Benjamin Stone

New York City | 35-49 | Male
About:  New Yorker
Reviews (83)
20
Indulgent, Excruciating, Cliched

See it if you liked it on YouTube, I guess?

Don't see it if unless you know you're in the target audience, just don't see it.

80
Entertaining, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you like great acting and are interested in inventive stagecraft.

Don't see it if you've seen the movie. It doesn't really improve on it so much as recreate it.

100
Intelligent, Great writing, Great singing, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if your definition of a great musical is one where a specific story is clearly told with beautiful music. This is a master class.

Don't see it if you want musicals with splashy special effects or where things, like, happen.

85
Epic, Great writing, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like well-acted, ambitious plays. It's intense, epic, and impressive in every way.

Don't see it if you have trouble with long plays. This one might leave you squirming in your seat.

70
Funny, Disappointing

See it if you liked the movie, and if you set your expectations low.

Don't see it if you won't enjoy a musical where the book scenes are better than the songs. Overreliance on projections and belting was sad.

95
Absorbing, Masterful, Must see, Great acting, Epic

See it if you've never seen a production of this new classic of American theater. Masterful performances, and a thrilling production.

Don't see it if you have little patience for long plays. The time flies by, but 7.5 hours is still 7.5 hours.

95
Enchanting, Clever, Great singing, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy great singing, inventive staging, and feeling joy.

Don't see it if you hate all musicals under any circumstance, or you are a cold, heartless person.

75
During previews
Funny, Great singing, Nostalgic

See it if you liked the movie, you love 90s music, you're down for a dumb night. (Get standing room tix and sit at the bar. Perfect seats.)

Don't see it if you don't want to hear covers of 90s songs, you won't enjoy campy recreations of teen 90s sex comedies. This seems easy to self-select.

68
During previews
Slow, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in thoughtful considerations of the gun violence epidemic that seek empathy rather than answers.

Don't see it if multiple loud gunshot effects, live blanks, or intense depictions of gun violence would disturb you.

84
Ambitious, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Inconsistent, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy immersive theater, are interested in Kpop as a genre, or like to support productions with diverse casts. It makes important points

Don't see it if you will be too upset by a messy, inconsistent book to enjoy the spectacular performances.

85
During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Refreshing, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy smart science fiction, where the imaginative is just the hook for real, human stories. It's a gripping, moving story, well-acted.

Don't see it if you don't like robots, or don't like smart sci-fi in general.

90
Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you love either Bette Midler or Hello Dolly.

Don't see it if You dislike either Bette Midler or Hello Dolly.

65
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you enjoy intelligent theater and have never seen a production of this classic work. Jake Gyllenhaal is great, Annaleigh Ashford is better.

Don't see it if Unfortunately, while the music is some of the most beautiful ever written for the theater, the show still bores me completely.

40
During previews
Slow, Boring, Really boring, No, really, excruciatingly boring

See it if you like vaguely interesting sets and light bulbs. (OK, I suppose if you like quirky chamber pieces that attempt to tell epic stories.)

Don't see it if you need those quirky chamber pieces to have some sort of point. Otherwise, it's a just brutal slog of boring or unlikeable characters.

88
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if you want to see brilliant actors (Joe Mantello in particular) bringing their A games to a classic American play.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays with abstract scenic design, classic American drama broadly or plays with long stretches of dialogue and not much else

74
During previews
Relevant, Slow, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in politically relevant theater and don't mind slow pacing (and a very slow start).

Don't see it if a play that takes quite a while to get interesting might bore you, or if you're not interested in political theater.

88
Great staging, Romantic, Riveting, Relevant, Masterful

See it if you're looking for an alternative to the usual Broadway musicals. This is energetic, beautiful, and exciting story-telling.

Don't see it if You don't like actors being in close proximity to audience members, or you prefer traditional narratives.

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you love well-acted Shakespeare, thoughtfully directed, and creatively designed.

Don't see it if you have a hard time sitting in comfortable seats for a long time or Shakespeare just isn't your thing.

77
For a previous production
Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in plays about the complexities of race and class in America.

Don't see it if you want those plays to have something new or interesting to say. This is largely a rehash of themes dealt with better elsewhere.

88
During previews
Profound, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy beautiful acting, masterful directing, and profound ideas.

Don't see it if plays with long monologues or scenes where it seems like nothing much is happening bore you.

88
During previews
Edgy, Great writing, Hilarious, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy boundary-pushing humor, being pushed outside your comfort zone, and thought-provoking plays. A fresh and smart take on race.

Don't see it if you're easily offended, or if you're uncomfortable with edgy humor, nudity, and remembering what it was like to be in middle school.

68
During previews
Fluffy, Dated, Great dancing, Classic songs, Old-fashioned

See it if you are interested in a low-stakes evening of classic standards, well-sung by an enthusiastic cast of strong dancers.

Don't see it if you think you might be bored by an old-fashioned musical, staged in an old-fashioned way, by a startlingly un-diverse cast.

70
During previews
Great acting, Dated, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in a new take on a tough-to-revive Shakespeare play, you enjoy great acting, you enjoy outdoor theater.

Don't see it if you don't care for the appalling message of the original play, which isn't fixed here despite a noble attempt and great acting.

72
Absorbing, Cliched, Original, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy immersive theater, if you would have preferred Sleep No More with less violence and creepiness.

Don't see it if if audience interaction bugs you, or if you don't like being touched by strangers.

75
During previews
Great acting, Funny, Serviceable music, Tame, Ultimately disappointing

See it if you want to see an adult show (as in, for adults) with beautiful music and a great cast, especially the always exceptional Jessie Mueller.

Don't see it if you look for flashy choreography, or if you're looking for lyrical depth. While the music is good, it's only rarely actually theatrical.

66
Slow, Overrated, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if you want to hear a take on Let It Go that's better than Idina Menzel's.

Don't see it if you can stay home and watch the movie instead. This is at least an hour too long, and nothing added is an improvement.

95
Refreshing, Entertaining, Masterful, Hilarious, Great acting

See it if you want to see the most genuinely funny new musical in years, brilliantly performed by actors at the top of their game.

Don't see it if you're expecting a cliche story of a teen romance. It's not that, it's the story of aging Broadway narcissists, which is better.

90
Entertaining, Riveting, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're open to a new take on a classic play, and you love great acting. Or if you're just a Sorkin completist.

Don't see it if you'll bristle at liberties taking with a classic book. It's not a faithful adaptation.

80
Cheap, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy classic musicals, beautifully sung and entertainingly choreographed. Kelli O'Hara is, as always, worth the trip by herself.

Don't see it if you've had enough of Kiss Me, Kate, a show with fatal flaws. As usual, Roundabout skimps on sets and orchestra.

80
Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy classic musicals, are interested in great acting, and want to see beautifully realized sets!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy classic musicals, although this is as good a production of a great classic as you'll find.

79
Great acting, Great singing, Riveting

See it if you want to see one of the best actors in the world sink his teeth into a showy role, while hearing beautiful music well-sung.

Don't see it if you don't like Handel arias, or if you prefer plays that can stand on their own. In this case, the performers elevate the material a lot.

80
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if you're interested in fresh takes on classics, performed by an exceptionally talented cast, and you're forgiving of messing with the text.

Don't see it if you're not interested in the "grown-up" subtext of Peter Pan being made explicit, or if you don't like messing with classic plays.

68
During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you enjoy the performers--they are all working hard for laughs, and if you like them you'll enjoy their performances.

Don't see it if you are looking for anything resembling a play. It is more like an extended SNL sketch.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you are interested in modern interpretations of classics, diverse representation in writing and acting, and up for an emotional challenge.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with extended male and female nudity, or find the Oedipus story so off-putting that you wouldn't be able to enjoy it.

75
During previews
Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you never saw the original production of this classic play, or you're interested in seeing how relevant this well-acted story still is.

Don't see it if Julie Taymor goes all-in, as usual, with her design concepts. In this case an over-active scenic design slightly grates during the first act

65
During previews
Disappointing, Long, Slight

See it if you enjoy the actors, or stories with topical/timely relevance.

Don't see it if you're not patient. It's far too long, and it thinks it's much more profound than it is. Nothing new to say about the financial industry.

75
Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you like simple stories, sweetly told. Great performances and smart design make it an interesting watch.

Don't see it if ultimately, it doesn't hold together well as drama. The narrative threads don't really hold together in the end, sadly.

95
Great staging, Intense, Riveting, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy new twists on classic musicals and don't mind the sacrifices that have to be made to serve this wonderful concept (i.e. the band).

Don't see it if you don't enjoy being in close proximity to actors, especially in an intense musical like this one.

60
During previews
Great singing, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you like David Byrne's music, or Jo Lampert as a performer (who does heroic work here).

Don't see it if bad lyrics bum you out. The lyrics and a muddy book get in the way of what could have been an exciting show.

80
During previews
Delightful, Great singing, Resonant, Superficial

See it if you are looking for uplifting, heart-warming musical theater with great music and engaging performances.

Don't see it if you have a hard time enjoying musicals with limited character development. It relies too much on your own memory of 9/11 for its impact.

47
Great singing, Cliched, Banal

See it if you love (like, love) a cappella music.

Don't see it if you don't like a cappella enough to sit through 90 minutes of it, with little variation in style, in service of a weak story.

70
Funny, Entertaining, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy thoughtful and amusing discussions of writing, and catty jokes from old ladies.

Don't see it if you'll be bored by extended prose monologues, or if you like things to happen in your plays.

55
Great acting, Boring, Dated

See it if you like thinking about post-war Britain, I guess?

Don't see it if you want to avoid a production that doesn't make a compelling case for the quality of the play itself.

70
Great singing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if you enjoy any of the actors involved, all of whom give great performances.

Don't see it if you're relatively unfamiliar with the social history represented by the play, an understanding of which is largely assumed, not contexted.

70
During previews
Funny, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you can enjoy watching top-notch actors do their thing; you're interested in a mega-watt star powered production.

Don't see it if you can be bored by long plays. Big names alone don't let the show ascend to the heights that it should.

65
During previews
Overrated, Original, Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you're interested in non-traditional theatrical experiences and multimedia work.

Don't see it if a $150 episode of RadioLab with less narrative cohesion sounds like a waste of time.

70
Original, Thought-provoking, Clever, Relevant

See it if you're interested in the relationship we have to technology in the modern world.

Don't see it if you're already well-versed in how our interactions with technology create a record of us--nothing new or revelatory here, despite a fun ride

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you are looking for intelligent, gripping theater with great acting.

Don't see it if formal language and deliberate pacing is something you find boring.

75
Great acting, Original, Funny, Surprising, Satirical

See it if you're looking for something completely unlike traditional musicals, enjoy heavy satire, and aren't afraid of fake blood.

Don't see it if you dislike shows with unsympathetic characters, want to avoid graphic violence, or are uncomfortable with very loud music (as in clubs).

78
For a previous production
Great acting, Original, Banal, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy well-sung contemporary musical theater scores and emotionally complex stories.

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by one very specific problem of tone--a blurring of the line between pathos and satire that creates problematic distance.