James 7298

Manhattan | 65+ | Male
About:  My first Broadway show was the original West Side Story in 1958. How could I not get hooked? The single most perfect experience, ever: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Mostel, Gilford, Burns, Carradine etc.
Reviews (46)
75
During previews
Hang in there

See it if you are primed for a visceral and not always subtle dissection of South Africa's brutal apartheid regime.

Don't see it if you cannot sit for two hours without a break. Is this too much to ask of our bladders?

Also You appreciate the design, direction and acting immediately, but at a ... Read more Read less

65
Excruciating, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you are an uber Great Gatsby fan and long to hear the text spoken.

Don't see it if you would be majorly bored by hearing Gatsby as a book on tape during an eight hour road trip.

Also I must add that I am glad I returned after the dinner break (two of my... Read more Read less

82
Lively and engaging, with caveats

See it if you want to see three stellar actors enliven a good script based on a true story.

Don't see it if you have no patience for variations on a theme. Even at 1h40" there is repetition.

Also Cliche it may be, but for me the whole did not add up to more than the... Read more Read less

77
During previews
A decidedly mixed bag

See it if You're in the mood for a sprawling, rapacious takedown of American corporate malfeasance.

Don't see it if You are not in the mood for a 40+ year-old satire that is still (very sadly) relevant today.

Also I realize it must be hard to replicate the Olivier Theater space here ... Read more Read less

86
During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want to see an original musical comedy that tugs at the heartsrings and makes you forget our fractious times for an hour and a half.

Don't see it if You can't empathize with a young man who is lonely and is searching for human connection.

Also What a winning cast! This show will put a smile on your face.

97
During previews
Titanic entertainment

See it if you believe theatre can illuminate and make comprehensible the most intractable conflicts in history.

Don't see it if multi-character and multi-layered dramas are not to your liking. Attention must be paid; otherwise you'll be lost in this whirlwind play.

Also Do not be put off by the first half hour or so, which sets the scene. ... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Tense, intense, political and polemical

See it if You enjoy theatre that gets under your skin and forces you to see and feel a character’s dilemma.

Don't see it if You think everything is hunky-dory in America.

Also It doesn’t get any more “ripped from the headlines” than this. But whi... Read more Read less

62
Heartfelt but didn't touch mine

See it if You support new musicals and their creators. The score skillfully resurrects a piano bar vibe.

Don't see it if You want a big razzmatazz show. This one has a cast of two.

Also I really wanted to like this show, as the subject matter is right up m... Read more Read less

95
Great acting, Exquisite, Enchanting

See it if You want to experience this masterwork in the most intimate surroundings imaginable.

Don't see it if You cannot LISTEN or have little patience for exploration of the monumental trivialities of daily life.

Also The Apple Plays don’t fall far from the tree! Nelson has ingeniously r... Read more Read less

50
Disappointing

See it if Snooker is your bag. It certainly ain't mine. This is not a sports-centric entertainment that transcends its milieu to speak higher truths.

Don't see it if Snooker is not your bag. The irony is: the televised snooker match in Act 2 is the highlight of the play and well done!

Also On the plus side, the playwright does not attempt to replicate his bri... Read more Read less

95
Must see, Great staging, Great singing

See it if Do you like musical revues where the songs are not shoehorned into a plot, but sung for their own intrinsic worth, a la Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Don't see it if You are immune to the immense talent of this cast.

Also Why isn’t this show selling out?... Read more Read less

40
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You are interested in early LGBTQ issues in mid-century England.

Don't see it if You have little tolerance for barely audible, poorly plotted kitchen sink drama.

Also If you don’t see it in the first row, or up in the rear of the small t... Read more Read less

95
Relevant, Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Delightful

See it if You want to experience 70 minutes of sheer joy, brilliantly staged by Savion Glover.

Don't see it if You need dialogue and a story in a musical.

Also How often do you see a show that you want to be twice as long? Practic... Read more Read less

69
Slow, Riveting, Relevant

See it if You are a big fan of Ivo Van Hove's deconstructions of various different properties.

Don't see it if You have little patience with an auteur's devotion to theatrical tricks.

Also The Armory is a wondrously huge space to fill, and this production tri... Read more Read less

90
Resonant, Masterful, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You can never get enough of Sondheim’s masterpiece. A miraculous production- beautifully cast and staged.

Don't see it if You prefer frivolous light-hearted musical theatre. Plenty of Spongebob and Buffet around in that case.

Also Hard to believe what miracles were accomplished here. The cast is unif... Read more Read less

79
The mostly curious incident of the dog at the seashore, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You want to immerse yourself in the world of an autistic adult and those around her.

Don't see it if You find story telling less than riveting.

93
During previews
Relevant, Profound, Great staging, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if You want to be entertained and challenged anew by a classic musical, albeit one with an amazing and still relevant source: GBS's Pygmalion.

Don't see it if You are impatient with steady and engrossing character development, or cannot sit and concentrate for 3+ hours.

Also This was my second or third Broadway musical back in the early 60's, s... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a well directed, well paced and acted production of a rarity… And pay homage to Mel Miller’s 100th and final production.

Don't see it if You have no stomach for hokum and shenanigans.

90
Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You love Jule Styne’s oeuvre and musicals from Broadway’s golden era

Don't see it if You would be offended by a lighthearted look at a deadly serious subject: homelessness and joblessness

88
Masterful, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You want to see a show that deserved a lot better from the critics. It’s just stuffed with showstoppers.

Don't see it if You have little interest in one of the titans of American musical theatre: Hal Prince.

70
Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You want a feel-good 9/11 musical.

Don't see it if You want scintillating music and lyrics to go along with your uplift.

80
Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You are in the mood for athletic variations on A Clockwork Orange’s themes performed by a stunning all male cast.

Don't see it if Do you want a replication of the movie.

100
Great writing, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy original musicals that deal with pertinent social issues in an innovative way.

Don't see it if Do you lack compassion and I are unable to forgive people make mistakes.

86
During previews
Theatrical and thought-provoking

See it if you are a Lynn Nottage fan. I am. She's a wonderful writer with lots to say.

Don't see it if you are loathe to acknowledge the racism that has long plagued Hollywood casting and writing.

Also While imperfect, this is a hugely entertaining and smartly serious sat... Read more Read less

88
During previews
An old story with a new twist

See it if you loved the film Moonlight. Here again the lives of African American men, both gay and straight, are examined with empathy and insight.

Don't see it if you feel like you've seen and heard the story before: harassment of gay males in a Christian private school. But you'd be wrong.....

Also A terrific group of actors! Kinetic direction by Trip Cullman makes th... Read more Read less

86
Waiting for guffman meets hairspray

See it if You need to laugh out loud and forget reality, while at the same time revel in this show's human message.

Don't see it if You have little enthusiasm for yet another LGBTQ story.

Also When this show is firing on all cylinders - which happens often - it i... Read more Read less

82
A weepie that deserves the audience's sobs

See it if You are in the mood, yet again, for a play with gay subject matter. This one tugs at the heartstrings.

Don't see it if You are not in the mood, yet again, for another play about gay life. Hang in there: it becomes much more than that.

Also At first this seems like well trod territory, as skillfully done as it... Read more Read less

75
Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you're a Janet McTeer fan. She is fantastic. The entire cast is excellent, but she is the reason to see this play.

Don't see it if you have little interest in theatre history, specifically the challenges Sarah Bernhardt faced when playing Hamlet in Paris many moons ago.

Also Act 1 is a boulevard comedy manque; it is witty but doesn't quite work... Read more Read less

95
Great writing, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You can empathize and understand what is going through the mind of a preacher’s wife in the dangerous Jim Crow South.

Don't see it if You have little interest in this nation’s African American history.

Also Shattering. Wondrously theatrical and luminously acted. An all too tim... Read more Read less

49
During previews
Who says you can't hum the scenery?

See it if You like gigantic spectacles and don't care about much else.

Don't see it if You love gigantic spectacles but also want characters, humor and skilled music and lyrics. You will not find them here.

Also Much of Act 1 was promising. Okay, not the score. Definitely not the s... Read more Read less

84
More issues than vogue

See it if You’re interested in a radical re-imagining of a classic musical that is mostly successful

Don't see it if You want your Americana served straight up with no hot sauce.

Also I’m not sure the bowling alley dimensions of the staging serve this ve... Read more Read less

98
During previews
Transcendent and riveting

See it if You yearn for human and humane theatre that touches the heart and funny bone in equal heartbreaking measures.

Don't see it if You cannot empathize with a family struggling to deal with a loved one's slow descent into the fog of Alzheimer's.

Also This was only the third preview and the cast was pitch-perfect. Elaine... Read more Read less

92
Exquisite, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if You want the antithesis of a Broadway razzmatazz musical, with strong characterization and tremendously effective atmosphere.

Don't see it if A gorgeously sung and acted human story doesn’t appeal to you.

Also Like fine wine, this show has continued to improve since its off Broad... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Sui generis and unique

See it if You love heart-stopping Theatre with a capital T. A whole world comes alive.

Don't see it if You’re not a Dylan fan.

Also Most of the music used in the show was totally unfamiliar to me, and m... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You’re in the mood for “Mamma Mia, Something’s Rotten!” ... a goofball go-go musical.

Don't see it if You want a coherent plot and exquisitely wrought songs.

Also This show, despite its flaws, is infectious fun and the cast is superb... Read more Read less

100
Must see, Great acting, Great singing, Enchanting

See it if You do not tire of seeing Fiddler and want to experience a different take on this priceless musical.

Don't see it if I cannot think of any reasons NOT to see this, unless you hate classic musicals.

Also This production is just wonderful. Brings tears to your eyes multiple ... Read more Read less

85
Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a fascinating early Williams play featuring version 0.1 of Blanche and Maggie and.....

Don't see it if You want realistic and linear direction. This is definitely a strange staging.

Also Williams is a hothouse flower. This icy and cold setting of the play i... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want to see a new musical with a mostly accomplished score and really resonant performances.

Don't see it if You have a lack of patience for the tried and true dynamics of a dysfunctional family. The story gets a bit bogged down in its latter half.

95
Must see, Resonant, Relevant, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if You want to laugh and cry and cringe and enjoy a fantastic cast enact what could be a stand-in for our current state of the union.

Don't see it if You have a low tolerance for profanity or mocking of religious institutions.

Also Even though this material is 15 years old, it is relevant and alarming... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Relevant, Profound, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You care about reacquainting yourself with one of the most profound plays of the late 20th Century, brilliantly realized.

Don't see it if You can’t sit spellbound for two four hour stretches, even though the time flies by....

80
Resonant, Intelligent, Clever

See it if You long for the sort of well-made entertainment that hardly flourishes on Broadway these days. This show has gotten a bum rap.

Don't see it if You don’t like spending an evening with unlikable people. It’s like a good tight episode of House of Cards.

85
Edgy, Dizzying, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You love adventurous theatre and are willing to hang in for the long haul. The ending is gobsmacking. If you loved Curious Incident--go!

Don't see it if You are automatically turned off by twelve step stories of addiction and recidivism.

90
Great writing, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if You can’t get tickets to Hamilton or can’t afford tickets to Hamilton, but want a spot-on parody I will give you a good idea of the show.

Don't see it if You haven’t seen a lot of Broadway musicals, hence might not appreciate how brilliant Gerard Alessandrini’s parodies are.

95
Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if You love musicals from Broadway’s golden era and original ones to boot. Musicals Tonight has never been better.

Don't see it if You are looking for a huge glitzy extravaganza. They achieve miracles in a vest pocket theatre.

100
Great singing, Hilarious, Great staging, Exquisite, Delightful

See it if You are keen to see an example of one of the great Broadway musicals from the golden age done to perfection. And Bette Midler is sublime.

Don't see it if You don’t like traditional musical comedies.

100
For a previous production
Hilarious, Great singing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You love well crafted and clever musicals that honor the form’s conventions big time.

Don't see it if You lack a funny bone.