David Spencer

David Spencer is a critic with Village Voice. 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 (16)
80
Times Square Chronicles

“A sensitive tone poem; by turns serious, funny, heartbreaking, often quite touching, and somehow almost always uplifting...The cast is splendidly in tune with each other and the material, Vardalos being the radiant, healing soul at the center...A bit long...It occasionally and unintentionally repeats emotional work which consequently makes the sustaining of dramatic tension a bit more of a test...Given the rewards of the evening, that seems an almost negligible caveat.” Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

“A provocative, worthwhile study of a middle-aged man who becomes the designated primary guardian of his mother’s affairs...As directed by the redoubtable David Cromer, and possibly as indicated by the script, the proceedings move at a steady, slow, contemplative pace, with a lot of air for silent tension, and sometimes just for tacitly communicating the visceral sensation of time in suspension...Peter Friedman in one of his best performances ever.” Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

"There are no shortfalls in Terry Kinney’s new production, which perhaps takes the play to its hottest level ever...In all, this is 'The Price' the way it ought to be done, which is to say thoughtfully but also with the exuberance that invites making bold choices, taking big risks and thus, keenly balanced, taking what might otherwise be a decent 'talking heads' play to the heights of great and meaningful American drama." Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

“Drawing from several sources, McLean keeps the text pretty much strictly to the thematic point…FPA is at least as much about storytelling as spreading the word, and as such, the narrative is compelling because Lewis’s words are so elegantly crafted, and McLean’s fairly powerful presence is a good match for replicating Lewis’s public persona...Nothing proselytizes as effectively as a good show that eschews open proselytizing.” Full Review

75
Times Square Chronicles

"Its profligacy with words leads to a run time of nearly three hours...'A Day By the Sea' is a piece that could easily falter and become dull, but it gives director Austin Pendleton the kind of actors’ scene work at which he thrives, and with an interesting, often excellent cast, he manages to maintain audience concentration and engagement for the full run time handily. It’s a fine, bittersweet way to end New York’s theatrical summer." Full Review

75
Times Square Chronicles

"A very decent legal drama…The dialogue bristles with legal authenticity, and enough wit and solid characterization...Director Christopher Scott does no harm, but he doesn’t especially enhance…He has directed his cast to operate at a pitch a few clicks higher than naturalism, which makes you more aware of watching a play than you’d care to be; but the style isn’t egregious...The cast, while not exceptional, is plenty good enough to carry it and engage your interest." Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

"Highly recommended. Well acted by the four-person cast, well directed by Joseph Discher, well worth your time—albeit somewhat overwritten, which takes more of your time (Mr. Strand could trim 10 to 15 minutes of the script easily)…For all that its issues about history and co-existence are deadly serious, the play, like its main character, is slyly funny. Like the best plays about history, it resonates with contemporary life, and its personality is very, engagingly human." Full Review

95
Village Voice

"Writer-performer Staceyann Chin's new autobiographical solo show 'MotherStruck!' blazes an epic arc...Chin's script is well structured, funny, and moving, her comic delivery exhibits veteran game, and her physicality spans the gamut from sensual to gymnastic...This cathartic bullet-train ride is a confessional narrative about finding oneself...Ticket holders should come prepared to get on board and heed the conductor." Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

“An episodic portrait of the title character: a young, single, working mother (Carrie Coon) with the activity at the center of her life being the care of a chronically sick (always offstage) child...Under the unobtrusive, naturalistic direction of Anne Kauffman, ‘Mary Jane’ is a subtle, stage vérité portrait without answers; only empathy. Which is, here, appropriate and sufficient.” Full Review

65
Times Square Chronicles

"I think this is the kind of play that certain gifted young playwrights need to write; exploring the world they know and the people they know from the perspective they know. But there’s a callowness at the core, and to me...it feels like a play revealing truths that are only deep if you’re still of that generation and trying to dope things out...Anyway: well directed and well acted. And don’t let me dissuade you from the ride. Just don’t kid yourself about what’s under the hood." Full Review

65
Times Square Chronicles

"Kander’s music is, as always, highly attractive. He’s not exploring any new territory (for him) in terms of vocabulary, but he is using his familiar tool kit in more experimental song forms. Greg Pierce’s book is clean, uncluttered, his characters clear, his dialogue polished and economical; and the lyrics are likewise craftsmanlike and to the point. As is the direction by Leisl Tommy...I don’t know if 'Kid Victory' is something you’ll find satisfying. You may well, though, find it worthwhile." Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

“The courage of Letts’s script is that, while Ken certainly gives over to unexpected exploration, the essence of his decency, though tested, is never compromised…If ‘Man From Nebraska’ is the most modest of Letts’ plays in terms of ambition and style, it may also be his most hopeful, in terms of the long game it plays. Under the seemingly always unerring, delicate direction of David Cromer, it is very gratifyingly acted indeed, and ultimately about as touching as you hope it might be.” Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"Small Mouth Sounds' manages the extraordinary feat of both reducing human communication to its essentials, and exploding the range of emotion, depth and subtext possible when the need to break through barriers perforce becomes primal. Rachel Chavkin has the extraordinary cast directed on a runway stage configuration, so effectively that you too feel a part of the grand experiment. This play should have a long shelf life." Full Review

65
Times Square Chronicles

"It conflates exposé documentary, audience participation event and personal rumination to generally good effect, though for a script with precious little-long game dramatic tension, it goes on way too long…The high-tech aspects, staging and pacing are very well managed by director Josie Rourke, and it’s fun until it wears out its welcome. As to when that happens? It depends on how soon you start thinking, 'Jeez, all right, I get the point.' Your mileage may vary." Full Review

50
Times Square Chronicles

"Under Jimmy Fay’s appropriately invisible direction, the trio of actors do a fine job...But in the line of storytelling, some cultures may need a bit more to make a play along these lines worthwhile…Mr. McCafferty’s play takes us nowhere we don’t expect it to. It has no revelations, no particular surprises. In a way it’s pub therapy...It starts out angry, it becomes tolerant...A rough rapprochement is reached...We’re left with the sense of a case history ritual having been played out." Full Review

70
Village Voice

"The show hits its marks in terms of storytelling and characterization, with enough emotional connection to be engaging and occasionally moving. And while the evening is serious, it's neither solemn nor humorless. But there's the undeniable mediocrity of the material...The conflict between political ideology and human relationships is a staple of good drama, but the book delivers it in too many formulaic configurations. 'Allegiance' isn't dull or bad. It just doesn't matter as much as it ough... Full Review