Jennifer Farrar

Jennifer Farrar is a critic with The Associated Press. 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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (38)
85
The Associated Press

"An energetic, playful revival...Director Leigh Silverman embraces the farcical schtick of the original, which mocked mainstream societal norms, and creates a vibrant sixties atmosphere while acknowledging dark moments...The production abounds with flashy, kinetic dance numbers courtesy of Joshua Bergasse, who maximizes Foster’s peppy appeal and athletic dance style." Full Review

45
The Associated Press

"If you want to be puzzled by a play, look no farther than Adam Bock's 'A Life,' which begins strongly but then peters out. Despite an affecting performance by Tony- and Emmy-Award winner David Hyde Pierce, the play is disappointing...The limits of time, life's elusive meaning, inevitable mortality — Bock incorporates these themes without particularly illuminating them." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"This pleasing update includes memorable songs from that film plus a few other stylish Berlin tunes...The nostalgia factor is amped up with plenty of full, splashy dazzling dance numbers and lavish costumes. Jones has filled the cavernous stage with exuberant choreography, and the nimble, hardworking ensemble is airborne one minute, then dreamily waltzing the next...This tuneful confection of standards definitely harkens back to the golden age of musicals." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"What’s for dinner? How about a rich stew of family communication failures, served with a tender side dish of unspoken love spiced with comic seasoning?...The attempt to create a perfect meal to communicate with someone can be fraught with a complex mixture of memories and hopes, which Julia Cho captures beautifully in her new play, 'Aubergine,' directed with delicate precision by Kate Whoriskey. Cho imbues her meditation on family interactions with gentle humor and quiet simplicity." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

for a previous production “A riveting political thriller with a personal approach...Such is the skill of the production that we feel caught up in real negotiations of the so-called Oslo Accord, although the top-notch ensemble is deftly portraying both real people and invented characters...The talents of cast and crew in ‘Oslo’ make a complex historical event feel understandable, intimate and profoundly affecting.” Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"Anne Washburn provides a realistic, disarming ghost tale, invigorated with ruminations about time and space, in her new play. A quietly unsettling production directed by Ken Rus Schmoll...'Antlia Pneumatica' is a tender examination of everyday concerns...Scenes of shared memories between the friends are effectively given ritualistic, elegiac treatments...Schmoll has satisfactorily overlaid the realism and ordinariness with an atmosphere of mystery." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"The musical 'Disaster!' is a campy carnival of cliches and gleefully cheesy comedy...The creative team has adroitly expanded the special effects and choreography to fill the Nederlander stage on Broadway. The book skillfully weaves a range of popular songs from the 1970s...Some character will always pop up with a new rescue idea, and there is high hilarity on these high seas." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Shepard's cleverly crafted and layered drama pits three generations of a shattered, self-destructive Midwestern farm family against one another…Ed Harris is sublimely cantankerous and engrossing to watch as Dodge, the dying, couch-ridden patriarch…Amy Madigan is restrained, taut perfection as Halie." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Darkly imaginative production...a colorful, avant-garde deconstruction...The plot may be murky, but van Hove's direction is precise, and it's crystal clear that the production is packed with talent...While many of the musical numbers feel relevant to the action, Bowie's often-enigmatic lyrics don't enlighten us much about what's going on...Although this is definitely not a feel-good musical, it's a pleasure to hear some of Bowie's memorable classics so well performed." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"Paulus stages the energetic proceedings with a careful eye for both small moments and high-voltage, ensemble dance numbers...Pulsating musical numbers combine a vibrant, layered pop score and earnest lyrics with African beats....It’s a palatable, deeply Western perspective on living in poverty under a repressive government...Despite the rosy prism coloring the social issues, this musical has a good heart." Full Review

65
The Associated Press

"'Steve' contains entertaining if generally predictable situations… An accomplished cast plows through snappy, sitcom-like dialogue and familiar scenes, creating characters we may like but don't necessarily believe in…Despite the feeling that we've seen a lot of this before, there are plenty of laughs in 'Steve' along with a few genuinely poignant moments." Full Review

65
The Associated Press

"Staged with smooth economy by Scott Ellis, a pleasing production opened Monday night...Parnell accurately covers commonalities between gay and straight parenting, even as he also delves into differences...As the couples struggle with their relationships while trying to be good parents, Alan works through some of his parental fears in a sweet analogy to 'Peter and the Wolf' that any parent can relate to." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

for a previous production "How some women might endure captivity and regular rape in squalid, harrowing conditions is explored with compassion by Danai Gurira in her complex drama 'Eclipsed...'Director Liesl Tommy skillfully paces Gurira's work for maximum effect." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"Community theater gets a lot of knocks for being amateurish, but Douglas Carter Beane may have elevated it to sympathetic comedic heights with 'Shows For Days.' The quirky coming-of-age comedy is a fondly autobiographical look at Beane's induction to life in the theater...Director Zaks keeps the whirlwind production running smoothly." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"Mining the comedy in an awkward morning-after situation between a hung-over young man and woman, who apparently fell into bed together after a wild wedding reception, would seem like a natural for acerbic playwright Neil LaBute. Yet his new comedy, 'The Way We Get By' has an unexpected sweetness, along with a twist that heightens the suspense as to whether the couple in question will embark on a romance or not." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Even if you see many of the jokes coming a long way off, the sheer talent on display in 'It Shoulda Been You' is worth snagging an invitation to this comically inventive wedding." Full Review

100
Reading Eagle

"The Roundabout Theatre production is a sizzling, sumptuous entertainment...Director Scott Ellis has reimagined the show with kinetic, retro-perfect sophistication and style...All the elements of this 'Century' combine to make a musical, manic train ride that truly puts the 'loco' in locomotion." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"A swirling, beautifully kaleidoscopic series of scenes, contrast with the background of a giant, black-and-white grid representing the complete order that Christopher needs. When Elliott's kinetic vision and Bunny Christie's dazzling technological design combine, the grid explodes with fantastical projections including constellations, outer space, complicated city maps and terrifying escalators." Full Review

75
The Huffington Post

for a previous production "Sometimes slow but very funny...While Gold gets engaging performances from all three actors, the action is stretched out way too long and the play sags in several silent scenes. The tedious, repetitive nature of these low-paying jobs could be conveyed onstage more concisely, with less unnecessarily prolonged silences or extended epilogue music from films." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"The book is co-written by Finn and James Lapine, who directed the original and also expertly helms this complex, fast-paced production. The almost entirely sung show, enlivened with Spencer Liff's sprightly choreography and a small but mighty orchestra, focuses playful wit on tumultuous relationship dynamics...Finn brilliantly uses musical comedy to explore what constitutes a family, while humanizing the extensive tragedy of the AIDS epidemic." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"Mike Bartlett has written a mordantly funny play...Smartly directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer. His staging of Bartlett's trenchant wit has the audience constantly laughing at awkward or uncomfortable interactions even when we sense tragedy on the horizon...Bartlett's piercing satire holds many grains of truth, and will resonate ruefully with both generations it depicts." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"Leigh Silverman directs Light with careful attention to each trembling crack in her character’s initially confident facade. With disarming directness and simplicity, Light, who has won both Tony and Emmy awards, makes her anti-heroine Faye Johnson seem normal and likable — up to a point...Despite Faye’s unsettling revelations, Light skillfully keeps our sympathy to the haunting, heartrending end." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

“The revival is alternately catchy and soulful, and overstuffed with memorable melodies...Gordy’s book sometimes awkwardly juxtaposes tragedy with personal moments...The hardworking ensemble of 33 take multiple roles and dance their feet off...Pulsating choreography evolves with the changing times...If Gordy is a little grandiose about his accomplishments, well, he’s telling the story and there’s no denying the enormous contribution he made to American music.” Full Review

90
The Associated Press

for a previous production "Vogel's powerful new play 'Indecent' is truly a celebration of the power of theater. A seasoned cast presents the story of a controversial early 20th century play simply and intimately, through seamlessly entwined music, dance and narrative...Nelis, Lieber, Moore and Rattazzi provide humor and gravitas in equal measure...The sawdust pouring from the sleeves of the cast is also a compelling visual metaphor for the enduring, enriching power of storytelling." Full Review

40
The Associated Press

"A smart, light-hearted production...Lonergan's gift with deceptively simple dialogue allows the characters to unintentionally reveal their flaws...The play is too long, partly due to Neil Pepe's lingering direction. Strings' poor decision-making and 'moral dilemmas' take time to come home to roost, and watching a spoiled, rich celebrity mess up his life for over 2 1/2 hours can become slightly tiresome, no matter how comical the dialogue or how likable the lucky ingrate may be." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Notes of magical realism keep the plot revolving through time, in MCC Theater's intelligent, slightly uneven production...Anne Kauffman has staged the production with fluidity and grace...Thanks to the witty, mostly credible plotting and excellent acting...The biggest question Haidle works to illuminate, though, is whether life is worth living despite inevitable tragedies and setbacks." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"Kauffman has economically and coolly staged the play...On one level, 'Marjorie Prime' is a wry examination of how technology is replacing some human interaction, but it's also a tender, layered look at the caprices of memory and the devastating impact of loss." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"Scott Schwartz directs the bouncy, homespun production…The entire cast creates individual, often poignant personalities…This is a feel-good musical, and the final song is cautiously titled 'Feels A Little Bit Like Love.' Some self-acceptance is bound to be achieved, with a lot of fun along the way." Full Review

65
The Associated Press

"Jones provides many genuine laughs in the first half as he gleefully mocks fashion, science, law enforcement and journalism...Unfortunately, the second act sinks into predictability, with deliberately cheesy time-travel effects and the presence of vulgar, annoying yeti-type creatures. However, substance is not the point of 'Important Hats.' Just enjoy the sense of frivolity, the goofy sci-fi riffs, and the exceptional comedic talents of the cast." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"If you think you've seen Arthur Miller's dark classic 'A View From the Bridge' enough times, think again. The muscular production is a stunning, imaginative theatrical experience, an impassioned interpretation that really brings the heat to Miller's gripping drama…Eventually all the actors enfold one another in a haunting, anguished tableau, a brilliant visual summation by van Hove of how people in this close-knit community must stand or fall together." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

for a previous production "Karam clearly understands the instability affecting the American middle-class...Cassie Beck is both funny and touching…Mantello expertly stages overlapping conversations in different rooms on the two-level set…Even if the Blakes can't quite keep all the harsh realities of life at bay, Karam's empathetic rendering of a family enduring setbacks leaves the audience hopeful that they will find strength in their love for one another." Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"The refreshing new show 'Amazing Grace' admirably covers slavery, abolition, sedition and spiritual themes in 1740s England and Africa, complete with spirited acting and inspirational ballads and anthems...It's a long time coming, but the title song is performed in the beautiful and emotional finale. By then we've been on quite a journey with these characters, and the hymn resonates with relevance and hope, both for their personal stories and the still-uneasy state of racial relations today." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Unfortunately, the second and third acts are not really compelling, aside from deft backstabbing and jockeying for deals. The suspense that Jacobs-Jenkins and Cabnet created with the first-act denouement and first-rate dialogue can't override the fact that the entertainment industry's utter lack of interest in the truth is not news. Still, 'Gloria' bears a persuasive message about being a little nicer to colleagues at work, because you never know what's really in that lunch bag." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"'The King and I' is getting an elegant, thoughtful revival courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater. There's an opulent, almost operatic feel to this production, and the music and dancing are richly presented...the production feels fresh and yet familiar, too." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"This season on Broadway features multiple musicals that are based on iconic films. One of the most sublime among them is surely "An American in Paris," helmed with panache by top director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Gloriously inventive and balletic, it has an intriguing new book...Beneath the considerable pizazz, Wheeldon conveys with grace and style the heartfelt romance and emotional colors that keep us enchanted until the last beautiful note has been sung." Full Review

90
The Associated Press

"The focus of the play is a list of good things that a young boy creates to cheer up his depressed mother, starting with ice cream…The items on the list are often very funny and the play is ultimately life-affirming, as one would hope, even though it bravely faces the realization that you may not be able to make the people happy that you love." Full Review

100
The Associated Press

"There are different ways to make it to the top. You could start at the bottom and work hard, or breeze into the family business — or you could try murdering your way to success, as in the dazzlingly funny new musical comedy "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder." Full Review

80
NorthJersey.com

for a previous production "A devilishly funny theatrical adaptation…This production is tight and swiftly paced. The grisly rear wall of Screwtape's hellish office immediately sets a disturbing tone…Lewis wrote insightfully about how easy it was for people to be led astray by the small things in life…McLean and Wight make a diabolical duo, and Lewis' philosophical insights into human nature are cleverly conveyed in 'The Screwtape Letters'." Full Review