Emily Gawlak

Emily Gawlak is a critic with Stage Buddy. 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 (33)
Stage Buddy

"As I continue to paw and puzzle over director Marianne Elliott and co.’s dazzling production of Kushner’s work...I kept coming back to the inconceivability that something should be so spectacular, entertaining and mainstream, while also so incisively highbrow, lofty, and academic...The performances are strong across the board, each fully realized and uniquely physical. Andrew Garfield is particularly fearless." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"One of the most transgressive musicals on Broadway today, one that lays the foundation for a kind of enlightened escapism that could lead us through this strange era by offering a vision of the best we can be...The lovingly archetypal tale is indeed saturated with humor for every comedy palate...'SpongeBob the Musical' proves that escapism can be intelligent. That we can escape to a vision of the world as it could and should be." Full Review

Harry Clarke
West Village
Stage Buddy

for a previous production "Billy Crudup is nothing short of ravishing in the titular role, embodying a host of characters as he recounts a tale of seduction and deceit. There’s a fluidity to his acting that is both unsettling and engrossing, as he transforms from an imposing midwesterner to an artsy young woman in the blink of an eye. Director Leigh Silverman moves Crudup around the stage in a dance that becomes remarkable in its specificity." Full Review

The Whirligig
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

“Linklater’s dialogue is sharp and intelligent, and he finds a fine balance of comedy...The formidable ensemble cast carries it off remarkably well…Though some threads remain tangled and big revelations towards the end lead to lopsided emotional reactions, director Scott Elliott choreographs an intricate deep-dive into a not-unfamiliar community, letting a mighty bunch of actors throw their weight into a heart-tugging exploration of the bonds formed, uniquely, by loss.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Both women are equally memorable in a play that marries the stylized drama of Southern Gothic with the wit of a comedy of manners...It's easy to sink into the play, which passes swiftly...Sullivan commands a fluid ensemble performance, stretching great drama out of heated arguments and pregnant pauses...In 2017, 'The Little Foxes' feels a little bit like elderberry wine and tea cakes in the afternoon—a superfluous indulgence, but an intoxicating, transportive treat, nonetheless." Full Review

Wakey, Wakey
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

“Eno and Emerson achieve a stunning feat, compelling an audience of strangers to deeply mourn the loss of a man who is not only a stranger but a fiction…Perhaps this is in part because Eno’s clever script, paired with Emerson’s oh-so-human performance, entwines the intimate and the universal…‘Wakey, Wakey’ is a truly great play, one that reasserts the unique power of theatre...You'll want to recapture the heart-bursting, life-affirming feeling again and again." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"An ecstatic, transportive experience...There's enough avant antics and gender-bending in the chorus to counter to old-fashioned elements, and the various elements of stagecraft weave ever more densely into an orgiastic, all-consuming tapestry...I've sought the words to describe it—mesmerizing, splendid, heady—but all seem insufficient to capture the fullness of the show. Don your finest fur and head to the theater for one of the finest productions of the year." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“‘Black Flag:’ Goodwin does a good job of unstitching several complicated rhetorical threads in a short amount of time...The play somehow lacks emotional thrust…‘Queen’: Covers territory so well trodden it’s nearly hackneyed...Lollar and Tuzzolo root the play with believably extreme emotions that lend it an air of gravity and tension…“Dark Clothes:’ A complex, comedic and oddly moving send-up of film noir...Alfredo’s script is too smart and too nutty to be predictable.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

“An uncomfortable, infuriating and brilliant indictment of a patriarchal world...As led by director Lileana Blain-Cruz, the four-person cast is fearless, willing to embody the spectrum of emotion and physical surreality the play demands. Their commitment makes the more uncomfortable parts of the play hard to watch--but also impossible to turn away from...A jarring vision, but for those who live with the rising frustration of gender inequality, it's one that you may find a sense of peace in.” Full Review

The Humans
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"Stephen Karam has written a play that stands for its time...The careful, relatable mundanity of the plot serves as a springboard for the profound conflicts of everyday existence...The formidable cast so brilliantly embody their roles that it's difficult to believe that they walk off stage and into their real lives...This play will move you, and it can -- and likely will be -- pondered and parsed for many years to come." Full Review

Buried Child
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"An A-list cast, under the direction of Scott Elliott, is now tasked with handling the layered, poetic text of Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize winning play that stands, rightly and unshakably, in the canon of American theater...Despite a bit of uneven casting, 'Buried Child' still remains as stirring as ever, and unique in its capability to leave an audience, in darkness and dread, sitting for two hours within the hollowed out carcass of the American Dream." Full Review

Incident at Vichy
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"Perhaps the play might have been better served in a more intimate theater space. Instead, the actors are left to traipse back and forth across the stage, and some of the performances even border dangerously on camp. Though the play might seem at times a little dusty and stiff for contemporary audiences, it's important to refresh ourselves on the unspeakable atrocities that can happen and will continue to happen if the privileged don’t truly act on behalf of the persecuted." Full Review

Iphigenia in Aulis
East Village
Stage Buddy

"Anne Washburn’s transadaptation is a mesmerizing, groundbreaking update on Euripides' final tragedy...The brilliance of Washburn's universe is the subtlety of her historical and mythological revisionism." Full Review

Informed Consent
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"Though the play has moments of tragedy, it is ultimately played with warmth, levity, and self-awareness, driven in part by the terrific physical performances of a refreshingly diverse cast...The character switching is abrupt and occasionally absurd, but it is never once confusing thanks to the subtle mastery of the characters and caricatures from the simplest facial adjustment or gesture." Full Review

Happy Days
Soho/Tribeca
Stage Buddy

"Beckett's brilliance often manifests as tedium, resulting in a test of patience and resilience for both the characters and the audience, and director Andrei Belgrader stays true to the minimalism of the concept, allowing the text to dominate. As Winnie, Brooke Adams handles the unwieldy monologue of a script with astoundingly engaging grace and humanity. As Willie, Tony Shalhoub is almost unrecognizable: dirty, almost subhuman, and equal parts fascinating and repulsive in his brief moments o... Full Review

The Spoils
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"The notion of dramatizing the story of a white kid from the suburbs turned failed NYU film student, living in a huge Manhattan apartment on his father's dime hits me at gut level as the kind of eye rolling, self-aggrandizing 'hipster' punchline that I go out of my way to avoid. Yet what has been crafted with 'The Spoils', manages to be at once painstakingly sincere, brutally honest, and anything but obvious...Seemingly vacuous in its content and yet deeply revelatory about a generation that ... Full Review

A Queen For A Day
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"When the play finally gets where it's going, or when it attempts to depart from generic expectations and 'gangster tropes,' it isn't all that surprising, largely due to the play's inability to show rather than simply tell...The characters spend so much time shouting at each other that shouting quickly loses any gravitas or fear inducing possibility, and the most effective moments creep in when everyone finally just calms down and listens." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Director Evan Yionoulis handles the production tenderly and incisively, drawing out the play’s central yearning by erasing and abruptly widening the distance between our lovers...Kennedy does not offer us a rosy lens with which to view our nation’s past or present. She seems to posit, in a voice a firm as ever, that though we must, as Chris and Kay so feverishly attempt to do, acknowledge the rot at the core of our nation’s past and present, acknowledgment alone will not provide salvation." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“A hilariously campy night at the theatre...A fearless solo performance with a hell of a lot of heart— though the main character, Gerry, wouldn’t likely admit it...I initially cringed when Gerry spoke at the empty spots where Mack and Dwayne should be, but Droege, who not only stars in but also wrote the piece, pulls the choice off with aplomb — in no small part because of the dazzling buffet of facial expressions at his command from moment to moment.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

“A screwball, slapstick rendering of the Bard’s problem play that is in turns hilarious, bizarre, and inscrutable...For Shakespeare purists, this interpretation may strike as overly-avant, and complete novices may find themselves in the dark, but for the many of us somewhere in the middle, it’s a one-of-a-kind tribute. It demonstrates the endless ways Shakespeare can be reinvented and reasserted as a salient voice for our time and for centuries to come.” Full Review

Indecent
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"An engaging, heartfelt work...The troupe moves as a seamless mechanism, fitting perfectly together like gears of a clock, to conjure both the beauty and pain of time...You have to pay close attention to keep up, as it races through time...Vogel, Taichman, composers Gutkin and Halva, choreographer Dorfman and their stellar cast have crafted an exuberant, exciting show, one which exudes warmth and is, above all, a testament to the transportive, life-affirming power of theater." Full Review

Home/Sick
Brooklyn
Stage Buddy

"Enthralling ensemble show...The show is worthy of its lofty accolades, but its electric charge doesn't stem from its accurate accounting of history...Rather, the six-piece character study brings the inner workings of the extremist group home to the audience...Though the Assembly clearly came to admire the group as they researched, they push beyond simply valorizing them, and seem content, mostly, to explore inwards, considering what drives a person to extreme, violent action." Full Review

All The Fine Boys
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"From the occasionally clunky metaphors to the mostly surface level trappings of late '80s nostalgia, it would be a stretch to call any aspect of the play subtle, but the work is, nonetheless, powerful or, perhaps more accurately put, disturbing...The couples deliver strong performances and find an engaging, if at turns problematic, chemistry...'All the Fine Boys' is a powerful indictment against our inability to make room for and attempt to understand teen female sexuality." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A fantastical pastiche culled from any number of obscure and less obscure sources...'Now Is The Time' conjures a world that must be experienced firsthand. And indeed, I doubt that any two people would see this play in the same way. The emotions of the play all straddle the line between ecstatic and tragic, and as a whole, the play points towards the universal, timeless fear of change...Director Michael Levinton evokes a tight, impressive, stellar group performance from his players." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“The lack of structural cohesion lies in the company’s remarkable sense of ambition. They’re trying to pull off so much...Despite all of the build up and all of the time and effort put into constructing this world, my excitement quickly gave way to frustration. The narrative drops away in deference to spectacle, and the impetus behind who or what we’re escaping becomes increasingly murky...Once his team adds a bit more narrative follow through, this just might become the talk of the town.” Full Review

Red Speedo
East Village
Stage Buddy

"Hnath is a vital force in today’s theater scene, in part because of his commitment to experimenting with language. In 'Red Speedo', the players deliver their lines in staccato bursts as if they are, dare I say it, gasping for breath. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like the play is built upon unfinished sentences in more than just styling. For all of its intellect and careful, heartfelt acting, 'Red Speedo' tries to tackle so much, the plot becomes convoluted." Full Review

Hughie
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"Forest Whitaker is an imposing stage presence, yet even he appears weary and small in the cavernous set. In the capable hands of director Michael Grandage, it's amusing to watch him caper around the stage...At first I thought Whitaker's stilted, start and stop delivery was symptomatic of him struggling with the text...But once you settle into the tragic restlessness of the character, his affect drives O’Neill’s circuitous cadences home...Overall, the play is a simple but poignant rumination." Full Review

Night is a Room
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"Playwright Wallace manages to simultaneously debase and exalt the erotic impulse as she asks us to consider what absolute, unconditional love between two people means. In doing so, she makes you feel with your gut rather than your brain, indeed before you can even attempt to reason though her universe. 'Night Is A Room' is not easy entertainment. But it is rare and powerful, and will leave you, somehow, feeling both drained and invigorated when you leave the theater." Full Review

The Christians
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"'The Christians' is a moving and rhetorically intricate rumination on the self-righteous and tragically divisive nature of belief systems... Some characters quirks, intended, I believe, to inject some lightness into the play, miss their mark a bit and come off as inappropriate rather than irreverent amidst heady contemplation." Full Review

Isolde
Brooklyn
Stage Buddy

"The narrative unfolds in a series of loose vignettes marked by this manner of dialogue alongside certain moments that feel viscerally, immediately real. This aesthetic, for which Maxwell is heralded as a champion of experimental theater, somehow lets "a fuller, more complex sense of reality emerge." Through his bending of reality, Maxwell and his actors create characters that - even in their surreality - ooze humanity and beg empathy with the nod of a head or a carefully emphasized silence." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"An emotionally dark yet stunning portrait of humanity in crisis...'Butcher Holler Here We Come' stomps and kicks and gasps its way through each one of these huge topics, swirling them around in a pitch dark stew, imploring us to hold on and pray for escape." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The human scope of the play is stark and touching...The production is both prescient and vital, a confluence of terrific minds who will continue to live on and inspire us to fight without fear for justice, peace, and the right to think and speak freely." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A visually stunning and emotionally intimate portrait of life during and after apartheid...Athold Fugard has spent his life working to tell the story of the marginalized people of South Africa, trying expose the evils of apartheid to a larger audience, trying to make sense of his own place in his home nation. His legacy is unquestionable, yet, in his eighties now, his story bears stirring resemblances to Nukain's, looking back once more to reassert his humanity, to 'paint the big rock.'" Full Review