GreatAvi

Upper West Side | 35-49 | Male
About:  A theater, music and film fan living in the most cultural city in the world, enjoying as much of the Arts as my time and money can afford.
Reviews (160)
85
Masterful, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy intelligent, well-thought out stagings of classic plays, with a great ensemble the makes Shakespeare's words shine with clarity.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy modern staging touches, expect more of a statement from current readings of Richard III, or prefer shorter plays.

60
Talky, Self-indulgent, A mess

See it if you will go see anything by Tony Kushner, interested in yet another play depicting artists in pre-WWII Europe, don't mind being lectured to.

Don't see it if you dislike long, wordy, unfocused, ambitious early plays that's don't deliver, re-tinkered by their author in a way that doesn't improve.

84
During previews
One in Two
Midtown W
Great staging, Powerful, Original

See it if you enjoy fresh new theater voices, that use unusual theatrical setups and inventive direction to be simultaneously smart and moving.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play that's saying something new, or is clear about its call for action ("do something!" - but what exactly?)

73
During previews
Dense, Verbose, Thought-provoking

See it if you like long intellectually-stimulating conversations, refreshing in the sense it dissects the voices of the conservative-religious right.

Don't see it if sitting through 2 hours of listening to pretty horrible people clash on personal but mostly deep ideological ground is not your idea of fun

74
Toni Stone
Midtown W
Funny, Great characters, Interesting

See it if you enjoy learning about this unlikely American sports hero, like quirky characters & plays that bring to life a specific time in US history

Don't see it if you get confused with out-of-sequence scenes, expect a large production or don't care for historical plays about little-known sports legends

81
Make Believe
Midtown W
Good acting, Intelligent, Original

See it if you like seeing smart plays that grab your interest & don't exactly go where you expect them to, interesting characters & good ensemble cast

Don't see it if you're not into family dramas. There is a feeling that the play is incomplete, and that some of the characters could use some fleshing out.

68
During previews
Wives
Midtown W
Misguided, Weird, Pretentious

See it if you're into unusual theatrical structures, funny anachronistic scenes & ultimately, a young writer's journey to find a new female narrative.

Don't see it if your bullshit-o-meter is very sensitive - that last scene is one of the more ridiculous, pretentious and laughable things I've seen on stage

80
During previews
The Great Society
Upper W Side
Disappointing, Interesting, Fast-paced

See it if you enjoy watching how the political 'sausage' is being made, revisiting some exciting and devastating years in US history and a large cast.

Don't see it if you're expecting the same focus, energy & wit of All The Way. Cox is fine, but Cranston was a far better LBJ. Second act lags & loses steam.

86
During previews
Intelligent, Interesting, Relevant

See it if you enjoy political theater that's direct but subtle, for the rare opportunity of discovering some influential 20th century theater works.

Don't see it if you prefer more conventional evenings of theater. Opening & closing one-acts are a little abstract, but fit neatly with the 3 Havel shorts.

78
Intimate, Engaging, Honest

See it if you like small one-man shows (with songs), that tell a very personal story with great talent and poetry, and can be very touching at times.

Don't see it if you don't like any of the above, or listening for 85 minutes to one person talking is not your idea of fun. Also, the singing is not great.

90
All My Sons
Midtown W
Smart production, Great acting, Masterful writing

See it if you like your Arthur Miller masterpieces stripped of artifice, played straight to today's audiences with outstanding leads Bening & Letts.

Don't see it if you can't see the relevance in Miller's 1940s(!) play. Also, not all actors are in the same league of the 2 leads (Walker is miscast as son)

72
Proof of Love
West Village
Great acting, Repetitive, Funny

See it if you like one-woman shows that are smart, precise and engaging, and that deal with relevant issues of race, identity, love, loyalty & family.

Don't see it if you expect a very complex play. This is a small story that's beautifully performed, but ultimately wears thin and gets repetitive as it goes

78
Entertaining, Great sets, Energetic

See it if you like young high-school themed musicals. At first it feels very cliched, but by the second act these characters seem to grow on you...

Don't see it if you dislike loud, self-absorbed, teens-obsessed, shallow musicals with a ridiculous story line, or don't get the appeal of millennial angst.

Also The second act famous showstopper "Michael in the Bathroom" is worth t... Read more Read less

76
Muddled production, Great incidental music, Good acting

See it if you can't miss one of world's greatest actors, Glenda Jackson, taking on this meaty role, with Philip Glass' mesmerizing on-stage live music

Don't see it if you expect a coherent production. Many of director's Gold's touches are distracting and create confusion,also some actors mumble their lines

78
Interesting, Revealing, Quirky

See it if you like to hear fresh new theater voices tell their story in an intimate and brave way, enjoy extreme characters and awkward situations

Don't see it if you are easily offended by onstage intimacy, expect coherent characters whose motivation is always clear, or hate unnecessary happy endings

60
Continuity
Midtown W
Entertaining, Unnecessary, Cliched

See it if you will absolutely go to every green-cause related theater event, in the mood for a light, entertaining evening of a familiar story line.

Don't see it if you'd rather avoid artificial setups, "message" plays, cardboard characters and so-so acting, this play is predictable in the worst way.

72
Burn This
Midtown W
Engaging, Confused, Great lead actor

See it if for Adam Driver's explosive performance, if you like to see a character-driven play about an unusual romance, & funny supporting characters.

Don't see it if uneven & muddled plays aren't your thing, the main characters are definitely complex but the rest are pure stereotypical cliches, not a must

80
Intelligent, Entertaining, Inventive

See it if you like minimal theater that generates places, times, characters and situations seemingly out of nothing, creating a tapestry of our world.

Don't see it if you don't like episodic theater, one-man shows, minimal stagings, get bored easily with story after story of different border crossings...

73
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
Great staging, Fast-paced, Quirky

See it if you like flow-of-consciousness plays, enjoy surreal scenes and characters, smart literary and theater references, and a wacky story line.

Don't see it if you're looking for engaging characters you want to care about or see more of, you're easily confused or hate pointless intellectual exercise

100
Poetic, Masterful, Gripping

See it if You’re looking for theater that is both epic and intimate,chronicle of real events and a parable,3 outstanding actors deliver great writing.

Don't see it if You dislike wordy plays, hate it when actors play multiple roles, stepping in and out of character, don’t like narration or right directing.

Also One of the best theater experiences I’ve had in recent memory. Unmissa... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if you like smart, engaging, plays that use fresh contemporary context to discuss universal themes, the sublime Laurie Metcalf & John Lithgow.

Don't see it if you're looking for more a play and less a polemic with some very wordy back and forth, dislike politics, or if you enjoy big productions.

72
Daddy
Midtown W
Overlong, Over-directed, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy seeing fresh theater voices go to town on big issues, and even if result is sort of failure - gotta love the ambition and energy.

Don't see it if You’d rather avoid immature works, over-stuffed with ideas but don’t know what to do with them, self-indulgent characters and over acted.

78
During previews
Incoherent, Funny, Confused

See it if you're into weird, quirky, fringe plays that make it to Broadway. The leads are all excellent and over the top, the text makes no sense,fun!

Don't see it if you expect a well-written play with a clear purpose, rather than an extended 10 minutes sketch that shifts from very low humor to high verse

90
During previews
Must-see, Re-imagined, Inventive

See it if you like to re-discover a classic as if you're seeing it for the first time, an edgy modern look at a staple of the American musical theater

Don't see it if you like lavish, rich, large-company musical revivals, dislike strong directorial interpretation of a classic, or expect top-notch vocals...

95
Sea Wall/A Life
East Village
Gut-wrenching, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you're into smart one-acts about big themes of love, loss, and life, excellently written and acted, creating a memorable theater experience.

Don't see it if you don't feel like a devastating night of theater, get emotional easily, hate one-man shows or expect staging that's less stationary.

86
Intelligent, Moving, A theatrical gem

See it if you like short, small, understated plays that grab you and go deep, touching on power of art & life's disillusionment, complex but beautiful

Don't see it if you prefer a large production,don't get plays that just skim the surface of things and let the audience fill in many of the missing pieces.

82
A classic, Interesting, Great music

See it if you like updated interpretations of classic shows, that take a different approach, bring interesting staging ideas,and if you love the music

Don't see it if you are looking for a deep re-invention of the base materials, not a fan of Lloyd-Weber musicals, or have a problem with the subject matter.

86
runboyrun & IN OLD AGE
East Village
Great theater, Moving, Powerful

See it if you like to see well-written, well acted, expertly directed (and lit) hard-hitting but ultimately tender works, that reward your patience.

Don't see it if you're looking for a fast-paced, easy piece of theater. At 90 minutes each, it's not for everyone - but what a great theatrical experience.

88
During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Masterful, Smart, Funny

See it if you like clever, beautifully-written new plays. Letts has an amazing ear for dialog as he leads his character on a witty and painful journey

Don't see it if you can't handle intimate situations on stage, or wish some of the ways in which the main character evolves would be a little less obvious..

75
Cliched jukebox fare, Great music, Entertaining

See it if you like musicals based on music legends,that play through all their favorite songs,wrapped around a thin worn-out story to hold it together

Don't see it if if you can't take another predictable by-the-numbers rise-and-fall of music group jukebox musical that is just going through the motions.

89
Theatrical treat, Great music, Spectacular staging

See it if you're a fan of the movie, if you like the smart melange of pop/rock songs from several decades and the most amazing spectacle on Broadway!

Don't see it if you're averse to non-stop kitch, prefer original music, looking for a plausible story, deep characters or great chemistry between the lead.

68
Felix Starro
Midtown W
Overlong, Good score, Uneven

See it if you like seeing shows with a different point of view, tackling big themes of faith, truth, family and trust,original beautiful music & songs

Don't see it if you're looking for a polished production.There's an amateur feel to the whole thing.It does hold your interest at first but then drags on.

70
During previews
Sunday
Chelsea
Wordy, Confused, Pretentious

See it if you like plays revolving around confused, self-absorbed and annoying verbose millennials, sitting around trying to figure themselves out.

Don't see it if you dislike plays that change tone frequently, weird & unnecessary directorial touches (like having the cast burst into dance inexplicably).

90
During previews
Rewarding, Intelligent, Brilliant writing

See it if you're into Stoppard's smart,funny,wordy & intellectual obsession with language, politics & Shakespeare, performed by a young & eager cast.

Don't see it if you want a light evening of theater. This superb set of 2 interwoven one-acts requires constant attention & familiarity with Hamlet/Macbeth.

Also Cube!

82
A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Self-absorbed, Great music, Clever

See it if you like to witness unique, fresh, new theatrical voices. This is a joy from start to finish, despite some uneven moments.Complex & relevant

Don't see it if you don't find the topics of being gay, black, fat, male in today's America relevant or interesting. The show can get tedious & repetitive.

75
Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Unexpected, Funny, Weird

See it if you like quirky theater that defies expectations. Many strange moments: modernized "Vanya" with breaking of 4th wall, audience participation

Don't see it if you dislike shows that are far less clever than they think they are. The sum here is NOT larger than the whole, but some small great moments

48
Nomad Motel
Chelsea
Inventive set, Amateurish, Embarrassing

See it if your heart goes out to young people in need to a degree you're willing to sit through 2 hours of agonizingly bad dialogue & mediocre acting.

Don't see it if you expect a mature, rich, play with complex characters. Many scenes are laughable, including father-son martial arts battle & finale 'run'

67
During previews
Miscast, Dated, Overlong

See it if you love the Mint and exploring old Irish plays that time has (rightfully) forgotten, reflecting the sensibilities of early 20th century.

Don't see it if you expect good acting (two of the main male characters are terribly miscast) or a play that has remained relevant to today's audiences.

68
Happy Talk
Midtown W
Predictable, Talky, Funny

See it if you enjoy Eisenberg's way of depicting horribly self-absorbed and selfish protagonists, get the dialog and witty references to South Pacific

Don't see it if you've seen enough pretentious plays that have a narcissist central character, hate it when you can see key plot twists coming miles away...

90
Ink
Midtown W
Great production, Relevant, Fast-paced

See it if for the top-notch acting, intelligent and funny play about rise of tabloid journalism and for a production that constantly feels inventive.

Don't see it if you find it hard to follow quick story line, the subject matter is not appealing to you, dislike acting that is a little over the top.

70
During previews
Dying City
Midtown W
Low key, Raw, Feels long

See it if you enjoy plays that deal with war, loss, love and family, that take themselves very seriously but feel labored and offer no new insights.

Don't see it if you expect the whole of the play to be larger than is parts. In this case there's a feeling of something underdeveloped and incomplete.

88
Sublime music, Great dancing, A joy

See it if you want to treat yourself to classic American musical theater, the ridiculously amazing operatic voice of Kelly O'Hara and great production

Don't see it if you expect all singing parts to be as good as Ms. O'Hara, dislike bad diction and characters mumbling their words, or the kitschy plot line.

80
Cartoonish, Fun, Spectacular sets

See it if you liked the original cult movie,enjoy childish humor and over the top performances,and for the outstanding Alex Brightman & Leslie Kritzer

Don't see it if you're looking for something more than corny jokes, scenery-eating cartoon characters and forgettable music.It's a fun show, nothing beyond.

88
White Noise
East Village
Must-see, Provocative, Powerful

See it if you want to see an intelligent, well-acted, relevant work from one of our greatest living playwrights, that pushes all the right buttons.

Don't see it if convoluted and artificial conceits aren't your cup of tea, you expect a consistent and clearly logical plot line, given these characters.

92
Great directing, Elevating, Charming

See it if you want to be moved by a small, well-meaning and beautifully-done musical that grabs you from the first minute and stays with you for days.

Don't see it if you prefer less simplistic storytelling & music, more complex characters, a large production, or can't be bothered with true 'people' story.

84
During previews
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Predictable, Catchy songs, Very funny

See it if you're looking for a fun musical, that treads on familiar territory & premise, but does it with lots of energy, great sitcom acting & laughs

Don't see it if you can't treat a show separately from its source material. Yes, the film is far superior & deeper. But it makes for delicious Broadway fare

72
Southern Promises
Soho/Tribeca
Uneven, Disturbing, Bold

See it if you like Bradshaw's work, his ability to make an audience uncomfortable by creating awkward scenes, and deadpan 'flat' melodramatic dialog.

Don't see it if violence, sex & nudity on stage offends you (sometimes art is all about getting offended, go with the experience!), or expect deeper dialog

85
The Mother
Chelsea
Great staging, Outstanding acting, Clever

See it if you like plays that expertly weave thematic elements, that emerge and repeat with variation, plus a tour-de-force performance from Huppert!

Don't see it if you like your plays delivered a little more straight up, get confused easily, prefer a large production, have problem with French accent...

88
Joyful, Smart, Great score

See it if you enjoy intelligent, well-written and relevant musicals that are also absorbing and entertaining, with an eager cast that tries its best.

Don't see it if you expect a fully realized musical production, inventive staging, above average singing.. material is not getting the treatment it deserves

45
During previews
Asinine, Confused, Annoying

See it if You enjoy loud, over-indulgent, over-acted, over-directed and over-long plays that try too hard but are really saying nothing.

Don't see it if You’re interested in a sophisticated, complex treatment of the issues of beauty race and culture, women’s liberation and self empowerment.

Also This is an appalling children’s-theater level treatment of a promising... Read more Read less