George 9

New York City | 65+ | Male
About:  Informed writer/director/actor who saw Burton’s Hamlet, Streisand’s Funny Girl, Julie Andrews’ Guenevere, the original Follies, and both Barbara Harris and Carol Channing live. Knows a thing or two about magic.
Reviews (42)
97
Cyrano
Upstate New York
Modern, outrageously comic tear-jerker extraordinaire

See it if You love the original classic but always yearned for the classic’s emotional size without the fustian. Terrific acting. Jason splendid.

Don't see it if You don’t want to both laugh and cry.

60
During previews
Grim, dour revisionist gloss; middling-good singing and emphasis on lyrics.

See it if You want a director’s earnest, shadowy take on courtship, sexuality, and the US at the expense of the authors’ panache and optimism.

Don't see it if You yearn for the fullness of the songs’ and the characters’ soaring vitality or if you’re rooting for the protags to end happy.

93
A lesson in directing, ensemble genius, and heartfelt, funnybone humanity!

See it if You love to be moved and exult with the power of humans connecting to transcend crisis

Don't see it if You can’t speak English and are just looking for a Radio City Music Hall type distraction.

80
During previews
Sized-down, brilliantly staged gloss on sondheim’s beloved ersatz flop about friendship, show-biz collaborations, and the crush of the past.

See it if You love Sass, talent, a commitment to acting values, incessant inventiveness in staging, a searingly ironic score, and pyrrhic victories.

Don't see it if You wish to identify traditionally with likeable characters. These are rough waters and hopes are dashed.

71
Afterglow
Midtown W
A boulevard comedy for and about gay men. quite pleasant and very clever

See it if Good nudity, good acting, great set-changing, and a clearing house for modern relationship-talk appeal to you.

Don't see it if You want presumptuous, grand drama. This is sweet and simple, questions monogamy, with sexy simulations of man on man love.

98
Refreshing, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if You want to see a musicalized version of this play which successfully blends the play’s melancholy love-story with its ribald merry-making

Don't see it if If you’re a stickler that all of the original text be included.

83
King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
Epic, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You like solid Shakespeare done by the RSC in black, gold, and grey drapes and clothes

Don't see it if Thoughts of mortality, dementia, and familial strife are too hard for you to take.

85
Glenda jackson’s imperiously sensational return to our stage

See it if You want to wince and smile at the ravages of aging, hypocrisy, and the inevitability of death

Don't see it if You’re a stickler for directness. This play of Albee’s is quite in his “arch” and clever vein, though it aims for depth.

Also The set is gossamer, glamorous, and features a wonderful trick to it.

97
During previews
Benanti is sparkling, witty, and deep. and the higgins, now late in the run, is unbelievably good...like a catherine wheel. see this revival now!

See it if You love elegance, unmatchable score and lyrics, and want to see, with Laura Benanti as Eliza,what the greatest musical of all time was like

Don't see it if You want Eliza and Higgins to strike sparks off each other. NOW WITH BENANTI IT’S a SCINTILLATING STORY!

89
Hamilton (NYC)
Midtown W
With crucial understudies; punch was missing, but the realized notion of un-color casting was thrilling as was the zest of the poetry in the lyrics

See it if You must see it to be au courant with theatre history. It’s totally politically correct and has scintillating words that pop you awake.

Don't see it if You’d rather not be bothered with pre-listening to its rather dense cast album. You MUST hear it beforehand to really get it.

82
Saw donna murphy as dolly. basic terrific fun with “sunday clothes” truly buoyant.

See it if You like a cotton candy show with uber-professional gloss.

Don't see it if You like things deep.

83
During previews
Up the Rabbit Hole
East Village
Well-staged, honest, nearly graphic depiction of young, gay addiction

See it if A frank, simple, professionally acted story about coke, adoption fallout, with some male nudity and brief male-on-male action appeals

Don't see it if You're stickler for trenchant depth in the writing. This play is genuine enough but not harrowing, and, therefore, a bit by-the-numbers.

Also At first performance, some ofi the humor in the opening scene was off ... Read more Read less

61
The Light Years
Midtown W
Lovely set, picaresque, fey, aspires to enchantment

See it if You have an interest in American history of inventors, lighting equipment, and world's fairs

Don't see it if The winsomeness and buoyancy of capable actors can't distract you from a script's empty fancies.

99
During previews
Scintillating, theatrical, and profoundly sobering

See it if You adore the the-a-tuh, being regaled with transcendent tales and recreations of its royalty, and insightful glimpses of 1980's gay life.

Don't see it if You don't speak English or if the notion of a shadow underside to glamour and gaiety puts your knickers in a knot

91
During previews
The Dork Knight
West Village
Great acting, Profound, Ridorkulously witty

See it if Familiar with superheros, either Shakespearean or along the lines of Batman, or ever went to ridiculously sad lengths to impress anyone.

Don't see it if You have no cultural context for either Heath Ledger's or Jack Nicholson's Joker or have difficulty following fast-paced verbal comedy.

71
Heisenberg
Midtown W
Slick, clever, inflated, sweet, diverting

See it if You're mad for Mary Louise Parker's antics, you like "scene work," you don't mind plot-light two handers with some wit and wisdom

Don't see it if You want your romantic comedies straightforward and full of charm; this one insists on being off-beat, like its talented leading lady.

96
Spamilton
Midtown W
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if Obsessed with Hamilton, enjoy clever word-play and parody, thrill to discover new talent, appreciate Broadway in-jokes

Don't see it if You don't know much about show business.

80
During previews
Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You seek a jumping-off place to discuss family response to the aging of a parent and the relative value of nursing homes

Don't see it if You are too recently traumatized by a relative or friend's loss of coherent intelligence as he/she ages

95
Wicked (NYC)
Midtown W
Ambitious, Great staging, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Delightful

See it if You'd like a superbly staged, fantasy-musical and a throbbingly emotional story about the ultimate outcast who retrieves her self-esteem

Don't see it if You're a stickler about the Maguire source book; this version soft-pedals its mordant humor and ups the heart-tugging factor.

79
The Flick
West Village
Clever, Original, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Interested in the lack of integrity in 3 young losers, catching up with the must-see, Pulitzer playwright, or solid, detailed character-work

Don't see it if You need spectacle (there's one, intentionally ordinary setting) or histrionics. The play's focus is on examining modern banality.

46
Matilda
Midtown W
Overrated, Confusing, Banal, Ambitious

See it if You love Dahl's source story or if you're drawn to the admirable idea that a child can triumph over trauma through literature and imaginat

Don't see it if irked by raucous choral singing and movement (often by children), indistinguishable lyrics, or the story's syrupy dollops of precious wisdom

81
During previews
Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Austin pendleton, a bona fide american treasure ever since he originated the role of jonathan in oh dad poor dad, mama’s hung you in the closet and i’m feeling so sad in the 60’s, gives a beautiful portrait of the professor.

See it if A blunt, modern, literate spin on all the depression in Chekhov, with fun fourth-wall breaks, sounds diverting. Posner and the actors rock.

Don't see it if You’d miss the romance in Uncle Vanya’s yearnings. Posner’s play deflates that by bringing it (and especially Elena) into the 21st century.

54
Carmelina
Midtown E
Us occupation of italy post-ww2, mixed with old world romance provides almost fun; dated but very well-sung

See it if Broadway history of Lerner or Lane or what-went-wrong’s is part of your passion.

Don't see it if You want more than a light-hearted sketch of a story.

81
Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Outsize, thrilling video juxtaposed with onstage fun and bryan cranston’s big acting make your heart thump thump.

See it if Undeniably Stunning, collage-like Spectacle and hype (if at the expense of real-ness and the authenticity of the source-movie) turn you on.

Don't see it if You were moved by Chayevsky’s script’s focus on Bill Holden’s aging crisis OR have tired of VonHowe’s heavy-handed, fashionable directing.

66
Intriguing topic, the scholarly mixed with elements from the avant-garde.

See it if Euripides classicists will resonate with this admittedly truncated, feminist take on extant Hercules texts. Some film and a camp aesthetic.

Don't see it if You want a bona fide narrative or wish to be swept away

82
Fire in Dreamland
East Village
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if To consider our currently over-privileged but dissatisfied culture

Don't see it if You want a slamdunk, essy-to-digest moral quandary.

48
Dress of Fire
West Village
Dress of fire was tastefully costumed, extremely talky, had a good, shavian-like central argument: that we as a people, like the trojans who kept helen despite cassandra's warnings, love war’s heroics. the 3 leading ladies are attractive, eloquent.

See it if You like well-informed, if diatribe-heavy, attempts to revitalize Trojan/Greek mythology

Don't see it if Simplistic, feminist-slanted revisionism of mythology (not up to Mists of Avalon rigor) tires you.

Also The three young-ish actresses are worth seeing if you’re looking to ca... Read more Read less

94
Excellent script, compelling, timely, expertly performed. deaf world meets hearing world; says, “i don’t need you to remake me in your image.”

See it if You’ve ever had your heart broken by someone who said back off, I need to be me. Or if you’re interested in sign language or the deaf.

Don't see it if You need excessive diversion or spectacle. It’s a simple set and the relationship demands attention.

Also As apt and performed with as much integrity and conviction as when Phy... Read more Read less

85
Shimmering perspective on “small” people from different cultures. fresh staging, music, singing, and a wry wisdom unusual for a broadway musical.

See it if You’re interested in brilliantly off-hand means of telling a story through an endearing ensemble of singer-actors.

Don't see it if You want to be blasted out of your seat by a loud, hip-hop-happy musical. This is like a foreign film. Fascinating, rich, subtle.

91
During previews
Feeding the Dragon
West Village
Perfect. contained. a gem of a show with a story that packs a wallop at the end.

See it if Simplicity and an underlying sweetness is your cuppa

Don't see it if You want melodrama or headlines. This show is deeply personal.

73
Overly expensive looking; not my brand of romantic fantasy

See it if You like spectacle and your inner girl has ravishment fantasies

Don't see it if You like your love stories to hit home. You yawn at the tedious repetition of melody in sung-through demi-operas.

73
The Treasurer
Midtown W
Close-to-home, intense, clever

See it if You want to identify with or evaluate the dilemma of middle-agers coping with a parent’s aging and death

Don't see it if You can’t handle stories about death, aging parents, you’re upset about drama-lite

60
The View UpStairs
East Village
Cliched, repetitive storyline and pat songs obscure the intention to create a rivetting perspective on gay american history

See it if A crisis in the history of gay oppression in America merits your attention, or you want to examine an ambitious new musical.

Don't see it if You need a strong throughline in your musical dramas.

100
Cry Havoc!
West Village
Visceral, pertinent to the crisis in returning veterans, thrillingly acted

See it if You like heartfelt storytelling, vital acting, and care about mental health, veterans, and heroism.

Don't see it if Just see it.

96
Cathartic, gorgeously sung and acted, modern

See it if You're human and you've ever been adolescent enough to lie to get love.

Don't see it if You're unprepared for visiting the dark side of high school or the American class system.

94
A Day by the Sea
Midtown W
Rare, chekhovian, literate, stylish, profound

See it if You're an Anglophile, you're impressed with wit, language, a consummate ensemble, a gracious contemplation of stylishly facing aging.

Don't see it if You're a hipster with ADHD who needs bells and whistles. This revival is a classy throwback to the best of Gielgud's era.

92
During previews
A Life
Midtown W
Mordant, eerie, shimmering, modest, unsettling

See it if You like being chilled, awestruck and reminded of your own mortality by an elliptical, Beckettian script and highly skilled acting

Don't see it if You're overly sensitive or sentimental about life's meaningfulness or if you are impatient of brevity.

97
Ambitious, Edgy, Great staging, Profound

See it if You have any interest in the capacity of self-expression to liberate one from traumatic family history, in things gay (specifically lesbian)

Don't see it if You are disappointed in musicals that don't have hummable, upbeat scores or demand easy happy endings

100
Ambitious, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great writing, Must see

See it if You want dazzle, heartbreak, exhilaration and an upclose, virtual experience of the challenge in seeing life truly differently.

Don't see it if the idea that autism may provide breakthrough insight for the limits of our linear world offends you.

88
Ambitious, Enchanting, Masterful, Must see, Original

See it if You love the magic of theatre. Director Julie Taymor's amazing hybrid of Disney story with dazzling spectacle deserved all its awards.

Don't see it if You really need great writing. This adaptation of the Disney film isn't much different from the original.

72
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Delightful

See it if Showmanship, exquisite character work, and a witty Capraesque look at a town's love for its recently deceased gay boy appeal to you

Don't see it if You don't like one-man shows or simple sets, are not impressed by ingenuity or are looking for a shatteringly new take on intolerance.

38
Hamlet in Bed
West Village
Quirky, Indulgent, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You are interested either in the feisty and focussed actress Annette O'Toole or in the Hamlet closet scene as the story's springboard

Don't see it if You expect the actor-author to newly illuminate anything particularly inspiring about Hamlet, character or play.