Debbie Z

New York City | 50-64 | Female
About:  Singer and Lover-of-all-things-Musical-Theater
Reviews (66)
78
Relevant, Work-in-progress, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you feel that history can teach us much about the present, you enjoy plays that bring sacred text to life, you admire experimental theater.

Don't see it if you want a fully-realized, linear narrative, you have no interest or context for stories from the Talmud.

Also I have known these stories for over 40 years yet this retelling of the... Read more Read less

78
LOVER
Midtown W
Cliched, Quirky, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if you like one person confessional shows. The show evolved from a rather banal recitation of relationships to a deeper portrayal of a life.

Don't see it if you want a deep story although the show picked up midway and became far more interesting. Far too many Jewish stereotypes for my taste.

79
Rinse, Repeat
Midtown W
Relevant, Ambitious, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you are interested in the rarely-discussed but prevalent subject of disordered eating. That the playwright plays herself is powerful.

Don't see it if you seek something light and fun. This is serious and painful yet illuminates an important subject. I wanted more nuance in the parents.

91
Working: A Musical
Midtown W
Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you love the work of Stephen Schwartz or any of the brilliant collaborators who created this show, you enjoy a show that evolves to its time

Don't see it if if you want a traditional musical with a linear narrative, a hero, a heroine and great sets, fancy costumes and elaborate dancing.

84
During previews
Little Women
West Village
Delightful, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant

See it if Little Women was one of your favorite books and you are curious to see how it works as a play and how it speaks to our time.

Don't see it if You prefer not to have a classic work of literature reframed to illuminate some of the contemporary challenges of gender and identity.

79
During previews
The Cradle Will Rock
East Village
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you believe theater should give us insight into our world, if you enjoy the work of Marc Blitzstein and Kurt Weill.

Don't see it if you're looking for a light, frothy, colorful musical or you want an escape from the challenges of today's political climate.

89
Clever, Delightful, Resonant, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you're an optimist at heart and love a story with a happy ending, you appreciate a clever premise & a well-executed production. Great cast!

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional musical or you're wanting something dark and deep.

92
Enchanting, Exquisite, Great staging, Masterful, Must see

See it if you feel passionately about musical theater and one of the most iconic shows that transformed Broadway in its time and continues to thrill!

Don't see it if you hate dancing, musical theater magic or you want a linear narrative in your shows.

90
Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful, Must see

See it if you enjoy Lieber and Stoller's music or if you don't know you do because most of these songs are iconic and are presented in a fabulous way!

Don't see it if you want a book musical or you hate musicals or you hate Lieber and Stoller's music or you need to sit for three hours for an intense drama.

69
Skintight
Midtown W
Ambitious, Cliched, Intense, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if you are a passionate fan of Idina or the others, you are intrigued by exploring definitions of beauty, youth and family, & oh, that set!

Don't see it if the histrionics got in the way of depth, the subjects of the play were intriguing but the playwright didn't take us anywhere new or helpful.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Epic, Masterful

See it if you want a classic, produced with style, intelligence and phenomenal acting. Its themes are sadly resonant. 3 hours flew by!

Don't see it if if you know or care nothing for Joan's story or the conflict between church and secular authority. If 3 hours seems daunting, don't go!

50
The Cover of Life
East Village
Ambitious, Disappointing, Intense, Slow, Cliched

See it if your desire to see a show about three sisters married to three brothers in Louisiana during WWII trumps seeing a polished, coherent play

Don't see it if you are looking for a well-written play with great dialogue and a compelling narrative. The actors deserved better material.

Also I really wanted to like this play. The premise was interesting and I w... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Disappointing, Intense

See it if you are interested in the early days of Israel's development and you are intrigued by the intersection of culture, music and identity

Don't see it if you seek a show with more action than lots of speeches at other characters. Too much 'talking heads' staging.

Also I wanted to like this show so much but it just didn't come together su... Read more Read less

92
During previews
Great writing, Masterful, Intense, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you enjoy Eve Ensler's political-activist/personally-driven theater. Her story is compelling & powerful. The staging is extraordinary.

Don't see it if you don't want a one-woman show that deals with explicit discussions of illness or Eve Ensler's kind of theater does nothing for you.

71
Ambitious, Great acting, Cliched, Slow, Intense

See it if You love the golden age of Hollywood, you enjoy one woman shows and shows that illuminate the challenges faced by women.

Don't see it if You are hoping for a lighthearted show or a musical

92
Brigadoon
Midtown W
Enchanting, Great singing, Must see, Romantic, Delightful

See it if You love classic musicals, the enchanting music of Lerner & Loewe, Kelli O’Hara doing anything, Stephanie J Block and gorgeous dancing.

Don't see it if You hate beautifully sung and danced musicals or you prefer a more realistic story line

91
Great acting, Great staging, Enchanting, Must see, Delightful

See it if you have a pulse! Great revival of a fun show. Donna Murphy was exceptional as were her castmates. Staging & costumes were extraordinary.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a Jerry Herman show or a show of the Golden Age of musicals, or you don't want to be dazzled by a beautiful show.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great singing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Enchanting

See it if you appreciate the legacy of Yiddish music and culture and how relevant these songs are today & you want a show that is well-sung and acted.

Don't see it if you have no interest in Yiddish language or culture, you don't like supertitles and you believe that America has no room for newcomers.

88
During previews
The Whirligig
Midtown W
Riveting, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if you seek a riveting 2+ hour drama that invokes a lot of the issues surrounding addiction and the way a community responds to one of its own.

Don't see it if you seek a light evening of entertainment or don't want a show that shows the underbelly of small town life & its young adults' struggle

84
If I Forget
Midtown W
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you want a play to make you think, you're concerned about the nature of American Judaism and you enjoy a challenging family drama.

Don't see it if you're hoping for a light entertainment that caters to American Jewish stereotypes.

76
Clever, Quirky, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you love theatre and especially, the members of the ensemble who are the backbone of every production, you enjoy satire and incredible hats!

Don't see it if you secretly hope to see production numbers from your favorite Broadway shows and the idea of theatre and philanthropy doesn't interest you.

91
During previews
Indecent
Midtown W
Absorbing, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if You want a show that challenges you and makes you think and feel deeply about history and the role of theater, you enjoy Yiddish theater

Don't see it if You are looking for a light piece of entertainment or do you prefer not to see shows that touch on holocaust related themes

Also I cannot stop thinking about this show. It feels so germane to the iss... Read more Read less

78
Kid Victory
Gramercy
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy theatre that challenges you to think about some of the most compelling issues of the day, you enjoy the work of Kander and Pierce

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional musical with a linear story, you're uncomfortable with issues of Christian fundamentalism or homosexuality.

79
Big River
Midtown W
Great singing, Relevant, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you love the Encores format of a bare-bones revival of shows that need to be seen again, you enjoy country/blue-grass and you love Twain.

Don't see it if you're expecting a full production (although this was pretty close), you're not a fan of Twain or Roger Miller.

Also I'm not a big fan of Mark Twain but I have always liked the music for ... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Clever, Great singing, Entertaining, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy shows that explore women's lives and experiences through the prism of time and you appreciate great singing & clever staging.

Don't see it if you're not interested in a show that celebrates how women's lives have changed over the last 50 years and you don't enjoy a linear narrative

85
During previews
Games
Soho/Tribeca
Thought-provoking, Intense, Relevant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if the overlooked stories of women appeal to you, you seek a new perspective on Holocaust stories, you enjoy learning about the Olympics

Don't see it if you are looking for a light, sports-oriented story or you don't want a Holocaust-related narrative.

68
Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you're curious about Hedy Lamar's interesting and complex life or you enjoy shows that highlight the lives of women.

Don't see it if you want any real understanding of Lamar's life beyond her many disappointing marriages. I hoped for context for her scientific interest.

78
Hannah Senesh
Financial
Great singing, Profound, Intense, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in Hannah Senesh specifically or theater which deals with the Holocaust or strong women. An ambitious undertaking!

Don't see it if you want light entertainment or don't care to remember the legacy of a great Jewish heroine. There is music but it's not a musical.

90
Hilarious, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you love Carl Reiner and stories of theater in the 30's, a fun coming-of-age story and a fabulous cast, especially Chris Dwan as David.

Don't see it if you don't love stories of an aspiring life in the theater, you don't care for a linear narrative and the time period holds no interest.

23
Sincerely, Oscar
Midtown W
Insipid, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you want to hear Hammerstein's music, no matter what and you didn't believe that the bad reviews could really reflect how bad it was.

Don't see it if you cherish the music and life of Oscar Hammerstein and want a show that pays proper homage to his genius. Actually, just don't see it.

72
During previews
Vilna
Midtown W
Intense, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you agree with the author that as the actual survivors die, plays and books must bear witness to these events. At times, a powerful play.

Don't see it if you seek a show with nuanced character development or the Holocaust or events surrounding us don't interest you.

Also There was much to commend this show although I think the playwright sa... Read more Read less

80
Gloria: A Life
Gramercy
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You care about feminism and are interested in the movement through the prism of Gloria Steinem’s life. Beautifully crafted production

Don't see it if women’s rights are irrelevant to your life. Supporters of the current administration will be frustrated with this production.

95
Ordinary Days
Midtown W
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great singing, Must see, Resonant

See it if you look to theater to illuminate our world. This show does that & more. The music is beautiful, the story powerful & the acting wonderful

Don't see it if I think everyone should see this show. It's neither big nor splashy but quietly moving and profound. If you're looking for CATS, don't go!

60
During previews
R.R.R.E.D.
Gramercy
Quirky, Indulgent, Confusing, Great singing

See it if you like Monty Python or absurdist theater. The singing is good & the premise is intriguing. Great singing and awesome surprise guest!

Don't see it if you want a show that makes a lot of sense. I got the point but the show meandered all over the place. Giveaways didn't obscure the problems

71
During previews
The Fourth Wall
Midtown W
Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy Gurney's work, are intrigued by political satire masquerading as comedy of manners & this company's commitment to inclusion.

Don't see it if you are annoyed by an affected manner that pervades the show even if it serves the play's purpose, you want your theater free of politics.

Also I appreciated the intimacy of this theater space but was irritated to ... Read more Read less

76
During previews
Goldstein
Midtown W
Great singing, Cliched, Resonant

See it if You seek a small musical that deals with large themes such as intergenerational family drama with great singing (impressively unmiked),

Don't see it if You are looking for a big splashy show or you want a show that delves beneath the surface of Jewish themes

Also Loved the location. My first time at the Actors Temple and it is alive... Read more Read less

86
The Amateurs
Gramercy
Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you like your theater with multiple layers of meaning, you enjoy a play that makes you laugh and think at the same time

Don't see it if you're looking for a consistent narrative or a play that makes you think about uncomfortable subjects like the nature of individuality.

73
Dizzying, Quirky, Relevant, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if you need more Jack McFarland in your life, or seriously, if you are intrigued by the issue of what mainstreaming does to gay culture.

Don't see it if you have no interest in gay culture or issues that affect the gay community or you are easily offended by drug/alcohol use.

83
Memorare
Greenwich V
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are concerned with the divisiveness and hostility present in American culture today & want to see theater that evokes these issues

Don't see it if you are looking for a light-hearted story of nuns and religious life or you prefer your theater to be an escape from the challenges of today

65
Hot Mess
Midtown W
Fluffy, Disappointing, Quirky, Good acting, Indulgent

See it if you're looking for cute one act play, you like the actors and you're a fan of stand up

Don't see it if you seek a fully realized show that delves into a complicated relationship or you don't need for an extra dose of raunch with your comedy.

69
Clever, Great singing, Relevant, Entertaining, Cliched

See it if You're intrigued by following a single $100 bill through several owners with commentary by Ben Franklin, you enjoy David Friedman's music

Don't see it if You find the premise too cheesy or saccharine. I also found a number of the characterizations too clichéd or stereo typical.

Also The performers were terrific, handled a dizzying number of costume cha... Read more Read less

66
Napoli, Brooklyn
Midtown W
Great acting, Cliched, Disappointing, Intense, Great staging

See it if you enjoy ethnic family drama and shows that incorporate historical events. Most of the actors rose above their one dimensional roles.

Don't see it if you seek drama that really gets beneath the surface of the action & as noted elsewhere, loud noises bother you. Just one, but it's a doozy.

Also The first act had great promise but the second act was profoundly disa... Read more Read less

92
Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see, Resonant

See it if you appreciate great drama that resonates to the issues of the day & if you love great acting. Oslo stays with you after long it's over.

Don't see it if you're not interested in a serious drama that deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you prefer a show with more action & less talk

Also I know a lot about this topic and I knew exactly how the story would e... Read more Read less

82
Pacific Overtures
East Village
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Masterful

See it if you're a fan of Sondheim and/or John Doyle, you appreciate a show which gets to the heart of the piece and presents it simply & masterfully

Don't see it if you're expecting a full and elaborate production with costumes and staging

Also this show is ever more timely and timeless than before. Seeing John Do... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Marry Harry
Midtown E
Great singing, Cliched, Dated, Sweet, Romantic

See it if you enjoy watching a work in progress, you appreciate great singing (the company is very talented) and you're a sucker for romance

Don't see it if you seek a fully-thought-out show with depth and a story that doesn't feel cliched with characters who are caricatures.

Also I wanted this show to be worthy of the great talent on stage. The acto... Read more Read less

83
Entertaining, Resonant, Refreshing, Relevant, Delightful

See it if you follow theatre here and "across the pond," you enjoy theater history and you're a fan of award shows.

Don't see it if you don't care about Tony Awards or the Olivier's, you're not interested in learning more about plays and musicals.

94
During previews
War Paint
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Must see

See it if you love your theatre grand and intense. Fascinating story of 2 powerful women, embodied by 2 legendary performers. Great music & staging

Don't see it if you have no interest in the subject, you don't enjoy a linear narrative. Frankly, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to see this!

90
Great singing, Must see, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy the music of Kurt Weill and want to hear an incredibly talented cast bring his work to life.

Don't see it if You're not interested in the music of Kurt Weill or you want a classic musical.

Also In these challenging times, it was especially poignant to hear the mus... Read more Read less

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you enjoyed Rent and want to know more about and from its creator, you love a show which explores the challenges & joys of a life in theater

Don't see it if a show about the life of young people who are trying to figure out their lives has no interest, you don't enjoy shows about theater.

Also Given what we know of Jonathan Larsen's tragically short life and care... Read more Read less

78
Love, Love, Love
Midtown W
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you enjoy theatre that deals with contemporary issues, you're a baby-boomer who wonders how we got here. Great music between acts!

Don't see it if you couldn't care less about the challenges of middle-class baby-boomers. Characters are a little bit two dimensional to really touch you.