Jesse Green

About:  Jesse Green is the co-chief theater critic for The New York Times, and the former theater critic for New York Magazine and its culture website, Vulture. You can follow him on Facebook (jesse.green.critic) or on Twitter (@jessekgreen).
Reviews (455)
The New York Times

"Staging a Movie Melodrama in ‘The Conversationalists’: Music (and eventually emotion) cuts through the alienating layers of abstraction in this new work by the musician-storytellers James & Jerome." Full Review

The New York Times

"When Disability Isn’t a Special Need but a Special Skill: Two productions at the Under the Radar Festival ask if the theater is ready to embrace the artistry of autism and other once disqualifying conditions." Full Review

The Thin Place
Midtown W
The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK. "Death Is a Two-Way Door in ‘The Thin Place’: Lucas Hnath’s cunning new ghost story, about a psychic and her client, is a twisty yarn that won’t unravel." Full Review

Greater Clements
Upper W Side
The New York Times

"‘Greater Clements,’ the Tragedy of a Town that Closed: Samuel D. Hunter’s creaky play about the downsizing of the American West features terrific performances by Judith Ivey and Edmund Donovan." Full Review

The New York Times

"The Many Unusual Stages of ‘Fefu and Her Friends’: Read and studied for decades, a key work of the American avant-garde finally returns in a major New York revival." Full Review

The New York Times

"Fleeing Home, but Not Homophobia: Two plays based on the autobiographical novels of Édouard Louis put the problem of violence against gay men in a larger social context." Full Review

The New York Times

"An ‘Evita’ Newly Tailored for Our Time City Center’s gala production of the 1979 Broadway musical gives our favorite fascist enabler a feminist makeover." Full Review

The New York Times

"The ‘Tina’ Musical Is One Inch Deep, Mountain High: Tina Turner gets the bio-jukebox treatment, with all its lows (emaciated storytelling) and one of its peaks (a star-making performance from Adrienne Warren)." Full Review

Scotland, PA
Midtown W
The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "Double, Double, Burger and Trouble in ‘Scotland, PA’: When 'Macbeth' meets McDonald’s, a meaty new musical is born." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production CRITICS’ PICK "'Forbidden Broadway' Sticks It to the Great Woke Way: Gerard Alessandrini’s franchise was looking as long in the tooth as the shows it aimed to skewer. A new edition brings it back to hilarious life." Full Review

The New York Times

"‘The Lightning Thief,’ a Far Cry From Olympus: A musical adaptation of the popular fantasy novel comes to Broadway and goes to Hades." Full Review

TERRA FIRMA
Gramercy
The New York Times

"In ‘Terra Firma,’ a Wee Wet Country on the Brink: This inaugural offering from the Coop squeezes whimsy, character comedy and ecological allegory into one crowded play." Full Review

The New York Times

"CRITIC’S PICK "Four Times as Big and Just as Searing: Jeremy O. Harris’s Off Broadway hit about race and sex in America shakes things up on Broadway." Full Review

The Great Society
Upper W Side
The New York Times

"In ‘The Great Society,’ Another Presidential Nightmare: Brian Cox plays Lyndon B. Johnson at the height of his powers, when history decided to bring him down." Full Review

The New York Times

"In ‘The Height of the Storm,’ Two Stars and an Enigma: Florian Zeller’s tiresome new play features Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins as a long-married couple, one of whom may be dead." Full Review

The New York Times

"‘Novenas’ Offers Prayers for a Hospital That Died: The epicenter of New York’s AIDS epidemic, St. Vincent’s (1849-2010) is the subject of a memorial service that’s also a play." Full Review

Felix Starro
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Do You Believe in Miracles? ‘Felix Starro’ Does: A new musical about a Filipino faith healer bringing “psychic surgery” to America expands the frontiers of the form." Full Review

Make Believe
Midtown W
The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "In ‘Make Believe,’ Four Children Meet Their Inner Adults: Bess Wohl’s daring, mysterious new play is a comedy of underparenting and a tragedy of selfishness. Or is it the other way around?" Full Review

Road Show
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Sondheim’s Bumpy ‘Road Show,’ Now at the End of the Line. An Encores! Off-Center revival reveals the tantalizing cleverness and intractable faults of the 1997 (and 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2008) musical." Full Review

The New York Times

"Review: Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters,’ Now with Upspeak and Emojis. Halley Feiffer’s 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow' turns the master’s refined Russians into 'Mean Girls.'" Full Review

The New York Times

"Lands in the gap between drama and anecdote. It doesn’t help that Mr. Cale is often more compelling when playing other people than when playing himself...Under Mr. Falls’s delicate direction, Mr. Cale makes complicated creatures of them all...The variety of colors Mr. Cale is able to wring out of his voice as he sketches them in song is remarkable. Yet as David Egleton turns into David Cale and the story rushes into the present, the tension inevitably slackens." Full Review

The New York Times

"The problem isn’t the added songs. The score, by Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead, is in fact quite beautiful...What’s more, the songs are sung gorgeously by a cast that’s equally powerful in solo numbers and ensembles. The problem is what the songs are added to, and how much had to be cut to make room for them...The absence of context is not ameliorated by Mr. Gold’s staging, which seems to scrape away all novelistic trappings as if they were ostentatious." Full Review

The New York Times

"Time has been good to 'Frankie and Johnny.' Its sentimentality hasn’t curdled the way it has in some of Mr. McNally’s many other plays...The obvious overstretching of the plot to fill two acts doesn’t matter as the play’s bigger mysteries click into place. What begins as a basic inquiry into the nature of love — is it blind or, as Johnny says, 'the exact opposite'? — slowly transforms into something deeper and eerier." Full Review

Proof of Love
West Village
The New York Times

“The monologue is delivered well...the circumstances that make it one are notably contrived...It does provide Pressley a rich opportunity to explore a complex, loquacious, if emotionally stifled, character...Hutchinson has hobbled herself by choosing a structure that starves 'Proof of Love' of live conflict...Carroll has done what she can to shape the script’s graceful paragraphs into a simulation of action. But her effort is undermined just before the end of the 75-minute play." Full Review

The New York Times

“It’s certainly not a conventional drama, any more than the real Paul Swan was a conventional artist...And though the fearless actor Torn doesn’t stint on the theatrics, his incarnation of Swan never quite comes to life...Though the monologues Kiechel has given him feel believable enough, there is a weird superstructure around them, as if to assert the play’s avant-garde bona fides. In a work about fustiness, such distancing effects seem like holding one’s nose.” Full Review

The New York Times

"When Disability Isn’t a Special Need but a Special Skill: Two productions at the Under the Radar Festival ask if the theater is ready to embrace the artistry of autism and other once disqualifying conditions." Full Review

The New York Times

"Drawing on the Past, Living in the Present, Dreaming of the Future: A jazz memoirist, a Palestinian rocketeer and Mexican myths set to music kick off the Public Theater’s annual festival of adventurous work from across the globe." Full Review

Judgment Day
Upper E Side
The New York Times

"An Allegory of Blame, Goes Big: At the Park Avenue Armory, Odon von Horvath’s 1937 drama gets a rare and physically overwhelming staging." Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "With ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ They Finally Fixed the Jukebox: Alanis Morissette’s 'ironic' fury finds a perfect Broadway musical setting in Diablo Cody’s fiery indictment of, well, everything." Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK ‘The Underlying Chris,’ You Are Who You Were" Will Eno’s new play about the many people each person contains is glib at first, but grows, like life, from trick to tragicomedy. Full Review

The End of Eddy
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"Fleeing Home, but Not Homophobia: Two plays based on the autobiographical novels of Édouard Louis put the problem of violence against gay men in a larger social context." Full Review

Black Exhibition
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"Review: Playwright Exposes Himself in ‘Black Exhibition’: In a new work far from Broadway, Jeremy O. Harris, the author of 'Slave Play,' puts his body and soul on the line." Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "Getting Intimate at ‘Dr. Ride’s American Beach House’: In a witty new play by Liza Birkenmeier, restless friends find themselves challenged by the first American woman in space." Full Review

Bella Bella
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Abzug and Fierstein, on the Same Ticket in ‘Bella Bella’: When the former Edna Turnblad plays the feminist firebrand of the 1970s, there’s no dress but it’s still a drag." Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "Mary-Louise Parker in the Subliminal, Sublime ‘Sound Inside’: Adam Rapp’s play transfers to Broadway in a rivetingly dark and detailed production by David Cromer." Full Review

Soft Power
East Village
The New York Times

"In the Musical ‘Soft Power,’ China Whistles the Tune: A complex look at democracy from an Asian perspective turns 'The King and I' inside out." Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "In ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning,’ a Red-State Unicorn: An astonishing new play by Will Arbery risks a rare stage subject: Christian conservatism." Full Review

The New Englanders
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Trying Too Hard to Be Special: Gay dads and their 'woke genius' daughter face the limitations of life in a patchy new play by Jeff Augustin." Full Review

Why?
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"Peter Brook Asks the Ultimate Question in ‘Why?’: A new work from one of the indisputably great directors is partly a tribute to theater and partly a warning about theatricality." Full Review

runboyrun & IN OLD AGE
East Village
The New York Times

"For These African Immigrants, Life Is a Haunted House: In ‘runboyrun’ and ‘In Old Age,’ the latest installments of Mfoniso Udofia’s nine-play cycle, America is no place to hide from the past." Full Review

The New York Times

"In ‘American Moor,’ an Insider’s Guide to ‘Othello’: A new play argues that no one knows more about Shakespeare’s great tragedy than a man “born black in America.” Full Review

The New York Times

CRITIC'S PICK "Review: Public Works Finds the Heroism in ‘Hercules’ With shrewd casting and amateur performers joining professionals onstage, a middling 1997 animated Disney musical becomes a pageant of civic engagement." Full Review

Douglas
Gramercy
The New York Times

NYT Critic's Pick “Is Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Douglas’ Stand-Up? Theater? Yes, Please. A follow-up to the startling and divisive ‘Nanette’ is just as startling and probably just as divisive.” Full Review

Broadway Bounty Hunter
West Village
The New York Times

"She Belts. She Brawls. She’s a ‘Broadway Bounty Hunter.’ Annie Golden stars in a musical B-movie pastiche that lands in the gap between tribute and spoof." Full Review

The New York Times

"The show’s mismatched creators — apparently assembled by random spins of a Rolodex — call the result a kung fu musical. I can report that what the director Chen Shi-Zheng and the 'Kung Fu Panda' writing team of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger have come up with does involve martial arts and tonal sounds. But to the extent kung fu usually provides thrills, and musicals usually tell stories through song, the new genre is a misnomer if not an outright lie." Full Review

Toni Stone
Midtown W
The New York Times

"'Toni Stone' is at its considerable best whenever, like its main character, it’s at its most unconventional. The spiky rhythm of Pam MacKinnon’s direction; the unvarnished quirkiness of the eight-man ensemble supporting Ms. Matthis; the astonishing, dancelike movement (by Camille A. Brown) that expresses the game without mimicking it — all contribute to the feeling that we’re learning something new, but also in new ways...Ms. Matthis’s characterization holds everything together." Full Review

The New York Times

“This delicious, admirably clear production, directed by Leon, acknowledges and builds on as it gently but firmly escorts the great comedy into a #MeToo, Black Lives Matter world...The actors play specifically black characters, drawing on their own resources of emotion and style to make those characters rich...Beneath the comedy, this production reflects a world in which domestic violence is more of a threat than the foreign kind...Its politics cloud neither the romance nor the comedy.” Full Review

Continuity
Midtown W
The New York Times

“’Continuity’ never convincingly weds its airy approach to its heavy subject...The approach is almost whimsical, as if Wohl were setting a trap whose bait is comedy...The themes of the play never cohere except in the title...The comedy wilts and the drama, with no stageable crisis, fizzles...You’re left with little to do but admire Wohl’s clever connections and end-time puns...Only near the end of its 100 minutes does ‘Continuity’ find a way to weave its main strands together.” Full Review

BLKS
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Aiming to be a raucous comedy of misbehavior and a quiet tragedy of mistreatment, it amazingly succeeds at both...It is serious and sad and profoundly human...Crowe-Legacy, Fuller and Gilbert are so delicate with the sadness that it keeps coming as a surprise how merciless they are with the comedy. O’Hara’s direction is key here...'BLKS' suffers from a familiar structural turbulence at the end, as if it’s too big a vehicle to land on a short runway. Still, it lands." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
The New York Times

“Though it retains the premise of the original, it diverges smartly in both plot and milieu...Fontana gets just about everything right...Even though Horn’s book bristles with zingers, a lot of the humor is so rooted in story it doesn’t need words...Comedy rarely flows as smoothly as it does here. The secret is more than the book; it’s the songs...The staging and physical production of ‘Tootsie’ are so trite and vanilla...Happily, ‘Tootsie’ recovers, thanks in part to its excellent cast.” Full Review