Ellen D

East Brunswick | 65+ | Female

If you like this person's taste, follow her!

Reviews (142)
75
Burn This
Midtown W
Cliched, Entertaining, Romantic, Intense, Great acting

See it if you're an ardent fan of Adam Driver's energetic, manic performance; enjoy Terrence McNally plays, and don't mind a somewhat cliched affair.

Don't see it if you don't like dramedies nearly 3 hours long, tire of Driver's over-the-top shenanigans, consider '80s plays dated, dislike romcom cliches.

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Relevant, Great singing, Funny

See it if you like original musicals with top-notch Broadway vets like Beth Leavel, Chris Seibert & Brooks Ashmanskas & a solid story about gay rights

Don't see it if you don't like lively musicals that, besides being truly funny, have something serious to say about accepting people for who they are.

89
During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy taut drama dealing with pre-civil rights era in the South with well-drawn characters; are a fan of the Harper Lee novel/1962 film,

Don't see it if you are "over" TKAM & are not interested in seeing a stage version of the Harper Lee novel; do not care to see a nearly 3-hour drama.

69
During previews
King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious, Blah, Forgettable music

See it if you don't want to miss seeing probably the most amazing, lifelike giant puppet you'll ever see on stage, masterfully handled by expert crew

Don't see it if you are expecting good songs, innovative dance, a well-structured musical, or anything other than amazing robotics and a giant Kong puppet.

86
During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense

See it if you like tense dramas dealing with race, minorities and police; great acting by Kerry Washington, Steve Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, et. al.

Don't see it if you prefer lighter fare that does not touch on volatile social issues, clear-cut good guy/bad guy, conflicts resolved neatly in two hours.

69
Ambitious, Dated, Disappointing, Unmelodic, Witty lyrics

See it if you are a big fan of the children's book, David Zippel's lyrics, Carolee Carmello, Howard McGillin, Andrea Burns, and David Garrison.

Don't see it if you are expecting the usual high standard of the late Cy Coleman's music, an interesting book, you don't want 2C a dated Auntie Mame clone.

82
During previews
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like comedy-dramas that illuminate serious ethical issues w/ a light touch, acting of Daniel Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale & Cherry Jones.

Don't see it if plays about journalistic ethics/ embellished literary nonfiction vs. absolute authenticity don't interest you, you prefer clear endings.

60
The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Dull, Cliched

See it if you love the British game of snooker, John Ellison Conlee's scene-stealing acting, and an actual game of snooker taking up most of Act 2.

Don't see it if you were expecting rollicking hijinks as in playwright's One Man Two Guvnors; this play is full of uninteresting characters & too static.

78
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like to see a new spin on father-sons drama, are fans of Armie Hammer and Josh Charles, appreciate mixing comedy with serious themes.

Don't see it if you are tired of dysfunctional family dramas dealing with the father-adult sons relationship; are annoyed by extremely loud hip-hop music.

82
Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Romantic

See it if You are a fan of the movie and/or Samantha Barks & Andy Karl; if you like contemporary soft rock and country sounds, and heartfelt perfs.

Don't see it if you don’t like the movie, were hoping to hear the Orbison title tune, dislike romantic musicals/fairy tales set to soft rock/country songs.

90
Clever, Great staging, Riveting, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you are into the Harry Potter canon, you appreciate stagecraft such as you've likely never seen before, fine acting & don't mind a long sit.

Don't see it if you are impatient with methodically paced storytelling, have trouble deciphering thick Brit accents, dislike Potter canon, hate long plays

90
During previews
Delightful, Exquisite, Great staging, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you are a fan of classic musicals from the Golden Age when nearly every song became a standard, fun choreography, Norbert L. Butz' clowning.

Don't see it if you are bored by Golden Age musicals,, prefer something edgier and "Hamilton"-like, or don't see the need for revisals of classic shows,

82
During previews
Great acting, Resonant, Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You like comedy-dramas about dysfunctional older siblings whose parents kept secrets, life in a Down syndrome group home, and Deborah Monk.

Don't see it if You can’t get past structural problems with age of characters and chronology, don’t like bittersweet plays that shift from conedy to drama.

80
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you like Mark Rylance, opera, plays about royalty suffering from mental illness, and comic bits coexisting alongside dramatic themes.

Don't see it if you don't like opera (there's plenty in Act II), Mark Rylance's idiosyncratic mannerisms, & plays about kings grappling with mental illness.

80
M. Butterfly
Midtown W
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like dramas adapted from true events, great acting by Clive Owen & Jin Ha, glimpses of colorful Chinese opera & costumes, never saw b4.

Don't see it if you have solid memories of the original production, dislike Clive Owen and/or Julie Taymor's new take on the play, don't like gay themes.

69
During previews
The Last Match
Midtown W
Disappointing, Slow, Relevant, Cliched, Confusing

See it if you are a tennis fan, are not put off by a confusing timeline that goes back & forth or a cliche-ridden tale of rivalry w/o excitement.

Don't see it if you dislike cliches, hearing about tennis, expect something new/exciting or visually interesting, dislike plays that tell rather than show.

80
Loveless Texas
East Village
Great singing, Clever, Delightful, Romantic, Great score

See it if you like plays/musical based on Shakespeare comedies, toe-tapping country-western numbers, very talented actors/singers and a great band,

Don't see it if you do not like upbeat country-western songs, Shakespeare-based romantic comedies updated to the 20th century, and cutesy pairings at end.

83
During previews
Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
Great singing, Great staging, Delightful, Entertaining, One fabulous dance number

See it if u are a fan of musicals, the most iconic shows of the past several decades and classic songs performed (& one danced) beautifully. Yazbeck!

Don't see it if you don't venerate classic musicals of the past several decades, the legacy of Harold Prince, great perfs by Tony Yazbeck, Karen Ziemba, etc

66
Clever, Intelligent, Disappointing, Slow, Lacking imagination

See it if Only if you absolutely love any and all stories dealing with Sherlock Holmes, don't mind an overall amateurishness, unimaginative lyrics.

Don't see it if You expect a taut script, good songs, dislike uneven acting (some better than others), prefer faster-paced imaginative shows w/o cliches.

90
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you like bravura perfs by top actors (Laura Linney), classic plays that still speak to timely women's issues, plays set in the old South.

Don't see it if you don't like period pieces, Southern accents, strong female characters bucking societal trends of the day, Laura Linney or Cynthia Nixon.

75
During previews
Napoli, Brooklyn
Midtown W
Great acting, Riveting, Cliched, Intense, Relevant

See it if you like ethnic family dramas dealing with old world vs. new world ethos, gay teens' closeted lives in 1960, stories set in Brooklyn.

Don't see it if you're bored by cliched depictions of old-world Italian men dominating women, gay teens wanting to escape, scared by sudden loud sounds.

90
Anastasia (NYC)
Midtown W
Enchanting, Great singing, Romantic, Entertaining, Eye-popping costumes

See it if you like tuneful songs, are a fan of the Anastasia legend, magnificent scenery projections & costumes, beautiful singing, dancing, acting.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the Anastasia legend, don't like lush musicals, are bothered by shows that run counter to proven history,

93
Indecent
Midtown W
Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you like thoughtful dramas that explore still-resonant themes of women's sexuality, theatrical history and antisemitism; inventive staging.

Don't see it if you have no interest in how depictions of women's sexuality were suppressed on stage, global theatrical history & 20th century antisemitism.

80
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like comedic-dramatic takes on family, race, socio-economic class conflicts, the cult of celebrity; & Allison Janney's droll portrayal.

Don't see it if you're tired of plays that excuse fraud and law-breaking to make points about race/class; don't care about problems of upper middle-class.

70
The Golden Apple
Midtown W
Clever, Great singing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if u like gorgeous music & singing, esp by Lindsay Mendez, sung-thru shows based on classical epic poems, cult shows you've been curious about.

Don't see it if you don't like sung-thru musicals, u need narrative, not familiar with The Iliad & The Odyssey, don't like many styles of music in one show.

84
During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Delightful

See it if you like old-fashioned musicals with singable melodies, great dancing, clever lyrics, great perfs by all esp Kelli O'Hara & Will Chase.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Kelli O'Hara, classic Cole Porter musicals, shows based on Shakespeare; and you prefer contemporary themes and styles.

86
Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you are an ardent fan of the film or Bryan Cranston; you like kinetic, interactive, satirical drama with memorable, powerful characters.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of satirical dark comedy, the original film or Bryan Cranston; and you find the story of television’s influence dated.

90
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you appreciate good, taut drama with a range of very human characters with all their flaws, A+ acting, political stories set in N. Ireland.

Don't see it if you have no interest in N. Ireland politics, prefer comedies/musicals to family dramas, prefer small casts, dislike Jez Butterworth plays.

54
Ambitious, Edgy, Excruciating, Cliched, Heavy-handed

See it if you are a rabid Christopher Durang fan, you like plays that mix realism and off-the-wall absurdity, you are OK w/ (offstage) sexual violence

Don't see it if you prefer plays with characters behaving realistically, you cringe at intimations of sexual violence and murder, dislike overdone satire.

80
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Heart-tugging

See it if U like Tennessee Williams' sympathetic portrayals of struggling women, '30s setting, dashed dreams, Kristine Nielsen & Annette O'Toole.

Don't see it if you don't like Tennessee's plays, dislike all-female casts, have trouble deciphering thick southern accents, not a fan of Kristine Nielsen.

87
During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want to marvel at Elaine May at age 86, you like beautifully constructed plays w/ hilarious dialogue & superb acting, plays about family

Don't see it if you don't like plays that deal comically with dementia or memory plays that deal with family problems, are not a fan of Elaine May,

79
During previews
Apologia
Midtown W
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like solid dramas with comedic touches, Stockard Channing, Hugh Dancy & scene-stealing John Tillinger, plays that examine motherhood.

Don't see it if you prefer light comedies, plays that don't explore issues such as career vs. motherhood, you are not a fan of Stockard Channing.

75
During previews
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you'd like a witty play about the Divine Sarah (Bernhardt)'s passion to play Hamlet in late 19th century Paris; a great perf by Janet McTeer

Don't see it if you don't like swatches of Shakespeare & Rostand thrown into a witty true story about Sarah Bernhardt's self-empowering goal to play Hamlet.

78
Entertaining, Dated, Delightful, Romantic, Great score

See it if you miss the days of pure melody in musicals, like the clever lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner, like Melissa Eric, & missed the original in 1965.

Don't see it if you don't like "old-fashioned" musicals, find shows about ESP dated, prefer shows done in a splashy way rather than intimate productions,

85
Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent, Funny

See it if you are a fan of the movie/Tina Fey's biting humor, like clever choreography, funny characters who also address serious issues, fine perfs.

Don't see it if you did not like the movie, expect a great score, find teenspeak vulgar, don't enjoy stories about self-absorbed airheads, hate musicals.

79
Enchanting, Great singing, Great staging, Romantic, Charming

See it if you like whimsical folk/fairy tales, a Caribbean/West Indian setting with a lilting score, colorful setting & costumes, fine singing.

Don't see it if you don't care for offbeat fables set to Caribbean-inflected music, a romantic but bittersweet love story, you can't decipher accents.

71
During previews
Clever, Ambitious, Funny, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You like Terrence Mann & Will Swenson, enjoy confrontational talk/interview shows, & mock-operas poking fun at grotesque hunan behavior.

Don't see it if You can't sit through repetitive, way overly long scenes; are bored by mock operas focused on silly themes; are not fans of Mann or Swenson.

79
Delightful, Great staging, Quirky, Exquisite, Enchanting

See it if you like to see broadly painted cartoon characters charmingly brought to life, fantastic costumes & stagecraft & a winning lead performance.

Don't see it if you don’t like shows based on sea creature cartoon characters, musicals aimed at nostalgic 20-somethings, colorful costumes & elaborate sets

65
The Portuguese Kid
Midtown W
Great staging, Disappointing, Excruciating, Romantic, Overblown

See it if you like Jason Alexander, Sherie Rene Scott & Mary Testa; comedies based on a preposterous notion; unbelievable scenarios, Testa at her best

Don't see it if you like plays where characters' actions make sense; are irritated by unfunny "funny" scenes that go on too long; hate seeing actors wasted.

79
Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you like plays with multigenerational casts, treatments of dysfunctional English families, themes of loneliness and finding happiness.

Don't see it if you have a difficult time understanding thick English accents, don't like dramas or plays about dysfunctional multigenerational families,

90
For a previous production
Desperate Measures
Midtown W
Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Good-natured raunchy

See it if you like clever approaches to Shakespeare comedies, a blend of country-western and traditional B'way songs, inspired clowning & fun dances.

Don't see it if you don't like the concept of transposing Measure for Measure to the Old West, fun over-the-top performances, giddy clowning & lively songs

65
Funny, Overrated, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Overlong

See it if you are a diehard progressive who finds every word Michael Moore says profound and true, and you don't mind 2-1/2 hours without intermission

Don't see it if you are moderate in your politics and can't stand a seemingly never-ending, 1-sided political screed only temporarily lightened by humor.

80
The Traveling Lady
West Village
Great acting, Absorbing, Romantic, Great writing, Heartwarming

See it if you like Horton Foote plays about simple, sincere people trying to be kind to one another even in iffy circumstances, realistic portrayals.

Don't see it if You don't like tales of rural Southern life, ex-convicts trying to reintegrate into everyday life, mother-daughter good-natured bickering..

87
Assassins
Midtown W
Clever, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant

See it if you are a Sondheim fan and especially admire his less-produced shows, like an intelligent book that addresses our obsession with fame & guns

Don't see it if You want a cotton candy musical, don't like Sondheim, can't abide shows with loud noises, think killing of presidents not appropriate topic

69
Great staging, Enchanting, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow

See it if you are a fan of the very talented Christian Borle and Jackie Hoffman & a fine score by Shaiman & Wittman; love the Roald Dahl story.

Don't see it if you're expecting the Wilder movie on stage; magic from the get-go (It's a slow starter until Borle's Wonka really gets going in Act II.)

90
Delightful, Hilarious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a succession of side-splitting scenes, silly hilarity, adept physical comedy, Michael Urie, satire of human frailty & corruption.

Don't see it if you don't like: political satire, physical comedy, "silly" scenes that say a lot human frailty, Michael Urie, laughing every few seconds.

85
During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Fun scenery, Delightful, Imaginative puppetry

See it if you were a fan of the comedic plays of Charles Ludlam and his Ridicukous Theatrical Company, and campy send-ups of genre films of the '40s.

Don't see it if you don't like campy comedies that poke fun at film noir and melodramas, plays that use puppets for comic effect, and stylized mugging.

65
During previews
The End of Longing
West Village
Funny, Insipid, Banal, Implausible, Formulaic

See it if you're a die-hard fan of Matthew Perry willing to overlook his amateurish writing, too many jokes for jokes' sake, unbelievable plot points.

Don't see it if you tire easily of incessant set-up/joke, set-up/joke structure that doesn't flesh out character, are not a fan of Matthew Perry's dramedy.

90
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if you like great acting esp by Laurie Metcalf, u like a mix of drama and comedy, imaginative take on Ibsen, like plays about women's issues.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate excellent acting, don't like plays dealing with feminism, colloquial language applied to earlier eras, period plays.

82
During previews
The Whirligig
Midtown W
Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you like dramas about dysfunctional families coming together in a crisis, Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet, and clever plotting and staging.

Don't see it if you're put off by serious illness befalling a young person, you roll your eyes at coincidence driving a plot, not fan of Butz or Mamet.