Christian Lewis

Christian Lewis is a critic with The Huffington Post. 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 (56)
Octet
Midtown W
Medium

"He has proven himself to be more than a niche obsession — he has become this generation’s Sondheim...In addition to sounding impeccable, 'Octet' is visually quite captivating and magically cohesive, thanks to the extraordinary direction of Annie Tippe...There is no way to leave 'Octet' unchanged; you will exit with a newfound understanding, fear, and appreciation of the powers of technology." Full Review

Medium

“The production as a whole perfectly captures the essence, comedy, and aesthetic of the original...The largest issues of the musical are its music / lyrics and the plotting of the book, which does not make much sense...The other problem...is the translation of Beetlejuice’s crude humor to 2019 and to a Broadway stage...Overall, the bland score and imperfect lyrics do not justify making ‘Beetlejuice’ into a musical...But ‘Beetlejuice’ is undeniably a fun, spooky time.” Full Review

Medium

"A complex masterpiece that far surpasses the already-beloved original. Here the musical has a newfound relevance that speaks to our moment more than could ever seem possible...Jones is giving one of the best performances of the season, completely reinterpreting a canonical role into something nuanced and psychological...Put plainly, this 'Oklahoma!' is a masterpiece in every element: direction, design, choreography, and acting; it has set the new gold standard on how to do a revival." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
Medium

"Graham’s play expertly tells how this ruthless pair push all morals aside in pursuit of press popularity, as they say throughout, distribution sales are all the matter. Rupert Goold as director has a perfect handle on the material, making it speak to American audiences and our press culture of today without feeling forced...It is the unspokenness of the relevance that makes this play so haunting and Goold’s direction so superb...It’s a cautionary tale that never becomes a moralistic fable." Full Review

Medium

“Practically every single thing about 'Hadestown' is perfect. It plays with form in new ways, forcing us to question what we know and believe about the genre. Its design is breathtaking, its performances masterful, and its direction superb. Everything about this masterpiece of a musical has Rachel Chavkin written all over it, which is the main reason why it is so effective...She has created a god among musicals.” Full Review

Medium

“The group’s connection with the civil rights movement is poignantly explored, which does great justice to the importance and significance of the Temptations...As a musical, ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ isn’t anything special per se, but as a jukebox it is rather good, certainly better than most...It’s hard to resist some of their classic hits...and when they are expertly sung...’Ain’t Too Proud’ is perfect for a fun night of well-performed nostalgia, with some history on the side.” Full Review

Medium

"Director Cullman combines all the elements of writing, acting, and design to create a play that is equally powerful and emotionally moving. The pacing is perfect and poignant ...Playwright McCraney often uses music in the way a musical does, to heighten emotion and express the feeling of a scene, but even more haunting is the Cullman’s strategic use of silence: he makes us sit in the uncomfortable and the painful in ways that are remarkably evocative." Full Review

Medium

"There’s amazing Mackie costumes, there’s hunky backup dancers, there’s plenty of Cher-ism jokes pulled from her tweets, and there is even some feminism in there too...So focus on the rhinestones and the songs you love, and try not to to scoff at the whiplash-inducing, uneven book. This is quite an easy assignment, especially since our three Chers provide a lot for the audience to love...It is certainly not a well-written musical, but it is an amazingly fun night of theater." Full Review

Medium

"This production is certainly quite Brechtian, but even by these standards it may lack some subtly. The larger issue of the production is a confusion of plot events and characters, which is equally the fault of the play and the director...The play may be dense, the production may be confusing, and direction may be a bit heavy handed, the design too minimal, but Mr. Esparza is perfect." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Medium

"While the cast size, run time, and setting of the play may feel new, just about everything else feels perhaps too familiar...Despite the play’s potentially formulaic nature and stereotypical characters, it is still quite a gripping drama. The play includes an almost never-ending exposition ,  but it has some pay off of emotional drama in the third act, not to mention a very sudden climax...Although the play serves a large heap of drama, it does not feel new, nor does it justify its size or l... Full Review

Medium

"When you base a new play off of a lengthy, brooding, melancholic, overly poetic play, your are bound to bore the audience with too many 'words words words'...The most upsetting structural element, however, is the fact the after over two hours of rehearsal and debate, we are never given a glimpse of Sarah’s actual performance as Hamlet. Despite all the plays problems, there is certainly a great deal to praise to be given, almost entirely to the extraordinary Janet McTeer." Full Review

Medium

“May be a period piece but it certainly isn’t stuffy or old fashioned in any way...The musical embraces it’s own ridiculousness, playing into every campy element possible...It is hard to look past some of its larger flaws. Most odious among them are its book...The failures of this musical seemed avoidable...This musical is a bit messy, but it’s fun and it is doing some very important work for representation and visibility on Broadway.” Full Review

Medium

"Mantello and his star cast have breathed a new life into this production...They managed to find unexpected connections between 1968 and 2018...The first two thirds is a hilarious comedy...But in the final third, comments turn from petty to pointed, to prejudiced, to painful...The play becomes startling, feeling unresolved and leaving a bad taste in your mouth...'The Boys in the Band' is imperfect...A deeply significant event for the gay community and the theater community." Full Review

Medium

"Spell-binding...Takes stage magic to an entirely new level...The script is certainly not stellar...Some bizarre pacing issues...But these flaws are entirely with the script, in production there is so much magic that it is all too easy to get swept up and not even notice the problems in the writing...The extended choreographic transitions are unnecessary...But just as the magic saves any textual issues, the fantastic music gives the choreography a pass." Full Review

Medium

"If you are a real Summer fan you would have a much better evening reading her Wikipedia page with a Spotify playlist...Attempts to use Summer's songs to tell her life story...Book writers do seem to not care about accuracy, controversy, clarity, or telling her life in order...One of the worst books for a musical...The music is good and thankfully our trio of Donnas do quite a good job...What made 'Summer' almost unbearable was the dialogue, the direction, and the scenic design." Full Review

King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
Medium

"Sher gives an iconic performance...He is captivating...Lear is set up to be our villain, a certainly unique and fresh take by Doran...This (re)interpretation is exciting and bold. However, as the tragedy gears towards a close, the directorial vision falls apart, completely unsupported by the text...This production was not about coherence, it instead chose to embrace the madness of the play and present a 'King Lear' that was beautiful, intense, and felt new. It certainly delivers." Full Review

Medium

"Very loosely formed plot...Feels more like a concert...The book is certainly a corny mess...None of the actors are safe from this hackneyed style of writing...They all trying to make the best with what they have been given...It does not matter that the musical is not well-written, has problematic lyrics, is very white, and has some horribly crafted jokes...'Escape to Margaritaville' is critic-proof...Has a very clear fan base and they do not care if it is a quality piece of musical theater." Full Review

Queer Voices

"Absolutely enjoyable...Can come off as an 'after school special' designed to teach children some important life lessons while also letting them enjoy a fun day at the theater...An important piece of Broadway theater that combines genres, contains spectacular music, and represents an important moment in the history of musical theater...Full of adorably sassy children, hilarious rock anthems, and an extremely talented cast of child and adult actors." Full Review

Medium

"Jackson gives a completely unenthusiastic, lackluster performance, producing a pompous and condescending vibe that, like him, never seems to go away...Ridloff provides such a powerful honesty to her character that it is impossible not to side with her and to believe everything she says...Perhaps Mr. Leon is unaware that 'Children of a Lesser God' is a deeply offensive play...This production of 'Children of a Lesser God' proves that some plays are best left on the shelf." Full Review

Medium

"Nothing about the musical disappoints...Quite simply, it is a triumph. It so perfectly adapts the beloved, generation-defining film on to the Broadway stage, adding fierce belts and group dance numbers with an ease that seems almost effortless...The principle actors have managed to find the perfect blend of inspiration and innovation...Yes, the 'Mean Girls' musical has a very obvious lesson and is trying to be more educational, but we are better off for it." Full Review

Queer Voices

"In a play so complicated, it takes a skilled director to balance all the characters and their many subplots. Sadly, it seems that perhaps Elliott was not up for the job...The direction lacks a clear center or focal point...Praise must be given to the supporting cast...These actors helped to round out the piece...An imperfect production, but the play itself makes up for this...A masterpiece, and this production proves it. It is heart-wrenching, funny, emotionally moving, and most of all real." Full Review

The Children
Midtown W
The Huffington Post

“Among the other dystopias, political rants, and apocalyptic pieces this season, 'The Children' seems unremarkable...The most interesting part of the play is the ethical debate...This debate is the saving grace of the play, since it provides a moral and ethical debate that is as fascinating as it is relevant...Without the morality discussion 'The Children' is an odd mix of apocalypse and stage naturalism, a combination that certainly no one asked for." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"It is magical and colorful and fun...It is an incredible visual spectacle with some real substance underneath. It’s perfect not only for children but for families, for adults, for anyone...The director, designers, and actors have accomplished something extraordinary, perhaps one of the best examples of 'suspension of disbelief' ever seen in theater...One of the best musicals on Broadway right now, and is certainly the best musical of the season. Quite simply, it is extraordinary." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
The Huffington Post

"At its most painful moments, an incredibly obvious political commentary void of any nuance...Fundamentally, this play seems like a bad piece of writing...The staging of the show was often awkward and incredibly unnatural...The men of the production were basically intolerable and miserable to watch. But in their defense, their characters were horribly written and had to contend with some of the most stilted dialogue to be heard on Broadway in the last decade." Full Review

Junk
Upper W Side
The Huffington Post

"It is inaccessible, almost even incomprehensible to the non-finance majors...The costume design and plot structure did nothing to help the audience comprehend the piece...Even the actors who played characters around whom the whole plot turned were often forgettable amid the array of look-alike clones with unmemorable character names and barely distinguished personality traits...It feels more like an economics lecture by an old professor." Full Review

Happy Talk
Midtown W
Medium

"Most likely you will leave 'Happy Talk' with a feeling of strangeness and conflicted emotions; it all feels a bit off and out of place...Eisenberg’s dialogue is often hilarious, and Lorraine is constantly unaware of how ridiculous she is...However, it is in the second half that everything really falls apart — both in the plot and in the quality of the writing...Had potential, and it began well, but overall it does not meet expectations and comes off as poorly written and unresolved." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Out Magazine

"It’s the comedic style that makes responding to 'Tootsie' so complicated; objectively hilarious, it is easy to get swept up, but sneakily mixed in among the hilarious lines about show business are the problematic quips that mock drag, gender expression...The transphobic and misogynist premise, poorly written female characters, mocking of queerness, and faux-feminist male characters should not be shocking at all coming from an almost all-white male cisgender creative team." Full Review

Medium

"Taylor Mac is known for extravagant and experimental work, and if that is what you are looking for, 'Gary' does not disappoint. But if you are coming for composure and coherence, this is likely not the show for you. Much like the dining room of corpses, this play feels a bit overstuffed. That being said, it is a delightful and hilarious piece, albeit one that is quite overwhelming...What I will say, however, is that Broadway is perhaps the wrong venue for this piece." Full Review

Medium

"Had a lot to live up to. Sadly, it doesn’t quite deliver...Metcalf and Lithgow give good performances...However, neither feels like they are bringing anything to these roles that they haven’t done before...A lack of freshness is the main issue...in the acting, the design, and most disappointingly, in the text...The play has no surprises, no new insight...A bit bland...It comes off as a much less good version of ‘Veep’.” Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“This piece is a beautiful, amorphous exploration of constitutional law, the judicial system, and the oh-so important concept of equal rights for all...Schreck weaves the personal and political in such seamless ways that this never feels like a civics class, but instead like a compelling story...The entire play is miraculously fluid...A guidebook in how to do political theater and an exemplary example of the power of theater. It is a flawless, moving, and incredibly powerful masterpiece.” Full Review

Daddy
Midtown W
Medium

"The writing, acting, direction, design, and music are all flawless and combined they create a work that is nothing short of a masterpiece: in short, 'Daddy' is the greatest play of the decade...'Daddy' is a theatrical achievement of the highest degree; a bold, experimental, political, and important work of theater that will not soon be forgotten...You will leave deeply moved and it will teach you a great deal not only about race and relationships, but about theater as an art form." Full Review

Medium

“Heckerling manages to perfectly capture the spirit, camp, humor, and vibe of the original. In an age of jukeboxes and adaptations, ‘Clueless’ stands out as expertly written, performed, designed, and executed...‘Clueless’ thrives on its camp, cult status, and nostalgia...Heckerling adapted the songs and wrote new lyrics...so they actually advance the plot and make sense for the characters...The musical is consistently hilarious in ways that both mimic the film and somehow feel fresh.” Full Review

Medium

"The story of the gradual decline in the health, hearing, and memory of Gladys...The piece is a memory play, sporadically narrated by her grandson Daniel, played by Lucas Hedges...His performance is a bit stiff and awkward, but then again he is not given much to work with character-wise. The same can be said of the other somewhat underdeveloped characters...They just are not noteworthy, especially next to the extraordinary presence of Elaine May." Full Review

Torch Song (NYC)
Midtown W
Medium

"The piece still works, it feels fresh and revolutionary all over again. It speaks to the gay experience powerfully and emotionally...Although the direction of the piece may at times seem a bit too minimal, the script edits sometimes don’t work, and the supporting cast is imperfect, none of it seems to matter because it is a joy to watch Michael Urie in this role...You will start the night laughing and end the night with some tears, but it is all worth it." Full Review

The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Medium

"It may be early, but I am confident when I say that “The Nap” is the low point of the Broadway season...It is tragically unfunny, consistently offensive, and devoid of any quality...The characters are constantly making jokes about these preposterous traits, and the shtick gets old very quickly. To make matters worse, the majority of the jokes are rather offensive...I’ll give the show points for casting a trans actor to play the trans character, but they get points for literally nothing else." Full Review

Medium

"If nothing else, this musical proves the power of the people...Perhaps the show just speaks to teenagers of this generation. Maybe it’s something in the songs or the book, or even in Brackett’s direction...What makes 'Be More Chill' most distinct is its science fiction element...Everyone is impressive, hilarious, and superbly talented...Not a show to ignore...The show may be somewhat immature, but it speaks to an entire generation, so it is clearly doing something right." Full Review

Skintight
Midtown W
Medium

"Although audiences may be initially confused — or disappointed even — to see legendary belter Idina Menzel not sing a single note in this new play, they will leave pleasantly surprised...Mr. Aukin tackles this play with a fierce exactitude that revels in Harmon’s signature ethical ambiguities...Perhaps 'Skintight' is less powerful, poignant, and timely than Harmon’s other recent works, but it still is a fascinating play that leaves the audiences with quite a lot to think and talk about it ." Full Review

Medium

“Chavkin here attempts to make the connections between Levellers, Diggers, and Ranters of the English Civil War and our modern protesters. Mostly, the connections seem obvious, forced, and not supported in the text...Plotless and often coming across more as a British history lecture...The problems lie in the text. The director certainly had a clear vision...The actors, too, are worthy of some praise...A good director and a more than competent cast cannot save 'Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.'” Full Review

Travesties
Midtown W
Medium

"Surprisingly palatable, even digestible, a rare word to describe the dense Stoppard drama. But Marber’s production keeps things light, rapidly-paced, and comedic; it embraces fragmentation and excess and turns it into a non-stop party...The production satirizes the overly academic nature of the play and turns the would-be elitism into comedy...The most pleasantly surprising revival this season...Patrick Marber and his extraordinary cast have managed to strike comedy gold." Full Review

Medium

"Despite the inconsistent design of the piece, Sullivan’s production was otherwise refined, choosing to focus more on the characters and the personal conflicts...This approach strengthened the production overall, allowing the actors to shine...The play suffers from some minor pacing issues, which are the direct cause of Rashad’s extraordinary talent. When she is not onstage, the audience is (rightfully) unhappy...waiting for her to make a glorious return." Full Review

Admissions
Upper W Side
Medium

"Edelman gives an extraordinary performance...Hecht helms the production...Her performance is confident and powerful...The supporting cast does an excellent job...The voices of people of color were nonexistent in the play and were nonexistent in the audience. Although Harmon may have purposefully chosen to have 'Admissions' be a piece where white people talk about and for people of color, I don't believe he would have wanted his audience to be as white as his cast." Full Review

Lobby Hero
Midtown W
Medium

"Nothing about the piece feels dated. In fact, this revival proves how little has changed...The issues feel somehow more relevant now...Longeran merges serious issues and biting comedy; he crafts quirky characters that are somehow annoying and yet deeply human and relatable...The text of the play does most of the work in making this production a success...The blocking often felt very forced and stagey, with actors looking uncomfortable and unnatural...The cast was certainly endearing." Full Review

Afterglow
Midtown W
Queer Voices

“Though ‘Afterglow’ is definitively part of this new gay canon and does in fact explore modern gay issues, it is certainly the least successful, significant, and wide-reaching of the bunch. Overall the show is a bit too melodramtic, oversimplified, and erotic to make any claims at having serious commentary on queerness…‘Afterglow’ is not necessarily a bad show, but it’s biggest faults are its lack of nuance and its lack of impact.” Full Review

Medium

"The play itself — and this production in particular — is prize-worthy...The play is tight and fierce and potent. It perfectly blends the emotional vigor of his earlier period with the experimentalism of his later years. But the success of a play so small in cast relies entirely on the actresses...Jackson is at the helm. Rarely does she let one of the other two women take the wheel...All three are simply magnificent...Three exceptional actresses perform a remarkable play." Full Review

Medium

"It is easy to see why this is not one of the more popular Shakespeare plays. 'The Winter’s Tale' is a bizarre sort of play that seemingly doesn’t know what it wants to be...Any attempt to make the two parts of the play feel unified often fail. So Arbus’ solution was to create two completely distinct worlds...The play often came across as flat and felt as if it was lagging...The play itself is not perfect, but Arbus takes the audience on a ride where anything can happen." Full Review

Queer Voices

"A 45 minute experience unlike anything you have ever witnessed before. It is somewhere between a wonderful dream and a terrifying nightmare, a reverie and a fantasia, a set of monologues and a lyric poem; it is equal parts tragic and beautiful...Somehow Kennedy, the director Evan Yionoulis, and the two actors make it seem more like a Greek tragedy than a one act play...Kennedy’s bold new work forces us to reconcile the past while looking hopefully towards the future." Full Review

Cruel Intentions
Greenwich V
The Huffington Post

"It works again as a musical...The most defining part of the musical by far is the score...At times this can seem ridiculous, but it is when the actors play into the comedic ridiculousness of the situation that the songs work best...In a 90s nostalgia jukebox musical, harnessing the comedy is essential. Perhaps this is what made the performances of the leading pair unsuccessful...The vocals in the production were extraordinary...Not high art, but it is fun, sexy, and seductive." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Before the show has even begun, the musical has a vibe, a tone, a feeling, a smell, a sensation, an aesthetic. The actors can feel it, but more importantly, the audience can feel it...Of the entire cast, the four actors playing the gods stole the show and certainly gave the best performances...Overall 'Once on this Island' felt more like a song cycle than a musical...More than anything else, this revival of 'Once On This Island' provides an aesthetic experience unlike anything else on Broadw... Full Review

The Huffington Post

“Technically, there is nothing wrong with ‘The Band’s Visit’. It is innocent and simple and sweet and short. It has culture and several languages and unique musical styles. But on the other hand, there is nothing particularly right with the musical either. It is mostly lacking the complexity of plot, character, and songs that we expect in a musical nowadays. It almost seems like the weak second act of an otherwise good musical.” Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
The Huffington Post

“No good theater critic can enjoy 'Prince of Broadway'…In addition to the egotism of the production, the actual show itself is utterly disappointing…Although the audience is visually given reminders of the extraordinary, Tony Award-winning versions, they have to sit through lackluster performances that do not hold up to the originals. Sadly the designs are the best part of the show." Full Review