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 (44)
90
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

80
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

70
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

60
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

60
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

75
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

80
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

75
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

40
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

70
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

40
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

80
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

30
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

90
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

60
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

55
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

95
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

25
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

45
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

60
The Huffington Post

"Technically, there is nothing wrong with 'Come From Away.' The ensemble of the piece work amazingly together...A very upbeat and positive vibe of hospitality and community...Uplifting, entertaining, and enjoyable; it's easy listening...However, it certainly is not ground-breaking, precedent-smashing, or boldly innovative...Just exists...Somewhat boring and unoriginal...Feels as conventional, low-budget, and unspectacular as a school production and community theater musical." Full Review

90
The Huffington Post

for a previous production "This production takes metatheatricality to an entirely new level...Throughout it all the entire audience could not stop laughing...More than most shows, this was absolutely an ensemble piece, and every member of the acting and creative team is deserving of praise...The comedy, stage magic, and physicality of this show was impeccably timed and shockingly precise...Without a doubt, 'The Play That Goes Wrong' is the funniest play Broadway has ever seen." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"Although the show presents an ambiguously-disabled Evan Hansen, the character remains incredibly sympathetic...The score, while beautiful and full of belting and ballads, often falls flat, with all the songs sounding similar...A must-see. Go for the amazingly powerful and emotional acting performances or the beautiful ballads, stay for the poignant critique about technology and sympathy in the modern age." Full Review

90
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

70
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

80
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

10
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

80
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

80
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

45
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

85
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

75
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

75
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

70
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

60
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

90
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

80
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

85
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

70
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

70
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

65
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

20
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

55
The Huffington Post

“The new musical has basically no events or structure…It’s hard to even provide accolades to any of the actors, because their characters made no sense…At times it feels a show for children; at other times it feels like a poorly conceived art piece that was trying to be indie and quirky...'Amelie' isn’t awful. Soo is actually quite good, though she has certainly done better. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with 'Amelie,' but there isn’t anything necessarily right about it either.” Full Review

20
The Huffington Post

"Though Connor may have be going for a more gritty, dark, and most importantly, accurate portrayal of the Vietnam War, he certainly missed the mark...Did the actors not portray the emotion of the piece enough? Maybe. Is the show poorly written? Probably. Did the director not emphasize the right moments or execute a new vision? Absolutely. If there is anyone to blame for this revival being lackluster, still racist, and not very different from the original, it’s the director." Full Review

70
The Huffington Post

"A somewhat decent musical that is fun, enjoyable, and comedic...May not be a radical musical that challenges the genre as a whole, it does have an important lesson about feminism, empowerment, and sweetness...The musical itself, while filled with hilarious support characters, emotional ballads...still falls somewhat short compared to the other new musicals this season...Quite enjoyable, it just was not exemplary...The songs all sort of melded into an I've-heard-this-before sound." Full Review