Betsy 2

New York City | 65+ | Female
About:  I have been a regular theater-goer for over 50 years, ever since I saw the original Broadway production of Oliver! I see about 35-40 shows a year, mostly off-Broadway, plus a few on Broadway and (most years) a few in London. ... Read more Read less
Reviews (121)
90
Riveting, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy plays with such interesting characters, you’ll spend the subway ride home wondering what happened to them after the curtain fell.

Don't see it if It’s a bit too long, but I enjoyed spending time with these characters so much, it hardly mattered.

Also The costumes are gorgeous (except when they’re intentionally not suppo... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Intelligent, Delightful, Great acting

See it if you want to learn (in an entertaining, not homework-y way) about an influential but often overlooked figure in Irish literary history.

Don't see it if you would rather see a full-length play than a mix of autobiographical narration and two short plays.

85
Greater Clements
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if / for great performances by Ivey and Donovan in a play that explores serious issues without ever being boring, despite its 3-hour length.

Don't see it if you’re looking for something lighthearted, or if you would be bothered by pillars that occasionally block the actors’ faces.

75
Dated, Funny

See it if / for a great performance by McPhillamy, great costumes, and lines like, “A man may be a coxcomb without being a poltroon.”

Don't see it if if you don’t like convoluted, farcical plots that revolve around mistaken identities and overheard conversations.

80
Slow, Resonant

See it if you enjoy plays in which plot is less important than emotions revealed through the slow accretion of seemingly small details.

Don't see it if you expect certain hints dropped throughout the play to lead to an explosive payoff (spoiler: they don’t).

60
Performances lack gravitas, Great writing

See it if you want to see a lean, pared-down, fast-moving production of Macbeth.

Don't see it if you expect a Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who are true tragic figures. Here, they came across more as crass schemers whose plan goes wrong.

Also More than 40 years ago, I saw Maggie Smith play Lady Macbeth, and I’m ... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if for a masterful performance by Kathleen Chalfant in an intimate setting, on a spare but evocative set.

Don't see it if you’re so fed up with real-life narcissistic characters, you don’t even want to spend any time with one onstage.

80
Confusing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if / for great performances by Pryce and Atkins, and a beautiful set. (I want to live in that house.)

Don't see it if ... you need to understand what’s going on at every moment. It all becomes clear by the end (I think), but the road there takes some twists.

68
During previews
Dublin Carol
Chelsea
Good acting, lackluster script

See it if /for the usual fine acting to be expected at the Irish Rep, including a masterful calibration of different degrees of drunkenness.

Don't see it if you want to see something original. This play treads well-trodden ground, without providing a compelling reason to go over it again.

80
Make Believe
Midtown W
Refreshing, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if you like David Sedaris’s writing, especially the way he can see the humor in even the most appalling family circumstances.

Don't see it if you don’t like child actors. To be fair, these child actors are very good, though sometimes inaudible from Row J.

80
Intelligent, Funny, Clever

See it if you enjoy Stoppard both when he is being silly (first act) and when he is making more serious political points (second act).

Don't see it if you would be annoyed by hearing actors speak a nonsense language, or you don’t have at least some familiarity with Hamlet and Macbeth.

85
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if /for a great performance by Moloney. Familiarity with the book would definitely enhance the experience but isn’t absolutely necessary.

Don't see it if if you don’t like one-person shows, have no interest in James Joyce, or are a prude.

95
Absorbing, Delightful

See it if you want to spend an evening with two (or four) charming people. You’ll come away wishing you had known them, and feel almost as if you did.

Don't see it if you want to see a fully staged play, not a reading with slide projections, or you want something longer than 75 minutes.

90
Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if ... you’re interested in what happens to ordinary people in the wings of history while a big historical event is being played out onstage.

Don't see it if ... you have a romantic view of Irish history in general and the Easter Rising in particular, and don’t want to be disabused of that view.

80
Great dancing, Great singing

See it if / for Kelli O’Hara’s glorious voice (and comedic chops she doesn’t always get a chance to show), and some terrific dancing.

Don't see it if you want to understand the song lyrics. O’Hara’s diction is crystal clear, but the same can’t be said for many of the other singers.

85
Questionable directorial choices, Great writing, Great acting

See it if /for a great play, with a great performance by Jackson and good ones by Thompson and Wilson.

Don't see it if you object to nontraditional choices in a Shakespeare play (gunshots, explicit sex, a string quartet). None of them added anything of value.

90
Great design, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you want to see three extraordinary performances, and brilliant set and lighting design.

Don't see it if you want to be emotionally moved by a play. I was informed and occasionally amused, but seldom felt emotionally engaged.

Also Kudos to the pianist, whose enormous contribution to the performance h... Read more Read less

55
During previews
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
Funny, Disappointing, Incoherent

See it if a few funny lines and a good performance by John Larroquette are enough for you.

Don't see it if you expect a coherent plot (absurdism is one thing, incoherence is another) or any kind of resolution. This play doesn't end, it just stops.

75
On Blueberry Hill
Midtown E
Great acting, Implausible story

See it if you can allow great acting to sweep you along to the point where you can overlook wild implausibility in the story.

Don't see it if you can't. I know that forgiveness and redemption can come in many forms, but the cynic in me couldn't buy that they would take this form.

70
Great singing, Script doesn't do justice to the performances

See it if you want to see a very good performance by Jeremy Pope, and hear excellent a cappella singing.

Don't see it if you would prefer a more tightly focused script. Though less than 2 hours long, this felt padded in some scenes.

80
Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you want to hear great a cappella male singing, stitched together with bits of narrative (seemingly from soldiers' letters) about WWI.

Don't see it if you object to 70-minute intermission-less plays, or you want to see a full-fledged play with a plot and characters.

Also My Show-Score seat was in Row K, which is the first row of the mezzani... Read more Read less

75
Two By Friel
Chelsea
Welcome opportunity to see lesser-known friel, awkward staging

See it if you love Friel, and welcome a chance to see plays of his that aren't often (or ever before) done in New York.

Don't see it if you think "Lady with a Lapdog" was perfect as a short story, and (despite good acting) doesn't work as well when adapted to the stage.

Also For much of the first one-act play, the actors sit on the stage floor.... Read more Read less

90
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Great acting, Great writing, Riveting

See it if you want to see terrific acting by every member of a large ensemble (right down to the baby) in a riveting play that makes 3 hours fly by.

Don't see it if onstage violence upsets you, or you don't have at least a little background knowledge of Irish history.

68
The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy

See it if you're looking for an evening of silly, mindless entertainment to distract you from the woes of the world.

Don't see it if you want to see a play that makes you think, or that you won't have completely forgotten by the time you're on the subway on the way home.

68
Days to Come
Midtown W
Political issues are more interesting than the characters

See it if you're curious about an early Hellman play; you support the Mint and would enjoy seeing their usual great set and costumes.

Don't see it if you would be bothered by the way the uninteresting personal story keeps getting in the way of the more interesting political story.

80
During previews
Unknown Soldier
Midtown W
Romantic, Delightful

See it if you’re in the mood to spend 90 minutes on a charming trifle with good performances and agreeable, if unmemorable, music.

Don't see it if you’re so pedantic (like me), you would be bothered by implausibilities in the story line, like the ages between generations not adding up.

75
Disappointing material, Great acting

See it if / for a great performance by Laura Linney, seamlessly switching back and forth between mother and daughter.

Don't see it if you read the book and (like me) didn’t like it. I love all of Strout’s other books, but this one doesn’t work for me, in print or onstage.

65
During previews
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Cliched, Banal, Funny

See it if you want to see a couple of old pros (and some young pros) giving their all in the service of a perfectly pleasant but unremarkable play.

Don't see it if you saw Bess Wohl’s “Make Believe” and are expecting something equally imaginative from her this time around.

Also Why has Second Stage changed the signage at the Helen Hayes Theater to... Read more Read less

68
Flawed, Intelligent

See it if you have modest expectations for the play (it isn’t terrible, just not very good) and want to see everything Tony Kushner ever wrote.

Don't see it if you don’t have the patience to spend three hours in the theater, or are expecting something as good as Angels in America.

80
Great writing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you would enjoy seeing A Christmas Carol staged as a play with music (not a musical), with many striking scenic effects.

Don't see it if you expect a meaner Scrooge before his transformation, you think the ghosts should only be played by men, or you don’t want to be snowed on.

80
Great acting, Great writing

See it if /for a relatively straightforward production of Richard III, with good performances by Monaghan and several supporting players.

Don't see it if you can’t sit through a 3-hour play, have no knowledge of English history, or prefer your Shakespeare glitzed-up and modernized.

75
During previews
The Inheritance
Midtown W
Like the curate’s egg (good in parts)

See it if / for a few good performances, especially by Paul Hilton and Lois Smith (although she doesn’t show up until late in Part 2).

Don't see it if ... you don’t want to invest 7 hours in a play that has a few touching moments buried inside a lot of self-indulgently overwritten scenes.

75
During previews
Molly Sweeney
Midtown W
Slow, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if /for the kind of subtle writing that reveals by indirection (e.g., “Nobody could have been kinder than Frank”).

Don't see it if you don’t like plays that are structured as a series of monologues, with no dialogue between the actors.

75
Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if /for a tour de force performance in a provocative play about race, Shakespeare, and growing old without realizing your dreams.

Don't see it if The snippets of Othello that Keith Hamilton Cobb performs are so good, they may make you wish you were seeing him in that play instead.

90
Little Gem
Chelsea
Poignant, Funny, Great acting

See it if You want to spend an hour and 40 minutes in the company of three women you will come to care about very much by the end of the evening.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays in monologue form — but see “Also”.

Also While it may technically be accurate to describe this play as a series... Read more Read less

75
During previews
For the shakespeare completist, Great acting

See it if you’d like a rare chance to see one of Shakespeare’s less-often produced plays, and for a great performance by Kate Burton.

Don't see it if the sight of stage blood makes you squeamish, or you don’t want to sit outdoors in the heat for three hours.

70
During previews
Uneven acting, Dated

See it if you want to check “see a play by Micheál mac Liammóir” off your bucket list, and for a very good performance by Meaney.

Don't see it if you’re not up for a grim play with little comic relief. The lead actor doesn’t open his mouth when he speaks, making him hard to understand.

80
During previews
Little Women
West Village
Not your grandmother’s little women; whether you consider that good or bad may depend on who your grandmother was

See it if you love the book, but don’t object to “reexamining cultural touchstones from new angles” (per program note). Lloyd and Mann both very good.

Don't see it if you don’t want to see a 21st-century sensibility imposed on a 19th-century classic, or if your favorite character is Fritz Baer.

75
Ink
Midtown W
Frenetic, Intelligent

See it if you’re interested in the story behind Rupert Murdoch’s first venture into tabloid journalism. Good performances by Carvel and Miller.

Don't see it if you don’t want to see a production that is the theatrical equivalent of a tabloid (in-your-face loud, flashy, and attention-grabbing).

70
During previews
Fluffy, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you enjoy seeing good-humored fun poked at cultural stereotypes (both British and American).

Don't see it if you think 2 hrs 10 min is too long for what is basically an extended comedy sketch, or you don’t want to be called on to do a Morris dance.

80
A bit of a letdown after juno and the paycock, but still worthwhile

See it if you’re an O’Casey completist, and want to see an accomplished production of one of his seldom-seen plays.

Don't see it if you’re expecting a play with the depth and complexity of Juno and the Paycock. The personal relationships in this are much less interesting.

95
Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, Great writing, Great acting

See it if / to see a great ensemble cast bring a family, in all their humanity, so vividly to life, you’ll feel like you have known them forever.

Don't see it if you can’t stand to see characters you have come to care about get smacked around by life. Juno’s final speech will break your heart.

Also As Joxer would say, this is a darlin’ show, a darlin’ show. If the oth... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Intelligent, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy watching a character grapple with a moral dilemma, even if the morals of the times are different from ours (or maybe not so much).

Don't see it if you have no patience for a world in which nobody owned a smartphone.

80
Great costumes, good cheesy fun, did i mention great costumes?

See it if you loved Bob Mackie's costumes for the Carol Burnett Show, and want to see more (much more) of the same. And Stephanie J. Block is amazing.

Don't see it if listening to pop music for 2-1/2 hours doesn't appeal to you (i.e., if you share the musical taste of Frasier and Niles Crane).

Also Full disclosure: I was given a free ticket to this show, so my score i... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent

See it if you're interested in theater, architecture, and/or NYC history. You'll learn a lot about all of those subjects on this fascinating tour.

Don't see it if you're not interested in any of the above subjects -- but if you're not, what are you doing on Show-Score?

80
The Hard Problem
Upper W Side
Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a play that makes you think, especially when it includes enough wit and playfulness to make the thinking (relatively) painless.

Don't see it if you have never wondered about the nature of consciousness, and don't want to start now.

68
Great singing, Not-so-great story

See it if you're a Dylan fan, and would enjoy hearing his songs beautifully sung in arrangements you haven't heard before.

Don't see it if you want the story onto which the songs are grafted to be as compelling as the songs (it isn't).

75
Mother of the Maid
East Village
Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a great performance by Close in a play that has more to do with the mother/daughter dynamic than the story of Joan of Arc.

Don't see it if you would be bothered by anachronistic language, or you want to see a play with elaborate sets.

90
On Beckett
Chelsea
Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Haunting

See it if you have an interest in Beckett, or acting (this is an actor's take on Beckett), or clowning, or language, or the human condition.

Don't see it if hearing the word "existentialism" puts you to sleep.

70
During previews
Great acting, Too long, for the tennessee williams completist

See it if /for another great performance by Nielsen. She can make you laugh and then turn around and make you cry.

Don't see it if you'd get tired waiting almost two hours for the big (obvious) revelation to finally be revealed to the one character who doesn't know it.