Anita Gates

Anita Gates is a critic with The New York Times. 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 (37)
55
The New York Times

"The story, directed by Peter Flynn, seems headed for a classic happy ending or an updated version of 'An Unmarried Woman' (victory in self-actualization), and neither promises much satisfaction. Mr. Brody’s music and lyrics are pleasant but insight-free. Ms. Goldman’s book is often witty but decidedly self-congratulatory...Things go annoyingly well for Bobby...The three actors (Land, Muraoka and Shyer) who play all the male characters deliver some entertaining group numbers." Full Review

75
The New York Times

“The best of this bunch? Leah Nanako Winkler’s ‘Linus and Murray’…RJ Tolan directed these two perfectly cast actors with exquisite feeling and high-precision humor. The ending is devastating…Jeff Biehl and Tiffany Villarin are both excellent in ‘Disney & Fujikawa’…’Down Cleghorn’…The drama, directed by Ralph Peña, feels a bit unfinished and seems mostly a condemnation of the mother’s sexual activity.” Full Review

55
The New York Times

"The plot is one-note...Still, this production is fairly family-friendly...The show has welcome touches of whimsy...Jennifer Robbins’s book, Michael Biello’s lyrics and Dan Martin’s music have moments of wit, but mostly each song has one simplistic statement to make...In 'Newly Wed,' Francine is thrilled that her daughter is about to tie the knot; at one point she actually skips around the stage while singing, 'Tra-la-la.' The message doesn’t get any more nuanced." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"The pleasures of Mr. Dial’s play are threefold: Watching the motley assortment of students emerge as real people; laughing at the barely concealed connections of their fiction to their real lives; and taking the course along with them...'In the Room' offers no flashes of universal revelation, but it’s solid and smart...The cast’s fierce commitment renders the experience—seeing a bare-bones production with an audience of mere dozens—thoroughly transporting." Full Review

60
The New York Times

“The director, Myriam Cyr, and three solid performers make us part of the channeling, breathless and hopeful. There is also fine lighting work by John R. Malinowski, manipulating our reactions to the spookiness...Too bad this 90-minute play’s ending is such a letdown. Toward the end, it starts speeding toward a resolution that you can tell is going to be all too pat." Full Review

80
The New York Times

"'Material Witness' can be poetic. At other times, it’s rowdy and playful, displaying an enormous sense of energy, strength and good will. Yet its subject is dead serious...The stories in 'Material Witness' are disturbing, as the audience may expect, and the impression given is that men’s violence against women feels exactly the same, whether it’s perpetrated in a Westchester County suburb or on a Blackfoot or Rappahannock reservation. Maybe that’s the point." Full Review

95
The New York Times

“'Please Continue,' Frank Basloe’s relentlessly thought-provoking fictionalized study of the people involved with the experiments, is on the stage of the Ensemble Studio Theater. And it’s absolutely gripping...This rock-solid production takes us back decisively with political dialogue and pop music, but most of all with eight rich, lived-in performances and William Carden’s quietly commanding direction." Full Review

40
The New York Times

"A handsome and solemn new production...The production feels like a study summary, with undeveloped subplots popping up like untended garden flowers and unelucidated motivations running rampant...The novel’s poetic style survives in the dialogue. But despite the efforts of two directors, the production never becomes more than a pretty curiosity." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"I hadn’t seen the 'Forever Plaid' guys in decades, and I’d completely forgotten they were dead. But all was made clear by the narrator of 'Plaid Tidings,' the group’s sweetly enjoyable holiday show...The finest moment belongs to Perry Como, who appears on a black-and-white console TV as the Plaids sing backup...It all seems completely organic, to the credit of Stuart Ross, who wrote, directed and did the musical staging." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"You cannot fault the York Theater Company’s rich new production, a one-act reimagining that looks absolutely royal in the intimate Theater at St. Peter’s: Splendid 18th-century men’s costumes, low-key yet opulent scenic design, assertively nuanced lighting...Jeffrey B. Moss’s direction does find the humor wherever it lurks...Most of the songs are only pretty. Maybe it’s too much to expect another 'Sunrise, Sunset' or 'If I Were a Rich Man,' but what’s a musical for?" Full Review

80
The New York Times

for a previous production "Scenes and character entrances are announced silently via chalkboard title cards, held saucily aloft by very sparkly, very scantily clad showgirls and showboys...The ensemble contributes lots of wit and intensity to the choreography, but it is the gymnastic moves by the leads that bring down the house." Full Review

85
The New York Times

"This production feels slightly too long, but it’s smoothly directed by KJ Sanchez and meets every challenge that a tiny, bare-bones theater presents. Evocative lighting and sound effects abound. The cast is uniformly strong...The script finds considerable humor in these dark days." Full Review

70
The New York Times

for a previous production "The intimate Theater at St. Peter’s lends a cabaret feel to the production, which has a pleasantly cartoonish revue vibe...There’s nothing even remotely convincing about the cast members who double as stars of yesteryear like Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn and Bob Hope. But when the same actors put on their tap shoes, you may want to buy war bonds." Full Review

85
The New York Times

for a previous production "Ms. Gurira, having left the audience doubled over with laughter with that scene at the end of Act I, takes a daunting risk in Act II by turning serious...The story’s resolution may seem a bit pat at first glance, but if you listen carefully to the dialogue, you’ll realize it’s just the opposite. And there is humor, even in the characters’ darkest moments." Full Review

80
The New York Times

"Brad Zimmerman may well have brought many of us a salad or a mac and cheese once. Now, in “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy,” he brings us the story of his failure, and it’s pretty delicious...Much of this amiable 90-minute set is distinctly original and bittersweetly on target." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"They’re not dancing in the aisles at Mamma Mia! anymore. Shows do fade. The taverna looks flimsy and cramped on the Broadhurst stage. But its real appeal, beyond those songs, has always been its innate sweetness, and that’s a joy." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"A playful, good-natured, mildly irreverent and genuinely funny musical whose creators know how to mix the feel-good experience with touches of meanness...The show has flaws, like the audition and a few other instances in which Davenport’s book is a bit too taken with its own cuteness. Some of Allen’s Act I songs are badly derivative and forgettable. The title number (with nifty choreography by Kelly Devine) and the opener, 'Jersey!' are winners, however. This is a class act." Full Review

65
The New York Times

"A sweet and sassy if slightly rickety little show...The script is obvious, and the acting is mostly just competent. But the real reason you’re there is for the songs. In the end it’s a good-natured, low-budget evening with plenty of humor and some impressive voices. You could do a lot worse." Full Review

90
Fly
The New York Times

for a previous production "'Fly' blew me away. The history of the Tuskegee Airmen is inspiring enough on its own. But Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s retelling of their story is a superior piece of theatrical synergy...The execution is as inspired as the concept...The battle scenes may have theatergoers on the edge of their seats...'Fly' was originally created for student audiences...Maybe more big-time theater should be written for schoolchildren." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"In Kruse’s intriguing one-act play...all four cast members play both species. The very idea may sound like a parody of an acting class exercise, but the transitions from walking and speaking to pecking and clucking are sometimes stunning...There’s plenty of conflict...Maybe 'Chickens in the Yard' isn’t quite transporting or transcendent, but it has humor, heart and an elegant, deceptive surface simplicity. And this production is cunningly directed by Taylor and beautifully acted." Full Review

75
The New York Times

“A charming, if somewhat creaky, production…Hill created 16 distinctive characters…The play itself is imperfect, with a sentimental ending and one character’s unconvincing enlightenment. But the director, Timothy Johnson, has shaped 16 striking performances here. ‘On Strivers Row’ is a nicely textured satirical portrait of a time, a place and endearing people who love to make pronouncements.” Full Review

75
The New York Times

"A charming if ultimately disturbing solo show…Dixon delivers enjoyable impersonations of Katharine Hepburn, Noël Coward and Richard Burton—not to mention Rose himself....The tone of ‘Georgie’ turns somber near the end, when Mr. Dixon accepts an invitation to Rose’s vacation home in the Dominican Republic...The visit ends with a disillusioned Mr. Dixon fleeing in disgust. The audience is caught out as well; after finding joy in Rose’s brilliance, we’re left confused and disillusioned, too." Full Review

65
The New York Times

"Rachel McPhee, who plays Ms. Shanley in this solo show, is very personable and entertainingly physical. Her chosen accent, though, is strangely focused on one vowel sound: the one in goil...The script gives us only the outline of a life...If only the playwright or Stephen Kaliski, the director, could help us know whether we’re meant to feel sorry for Ms. Shanley as a lonely victim of sexism and for working undercover, or happy that she’s so darned good at her job." Full Review

80
The New York Times

"The London that exists in the mind of James Phillips, who created these six short plays is a wondrous, languid place made of silky metaphor...For this seductive and consistently well-acted production, Theater B at 59E59 is set up cabaret-style, which helps it seem only logical that each play is introduced by a singer accompanying herself on the piano. Mr. Phillips’s imaginative stories are also punctuated with thought-provoking observations." Full Review

80
The New York Times

"Ms. Beverley, who both wrote and stars in this one-act musical play, makes Mercer’s story compelling...When Ms. Beverley sings, she makes the case beautifully for Mercer’s greatness of style...The production itself, directed by Frances Hill and Peter Napolitano, could be more polished. But the heart is there, and Nicholas Blade Guldner’s video design, with evocative vintage black-and-white images, adds a great deal to its atmosphere." Full Review

65
The New York Times

"Ms. Lazarus’s clever adaptation is smoothly suited to our times; it’s so much easier for a verbally challenged suitor to fake it in the electronic age...Zachary Clarence serves partly as comic relief but gives a lusciously layered performance. Ms. Curtin is at her best when Cy is quiet and offhand, but she spends a lot of her time yelling and dutifully delivering exposition...Meanwhile, the romantic story’s psychology isn’t fully explored." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"This all makes sense in 'The Great Divorce'...At least it does after a few puzzling, artistically pretentious early scenes in the Fellowship for Performing Arts’ infinitely thought-provoking production...Three strong performances and Bill Castellino’s direction leave us challenged to understand Lewis’s mind but with enough well-formed hints to be consistently intriguing." Full Review

60
The New York Times

"Ms. Chalfant is enchanting — isn’t she always? — working her typical magic in a white pantsuit, pearls and a 1960s bouffant. Her work is hampered, though, by a play that tries to say way too much...This is a ladylike drama, in keeping with its subject’s public persona...Ms. Klepikov and Lianne Arnold’s projection design could have seriously enhanced the production...But at the Clurman, projected between pretty floral window-treatment panels, they’re sometimes difficult to see." Full Review

80
The New York Times

for a previous production "An important, cunning, rock-solid musical comedy...The staging is fast-paced, expert and perfectly proportioned...The cast of eight is uniformly authentic and sympathetic...The script contains just enough 'Wag the Dog' absurdism to keep things in perspective." Full Review

100
The New York Times

"Mr. Quinton is a genius. It is absolute rapture to see him in his element...'Drop Dead Perfect' has abundant plot...This one-act parody lives mainly for its adolescent double entendres and Mr. Quinton’s delicious performance. Joe Brancato, the director, probably just let him run free. But when other actors do bits of perfect stage business, it’s clear that Mr. Brancato’s contributions are considerable." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"It’s all just silliness, good-natured and competently executed, with Abby Walsh’s by-the-numbers Tuscan villa garden set and Kathleen Butler’s straightforward direction. But once in a while, there’s something more — like Timidio’s inspired reactions and Di Lirio’s touching final revelation." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"Script is informed and well structured, smoothly delivering exposition through credible dialogue...The director has a tough dynamic to achieve and he deals with that by having his actors yell a lot. He does keep the tension high, however. The plot delivers a couple of satisfying surprises for the audience, but the blunt ending would benefit from a little more stagecraft." Full Review

90
The New York Times

for a previous production "Ms. Orlandersmith has a gift for raw immediacy. At a recent performance, while she described the sexual assault (in graphic and emotional detail), the theater fell almost as silent as a tomb. Then she broke the tension gradually, with pinpoint timing...First and foremost, Ms. Orlandersmith is a poet, and her language sings, even when it insists on calling itself prose." Full Review

75
The New York Times

for a previous production “''Fabulous!' piles such silliness upon silliness that it’s almost impossible not to sit there for more than two hours with a stupid grin. Some of the songs aren’t great. Some of the voices are off key, maybe deliberately. But Rick Hamilton has directed with a sublime sense of goofy innocence that fits this second-floor Times Square theater just perfectly." Full Review

35
The New York Times

"“Sex Tips” could have been zingy and smart and actually helpful, like Bravo’s erstwhile reality series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” But apparently, that was not the goal here. This show feels like a blend of a bachelorette party at Chippendales and the embarrassing midnight act at a Pigalle tourist trap." Full Review

85
The New York Times

for a previous production "The George Street production of 'The 39 Steps' is not quite as intoxicating or as maniacally inspired as the Broadway production but it is a great piece of theatrical fun with a cast you might easily want to take home...Their quick-change artistry is a running joke that never gets old." Full Review

70
The New York Times

for a previous production "The production can be overly sentimental and feels dutiful toward the end, but the performances and José Zayas’s direction is quite good, and the story is well worth knowing." Full Review