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.)
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 reside in Park Slope and have recently read "Anna Karenina" and you don't mind a show that pinballs between the mawkish & the poignant.
Don't see it if you're nettled by inconsistent Spanish accents, a poor sense of time and place, and a periodic tendency to go for the cheap laugh.
Also Memorable Line: "Men marry their cigars, my dear."
See it if you can savor vintage noir with a multimedia veneer as if it were a vape disguised as a Cuban cigar. The designers & composer went to town.
Don't see it if you demand adaptations stay exactingly faithful, you find all assassination plots distasteful or you expect a Frank Sinatra impersonator.
Also Memorable Line: "When you've got a gun, you are a sort of God."
See it if you're pro-union, you recognize Lillian Hellman is America's answer to Ibsen, and you like period details on your social criticism.
Don't see it if you're a member of the 2% who recoils at the thought of having all the pretend stripped away so you're forced to see your greedy self naked.
See it if Janet McTeer's name is unfamiliar to you. She's a phenomenal actor almost singlehandedly rescuing a meh biodrama about a phenomenal actress.
Don't see it if you're a follower of Theresa Rebeck's work. This might be her weakest play (and her insights into Shakespeare and Rostand are slight).
See it if you'd hate to miss what may be the bravura performance of this season via a theatrical portrait of Haile Selassie as told by his servants.
Don't see it if you refuse to believe a woman can accurately play a man onstage even as Kathryn Hunter does it over and over again before your very eyes.
See it if you delight in fables for this piece has something of the bedtime story about it. It also happens to have an exquisite death scene.
Don't see it if you're short and you can't get there early enough to secure a front row seat. The Studio Theatre's sight lines are somewhat compromised.
Also Memorable Line: Sincerity is the basis of being a man.
See it if these things matter: overlooked female playwrights from the past, free art, good vocal projection, challenging gender roles, fearless youth.
Don't see it if these things offend: nudity, sonic interruptions from airplanes, garbage trucks & someone playing P-Funk's "Atomic Dog," mosquitoes & flies.
Also Memorable line: "How dare you take this liberty! Withdraw!"
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.
See it if your sense of humor's dark. This satire covers it all: from gender roles & drunk drivers to pedophilia & murder. These actors are fearless.
Don't see it if you're sensitive to hilariously sardonic send-ups of the afterlife or you insist comedies, even blistering lampoons, come w/a happy ending.
See it if you'll sit through anything to hear Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Renascence" sung through in its entirety. (This part comes at the end.)
Don't see it if you wince at seeing men play women as mincing creatures; you hate when a woman's ambition is illustrated by having her flirt to the top.
Also Memorable Line: "Ye falter, and ye fade."
See it if the political chaos in our country has you seeking a voice of reason. The portrait of Hannah Arendt here is periodically arresting.
Don't see it if you'd like to see Heidegger truly confronted for his anti-Semitism. The playwright pulls a lot punches (and places too much blame on Mrs. H)
Also Memorable Line: "Poetry is not idle talk."
See it if you're obsessed w/ "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (the husband has a bit part); you live nearby & can sneak in for Act 2 ("The Love Course").
Don't see it if you're weary of cutesy porn jokes & female characters who say NO but mean yes ("Final Follies"). As for "The Rape of Bunny Stuntz"? Why?!
Also Memorable line: "Why are we here? Is it fair to ask that question?"
See it if you're an off-off-bway skeptic. With ingeniously economical lighting & sets, director Elena Araoz's revival of Fornes wows with intensity.
Don't see it if you don't relish an in-your-face experience. This theater is only two rows deep! On second thought, why not challenge yourself for a change?
Also Memorable line: "I wish you didn't have to be hurt."
See it if you have a friend obsessed with the movie. This will cure them. You have a friend resistant to opera. This may lure them.
Don't see it if you're enamored of flashy sets (none here), big B'way voices (lots of vocal fry), and romance (no chemistry). It is oddly capitalist though.
See it if you're delighted by a troupe of traveling players capable of upstaging the high-profile parkland productions of Shakespeare by the Public.
Don't see it if you're neither willing to sit on the ground nor in possession of a lawn chair to bring along. Seating is NOT provided.