Brendan Lemon

Brendan Lemon is a critic with Financial Times (UK). 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 (38)
Preview indecent poster
80
Lemonwade

for a previous production "There are many Brechtian touches in Taichman’s staging — titles, dissolves, left-wing politics. The humanity of the actors presenting 'God,' and especially the two women who inhabit the lesbian roles in Asch’s play (scandalous to some people at the time), is remarkable." Full Review

Preview sor showscore 264x392
65
Financial Times (UK)

"None of the new songs created by Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, his lyricist, do much to enhance the existing tunes from the source material…Energetically directed by Laurence Connor…The musical’s book, by Julian Fellowes, the creator of 'Downton Abbey', honours the movie’s storyline with a Dowager’s dutifulness. But the transitions are abrupt and the characters’ backgrounds a little sketchy. The show’s chief pleasures reside in the performances of the children." Full Review

Preview important hats
70
Financial Times (UK)

"Witty, inventive, yet antic to the point of exhaustion, this two-hour evening embeds weighty cultural discussion in the folds of its silk bodice...By Act Two, the play’s thematic parallel gives way to a special-effects-laden staging. As the time-hat spins out of control and the actors whirl through the centuries, the story’s effectiveness begins to slip too. Yet the melding of Cole Porter sophistication with boys’ serial narrative has a daffy charm, and the actors are winning." Full Review

Preview onyourfeet
75
Financial Times (UK)

"I found 'On Your Feet!' to be irresistible. With the recent closing of the Abba-fest, Broadway has needed a high-octane evening to send audiences shuffling happily into the street…Even by the standards of Broadway musicals, its characters are one-dimensional. The music, which salsas through the Estefans’ catalogue of hits is too seldom shaped into the delirious climaxes the melodies seem to offer…The story…is not much more than serviceable." Full Review

Preview eclipsed180
65
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "Aided by the actors’ superb emotional byplay, Gurira adeptly explores the intimate structure of a group of women oppressed. As the playwright’s lens on the war widens, however, the impact of the story shrinks...As Gurira hammers home her points about women’s empowerment, the dialogue becomes schematic...'Eclipsed' ends with an image groaning under its symbolism." Full Review

Preview springawakeningnew180
55
Financial Times (UK)

"As the story unfolds, the staging’s clarity starts to falter. The logistics required by the dual casting make plot points occasionally difficult to follow. If communication is your theme, you’d best be sure that you are conveying the narrative clearly. The staging lacks flow, as do the book and lyrics. Smooth flow may be a luxury when adolescent angst is at issue, although a decade ago, before the influence of Glee, this show’s teen choruses felt more authentically jagged, less packaged." Full Review

Preview whorl
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Humanity oozes forth from 'Whorl Inside a Loop...' The evening benefits from dynamic performances and from smooth staging by Scanlan and Michael Mayer...The actors playing the prisoners also perform characters from the Volunteer’s privileged Manhattan life, and while initially there is delight from these rich-people impersonations, their over-broadness threatens to distract us from the play’s heartbreaking realism." Full Review

Preview ic ps resized
60
Financial Times (UK)

"Laufer’s play sets out to challenge conventional ideas about science and storytelling, yet the dramaturgy can be as tangled as the four double-helix staircases that anchor Wilson Chin’s nifty set. The story appears initially to revolve around Jillian’s attempt to help the tribe find the cause of its alarmingly high rate of diabetes, but it veers towards the issue of informed consent and becomes didactic." Full Review

Preview leonard pelkey resized
90
Financial Times (UK)

"James Lecesne is that rare actor: he can play men and women with equal believability. His dexterousness is on ample display in 'The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,' a solo show that Lecesne adapted from his 2008 young-adult novel, and in which he performs. In both its simplicity and its storytelling, this 75-minute evening shines." Full Review

Preview screenhunter 85 may. 26 21.53
85
Financial Times (UK)

"This highly engaging play, written for radio in 1984, carries on a series of back-and-forth arguments about the trustworthiness of beauty, the role of the critic and the relationship between artist and patron, which for Galactia is the Venetian state... Maxwell is a Barker devotee, and her fierceness as an actress makes her well suited to his work...When Galactia is humbled and imprisoned, the performance finds fear as well as bravado, and the production goes from bright carnal colour to eer... Full Review

Preview thetempestw165h250
60
Financial Times (UK)

"This production flits and darts around the vast outdoor stage, with sea-wave panel backdrops, in search of something coherent or at least interestingly chaotic...Sexual tensions are at a minimum...As the evening went on I found myself less and less interested in any consummation." Full Review

Preview guards1
60
Financial Times (UK)

"Imaginative in its premise and benefiting from committed performances by its two actors, the play nonetheless comes across as rather overinsistent thematically and tonally too abrupt to register powerfully...If the scene is boldly conceived, its resonance is muted. There is neither the full exploration of a large crime’s aftermath nor sufficient literary adeptness to challenge our notion of real-life aesthetics." Full Review

Preview permission
60
Financial Times (UK)

"I lived through it, I laughed occasionally, but I didn’t love it...All of 'Permission’s' actors are expert at blending the demands of farce with the hint of psychodrama. And the men explore amusingly the difficulties of bromance. But the evening is too cartoonish to amount to much: in its attack on religion, it’s a friendly slap more than a full-scale wallop." Full Review

Preview painted rocks
75
Financial Times (UK)

"Vision, and the lack of it, is one of the themes of this clear, touching, occasionally blunt two-act evening...The play’s conflict between old and new South Africa is, like its central art work, a bit too large and looming to make for easily contained drama." Full Review

Preview 16241 show portrait large
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Brant provides scant geopolitical context, and arguably this lack of facts helps to reinforce the soullessness of the pilot’s existence, but his writing style is a bit too staccato for my taste — a few developed anecdotes would have helped deepen the story emotionally. But Hathaway’s memorably kinetic performance is noteworthy in itself." Full Review

Preview neverlandnew180
65
Financial Times (UK)

"Swift-moving, playful, and appealing to children...This is not to say that "Finding Neverland" remains consistently airborne. The music and lyrics are redolent of pop-chart uplift and fail to contribute to character development. No matter how many emotionally effective touches the actors and their director, Diane Paulus, provide, the evening keeps returning to those mostly forgettable tunes. The lapses are especially apparent because this is, at heart, a show about artistic inspiration." Full Review

Preview fish
70
Financial Times (UK)

"I kept wishing that the show’s director, Anna D Shapiro, who stages with her usual expert hand, had been able to coax him into another rewrite. But most of the audience won’t care that the pace flags in the second act. For them, it will be enough to see their King Kvetch in the flesh, uttering trademark phrases such as “pretty, pretty, pretty . . . ” And I must admit: I had a pretty, pretty, pretty good time." Full Review

Preview aldn1
75
Financial Times (UK)

"Disney wanted something it could market not only to the parents-with-children crowd but also to date-night couples looking for a few laughs. Wish granted. " Full Review

Preview matilda1802
85
Financial Times (UK)

"The most engaging theatrical evenings on Broadway of the past few years need no stars to work their magic. Matilda belongs in such company. I found the songs fairly disposable, the storytelling a little slack, and the sound design muddy...But both kids and adults can watch this marvellous production and experience an escape from the usual Broadway-musical fare, which treats them as dolts." Full Review

Preview color purple
75
Financial Times (UK)

"John Doyle’s production, which slims down the musical, also makes an overwhelming virtue of the small-scale. Though I found this staging cumulatively poignant, I will not pretend that 'The Color Purple' belongs in the pantheon…If Doyle’s production still takes the story too fervently to church, it also allows a place for subtlety…The entire ensemble bring precision to the songs’ mixture of blues, gospel and pop uplift." Full Review

Preview chinadoll180
60
Financial Times (UK)

"If the character is gung-ho, however, the plot is gossamer...It’s a great joy to watch Pacino hold the stage for two hours. He may be aided by teleprompters and his energy may flag here and there — but his character, an ageing business magnate, is supposed to sputter...The evening sometimes seems more of a finger exercise than a full-length composition. 'China Doll' lacks delicious byplay, but in its sharper moments Mamet’s razor can still draw blood." Full Review

Preview misery180
35
Financial Times (UK)

"Laurie Metcalf, as obsessed fan Annie Wilkes, attempts gamely to wring entertainment value from this uninspired theatrical adaptation…Willis’s line readings are flat, and he is atrociously slow at picking up Metcalf’s cues…The stage version is streamlined to elicit not sympathy but shock, even though we are a long way from the days when audiences were perhaps more willing to believe that, in the course of a play, gentleness could so quickly turn to horror." Full Review

Preview first daughter public
75
Financial Times (UK)

"LaChiusa is a whiz at whimsy. His lyrics sail playfully in pleasurable, sometimes unexpected directions while his music bears the stamp of Sondheim. All the open fifths and soaring phrases can produce an emotional sameness....The actors assembled here by director Kristen Sanderson are achingly good." Full Review

Preview oldtimes 180x278  1
70
Financial Times (UK)

"Initially the actors appear more interested in posing than in acting, but eventually they form a true ensemble...An enormous backdrop of concentric circles and an icy, door-like slab suggest a vest-pocket Valhalla more than an English country cottage. But the actors’ skillful by-play helps blot out the images, as do the thumping snatches of original music supplied by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke." Full Review

Preview midsummer nights pearl
80
Financial Times (UK)

"The acting quintet impresses most of all with its teamwork. Never did they fail to meet Tucker’s demands. As usual, his approach works best with the most familiar of classics. I would not recommend this 'Dream' to first-timers: too much of the text would be lost amid the distractions of the actors getting from one movement to the next. To the rest of us, however, the transitions seem...invisible." Full Review

Preview lam200x300
60
Financial Times (UK)

"This affectionate, altogether too predictable evening, directed gracefully by Mark Lamos, is designed as Gurney’s leave-taking, too...Gurney is acutely aware that he is dredging up material he’s mined many times...But the set-up doesn't have much life left in it, even ironically. I have loved the privileged world of A.R. Gurney, but unlike Cornelia I am not wistful about seeing it go." Full Review

Preview cymbelinew165h250
85
Financial Times (UK)

"No Shakespeare in the Park production can trump the sylvan setting around the stage. The medium-green playing area of Daniel Sullivan’s very watchable new imagining of 'Cymbeline' may mimic some of the surrounding trees, but it more often reminds one of a miniature-golf course...Less felicitous are the giant new apartment towers jutting out behind the theatre’s Belvedere Castle backdrop. The magic is marred but not, with this impressive 'Cymbeline,' eclipsed." Full Review

Preview ubu roi camille cayol  christophe gregoire  cr johan persson 2013
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Amusing, slightly exhausting production...But Donnellan, who is one of the most inventive directors alive, and his designer, Nick Ormerod, rescue the evening from glibness by visually and verbally switching the point of view." Full Review

Preview ogs resized
65
Financial Times (UK)

"But if Ross initially seems to have mastered the three-sister set-up, the second act founders on a trinity of theme, not character. Each sister comes to represent something primal: birth, marriage, death. Ross’s handling of these issues devolves into melodrama. Even at its most cliché-ridden, however, 'Of Good Stock' holds the attention." Full Review

Preview the qualms1
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Rollicking new play...In the very amusing 'The Qualms,' sexual categories are among the targets...Wisely, the sex here is mostly talked about rather than enacted — that keeps the story moving. Less praiseworthy are the play’s final five minutes. As soon as argumentative chaos is transmuted into silent, anthropologically evocative order, nothing more is needed except a couple of sharp exit lines. Instead we get the pabulum of resolution." Full Review

Preview heisenberg
60
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The sometimes touching, not always engaging new play...'Heisenberg' involves how we feel about watching Arndt and Parker for 85 interval-less minutes. Such focus results from the lack of visual distraction — the set is merely two long tables and two chairs — and the slightly undernourished nature of Stephens’ text." Full Review

Preview 5713 4
65
Financial Times (UK)

"Beth and Doug’s halting conversation drains away interest as fast as Doug drains that bottle of water. But narrative intrigue is replenished by the revelation that the two in fact know each other from years before. How they reconnect after belatedly acknowledging that fact brings this 85-minute evening to its conclusion." Full Review

Preview forever art for tc2
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Her visit to the French capital, specifically to the Père Lachaise Cemetery, frames this intense, poetic 85-minute evening, which interweaves personal and artistic lineages...The anger, however authentic, can get so relentless that it blunts some of the piece’s emotional impact." Full Review

Preview rotten 2
70
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "By the time this initially delightful, eventually repetitive Broadway extravaganza ends, you too may feel a slight impatience not only with Shakespeare but with the entire musical theatre genre." Full Review

Preview onthetwentiethcentury2
60
Financial Times (UK)

"The musical comedy’s revival pleased the audience but fell short of its earlier incarnations...Even when the musical numbers are managed with superb speed, as they are in 'On the Twentieth Century', the Roundabout’s eager-to-please, hard-charging Broadway revival, there is a sense that a TGV has been downgraded to commuter-track velocity." Full Review

Preview hedwig taye diggs
80
Financial Times (UK)

"Like most rock ’n’ roll worthy of the name, however, especially when the word “wig” figures in the title, this production is primarily about hair...Adding to our enjoyment are Hedwig’s fanciful costumes. The physical production centred on a broken-down car, helps keep us engaged when the storytelling sags." Full Review

Preview soul doctor
60
Financial Times (UK)

"Soul Doctor presents the life of the “rock ’n’ roll rabbi” Shlomo Carlebach, from his pre-war childhood in Vienna to his coming-of-age in Brooklyn to his return to Austria. If the result is far too by-the-numbers to be especially satisfying, there are scenes of heartfelt emotion and two central performances to carry us through most of the rote exposition and the anti-climactic second act." Full Review

Preview kinkybootsnew180
85
Financial Times (UK)

"The love stories, as it happens, are among the few disappointing bits in Boots, which has been given tuneful songs by Cyndi Lauper, in her Broadway-composer debut, and infectious direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell...The audience, which gets a rousing Mamma Mia!-like finale, goes home happy." Full Review