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 (133)
80
Washington Square
West Village
Great staging, Quirky, Exquisite

See it if into a somewhat-quirky, minimal-set interpretation of a classic

Don't see it if you want your old style

Also This version of the story also known as The Heiress is efficient, at t... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Gnit
Brooklyn
Great writing, Great staging, Clever

See it if into the translation of a classic into the style of a current playwright.

Don't see it if you need clarity; this is both non-sensical and dead-serious, resolved - and not really.

Also On paper, this is the perfect storm: Ibsen's Peer Gynt about a self-ce... Read more Read less

70
Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if into getting immersed in the pace of time gone by, wonderfully acted. What others here call dated felt soothgingly nostalgic to me.

Don't see it if cautious - these are not as satisfying as better known works by these authors.

65
One Green Bottle
East Village
Extremely "basic" humor, Exquisitely visual

See it if into laughing at a grossly-abusive wit-deficient dysfunctional family, well-stylized.

Don't see it if you think humor is about connection rather than randomness; I laughed once.

Also I wish the talent and creativity evident in the set and props were as ... Read more Read less

84
Dated, Funny, Great acting

See it if into musings about Chekhov's work and boomer privilege, wonderfully executed

Don't see it if sensitive to somewhat dated elements, though at no point did I want to be anywhere but watching this fun play.

70
Entertaining

See it if into an easy-going, well-acted, "let's put on a show" version of a classic, with some live music.

Don't see it if seeking edge, high-art or production values; this is not particularly ambitious as "theater".

65
"anatomy"? more like "coverup"!

See it if into observing how a half-written good play tries to cover its shortcomings

Don't see it if 3 scenes simultaneously competing for attention will give you a headache

Also A play dealing with such an explosive subject has to offer something o... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Rules of Desire
Midtown W
An uneven experience, Intense

See it if into an in-your-face play about sexual coercion.

Don't see it if hmmm...

Also I kept alternating between feeling disgusted and even bored by the opp... Read more Read less

68
During previews
Confusing, Slow, Great acting

See it if into the wonderful talent and warmth of that Hamilton alum...

Don't see it if seeking coherence.

Also Muñoz is a great talent. The play, however, fails him. For most of it,... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Intelligent, Great singing, Dated

See it if into an intelligent revamping of a classic, featuring a strong cast and mesmerizing leads.

Don't see it if well - despite the rejuvenation, the core of this is still dated. I cannot say I connected with the music.

70
Tape
West Village
Entertaining, Uneven

See it if into that real-time play that Linklater made into a small film

Don't see it if too crtitical

Also This production is better than its parts if you can flow with their "L... Read more Read less

63
During previews
Frankenstein (CSC)
East Village
Great staging, Confusing, Slow

See it if into work inspired by the classic, dominated by lengthy monologues and an atmospheric musician

Don't see it if you are quick to nap in slow plays

Also The starting point is the monster's quick growth to an intelligent per... Read more Read less

80
Brilliant, Uneven

See it if into a lovely evening of some brilliance: "Judy", "The Ferryman", "Moulin Rouge" and "Mary Poppins's In Memoriam" come to mind.

Don't see it if too critical. Uneven? yes, but no scene is totally off-the-mark and the brilliant moments are worth it.

62
During previews
Misguided

See it if into a play about human dynamics in appocaliptic times

Don't see it if expecting your theater to have a point

Also It was painful to watch these talented people lost in inanity. The dir... 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

60
Rock of Ages
Midtown W
Banal, Great singing

See it if an '80s metal fan; in the mood for something crass

Don't see it if expecting "theater"; not a fan of "Horray for Boobies" T-shirts

Also This is not so much theater as a congregation of a tribe. In the crowd... Read more Read less

60
Faculty Portrait
West Village
Disappointing

See it if you want to support local theater

Don't see it if you are tired of plays evoking tragedies without having much to say about them.

Also This felt awkward to me from the start, and as the play progressed, it... Read more Read less

69
During previews
The Karamazovs
West Village
Disappointing, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if into an"experimental" interpretation of a classic.

Don't see it if impatient; this is slow and unfocused.

Also This is much better at being "experimental" than at serving a resonant... Read more Read less

79
Masterful, Educational, Great singing

See it if into learning what Sondheim wants you to know about his legacy, well sung

Don't see it if you want to leave a show smiling - this could use a jolt of his comic material towards the end.

Also Perhaps it is best when our heroes let others write their legacy. Whil... Read more Read less

80
Overrated, Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if into a wonderfully executed conundrum play about dogs trained to handle terror situations

Don't see it if well - this is a philosophical, wordy play in Spanish, reading the super-titles is a challenge

Also Putting the old debate about keeping ethics when handling terror situa... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Bundle of Sticks
Midtown W
Ballsy, Uneven, Ambitious

See it if into a gender-blender (=more than bender) super-queer play about conversion therapy

Don't see it if avoiding the subversive

Also The playwright gravitates towards queer themes with a sense of activis... Read more Read less

85
Delightful

See it if into a lovely interpretation of THAT crowd favorite

Don't see it if well - it is still Shakespeare... theater requires a 4-floor climb.

Also This production starts with a gender switch (seems obligatory nowadays... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Unknown Soldier
Midtown W
Enchanting, Great singing

See it if into a splendidly-executed musical about memory and mating.

Don't see it if if "romantic" is not for you; also - in this early preview, the work seems wobbly as if unsure of its take away.

80
Look Back In Anger
East Village
Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if into a resonant production of a rarely-seen classic; want to understand how old interpretations were more about their time than the play

Don't see it if uninterested in the context in which this play resonates

Also Being a child of the '60s, I remember "Look Back in Anger" as a cultur... Read more Read less

55
The Journey
Midtown W
Uneven, Unfocused

See it if into a family drama in the context of psychedelics

Don't see it if you want your theater well-baked rather than well-chopped

Also This starts promising - a newbie is about to marry into a drug-loving ... Read more Read less

82
Great acting, Absorbing

See it if into a well-executed 3 thematically-connected one-acts

Don't see it if avoiding serious themes; impatient - this is poignant but slow at times.

70
Indulgently long, Resonant

See it if into an improvisational-style interpretation of a classic.

Don't see it if a purist, or allergic to indulgence.

Also There is a great interpretation hiding here:... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Indulgent, Intelligent

See it if into an autobiographical play about family dynamics and medical discoveries.

Don't see it if seeking an easy watch; as lovely as this was, it felt indulgent and my mind kept wandering.

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