Christopher M. Struck

About:  Chris Struck currently writes for Cabaret Scenes magazine and formerly for Applause! Applause!. His novel, 'Kennig and Gold,' will re-release in April 2019.
Reviews (24)
Cabaret Scenes

"Bernadette Peters takes up the ever-fascinating mantle of Dolly in the inspiring revival of 'Hello Dolly!' alongside brilliant Victor Garber. Her fantastic stage magic and ability to hold a spotlight cracks open the heart in a classic New York love story of rich man gets the girl. Starring beside them and showcasing stunning chemistry are cast returnees, Gavin Creel and Kate Baldwin. Definitely worth seeing for the fabulous atmosphere they create in this extraordinary revival." Full Review

Arden/Everywhere
Gramercy
Applause! Applause!

“The play at first glance appears to be an original production about immigration, but it is, in fact, a play that re-imagines Shakespeare's ‘As You Like It’ as a story about refugees. Exiles of many nationalities live in Arden along with original characters who were banished to live in the forest. The set and lighting design are of the highest quality and the actors are all talented professionals. It is worth your time to see it.” Full Review

The Mecca Tales
East Village
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“This relatable and entertaining play shares five very diverse stories about Muslim women participating in a Hajj Pilgrimage. The actors are all professionals who are very convincing. At times, they need to plow through unrealistic dialogue but the play is informative and engaging. I think even as a piece of contemporary women's fiction, it provides a platform for lively discussion. It is also an easy way to learn a bit more about Islam.” Full Review

Trump Lear
Midtown E
Applause! Applause!

“Pitted against himself with a slim chance of saving his own life. David Carl must perform his one-man ‘King Lear’ for a tyrant Trump under bright interrogation lights. Trump also breaks for commercials which simply portray him as the richest, smartest man alive. David has captured lightning in a bottle with this brilliant comedy. Ultimately, you don't need to hate Donald Trump to enjoy the show. It's worth more than a few laughs for less than a few bucks.” Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“The play chronicles the intense and strange relationship between the young, Thorkild Bjornvig, and the famous, Baroness Karen Blixen (known in the United States by the pseudonym Isak Dinesen), who takes a special interest in his ‘career’ after he published his collection of poems in 1947. Many aspects of this play were revealing and powerful, especially regarding the creative process which Blixen states ‘takes courage.’ I recommend it.” Full Review

Loveless Texas
East Village
Applause! Applause!

"'Loveless Texas' took an interesting twist on Shakespeare's 'Love's Labour's Lost' and made for a generally entertaining musical. The biggest issues with this modern restructuring of Shakespeare's classic were that it didn't take a big enough step away from the original in the over-arching plot. It became too predictable while creating too many subplots which became mired in unnecessary detail. Ultimately, the happy ending and the positive messages in the songs made for an enjoyable show." Full Review

Lost and Guided
East Village
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"Set amidst the onset of violence in Syria's Civil War, it follows the fates of two families. While relying too heavily on the classic idea of how war can tear apart families and ruin lives, the play does synthesize the emotions of the characters through good acting and an engaging script. The cast brought a human element to a faraway war that now resonates for me more emotionally than it did before watching the play. I would recommend 'Lost and Guided' for its timeliness and gritty nature." Full Review

In a Word
West Village
Applause! Applause!

"This play delivers an introspective of what it can be like to work with and raise a mentally challenged child. At first, we are confronted with the heartbreaking situation of parents who have had their adopted son kidnapped and a mom who seems unable to move on with her life. As the play progresses, we become less empathetic as we get a clearer picture of the circumstances of the household and of the mother's true relationship with her son. The play is well-written, fluid, and makes you think." Full Review

Jubilee
East Village
Applause! Applause!

"This play is a scathing rebuke of any sympathy for the type of behavior that led to the deaths of so many in Nazi Germany. 'Jubilee' revolves around Juergen's visits to a Jewish graveyard where the victims of his hate lie buried. As discrimination grows, do we just stand by until an outright act of violence takes place or must we act now to stop what is to come. Many stuck in Axis countries before the fighting broke out observed others drowning and many never lifted a finger in their defense." Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“This play stuck with me in a different way than other plays. It challenged me to avoid falling into a self-destructive cycle. It is worth seeing but I am a little skeptical of some of the writing. The characters have a nearly impossible time dealing with normal life. We see a loose social circle self-destruct right before our eyes. If you can get past the fact these people's mental fortitude sometimes feels like it has the viscosity of glass, then you'll easily be able to enjoy this play.” Full Review

Luft Gangster
East Village
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"This story latches onto your attention early and doesn't let go. The gradual building of intensity and the smooth introduction of various characters, actors, and settings draw the viewer into the life of the lead character, Lou Fowler, a United States Army Air Corps waist gunner, who was shot down and held prisoner by the Germans at Stalag Luft VI. The play keeps things engaging on a personal and dramatic level. Solid acting helps to create a sense of purpose for each character." Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“‘King Lear’ has been regarded as one of Shakespeare's supreme achievements. The cast is extremely talented but Austin Pendleton in the lead role was sometimes difficult to understand. While he delivered some excellent monologues, he stumbled over more than a few lines. However, he acted the mad King at the end of the play with flair. The stage props and lighting created a cool and eerie atmosphere that made the personal descent of the King into madness more pronounced. I recommend this show.” Full Review

Cabaret Scenes

"Come for Rylance. He's more than good. Stay to the end for Davies. He was magnificent." Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“The Gallery Players strikes the right note with this revival of ‘The Elephant Man’ depicting the real-life story of Joseph Merrick (John Merrick), the Victorian Era curiosity who aspires to live a normal life. The lead role is a challenging one requiring M. Rowan Meyer to contort his body, throw his voice, and delve into the feelings of a character whose deformities leave him devoid of any meaningful human contact. Meyer is extraordinary and shines alongside an impressive cast.” Full Review

Syncing Ink
Soho/Tribeca
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“This musical crossover of hip-hop expands on the stylistic innovations of ‘Hamilton’ to demonstrate the power of this uniquely American subculture (Hip Hop) to create personal, emotional impact. This play features love, rivalry, failure, and redemption. The absolute fantastic meter soars in this play due to the accomplishments of the actors. Their combined ability to dance in complex break dancing moves as well as to change character brought the whole thing together seamlessly.” Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“This production of ‘Annie’ is simply marvelous. Anchored by a strong cast, this classic story of the hard-knock orphan who miraculously becomes the adopted daughter of Oliver Warbucks, melted the hardest hearts while remaining accessible to the plethora of children in attendance. The audience couldn't help but be impressed by this touching tale of fortune favoring the luckless. Annie's positive attitude and outlook on life should be adopted by all (not just FDR and his senior cabinet.)” Full Review

In a Little Room
East Village
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"A phenomenal script by Pete McElligott was brought to life by the talented acting trio of Jeb Kreager, Luis-Daniel Morales, and David Triacca. The play was funny, deep, and disturbing. Charlie lost his wife and Manning lost his daughter. One died instantly. The other died after a long illness. Coffee is spilled and then the hospital catches fire and starts to burn down. Basically, a comedy. A dark one you should not miss." Full Review

Inanimate
Soho/Tribeca
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“This play aimed true in almost every regard. The dialogue was crisp; the set (scene, costume, lighting, and sound) design was on point; and the acting, phenomenal. Beyond that, ‘Inanimate’ intrigued me with its oddities and left me wondering about the intricacies of the human mind. Regardless of the conclusions you may draw from seeing this play, which is about Erica having sexual relationships and feelings for inanimate objects, I am certain you will be entertained.” Full Review

Apartment 301
Soho/Tribeca
Applause! Applause!

"As a comedy, 'Apartment 301' misses on a lot of levels. From the stilted script that lacked any depth to the dark lighting in the theater, a lot of pieces of the production negatively influenced the ability of the play to be funny. Most of the jokes were either making fun of millennial women or of a pathetic neighbor who was completely irrelevant as a character. The actresses had the hardest time breathing life into their dialogue and were unable to make the dramatic moments believable." Full Review

Bastard Jones
Chelsea
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"This rock musical comedy started out with a bang and ended with an earth shaking finale. The play told the oft-comedic tale of Tom Jones, a 1749 story of a bastard ward to an English squire named Allworthy. Marc Acito, the writer of Allegiance, did a superb job of weaving amusing action between entertaining songs setting the stage for gripping reveals. He and lyricist Amy Engelhardt were aided by an energetic cast with strong vocal talent that provided us ample opportunity to bask in awe." Full Review

Mein Kampf
East Village
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“The irony of this poignant play about Hitler's youth in Vienna draws on cleverly crafted circumstances to entice laughs despite the reality of how long past events unfolded. The play paints Hitler as an incapable louse assisted in a flophouse by an old, ugly Jewish man. If you're looking to be entertained by the hapless efforts of two strangers in Vienna with comedy that leans toward slapstick and the bonus of a resonantly original take on human existence, then this play is for you.” Full Review

The Conspiracists
West Village
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“This play is about a support group for younger conspiracy theorists who meet in a church basement. It is quirky, funny and surprisingly dark. The stilted narrative thread follows a strange sequence of events through three alternate realities. What's unclear is whether the actions in one reality always affect the other realities or if the sequences are happening simultaneously. The play does help us to reflect on various aspects of our own lives.” Full Review

The Fare
East Village
Applause! Applause!

"'The Fare' is an interesting play but it has some rough moments and fails to deliver a coherent message. The story revolves around a New York banker who has a disagreement with a Pakistani cab driver over a fare. The dialogue is interesting but it takes place in truly ridiculous and unrealistic circumstances. While the play addresses important subjects such as immigration, class, and relationships, it stated the obvious so much it could star in a commercial as Captain Obvious." Full Review

Applause! Applause!

“‘Sweet Bird Of Youth’ was the last critically acclaimed play by Tennessee Williams before drugs and alcohol destroyed his productivity. It is an entertaining spectacle showcasing his skill delivering a masterclass in dialogue and story development. The actors perform their parts with emotion and passion. This production is funny, moving, and at times, unpredictable. It keeps the full attention of the audience through three acts. A standing ovation for a job well done!” Full Review