Barbara Schuler

Barbara Schuler is a critic with Newsday. 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 (114)
Newsday

"Director Sam Gold finds more intense, driven women here, and he is wise to let their astonishing voices carry the production. The music is a well-thought-out mix of gospel-tinged hymns, affirmative anthems and one clever love song to a car...This is one of those shows that sticks with you. Watching it is a little like going to a religious service — it gives you faith that the world could be a better place. For this particular show, that better place just might be Broadway." Full Review

Newsday

“Beautifully performed revival...The play requires significant willingness to go with the vision of...Arbus, especially when it comes to accepting the striking McDonald as an unattractive high school dropout...But the six-time Tony Award winner pulls it off with an intense, finely nuanced performance, her every move calculated to portray her conflicted feelings...Shannon is better suited physically to the Shakespeare-quoting ex-con, offering up an intriguing mix of bravado and brashness." Full Review

Happy Talk
Midtown W
Newsday

"Meanders for nearly two, intermissionless hours without really going anywhere...Director Scott Elliott does what he can to wring some dramatic tension out of the piece, finding it mostly in Ljuba (Marin Ireland, a terrific fireball of nervous energy)...As bad as the author wants us to feel for these characters, it’s almost impossible to care much about what happens to any of them." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
Newsday

“An engrossing play...Especially when you add in spot-on, mile-a-minute performances from Carvel and Miller. Besides, as the two men on a mission frequently point out, it’s a darn good story...The large cast, directed with an energizing touch of theatrical fantasy by Rupert Goold, does a fine job portraying the assorted editors and writers employed by The Sun, though their occasional breaking into song is a touch unrealistic.” Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
Newsday

"The gripping revival solidifies its relevance more than 70 years later...This cast breathes so much life into Miller’s characters it feels like you’re watching for the first time. Tracy Letts is compelling as Joe. As Kate, Annette Bening is a poignant mix of strength and despair, fighting off a grief she refuses to acknowledge. But it’s Benjamin Walker as the tortured son Chris who most commands attention whenever he’s on stage, so apparent is the fury he's brewing." Full Review

Newsday

"In a tight 80 minutes, Hnath offers a somewhat redundant dissection of a marriage that’s already been questioned by the world. While making no effort to emulate Hillary in looks or voice, Metcalf gives the finely nuanced, thoughtful performance we've come to expect...In the end, it feels too soon to be rehashing this divisive piece of political history." Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
Newsday

“In the uneven revival...Driver is compelling and charismatic as Pale...Russell comes off stiff and vaguely uncomfortable in the role — tentative, constantly fussing with her hair and not quite sure what to do with herself. The idea that she’s a professional dancer never comes across. More problematic, neither does her attraction to Pale...In this case, the fire does not burn nearly hot enough.” Full Review

Newsday

"The gritty, hard-hitting Bard Summerscape production presents a darker, more violent vision of life in a territory on its way to statehood...Twelve terrific actors carry a show that normally has twice the cast...This is not a piece of theater that allows you to sit back and be entertained. Fish demands almost as much from the people in the audience as he does from his cast." Full Review

Newsday

"Through three complex acts, these actors are exemplars of their craft as they take on countless characters...The superbly acted, technically stunning production, directed with a sure hand by Sam Mendes, flies although it runs more than three hours, imparting along the way valuable lessons about the workings of the financial market. But it's the human story, the richness of the immigrant experience, that stays with you." Full Review

Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
Newsday

"The play, directed with a keen handle on Guare's wry humor by Jerry Zaks, can get perplexing at times, as these characters come and go in Gowery's imagination. Larroquette is in fine form...Ultimately, there's no point in trying to make too much sense of this fascinating exploration of memory and imagination. Better to just sit back and enjoy the crazy ride." Full Review

The Mother
Chelsea
Newsday

“Huppert is riveting as a woman losing her mind...Dark, disquieting and depressing play...The play unfolds in ‘Rashomon’ fashion, scenes repeating and retelling in random order...It is a tour de force performance, physically and emotionally challenging for Huppert...As the production veers sharply into the absurd, the audience is left second-guessing every moment.” Full Review

Fleabag
Soho/Tribeca
Newsday

"An intense, very funny 65-minute mashup of pleasure and pathos...Minus the slick production values and expanded cast on TV, the stage version is Waller-Bridge by herself, perched but always ready to take flight...As she launches into an extraordinarily raunchy stream-of-consciousness discourse on her various conquests...you begin to suspect you've wandered into an X-rated stand-up routine. But there's much more to this piece." Full Review

The Cake
Midtown W
Newsday

"In this very human look at a very politicized issue, Brunstetter makes little attempt to sway opinion. Instead she goes to great lengths to suggest it might be wise to consider this issue — and many like it — from multiple points of view...Though the play is a brisk 90 minutes, it bogs down at times with tedious, been there, done that arguments...It's Rupp who gives the production a reason for being...It's a beautifully nuanced, layered portrait of a woman in conflict with her own beliefs." Full Review

Alice By Heart
Midtown W
Newsday

“Don’t expect a traditional telling of Carroll’s beloved children’s story in ‘Alice by Heart’...The production is a hallucinatory take on the familiar tale, and it gets a bit muddled at times...Probably that doesn't really matter, better to simply enjoy the great music and the ultimately sweet retelling of the story...And to reflect, of course, on how we all struggle at times with the need to fit in.” Full Review

Newsday

"The show travels well and now resonates with a deeper emotional wallop, the actors having settled into the intricacies of performing in a language not their own...After more than six months in the role, Steven Skybell is becoming a Tevye that rivals greats like Zero Mostel and Herschel Bernardi...Tony winner Joel Grey directs with loving reverence to the show's history, but also a keen sense of its enduring relevance." Full Review

Sea Wall/A Life
East Village
Newsday

"The evening is intimate and shattering — two fine actors baring their souls on an almost empty stage...two raw monologues that will tear your heart out...Director Carrie Cracknell wisely gives each actor room to simply have a conversation with the audience. Sturridge highlights his by frequent pauses and stunning moments in which he simply stares into space. Gyllenhaal is more frenetic (in a good way) as he segues between the two storylines." Full Review

Newsday

“Set in an elite prep school — hardly earthshaking for this kind of coming-of-age drama — the play is centered on the institution’s renowned gospel choir and its incoming leader...It's tempting to throw in the towel on the overdose of teenage angst we've seen on and off Broadway in recent years. Fortunately, this show redeems itself with magnificent a cappella vocals and spot-on performances from the uniformly strong cast." Full Review

Newsday

"Boisterous and appealing new musical...Cramming it all in to two and a half hours results in lapses, but much of the story is there...Throughout, the three Chers are a compelling presence, a group of BFFs who converse in sisterly style as they power through her hits...More than anything, the show presents a message of empowerment, as we watch Cher fight for the right to control her career — and her life." Full Review

Newsday

"There’s a tired, been-there-done-that quality to the whole thing...For a show that preaches tolerance, there is precious little on display, with equal-opportunity bashing aimed at everyone...But the nastiest digs are directed at Midwest values...It’s all intended as satire, of course, but somehow it comes off as just plain mean." Full Review

King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
Newsday

"As grand spectacle, 'King Kong' is the real deal, the heart-stopping special effects beyond expectations...This is truly next-gen puppetry, as the actors known as the King Company, in ninja mode, breathe life into this hunk of steel and Fiberglass. But when Kong leaves the stage, so does the energy...Director-choreographer Drew McOnie and songwriters Eddie Perfect and Marius de Vries muddy the waters with numbers that seem out of place and are at times downright confusing." Full Review

Newsday

“Engrossing and heartbreaking...With little plot beyond the owner of the gallery threatening to turn it into a restaurant, the play, directed by Neugebauer, is not without flaws. It drags early on, and fuzzy projections of the past add little to frequent scene changes…The drama gets its strength from the fine performances and from the horrific reality of a situation far too many of us know well.” Full Review

Gloria: A Life
Gramercy
Newsday

“Intelligent, agenda-heavy biodrama...Lahti has perfected the look and, more importantly, the intensity and fervor of the activist at the forefront of the women's rights movement...An ensemble of six versatile actresses portrays many of the women who joined in the trailblazing...You learn fascinating bits about Steinem along the way, from interesting to sad to surprising...All of this leads to the final talking circle, which is clearly this production's raison d'être.” Full Review

Mother of the Maid
East Village
Newsday

"The family at the center is one you’ll recognize. Last name: Arc...Anderson focuses here on her mother Isabelle (Close, in a heart-wrenching performance)...Under director Matthew Penn, the action moves seamlessly from the Arcs' humble farmhouse to the sumptuous palace of King Charles to a desolate prison cell. It's hard, though, to take your eyes off Close as she delivers an exquisite and honest display of emotional range...The final scene is a knife in the gut." Full Review

The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Newsday

"Bean's slow-build comedy...The comedy can border on mean but mostly it's laugh-out-loud wacky. Director Daniel Sullivan should have streamlined that interminable first scene, but he has a sure hand with the insane goings-on post intermission, at least if this kind of slapstick humor is your cup of tea...You're never quite sure where this cross between sitcom and B-movie thriller is going as it works to its twisty conclusion." Full Review

The True
Midtown W
Newsday

“White has meticulously researched this intriguing drama, but never for a minute did it seem anything but real — and director Elliott makes it as entertaining as an episode of ‘House of Cards’...Some may consider this dry docudrama, but political junkies will be riveted by Falco's gritty, earthy Polly, wheeling and dealing for all she's worth...The play ends as it began, with the three main characters back in the living room, sitting in wordless contemplation.” Full Review

Newsday

“With its near future setting and an all-black cast, Leon gives the production, political undertones not usually so blatant in a work better known for its explorations of betrayal and miscommunication...Leon has gathered an impressive cast...Brooks and Coleman are on fire as those romantic sparring partners Beatrice and Benedick...In keeping with its updated setting, the production gets a lift from frequent musical interludes and contemporary choreography.” Full Review

Octet
Midtown W
Newsday

“Malloy’s new chamber choir musical...An elegant and often frightening a cappella musical exploring the perils of our collective obsession with devices...The show asks a lot of its impressive cast, with each of the eight singers performing almost nonstop the challenging beats and harmonies required of this kind of music, while establishing their troubled characters. They're all terrific...The music is innovative and varied.” Full Review

Newsday

"This problematic adaptation of Tim Burton's 1988 cult movie hit doesn’t really know what to do with itself...The actors give it their all, but like Brightman, they are often guilty of overselling...The visuals are terrific...But the show only comes alive when it reverts to the Harry Belafonte songs everyone remembers from the film." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Newsday

“Entertaining and touching new musical...A screen-to-stage adaptation that gets it right...Fontana is a powerhouse, slipping flawlessly between genders and voices, but always with an endearing charm that makes you love his performance...It's all great fun, from the sick one-liners and cringeworthy puns to enough inside theater references...But as in the film, there are important take-aways, lessons Dorothy imparts to Michael about the trials women face.” Full Review

Newsday

"The search for meaning (not to mention entertainment) in this high-concept farce requires serious contemplation. The A-list cast, directed by George C. Wolfe, certainly gives everything they've got to this odd tale...They're all very funny, mostly relying on physical comedy to compensate for verse that often doesn't make sense...Ultimately, it's 95 minutes of weirdness and somehow not as funny as you want it to be." Full Review

Newsday

“The poignant, enchanting story is notable mostly for its memorable music and especially haunting lyrics. But the songs come to life through a stunning ensemble, right down to the fabulous onstage orchestra...Carney and Noblezada are achingly sad as the doomed lovers, Page and Gray smoldering...Like most Greek myths, this one doesn't have a happy ending, but it does offer hope in its suggestion that by repeating such a sad story, things might turn out better next time.” Full Review

Newsday

“Whishaw and Fleming star in this absurdist mashup that doesn't quite manage to connect the lives of two legendary beauties who lived centuries apart...Fleming is somewhat wasted as she performs the music portion of the story, singing Clark’s vaguely operatic score...What actually happens in this piece of performance art, directed with obvious devotion to difficult material by Mitchell, is not easy to describe...It's almost impossible to follow.” Full Review

Newsday

"Part civics lesson, part TED Talk, part memoir. Ultimately it poses more questions — serious questions — than it answers...The story gets heartbreakingly personal. It's easy to think of this as a one-woman play, but Schreck is not alone. Mike Iveson is appropriately understated but gets some good laughs as the Legionnaire moderator, charged with keeping the young speaker on track and on time as she dissects the document she both cherishes and questions." Full Review

Newsday

"Moving quickly past the early successes, it covers familiar territory — the clashing egos, the failed relationships, the debilitating excesses as the stress of life on the road leads to drink and drugs...Told through the deep, memorable Motown catalog, the show, directed by Des McAnuff, works best when it relies on great songs. Choreographer Sergio Trujillo gives the singers slick moves considerably more polished than the originals ever managed." Full Review

Newsday

"While these tweaks might make the show feel more current, they don’t really deal with the problem at hand. That would be the misogynistic message suggesting a woman is required to be nothing but subservient to her husband...Truthfully, it ends up not mattering all that much. Director Scott Ellis lets O’Hara and Chase and the rest of the cast win the audience over with the glorious music and choreographer Warren Carlyle pulls out all the stops in joyful production numbers." Full Review

Newsday

"A high-octane pop score by Garden City native Joe Iconis that comes at you full blast, the rock concert vibe and universal emotional appeal sure to keep loyal fans snapping up for tickets...As for everyone else, the unique sci-fi twist makes for a story with far broader appeal...Roland is a powerhouse as Jeremy, a vocal force with impeccable timing...And he gets fine backup from the rest of the 10-person cast, directed in full-speed-ahead style by Stephen Brackett." Full Review

Daddy
Midtown W
Newsday

"There are times when it’s best not to overthink a piece of theater. That's surely the case with 'Daddy,' the provocatively brilliant, or perhaps brilliantly provocative, new play...Thoughts come at you like a meteor shower in this melodrama as it delves into so many issues it’s tough to summarize...Director Danya Taymor simply lets her impeccable cast roll with it, but then there's not much else to do with a playwright like Harris." Full Review

Superhero
Midtown W
Newsday

"These three lost souls come together as neighbors do, but it's never quite clear where all this is taking us...The music, while not especially memorable, has its moments...The show, directed by Jason Moore, lives on strong performances...There’s also some truly inventive staging, as Beowulf Boritt's simple but effective set gets taken over by Tal Yarden's projections that turn the whole place into a giant comic book." Full Review

Newsday

“Humorous, thought-provoking...The first act is pure screwball comedy...The second act has a harder edge...Forbes carefully stages it to keep the decades straight...The talented cast does double duty in this production...Nottage gets in the most social criticism, while not letting up on her key premise — the lack of meaningful roles for women of color in Hollywood...Think of it as the kind of theater where no one is safe.” Full Review

Newsday

“The wonderfully imperfect musical with some perfectly wonderful songs has invited endless tinkering...Finally it seems someone has gotten it close to right. Fiasco, may not have solved all the show's problems, but the innovative company has come up with an entertaining, enjoyable production that revitalizes the bittersweet story...Trimming the cast to a tight ensemble of six fine performers doesn't really help, but supplementing with material from the original source does clarify the action.” Full Review

Newsday

"Director James Macdonald gives this latest revival a painfully slow build, making the first act somewhat tedious. And the cinematic style, the stage ringed in white lights that flash unnecessarily bright during scene changes, is more of a distraction than anything else...Dano and Hawke are at their best in the final scenes, compelling and convincing as they come unglued in a drunken battle of wills." Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Newsday

"Cranston is masterful in his raw depiction of a man coming apart before your eyes. With the always unpredictable director Ivo van Hove in charge, it's an electric staging, if tough to follow as the frenetic activity on Versweyveld's set jumps from center stage to the wings to the street in front of the theater (handheld cameras allow you to follow on the closest monitor). And it all gets too preachy at times, whenever Beale and corporate bigwigs get overly involved with their proselytizing." Full Review

The Hard Problem
Upper W Side
Newsday

"If you want to exercise your body, head to the gym. To exercise your brain, I’d suggest 'The Hard Problem'...While far from his best, this is a fascinating piece of theater from the cerebral Stoppard, one that requires rapt attention at every turn as we’re asked to process a litany of complex scientific concepts...It's enough to make your head swim, but mercifully Stoppard puts a human face on all this." Full Review

Newsday

"Smart, entertaining one-man show...In lesser hands, this would be little more than an extended stand-up routine, but Birbiglia is a fine storyteller with solid acting chops...Birbiglia tells the story as if for the first time...Along the way, he dispenses with the hilarity and sneaks in some valid concerns about bringing a child into a world of rising sea levels and environmental neglects, along with one infuriating (to me, anyway) comment about understanding why some men leave." Full Review

Newsday

"Demos-Brown's provocative and timely play is a contemporary drama — a tense, realistic, and extraordinarily personal examination of our nation's racial division...The play, directed by Kenny Leon, makes no attempt to hide its agenda...Demos-Brown, a Florida trial attorney, writes what he knows but breaks no new ground and offers no solutions. This probably wouldn't have made it to Broadway without the imprimatur of Washington." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Newsday

"A sweeping family epic, vast in scope and characters...The vivid family dynamics brought to life with care by a cast that has no weak links and by director Sam Mendes...There is loss and revenge and a relentless demand for justice that comes at a painful cost, which if you consider the history, is exactly on point. More relevant, perhaps, is that after watching this story unfold for more than three hours, I was surprisingly reluctant to let the Carney family go." Full Review

Newsday

“It's hard to imagine this kind of literary contretemps as engaging drama, but in the hands of director Leigh Silverman and her impeccable cast, it becomes a timely and entertaining...discourse on the nature of what is correct and what is ‘truth’...Radcliffe returns to the NY stage as the determined but out of his league Fingal, locking horns with D'Agata, playing the pompous author to the hilt from the start. The always pitch-perfect Jones is Emily." Full Review

Newsday

"Approached by Dylan to create a piece of theater using his music, McPherson has come up with a gripping play that defies categorization...With stunning new arrangements by Simon Hale, the music gives the play plenty to justify its hot-ticket status." Full Review

Newsday

“McTeer commands the stage from the start...Von Stuelpnagel allows the words to fly at such a torrential pace that it's often difficult to keep up...Rebeck is enamored with Bernhardt's history, which allows for fascinating glimpses of the hangers-on who inhabit her world...But it's the intimate, almost reverential look at this actress and all her eccentricities that allows us to forgive the flaws in the work and makes it so stimulating." Full Review

Newsday

“Donahue has assembled a dream cast of stage and screen stars and he basically lets them have at it as the action unfolds in a series of vignettes, props flying from the ceiling of Laffrey's versatile set...The play explores the relationships among these women in vivid, extremely sexual terms that may be off-putting to some in the audience. There is a lot — really a lot — of talk about intimate parts of the female anatomy.” Full Review