Carey Purcell

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Reviews (26)
The Hello Girls
Midtown E
Carey Purcell

“Wildly entertaining...Period appropriate numbers jauntily evoke the stylings of the Andrews Sisters alongside waltzes, ragtime and 1920s swing...Simultaneously lighthearted and informative, Reichel and Mills’ book fuses facts of the war with the women’s emotional journeys...’The Hello Girls’ highlights the many hypocrisies of the time...Engaging and educational, one wishes ‘The Hello Girls’ would play for a longer time on a bigger stage.” Full Review

Desperate Measures
Midtown W
Carey Purcell

"Utterly zany, ridiculously charming and unapologetically entertaining...Even this critic...was shaking with laughter more than she was raising an eyebrow throughout this unabashedly old-fashioned but undeniably all-too-relevant production...In the hands of a lesser cast, 'Desperate Measures' could be more problem than play, but under Castellino’s direction, this ensemble shows, rather than tells, the moral questions and quandaries and maintains a feather-light touch." Full Review

After the Blast
Upper W Side
Carey Purcell

"Kazan’s play piercingly probes gender dynamics, which have remained stagnant...Kazan’s carefully constructed script is peppered with delightful moments of comedy and social commentary. Passing mentions of the self-described Singles Compound and Anna’s weariness with writing clickbait puff-pieces add moments of levity and criticism. Seeing a complicated woman who is difficult to understand, both written and played with compassion, is a rare thrill." Full Review

The Object Lesson
East Village
Paste Magazine

“This cluttered and confusing performance art/installation piece did not inspire anxiety in me. Instead, I merely felt bored…Sobelle appears, and the show presumably begins. I say ‘presumably’ because the show is so confusing and unstructured that I’m not even sure it was a show...There is no narrative thread connecting these vignettes, nor is there an underlying theme or message to be found, resulting in an unsatisfying and extremely frustrating experience.” Full Review

Beardo
Brooklyn
Paste Magazine

"Adventurous but unfocused...Two and a half hours of a horny mansplainer who seemed to feel zero compassion for anyone and viewed himself as flawless...Most of the jokes in 'Beardo' go on for far too long...Rasputin has long been the subject of cultural fascination...but modernizing him through adolescent humor and cheap jokes, and making him nothing more than an entitled man-child, is not an effective or creative way to explore this subject." Full Review

Paste Magazine

"Bringing Othello’s jealousy, and, ultimately, downfall to life, Oyelowo gives a performance of unrestrained passion...The architect of Othello’s destruction is played with a casual ease by Craig, who portrays masculine tension with precise cold calculation...Viewing the carnage onstage, with dead bodies grouped together, the timelessness of the play was inescapable. One hopes it doesn’t paint a picture of the future." Full Review

Plenty
East Village
Carey Purcell

"Disappointment is the undeniable theme of 'Plenty,' David Hare’s play that is presented in a lukewarm revival at the Public Theater. And that disappointment is not limited to just the characters onstage...While Weisz is known as a fine actress, her performance as Susan fails to inspire much of anything from the audience other than exhaustion...Disjointed and difficult to follow...The feminist tones of the production feel forced." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"The musical’s book, by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge is, at times, much too predictable, while its moments of self-conscious satire are welcome...But the spirit of the story, as well as the cast, who are directed by Greenberg, is infectious. Pinkham, an accomplished stage actor, brings a self-deprecating charm to the role of Jim, while Bleu’s joy at tapping on Broadway is apparent in every scene...It’s a good time for this tap-happy burst of optimism to arrive on Broadway." Full Review

Slumber
Brooklyn
Carey Purcell

"'Slumber' walks the tightrope of balancing style and substance, and, unlike its skilled and talented cast, it is unable to maintain the necessary equilibrium...The real strength of the production comes from the choreography and stunts, which are undeniably impressive...It’s never clear what it it wants to be. A musical? A play? A hipster take on Cirque du Soleil? Its attempt at a story is a detriment to the show, which should either fully develop the plot and characterization or not have any." Full Review

The Wolves
Upper W Side
Carey Purcell

for a previous production "Directed with admirable precision by Lila Neugebauer…’The Wolves’ paints a startlingly realistic portrayal of the social status of teenagers…Rather than condescend, 'The Wolves' presents the darker aspects of its characters’ lives without any commentary or judgment…'The Wolves' moves evenly at a swift pace and never lags…This impressive play by DeLappe inspires a sense of optimism about more works like this in the future." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"Written by Emily Claire Schmitt, this play fuses philosophy with humanity in an engaging, if sometimes confusing, story...At times, the play is too reminiscent of a college lecture or classroom presentation, and the script could benefit from removing some scenes and investing more into the others...While the script spans many decades, the cast members’ moving performances cause the time to pass quickly." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"Gripping and resonant...As played by Lacey, Laura in 'The Father' is not a mere villain or even a plotting, revenge-driven woman. The suffocating atmosphere of her house, and her husband’s insufferable superiority, enhance the feeling of claustrophobia that permeates the production...Especially affecting are how the conclusions of plays are staged, with scenes that are both haunting and damning of the characters and offer new perspectives that blur the lines of good and evil." Full Review

Her Requiem
Upper W Side
Carey Purcell

"Life is mirroring art, which is mirroring life, in 'Her Requiem', the ambitious new play by Greg Pierce...'Her Requiem' addresses various intriguing ideas...but their execution lacks coherence at times...At the conclusion of the play, Caitlin’s requiem is completed, but the audience only hears the first chords. It seems an appropriate metaphor for this play which, with a few rewrites and sharpened focus, could be quite excellent." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"Despite a top-notch creative team and an undeniably talented cast, viewing this musical requires a protective sheen for one’s vision. The production is too bright, too loud and too long – all of which, perhaps, are an attempt to hide the lack of substance in this story...An overambitious story of an assorted collection of cliched characters is set to song, with little emotion to inspire the audience’s investment...There are simply too many characters to keep track of, let alone care about." Full Review

The Culture Trip

"The everyday becomes enthralling in 'Say Something Bunny!,' a surprising new show that discovers compelling mysteries where the most intrepid sleuths wouldn’t expect to find them...A highly entertaining performance that takes the audience on her journey. It provides the thrill of storytelling with all the excitement of a mystery...The audience slowly feels the emotional force of Kobayashi’s work and inevitably begins to care about the Newburges." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"It presents righteous anger and frustration with the patriarchal status quos of race, gender, and sexuality. Oh’s performance is simultaneously enraging and inspiring, comforting and nurturing...Fast-paced and emotional...It’s during the moments when Oh blends her personal narrative and her political beliefs that '{my lingerie play}' is at its finest. Her convictions are so deeply felt that the combination feels both seamless and organic. Thankfully, it’s never preachy." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"The actor’s performance, as the kids say (please forgive the pun), is quite on point...Gyllenhaal’s performance unveils seemingly endless surprises...In the hands of a less skilled actress, Dot and her scant backstory could easily become a trope of a discontented lover, but Ashford’s warmth and generosity mold this into an asset for her character...Ashford and Gyllenhaal are joined by a cast of Broadway veterans, including a skillful Ruthie Ann Miles and an amusing Ashley Parkas." Full Review

The Front Page
Midtown W
Paste Magazine

"This unapologetically vulgar comedy was first produced in 1928, and its age is showing. Directed by Jack O’Brien, the star-studded cast is all white, mostly men and incredibly misogynistic…The reporters are brought to life in delightfully developed performances by a star-studded cast…The dated aspects of 'The Front Page' are frustrating…While 'The Front Page' is an entertaining night at the theatre, one hopes the audience does not forget what is happening outside." Full Review

Carey Purcell

"An astonishingly moving new musical…Directed by Michael Greif with palpable sensitivity, Evan is brought to life onstage by Ben Platt, who gives an exhaustingly rich performance…Levinson’s book offers piercing insight into the practice of marketing off of personal tragedies…I was surprised by the speed at which the story wraps up at the conclusion, which felt like too neat and tidy of an ending...But any slight criticisms are soon forgotten in the wake of the importance of this musical." Full Review

Heisenberg
Midtown W
Carey Purcell

"The entirety of this play is too confessional and absolutely unnecessary...A one-act, bare-bones look at the baffling interactions between two underwritten characters, 'Heisenberg' offers a pretentiously philosophical take on the myth of the manic pixie dream girl...Staged with sterile efficiency by Mark Brokaw...While the idea of a romantic ending is sweet, the likelihood that it will actually take place is so slim that the play’s conclusion feels quite forced." Full Review

Stuffed
Midtown W
Carey Purcell

for a previous production "There is little dramatic structure to 'Stuffed,' which is Lampanelli’s first play...No one conflict drives the evening, which runs for 80 minutes, as the four women each discuss their histories and their hopes...The subject of the play is endlessly relatable, as the women bond over their struggles...While the words 'male gaze' are never uttered onstage, the idea is omnipresent...The subject is a welcome one to be explored in a play, especially in an industry as male-driven as the theater." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
Carey Purcell

"This immersive show, which employs technology in impressively creative ways, never registers as a complete piece of theater...McBurney’s performance is undeniably impressive...But this performance alone is not enough to sustain the audience for almost two hours...'The Encounter' drags, leaving the audience wondering how long he will remain in the jungle. In its attempt to take us away from the devices and mindset of tracking time, 'The Encounter,' instead, reminds us of them." Full Review

The Birds
Midtown E
Carey Purcell

"The premise of 'The Birds' offers a great opportunity to explore environmental and political conflict, examining the collapse of the environment and the economy, but, under Stefan Dzeparoski’s direction, any kind of conflict is disappointingly tepid. Rather than an exploration of the impact of a contemporary apocalypse, the play presents a weak love triangle…While the 'The Birds' certainly presents claustrophobia, misguided symbolism and boredom are also served in equal doses." Full Review

A Doll's House
Brooklyn
Carey Purcell

"Gripping and resonant...A feeling of suffocation permeates 'A Doll’s House'...Lacey seems more comfortable with the flutteringly nervous Nora than she does as the calmly composed Laura, but Douglas is perhaps a bit too subdued in Torvald’s moral righteousness and superiority...Especially affecting are how the conclusions of plays are staged, with scenes that are both haunting and damning of the characters and offer new perspectives that blur the lines of good and evil." Full Review

Carey Purcell

“A gritty and gripping production...This production, directed by Benedict Andrews, unforgivingly refuses to offer the audience any sense of illusion...Anderson brings Blanche to trembling, desperate life...Foster inhabits Stanley with a much more casual attitude...Surprising at first, this offers even more shock and despair when, drunk with his male friends, Stanley erupts in violence.” Full Review

Noises Off
Midtown W
Carey Purcell

"Jeremy Herrin’s production features an ensemble of top-notch comedic actors, each bringing a special something that results in 2 ½ hours of non-stop laughter...Watching this show provides the second-best cardio in the city, topped only by the ceaseless energy of the actors onstage." Full Review