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Alexis Soloski

Alexis Soloski is a critic with The Guardian (UK). This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (209)
Preview if i forget key art   show score
80
The New York Times

"'If I Forget' speaks to both the head and the heart...It isn’t perfect. The plot, which turns on a question of real estate, takes its time arriving and mostly hangs around to facilitate debate...Under Daniel Sullivan’s sensitive direction, the ripe interstitial music nudges emotion too obviously and the ending, which shifts the play into magical realism, makes its themes too explicit. But the script and the remarkable actors make you embrace the Fischers." Full Review

Preview rsz 1rsz evening at the talkhouse
60
The Guardian (UK)

"The play digests so easily and un-queasily that it can feel like it was barely there at all...'Evening at the Talk House' ought to be a body slam. Instead, it barely beats you up at all...Despite some lovely performances (Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, especially, and a perfectly cast Broderick) the stakes seem perilously low, which is odd considering that the collapse of civilized society or at the very least an assassination or two threatens." Full Review

Preview 299518
70
The New York Times

"A fizzy if somewhat formulaic two-character drama...Under Ruiz’s precise direction, their early interactions are calculatedly awkward...Saracho’s dialogue is witty rather than wincing. Less happily, she has a slightly lurid taste in narrative and a habit of asking characters to behave in certain ways not because their individual psychology demands it but to set up the next plot point...What’s left is a fairly predictable parable about trading ethnic solidarity for career opportunities." Full Review

Preview unfaithfully cropped
85
The New York Times

"A refined, rueful and often shrewd comedy about polyamory, written decades before open relationships were quite so openly discussed...Under the polished direction of Bank, its arguments remain provocative, while its structure feels familiar, its tone decorous...It is often very funny; it is also very nearly a tragedy...What is extraordinary about Malleson is his ability to create characters who are capable of feeling several things at once, or who don’t really know what they’re feeling at all." Full Review

Preview oregon trail
65
The New York Times

"A feisty, formally inventive comedy...Ms. Brunstetter has scripted earlier plays...'The Oregon Trail' is a great improvement, particularly in its nifty first half-hour. In Ms. Vaynberg’s expressive hands, contemporary Jane’s sly humor and cringing embarrassment feel wonderfully real and raw, horrible and funny...The play makes a forward leap to Jane’s thwarted adulthood and becomes a more formulaic piece...The language in the 1840s scenes starts to irk, as do the sorrows of present-day Jane." Full Review

Preview mope white
70
The New York Times

"Provocative and patchy...Mr. Hardy has essentially written two plays: a Trump-era tragedy for Trevor, about a man’s losing his place in the world, and a cheeky comedy for Alice...For a long time, this twinning gives 'Mope' the unsettling tart-sweet flavor that distinguishes Mr. Hardy’s voice and makes you eager to hear more of it. But at a certain point, he gives up on uniting the genres, lurching instead toward an abrupt ending that doesn’t feel entirely earned." Full Review

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80
The Guardian (UK)

"In Oyelowo’s emotive performance, which suggests Othello’s otherness with a slight African accent, there’s a vein of self-loathing that runs fast and wide within him...Oyelowo finds the most to do with the verse, rendering it clearly and lyrically. Most of the rest convey the sense of the language rather than enjoying it, but perhaps that’s what Gold wants...Still, he and his dramaturg, Michael Sexton, find accessibility and humor in the text and there are finely varied performances." Full Review

Preview alligator white
45
The New York Times

"'Alligator' feels like two plays...The stories never entirely meld. Sometimes such messiness can be theatrically exciting. Here, it feels haphazard and squelchy. Araoz’s direction doesn’t especially help. With its thin characterizations and inconsistent tone, the play becomes a pile-on of increasingly depraved events…Had Ms. Bettis and Ms. Araoz tempered the play’s sensational aspects, there would be more opportunity to savor what it does well...As is, 'Alligator' is all hiss and no snap." Full Review

Preview 8131c66a4609bda5bc44d3146e84e715
60
The Guardian (UK)

"A reasonably enjoyable period piece…But whereas some shows swing for the fences, this is one doesn’t aim much further than second base. This is a premiere that feels more like a revival and comes shrink-wrapped in its own nostalgia…Most of the pop, ballad and doo-wop numbers are satisfying, though forgettable...There’s not much that’s surprising in the show’s look or its dance sequences...It is well served by its leads, particularly the rumble-voiced Cordero." Full Review

Preview eat your science white
75
The New York Times

"This one-man variety show combines cooking lore with physics, chemistry, comedy and a live band...His persona is part nerd and part gentleman, part mastermind and part bro...Yes, the show is wildly indulgent. It is also a hoot...If Mr. Brown could move through the material faster, he could offer more of the gonzo experiments and lightly barbed interactions he excels at. His work with audience volunteers is dexterous and mischievous, mean without ever being exactly cruel." Full Review

Preview daniel kitson mobile 03
80
The Guardian (UK)

"Kitson is a defiantly compelling performer...One of the great pleasures of a Kitson show is the contrast between the sweetness at the heart of many of his stories and the rather more acerbic quality of his audience interactions...Those who have seen Kitson’s work before will find the tone familiar and several of the twists extremely guessable. Still, there’s a beautifully shambolic quality to much of the show and the extemporaneous moments make the piece feel excitingly unpredictable." Full Review

Preview party23
75
The New York Times

"In the current political climate, it may be the most frightening and exciting piece of theater now up...'Party People' derives its language, vibrant and volatile, from actual interviews. Yet the storytelling is less than cohesive...It is too long, too unfocused and perhaps too democratic...Yet in a room full of people distraught and enraged by the election of Trump, 'Party People' felt heartbreakingly timely and intensely necessary." Full Review

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75
The New York Times

"Wry and artful...Under Brackett’s spirited and astute direction, McGraw more fully develops her relationships...There is one major misstep in the play, a series of monologues from a callow editorial assistant...These precious homilies stall the action...Elsewhere there’s a tendency to punch up lines past the point of realistic, but as many of those lines are awfully good, it’s forgivable. And McGraw is at her best when she channels her impulse toward absurdism into small, sly flourishes." Full Review

Preview notes from the field white
80
The Guardian (UK)

"Anna Deavere Smith’s latest might be flawed, but there’s enough energy and anger to make her exploration of racially motivated imprisonment a standout...This is one of Smith’s particular gifts, to disappear into the people she plays, to take an assemblage of interviews and recorded talks, and bring them to astonishing and visceral life onstage. She finds a distinct voice for each...It is less divisive and less cohesive than it might be. Here, too many of the voices are of the same opinion." Full Review

Preview sunday in the park white
95
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "This production is almost overwhelming in its emotional lucidity and startling warmth…The music is at once formally ambitious and deeply satisfying…Certainly, Sondheim’s cleverness can feel coldly brittle in the wrong hands. But thanks to the work of Gyllenhaal, Ashford, and the tremendous supporting cast the effect is immediate and elating." Full Review

Preview vietgone
80
The Guardian (UK)

"Overtly rollicking and sneakily moving...Some of the writing is lazy, with Nguyen so comfortable in his ultra-vernacular style that he doesn’t challenge himself to create a more distinctive diction for each character...Adrales’s direction is sometimes more vivid than precise...But 'Vietgone' is a more serious work than it initially seems...He sneaks in warmth behind the silliness, solemnity alongside the kung fu, making the deliberately preposterous feel vibrantly real, even poignant." Full Review

Preview rsz plenty
60
The Guardian (UK)

"Because the play works on so many levels and delights in so many ambiguities, it requires a firm sense of place and time and purpose, which David Leveaux’s revival does not offer...One place seems very much like another, one conflict too much like the next...As Susan, Weisz has some big heels to fill...She sometimes strains for effect...But hers is a high-voltage performance, pulsating with alternating currents, flashing against the bleakness of Susan’s world." Full Review

Preview ttb
65
The New York Times

"An affectionate, emotionally slight production...If Blaemire lacks the preternatural charm Esparza lent the role, he brings comic ease and ready sympathy...Salazar and Renée seem less suited to their roles...You can sense the director Jonathan Silverstein’s enthusiasm for the material in the bright pacing, the sprightly use of the onstage band, the generosity toward the performers. But surely the show would resonate more richly if he had helped them realize the relationships more fully." Full Review

Preview cherry orchard
35
The Guardian (UK)

"All of the familiar elements of plot and character are here, but Karam hasn’t found a vocabulary with which to articulate them, nor Godwin a framework in which to realize them...Most of the actors seem jumpy, talking and moving and gesturing at speed, as though the stage manager had distributed Adderall while calling places. The performers seem to be in radically different plays. A couple of them appear simply lost." Full Review

Preview rtc holidayinn cast
40
The Guardian (UK)

"No real effort has been made to differentiate this show from the other recent Berlin offering, 'White Christmas,' or to integrate the songs into the show...You can check out anytime you like, and chances are that one will as the leaden dialogue trudges to its close. Still, the Berlin tunes are of course a treat, with zippy orchestrations and zestful playing...If a new musical ever needed fresh linens, it’s this one." Full Review

Preview 82854 2
80
The Guardian (UK)

"McBurney is a passionate storyteller, both wily and wild; he needs no technological marvels to make his case. Yet the headphones emphasize the personal relationship he establishes with each auditor and it challenges us to reflect on how and why we surrender to his tale...Headphones are isolating, however, and they make the experience somewhat less communal...But when the sound is flooding and McBurney is chanting, 'The Encounter' is mood-altering and mind-expanding enough." Full Review

Preview nat turner
40
The Guardian (UK)

"This is a play in search of its conflict. The lightly anachronistic language sits heavily in the mouths of the actors...Davis has an interest in and a seeming reverence for history that doesn’t always serve him well. A playwright with a more distinctive approach to language and genre might have found surreal terror or brutal comedy in these events. But Davis’s version, under the stolid direction of Megan Sandberg-Zakian, is disappointingly static." Full Review

Preview sit white
60
The New York Times

"Engaging and obliging...Though the show begins as an exploration of his place as a kid of 'brown persuasion/a product of U.S.-bound migration,' it morphs into Mr. Quijada’s efforts to sell his folks on a career in the arts...Mr. Quijada seems half desperate to please his audience. His face, an appealing mix of handsome and goofy, is always ready to split into a smile, and his feet are quick to dance...Ultimately, the show doesn't offer much drama or conflict." Full Review

Preview fdfd
60
The Guardian (UK)

"A tender play both incisive and contrived...Under Kate Whoriskey’s direction, scenes are skillful and affecting, cruel and kind. There are wordless pleasures here...But Cho interleaves these insightful scenes with somewhat forced monologues in which each character describes the best meal that he or she has ever eaten. Each of these speeches is elegantly written, but these seem like rather blatant demonstrations of Cho’s skills and concerns rather than vital components of the piece." Full Review

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50
The New York Times

“Though original and occasionally rousing, ‘I’m Bleeding All Over the Place’ doesn’t feel finished or fully articulated. It’s sketchy and crowded, more a grab bag of ideas than a distillation of them. It seems to invite audience response, but recoils from actually demanding it. Sometimes it abuses us spectators; sometimes it flatters us; sometimes it ignores us.” Full Review

Preview kid victory key 800x1200
60
The Guardian (UK)

"Little about the show’s psychology feels likely or lived in, which makes it difficult to access the work emotionally, despite some simple, lovely melodies from Kander and their mournful, reed-heavy orchestrations...The director, Liesl Tommy, and the scenic designer, Clint Ramos, make one terrific choice, setting the whole of the show in Michael’s basement, suggesting that Luke’s escape is incomplete. But Tommy encourages most of the actors to exaggerate their assigned traits." Full Review

Preview beardo
65
The New York Times

"A louche, lewd and assertively weird fantasia on the life of Rasputin...Those lacking familiarity with pre-revolutionary Russian history may find themselves befuddled...This ought to be dark, ribald, rambling entertainment. And it is. But it also isn’t...Heyman approaches the material with gusto, conjuring some visual and sonic surprises, playing down the politics. But art alters as times change, and this show now seems less bouncy, more hollow and more queasy than intended." Full Review

Preview ada
60
The New York Times

"'After the Dark:' Under Ms. Buchaca’s direction, many of the shifts in dynamic compel, although an unthinking equation of sexual desirability and power needs more scrutiny...'Summit:' Absorbing...Under Neil LaBute’s direction, a few details feel off...Ms. Buchaca’s play is so topical that it resists analysis...'I don't know:' LaBute returns to his frequent and rather tired assertion that most men are brutes, and most women are witches...I wished I were somewhere else." Full Review

Preview peergynt1
60
The New York Times

"It’s a fun idea and a brash one, but here it mostly makes a fragmented story feel even less forceful…Ms. Barall could have made further cuts to the rambling original, but the greater problem is that the songs don’t add much to the book scenes. For the most part, they are merely atmospheric, which tends to bog down the story, already boggy in its original form, rather than propel it. Peer sings that all he and the moon ever do 'is go around and around and around and around.' This show, too." Full Review

Preview 800x1200 jitney
90
The Guardian (UK)

"Much of the acting is extraordinary, particularly the lacerating father and son confrontation that closes the first act...One of Wilson’s great gifts has been locating the poetic and the performative in what strikes the ear as ordinary speech, to lift casual conversation into something more striking and more resonant. Santiago-Hudson, a longtime Wilson adherent as performer and director, has a fine ear for the play’s musicality." Full Review

Preview 82707 9
80
The Guardian (UK)

"Blanchett's virtuosic performance is truth and dare at once. The play itself is a more fitfully successful affair...The chemistry between Anna and Mikhail...is combustible enough to blow up the play...When they’re not onstage together, the play has a tendency to slump, a condition that neither Crowley’s sensitive direction nor the excellence of the rest of the cast can ever entirely correct...When this production works best, it feels entirely of the moment and urgently, ripely alive." Full Review

Preview doa
60
The New York Times

"A feisty, slapdash production...Mr. Ward’s wit is scathing, if not exactly nuanced. There’s cruel humor in a white cop who goes crazy when he has no black men to assault and a Klan member upset that he wasn’t the one to drive the African-Americans out of town. Under Arthur French’s direction, not a lot of thought has been given to pacing or staging. Charles Weldon, the company’s artistic director, who stars as the mayor, hadn’t yet fully learned his lines, though no one much minded." Full Review

Preview the illusionists white
70
The New York Times

"A bigger and kitschier enterprise, but still a less grandiose occasion than the first two seasons of this ensemble evening...Most of the evening’s bright spots were quieter, less bedazzled affairs...While the illusions were uniformly expert, several of the performers had a stilted, somewhat formal stage presence...That’s the thing about magic. Even when it’s performed with something less than perfect flair or fluency, even when we know it to be entirely fake, it accesses fantasies we all have." Full Review

Preview pigeon in the taj mahal white
60
The New York Times

"There’s a lot of dialogue and plenty of depredation, but having put these characters together, Ms. Sexton and the director Alan Cox don’t know quite what to do with them. Despite a persistent theme of innocence and experience, 'The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal' mostly feels like a one-act that outgrew itself. A little less conversation wouldn’t hurt. But action concerns Ms. Sexton far less than providing a vigorous, sometimes vulgar showcase for herself and the other actors." Full Review

Preview sweet.charity.cropped
80
The Guardian (UK)

"The resplendent Sutton Foster often movingly suggests the dark side to Charity’s perpetual sunniness…The material doesn’t hold up especially well. The sexual politics are obviously dated and so is Simon’s awkward vernacular…The plot is noodly and digressive, but then again that mirrors the heroine and it’s part of her charm. The Coleman and Fields songs are still pretty good…How bleak can a piece really be with the smile and voice and legs of Sutton Foster vibrating at its center?" Full Review

Preview dps white
40
The Guardian (UK)

"Sudeikis is superb – earnest and impish – but in the intervening decades, the substance of the piece now seems cheaply sentimental at best and morally suspect at worst...Keating’s ideology is not without its problems and the play’s argument for difference while erasing the experience of anyone who isn’t a middle- or upper-class man doesn’t sit well...Seize the day? Why not. Seize the ticket? Not so much." Full Review

Preview download
90
The Guardian (UK)

"When the dancers are leaping, the accordions wheezing, the lights flashing, the skirts swirling, and the vodka flowing, then 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812' feels thrillingly unlike anything else on Broadway...The combinatory musical style is perhaps too eclectic, yet also undeniably invigorating – like a shot of horseradish vodka. Besides, these are rather minor quibbles when compared with the beauty of many of the songs and the excitement of the immersive staging." Full Review

Preview sweat white
80
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Incisive, uncondescending and quietly compassionate...Nottage allows drama to emerge through prisms of race, gender and class. She is passionate about making the political feel deeply personal...In this regard, 'Sweat,' which is attentively designed and dynamically acted, is a roughed-up jewel...Very occasionally the balance between dramatic action and social thesis goes wobbly...But more often this is a trenchant and moving play." Full Review

Preview keyart 01
60
The Guardian (UK)

"Rourke offers a feminist reading of the work, one in which the roles women play, by force and by choice, are closely examined...This is an astute and intellectually provocative approach, but it doesn’t always serve the rather more salacious script...Schreiber’s Valmont is no match for Merteuil. He layers some of his eventual rout into the earlier scenes, all but ceding the stage to McTeer. McTeer knows what to do with it...Her extraordinary performance is scorching and chilling." Full Review

Preview falsettos temp 285x375.jpeg  284x50000 q85 subsampling 2
80
The Guardian (UK)

"'March' is perhaps the more interesting half...The second act is more conventional...But it’s here that the work’s emotional heart beats most muscularly and anyone who leaves without shedding a tear may want to see his or her ophthalmologist...The Broadway revival is not a copy of the original...Neither is it a faultless work...Yet Lapine directs in a style that remains both consciously frolicsome and helplessly shrewd." Full Review

Preview rsz harvest
80
The Guardian (UK)

"Hunter’s command of his style seems slightly less complete than in other plays – the focus is broader, the tone more varying, which are not at all bad things, though sometimes there’s a tendency to cap a scene too neatly in an effort to move on to the next strand of plot. But he offers rich and varied roles for his actors...This evangelizing drama may not end well for its characters (Hunter’s plays rarely do), but it is good news for its audience." Full Review

Preview frontpage
80
The Guardian (UK)

"The set is handsome, the dialogue sharp-witted, the cast an assemblage of some of New York’s finest character actors and big names including John Goodman. The style is vivid and almost expressionist in the way that conversations are layered over around each other...Yet the revival’s energy is something less than crackling and the enterprise might have seemed merely respectable were it not for the joyously disreputable Lane. He gives a performance that is both outsized and just the right size." Full Review

Preview final
80
The Guardian (UK)

"It’s a scathing, occasionally sidesplitting and not precisely subtle indictment of the Baby Boomer generation and the havoc it has heedlessly wrought...Bartlett occasionally comes at his social and political argument too directly...But he leavens his argument with a lot of nasty humor and is very good at showing the destruction a careless remark or action can inflict...Together the ensemble joins to create one of the most indelibly and viciously failed families to grace the contemporary stage." Full Review

Preview oh hello
85
The Guardian (UK)

"This show is messy, puerile, crass, and wildly indulgent...It is also uproariously, stomach-achingly funny...The show probably shouldn’t work as well as it does. Kroll and Mulaney don’t always play the characters consistently (when it seems like too much effort, they just play themselves) and they crack themselves up habitually. But the pleasure they take in the exercise is obvious and infectious...The writing, though variable, has more than its share of semi-precious gems." Full Review

Preview 2000 white
75
The New York Times

"The several layers of the story and the pace at which that story is told could use greater precision...The intermission could be dispensed with and the staging might become more immersive. The moments when an anglerfish puppet glides through the audience are magical; there ought to be more of them. But the acting is never less than zesty and the use of projections, courtesy of Deco Dawson, is sometimes jaw dropping." Full Review

Preview alltheways
60
The Guardian (UK)

"Light's elegant authority is used to fine and sly effect, elevating a mildly sensational monodrama into a reasonably compelling character study...Despite LaBute’s gifts for ordinary speech, the iterations and tangents and dead-ends, much of this would seem factitious or possibly even silly, were it not for Light’s finely calibrated performance and Leigh Silverman’s assured direction. Silverman charts emotional terrain like an expert geographer." Full Review

Preview winsome brown hit the body alarm 800wcrop  copy
60
The New York Times

"The show takes imprisonment as its theme...But the extracts from the classics don’t relate especially well to the monologues, and the monologues don’t relate especially well to each other or to the John Zorn music that underscores them...If the textual collage isn’t particularly engrossing, at least Ms. Brown is. She’s a spiky actress and an unaccommodating one, who prefers to needle audience members rather than oblige them." Full Review

Preview how to keep an alien
75
The New York Times

"Ms. Kelly enhances her tale with the help of a spirited stage manager, Paul Curley, and a limitless supply of one-liners, many of them delicious...Her comic style varies nicely from straight-faced to vivacious, from deadpan to a pan that is very much alive, especially her irresistible, maniacal grin...Ultimately, the show doesn't offer much drama or conflict...Ms. Kelly’s greatest trial is a camping trip with her girlfriend’s family." Full Review

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65
The New York Times

"An absorbing if somewhat unfocused drama...At its best and most sophisticated when it examines the attraction that extreme and graphic reports of sexual assault hold, as opposed to blurrier, more commonplace narratives...The play is less adept in clarifying its own story...The ways that it entwines facts and fiction aren’t always productive...Some of the performances are keen and nuanced...others are more caricatured." Full Review

Preview shrew1
65
The Guardian (UK)

"Lloyd offers an often funny, sometimes astute, and not exactly subtle reading of Shakespeare’s problem comedy...The cast is mixed in its abilities...No one wears the verse as lightly and brashly as McTeer...Though the play clocks in at just two hours and though Lloyd’s clarity of vision doesn’t flag, in certain scenes the actors seem to do little more than trudge through the iambs...The ending is somehow too blatant. It defuses and eases the real discomfort the play occasions." Full Review