Dmitry Zvonkov

Dmitry Zvonkov is a critic with Stage and Cinema. 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 (41)
Happy Talk
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"In Jesse Eisenberg’s very funny and poignant one-act 'Happy Talk,' the excellent Susan Sarandon plays Lorraine...Mr. Eisenberg’s truthful writing and Scott Elliott’s balanced direction, not to mention Ms. Sarandon’s grounded performance, make her sympathetic...'Happy Talk' explores this dynamic with wit and wisdom, making for a worthwhile experience that lingers." Full Review

Emma & Max
Soho/Tribeca
Stage and Cinema

“All are guilty in ‘Emma and Max’ yet no one is evil. They’re all people trapped in their bodies, in their histories, in their circumstances...Solondz has tremendous empathy for his characters. In his world evil is not born of a desire to do bad or to hurt. It’s born of wanting to love and be loved, of desperation, of compulsion, of exhaustion, of the need for justice, of wanting to defend oneself and protect one’s loved ones.” Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"An abundance of quips, clever remarks, and innumerable references to drama and contemporary culture make for an engaging enough spectacle, especially for college graduates of a certain type; I confess I felt lost at times amidst all the references...John Collins’ sharp, fast-paced direction, and the cast’s energetic performances keep the mood lively, the audience laughing, and the time flying. Yet in the end, the play leaves one unmoved." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"Elevator Repair Service imagines this so-called 'problem play' as an irreverent screwball comedy, complete with rapid-fire dialogue and exaggerated transitions...The result is a remarkable piece of theater, and the most immediate, dynamic, and modern staging of a Shakespeare play I have seen...A dramatic dance in which rhythm and timing and the interconnectedness of gestures usurp the power of the text...The production illuminates the play’s essence much more than a literal staging." Full Review

Marvin's Room
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"The story is straightforward, told simply, about real people with real problems. We empathize with the characters and sympathize with their plight. Kauffman’s tempered direction brings us gently into the show’s world, and unassailable performances from the excellent cast keep us immersed in its details...A tasty stew of family drama. Though I prefer my drama with a bit more spice. 'Marvin's Room' never transcends its everyday realism and never really puts any of its characters to the fire." Full Review

Radiant Vermin
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

“The outstanding cast delivers exhilarating performances under David Mercatali’s brisk direction. Ms. Johnson and Mr. Verey share a wonderful chemistry...Mr. Mercatali helps the duo achieve a satisfying balance between their use of theatrical grammar and the fact that the storytellers, Jill and Ollie, are not themselves performers. The result is a slightly less 'actorly' but more intimate and inclusive telling.” Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"The stories curve and wind through and around each other like the performers. The focus here seems to be less on drama and more on flow, interconnectedness, humanity, intention. And so while I take exception to a couple of the show’s assertions, and while I would have preferred for the scientific information to be explored in a more dramatic fashion, I was captivated by 'Body' from beginning to end, and left the theater feeling a warm, nourishing glow." Full Review

The Effect
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"Exploring notions of consciousness and identity as they relate to the chemistry in our brains, Ms. Prebble takes us on a breathless ride that is emotionally satisfying and philosophically compelling...Mr. Cromer elicits sharp, dynamic performances from the excellent cast. And although I’m not certain that in the end Ms. Prebble supplies the most complete responses to the unsolvable problems she introduces, her dramatic exploration of her subjects is both riveting and fascinating." Full Review

The Wildness
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"Musical tastes aside, 'The Wildness'' real malignancies reside in the show’s theater elements. The two storylines, the audience participation, the cast’s monologues, their attempts at improv—none of it works…Director Sam Buntrock is unable to get his performers to make the prosaic, sentimental texts work, and watching the actors struggle, it’s difficult not to feel embarrassed. The failure is catastrophic." Full Review

I And You
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"The performers’ abundant charm can’t overcome the script’s shortcoming in 'I and You,' Lauren Gunderson’s tedious comedic drama about two high schoolers...His straightforward, surface approach only exacerbates the play’s failings. And although the big revelation at the end succeeds in pushing emotional buttons, it’s little more than a gotcha moment, which, in retrospect, renders the preceding spectacle even more vacuous." Full Review

New York Animals
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"A lot of Mr. Sater’s characters and situations feel a little too familiar. And while some are better rendered than others, nothing in the play is especially surprising or revelatory. Yet for all its shortcoming this organism has potential. The show is still developing and there is reason to be optimistic. Even as is, on the whole, 'New York Animals' is entertaining, especially for fans of Bedlam." Full Review

Empanada Loca
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"Daphne Rubin-Vega delivers a riveting performance in 'Empanada Loca,' a sinewy one-woman show written and directed by Aaron Mark...The plot of 'Empanada Loca' is fairly straightforward, with smooth and steady escalation, few surprises, and little in the way of revelation. After our initial shock—once we get to the, let’s say, meat of the story—what keeps our attention isn’t so much the what but the how." Full Review

Antigone (BAM)
Brooklyn
Stage and Cinema

"There is gravity to the playing space which echoes the gravity of what is happening in it. And while Mr. van Hove’s 'Antigone' isn’t a masterpiece, it is an excellent show, a work of art, inspired, thoughtful, in which everything clicks, and which stays with you after the performance is over." Full Review

Pondling
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"In her perfect little one-woman show 'Pondling,' Genevieve Hulme-Beaman is captivating...The language of Ms. Hulme-Beaman’s tight, often hilarious script boasts an elegant simplicity, making our grasp of her images immediate and immediately personal." Full Review

Threesome
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"Hilarity does not ensue. Neither does the planned orgy...Although Mr. Guindi’s play lacks nuance, suspense, stakes, surprises, believability, attention to detail, and has almost nothing worthwhile to say, it probably could have been staged better...Director Coleman manages to flatten out what few vertical features there are in the script." Full Review

Ada|Ava
Financial
Stage and Cinema

"Visually striking and radiating love and sincerity, Manual Cinema’s shadow-puppet show 'Ada/Ava', which attempts to explore septuagenarian Ada’s inner turmoil after the death of her twin sister Ava, leaves one emotionally unsatisfied; for all of the production’s lovely elements the story is dull, the show boring...The dramatic failings of 'Ada/Ava' bring out flaws in the production which would have been forgivable otherwise... Still, with all its flaws, 'Ada/Ava' is a curiosity that is wort... Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"This well-directed production grinds to a halt, its ending finally so sentimental that it borders on vulgar....The complete absence of suspense makes watching 'Afghanistan' feel like being on a train that doesn’t go anywhere—sure there’s a bar car and a restaurant car and sleeping berths, but your reason for getting on was that you wanted this vehicle to take you someplace, and it never does." Full Review

New Country
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"The entire cast delivers committed performances that make the show pop. Although there are a few tiny chinks in the acting here and there, these are easy to ignore in light of the production’s immense strengths...And although the play’s ending leans a bit in the direction of sentimentality, it takes very little away from the wonderful experience that is 'New Country.'" Full Review

Soul Doctor
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"Ordinarily, a musical with a book as superficial, obvious and corny as Soul Doctor would make me cringe. Add to this on-the-nose lyrics being juxtaposed against complex subjects like the Holocaust, and I’d expect myself to be in physical pain to have to sit through such a thing. Yet the charming cast, and the rousing, often moving music of Shlomo Carlebach are enthralling." Full Review

iLuminate
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "A delight for both kids and adults, the clever and inventive entertainment 'iLuminate' brings to mind the image of dancing graffiti…The world that’s created is unique, fun and at times amazing…Except for the phenomenal lighting transitions, its individual elements, though strong, aren’t virtuosic. Keitt and Tignor’s music, although it serves its purpose, is mostly run-of-the-mill. Yet taken together these elements generate joy, and that’s not at all a small feat." Full Review

Nutcracker Rouge
Brooklyn
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "If we have nothing to absorb us emotionally, no compelling story to hold our attention, our minds wander, picking at flaws here and there–flaws which in a moving show might well have been overlooked. This is the case with the visually beautiful but unsatisfying 'Nutcracker Rogue,' a dark, sexual burlesque reimagining of 'The Nutcracker.' Full Review

The Dance of Death
East Village
Stage and Cinema

"Dynamic modern 'new version' of August Strindberg’s darkly-comic masterpiece...Despite its arguably grim title, the play itself is delightful, full of humor and insight. As for Victoria Clark’s staging, if I could write a three-word review of the show, I would say, 'It was fine.' The experience is akin to watching a play on TV — all the info is there but the emotional connection is lacking." Full Review

Beep Boop
East Village
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production “A brilliant display of mime and clown craft...Only on two occasions did I feel lost as to precisely what was being communicated...What could use a little work is the drama, specifically around the middle part...Saudek digresses more than once from the central storyline...That said, ‘beep boop’ is a charming invention, and Saudek a delight to watch as he uses his body, his face, and his hands to create a little universe that is lovely and funny and touching and a little bit sad." Full Review

Oedipus El Rey
East Village
Stage and Cinema

“A spectacular production...Energetic performances, excellent use of a spare but effective set, dramatic lighting and music all make a powerful impression. This in spite of the fact that the play itself—though it begins well and is intelligent and often funny—in the end doesn’t satisfy....The writing never quite offers a sense of authenticity...One can feel the vibration of ideas within Mr. Alfaro’s work. But like so many problematic plays, this one feels like it can use a few rewrites.” Full Review

Stage and Cinema

“Laughter, joy, these are positive things...Even when the characters don’t have much substance, the game cast portrays them with energy and charm, which is reason enough to sit back and enjoy. Right?...The show seduces one into complacent good humor. Yet thinking about it in retrospect I can’t help but be bothered by the frivolity of it all. Gogol’s play is an innovative masterpiece. Mr. Hatcher’s a forgettable trifle…Why bother writing it? Oh, that’s right. It’s all about the laughs.” Full Review

Stet
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"The play is a misstep... 'Stet,' though offering intelligent dialogue and a good number of sharp observations, feels flat from the start, and remains so for its entire 90 minutes...In its desire to make all its characters sympathetic, 'Stet' instead makes them impotent, resulting in a script that suffers from a profound lack of dramatic energy. And with tension virtually nonexistent all sorts of other impurities make their way to the surface." Full Review

Confusions
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"The performers never utter a false note, and seeing them put their expertise to work is a joy in itself...Mr. Ayckbourn has a keen ear for how people talk, for how they are, and his dialogue flows effortlessly. Yet he doesn’t take us very far with his insights…Nothing happens that challenges our expectations. Also, much of the writing feels dated and corny, like the setup to a joke whose punch line we know even if we’ve never heard it…I just prefer something a bit more substantial." Full Review

Orpheus Descending
Greenwich V
Stage and Cinema

“Mr. Pendleton’s spare staging with little in the way of set and lighting, and with only rudimentary blocking, succeeds in bringing us closer to the essences of characters and story...I was riveted for the entire intermission-free two-and-a-half-hours...There are a few flaws in the execution. Some of the performances don’t quite resonate with that satisfying click or perfection...Most unfortunate is Mr. D’Amour, who seems to be tragically miscast." Full Review

That Physics Show
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "Although geared more towards young people—parents aside, at the matinee I attended the audience age range was from 6 to 16—this middle-aged critic was engaged throughout; a few seats away a lone man of pensionable age clapped and hopped with delight the whole show...Although from a theatrical standpoint the program could use more dramatic build, as a fun, educational experience for young and old 'That Physics Show' delivers." Full Review

Buried Child
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

"It’s surprising, keeping in mind the play’s title and subject matter, just how funny Mr. Shepard’s work is, especially in Mr. Elliott’s hands. This abundance of humor, rich characters, dynamic dialogue and terrific performances, make watching The New Group’s production a worthwhile experience. Yet the play itself, for all its virtues, doesn’t quite deliver...It feels banal...In the end, while the play supplies tension throughout, it offers no revelations, only statements." Full Review

The Golden Bride
Financial
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "In general there is a flatness to this production...For all its professionalism, 'The Golden Bride' feels like it was designed to be as inoffensive and square as possible—Yiddish-light, one might call it—for its mostly older Jewish audience. That said, as a bit of quaint musical entertainment, the show works." Full Review

Nora
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"To see 'Nora' staged is a treat, even in an imperfect production, such as this one...The show feels rough, like a sculpture still partially trapped in its stone—we can see generally what it’s supposed to look like and some elements are more finished than others, but much of the fine work necessary to bring vivid life to the thing is unfinished...'Nora' boasts many good directorial ideas. Yet most of these are either incomplete or insufficiently realized." Full Review

Futurity
East Village
Stage and Cinema

"Mr. Alvarez’s music, combined with the relentlessly appealing cast under Sarah Benson’s capable direction, makes the show and its big, intellectual ideas feel personal and intimate...'Futurity' is not without its shortcomings...That said, so excellent are most elements of the show, the performers so thoroughly charming, that they overshadow the show’s few flaws and make the experience of 'Futurity' a pleasure." Full Review

Hamlet in Bed
West Village
Stage and Cinema

"Mr. Laurence’s play has some high aspirations, but in fact offers little more than its premise, which feels progressively more contrived...'Hamlet in Bed' is a one-line gag that lasts 90 minutes, the script padded with uninteresting exposition made up of generic elements...the performances, while acceptable, do not stir up much emotion." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"Heartfelt and hopeful, tragic, hilarious, and timely, this show, boasting a vigorous script, tremendous performances, and simple but perfect theatricality, is a joy that should not be missed...Michael Mayer and Mr. Scanlan’s inspired, nurturing direction makes beats pop and performances sparkle...More than just an outstanding show, 'Whorl Inside a Loop' is a chance for six wonderful black performers to show what they can do, and it’s a chance for us to see them do it." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"'Ruthless!' offers few laughs, little suspense and no surprises...Mr. Paley is exaggerating the already exaggerated elements of musical farce to make fun of musical farce, and of musical theater in general. He’s trying to be corny on purpose. But his attempt at being corny is itself corny. He’s endeavoring to make fun of bad musicals with a musical that is worse than a lot of the ones he’s trying to make fun of." Full Review

My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"It’s difficult not to be delighted by this thoroughly self-conscious theatrical fantasia about theater, about acting as living and playing...so many threads are introduced throughout the performance that it’s impossible to tie them all up without making the show 'theatrical,' and thereby breaking with the knowing, free flowing, whimsical style of the piece. But 'My Perfect Mind' is such fun, the details of the performances so lovely, that the absence of a perfect conclusion hardly matters." Full Review

The Sound and the Fury
East Village
Stage and Cinema

"The standout theater company Elevator Repair Service brings 'The Sound and the Fury' to the Public Theater, with spectacular results...Benjy’s innocence and his inability to intellectualize and compartmentalize, make his an immediate, unprejudiced experience of life, of pure, unconditional reality, which is what this captivating, perfectly theatrical production is all about." Full Review

One Hand Clapping
Midtown E
Stage and Cinema

"On the whole the show—a sort of fable concerning society’s cultural and spiritual degradation at the hands of advertising, commercialism and globalization—is a dud...it suffers from a critical lack of suspense; watching it feels like listening to a joke that takes nearly 80 minutes to set up—by the time we get to the climax there is no punch line that can save it." Full Review

Drop Dead Perfect
Midtown W
Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "'Drop Dead Perfect' is a showcase of theatrical craftsmanship. I can imagine a director and actors staging this play as a gag and it failing miserably. What makes The Peccadillo Theater Company and The Penguin Rep Theatre’s production so rewarding is the seriousness with which actors approach their roles; creating poignant and sympathetic caricatures, they seduce us with their talents and charm." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

for a previous production "A delightful and poignant staging…But with all the fine performances the brightest star in this production is its director…God is in the details, and the sense one gets is that Ms. Burr scrupulously, lovingly, attends to all of them…Ms. Burr’s choreography, besides being entertaining, is tightly focused...She commands the stage with her performers, turning the performance space and everything in it into one organic, dramatic whole." Full Review