikipedia and Youtube.

64
The Straights
Brooklyn
Unfocused, Indulgent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if into a wonderful production of a seriously underdeveloped play about 3 queers on a road trip to visit their straightened-up friend

Don't see it if you expect a play to be more focused than random

Also The production is first-rate - the actors inhabit their characters won... Read more Read less

77
Touching

See it if into the uneven, often-funny story of a conservative lesbian with Jewish mother issues

Don't see it if you heard it all before

Also At times observant and emotional, at times Borscht-Belt musty, Judy Go... Read more Read less

69
Great acting, Banal

See it if you can forgive a play about "life" for saying so little

Don't see it if looking for substance beyond style

Also A recurring theme here is that elements grow separately to finally mee... Read more Read less

65
Dated, Uneven casting

See it if never seen the play; curious how one actor can carry a production

Don't see it if seeking something resonant

Also May's role here is to play hot and cold to Eddie's persistence. The ac... Read more Read less

78
During previews
The Thin Place
Midtown W
Great acting, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if into a play about the unexplained world

Don't see it if need your plays to focus on substance

Also The play, slow at first while setting up the concept of the thin place... Read more Read less

75
The Crucible (Bedlam)
East Village
Uneven

See it if into an uneven quirky production of a classic

Don't see it if cannot master 3 hours for an uneven, hard-to-watch classic

Also I am really ambivalent here. The acting varied from spectacular to a q... Read more Read less

73
Entertaining

See it if into an entertaining if somewhat familiar play about creativity and relationships

Don't see it if seeking something particularly challenging or edgy

75
During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Great acting

See it if into a play about 2 super-accomplished female scientists

Don't see it if not into by-the-numbers plays about female empowerment

Also Fab actresses, lovely writing, historic figures -- this should have be... Read more Read less

83
Monsoon Season
West Village
Superb acting, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if into a 2-handler about the difficulty of living with people; or without people. Also - life...

Don't see it if you hate monologue plays even when they work.

75
During previews
Great music, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if you want to be challenged

Don't see it if looking for something light

Also The music and performances are outstanding. The play - uneven. ... Read more Read less

69
Confusing, Great casual singing, Great acting

See it if into a show about Jazz, Islam and brotherly dynamics

Don't see it if hmmm... I thought this ultimately has a niche appeal

Also The best part was the wonderfully-naturalistic acting and lovely casua... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Duck
West Village
Unresolved, Accomplished, Ambitious

See it if into plays where scenes morph into each other dream-like, creating a puzzle

Don't see it if you like your plays anchored

Also Imagine a juggler expertly keeping many balls in the air, but not know... Read more Read less

65
Entertaining for the wrong reasons

See it if curious what else can be done to poor Shakespeare

Don't see it if seeking cohesivness

Also "I have no idea" confessed the director as to why Woodstock and Shakes... Read more Read less

76
During previews
Molly Sweeney
Midtown W
Dated, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting

See it if into a 3-monologists play about the surprising aspects of overcoming a disability

Don't see it if impatient

Also This is an important play that needs updating. The acting is wonderful... Read more Read less

65
Meandering, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if into a too-epic play about Venice

Don't see it if you believe in editing

Also Much love was invested in mounting this play, but unfortunately, not e... Read more Read less

75
During previews
TERRA FIRMA
Gramercy
Great staging, Great acting, Confusing

See it if into an interesting setup and a great production

Don't see it if too critical

Also This play takes a historical situation and runs with it; if only it kn... Read more Read less

78
Lulu XX
East Village
Confusing, Edgy, Exquisite, Ambitious

See it if into the experimental and visually inclined

Don't see it if if you NEED a plot

Also A one-woman visual extravaganza, mixing film-noir, high-fashion, and e... Read more Read less

87
During previews
Hilarious, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if looking for edge

Don't see it if you suspect something called "Slave Play" is not for you. Duh!

Also The first part is totally hilarious; the second, a group scene, suffer... Read more Read less