Jil Picariello

Jil Picariello is a critic with ZEALnyc. 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 (74)
ZEALnyc

"There are plenty of laughs, since Ms. Silverman has a sitcom writer’s ear for a funny punchline. And there is much discovery: of anger and power and sexuality and, oh yes, of that 'down there' that you need a hand mirror to meet. There are even moments of real sadness, as some Betties don’t get what they want, or need, or even deserve. The cast is as snappy and clear as the simplified set, which drops chairs, balloons, and and anything else a scene might need into the waiting hands of a Betty." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“What this production lacks in fireworks it more than makes up for in its understanding of the psychology of the two main characters...It’s what Santiago-Hudson doesn’t do as much as what he does that makes the production so gripping...Breakout performance of the evening was Wright as Desdemona’s handmaiden...She is smart and sharp, and steals the last scenes of the show with her powerful presence...Not the most moving production...but it was a mighty fine way to spend the evening.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The burning star at the center of the story, played by a luminous Condola Rashad, is too calm, too quiet, too sane for us to care much about...Her rationality takes a lot of emotional stuffing out of the story, and the series of somewhat disconnected scenes have a strangely becalming effect. The trial hits home, but the final moments of emotion don’t quite make up for the smooth ride that comes before...The cast is, across the board, excellent." Full Review

Lobby Hero
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Thanks to Lonergan’s marvelous writing and Trip Cullman’s spot-on direction, those four types are anything but. They are fully, painfully human...Near-perfect revival...Evans makes a terrific Broadway debut...And then there’s Michael Cera, who was born to speak Lonergan’s language...When characters are this well drawn, this intensely human, and the performances are this well crafted, it’s worth every minute you spend in the company of these wonderful less-than-heroes." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"A lot doesn't add up...Blum and Monk, are sitcom-sized nervous wrecks, with trying-too-hard neuroses...The play has heart, and great performances, but it's trying too hard and veers from genuinely funny to comedy that misses its target to heartfelt confrontations that don't always feel legitimate-or moving. Is it a comedy? A family drama? A character-driven road trip? All three, and not quite anything. It just doesn't add up." Full Review

Relevance
West Village
ZEALnyc

"Deeply underwritten new play...Houdyshell not only delivers a one-note performance in which the few shifts in tone and response come across as untethered to any recognizable human behavior, she also flubs line after line...Nothing adds up to anything, least of all anything dramatic...It’s so obscured by academic jargon and buzzwords that finding a point felt like feeling your way through fog." Full Review

Hangmen
Chelsea
ZEALnyc

"Charisma and criminality blend so well in the character of handsome Peter Mooney that you might want to look away, but you won't be able to...I won't give anything away because the fun of following the proceedings as they twist and turn at Mooney's beguiling beck and call is way too much fun...It's dark, it's funny, there are gasps and twists galore. In this playwright's world, none of us gets off free of charge. And, frankly, none of us deserve it. The performances are uniformly smashing." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Fairchild conveys torments beautifully, and is truly a marvel to watch. Although his performance is fascinating, the production itself suffers from an awkwardness and confusion almost as painful as the torments of the creature himself...The story has enough juice, one would think, to power the dramatic scenes. But they fall flat, with awkward dialogue and colorless, strangely modern performances...The music, however, is lovely." Full Review

The Children
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“What is truly marvelous is the gap between the comfortable dialogue between the twosome, and then the threesome, and the emotions snaking around and under them...The play goes in unexpected places, both charming and disturbing the audience, held breathless by what we don’t know...You will find yourself pondering the questions 'The Children' asks for a long time to come....Macdonald deftly maneuvers his brilliant cast around the tilted world they inhabit." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"There is great joy and vitality, which continues from the pre-curtain action right through to the last ravishing moment...The deceptively simple story is woven around lush, powerful, music and lyrics, and a closet full of theatrical magic...Not only the gods are powerful talents in this endlessly entertaining production. Our Romeo and Juliet of the Island, Hailey Kilgore and Isaac Powell, are as charming as any breathless audience member could want." Full Review

Junk
Upper W Side
ZEALnyc

“The only thing risky about this play is its title...The production is awesomely slick, with shiny black two-tiered sets and crisp direction...Robert Merkin played by a whittled Pasquale, is knife sharp...The character doesn’t offer a whole lot of range, but Pasquale runs the gamut, from A for anger to B for brutality...The drama is brisk, but chilly, and entertaining…enough. The play’s title promises the rich disorder of human life. But in the end, it’s all too tame and tidy.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“This revival seems a bit toothless and the flaws hit you harder than the pain...It’s an interesting meditation on the way fear paralyzes and the way grief activates. But the power is undercut by far too obvious references and inappropriate whimsy...Much is moving, and McGrath and especially Burton, in his isolating terror, leave an impression. But my overall response was to wish I could have seen it back in 1994, when the punch it packs might not have been so muffled." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"There’s a lot that’s mismatched in this production...In fact, there’s downright perplexity along with plenty of charm...The costumes are a mixed bag...Same for the music...Major kudos to Cabell for being not only comprehensible while speed-speaking but actually captivating...The remainder of the cast has highs and lows...There are many charms to this new production. But I say to Doyle: Take ten more minutes of our lives, or maybe fifteen...And the work will be the better for it." Full Review

Assassins
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“Chilling, especially every single moment that Steven Pasquale takes the stage…‘Assassins’ soars when the voices soar, although the dramatic scenes in between sometimes fall flat, and director Anne Kauffman hasn’t quite managed to keep the sag from showing…The tone veers wildly at times, and there’s too much comedy for my taste, but the music! Oh, the music! There are so many wonderful songs.” Full Review

Fulfillment Center
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Koogler has the playwright’s great gift of writing character into every line. Even if these performances were not as flawless as they are, you would know these four very different people from the words on the page...This is a production that would benefit from a smaller, or perhaps shorter, space. Despite the neck ache, it’s gripping drama, and Aukin creates a tension and sense of desperation that keeps you riveted." Full Review

Cost of Living
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Skillfully directed by Jo Bonney...The rest of the play, despite some gripping moments, never quite matches the poetry and pow of its first few minutes...The play does not shy away from the difficulties of taking care of another human being...The play also does not shy away from revealing the 'differently abled' as difficult, prickly, and as hard to crack as the rest of us...It almost loses us—almost—but everything and everyone else is so absorbing and real that we’re willing to forgive." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Funny, wise, intriguing, brilliant, and damn crackling good. And as directed by Gold with a fine cast of four it is the speediest 90 minutes on Broadway...The play, in both setting and speech, is a somehow-it-works mash-up of 19th and 21st centuries...The arguments and stories are of their time, yet of ours as well. Just when did Nora slam that door—1879, 1979, or was it last year?...The discussions and arguments and fights we had back then are still with us, and probably always will be." Full Review

Indecent
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Paula Vogel has crafted a story that moves in mysterious ways. It is enchanting, and wondrous, and painful, and theatrically thrilling...A remarkable amount of people and incidents are crowded into the play’s running time, but thanks to the brilliant cast and some well-placed supertitles, there is never a moment of confusion. The play somehow manages to be both dreamlike and piercing, universal and very specific, unique to its time and completely relevant to today." Full Review

The Antipodes
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“Lots of questions, not a whole lot of answers. Actually, no answers at all...There’s a compelling ‘round-the-campfire feel…It would all be fine—especially since every performance is terrific and the stories are often alarmingly compelling—except eventually all that waiting starts to wear. Yes, we tell each other stories to make sense of life...But unlike life—where we never really get to see how it all turns out—I want my theater to be a bit clearer. There are tons of plots here, but no plot." Full Review

Amelie
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“I hate whimsy. I’m also not particularly enamored of cute, quirky, oddball, eccentric, or twee. Unfortunately 'Amélie' has all those things, in abundance…Since everything is charming and, yes, whimsical, I can’t really care much about any of it. No conflict, no fire. I’m rooting for her and her potential love, but I don’t really care all that much because everything is just so sweet. The stakes are barely visible…The songs are nice. But nice, whether the songs or the story, just ain’t enough.” Full Review

The Hairy Ape
Upper E Side
ZEALnyc

"As masterful as the sets, costumes, movement, and direction by Richard Jones all are, it is the mesmerizing performance of Bobby Cannavale in the born-to-play role of Yank that brings it all to life, and to heart...The performances and the staging will leave you speechless. And then you will exit that glorious edifice and find yourself on Park Avenue at the epicenter of money and the upper class, and you won’t know whether to laugh or cry. Either way, you’ll be glad you were there." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Kolinski is terrific...Mac Rae overdoes the blankness...She seems more catatonic than unhappy...With such intimacy between audience and actors, a little goes a long way, which is why the overdone physicality and occasional bit of shtick stick out so profoundly...Director Jack Cummings III does a wonderful job with many small and telling details...Even Cummings can’t help the plays from sometimes veering into melodrama. Powerful yes, but a bit dated as well." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“A wonderful addition to the Sarah Ruhl canon: a moving exploration of the limits—or is it the limitlessness?—of love…I don’t want to ruin the fun—and there is a lot of fun here—by telling you what happens…There are plenty of laughs along the way, especially from the ageless and brilliant Marisa Tomei...Lena Hall is well cast as the mystical Pip, but everyone in the play is a winner.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

"As compelling as the tale is, it unravels patchily, and revelations lose their impact due to an emotionally confused response from the characters...Of particular note for his lack of character (in both senses) is Matthew Broderick...He opens the evening with a long monologue, and his numbing singsong delivery is only prevented from inducing sleep by his occasional bumble and stumble. It’s a disturbing combination of anxiety and boredom. Kind of like the play itself." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Remarkable…A brisk two hours that fly by…The entire cast is almost too good to be true. So good in fact, that they make you forget how superb the remarkable Harriet Walter is as Prospero…The production is proof that it doesn’t take a massive bankbook to create great art…It’s not dazzling, until it is—when the lights go out and we all bring forth the starlight with our tiny lights in the darkness. It is magic right there, it is community, it is joy, it is beauty—it is what theater is all about." Full Review

Scraps
Soho/Tribeca
ZEALnyc

"Emotions storm and collide, the characters rage and ridicule, and some of them speak so quickly that I wanted to jump up and yell, 'Wait, slow down.' This is a ninety-minute play, but I’m betting the script has all the pages of a three-hour drama...The second half of the play, the action and tone take a dramatic shift...It’s a daring leap in style and subject, but it works, thanks to the smart script by Inoa and tight direction by Smith, as well as the chilling performances from one and all." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Even though the current incarnation...has a lot more laughs than usual, it still isn't exactly a comedy...The entire cast, under the energetic direction of Wolfe, simmers and stews, drinks and dreams, brilliantly...Washington...has never used his wide smile and ingratiating charm to better effect...And when he finally delivers his long fourth act soliloquy...We watch him spin, and justify, and, finally, crack, and it's as chilling a scene as ever we've witnessed." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"For those of us who think the 2004 film was nothing less than brilliant (isn’t everything Tina Fey touches nothing less than brilliant?), this musical incarnation is pure, unadulterated, super fetch-y fun...The talented cast is bursting with enthusiasm and talent...And speaking of bursting with enthusiasm, the audience has nearly as much as the cast...The book, by Tina herself, is spot on, as is the bouncy direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw." Full Review

Admissions
Upper W Side
ZEALnyc

"Performances are uneven...Hecht plays Sherri as oddly stiff, both emotionally and literally...Her son overdoes the emotions. His performance is well shaded, but there's too much of the schlumpy teenage blob...The themes are compelling...No bad guys and good guys in the story, which make it more real, but maybe also make it less powerful...It's close to the mark, but not all the way there." Full Review

queens
Upper W Side
ZEALnyc

"The performances are sensitive and specific...Sharpness is what this play could have used a bit more of. With jumps in time and place, performers in multiple parts and story lines, the action gets confusing—and the end comes, and then comes again, and then again...Brilliant performances. I left a little disappointed in the structure and soundness of the play, but absolutely blown away by the stories and the acting." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Albee's world is a bleak place, and yet it’s so much fun to be there, at least from the audience’s side of things. The new production of two of Albee’s short plays does his difficult world proud...Although Paul Sparks, as Jerry, starts by capturing the perfect creepy-charismatic balance, his performance depends too much on a small bag of mad tricks...Life is strange, says the brilliant Albee...In Albee’s disturbing vision, it’s also compelling, brilliant theater." Full Review

Fire and Air
East Village
ZEALnyc

“The problem in Hodge’s performance is that the energy and bluster starts at high volume from the moment we meet the man, and then stays there…He is a legend in his own mind, and he gets to be a tiring one…There are wonderful performances here from noted performers. But the story itself starts at A and ends at Z without much traction in between. Diaghilev rails and rants, Nikinsky stretches and preens, and we try, mostly unsuccessfully, to care.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The performances in the three major roles are almost enough to compensate for the uneven nature of the play...The always brilliant Rylance is working very hard to keep this not-quite-filled balloon afloat. The flaws in the structure make it hard, but his talents are vast, and he almost pulls it off...But the story lets him, and us, down. The music comes straight from heaven, the design and lighting are superb. But that not-quite-filled balloon eventually, inevitably, unfortunately, sinks." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“An overlong, overly wordy mash-up of history and invention...We get real and imagined events, braided together and spiraling over nearly a century of Russian history...It’s terribly difficult to describe it all, but suffice it to say that the work is ambitious. Terrifically ambitious, sprawling, overlong, overplotted, uneven, and filled with wonderful performances...But, unfortunately, it does not nourish the hungry theatergoer.” Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“This new—drama? comedy? mess?—manages to turn 90 minutes into eons. At least it feels that way...There is blackmail and some ‘shocking’ revelations and supposed passion, and very lame potshots at the current administration, guaranteed to make an audience of Manhattanites chuckle. But they’re cheap shots, and the laughs are scarce and forced...Nothing that happens in this long 90 minutes is based in anything credible.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“It’s hard for me to imagine that it could have been any more enjoyable, funnier, or any more touching that this current trimmer, sleeker incarnation...A not-so-gentle reminder of how far we’ve come...But ‘Torch Song’ is not an openly political act; it’s intensely personal...Urie is one of those remarkable actors who is so exposed that you see the defiance behind the tears and the pain underneath the laughter...At the end, you are drained, moved, and thrilled. This torch lights up the night.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

"McGovern finally gets to sink her teeth into someone more shady, and to use that British accent she’s picked up along the way. She hits it out of the park on both counts...This is, first and foremost, a beautifully structured play about a family, their dreams, longings, fears, and devastations. The cast is uniformly excellent...But a special shout out must go to Neil Patel’s marvelous design...And, of course, to recent Tony-winner Taichman who directs the complex action with a sure hand." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“Filled with charm and hilarity, beautiful music and magic. It’s so much fun that it’s hard to say what the best part is...Ashford can get more laughs with a crook of her little finger than most actors can manage with their entire bodies…It is to deBessonet’s credit that we are never confused by all the lovers and their shifting passions...When the lights twinkle and the music plays and these sublimely talented performers speak and search and love, we are as enchanted as poor Nick Bottom.” Full Review

Marvin's Room
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"The bad news is that other than a half-minute scene, I spent most of the evening wondering why this off-Broadway play was revived in the first place...For people with a whole lot wrong in their lives, they are a pretty dull bunch. The only player who enlivens the action is Celia Weston as dotty Aunt Ruth...The proceedings proceed at an almost stately pace. Or maybe it just seems that way, since the performances are so muted that every scene hits the same notes." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“Shaved down to a scintillating two hours, this is a mighty gripping production…The performances are uniformly excellent. Stoll does a moving job with Brutus, the cerebral Hamlet of the piece…John Douglas Thompson is his opposite, the hotheaded Cassius…And Elizabeth Marvel lives up to her name as Marc Antony, a syrupy Southern accent putting just the right honey into Antony’s stinging words…It all adds up to the immediacy, the in-your-face intensity of brilliant theater." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"More than funny—this madcap comedy of mistaken identity is the perfect antidote to whatever ails you...A breakneck pace that never flags, this night at the theater is laugh line atop laugh line, all of it based in characters that are well-crafted and stomach-achingly funny individuals...Urie’s every move, every facial expression, every line, is so perfect that you spend the zippy two hours wondering what he’s going to do next...His brilliance is matched by pretty much every member of the cast." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The performances are restrained, which is a wise choice given the inherent melodrama of the story. The music, however, is powerfully emotive, and performed with intense vitality…Other than the two main characters of Dreyfus and his defender, Zola, there is little depth or nuance to any of the characterizations…Overall the production could use some serious nip and tuck…Everything seems to go on just a bit too long. But the music, the singing, and the lead performances are marvelous.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“Janney can do more with one little finger than most performers can manage with their entire bodies. And that voice. That deep, dry, hilarious, wonderful voice. She’s one of those rare ones who can make you laugh as hard as she can make you cry...Paul is played by Corey Hawkins with simplicity and pathos…The children are the production’s major flaws—they are played for whining, selfish, screeching comic effect, and the play suffers for the superficial characterizations.” Full Review

Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
ZEALnyc

"Who would ever have thought that history presented on stage could be so compelling?...Brilliant...A taut three hours that hold us breathless and leave us both thinking and weeping...The entire cast is uniformly captivating, particularly Aronov as a rock-star flashy Israeli diplomat, and Oreskes and Jenkins as a duo of can’t-believe-we’re-here academics from Haifa...'Oslo' is not educational, it’s enlightening. And it’s crackling damn good theater too. Full Review

Vanity Fair
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“The satirical tone of the story can wear thin...Yes, it’s imaginative—just getting seven people to play 20 or 25 or 30 roles requires heroic imagination and energy, and Kate Hamill, the author and star, and Eric Tucker, the director, are nothing if not imaginative. But there’s something amiss…This work curdles more than charms...It’s ambitious, very ambitious. But it doesn’t live up to its ambitions." Full Review

Picnic
West Village
ZEALnyc

"The performances are all good, particularly Michelle Pawk as Flo...Even better is Emily Skinner as their neighbor...Perhaps a little more build and a little more temperance would have improved a couple of the other performances, particularly Hannah Ellis as Millie and David T. Patterson as Hal. Both are giving highly physical performances, and, especially in such a small space, the movements are way too exaggerated." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The acting, with a few quibbles (Ruffalo is heart-tugging but overdoes the mumble, DeVito’s accent comes and goes, Hecht fades into the scenery, but that’s more Miller’s fault than her own, and Tony Shalhoub is perfection) is great, but the play can sometimes feel clunky, and raises questions that threaten to derail the story...Despite the quibbles, there’s pure joy in watching such skilled actors take us through the ins and outs of a meaty family psychodrama." Full Review

Significant Other
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Either the saddest play I ever laughed my way through or the funniest play I ever left in tears...A well-written, perfectly cast, laugh-filled comedy is a thing of beauty...Glick’s performance carries the play, delivering sweetness instead of sentimentality and turning what could easily be a far too shallow and irritating character into a heart-wrenching portrait of a good person in trouble...Glick’s is a perfect performance...Director Trip Cullman maintains the pace perfectly." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Described as a 'tragicomedy,' there’s too little of both tragedy and comedy to make it succeed. Both the characters and the jokes are thin, especially the poorly-acted Miranda (Katie Kleiger), a maid in the home of the wealthy Sir...The acting is both over-the-top and all over the place...It’s like they all wandered in from different plays and decided to just hang out for a while...A labored and false story that is nearly as much of a wasteland as the world it inhabits." Full Review

Candide
Upper W Side
ZEALnyc

"Such glorious music! Such a ridiculous, silly plot! Such a mixed bag of performances! Such clumsy gags and dated caricatures! The production has its ups and downs...It seemed like the company could have used a few more days of rehearsal...The real beauty of the evening was Meghan Picerno, clear of voice and crisp of diction, who managed the challenging 'Glitter and be Gay' with aplomb...Although it isn’t merited by the absurd and ignorable story, the finale actually brought a tear to my eye." Full Review