Jacob Horn

Jacob Horn is a critic with CurtainUp. 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 (66)
CurtainUp

"Alice Birch brings a unique take to the intergenerational story, depicting three women simultaneously and exploring how they are connected by shared trauma that is passed down over time." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Liza Berkenmeier's historically inspired play offers a meditation on queer desire and repression." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Halley Feiffer's contemporary take on Checkov's 'Three Sisters'...It's a curious venture, sometimes uneasy, but often compelling. There are certainly risks entailed—the tone is likely to be offputting to traditionalists, while others may find its constructed hipness to seem pandering." Full Review

CurtainUp

“At this stage in its development 'Bees' is still unpolished, a project with potential but currently imperfect. The pieces of the puzzle each present their strengths—the score is especially rich, and the cast is filled with superb vocalists who offer impressive performances in bringing it to life—but could use some smoothing out in how they fit together...But there's great potential here, too...Like its characters, it has room for growth.” Full Review

Faust 2.0
East Village
CurtainUp

"The multimedia components of the production run wild here, resulting in a disjointed presentation that never does full justice to the text or its performers...’Faust 2.0’ is gifted with a thought-provoking script and strong acting, but the production simply doesn't showcase them to their fullest potential. Maguire's adaptation operates skillfully in tragic and comic modes, offering satire and sincerity alike. The problem is that in the modern era, all the digital noise won't let us listen.” Full Review

The Convent
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"A satisfying, if occasionally uneven, dramedy...The ensemble is made up of strong performers, and each is given at least one standout moment that feels uniquely of that character. This speaks not only to the actors' abilities but also to Talbott's attention to nuance...Dickey has a natural ability to use language to probe emotions, and to sneak up on an audience with humor...Executed by an able cast and a thoughtful director, it makes for a memorable stay at 'The Convent.'" Full Review

Wild Goose Dreams
East Village
CurtainUp

“Jung's method of overlaying the digital onto the physical world is clever, and Silverman's realization of the intricate script is skillful...But with so much attention devoted to sorting through all the digital noise of this world, some of the underlying plot points become jumbled. Kim and Krusiec offer charming and appealing performances, yet the Minsung/Nanhee love story ends up feeling unevenly developed." Full Review

Stars in the Night
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"The overarching plot seems simple, yet...the story takes some time to reveal itself and unravel...Some connections are indicated rather subtly. Easily overlooked objects might be as telling as the dialogue, which often favors emotional projection over specifics. While torment tends to come through very clearly, the reasons...can be opaque, and elaborations can be burdened by cliches...The best moments...offer the audience the voyeuristic opportunity to...see into lives that aren't their own.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"Lind and Wright skillfully, and at times heartbreakingly, convey the struggles of their characters as they consider their supposed duty to their husbands against the iniquities to which these men subject them...Stoll stands out as one of the most easily comprehensible Shakespeare performers around...Because the production makes no effort to modernize 'Othello' by design, it is all the more powerful to nonetheless recognize the present in it." Full Review

CurtainUp

"The results are more muted than expected. Despite the direction of the talented Chavkin, 'Light Shining...' lacks the explosive energy needed to sell a difficult play about revolution and rebellion, instead getting mired in heavy-handed, over-the-top language or lengthy digressions that feel less than pertinent in a more modern context...At a few points, Churchill's dense language is so thick that, in delivery, the words feel divorced from meaning, as demonstration feels more like recitation." Full Review

CurtainUp

"The script is sharp and witty, strengths that shine brightly under Ciarán O'Reilly's direction. Each of the four ordinary Dubliners feels like a genuine individual rather than a mouthpiece for the playwright's own voice...'The Seafarer' operates on both metaphoric and literal planes, leaving a satisfying whole ripe with complexity. And here, truly, the devil is in the detail." Full Review

Is God Is
Soho/Tribeca
CurtainUp

"Harris, Magar, and the cast and designers delicately situate themselves at the intersection of high and lowbrow. The play's narrative would be at home in a pulp film, yet its approach is a rigorous one, interrogating questions of ethics, morality, genre, and representation. The real feat, though, is that it does this while telling a darkly funny and, at times, genuinely disturbing story. There are moments where the content of the play is hard to watch. Fortunately, this production never is." Full Review

CurtainUp

for a previous production "Colorism has real implications that we see brought to bear to stinging effect...This idea is explored in nuanced moments...’School Girls’ is also very funny...Sometimes, the play's brisk 75-minute pacing does lead to moments that feel simplified...It's a compliment to ‘School Girls’ to say that there could fruitfully be more of it...Bioh has crafted a fresh, keen interpretation of a frequently used trope, while Taichman and her cast have created a lively and satisfying production.” Full Review

Inanimate
Soho/Tribeca
CurtainUp

"The play manages to navigate a sometimes uneasy line between a comedic take on an unconventional relationship and a more serious story about the difficulty of coming to terms with our desires...When the play ventures away from what's the central triangle of sorts...it risks losing its footing...The charm of 'Inanimate' is its ability to intrigue us by the suggestion that another world lives within our own...'Inanimate's' tenderness and quirky humor make for a lively combination." Full Review

CurtainUp

"The magical combination of one of Shakespeare's best plays, an inventive staging by director deBessonet, and a charming ensemble cast transports us...A smart approach, accentuating the surreal elements and heightening its humor. If 'Caesar' showed the timeliness of Shakespeare's work, this production powerfully demonstrates its timelessness...A true ensemble effort...It's a perfect way to experience this delightful, diverting production of one of Shakespeare's most treasured works." Full Review

Samara
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"Speaking as someone who has, in the past, found rewards in grappling with the complexities and provocations Maxwell sets out, this play felt frustratingly opaque and, at times, unfocused...By the time it's all said and done, the line between poetry and pretension has become dangerously hazy...There's an inherently anti-theatrical essence in his work that feels constantly at odds with the more dramatic staging that we're offered here." Full Review

Yen
West Village
CurtainUp

"The cast here, and Cullman's direction, is exceptional. Hedges leads the ensemble with a performance that delicately balances intense emotionality and equally strong denial of those emotions. He clearly illustrates the inner turmoil of his character in a way that never seems overwrought…Jenny's character skirts dangerously around the territory occupied by the stereotypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl…But the actress plays the role with an unrelenting honesty that rings sincere." Full Review

Ride the Cyclone
West Village
CurtainUp

"More often than not, the show pursues humor, but when it allows itself moments of poignancy they are often unexpected and resonant...It's easy to become immersed in and engrossed by a show with such a richly atmospheric design, even at the moments when the story traffics in clichés or formulas. And while the show moves towards a fairly predictable ending, it offers many surprises along the way. It's a musical that is unexpectedly charming and entertaining, despite its macabre premise." Full Review

The Maids (INTAR)
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"Dual triple casting is a way for Irizarry to have his cake and eat it too when it comes to playing with this idea, but the conceptually provocative decision ultimately feels more like a distraction from, rather than a vital engagement of, Rivera's powerful adaptation...When Butler Rivera and Williams occupy the stage, it's like we have a window onto a production from a parallel universe, one that is more traditional...It's hard not to wish that was the production we actually had all along." Full Review

CurtainUp

"'The Co-Operatives' relies on a web of complex relationships, histories, and stipulations that can occasionally feel overwhelming, which can risk burying its humorous moments...With so much going on, it's hard for the characters to exist as more than one or two key traits, but the cast shares focus well enough...The playful stage chemistry between Bernard and Navarro injects an appreciated bit of humanity into a show where emotion tends to be neutralized." Full Review

CurtainUp

"It's welcome that 'Hideaway' doesn't try to be more than it is: a compendium of playful segments, clever visual tricks, and silly jokes. There are no hidden meanings or artificial complexities, and the intermingling of horror and children's television tropes is a good deal of fun...The segments themselves maintain a healthy pace and integrate diverse material...By the end, the premise has started to wear a bit thin, but the amusing 'Hideaway' is a certainly a nice stop for a quick visit." Full Review

CurtainUp

"A show with such an outlandish setup needs to be grounded somewhere, if not in its plot then in having its characters behave like actual human beings, or at least something resembling them. That's not what the script offers, though, giving a cast with impressive comedic credentials little to work with. Instead, we're given a lot of cookie-cutter gags without satisfying depth that are aggressively jumped on and rehashed into oblivion." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Broccoli seems determined to justify a ridiculous premise with intellectual heft. As a result, he creates an overwhelmingly complex set of rules and conditions, rooted to varying degrees in myth, that precipitate one plot twist after another...He manages so many diverse points of view surprisingly well, but it's a structure that begs to be simplified...In an attempt to avoid cheap laughs, we instead end up in a world of contrivances and melodrama." Full Review

CurtainUp

"From afar, Kirk White's play is most obviously about sensitivities and perils of grappling with race in the performing arts, but White also takes a critical eye to academia, probing the value of formal theater education...With so many elements, the play can sprawl such that it sometimes comes off as unfocused...Without a firmer sense of where we stand, it's hard not to feel adrift in a sea of ideas." Full Review

CurtainUp

"It could be condensed and made tauter, especially in its introduction—but when it hits its stride, there's fun to be found...The tensions between the Triplets manage to yield both humor and warmth, and while the siblings' quick toggles between zanier and more human modes can seem a bit manufactured, this ultimately serves to make them feel more like humans...A silly show that consciously flirts with treacle but stays just clever enough to avoid feeling too saccharine." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Atlantic and LAByrinth Theater Companies team back up with Stephen Adly Guirgis for the playwright's first new work since the Pulitzer-winning 'Between Riverside and Crazy' in 2014" Full Review

Betrayal
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"Jamie Lloyd directs a compelling, minimalist take on Pinter's play with impressive Broadway debuts by Zawe Ashton, Charlie Cox, and Tom Hiddleston." Full Review

Fairview
Brooklyn
CurtainUp

"Smart, unexpected, richly layered, difficult, and even confrontational...‘Fairview’ moves from an unremarkable, sitcom-worthy premise to an urgent, incisive examination of how we think about race...Drury offers a window into the frustrations of living and creating as a Black person within our not-so-post-racial world. Thanks to her acute observations, this sharp cast, and Benson's pulsing production, 'Fairview'...is challenging, but always worth the attention." Full Review

BLKS
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"Barnes's snappy dialogue is brought to vivid life by the three lead performers, and O'Hara...adopts a judicious approach, knowing where to exercise restraint and where to go all out...The script—funny yet thoughtful, raunchy but human—marks a promising playwriting debut from Barnes...Its thoughtfulness and moments of poignancy are skillfully realized through strong direction and an able cast, giving this compelling new work the production it deserves." Full Review

Alice By Heart
Midtown W
CurtainUp

"A vaguer fantasia...Alice's Adventures is already somewhat scattered in its episodic construction, and retelling the story with an even looser structure comes with narrative disadvantages...Although the inconsistent accents are occasionally distracting, the singing is uniformly strong...In general, the production is beautiful to look at...’Alice By Heart’ has rough spots on the narrative front, but with its strong score and production design, it helps to mark a promising start for MCC." Full Review

Slave Play
East Village
CurtainUp

"What is so striking about Harris's writing is its accessibility and biting humor in dealing with complex and serious subject matter...The play asks a great deal of its ensemble, and the excellently cast group—under the skillful direction of Robert O'Hara, in whom Harris has found an ideal and sympatico collaborator—proves worthy of the challenge...In this laudable debut, Harris has his cake and eats it too, offering us a story that is both transporting and inescapably pertinent." Full Review

Lewiston/Clarkston
West Village
CurtainUp

“’Lewiston and Clarkston’ were always meant to be performed together...They offer windows onto our struggles with the burdens of history...’Lewiston’ is a story about ghosts...The conflict in this play draws more on what has happened in the past rather than anything we actually witness...’Clarkston’ ultimately steals the show with its wrenching portrait of lives coming undone...The performances are vulnerable and utterly convincing.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"The ambitious staging combines Shakespeare's three parts into two...The production is sprawling, and at moments drops into sluggishness. But at its best, the breadth of the universe and ambition of the storytelling becomes truly dizzying...NAATCO's 'Henry VI' demands a lot of your time and your attention, but for those willing to put in the effort, the impressively acted and thoughtfully enlightening production proves to be an striking new take on this historical classic." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Thoughtfully acted and rigorously written, the play is situated at the intersection of science and philosophy...That high stakes atmosphere can threaten to consume Byrne's work, when characters speak in dialogue that seems to have been crafted to be as weighty as possible. But the intensely thoughtful writing has high points, to be sure and the ensemble members are reliably skillful in presenting even the denser speeches so that the meaning and feeling aren't lost among the words." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Directed by Sullivan with his usual discipline and featuring a impressive cast...Rashad convincingly portrays Joan as human...This is a work filled with complex, difficult characters, a challenge from which Sullivan, Rashad, and the rest of the cast do not shy away. Often, we look to see such complexity resolved. The satisfaction of MTC's 'Saint Joan' comes from its refusal to do so, forcing us instead to embrace and grapple with its ambiguity." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Arbus's production doesn't avoid all of 'Winter's' potential pitfalls, but it does admirably grapple with them head-on...After the tragic half, the play's comedic half achieves much-needed equilibrium. That's not necessarily an indication that the production wasn't on firm footing earlier on. Arbus seems too deliberate in and aware of the tragedy's chaotic tone...Arbus's production starts as impossibly grim, but leaves us grateful for the gift of a hopeful ending." Full Review

CurtainUp

"The complexity of the issue doesn't always mesh nicely with a form of storytelling that relies on distilling moments to still images. The story proceeds as a series of beats to hit, rather than fully formed episodes, and the characters feel undeveloped below the surface level. Where the story feels simplified, the presentation hardly is...Purists may shy away, but for those who enjoy something different, the experience at least offers an interesting provocation if not an outright revelation. " Full Review

CurtainUp

"Winds up being visually spectacular while failing to satisfy as drama. The dance and movement are delicately staged and impressively executed...Despite Davies' commanding presence, he never quite achieves the balance of eliciting sympathy and revulsion that has made the character so iconic...While the physical performances are impressive, they also fail to convey the fully troublesome nature of the world that Burgess created...A missed opportunity." Full Review

CurtainUp

"'A Woman:' A staid, thoughtful examination of what fighting for one's beliefs looks like...'Wedding Bash:' A cartoony look at the limits of friendship...Feels like something out of a 'Seinfeld' episode...It enables the short to acutely poke fun at the strange rituals of the modern wedding...'Break Point:' LaBute—who directs here as well—creates mysterious characters with murky motives...'Break Point' tantalizes us with the question of who really has the upper hand." Full Review

CurtainUp

"What sells it is the unrelenting charisma of McCollum combined with Vigoda's impressive musicianship. McCollum switches easily between several characters...Has its share of exhilarating moments, but starts to run out of steam in the latter part of the show...It's a show that may at times be a bit too zany for its own good, but it charms thanks to its incredibly appealing performers and its thoughtful design...Sure to resonate with audiences in need of a good pick-me-up." Full Review

CurtainUp

“‘Into the Fire’ is ambitious, skillfully sung, and often quite visually impressive, but it falters on a narrative level. While the show gestures towards the complexities behind the character of Joan (played with impressive fire and venom by Jo Lampert), it skirts around much of her back story and glosses over significant moments…It's clear that Byrne's concert musical sincerely wants to be a character study. Instead, it feels more like an encyclopedia entry.” Full Review

CurtainUp

"'What Happens in Vegas' is cleverly written and well realized by Kel Haney. Alsip and Hogan excel with impeccable timing and subtly expressive body language...The characters of Adam Seidel's 'American Outlaws' don't feel as fully-realized...The four one-acts form a collection that is entertaining on balance but uneven...Doesn't offer much in the way of diversity of voices. All four of the one-acts are written by white men, and the majority center on male characters." Full Review

Party People
East Village
CurtainUp

"The combination of historical documentary and a meta-theatrical plot can be difficult to navigate at times...But the structural foibles are easy to look past when you consider the power of its performances and its staggering, gut-punching relevance...In the aftermath of an election cycle featuring some of the most racially charged rhetoric in decades, this is a work that has taken on a different kind of resonance and urgency...That makes it one of the most important shows on stage today." Full Review

The Trojan Women
Soho/Tribeca
CurtainUp

"This 'Trojan Women' tends to be overwhelmed by these intrinsic difficulties of Euripides's text, exclaiming emotion more often than truly demonstrating it…When it's all said and done, you can't help but marvel at the tremendously tragic tale, but ‘The Trojan Women’ hasn't crossed the crucial line between jolting and heartbreaking…The end result isn't distasteful, but there's the disappointment of a missed opportunity. You want to feel devastated, but what you get hews closer to numbness." Full Review

CurtainUp

"'Machine Gun America' is a clever, funny, and scathing send-up of our gun-obsessed culture that navigates a topical issue with a sharp balance of reality and drama. When you start to feel that the musical has detached a bit too far from reality, a well-placed video projection reminds you how strange the truth of the topic can be...Makes you laugh, but it also channels the playwright's righteous anger, offering a forceful message on one of today's most sensitive political issues." Full Review

CurtainUp

"Blasts through its subject matter without any preciousness...The two are both magnetic, comically gifted performers...'Burrito' isn't neat and tidy, and it's undoubtedly an acquired taste. It hits the same beats relentlessly, and by the end of the hour starts to feel a bit depleted. But here that feels slightly less like an oversight and more like an aesthetic, and in one of the more fiercely spirited shows you might encountered at this year's Fringe, it proves unexpectedly endearing." Full Review

CurtainUp

for a previous production "'Pucker' wins points for its skillful cast: Dagger's sincerity in his discomfort elicits a satisfying mixture of laughter and sympathy, while James comfortably revels in his character's pomposity...But the play encounters a pitfall when it pursues shock value too aggressively, especially when it's dealing with race...It turns what could be, with greater discretion a ripe source of satire, into something tiring...Those moments end up undercutting the effective ones." Full Review

CurtainUp

"'The Further Adventures of...' is an intriguing work of storytelling if mildly predictable and the slightest bit heavy-handed...The two actors, who each play several characters, could stand to more sharply differentiate their multiple roles...Heinlein's Day, meanwhile, feels genuine and sufficiently invested in her efforts to engage the audience, even in a slow-burn show without pronounced dramatic stakes." Full Review

CurtainUp

"It's satisfying to have a short peek into the lives of this smattering of characters...The flip side is that our windows in on these characters are brief and fleeting, and in few of these stories do we reach a satisfying point of conclusion…Certainly, leaving things ambiguous is a fair and valid literary choice, but when replicated across so many stories, it starts to feel less artful and more like a tease...But as long as you're OK with that going in, you'll likely find plenty to enjoy." Full Review

CurtainUp

"In ‘The Helpers’ despite naturalistic direction, the play attempts to move too far, too fast…In LaBute's 'After the Wedding' the dialogue here is typically fast and clever, with direction and acting to match…'This is How It Ends’ stands in noted contrast...There's something intriguing about how out-there this play is...The cohesion between all three pieces feels rocky, and Series A totals up as an uneven collection, leaving you more weary of the one-act rather than energized by it. " Full Review