Elizabeth Law

New York City | 50-64 | Female
About:  My two great passions are reading and theater. The first is my profession; I'm an editor of children's and young adult books, and the second is my major hobby. I estimate I see around 80 shows a year, including about a week's worth in London.
Reviews (51)
The Thin Place
Midtown W
Scary, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like ghost stories, especially ones that are all in telling, rather than the effects. The cast is marvelous.

Don't see it if You don't like to be scared, or you like topical, "substantive" plays. This is more evocative and thrilling (literally) than it is meaty

During previews
Gloria: A Life
Disappointing, historical, lecture-y, uninspiring, not worthy of the subject matter

See it if You don't know much about Gloria Steinem or her life.Instead of going deep, it summarizes who she is, role she played in the movement

Don't see it if You want a play, rather than a lecture/history. In last half hour there's a "talk circle" where you praise what moved you in the play! Ick.

The Wolves
Upper W Side
Resonant, New talent, Overlapping dialog, Adolescence

See it if Smart new playwright, and interestingly, the many characters are differentiated. The play goes quickly, but does not break new ground

Don't see it if Teenage girls don't interest you, or you're picky about plot. It was enjoyable to watch, but two hours later I had forgotten it.

Great singing, Ambitious, Great staging, Unique, Countertenor

See it if You're a music fan and want to see the famous countertenor Iestyn Davies, or you want to see something original, or you love Mark Rylance

Don't see it if You want a serious dramatic play. The show here is the music and the gorgeous staging, but there's enough of a story to keep you going.

Delightful, Enchanting, Great singing, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you love live, immediate theater.Staged in the round, as if you are on the island of Haiti with the performers. Great singing and dancing!

Don't see it if This is a fable, exuberantly performed. The story is not serious nor meant to be.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Inspiring

See it if It's a funny, inspiring show that features actors who look "real" and tells a real story. We laughed a lot, loved the cast, + felt uplifted

Don't see it if You like razzle dazzle--fancy costumes, rotating sets. This is a masterfully told story, but not a flashy one.

Absorbing, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Terrific performances and the evening plays like a very well-told story. We were gripped!

Don't see it if The actors feel like a family, but they don't come off as genuinely southern--this could bother purists!

Absorbing, Clever, Masterful, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a master at work, and like a break from traditional plays and musicals. Brown does not insult his audience.

Don't see it if You loathe mentalists or magicians, or any kind of tricks of the mind. It's sort-of performance art.

Great acting, Entertaining, Loses momentum, Slow

See it if The first half of the play is masterful, and the acting tremendous. Danny de Vito has sustained scene so funny it steals the act.

Don't see it if The Price is known as a play that goes downhill, and the second act devolves into a LOT of speechifying. Maybe go but leave at intermission?

Man From Nebraska
Midtown W
Great acting, Absorbing, Masterful

See it if One man's terrifying crisis of faith--or really, crisis of life, explored through small, human moments. Bravura performance by Reed Birney.

Don't see it if You like plays with a lot of plot and high drama. Much of this story is left unsaid--not that it's boring, but it's subtle and realistic

Escaped Alone
Ambitious, Dizzying, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if For something thought provoking and even challenging, the play is very entertaining. And quick--over in 50 minutes.

Don't see it if You like linear plays. This one doesn't tell you what to think as it leaps back and forth from a garden to dystopic scenarios.

During previews
Disappointing, Sung through, Energetic, Powerful in parts

See it if Go for the Byrne score and the fun of an original rock musical. Lots of good-looking singers/actors/musicians. Mare Winningham shines at end

Don't see it if It's not innovative like Here Lies Love, + not emotionally powerful in most parts. Some good numbers, but why ultimately so ho hum?

Ambitious, Epic, Great singing, Great staging, Moving

See it if Who knew Josh Groban could act? The performers use the entire house so no seat is bad. The opening # and the second act are terrific

Don't see it if First act sags in the middle, and the plot is fairly intense for a musical--but easier to follow than Les Miz!

Disappointing, Slow, Sexy in parts, Lacking chemistry, Well-written

See it if My friend loved the set, costumes, and Liev Schreiber is sexy. The story is involving, yet...why didn't this work? The leads disappointed

Don't see it if The main problem is lack of chemistry between the two usually superb leads. If you remember the original you'll be so disappointed.It's flat

During previews
This Day Forward
Funny, Silly (in a good way), Entertaining, Clever, Topical

See it if You like Nicky Silver's over-the-top, funny situations and witty gay humor. Good performances by all and a terrific opening scene.

Don't see it if You either want real drama or something brilliant. We laughed a lot, but the jokes are a tad New York insider-y and some scenes were SLOW

During previews
East Village
Dreary, Dated, Uninvolving, Occasionally moving, Gorgeous clothes

See it if You're curious about this play which was a hit in its day--1979. Rachel Weisz good, Corey Stoll good, yet...no one truly connects

Don't see it if Why did this feel uninspired? It never caught fire.The War, fighting undercover in France, greatest part of her life,but we don't feel that

Something Rotten!
Midtown W
Hilarious, Clever, Fluffy, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You love musicals, laughing, Shakespeare. Terrifically well sung acted+directed, tone is "Shakespeare in borscht belt" Wide audience appeal

Don't see it if You don't like silly jokes, or corny ones. Tone is more Catskills than Spamalot. Tons of musical theater and Shakespeare references

Delightful, Toe-tapping, Funny, Energetic

See it if You liked the movie, you have kids along, you want a musical that entertains but doesn't challenge. Much more enjoyable than u might suspect

Don't see it if You want something different from the movie--this follows that plot. The show is silly but works--if you want "intense" this won't be it

Drunk Shakespeare
Midtown W
Funny, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if A fun, original way to pass an evening. I liked the sing-alongs and audience participation. Feels like it belongs in a dorm or pub.

Don't see it if You don't like alcohol or don't like Shakespeare, or want a quiet evening. The show is boisterous, in a good way.

Clever, Great staging, Age9up, Original, Intelligent

See it if You'll understand a bit of what it's like to have aspberger's as they create the kid's world on stage. Thrilling to watch, and moving too

Don't see it if You have trouble following British accents, or have children with you under 4th grade or so.

The Crucible
Midtown W
Great staging, Intense, Relevant, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if Such a strong play, van Hove's visual extras enhance it. I've never seen a bad production, makes me appreciate how good Miller is. Acting!

Don't see it if visually updated takes on classics offend you.

The Humans
Midtown W
Overrated, Great acting, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if Good play about today's family w/today's issues. Strong acting, but so overrated! There's a bit of magical realism at end.

Don't see it if You're expecting a groundbreaking or original play. Work of a young playwright, every popular issue crammed in, some not in character.

Great acting, Profound, Must see, Masterful, Great singing

See it if You can't get tix to Hamilton and want to see best musical on Broadway. Uplifting, moving, gorgeously acted and sung--a tour de force.

Don't see it if Cynthia Erivo is out (check show's website) or if you hate watching abuse--which they do transcend in the show.

For a previous production
Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Ambitious, Absorbing, Intelligent, Traditional

See it if Well-crafted, well-acted play on a very interesting subject. The running time looks long but the play goes quickly, and it's easy to follow

Don't see it if You don't like "talky" plays--this is a play about secretive peace talks. Very well done, but a play of ideas, not fluffy entertainment.

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Well-performed

See it if Funny deconstructivist semi-musical. Pretty good + cast very strong. Some unfunny jokes repeated ad nauseam, but it gets stronger as it goes

Don't see it if you're expecting realism--this is absurdist farce.

Cliched, Banal, Overrated, Great singing, Dylan!

See it if You love Dylan's music. The songs are strong, and two or three are absolute show stoppers.

Don't see it if The "book" is every cliché about the Great Depression, used to introduce Dylan songs. Very disappointing for a fan of Conor McPherson.

During previews
Midtown W
Good premise, poor development, Timely, Disappointing

See it if Although Anna Chlumsky is the biggest star, the strongest acting comes from Becky Ann Baker and Stephen Park. Play's premise is interesting

Don't see it if Poor playwright can't make his play interesting and resorts to ridiculous plot twists. Worthy effort, but a bad play.

The Children
Midtown W
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense, Compelling

See it if Serious play, strong British cast, one act --a well told story that I found very involving. 3 people in the aftermath of nuclear disaster

Don't see it if This play would seem long-winded to people who like action.

Disappointing, Star turn, Lesser dahl adaptation

See it if You're bringing kids to it, your kids love either movie, you love Christian Borle, you want child friendly but can't get Aladdin or LionKing

Don't see it if This is just unsuccessful--not enough invention or delight, not enough for Borle to do

Disappointing, Great acting, Problematic, Ultimately didactic

See it if Rebecca Hall is wonderful; at first the play seems annoying , the predictable story of a desperate married woman. But it's an "issue play"

Don't see it if You don't like twists at the end that have You rethink all you just saw. I found that preachy and annoying

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Ambitious, Refreshing

See it if You like a Doll's House, you like smart performances (and 85 minute run time) and unexpected humor. It's a perfect sequel

Don't see it if you're not familiar with the original play, or you like something more traditionally structured, like Oslo or Little Foxes.

Midtown W
Boring, Disappointing, Overrated, Ambitious, Good premise

See it if The premise--spies meeting for an AA-type recovery meeting in a basement, is good. And it's ambitious, that they keep it running.

Don't see it if I'm shocked by how strong the show-score reviews are. It's not particularly well-written or interesting or entertaining.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, New take on classic

See it if You know the play and would like to see a somewhat different take on it. The acting is very strong, Laura is in a wheelchair, Field comes...

Don't see it if ...off a bit Miss Havisham. If you have memories or specific ideas about this play you might not like this, but it moved me greatly.

Absorbing, Masterful, Must see, Riveting, Thrilling

See it if You love Sondheim, you like hearing unamplified voices sing (rare!), you love inventive, immersive stagings or appreciate a masterwork.

Don't see it if Well, it's scary. But also funny and very involving--it's a Victorian melodrama writ large. I'm sending everyone I know.

Funny, Relevant, Refreshing, Clever

See it if You want to encourage promising new playwrights. There are many wonderful scenes in here, and the writing is funny as hell in parts.

Don't see it if Play is episodic, set in Puerto Rico, not all parts equally strong. If you're a fan of new plays, go. If you love polish/perfection, don't

During previews
Midtown W
Ambitious, Timely, Resonant, Star turn, Funny

See it if Janie Dee is superb as always, and the "what options for middle-aged women" question smart and timely. Funny and well-packaged, not deep

Don't see it if Ultimately the play becomes a bit slick over thought-provoking. It keeps the plot and entertainment churning but doesn't completely satisfy

West Village
Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Painful situations

See it if You like small plays (particularly gritty, contemporary British ones) and good acting. Not an easy play, because the teen boys' lives r hard

Don't see it if You don't like grit, tough situations, swearing.

For a previous production
Disappointing, Slow, Gentle, Slight, Star power

See it if You appreciate small musicals, you loved the movie, or you are a Tony Shalhoub fan--he's marvelous, and the show has some lovely moments

Don't see it if Parts of this show are sweet and charming and touching--others drag! it's 90 minutes and for 40 of them I was checking my watch.

Midtown W
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if This is less educational and preachy, and more entertaining, funny and interesting than one would expect.

Don't see it if You hate one-person shows or only like a deeply earnest treatment of serious subjects

Great acting, Ambitious, Masterful, Folktales, Storytelling

See it if You want to see the work of Peter Brook and have heard of his legendary Mahabharata, from which this play is taken. 5 actors, 1 drummer.

Don't see it if You like traditional drama--this is storytelling/folktale on a simple set, masterfully presented.

A Day by the Sea
Midtown W
Resonant, Intelligent, Rediscovered, Ensemble, Conversational

See it if You appreciate well-written, unknown older plays well-presented. Good for Chekhov and Richard Nelson fans--conversational but deep.

Don't see it if It's a period piece, all talk. 3 hours goes fast but it's a subtle, funny play, not a barn burner. The audience very engaged when we saw it

During previews
Great acting, Biographical, Disappointing, 2playsinone

See it if You like two strong actors plying their craft. Refreshing change from plays about dysfunctional families and sexual identity issues.

Don't see it if Boy does this play blow it at the end with a history lesson. Trust the material, playwright! Don't cram in a lecture when the drama's over.

Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Moving, Great singing

See it if Very strong revival of classic show. Danny Burstein movingly, wonderfully carries it on his shoulders. A show of family love and pain.

Don't see it if Red ski jacket at end a terrible touch! If you want your classic shows preserved in amber, this might seem less than perfect.

The Effect
West Village
Ambitious, Disappointing, Intelligent, Overrated

See it if Play about testing whether anti-depressants can help us fall in love, be in love, or whether we're faking ourselves out. Interesting premise

Don't see it if You're expecting something great. The play touches on many interesting ideas, but develops none fully. Bit slow, the cast is inconsistent.

Masterpiece, Great writing, Riveting, Thrilling, Groundbreaking

See it if A true masterpiece. Engaging from start to finish, moving, innovative--absolutely thrilling to watch. And even funny! I'm going a 3rd time

Don't see it if Your hearing is bad--it helps to follow the lyrics. You only like super-traditional things--but even then you might like this.

Midtown W
Entertaining, Disappointing, Funny, Great staging

See it if Kid-friendly musical. Some great numbers. As of June '16 show is tired,kids' British accents hard to understand. No longer a slam dunk show

Don't see it if You hate Benny Hill and British humor (parents are those stereotypes of idiot TV watching Brits) or can't follow British accents.

Sleep No More
Ambitious, Clever, Great staging, Unusual, Atmospheric

See it if You like unusual, immersive experiences. You're a fan of Hitchcock or Macbeth. You have a visual eye and love detail.

Don't see it if IMO you get a lot more out of it if you know Macbeth. If you can't do stairs well or don't like being startled the show could scare you.

Sense & Sensibility
West Village
Clever, Funny, Great staging

See it if Jane Austen fans will love this, but it's entertaining enough for straight men you're dating, too! Cleverly produced and very enjoyable.

Don't see it if One comment: the characters come of more as Dickensian--colorful, over the top--than subtly Jane Austen.

Absorbing, Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great writing

See it if Best thing I saw all weekend at Fringe. What a shocking story Ms. Arnold tells--I expected comedy, but this goes much deeper.Truly compellin

Don't see it if you're a home schooling, cult-living fundamentalist

Ambitious, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You want to see a young composer's work--the score is atonal and rather repetitive. Female lead a good singer!

Don't see it if You want a good fringe show.Better for friends of creator. Disappointed I didn't know it was composer's senior thesis--felt like bait+switch