See it if you're deeply into Paul Muldoon's poetry. Otherwise, you're going to miss a lot in this multimedia oratory which favors bombast over beauty.
Don't see it if your local library carries a copy. You'd be better served reading Muldoon's posthumous love letter to printmaker Mary Farl Powers at home.
See it if you support stories that shed light on our cruel immigration policies and dehumanizing military training. (Also, Tyler Alvarez is excellent)
Don't see it if you need polish. This play feels very much like an early draft that would benefit from more dramaturgical assistance. Too many corny jokes.
Also Memorable Quote: "Sometimes I think they stole our future."
See it if Your book reading club has assigned this novel and you just found a free ticket outside the theater and you've got 90 minutes to spare.
Don't see it if You've already read the book or you're thinking you're going to get to see the talented Linney play a host of characters.
Also Memorable Line: "He took it and ate it without pleasure."
See it if your class on 19th-century melodrama requires reading Boucicault. Seeing this early hit of his probably will take less time and effort.
Don't see it if you relish the wit of Wilde, the intelligence of Shaw, and the poetry of Synge. You'll find none of that here but reminders aplenty.
Also Memorable Quote: "Remember your gender."
See it if you appreciate "based-on-a-true-story" scenarios involving two brothers; you dig music as a metaphor (esp. in regards to classical and jazz)
Don't see it if you're fairly socially aware and looking to deepen your knowledge of the prison-industrial complex or our country's rampant Islamophobia.
Also Memorable Quote: "How do you pray for your enemy with broken hands?"
See it if you're a drunk or in recovery. Jeffrey Bean's harrowingly fidgety turn may sober the former and keep the latter away from a holiday nip.
Don't see it if you reckon Scrooge's Christmas feel-good turnaround is compulsory yearly; the transformation here is understated (and, possibly, doubtful).
See it if you're under the spell of Peter Brook and Kathryn Hunter... I sure am. The first third of this production will reward you for coming.
Don't see it if you're indifferent re: Russian theater history as a big chunk of the show is devoted to the life/work of Stanislavksky disciple Meyerhold.
Also Memorable Quote: "The path to simplicity is not easy."
See it if nothing entertains you quite like an illusionist who predicts the future and reads the minds of audience members right before your eyes.
Don't see it if you live in mortal fear of audience participation, you insist on being the smartest person in the room or you like razzmatazz in your magic.
Also Memorable line: "That's not what the word 'secret' means."
See it if you're ready to eat crow after years of dismissing Pinter's time-reversed deconstruction of a love triangle. This version is quite engaging.
Don't see it if you've been cheated on recently. This British import plucks the titular theme's chord repeatedly and assuredly. (Yes, I shed a few tears.)
Also Memorable Line: "It was never intended to be the same kind of home."
See it if you like to see actors mine psychically rich material. As two halves of the title character, Jason Bowen and Galen Ryan Kane dig deep!
Don't see it if you're precious about the source material as playwright Nambi E. Kelley respectfully takes this Richard Wright classic and makes it her own
Also Memorable Line: "I ain't that rat I killed."
See it if you'd relish some snacks while watching a wondrously sprightly interpretation of this Shakespeare comedy. Pure pleasure awaits!
Don't see it if you can only get tickets to the late show, you live in the outer-boroughs, and you're dependent on MTA. The ride home will be brutal.
See it if you like a show with a kind-hearted message but you don't want your politics to get too shrill. The young chorus is especially sweet.
Don't see it if you like your social criticism with an edge. "The Prom" is a decidedly buoyant affair. If your friend's got a ticket, go anyway though.
See it if Shepard is the man, a playwright whose confrontation w/ American identity was a lifelong quest. Also, "Mad Men" fans: Maggie Siff slays.
Don't see it if you're upset by farm animals who clearly don't want to be onstage being onstage; you find expensive sets built around a single gag enraging.
Also Memorable Quote: "My poison scares you."
See it if you're debating which are Arthur Millers top three plays. Annette Bening's fab performance might find you giving this early play the bronze.
Don't see it if you're reluctant to look at your father for who he really is because it will force you to look at yourself for who you really are. Brutal!
See it if you want to see how close Broadway gets to perfection: This folk opera, with exquisite work from Andre Shields and Amber Gray, is glorious.
Don't see it if you can't afford to be emotionally wrecked afterwards. "Hadestown" is not escapist fare, although it will take you to another world.
See it if physical theater thrills you. It's an athletic production w/ especially strong performances by Brandon J. Dirden & Stephen Michael Spencer.
Don't see it if you're not up for a long evening: The show runs over two and a half hours. (Then again, there are matinees.)
Also Memorable quote: "Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods."
See it if you're a high school drama teacher intent on inspiring your students to write, compose, costume, direct, and choreograph their own musical.
Don't see it if you're a high school drama teacher taking a class to see a flashy Broadway show. (The design work is scrappy and there' s no big chorus.)
Also Memorable line: "But I am a masturbator..."
See it if the most important thing for you in a drama with all gay characters is that at least two attractive actors take their shirts off then kiss.
Don't see it if you're triggered by simulated meth-smoking; you expect "Twilight Zone" plot twists to lead to mind-blowing endings; G-chat scares you.
Also Memorable Line: "Finish this sentence."
See it if you're time traveling from the distant future and are tasked to see what a hot mess off-Broadway looked like circa December 2018.
Don't see it if you're a fan of actor Francis Jue. This isn't his strongest work. Who else recalls NAATC's endearing 2006 revival "Falsettoland"?
See it if you've been contemplating cutting the cable cord. Live theater trumps TV; Bryan Cranston is even more exciting in person than on air.
Don't see it if you're gonna freak out when the audience cheers video of Obama then boos video of Trump at the end. This show's not for Kool-Aid drinkers.
Also Memorable Line: "I have seen the face of God."
See it if you appreciate classic drag (Marlene, icon) and structural inventiveness. There are times when you feel like Dietrich herself is present.
Don't see it if you have an issue with stairs. You'll need to climb up to get to the theater then climb down to get to the performance space. Otherwise, go.
See it if you worship at the shrine of Bob Mackie, who's sartorial splendor is fully on display (as is the sensational singer-actor Stephanie Block).
Don't see it if you expect encore performances of Cher's songs from "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again." This score is more classic Cher (with some Sonny, too).
See it if you don't have time for dinner & a show: Here you can combine the two! Plus, the high energy performances and food are both above average.
Don't see it if you balk at abridged Shakespeare or if you don't drink since the free wine certainly helps some attendees get into an interactive spirit.
See it if you need a grounding lesson in feminism past & present, and wouldn't mind a public convo afterwards to further the ideas and feelings.
Don't see it if you're attached to the status quo and would always vote for saving taxes over protecting the rights of women, people of color or LGBTQI.
Also Memorable Quote: Anger is energizing.
See it if you'll sit through two draggy musical one-acts simply to experience the marvelous Rebecca Luker do her thing. (She justifies the wait.)
Don't see it if "write what you know" sounds masturbatory; you've an innate dislike of child actors; you want a score & lyrics that are ambitious or catchy.
See it if you're 50+ in search of reassurance. This boomer overview pulls too many punches & skirts too many sensitive topics amid a multimedia fest.
Don't see it if poor impersonations of Janis Joplin and Perry Como stir your ire; the boiling down of history to TV commercials and musical clips goads you.
Also Memorable Quote: "Granny hated cowboys."
See it if you forgot Shakespeare wrote this one 'cause this production may push it into your top ten. Ah, such is the power of actor Kathryn Hunter.
Don't see it if you don't own a time travel machine. In other words, you can't see it. It closed. But you should have seen it.
Also Memorable Quote: "Every man has his fault, and honesty is his."
See it if you ache for essential off-off-Bway: committed actors, clean simple set, and a script with lots of layers and ideas. H/T Johnny G. Lloyd.
Don't see it if you don't ever want to be that person who says "Oh, I saw an earlier play of his in a really small theater and that one was great, too."
Also Memorable Line: "I'm literally begging for a purpose."
See it if you want a musical that sounds contemporary, goes deep, eschews the frou-frou, and makes a statement (in this case about capital punishment)
Don't see it if you're only free night is Monday. In that case, you're out of luck. But who is this hypothetical person? Switch up your sled; see the show!
Also Memorable Quote: "Who moves the pieces if I'm the pawn?"
See it if you're in search of a tweak on the one-man-show: Anthony Black's literary monologue gets live violin accompaniment from Jacques Mindreau.
Don't see it if you heard "multimedia" and thought "razzle-dazzle." This production is barebones and its use of media is streamlined, if thoughtfully so.
See it if you're all for risk-taking: Everything about this production (writing, directing, acting, design) is bold, often effectively so.
Don't see it if you expect the playwright's cultural critique to be flawless. Then again, perfection is for jerks. Harris' script's impressive in its sweep.
Also Memorable Quote: "“Your mere presence was biological warfare.”
See it if you've pegged Shaw as patriarchal. This production casts Caesar as all-knowing conqueror & Cleopatra as childish brat. "Pygmalion" in togas.
Don't see it if you resent invasive edits of Shaw. Here servant Ftatateeta has become a mystical narrator & Apollodorus, a sexy, scene-stealing Tony Curtis
Also Memorable Line: "Caesar never eats women."
See it if experimental is your jam. Mfoniso Udofia's one-acts take exciting risks with content and structure. Also, Patrice Johnson Chevannes: WOW!
Don't see it if you're not in for a long haul. Each play can stand on its own and it's a lot to take in for one night. Stick around tho: Act 2 is stronger.
Also Memorable line: "Okay, okay, okay."
See it if you're deliberating about the Atkins Diet. A number of men in the show make a persuasive case for no carbs during shirtless musical numbers.
Don't see it if you can't reconcile vogue-ing with Meat Loaf; you're under 45; you're over 65; the book is an important part of a jukebox musical.
Also Memorable line: "I even miss the orphanage."
See it if you've quietly harbored the belief that Duke Vincentio is a royal a-hole and wouldn't mind it so much if Lucio were one of the leads.
Don't see it if you prefer a more muscular version of Shakespeare's text. This rendering is trimmed down to the almost-skeletal.
Also Memorable line: "Let's write good angel on the devil's horn."
See it if you recognize art provides a deeper kind of tourism than the Four Seasons; you're unaware of colonialism's lasting harm to LGBTQs in Uganda.
Don't see it if you aren't willing to wait for Act II for all the best scenes; you grow resentful at pointlessly overcomplicated set pieces.
See it if you're easily won over by the technical wizardry involved with reproducing a lengthy rainstorm onstage.
Don't see it if you assume all-female cast means new insights into the characters. Despite the gender swap, the interpretations here are fairly traditional.
Also Memorable Line: "Here’s the smell of the blood still."
See it if you've got an off-off-Broadway friend who needs to stop glibly pooh-poohing Broadway. "Gary" is bawdy, reckless, crass, inspired & insane.
Don't see it if you've just read every article about Taylor Mac's dementedly satirical clown show. This piece probably works best with fewer expectations.
Also Memorable Quote: "I found a cleft chin."
See it if you're so obsessed with the Clintons you want to hear the political power-couple's well-documented story reentacted by seasoned actors.
Don't see it if you got excited when you heard it's set in an alternate universe. This is still stereotypical Bill and Hillary (perhaps sidestepping libel).
Also Memorable quote: "Heads, heads, heads, tails, heads."
See it if you've relegated John Webster to a second-rate Shakespeare. He's much more fascinating than that. This play is fairly nuts!
Don't see it if you grow easily frustrated by complicated plots in which everyone is backstabbing everyone else, even those they're having sex with.
See it if you've read all the bios on Judy Holliday out there and want to hear her story recounted in a kind of trunk show with songs.
Don't see it if you're a newbie with Judy. Watching her performances in films like "Born Yesterday" and "Adam's Rib" would be a more effective introduction.
See it if you've an hour to spare for a nimble-witted, low-rent TED talk that addresses biracial identity in a culture fixated on black/white divides.
Don't see it if anyone in your party needs wheelchair accessibility. Otherwise, fill those seats!
Also Memorable quote: "Let me guess. You're monoracial."
See it if you've read the book and can bring depths to the experience that simply do not exist in the stage version.
Don't see it if you're infuriated by this stereotype: the pretty blonde wife who's terrible with money but adores a schleppy guy because he's semi-funny.
See it if you undervalue Shaw as this family drama shows what happens when every character can't argue their own ideas as well as the leading lady.
Don't see it if you're indifferent to art history. The highlight of Act 1 is Stockard Channing's lovely monologue on what makes Giotto a great artist.
See it if you're deepening your appreciation of Brecht beyond "The Threepenny Opera." Raul Esparza's turn in the title role is deliciously strange.
Don't see it if you go ballistic when the parallels between Trump and Hitler are made evident. To say this production feels timely is an understatement.
See it if stagecraft holds more importance than plot. Directorially, Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne conjure up magic on this fairly bare stage.
Don't see it if you simply refuse to tolerate a plot in which incest between a father and daughter is presented as a love defying cultural norms. WTF!
See it if you'd like an easygoing standup comedy show by a master storyteller; even if this isn't his strongest material, Birbiglia's a total charmer.
Don't see it if your one previous experience of Birbiglia's work is "Don't Think Twice." This curmudgeon's love letter to fatherhood is not as sublime.
Also Memorable Line: “I’ve lost a lot of great friends to kids.”
See it if previous incarnations of this musical gave you a toothache. This versions not the least bit sweet (except in a shiver-inducing way).
Don't see it if you've already seen this production. The show is sold-out & you really should give those tickets to someone else so they can experience it.
Also Memorable Line: "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow."
See it if you're not above laughing at Williams' absurdities then getting choked up by an emotionally raw monologue. This play's a carnival of drunks.
Don't see it if you're unfamiliar with "The Glass Menagerie," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or "A Streetcar Named Desire." This is a deeper track, so to speak.
Also Memorable Line: "I wish my heart could vomit."
See it if you're a Baby Boomer who made fun of "The Lawrence Welk Show" as a kid. This revue is your comeuppance (i.e., same idea, different songs).
Don't see it if you're susceptible to seasickness. This high-end cabaret act of Leiber & Stoller songs will have you experiencing cruise ship flashbacks.