New York City | 65+ | Male
About:  Former college theatre professor; former Dean of Liberal Arts; Blog:
Reviews (144)
During previews
Entertaining, Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Delightful
December 10th, 2022

See it if Wonderfully adapted but truly original film to musical dor 2022 in the style of 1950s musicals. Original and very entertaining.

Don't see it if you can't forget the movie and will not see a delightful faithfulness to original while being adapted to contemporary values. Enjoy!

Also I resisted getting tickets to see yet another musical adaptation of a ... Read more Read less

During previews
Becky Nurse of Salem
Upper W Side
Great staging, Great acting, Indulgent, Dizzying, Disappointing
November 20th, 2022

See it if you see everything Sarah Ruhl writes or every performance by Deirdre O'Connell. O'Connell is wonderful (as usual). Ruhl is incomprehensible

Don't see it if you expect a play that makes sense. It's impossible to understand what Ms Ruhl wants to tell us. Director Taichman does her best, but...Yuk

Fascinating, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting
November 20th, 2022

See it if you enjoy great performance by Ralph Fiennes portraying the egotistical and powerful Robert Moses with a revealing script by David Hare.

Don't see it if a docudrama is not your interest. Hare has portrayed Moses and his devotees in an engaging drama and Fiennes show the inside Moses.

During previews
Challenging, Great writing, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent
November 13th, 2022

See it if you want to see a play that explores a serious topic in an engaging form. It investigates the challenges that men face after incarceration.

Don't see it if you do not want to pay close attention and think about the issues raised in the play.

During previews
Thoroughly enjoyable, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful
November 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see a very original and totally entertaining and thought provoking musical. Rarely such an interesting new musical.

Don't see it if you expect to be swept away to an unreality. This show is "real" and really worth seeing. Exact same production as Off-Broadway.

Midtown W
Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing
November 6th, 2022

See it if You like a musical that shows a serious story with historical significance and current messages. Extraordinary production!

Don't see it if You don’t like serious musicals that challenges your thoughts and moves you your emotions. It’s not exactly full of hummable songs.

During previews
Poor acting, Disappointing, Intelligent, Great writing
October 31st, 2022

See it if you want to see a rare, if disappointing, production of Albee's great play. An intimate production that never engages the audience.

Don't see it if you expect acting that lives up to the demands of Albee's complex and clearly drawn characters. Only the actor playing Tobias is on target.

During previews
Patience (2st)
Upper W Side
Meaningless, Slow, Disappointing, Excruciating
August 14th, 2022

See it if you like plays that have lots of endings with no beginnings or middles. There is no real development, just conclusions. Pretentious.

Don't see it if you do not like spending 95 minutes that seems like 3 hours. True to its title, this play requires patience unsatisfied.

During previews
The Nosebleed
Upper W Side
Banal, Disappointing, Pointless, Self-indulgent
July 31st, 2022

See it if you enjoy self-indulgent personal plays that the author has directed and now performs in. Audience involvement insulting.

Don't see it if expect insights in father-daughter relations or Japanese culture. Your thoughts on your own father are literally put into shredder. Really!

During previews
Empty, Meaningless, Cliched, Disappointing
April 9th, 2022

See it if You want to see a play about progressing through life that has the depth of cake mix commercial. 90 totally wasted minutes.

Don't see it if You expect a great performance by Messing. The rest of the cast are stuck playing undeveloped characters with an occasional laugh line.

During previews
Superficial, Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow
February 20th, 2022

See it if you have experienced the anguish of living not speaking your native language, but don't expect an exploration of those issues.

Don't see it if you expect insights. Lots of important subjects are brought up but never explored. Humor at the expense of people trying to learn.

Kimberly Akimbo
Resonant, Must see, Great singing, Great acting, Delightful
December 11th, 2021

See it if you want to see the best new musical (or play, for that matter) to open since the theatre closures. A remarkable look at mortality.

Don't see it if you can't "go with the flow" with a show that is both realistic and occasionally stretching believability. But real, SEE IT!

Ambitious, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing
December 11th, 2021

See it if Frankly, I can not think of a reason anyone should see this mess. Unless you want to see a well produced indulgence.

Don't see it if If you expect a James Lapine creation to be worth seeing.

Great staging, Overrated, Dizzying, Disappointing, Great singing
October 27th, 2021

See it if I was disappointed by the original production. This one has a much more interesting staging, but it still lacks focus and insights.

Don't see it if You expect new insights into the mindset of a poor black housekeeper in the south on the eve of the civil rights movement, this is not it.

Good acting, Meaningless, Dull, Slow, Disappointing
September 16th, 2021

See it if you want to contemplate what it feels like to break up with a lover. A very good performance by Daniel J Watts. Otherwise without merit.

Don't see it if you expect insights into the nature of love and loss. Two extended monologues that are full of anguish and regret but very little depth.

During previews
Unknown Soldier
Midtown W
Good singing, Overrated, Repetitive score, Disappointing, Great staging
March 7th, 2020

See it if you enjoy original musicals. Much of the mostly sung-through score is repetitive. Complex story but easy to follow. Staging is interesting.

Don't see it if you expect a traditional musical. Frankly, I do not know why I found this show boring, but it failed to engage me. I had high expectations

During previews
The Hot Wing King
Midtown W
Refreshing, Gay, Funny & serious, Good acting, Entertaining
February 28th, 2020

See it if A portrait of African America gay men in Memphis. Lots of humor, love, and playing around mixed with serious family and relationship issues

Don't see it if You expect profundity throughout. There is a bit too much playing around when the relationships and family issues could be more prominent.

The Headlands
Upper W Side
Interesting, So-so acting, Underdeveloped, Cold case mystery
February 26th, 2020

See it if You enjoy watching cold case mysteries on TV, this should be your cup of tea. Good production values but acting is less than convincing.

Don't see it if Expect depth in the story of a young man discovering family secrets. Underdeveloped characters give little to think about beyond “who dunit”

During previews
Dana H.
Unique, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Must see, Great acting
February 22nd, 2020

See it if you want to see an extraordinary performance that is truly extra-ordinary.Deirdre O'Connell lip-syncs & remarkably acts a harrowing story.

Don't see it if a one person play is not your thing or you are not ready to be drawn into the story of the playwright's mother's five months of captivity.

Mack & Mabel
Midtown W
Refreshing, Delightful, Must see, Great staging, Entertaining
February 19th, 2020

See it if A wonderful revival production of a “not perfect” but thoroughly entertaining musical that is a fitting tribute to Jerry Herman.

Don't see it if a close to old fashion musical given a top notch production is not your thing. But this is Encores at its best and should not be missed.

During previews
Good cast, Content disappointing, Fascinating concept, Challenging, Ambitious
February 15th, 2020

See it if You want to see a fascinating concept that holds your attention but the content of the play was less than expected. Production very good.

Don't see it if You are not ready to follow three stories being revealed simultaneously. That is the best part of this experience.

Also I found the script to be less of an anatomy of suicide and more of a w... Read more Read less

During previews
Multi-talented cast, Strong & weak points, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Ambitious
February 15th, 2020

See it if A play with music that frankly and disturbingly portrays the horrors of the Khmer Rouge with a less than engaging father/daughter story.

Don't see it if 1970s rock with Khmer language lyrics is not your thing. Before seeing, refresh (or create) your memory about the Khmer Rouge history.

During previews
Emotionally satisfying, Reconceived, Worth seeing, Interesting, Ambitious
February 2nd, 2020

See it if want to see a flawed, but very interesting production of a masterpiece. Being prepared to dismiss your preconception of this work is a must.

Don't see it if you cannot get beyond the fact that Jerome Robbin's original was THE masterpiece and you see any tampering with it a sacrilege.

Campy, Quirky, Clever, Entertaining, Funny
January 26th, 2020

See it if You enjoy camp by a star “campist,” this is your show. Much better than Busch’s recent outings. It’s a take-off on 1930s confession films.

Don't see it if You don’t like the upfront exaggerations and tongue in cheek plots of campy humor. A good supporting cast rises (or lowers) to Busch’s level

Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Clever, Great cast, Funny, Entertaining
January 23rd, 2020

See it if The late Neil Simon is alive and well, circa 2020, at the Helen Hayes Theatre. All-star cast delivers the laughs plus occasional truths.

Don't see it if you expect deep commentaries on marriage in old age, you will be disappointed, But enjoy an old fashioned Broadway sit-com with great cast.

Also The renovated 2nd Stage Helen Hayes Theatre may qualify as having the ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great writing, Resonant, Great staging, Great acting
January 21st, 2020

See it if you want to see 40 year old Pulitzer winner that continues to be relevant and insightful, if a bit like a history lesson. Great production!

Don't see it if expect to be challenged by the insights into the history of inter- & intra-racism. A well-made "whodonit"- more entertaining than provoking

During previews
Greater Clements
Upper W Side
Intense, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing
December 4th, 2019

See it if you enjoy a moving portrait of people in a defunct mining town struggling with many family challenges. A superb performance by Judith Ivey.

Don't see it if a three act well written but disturbing drama is not your thing. Playwright Hunter knows how to engage an audience even when going is rough

Disappointing, Old-fashioned, Cliched, Overrated, Weak acting
November 24th, 2019

See it if want to see a WASPy play in the shadow of Death of a Salesman. Both won Pulitzers 45 years apart. Mystifying how how Foote's play won.

Don't see it if expect the usual well-cast and produced plays from Signature. Weak acting, misconceived design, poor direction. Kristine Nielsen miscast.

The Inheritance
Midtown W
Riveting, Resonant, Great staging, Perfect minimalism, Great acting
November 18th, 2019

See it if want to see a portrait of young gays in our current society and their heritage from the past. Lots of compelling issues for gays & straights

Don't see it if can't accept frank descriptions of gay sex, brief nudity, or do not want to consider the probing questions about personal ID, love, and need

During previews
Indulgent, Insipid, Excruciating, Confusing, Insane
November 17th, 2019

See it if you are a faithful fan of Will Eno and enjoy his pseudo-profundities. Be ready to make no sense of who is who, what's going on, and why.

Don't see it if expect any type of linear plot, clear character development, discernible meaning, or any form of engagement for the audience. A few laughs.

The Michaels
East Village
Overrated, Slow, Great acting, Disappointing, Banal
November 9th, 2019

See it if Ultra-reality is enough to maintain your interest in a play, but there is little substance beyond Nelson’s skillful recreation living souls.

Don't see it if You expect the intermingling of life in the kitchen with the life of politics that made the previous cycles so profound. Mumbling continues.

During previews
Midtown W
Worth-seeing, Great staging, Unique, Funny, Great acting
October 24th, 2019

See it if you want to see a play that is unique-no misplaced love, racism, or dysfunctional family. A food artist consumed by his art. Great cast.

Don't see it if you don't want to see Raul Esparza and playwright Rebeck in their element, supported by a cast and director that are right on the mark. Fun!

During previews
Slow, Influential, Edgy, Relevant, Great acting
October 20th, 2019

See it if You want see the play that liberated female African American playwrights from the shadow of Raisin in the Sun. Still true, just less radical

Don't see it if Expect a linear story or a consistent style. Lots of truths that have not changed in the 40+ years since this choreopoem hit Broadway.

During previews
Bella Bella
Midtown W
Relevant, Resonant, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining
October 19th, 2019

See it if You’re a New Yorker, remember Bella Abzug, support feminism, and/or love Harvey Feinstein, you’re in for a treat. Fun and relevant!

Don't see it if You don’t care to hear how close 2019 is to 1971. Be ready for some Yiddish along with some “kiddish.”

During previews
Soft Power
East Village
Great staging, Disappointing, Messy, Indulgent, Ridiculous
October 13th, 2019

See it if Hwang is rarely subtle but this over the top mess is all over the place. Satire that falls flat - East-West relations, Hillary, and Hwang.

Don't see it if You expect the significant talents of Tesori and Silverman could salvage this spectacle. Great staging does rescue this silly writing.

During previews
The Rose Tattoo
Midtown W
Overplayed, Second-rate williams, Cliched, Disappointing
October 12th, 2019

See it if You want to see Williams effort to write romantic comedy with his usual fascination with a tortured woman. Surprisingly poorly written.

Don't see it if You expect Williams’ skillful writing & probing character development. This production is very broad and lacks any subtlety.Actors try hard.

During previews
Literary, Great acting, Pretentious, Intelligent, Disappointing
October 11th, 2019

See it if You want to see Parker do her refined angst as a very literate creative writing teacher facing cancer and her student admirer.

Don't see it if You expect the play to provide new insights or draw you into the odd couple relationship between the professor and her student writer.

Also The play is full of classic (and not so classic) literature references... Read more Read less

During previews
The Wrong Man
Midtown W
Disappointing, Sung-through, Narrative, not dramatic, Great choreography, Great staging
October 6th, 2019

See it if brilliant staging is enough to make a good musical for you. Sung-through soft-rock with fascinating choreography, but dull narrative.

Don't see it if you don't want to spend 90 minutes more fascinated with the staging than with the story the staging tells. Also, watch for alternate casting

Also In fairness, I saw this show at a performance that the alternate casti... Read more Read less

During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Funny, Raunchy, Indulgent, Disappointing, Banal
September 27th, 2019

See it if You want to see a play about a middle-aged man who says he is an awful person, and he is! Bedroom comedy that thinks it’s serious.

Don't see it if Letts knows how to write believable and frequently funny dialogue. But occasional seemingly meaningful lines were not explored. Pointless.

Meaningless, Fun, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining
September 20th, 2019

See it if You enjoy Las Vegas entertainment, this is Las Vegas plus. Lavish sets/costumes, great singers. Creatively staged.

Don't see it if you expect something other than pure entrainment. No meanings: hidden or otherwise. Stereotypical characters; music is from pop catalogue.

During previews
Obtuse, Great acting, Slow, Rambling
September 14th, 2019

See it if You liked The Father and were able to tolerate The Mother, you might enjoy the latest Zeller offering. He does it again (& again & again).

Don't see it if You expect insights into any of the topics: death, faithfulness, dementia, relationships, etc — all amounts to very little. Great acting.

During previews
Bad Penny
Meaningless, Dizzying, Stupid, Indulgent, Quirky
September 6th, 2019

See it if You want to see what passed as profound avant guard in the 1980s. Characters trying to define them self as they take refuge in the park.

Don't see it if You expect insights, humor, and anything resembling stimulating art.

During previews
Misdirected, Minimalist, Overrated, Disappointing
August 30th, 2019

See it if You think the British have corner on producing Pinter, think again. The pauses are there, but they lack meaning. Extreme minimalism. Dull.

Don't see it if You don’t expect to hear the actors to mumble, see a funny and insightful play with few laughs and insights, and like British imports.

East Village
Ill-conceived, Weak acting, Disappointing, Ambitious
July 20th, 2019

See it if you do not mind a forced adaptation of the Greek classic, Medea, into a contemporary commentary on immigration and race relations.

Don't see it if expect this adaptation to live up to playwright Alfaro's brilliant adaptation of Oedipus Rex into Oedipus El Rey. Forced and unbelievable.

The Rolling Stone
Upper W Side
Intense, Absorbing, Masterful, Relevant, Great acting
July 16th, 2019

See it if truly remarkable portrait of the impact of family responsibility, sexual identity, and evangelical Christianity in a hostile environment.

Don't see it if you cannot see the relevance of a play set in Uganda for an American audience in the age of Trump. It shows the power of belief vs identity.

Also Plays about the LGBT community have received a lot attention on the NY... Read more Read less

A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing
July 8th, 2019

See it if a musical about an overweight black gay writer with lots of humor and great performances appeals. Full of subtle references and satire.

Don't see it if humorless repetitiveness and lack of resolution in the last 1/3 of an otherwise brilliant and insightful production discourages you.

Great staging, Confusing, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing
June 22nd, 2019

See it if you want to see this year's Pulitzer winner, although it's tough to figure out how this chaotic work rated so high with critics.

Don't see it if you expect a lucid commentary on white privilege and the misconceptions that white audiences have about race.

Also Most of the overwhelmingly positive commentaries on this play acclaim ... Read more Read less

Interesting potential, Too long, Dull, Great singing, Disappointing
June 13th, 2019

See it if Want to see a tribute to strong women in the face of southern racism circa 1960s. Don’t expect new insights or moving staging, Great voices

Don't see it if You expect fresh perceptions on racism, feminism, or the search for love. This is not a bad production, it just has little new to offer.

Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Poor neo-chekov, Quirky, Overrated, Disappointing
June 6th, 2019

See it if you are interested in a contemporary adaptation that never captures the humor or the depth of character expression of Chekov.

Don't see it if you expect laughs or sobbing, character development, or believable relationships.

During previews
Long Lost
Midtown W
Great sets, Familiar-territory, Cliched, Disappointing
June 2nd, 2019

See it if have not seen enough plays in which a family with its own problems is blown up by the arrival of good-for-nothing relative. Great set

Don't see it if expect fresh insights or unique character development in this all too common story. Been there...done that too many times.