Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is a critic with BSonArts. 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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (35)
Network (NYC)
Midtown W
BSonArts

“While the adaptation maintains the original period, the television equipment and the complex use of multimedia is very 2018...As expected, Bryan Cranston is phenomenal...Appropriately, the rest of the very good cast are overshadowed by Cranston’s persona...’Network' does not give us much guidance for getting out of our current situation, but it is an insightful (and entertaining) portrait of the problem.” Full Review

The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
BSonArts

“It’s a comedy. And it is very, very funny...’The Nap’ is totally original and thoroughly modern...Bean has populated his play with a classic set of comic characters...The performances are uniformly top notch...The real hero of this production is Bean. He has intertwined a hilarious comedy with a thriller filled with surprises. What more could we ask of a play designed to simply entertain? Pure comedy is back on Broadway.” Full Review

BSonArts

"It’s a travesty. That’s not a criticism; it is, in fact, a source of delight. A travesty paints an absurd or distorted representation of something, in this case the worship of the female sex organ. 'Collective Rage' is very funny and totally off-the-wall...Clearly, Ms. Silverman does not expect the audience to connect the dots. We are just supposed to sit back and enjoy the antics of five actresses set loose in a hellzapoppin look at pussy appreciation." Full Review

Fire in Dreamland
East Village
BSonArts

“Groff certainly demonstrates a commitment to fill her love story with lots catches. In fact, the play itself melts down in the face of its complications...Groff brings in a set of complications that defy credibility and lack any perceptible insights into love, art, or the death of animals...Underdeveloped...Mishmash of a play...The actors and director do their best to make the play’s 90 minutes tolerable...The play’s the thing and this one has just too many unconnected things.” Full Review

BSonArts

"Cummings III has given Williams' play a renewed sense of universality...Ireland gives us an Alma with torn insides...Darrow reveals a boy, and eventually a man, who wants to break away from the societal constraints on seeking pleasure...Both of these performers show us the pain and exasperation these two would-be true lovers go through...They handle Williams' poetic language as common speech, giving it a uniquely powerful quality...Disturbingly real and sadly true." Full Review

BSonArts

"The way this team portrays women and treats marital violence in 'Carousel' raises questions in a contemporary audience...This production plays like it’s 1945...The sound of the music was rich and sweet...If you have never seen 'Carousel,' this production is pleasant and worth seeing. Several of the performances are as good as they possibly could be. But the production lacks imagination and never really thrills an audience the way some past revivals have." Full Review

queens
Upper W Side
BSonArts

"The play jumps forward and backward in time and place...making it difficult for the audience...New characters appear causing more confusion about who is interacting with whom and when these exchanges occur in the history of this basement refuge...The cast is quite good...Taymor and her production team have done little to bring clarity and focus to the play...The potential for this material was clearly apparent, if only Ms. Majok could get some good advice." Full Review

BSonArts

"This Signature production is valuable because we see these two dramas made into one that literally spans the life of one of our greatest playwrights...Remarkable in the way it illustrates a through-line in Albee’s oeuvre...The Signature production is near perfect. The real standout among a very strong cast is Paul Sparks as Jerry...Ms. Neugebauer deserves a lot of credit for exploiting Mr. Sparks' remarkable talent." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
BSonArts

"It’s that 'artistic whole' that distinguishes the work of a great director (and producer). So, it is not surprising that an evening of knockout singing and dancing does not fully satisfy those who have experienced Prince’s 'whole'...But 'Prince on Broadway' is entertaining...You leave the theatre satisfied, even if this tribute fails to go beyond a pleasing revue of songs from Hal Prince’s Broadway creations without capturing the genius behind their original incarnations." Full Review

BSonArts

"Mr. Gold’s 'Hamlet' is filled with competent actors. They make sense of the lines; they reflect emotion; they put emphasis where emphasis is required. But you never feel they are living their characters’ lives...Without a riveting Hamlet, there is little the other actors can do to make this any more than a competent but insignificant production." Full Review

BSonArts

“A very complex and illuminating family drama about acceptance, loss, religion, and hate…The play cunningly reveals each character’s values and builds to a climax that forces each to take action…However, the current production does not fully realize the potential of the play…Mr. Moss’ direction once again demonstrates that playwrights should let someone else direct their works...This production is still worth seeing for a New York audience." Full Review

BSonArts

“Nonsensical, pretentious, and ill-conceived play...There is little that is amusing…There is also very little in Ms. Gionfriddo’s writing that makes these characters believable and the structure of the play anything more than a very forced set of circumstances…Each of the actors appears to make a decent effort toward creating believable characters even though the writing is so broad and their actions so inconsistent that the viewer cannot help but say ‘come on now, really?’” Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
BSonArts

“A stylish but sadly boring musical documentary. Even the power and polish of the two leads could not keep me from longing for this thing to end…A sort of history of the evolution of cosmetics couched in production numbers that neither excite nor provide any insightful observations...The music is largely bland and unmemorable...So, if your admiration for LuPone and Ebersole is enough to sustain you for two-and-half hours, this is your show." Full Review

BSonArts

"A very entertaining musical that is given a near pitch-perfect production...The show is full of humor and a company of 16 talented performers play multiple characters with aplomb and warmth. Most of the music is sung in ensemble and is staged with imagination and skill...Much of the music sounds the same but it blends perfectly with the story...As the show progressed...something was tugging at me. This was 9/11...I felt almost a sense of guilt for being seduced by the show." Full Review

Kid Victory
Gramercy
BSonArts

"This is a powerful play and, at times, it’s also a powerful musical play...This is not the type of show that you leave singing the songs, although there are some very effective musical moments...Brandon Flynn gives a perfect performance as Luke...Daniel Jenkins does an effective job portraying the underdeveloped father...This is a thoughtful and moving production that is worth the visit, if intense musical drama appeals to you." Full Review

The Penitent
Chelsea
BSonArts

"This new work is a well crafted exploration of ethics, responsibility and religious salvation...Mamet has intentionally not drawn full, three-dimensional characters. The play is less about the personal lives and relationships of the three main characters, but more a sort of sequence of debates, increasing in complexity as legal pressures mount...Neil Pepe’s direction and the work of the designers...keeps the audience in a state of objectivity–we are involved with the ideas." Full Review

Man From Nebraska
Midtown W
BSonArts

"Much of the dialog is very simple, rarely revealing, and filled with very long pauses. It almost feels like a Pinter play without the biting double meanings in the characters’ speech...The cast is quite good, led by the reliable Reed Birney...Director David Cromer creates a dark atmosphere that seems appropriate to Letts’ tone and episodic style. But the strong performances and the evocative direction only leave the audience wondering what was the point of the play they had just experienced." Full Review

Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
BSonArts

"Even though the show was (and still is) filled with the sweeping melodies...I found the show itself less-than-satisfying. I assumed that a decent musical lurked under all of that messy production nonsense. Well, I was wrong...Most of the current critics have raved about Close’s performance...And I agree, she was good. But the thin book and mundane lyrics gave her very little to work with...The rest of the production is more than adequate." Full Review

BSonArts

“A thing of beauty wrapped in sadness...A work of art that is engaging, insightful, and chillingly beautiful...A moving portrait of life...What is even more amazing is the way McPherson has integrated the music of Dylan into the stories of these troubled people...Each song is beautifully sung...This production has a unity and ethos in which every element seems to come together to paint a vivid picture of these people and their trials...A remarkable achievement...The cast is uniformly perfect.” Full Review

BSonArts

“Nelson’s adaptation is disappointing, not so much for the translation of the Russian master’s play but for the production Nelson has directed...This production lacks the humor and the emotional clout that makes Chekhov’s work so fascinating...The actor speak at normal voice levels, that is, they do not project their lines....The battle to hear was a massive distraction...The style was quite unrealistic...With Nelson’s muttered voices, the play is stripped of its desired effect upon the audie... Full Review

BSonArts

“This musical adaptation...holds pretty close to the plot of the original...But as any number of flops...have illustrated, that transfer is very tricky...’Pretty Woman’ lacks...imagination and creativity...Both of the leads do everything they can to make their characters credible without a script that reveals why they are attracted to each other and how that attraction transforms them...What was once charming and engaging in the movie theatre has become mediocre and bland.” Full Review

The Great Leap
Chelsea
BSonArts

“The plot is quite predictable. But Yee handles the development of the plot and characters with so much aplomb that the audience is more than happy to take those leaps with her. There is humor throughout, even in the tensest scenes...While the turns in the story are frequently predictable, Yee’s writing is so crisp and dimensioned that we just go with its flow. The direction by Taibi Magar strikes a balance between the humor and the unraveling of the characters’ stories at an energized pace.” Full Review

BSonArts

"Ambrose not only has the voice for Eliza Doolittle...but she also demonstrates how a masterful actor can bring new dimensions to a role that makes an entire revival a new experience...This production is quite traditional but very stylish...In the end, it is Laura Ambrose's Eliza Doolittle that makes this revival special. All of the elements that Ms. Ambrose exploits are in the book and lyrics; but she brings unique insight and deeply felt emotion in expressing them." Full Review

The Low Road
East Village
BSonArts

"Totally engaging with a timely critique of our economic and social values...Director Michael Greif has staged the complex action of the play with style and lucidity. We are swept into this 18th century world while still grounded in our 21st century morass. The cast of 18, with many actors playing two or three roles, is uniformly flawless...An ambitious piece of theater that actually fulfills its ambitions. If only our nation could see its historical heritage as a lesson for our future." Full Review

BSonArts

"The production is stylish and well-acted...Ferretino is a skilled playwright. She carefully weaves the details about each character into each part of the play...But she apparently wants to win her audience with humor more than she appears to want to inform or challenge them. There are certainly worse things than an entertaining 90 minutes, but there was so much more potential in this subject matter." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
BSonArts

“The play and its production patronizes its audience...The humor in the show occurs whenever there is a reference to Trump. But these are not richly satirical lines...Not the sort of rich humor or insightful observations that make a political drama worth attention...We expect a Broadway political drama to provide some insight, some viewpoint...There is none of that in the 'The Parisian Woman's 90 minutes – full of very broad strokes of plot and stereotypical characterizations.” Full Review

BSonArts

"Some have taken this personal story approach to be 'bragging' or self-aggrandizing. But that criticism misses Moore’s point. These stories are designed to show his congregants that each one of them, as single person, can make a difference...There are times when things seem to drag a bit and other times where Moore and director Mayer mistakenly try to 'Broadway-ize' the presentation...Moore’s on-the-mark musings are insightful, frequently funny, and definitely worth heeding." Full Review

Kim's Convenience
Midtown W
BSonArts

"A beautifully written (and frequently insightful) family dramedy...The production remains fresh and warmly funny with its original cast intact...Choi balances his upbeat view of the relations between Blacks and Asians with a few reminders of the reality of life running a bodega...This is not a weighty play. There is lots of humor in its 90 minutes. The play’s main weakness is the underdeveloped characters of the mother and the son...Nevertheless, the play is worth seeing." Full Review

BSonArts

"A cast of four thoroughly authentic folk performers combine the major events in Guthrie’s life with the music he created at each stage of his career in a wonderfully entertaining and frequently moving tribute...Together, these four performers create the sense of a get-together remembering our old friend, Woody Guthrie. And it is the genius of that old friend that makes this get-together so entertaining and enlightening." Full Review

BSonArts

"A very modern look at marriage, identity, and the role of man and woman in- and outside of the home...This is all accomplished with lots of laugh-out-loud humor combined with thoroughly believable character development. The production is near perfect. Laurie Metcalf gives a fully dimensioned performance...Sam Gold’s direction is clear and smart...But the real star of this production is Hnath’s script. Rarely is something from the past made so present." Full Review

Present Laughter
Midtown W
BSonArts

"Kline does not disappoint. He has that special ability to mug deliciously and he uses it with style throughout the show. However, he frequently takes his license to overact a bit too far...By contrast, the always delightful Kristine Nielsen shows exactly how to use a distorted facial expression or the turn of a phrase...The main problem in this production, and the reason it fails to make its 'present laughter' evoke as much joy as it did in the past, is its format." Full Review

BSonArts

"Sam Gold’s production is an interesting, if not always successful, rethinking of this classic. In the process, he sheds light on aspects of the play that are rarely as clear in more traditional productions. But he also distorts some qualities that are central to Williams’ style and intent...This is a 'thinking man’s' 'Glass Menagerie' – and the oddity of those two phrases in the same sentence reflects the best and worst of this unusual interpretation of this legendary play." Full Review

BSonArts

"This is environmental theatre at its finest...The power of this production comes from the relative simplicity of its elements. Eight actors portray the main characters and shift into an ensemble chorus when necessary...The cast is without fault...The real allure of this production is the clarity and the effectiveness of the way it reveals the wonderful marriage between Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics and Hugh Wheeler’s book." Full Review

If I Forget
Midtown W
BSonArts

"While each individual calamity is credible, cramming them all into the second act challenges our 'willing suspension of disbelief.' More important, the focus on religion and tradition in the first act appears to have little to do with the events and the characters’ responses in the second act. Still, Levenson is a skilled character craftsman...It’s still an interesting portrait of a contemporary American 'mishpacha.'" Full Review

Yen
West Village
BSonArts

"This is not a play for everyone’s taste, but I found it fascinating and, in the end, moving...The two lead actors are truly remarkable...Justice Smith as the hyper-active Bobbie gives a 'how does he do that' type of performance without sacrificing the audience’s empathy with his circumstances. Lucas Hedges gives an equally dimensioned and entirely engaging performance as Hench, the older and more internalized brother." Full Review