Jay Lustig

Jay Lustig is a critic with NJArts.net. 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 (22)
NJ Arts Maven

"This is perfectly realistic: Surely, plenty of New Jerseyans experienced the riots that way. But it’s not the most dramatic way to explore history." Full Review

Scab
Union
NJ Arts Maven

"It is mainly a portrait of two mismatched people brought together by chance, build to a stunner of an ending. I was hanging on every word." Full Review

NJArts.net

"This play represents a delicate balancing act, and this production, directed by Rajesh Bose, gets the tone just right. This 'Giant Void in My Soul' is profound but not heavy-handed about it; seriously philosophical but also consistently engaging." Full Review

NJArts.net

"Both sing beautifully, create fully rounded characters and project the urgent, larger-than-life emotions that Brown’s songs call for...This is a polished production, with strong performances throughout the cast...Hunter Foster, who played Bud in the 2014 Broadway production, directs. His deep familiarity with the material probably helped him draw out emotionally resonant performances from the cast members...The story’s melodrama is balanced by frequent reminders of the frustrating real-life ... Full Review

NJArts.net

"‘Unmasked’ is a slick, sometimes offbeat look back at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s career" Full Review

My Life on a Diet (NJ)
New Brunswick
NJArts.net

"Renee Taylor’s ‘My Life on a Diet’ is really more about a life in showbiz" Full Review

Oo-Bla-Dee
Red Bank
NJArts.net

"Has some intriguing elements but lacks a compelling central story to tie it all together. And so it never really coheres into something that’s fully engaging...In one of director Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s best touches, the actors don’t really pretend to be playing, but move gracefully, almost like dancers, as the musicians expertly handle the actual music. We feel like we’re seeing the music, in addition to hearing it." Full Review

Heartland
West Orange
NJArts.net

"It’s a topical drama, but Dean refuses to simplify, creating a rich tale of three people caught up in political, social and religious forces beyond their control....That’s a lot of raw material to pack into a one-act play, but Dean, the actors and director Ari Laura Kreith make every word count. Even the humorous touches — and there are many of them — have a larger meaning, stemming, often, from cultural misunderstandings that are central to the characters’ relationships." Full Review

NJArts.net

"The show still feels a bit like a scruffy underdog — a big-hearted, wildly energetic concoction build around the theme of adolescent awkwardness...One of the best things about Tracz’s book and Iconis’ lyrics is that while most of the characters seem one-dimensional at first, they are given more sides, some quite surprising, in the course of the musical’s two acts...The misfits triumph. Putting up a smooth, assured façade is shown to be a pointless exercise." Full Review

NJArts.net

"Nothing is particularly believable, and the one character who attempts an exaggerated Jersey accent sounds like she comes from Brooklyn...Despite these flaws, I was still impressed by the production’s buoyant, almost manic energy, and laughed at many of the jokes...May not be an artistic triumph, but it’s a lot of fun, and I’d recommend it to all but the haughtiest theater snobs...As long as you’re not expecting depth, I think you’ll enjoy it." Full Review

NJArts.net

for a previous production "It’s a credit to all those involved that even though you can easily figure out where this is all going, 'Be More Chill' still feels fresh. With its easily relatable characters, clever twists, and ebullient songs, it engages you from beginning to end...It really helps that the secondary characters are fleshed out a bit...This is primarily an effervescent, feel-good musical, built around a sweet love story." Full Review

NJArts.net

"There may not be a lot of the usual jukebox-musical drama in the Estefans’ story. Yet this is still a winner of a show, with enough of a plot to make it seem like more than just a flimsy construction around the catchy, familiar hits." Full Review

NJArts.net

"Even with all the modern and, at times, eccentric frills, Chekhov’s dark vision comes through loud and clear. The play’s characters are stuck — in that small provincial city, dreaming of returning to Moscow someday. But they’re also stuck through the circumstances of their family ties and love lives. Ultimately, violence and heartbreak come to their boring, frustrating lives." Full Review

The Wanderer
Millburn
NJArts.net

"'The Wanderer' shows the depths to which Dion fell and how he turned his life around. The music and the dancing would have been enough to make it a great show. But in addition to that, it is a love story, a redemption story and a gritty slice of life set almost entirely in the Bronx neighborhood where Dion grew up, vividly depicted by set designer Beowulf Boritt." Full Review

NJ Arts Maven

"It’s a sweet, sometimes funny and very touching story, intensified by the backdrop of wartime danger...It’s never in doubt that things will work out for Jack and Louise — these are Ken Ludwig’s parents, after all — but Saint still does a good job of ramping up the intensity as the play reaches a kind of nightmarish crescendo in the second act." Full Review

NJArts.net

"Two River Theater’s ‘Twelfth Night’ is daringly different" Full Review

NJArts.net

"‘Chasing Rainbows’ brings golden-age Hollywood magic to the stage" Full Review

NJArts.net

"An impressive feat of acting. To memorize two hours of stream-of-consciousness musings — and then deliver it all in a natural, seamless way — seems to me to be as daunting a task as building a television set from scratch...I feel, though, that while Luce should be applauded for helping to make people aware of Dickinson (1830-1866) and her poetry, he failed to write a truly compelling play...Silliman, as good as she is, can only take this material so far." Full Review

Benny & Joon
Millburn
NJArts.net

“’Benny & Joon’ is, essentially, a romantic comedy, so there must be obstacles to be resolved...Book writer Guenther has a delicate balancing act to perform...It’s too much for one mortal writer to pull off. As a result, this ‘Benny & Joon’ ultimately seems too contrived to be fully satisfying...The musical didn’t really work...as a story. Still, it has some good moments, mostly from Pinkham as the truly one-of-a-kind Sam...The songs are pleasantly melodic but a bit bland.” Full Review

Noises Off (NJ)
Red Bank
NJArts.net

“Lapine doesn’t try to find new dimensions in Frayn’s script. This is a straightforward, dependably hilarious production of a dependably hilarious play...This is an action-packed, physically demanding comedy, with characters frequently breaking through windows, or falling down stairs, or crawling around helplessly...The actors in ‘Noises Off’ hit their marks — even when the craziness reaches a feverish peak, in the second act — with the precision of ballet dancers.” Full Review

NJArts.net

for a previous production "Another Springsteen—the serious, intense, introspective one—dominates this affair...Yet, as a musical experience—or even a theatrical experience—it was, I felt, not quite as satisfying as a typical Springsteen concert. It had its magical moments, of course...But it was not as consistently revelatory as I hoped it would be...There was a certain stiffness to the show: you were always aware that he was reading...That said, I still think 'Springsteen' is very good, and well worth seeing." Full Review

NJArts.net

for a previous production "It’s a comedy, though it’s pretty horrifying when dealing with the state of denial that Len and Blossom are living in…There are plenty of laughs, along the way, at the absurdity of it all. The ending is bittersweet. This being a comedy, everything does work itself out, more or less—maybe a little too easily, given the monumental problems in these characters’ lives. But along the way, we’ve spent some time with some very real, albeit frustrating, people." Full Review