GreatAvi

Upper West Side | 50-64 | 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 means can afford.
Reviews (277)
75
Strings Attached
Midtown W
Surreal, Witty, Contrived
September 25th, 2022

See it if you're interested in a drama that mashes up physics and a love triangle. Three physicists are taking a train ride to London (or are they?)

Don't see it if you don't like plays overstuffed with ideas and themes,jumping between topics without any meaningful segues,with some rough director touches

87
Fun, Crowd-pleasing, Good voices
September 25th, 2022

See it if you like to revisit this charming musical,with its message of accepting others for who they are,led by Callum Francis as a magnificent Lola.

Don't see it if you've seen it on Broadway before and are looking for a fresh take on this material. Also, not all songs are that good, and opening is messy

97
During previews
A masterpiece done masterfully, Exceptional leads, Must see!
September 23rd, 2022

See it if you're ready to see the devastating downward spiral of the American dream like you never have before,breathing a new life into this classic.

Don't see it if you have a hard time with long plays (you won't notice the 3h+ fly by), hate fresh interpretations or dislike symbolic, sparse, productions.

Also It's astonishing how relevant and powerful this play still is, so rich... Read more Read less

81
During previews
Weightless
Upper W Side
Great music, Good performances, Cool show
September 21st, 2022

See it if you're looking for an alternative night of theater that's really more of a vibrant live indie-rock musical show,telling a mythological story

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional play format, or if you're not into alt rock music. This is definitely a (great) rock show first and foremost.

60
Amateurish, Archaic, Overlong
September 19th, 2022

See it if you're willing to sit through 2.5 hours of well-intentioned but ultimately lackluster "dramatic musical" that's far from ready for primetime

Don't see it if you're looking for a polished musical. The plot goes in a million directions (hunchback appears in only 10/150 minutes), music is just meh.

90
american (tele)visions
East Village
Hallucinatory, Stunning visuals, Exciting theater
September 16th, 2022

See it if you're into original shows that create their own unique language, a rhapsody of images & themes that repeat and intersect, telling a story

Don't see it if you're easily overwhelmed by narrative segments that are told out of sequence, and the blending of reality, pure fiction and dream elements.

Also First must-see off-Bwy show of the season. Thank you NYTW!

94
During previews
Excellent writing, Powerful, Epic
September 15th, 2022

See it if you like intelligent plays with a rich tapestry of characters (4 generations of one family!) & harrowing events of not-so-distant history.

Don't see it if you dislike wordy plays that don't have a clear strong emotional center (though are still quite moving), historical plays or long shows.

45
During previews
Mediocre writing, So-so acting, Painfully unfunny
September 15th, 2022

See it if you like spy dramas, enjoy limp satire about the role of the US & CIA in international political meddling, and humorous depiction of Nixon.

Don't see it if you value the precious time you have in your life. This is mostly inane, predictable and groan-inducing stuff, badly done. Skip this one.

72
During previews
This Beautiful Future
West Village
Weird, Pretentious, Unnecessary
September 13th, 2022

See it if you're curious to see a play about an unusual love story set in WWII, bizarrely directed with VERY strange touches that don't make sense.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with strong narrative drive - the play's payoff (if I can call it that) comes way too late and adds way too little

Also Part of me really wants to love this experimental piece of theater, be... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Outstanding lighting/sound design, Important, Masterful acting
September 12th, 2022

See it if you like powerful theater, led by a performance that instantly commands your attention, asking tough questions about personal responsibility

Don't see it if you don't like one-person plays (this one might change your mind!),or topic of holocaust & world's indifference to atrocities not your thing

76
Burbank
East Village
Small production, Good writing, Interesting
September 9th, 2022

See it if you're interested in a play that sheds a light on the fascinating relationship between Walt Disney & his studio animators trying to unionize

Don't see it if you're less into political undertones of 1940/50s America. Also I found the Disney characterization slightly neurotic and, well, cartoonish.

80
Engaging, Uneven, Great set design
September 1st, 2022

See it if you like to see inventive directing, that transforms what might have been a banal and pretentious play into a work of restrained art.

Don't see it if themes of gay romance, unreliability of memory and the plight of refugees don't resonate with you. Also, the play is very narrator-driven.

90
Los Otros
Midtown W
Spare, Talented cast, Moving, A gem
August 26th, 2022

See it if you believe in the power of intimate musical theater to enhance, deepen and elevate stories rich with characters, emotion and insight.

Don't see it if you expect a big production, or the beautiful intersecting sung-through immigrant-related life stories of two characters isn't your thing.

92
During previews
Great staging, Thrilling theater, Brilliant
August 24th, 2022

See it if you like creative theater experiences. The play smartly, magically interweaves Korean mythology with the recent history of Korea (& Koreans)

Don't see it if you've a hard time with (mostly implied) sexual and physical violence,dislike folk stories or episodic plays(though all parts come together)

Also The metaphorical implications of each told story are wonderfully conne... Read more Read less

75
That Physics Show
Midtown W
Kid-friendly, Informative, Fun
August 24th, 2022

See it if you like the thrill of being surprised by exciting science experiments performed live, and learning something new about how our world works.

Don't see it if you're expecting high production values. The set looks like the back storage room of a run-down science lab and the explanations are just ok

Also Bring children to this show! It's wonderful to see their participation... Read more Read less

79
Intelligent, Provocative, Repetitive
August 14th, 2022

See it if you like discovering a fresh, bold, new playwright that takes on the theme of Jewish-American identity, using surreal setups & good dialog.

Don't see it if these themes do not resonate with you. Also, the play is in need of some additional editing, halfway through there's a feeling of repetition

Also Favorite line: "I don't think the next genocide will be Jews."

100
Musical theater heaven, Outstanding performances, Exceptional
August 6th, 2022

See it if you need to be reminded what it's like when a musical-writing perfection meets phenomenal performers and just the right directorial touches

Don't see it if you're ok getting on with your ordinary life when a stage miracle is happening eight times a week at Broadway's St. James theater.

68
During previews
Patience (2st)
Upper W Side
Tedious, Heavy-handed, Slick set
August 4th, 2022

See it if you have plenty of *patience* for a set of contrived characters in a very talky play that deal with relationships and choosing your own path

Don't see it if you're expecting believable situations & characters, or real insight. Conversations go round and round in circles re-hashing the same themes

72
Mister Miss America
West Village
Entertaining, Campy, Predictable
August 2nd, 2022

See it if you're interested in an ok gay themed one-man show about celebrating being who you are and being accepted for it, with mostly stale jokes.

Don't see it if you're looking for something fresh or deep. Mr. D'Astolfo holds this together, but the whole thing feels like pandering after-school special

74
During previews
The Nosebleed
Upper W Side
Different, Clever, Self-indulgent
July 31st, 2022

See it if you're into unique experiences that are part theater, part performance art and part self-help workshop with modest audience participation.

Don't see it if you're looking for a more traditional theater, or theme of making up for missed parental relationship doesn't resonate for you as much.

70
During previews
The Butcher Boy
Chelsea
Offbeat, Dark, Overlong
July 30th, 2022

See it if you're intrigued by a musical about a disturbed Irish kid with a talented lead, which has its moments despite being long and predictable.

Don't see it if you have little patience for mediocre musicals that lose focus due to too many character diversions and are in dire need of additional cuts.

79
Powerful, Intense, Repetitive
July 30th, 2022

See it if you want to immerse yourself in an unsettling evening of theater that finds parallels between AIDS & Covid pandemics from a gay perspective.

Don't see it if you are looking for a light night out. The first play is well written, directed & acted but is devastating. Second play feels more indulgent

76
Challenging, Dark, Minimal set
July 28th, 2022

See it if you like stimulating short plays that demand your patience (two by the brilliant Churchill) dealing with various aspects of human behavior.

Don't see it if you expect a big production,or lighter fare.This is hard core bare theater,production is effective, but the direction and acting are uneven.

80
Hilarious!, Farcical, Fast-paced
July 23rd, 2022

See it if you're looking for a self-aware play that's truly laugh-out-loud funny, with rapid fire hysterical moments, starring a wonderful cast.

Don't see it if you're looking for anything beyond laughs. Play is overstuffed with gimmicks, puns, pratfalls, breaking of 4th wall etc. leaving it hollow.

86
Delightful, Great ensemble, Lavish set
July 23rd, 2022

See it if you like charming, smart, funny modern adaptations of Shakespeare's comedies, that are approachable and fun, with great directorial touches.

Don't see it if you prefer more classic approaches to this material or a more contemporary fare. Also, at over 2.5 hours the second act does drag a little..

90
Witty, Moving, Great acting
July 22nd, 2022

See it if you like beautifully written smart plays with rich, complicated characters dealing with questions of faith, conviction, conscience and loss

Don't see it if you're looking for a comedy or lighter fare. This play is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny at times, but is also heartbreaking and unsettling.

Also SPOILER: Some reviewers commented on the implausibility of the parish ... Read more Read less

85
Patriots (London)
Islington
Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting
July 22nd, 2022

See it if you like well-written current historical/political plays that make you think and look back at recent world events with fresh new perspective

Don't see it if you don't like long plays, subject matter (the story of Russian oligarchs) does not sound appealing or looking for lighter theater fare.

87
Outstanding puppetry, Great set, Capitvating
July 22nd, 2022

See it if you like theatrical spectacles that are creative, magical and fun, delivering beautiful storytelling that stays with you. Great for kids too

Don't see it if you're expecting a deep thoughtful play. This story is well-known, the play doesn't add much to it, characters are wooden, acting is so-so.

96
Acting tour-de-force, Theatrical masterpiece, Unforgettable
July 22nd, 2022

See it if you can't miss the best British play of the 21st century, with a life-changing performance by the force of nature that is Mark Rylance.

Don't see it if under no circumstances should this theatrical event be missed. Yes, it is long, but the play grows and deepens, ending on a memorable climax

Also Mr. Rylance's is hands down the best theater performance I've EVER had... Read more Read less

84
Chains
Midtown W
Lost gem, Engaging, Lovely set
July 19th, 2022

See it if you are into discovering unjustly forgotten playwrights from early 20th century in a warm and lively production with a very good ensemble.

Don't see it if you prefer contemporary theater, dislike costume dramas or don't feel connected with themes of expectations from life and non-conformity.

96
During previews
Oresteia
Upper E Side
Masterful, Powerful theater, Must see
July 14th, 2022

See it if you like unforgettable, haunting, compelling theater that brings the classics to life with intelligent direction and an outstanding cast.

Don't see it if you're averse to theater that demands your patience,attention and time (at ~4 hours some parts drag a little),or expect a full on spectacle.

Also A must for any serious theater lover!

78
Very funny!, Ridiculous, Nostalgic
July 10th, 2022

See it if the story of Jean-Claude Van Damme "told largely through puppets that beat the crap out of each other" sounds like your idea of a good time.

Don't see it if you don't like cool fringe shows that are silly,irreverent and don't take themselves too seriously.Also helps if you were around in the 80s.

Also This show is everything "Space Dogs" should have been.

82
Great lead, Intense, Emotional
July 10th, 2022

See it if you're interested in a different take on the gay generational divide, and like fresh voices in American theater that handle universal themes

Don't see it if you're expecting a focused play. The playwright is trying to juggle too many themes, resulting in underdeveloped characters and plot lines.

87
During previews
Great storytelling, Powerful, Moving
July 8th, 2022

See it if you like epic dramas, beautifully told with both passion & sensitivity, dealing with themes of friendship, loyalty, guilt and fathers & sons

Don't see it if well-written melodramas are not your cup of tea.This play is trying to pack a lot into 2.5+ hours,like it's trying to catch up with the book

80
Entertaining, Great set & costumes, Dated
July 6th, 2022

See it if you like old fashioned theater glamour, presented by the closest we have to Broadway royalty, doing their thing with stale lukewarm material

Don't see it if you don't care what happens when a wildly talented actress is stuck with a scene partner that sucks the energy out of the room on every line

82
Corsicana
Midtown W
Great writing, Offbeat, Rewarding
July 2nd, 2022

See it if you're looking for an unexpected play about 4 lonely characters, that slowly winds and moves to the beat of its own drum, but grows on you.

Don't see it if you're looking for a fast-paced show with a clear narrative drive. This is a meandering play, but I did fall in love with these characters.

80
POTUS
Midtown W
Terrific ensemble, Zany, Hilarious
June 29th, 2022

See it if you're in the mood for a VERY funny night on Bwy, a madcap political farce with a host of funny characters in forced but funny situations.

Don't see it if you're expecting deep political satire. This show seems more interested in slapstick comedy than saying something original, but it all works

83
Masterful, Intelligent, Good acting
June 29th, 2022

See it if you like modern interpretations of the classics that use spare staging and smart injections of video in a respectful and effective way.

Don't see it if you've no patience to sit through 3.5 hours of a rather lethargic take on Hamlet. This production gets lost in the Armory size & acoustics.

70
Circle Jerk
East Village
Dizzying, Campy, Silly
June 22nd, 2022

See it if you like cutting-edge experiments that combine live streaming and live audience brilliantly in a theater event unlike anything you've seen.

Don't see it if a gay fast-paced romp isn't your cup of tea. This show works best when audiences are in on all the references. Show is also way too long.

74
During previews
53% OF
Upper W Side
Interesting, Contrived, Worth seeing
June 18th, 2022

See it if you like contemporary theater that tries (though not entirely successfully) to touch on poignant truths related to gender and politics.

Don't see it if you dislike half-baked parodies that don't quite work. I applaud this play for what it was trying to say, less so for what it actually did.

73
Snow in Midsummer
East Village
Nice staging touches, Heavy-handed, Overlong
June 16th, 2022

See it if you like revenge/thriller/drama/ghost stories (it's less exciting than it sounds), told with poetic staging and great use of the CSC space.

Don't see it if you're easily confused - there are many characters and flashback scenes,so takes a while to figure out and one child actor is unintelligible

67
Dreaming Zenzile
East Village
Great live music, Boring, Repetitive
June 14th, 2022

See it if you enjoy live concert performances of African & Jazz music with great musicians and singers, and don't expect anything like an actual play.

Don't see it if you hate shows that feel like a never-ending series of pageant-like declarations with no real drama, that outstay their welcome at 2.5 hours

82
Schmaltzy, Comedy legend, Funny
June 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see comedic icon Crystal doing what he does best, with impeccable timing and funny one-liners. Oh, there's musical numbers too..

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Crystal. Also the musical numbers and singing are so-so and often drag the show down, despite a great cast of veterans.

Also "Yiddish scatting" is worth the price of admission alone. Not sure if ... Read more Read less

74
Stale humor, Talented cast, Good voices
June 9th, 2022

See it if you're looking for crass stereotypical characters rehashing Romeo/Juliette with ok musical numbers and an eager cast that tries its best.

Don't see it if you're looking for an inspired take on this age old story. Production is borderline amateur and many of the jokes and personas are corny.

79
Mr. Parker
Midtown W
Entertaining, Good acting, Bittersweet
June 7th, 2022

See it if you like a playwright with a great ear for dialog take you on the bumpy road of dealing with loss, moving on with life and generational gap.

Don't see it if these themes seem familiar. They are, and been explored many times before (with more depth) so this covers no new ground but is a fun 90 min

81
Contemplative, Moving, Bare
June 6th, 2022

See it if you like slow, quiet, plays that take their time but get under your skin, in smart and tender ways, unusual directing and sensitive acting.

Don't see it if you dislike one-person shows, have little patience or hard time concentrating, or don't get episodic plays that rely much on the spoken word

65
Soft
Midtown W
Derivative, Raw, Self-indulgent
June 4th, 2022

See it if you like shows that deal with racism, delinquency, suicide and other ills of society in a very direct and cliched after-school-special way.

Don't see it if you're looking for a new angle on these topics, or sophisticated writing that handles the complexity of these issues with some nuance.

Also I found the ending especially pandering and even somewhat offensive on... Read more Read less

74
About Love
East Village
Nice storytelling, Delicate, Sparse
June 4th, 2022

See it if you like minimal stage adaptations of the classics, done with great finesse & respect to the literary text it is based on, with lovely music

Don't see it if you're expecting a big production, or prefer contemporary subject matter. Also, different characters narrating is a nice touch, but gets old

86
Outstanding lead, Great dancing, Trite book
June 2nd, 2022

See it if you like to see a superbly talented Myles Frost channeling MJ's singing, moves and spirit, terrific choreography and a kick-ass live band.

Don't see it if you're expecting an actual Broadway musical. This is more of a stage celebration of these songs, interrupted by awful dialog and bad acting.

82
Personal, Honest, Very funny
May 28th, 2022

See it if you're in the mood for a show that is filled with funny and piercing observations about being a woman and a mother (or not) in today's world

Don't see it if you are not a fan of the one-person stand up format, or the subject matter gives you cause for concern (in which case ABSOLUTELY go see it!)