Brandon J 6251

New York City | 65+ | Male
About:  Owner of that new type of Nespresso machine with the recyclable capsules. Rather pleased with it. Helps me get through one-man shows. Critic and lecturer at The City College of New York. Has written for indieWire.com, The Village Voice, Huffington Post, Medium.com, CultureCatch.com, Detour, and The... Read more Read less
Reviews (69)
88
Company (Broadway)
Midtown W
Has become a period piece, Not as moving as original, Some highly clever directorial flourishes, A classic score in all its grandeur, Where's elaine stritch when you need her?
June 28th, 2022

See it if Katrina Lenk's take on Bobbie lacks nuance. Go to YouTube , & you'll find dozens of performances of this score that are far superior.

Don't see it if There's no reason not to experience this brilliant score. Sondheim's dissection of marriage and love and friendship has never been surpassed

82
Don't drink any liquids before performance, Sometimes trying too hard to be clever, Not boring, Fun use of video, Why bob dylan tunes?
June 23rd, 2022

See it if u want a new way to experience Hamlet, but you'll have more fun at Fat Ham @ the Public. But at times the originality clicks. Worth seeing.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist, but you'll be missing out on numerous revelations that this production brings out.

90
During previews
Fat Ham
East Village
Intense, Spirited cast, Lgbtqi approved, Beyond timely, Raucously fun finale
May 20th, 2022

See it if you want a rollicking evening of Shakespeare, karaoke, angry ghosts, several coming outs, plus inspired direction, costuming, & choreography

Don't see it if u abhor very clever, moving updatings of Will's work. It took me a bit to reach the unabated enthusiasm of aud. members, but reach it I did

88
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intense, Ambitious
May 19th, 2022

See it if you appreciate original, thought-provoking theatre with dedicated actors giving their all. Timely.

Don't see it if you don't want to be exposed to the genius of one America's more important playwrights. Beautifully directed with a superbly realized finale

78
Uninspiring beyond minimal set, Johanna day outshines leads, My students blown away, Lackluster direction, Powerful finale
May 12th, 2022

See it if important look at pedophilia, especially noting when the play originally opened. Morse seems a bit tired. Day, in multiple roles, is superb.

Don't see it if you want to avoid a feminist take on Lolita. The staging here often seems so elementary, you could believe a theatre major helmed it.

84
Resonant, Dylan tunes as you’ve never heard them, Pertinent to our impoverished times, Superb mare winningham, Powerful finale
May 9th, 2022

See it if Cast members (e,g. Luba Mason and Jeanette Bayardell) give their all. Fine dancing, singing, acting, staging, and costuming. Would see again

Don't see it if you’re a dunderhead (e.g. my upstate relatives). Makes u want to run home and listen to Dylan’s greatest hits (“I Want U”) and those unknown

80
Some very fine acting, Old-school dramatics, Several laughs, Rated: three kidneys, Very lazy-susany
May 9th, 2022

See it if u crave a quick, intermission-less, sort of William-Inge-y family drama with some solid thesping and possibly a few too many plot twists.

Don't see it if u detest endings that should be finessed a little. But, with a little script doctoring, this show might have some legs or other body parts.

81
Needs a little script doctoring, Important history lesson, Perfect for teens 14 and up, Mostly terrific dancing and dancers, Underrated
April 24th, 2022

See it if Not everything can be Sweeney Todd. A quick moving, totally satisfying evening of theatre with some flaws, not unlike those of your mate.

Don't see it if cardboard villains & songs that won't have u singing their refrains on way to men's room bother you. Night ends with a bang, not a whimper.

35
The Patsy
Lower E Side
Great wallpaper, A cure for chronic insomnia, An exercise in narcissism, Oedipus rex is funnier, Tedious
April 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to hear thunder of audience non-laughter. Charles Ludlam or Charles Bush could have made this piece work. Greenspan is colorless.

Don't see it if u WANT to view comic genius. There's none here. Any gay teenage boy in Idaho who milks cows could give a more creative, nuanced performance.

Also If this were a podcast, you'd shut it off. If it were a potato, you'd ... Read more Read less

72
During previews
To My Girls
Midtown W
Needs naked baseball players from take me out, Gives "self-pity" a bad name, Energetic performances, Four endings too many, Makes boys in the band look like shakespeare
March 28th, 2022

See it if you like characters analyzing other characters' motives in 20 minute speeches that smack of Psychoanalysis 101. Nice blow-up swan.

Don't see it if u dislike haphazard humor. If you're an old homosexual, this play will make u glad you're not a young one. Made me throw away my moisturizer

82
Memorable act i closing, Heart in right place, Nudity always helps baseball shows, Ingratiating cast, Could benefit from musical numbers
March 22nd, 2022

See it if you've ever swung a bat. Lola from "Damn Yankees!" would have a blast in this locker room. The cleanest cast on Broadway. Some fine laughs.

Don't see it if u mind having your phone locked up for 2 hours or if you are not interested in the exploration of homophobia that a rich baseball star faces

79
During previews
At The Wedding
Upper W Side
Director does her best, A bit unwieldy, A little too hetero-flexible, Fine acting, My students loved it
March 18th, 2022

See it if u want 2 spend time with an alcoholic, shattered lesbian who keeps running into women with a yen for guys. The supporting cast is a delight.

Don't see it if you mind praying that the lead would get off the stage once in a while. She’s the least interesting of the characters. She never departs.

Also The supporting cast, especially Jorge Donoso and Carolyn McCormick, ar... Read more Read less

84
Clyde's (Broadway)
Midtown W
Redemptive power of cooking explored, Skin-tight colorful costuming for lead, Thankfully no intermission, Energetic performances, Solid ending
January 6th, 2022

See it if you like affable, comic portrayals of ex-cons making sandwiches while contemplating their pasts, presents, and futures. Endearing.

Don't see it if Can't really think of a reason not to see Clyde's.

79
During previews
Fine set, Raises important issues, Nicely acted, No real surprises, Very clifford odets
December 29th, 2021

See it if A play about job loss in a Detroit factory and someone stealing a pregnant woman's salad dressing. Phylicia Rashad is wonderful to watch.

Don't see it if you dislike Studs Terkel's take on life; at times indecipherable dialogue; & a story about a woman who has lived her life as best she could.

83
Solid songster-ism, A fun trip back to the past, Engaging swimtrunks scene, Intellectually stimulating, Superb tap-dancing
December 25th, 2021

See it if Highly underrated. Makes you want to read up on all four characters. Terrific child star. Droll. Check out wise Wall Street Journal review.

Don't see it if you need loads of plot and abhor thinking. This is more musical therapy with the aid of Acid. Freud and Jung would have had a blast.

84
Great finale, Perfect for chanukah, Clever wordplay, Anti-semitic stereotypes, Powerful
December 1st, 2021

See it if you've read terrific libretto beforehand. I did. I was forewarned. Had trouble hearing many words. Cast is splendid, even the understudies.

Don't see it if you'd get upset over watching a bigoted, self-centered Jewish woman complaining nonstop about her son leaving coins in his pockets.

88
During previews
The Alchemist
Midtown W
Lively direction, Clever updating, Unbridled silliness
November 19th, 2021

See it if to view Ben Jonson's classic through a modern jokester's eyes. The cast gives it their all, especially Nathan Christopher & Allen Tedder.

Don't see it if you want to miss a lively, endlessly fun farce with a highly serviceable set with frantic door-play plus innumerable costume changes.

83
During previews
Some solid acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining, Of historical significance
November 7th, 2021

See it if to see the bravery of Alice Childress in the '50s. Exposes the racism of supposed liberals on Broadway & the plight of Black actors.

Don't see it if you want to miss out on Lachanze's highly moving performance. The whole cast, even in early previews, formed a solid whole.

90
Can't wait to bring friends, Lively choreography, An lgbtqi must-see, Bristling with talent, Inspiring
November 4th, 2021

See it if you love musicals that try to make a difference, yet don't forget to entertain. If I were a Dad, I'd take my kids to "Trevor" once a month.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a star-making turn by Holden William Hagelberger, plus. a delicious take on Diana Ross by Aeriel Williams.

82
Dana H. (Broadway)
Midtown W
Resonant, Oft highly involving, Masterful acting & lip-synching, Not for children, Interesting concept
October 24th, 2021

See it if u want to experience the recollections of a woman battered by life, her parents, & a member of the Aryan Nation, yet survives and fights on.

Don't see it if you dislike being challenged and you need much visual stimulation to feel you've actually paid for a Broadway show. I was sated.

87
During previews
Morning's at Seven
Midtown W
Intelligent, Funny, Refreshing, Heartwarming, Beautifully acted
October 22nd, 2021

See it if you want to view a bunch of seasoned pros having a blast on stage. Judith Ivey, Patty McCormack, Dan Lauria, et al. give their all.

Don't see it if you don't want to experience a night of comic romance, a trip back to the '30s, and Jonathan Spivey's award worthy turn as a momma's boy.

88
During previews
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Solid comedic acting, Never-less-than entertaining, Blissful, Laugh-out-loud moments, Relevant
January 5th, 2020

See it if your life is falling apart & you want to forget you are living in a dystopia. Jane Alexander is superb. Michael Urie deliciously overplays.

Don't see it if smiling for 2 hours will rid you of your beloved bitter disposition. Imagine Neil Simon adapted Chekhov. Oh, he did, didn't he? Sublime cast

60
Bland, Disappointing, Humdrum direction, Mediocre musical arrangements, Topical
December 29th, 2019

See it if if you want issues of rape, 16-year-old bisexuality, and Oxycontin abuse shoehorned into a drab musical where half the songs sound the same.

Don't see it if you want to miss very fine performances by Lauren Patten, Antonio Cipriano, Sean Allan Krill & Derek Klena. The rest are mostly cardboardy.

Also When you keep hoping the lead character would have her overdose in Act... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Some people cried, Supratitled, Visually engaging, Thought-provoking, Lgbt content
November 16th, 2019

See it if you enjoy actors enacting the aftermath of a sexual violation in front of huge video screens, eventually getting to what actually occurred.

Don't see it if Moments of ridiculous dancing. Why not add clowns and hula hoops? If you are short, sit in front row. I'm 6' and middle of stage was blocked

Also Enjoyed show the more I thought about it afterwards. Yes, as the hours... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Neil simon with porn scenes, A paean to aging male jerks, Oft cringe-worthy, Oft funny, Pseudo-feminism
October 7th, 2019

See it if This is why we need more female playwrights. Letts' male gaze would have been timely in the 1950s. Still you will laugh at times. Then vomit

Don't see it if u don't want 2 wallow in aging hetero-male self-pity. Numerous inept scenes. Many offensive lines in the Trumpian mode. Yes, the P-word, too

84
Queen of Hearts
Brooklyn
Ambitious, Visually resplendent, Next-to-no-body-fat, Glittered to death, Entertaining
October 4th, 2019

See it if u can love a show where every OTHER scene is FAB. The cast is fun, the hoop woman dynamic, the costumes will make you burn your denims.

Don't see it if u hate having 2 much of a good thing. About a 1/4 of the show could be cut with no loss. But viva La Ambiance. Viva la coed bathroom lines.

92
During previews
The Inheritance
Midtown W
Gay-licious, Intense, Insightful, Funny, Much more than just an entertainment
October 4th, 2019

See it if you want to digest in a few hours what the LGBT community has gone through in the past few decades. A superb memorial to those who are gone.

Don't see it if There is NO reason not to see this brilliant play that showcases some of the best of what true theatre can offer. Solid writing & direction.

79
Miscast physically, Fine acting, Dated, Unintentionally anti-feminist, Well-acted
July 5th, 2019

See it if you want to view a heroine settle for a lunatic male. You would not want to be in the same city with Johnny, let alone the same bed.

Don't see it if you don't want to view a play that makes Taming of the Shrew look like a Betty Friedan diatribe. Entertaining nonetheless in a weird way.

79
Lowbrow silliness, 3 good songs, Passably enjoyable, Ecstasy for the young, Loud
June 30th, 2019

See it if only for the three leads. Some solid singing. "Michael in the Bathroom" is an instant classic. Show's solo goal is to make you laugh.

Don't see it if you abhor an anti-Sondheim sensibility. Saw it sadly with 3 understudies. Go when everyone is healthy. All in all, fun, goofy entertainment.

79
Dying City
Midtown W
Intense, Who doesn't like twins?, Edgier direction needed, Well acted, Resonant
June 23rd, 2019

See it if u want to see a solid cast in a Pulitzer-Prize-nominated show about love, loss of love, ego, a dash of war, thespian self-centeredness, etc.

Don't see it if awkward scene transitions bother you. My students adored this play, insisting on waiting for the gracious stars afterwards. That says a lot.

75
During previews
The Rolling Stone
Upper W Side
Intense, Intelligent, Unimaginative direction, Fine acting, Important lgbt history
June 22nd, 2019

See it if you want to experience homophobia Uganda-style, a touching romance, and collect an attractive Playbill. Ato Blankson-Wood is a solid lead.

Don't see it if you don't want to be witness to a play that needs a little more fine-tuning; a bland, no-frills set; and slightly lackluster direction.

91
Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Must see, Refreshing, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing
June 12th, 2019

See it if you have read Uncle Vanya or if you haven't. Not since Christopher Durang has a playwright so joyously revamped a classic. Phenomenal acting

Don't see it if you don't want to experience grand, original theatre. So clever, so touching, so witty. I came with no expectations. I left a better human.

69
Schnooze-pearen, Miscast, Uneven acting, Dreary direction, Disappointing
June 4th, 2019

See it if u like screeching actors, dreary helming, a bland set, comatose thespians, & a Lear without reason 4 being. Saw better CCNY take last month.

Don't see it if you want a heartfelt, original Lear: this isn't it. Although if you love Glenda Jackson, and I do, it's nice to be in her presence.

78
Gaseous humor, Clever, Indulgent, Unforgettable set, Ambitious
June 4th, 2019

See it if u like amazing concepts, farting corpses, & terrific comic actors hamming it up nonstop until u want to yell "Stop!" Hang around for finale.

Don't see it if u don't want to support the highly imaginative workings of a great mind. Tiresome at moments. Hilarious at others. & who doesn't love Nathan

73
safeword.
Midtown W
Spatula spankings, Fine acting, S&m for foodies, Provocative, Gender-fluid
June 4th, 2019

See it if Play addresses the possibilities of rather modern marriages, couplings, and friendships. Never boring. S&M food scene memorable.

Don't see it if u don't want 2 know that some chefs like to be paddled after frying your "oeufs benedicts." Could use a bit more wit, but then what doesn't?

91
Eye-opening finale, Must see, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Brilliant acting
May 17th, 2019

See it if A superb Stella (Isabel Ellison), a Brando-esque Stanley (Max Carpenter) and a revamped gender-fluid Blanche are riveting from the onset.

Don't see it if u don't want to bask in the radiance of Kevin Hourigan's groundbreaking direction. My students alerted me to show. Were they ever right!

91
During previews
Proof of Love
West Village
Witty, Intensely moving, Bravura performance, Relevant, Absorbing
May 12th, 2019

See it if you're up for a star-making performance by Brenda Pressley. A look at a Black woman who doesn't fit into media stereotypes & suffers for it.

Don't see it if you fear clever repartee, solid acting, & a totally joyous show you'll be talking about for days. Pressley deserves her standing ovation.

84
Not-great score, Not-bad score, Well-paced direction, Delightful, Bravura cast
April 3rd, 2019

See it if u want a solid show w/Fontana pulling off a challenging derring-do, Behlmann & stomach being first-rate hilarious, and everyone else grand.

Don't see it if u want songs that u'll be singing 4 decades. And is a straight man in drag outrageous in this RuPaul nation? Uncle Miltie got away with it.

69
A litte limp, Entertaining, Indulgent, A bit tired, More ha than haha!
February 24th, 2019

See it if you haven't seen it before. Timing is now a bit off; it's a bit bedraggled, but for first timers great fun. Theatre shenanigans galore.

Don't see it if New theatre provides intimacy with diminished returns. Most actors seem to be just going through the motions. Needs to restore crispness.

99
During previews
Daddy
Midtown W
Brilliant in every manner, Must see, An instant classic, Thought-provoking, Mesmerizing
February 17th, 2019

See it if u want to bathe in the work of America's next great playwright. Phenomenal, inventive direction. 1 of the best first acts of the past decade

Don't see it if you are afraid of bristling theatre that dissects the art world, power relationships, moms, cursive writing, racism, queerdom, & materialism

77
During previews
Mies Julie
East Village
Visually absorbing, Great acting, Often incomprehensible, Solid direction, Profound
January 21st, 2019

See it if you enjoy accent hell, a clever rewriting of a classic, solid thespians, and sexy copulation between the empowered & their servants.

Don't see it if you don't want to look at audience members' faces when your mind wanders because you can't comprehend what anyone is saying on stage.

69
Real
Midtown W
Ambitious, Confusing, Solid enunciation
January 6th, 2019

See it if you want a script that would be better off on screen than on a stage. The cast does it best with a half-baked play about a half-baked fugue.

Don't see it if you're a pal of director Ortman and u want to still like him. His helming is ponderous, the play lacks wit, & seesaws between time queasily.

77
During previews
The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Light comedy, Entertaining, Several laugh-out moments, Some exciting snooker shots, Needs stronger finale
September 23rd, 2018

See it if you enjoy snooker, feisty transsexual gangsters, grifters, and pleasant but not great evenings in the theater. Totally affable.

Don't see it if you can only get full-price tickets. I consistently had a smile on my face. Did not feel my evening was wasted. Better than you might think.

94
Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Smile inducing, Valentine to the theatre
September 22nd, 2018

See it if you love wit, grand music, wise lyrics, a phenomenal cast, a tale for kids of all ages, plus Wassersteinian and Durangian verbal magic.

Don't see it if you are a stick in the mud with an inability to let a grand musical help you forget your sorrows and allow u to fly away to a land of glee.

70
During previews
Disappointing, Fine acting, Tedious, Third-rate williams, Slow
September 22nd, 2018

See it if you adore Kristine Nielsen, God's gift to comedy, although her talents seem at sea here due to text & wobbly direction. O'Toole a plus, too.

Don't see it if u abhor talkathons w/o tension & Lichty's occasional muttered speeches. Poorly conceived set. Hinders movement. Lacks colors text detailed.

Also The finale, which should be heartbreaking, is more of a celebration be... Read more Read less

93
Trainspotting Live
Midtown W
Brilliant ensemble, Edgy, Riveting, Great staging, Must see
July 28th, 2018

See it if you're a fan of the film & the writing of Irvine Welsh. Andrew Barrett is a one-man phenomenon. The play can be considered shocking at times

Don't see it if you need to comprehend every word. The Scottish accents are heavy, but the rhythms of the writing will carry you through. Nudity & wit.

65
Log Cabin
Midtown W
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Forgettable, Lacking clarity, Basically a radio play
July 17th, 2018

See it if [Help! My comments disappeared.]

Don't see it if [Help! My comments disappeared.]

93
Teenage Dick
East Village
Riveting, Relevant, Must see, Great acting, Unforgettable
July 2nd, 2018

See it if u want to experience a funny, tragic, moving reworking of Richard III that's never less than original with a superb cast & spot-on direction

Don't see it if u don't want to want to encounter one of the best final acts of the season. The audience when I attended couldn't contain themselves. Superb

60
First Love
West Village
Solid acting, Excruciating, Pointless, Mundane, Self-indulgent
June 27th, 2018

See it if you want to view a paean to sexagenarian love that will age you as you watch it. A mishmash of half-baked ideas, song, and witless banter.

Don't see it if you don't want to experience a pair of talented actors drown in insipid, nonstop dialogue. There are some fine moments, but only moments.

Also I rather develop acute hemorrhoidal tissue than ever have to watch thi... Read more Read less

63
Energetic, Sophomoric, Good-natured, Young adult-oriented, Blessedly short
June 17th, 2018

See it if you enjoy affable young men behaving like clever 5-year-olds playing cops and robots in outer space. Sporadically witty. There's "dancing."

Don't see it if you've never taken drugs watching Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Sheer lunacy is showcased here with a dash of existentialism and one black jockstrap.