Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is a critic with Theatre is Easy. 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 (40)
CurtainUp

"If you had told me at age 12 that my two favorite literary protagonists - Harry Potter and Percy Jackson - would be headlining Broadway shows side-by-side in less than 15 years, I can't imagine I would have believed you." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Staller's attempt to realize Shaw's vision, while well-meaning, seems misapplied… Braxton does ultimately make much of one of Shaw's most powerful women…I wonder, too, whether Shaw took his characters quite as seriously and his story quite as soberly as Staller thinks he should." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Small miracles bookend Rattlestick Theater's 'Novenas for A Lost Hospital in Greenwich Village.'" Full Review

CurtainUp

"His voice catches on a plaintive note, then crescendos to peals of laughter. Is this Lear? Is this Hamlet? No, it's just Mark Rodgers...delivering a 2-hour lecture performance." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"'Bat Out Of Hell's' aggressive incoherence comes not from its paint-by-numbers forbidden love story, but from its shoehorned songbook…but there is Jay Scheib's boisterous staging-all confetti, explosions, live video feeds from around Jon Bausor's tiered set, and speed-chase projections." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"'Measure' doesn't need the glaring visual cues that Janet Zarish delivers in a cut that leaves little but Isabella's quest to save her brother…with little emotional variation, even this slimmed-down version becomes tedious, with few performances popping out." Full Review

Dog Man: The Musical
West Village
Theatre is Easy

A Best Bet "Your Favorite Kid's Favorite Book Come To Life…'Dog Man: The Musical' is structurally sturdy and sophisticated in its storytelling…but also a silly, buoyant burst of energy…that at its heart is about two nutty kids, discovering the joy of live theater for the first time." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Not sufficiently gripping or consistently crystal-clear...What does stand out about this production, though, is the Gallery Players' vibrant commitment to inclusive casting...This 'Tempest' asks us to share Miranda's vision of a world where those differences no longer alienate us." Full Review

Reborning
Soho/Tribeca
CurtainUp

"Zayd Dohrn's three-person play is a family affair. Director Lori Triolo, who also acts has brought her mom and dad along for the ride: Joe-Marie Triolo's the art director and Peter Triolo designed the meticulously detailed set...It's hard not to project Zayd Dohrn's own parents on to this drama." Full Review

M4M
West Village
Theatre is Easy

“Shockingly relevant, even in a mixed-bag production...Brown’s actors give sturdy but never revelatory performances, and some scenes feel more emotionally varied and urgent than others...Brown’s technology-heavy interpretation feels competent but never fully realized. iPads and Skype sessions work fine to tell the story, but it’s not clear whether they serve as a nod to Vienna’s surveillance state, a commentary on our distance from one another, or just a quick fix for a small stage." Full Review

The White Devil
West Village
Theatre is Easy

“A sharp, contemporary take on Webster's feast of bloodlust...Red Bull’s pretty wicked and pretty satisfying new production...'The White Devil' rises and falls on its anti-heroine Vittoria, and this production never quite centers Vittoria’s story...It’s plot, not character, that ultimately drives Webster’s writing, and the crystal-clear, eminently accessible reading of the text, partnered with Proske’s nimble, active staging keeps the audience ever on its toes. The cast locates plenty of the... Full Review

After
Midtown E
Theatre is Easy

“’After’ turns out to be just talk itself, with relatively little to say...Everything we’re going to learn about these people—all white, by the way—can be gleaned in their first few minutes onstage...Some of the snippy humor early on lands adroitly, but it all feels like it’s buying time until the great ‘event’, the aftermath of which becomes unnecessarily contrived and melodramatic with a last-minute reveal that undermines the play’s attempts at moral ambiguity.” Full Review

We Are The Tigers
East Village
Theatre is Easy

"Isn't as sharp (or as funny) as it should be...Despite its substantial slices of pointed, tuneful material, plus a cleanly staged, energetic production, this new show keeps swerving from tone to tone...Each of the nine actors playing cheerleaders don their adolescent guises of immaturity, insecurity, and occasional inebriation with convincing gusto...If Allen’s willing to slash through some of the show’s excess and fluffy moralizing, there’s a pretty witty musical well worth rescuing in there." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“Song speaks louder than words in McCraney's Broadway debut...The unsettling, playful, puzzling drama...Pope’s effervescent performance stands out...Cullman, whose lucid, detailed staging lends focus to a script that, while consistently compelling, sometimes gets away from itself...’Choir Boy’ suffers from the early scenes’ premonitions of plotlessness...’Choir Boy’ isn’t a play about inaction, it’s a play about resilience...And that is something worth singing about.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Sturdy, accessible staging by director Emily Lyon, but it often feels like a tentative interpretation, one that’s not quite willing to probe beneath the surface of the play to explore the murky uncertainties that make the work so hypnotizing. Lyon’s cast handles the text adroitly...Lyon’s direction also tends to miss out on Shakespeare’s rawer comedy...It should be possible to embrace what’s most empowering about Helena’s journey without losing sight of what’s most complex." Full Review

The Brutes
West Village
Theatre is Easy

“A new smart but exhaustingly dense play...Despite this well-packaged setup, the problem is that, across the work’s dense 75 minutes, none of the characters shift from their starting positions...In its current form, 'The Brutes' is rather long on Stoppardian erudition and metaphor and less invested in how the siblings impact one another...Fellini, doubling as director, produces a lively variety of stage pictures in the small in-the-round space.” Full Review

Inner Voices 2018
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"All three works light up with abundant talents...but only one story feels fully at home...That one is 'Window Treatment,' a firecracker of a musical...'The Costume' centers around a 10-year-old boy charged by his next-door neighbor with nursing a wounded pigeon...‘Scaffolding’ offers yet another story about a person on the autism spectrum that’s entirely from someone else’s point of view...'Inner Voices' provides a fascinating look at how different stories can be told." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

“A shattering masterwork...An astonishing work about storytelling...Seeing ‘The Ferryman’ a second time reveals its monumentality in a new light. Not only does the play shimmer with repeated viewing, but many of the performances have grown even more persuasive...The inevitability of the play’s harrowing final moments newly illuminate Butterworth’s meticulous but unstrained construction of each brick in this formidable fortress of a play.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“This ‘Midsummer’ is far from normal...The big scene-stealer is a tangerine...I’m not sure why it’s food that emerges as the untidy central metaphor...There's no clear pattern in how and why the food shows up...Under Hasse’s inventive but often manic direction, the six actors form a cohesive ensemble...A few performances charge through the text too hammily at the expense of clarity...It’s easy to lose track of the course of true love amidst all that phosphorescent mashed potato.” Full Review

Wicked Frozen
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"In this aptly titled mashup of 'Wicked' and 'Frozen,' raucous goofiness and genuine warmth share center stage....If there’s any pointed satire here, it’s only in demonstrating the uncanny structural similarities between these two 'magic ice witch princess' musicals...What resonates most about 'Wicked Frozen' aren’t the hit-and-miss absurdities but the ways in which the show celebrates the impact of musicals on young people." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Kristy Cates, as an American tourist looking to be 'shocked' in Paris (that's literally the extent of her character development), runs away with the show…Porter's lyrics pop with their usual charm and occasional acerbity…most of the show feels snugly rooted in 1929." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A disorienting escape room of a play…but Zeller demands such hard, constant work from the audience in order to piece the puzzle together that 'The Height of the Storm' becomes a play inside a conceit rather than a conceit inside a play." Full Review

CurtainUp

"There's a white man sitting in the audience taking notes at this 'American Moor'" Full Review

Make Believe
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"In Bess Wohl's new play a shimmering quartet of young performers (all under 14, two of them under 10), kids marking time in their playroom attic while they wait, much too long, for their mom to come home." Full Review

Midsummer: A Banquet
Greenwich V
Theatre is Easy

"This may be a 'Midsummer Night's Dream' that prizes atmosphere above all else…Staging that's rambunctiously physical and borderline balletic…the food itself can threaten to upstage the play…but it shows the forest's generosity as a space to try on new attractions and new appearances." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"You don't need the signposts to find harrowing contemporary relevance in the story of a black New Yorker, Bigger Thomas…Bigger is given seething, sorrowful life by Galen Ryan Kane…by mixing and matching the novel's timelines and interspersing scenes, Kelley draws out some provoking parallels." Full Review

Broadway Bounty Hunter
West Village
CurtainUp

"The chance to see Annie Golden in her fiercely ridiculous (or ridiculously fierce) pursuit of justice is a bounty worth hunting all by itself." Full Review

Mojada
East Village
CurtainUp

"A warmly vital gift from the beginning...All of Luis Alfaro's characters are Latinx, and he offers deep contrasts between the ways that different newcomers, even within the same family, make sense of their new home and their suddenly shared identities." Full Review

CurtainUp

“An ambitious play...Dahlquist's winking irony often engages. But the play can also be tiringly heavy on exposition without exposing what it's all really about...The storytelling...feels far more knotty than it needs to be...’[Veil Widow Conspiracy]’ sets off the most sparks in the too-rare moments when the connections between timelines emerge clearly...Ultimately, however, it's not entirely clear what story we're supposed to walk away thinking about.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“A well-acted rendition with a breakneck tempo that works both for and against it...Directed with refreshing clarity...Greener’s gruff, brisk, and quippy take on Hamlet just gets too far ahead of the audience too fast...It tears through the text at such a pace that the questions are left unexplored...Hamlet Isn’t Dead stands among the most impressive and insightful of the New York Shakespeare scene. And if they would ever so slightly ease up on the gas, we could fully admire the view." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A dystopian head scratcher, but the fault is not in its stars...The lack of clarity about setting and story only muddies the relationships between characters. The show features some stand-out performances...What’s most confounding about Cooper’s wacky vision of Rome is how predictable it is. In a world aesthetically unmoored from the columns and temples of ancient patriarchy, why so few women?...Cooper’s staging has one really riveting moment." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Although there are some bright moments, this trimmed-down ‘Twelfth Night’ lacks wit and clarity...Save one or two brief exceptions...Benson constructs all the scenes with the actors standing in a horizontal line a few feet downstage of the quirky decorations...The approach to the play itself feels rather like the treatment of the scenery...More a series of scene studies...than a fully realized production, you can almost see the line numbers accumulating in the play-text’s margins." Full Review

The American Tradition
West Village
Theatre is Easy

“A century-bending, darkly funny interrogation of America's racist past and present...Director Axel Avin, Jr. stages an unsettling, momentum-building production that follows, per Yamanouchi’s instructions in the script, the Brechtian technique of alienation...Yamanouchi’s invitation for white audiences to find the funny in what may well be a reflection of themselves paves the path for a gut-punch of an explosion...A fast-talking, passionate, messy work of art." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“Masur’s and Johnson’s open-hearted, intelligent performances and Cirnigliaro’s thoughtful, understated direction polish up a play that occasionally treads water while in search of fresh ideas...Mallon’s humor can also be somewhat hit-and-miss...Still, Mallon just manages to thread the needle of balancing broad comedy with the multi-pronged pathos...’The Net Will Appear’ doesn’t demand much from its audience, but lovingly performed as it is here, it’s as gentle as an air hug.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Daffy but doggedly entertaining stage adaptation...And it’s actually a lot of fun...Much of ‘Clueless, the Musical’ is ‘Clueless, the Movie’, but...Heckerling hasn’t been afraid to replace and refresh much of the dialogue...And Heckerling’s lyrics, which ought to feel tacky...tend to work as silly satire...This musical gets the satire exactly right...The musical pulls 90s teens’ music under that wide net and it’s just enough new bite to make the enterprise worthwhile.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“The monologues and the impressions start out somewhat driftlessly, but Bauer’s writing, and the two central performances, quickly tighten and strengthen...Bauer sometimes also misses out on seizing the opportunities for richer nuance in making these figures’ monologuing voices sharper...Still, even if the edges are a little ragged, the center of ‘Vivian’s Music, 1969' quivers with well-earned and devastatingly all-too-familiar heartbreak." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“A joyful adaptation of ‘The Little Prince’...Expectations of how disability might or might not manifest in performance should be left at the door; this is as varied and individual a cast as any other...There are delightful performances...One of ‘The Little Prince’s’ surprising joys, though, came post-curtain call, when EPIC’s artistic director Therrien invited cast members to speak about their experiences performing with the company.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Because these actors would seldom be cast in most productions of this difficult, rarely staged trio of plays, there’s a palpable urgency in the excellence of the performances. By the end of six hours, it’s hard to picture anyone else in these roles, thanks to the relentless power of this company’s efforts. That our focus holds for this (very rarely wearying) marathon is in large part due to the boundlessly creative, perpetually smart direction by Stephen Brown-Fried." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"One of the least original works I’ve encountered...But what 'Gettin’ The Band Back Together' misses out on in terms of inventiveness, it begins to make up with John Rando’s more-than-proficient, often clever direction and the cast’s high-octane commitment to energizing, if not fully fleshing out, the cardboard cutout characters...The book veers between very silly and very lame...Tries its best to take us back to the good old days. If only it felt a little less old and a little more good." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“An epic but lackluster production...What should distinguish ‘Richard III’ from the colorful but plot-heavy ‘Henry VI’ plays is Richard himself...Here, there’s barely a discernible difference between de Rogatis’ Richard when he’s alone, confiding in the audience and when he’s deceiving anyone who stands in his way...The staging...often feels more like a series of acting class exercises than a production with a coherent vision." Full Review