Jillbaila

Manhattan | 50-64 | Female
About:  Avid theatergoer!
Reviews (203)
83
Slow, Enchanting, Beautifully staged, Puppets are amazing, Visually spectacular

See it if great for first time theater goers, kids, anyone looking for a spectacle. A true visual feast. Solid performances. Style over substance.

Don't see it if Despite the positives, I found my attention slipping at times. Maybe because I was tired or maybe because there's not a lot to the story.

86
During previews
Dated, Thought-provoking, Raw, Great writing, Great acting

See it if to see 2 brilliant actors in a work that explores damaged people struggling with intimacy.

Don't see it if offended by nudity, frank talk about sex. Definitely of its time (1980s) in how the characters deal with consent. At times brutal.

Also Pretty badly behaved audience. 2 cell phones rang in the mezzanine dur... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Dizzying, Mediocre score, Great set/lighting/staging, Some stand-out performances, Pure spectacle

See it if you enjoy splashy, over the top musicals that don't take themselves too seriously. Brightman, Caruso and Kritzer all fabulous.

Don't see it if bothered by light treatment of death, especially dead mother. If you don't like raunchy humor and cursing. Act 2 drags a bit.

Also The only reason I saw this was because I got a $33 ticket. I had absol... Read more Read less

88
Slow, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if retelling of classic story feels fresh and relevant. Some great performances and smart writing.

Don't see it if you have trouble with southern accents. I found some actors hard to understand, including Jeff Daniels. Show dragged at times.

Also Celia Keenan-Bolger was phenomenal. I also loved LaTanya Richardson Ja... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Dizzying, A bit too long, Well written, Strong cast, Hilarious

See it if you are a fan of Fontana--he is delightful. Sarah Stiles also a standout but whole cast is great. Fun show, lots of theater insider jokes.

Don't see it if you are looking for something deep or profound, although there are some points made about sexism and relationships.

87
Profound, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Funny and serious

See it if to see issues of race/racism & identity presented in an accessible way. Serious topics handled with sensitivity. Posley very engaging.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows. If you don't want to deal with heavy issues of race (but give this a chance). Some abrupt changes of tone.

71
Fluffy, Slow, Dated, Talented cast, Lovely dancing

See it if you can think of it more like a ballet where plot/story are secondary. Dancing and singing are excellent. Nice costumes.

Don't see it if performances better than material. Very dated and songs not memorable. Not sure why Encores selected this one.

82
Silly book, Old fashioned, Great dancing, Great singing

See it if you like old fashioned musicals. Well cast overall with Kelli O'Hara and Corbin Bleu standouts for me. Some excellent dance numbers.

Don't see it if you don't want to see another revival with a problematic book. The story ranges from sexist to just silly.

85
Important, Great acting, Brutal, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if to see fictionalized account of horrific period of US history. This story should be heard by all. Well acted, written, directed and staged.

Don't see it if you don't want to confront some of the ugliest legacies of slavery. If you can't bear to see painful subject matter.

Also The musical Hamilton asks "who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Debra jo rupp is a marvel, Timely, Cliched, Could go deeper, Charming set

See it if Debra Jo Rupp succeeds in making a character who could be unlikeable very sympathetic. The reason to see this play is for her performance.

Don't see it if you want characters who are more than cliched archetypes. Pleasant enough night of theater but nothing earth shattering. Ending fizzles.

85
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Timely and relevant, Powerful

See it if you want to see a timely play that deals with serious themes. Black lives matter and me too are both addressed here. Both actors fabulous.

Don't see it if you want something light. If you don't like dialogue driven dramas.

Also I liked this a lot, however at times it felt like there was almost too... Read more Read less

76
Entertaining, Dated, Great singing & orchestra, Fluffy, Nice costumes, simple staging

See it if you like Encores--orchestra is wonderful, great performances in a show that doesn't really hold up. That said, it was an enjoyable evening.

Don't see it if you don't like old fashioned shows, want something edgy or with more depth. Cusack good but not larger than life. Take it for what it is.

85
Hilarious, Raunchy, Clever, Edgy, Holds up well

See it if you've never seen it--closing soon and the current cast is delightful. If you're bothered by raunchy puppets illustrating real life issues.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in the struggles of young people told with puppets. If puppet sex isn't your cup of tea.

Also I took advantage of 20at20 to see this for the 3rd time. Happy to say ... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Thought-provoking, Timely, Ambitious, Relevant, Good writing and acting

See it if short vignettes that address a multitude of contemporary issues. Some more effective than others but this show is well worth seeing.

Don't see it if you want a straightforward narrative rather than short pieces. If you don't want to think about heavy issues. A bit heavy handed at times.

83
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Timely and topical, Intense

See it if interested in issues of race, power, police brutality. Definitely a play for current times. Ambitious and mostly succeeds.

Don't see it if Washington's character a bit one-note at times--not sure if due to writing, directing or performance. Somewhat heavy handed.

Also Was looking forward to seeing Pasquale but he has been out. Understudy... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Fabulous performers, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Flawed

See it if Multi-talented performers in a play that tackles several weighty themes, some more effectively than others. J. Pope is a star in the making.

Don't see it if uncomfortable with male nudity or gay themes. Writing is inconsistent. This was good but has potential to be even better.

Also I found my attention and focus waning at times, but was also tired so ... Read more Read less

85
Talented cast, Interesting story, Refreshing, Historic, Too long

See it if to learn about part of our history that most of us didn't know about. Multi-talented cast--actors sing and play instruments. Nice music.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in historically based plays. A bit repetitive, would be better if about 20 minutes shorter but still well worth seeing

55
Lovely dancing, Painful, Cliched writing, Slow, Amaturish

See it if you are a fan of ballet. Irena D. is exquisite and there are some lovely dance sequences. If you want to support new works.

Don't see it if even if you like dance, this is still hard to sit through. It was painfully slow, with banal, cliched lyrics and dialogue.

Also If I hadn't enjoyed the dance sequences as much as I did, the score wo... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Intense, Relevant, Powerful, Original, Moving

See it if you like immersive works that make you think and feel. The staging, acting, writing are all excellent. Timely and relevant.

Don't see it if you don't care about refugees, or don't like in-your-face theater. Seats are somewhat uncomfortable and it's a long show.

Also This was unlike anything I have ever seen. From the moment you set foo... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Great staging, Relevant, Great performance from cranston, Dizzying, Talky/long

See it if you are a fan of Cranston. If you are interested in how the media impacts us all. The themes from the film held up so well many years later.

Don't see it if you can't sit through 2 hours with no intermission. Could have been cut down. If you don't like experimental approaches to theater.

78
During previews
Sexy, Well staged, Ambitious, Multi-talented performers, Long

See it if you are a fan of burlesque. Reminded me of Cirque du Soleil in some ways. Cool venue and vibe.

Don't see it if you are expecting to see Balanchine's Nutcracker. This is not that. If you are uncomfortable with nudity.

Also 2 intermissions make this unnecessarily long. I get that the idea is t... Read more Read less

85
Emotional, Powerful, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Energizing

See it if you appreciate the intersection of politics, history and theater. Female-centric work but everyone should see this. Feels so relevant.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in learning about or revisiting the history of the women't movement through the life of Gloria Steinem.

Also Great acting from Christine Lahti and the supporting cast, who play mu... Read more Read less

71
Well staged, Well performed, Entertaining, Ambitious, Falls short of potential

See it if you like immigrant stories and/or one person shows. Mandvi adeptly morphs into and embodies the different characters. Good transitions.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in the story of an immigrant community. Also, see below.

Also Gratuitous and unnecessary use of the r word (retarded) took me out of... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Period piece, Poingnant, Absorbing

See it if superb performances from Urie and Ruehl. Funny and touching--the mother/son relationship is devastating. Firestein's writing holds up.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a LGBT period piece. Or can't handle an emotionally charged mother/son relationship.

Also It was interesting to see this play which was written and set in the 7... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Fun, Immersive, Creative, Good singing and dancing, Energetic

See it if you enjoy immersive shows and interacting with the performers. Like the feeling of being in a club. Enjoy dance music, pop and rap.

Don't see it if you don't want to be part of the action. If you prefer a more traditional theatrical experience. If you want something more plot driven.

72
Some fun moments but flat overall, Great orchestra, Good dancing and choreography, Dated, Fluffy

See it if you see every Encores production. Orchestra shines as usual. A few good dance numbers. Cast tries hard to sell the material.

Don't see it if Not sure why this was revived. Completely fluffy story that doesn't hold up at all. Music ok but nothing special.

71
Not completely satisfying, Interesting themes and ideas, Repetitive, Has potential, Good acting

See it if you like plays with more talk than action, interested in watching a 70's focus group. Raises interesting issues but doesn't go anywhere.

Don't see it if you don't have patience to watch a 90 minute focus group. The characters are well drawn but I wanted the discussion to go deeper.

78
Entertaining, Sophomoric, Equal opportunity offender, Raunchy, Funny

See it if you are a fan of low brow humor that skewers religion, missionaries. I saw understudies in 2 of 3 principal roles but they did a fine job.

Don't see it if you are easily offended. A lot of cursing but more offensive for me was how lightly subjects of AIDS, genital mutilation were treated.

90
Masterful, Great acting, Great writing, Gripping, Uncomfortable

See it if you believe that theater should be challenging. If you're interested in issues around race/racism and limits of friendship.

Don't see it if you don't want to confront difficult issues. I literally felt like someone punched me. This is heavy, intense and disturbing.

Also Excellent cast of 4 actors. Daveed Diggs is exceptional.

82
Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Original, Quirky, Sweet

See it if you like off-beat works. More an experience than a traditional show. Message of our shared humanity, Works on various levels.

Don't see it if I imagine the tone can vary a bit based on the actor. I saw Patrick Page and he was 100% in it. A bit indulgent but still well worth seeing.

94
During previews
Edgy, Strong cast, Exciting, Fresh, Original

See it if you appreciate new and innovative works. Principals and ensemble all wonderful. Music is great. This is a must see!

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or only want to see the classics.

Also This was truly an exciting night of theater. It's hard to believe that... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Interested in the Clintons' relationship & political machinations in an alternate universe. Just give Laurie Metcalf the Tony right now.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in political and/or relationship drama. if you prefer action to mostly talking.

74
Sweet, Lovely voices, Nicely staged, Cliched lyrics, Could be better

See it if fans of Baldwin &/or Pinkham--both shine in this. Are willing to see something that doesn't quite feel finished but has some lovely moments.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a musical that deals with grief. If you are intolerant of cliched, trite lyrics and songs that are repetitive.

94
Dizzying, Intelligent, Masterful, Hilarious, Refreshing

See it if these guys are just brilliant. See it to watch minds work so fast to come up with songs and stories on the spot. Its funny and so, so smart.

Don't see it if you're just going to see LMM. I was lucky enough to see this twice and he wasn't there either time. But go anyway.

76
Gorgeous score, Ambitious, Stripped down, Inconsistent

See it if you haven't seen Merrily before. It's such a beautiful piece of theater. Some aspects worked for me in this production, others not so much.

Don't see it if you don't like stripped down, minimalist staging. I'm not sure this is the best work for Fiasco's aesthetic. Acting better than the singing.

Also I fell in love with this show when Encores did it in 2012. I missed th... Read more Read less

78
Stephanie shines, Fabulous costumes, Weak book, Good performances in a flawed show, Hot ensemble

See it if you can tolerate badly written dialogue to enjoy the show for what it is. SJ Block transforms into Cher. Costumes & ensemble are highlights.

Don't see it if you want something deeper than a superficial story of Cher's life. If you aren't a fan of her music.

Also I enjoyed this while being aware as I was watching it that it wasn't a... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Good performances, Some nice songs, Interesting staging/choreography, Book is a mess, Confusing

See it if you don't mind works without a coherent narrative. Some nice songs and performances but I didn't really connect with the piece overall.

Don't see it if you aren't open to more experimental theater. Perhaps more famiilarity with Alice in Wonderland would help. For me, it was a hot mess.

84
Relevant, Moving, Inspiring, Simply yet effectively staged, Refreshing

See it if you are interested in hearing young voices, stories of immigrants, and want to feel optimistic for the future of the US.

Don't see it if you want something more polished and produced. Some of the 7 young people are more effective story tellers than others. A bit repetitive.

55
During previews
Pretentious, Overly ambitious, Disjointed, Nice music, Interesting projections

See it if you enjoy classical music. Want to learn a tiny bit about Toscanini and the rise of fascism/Nazism.

Don't see it if there could be an interesting story here but this show doesn't succeed in telling it. It doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Too long.

90
Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Confusing, Epic

See it if interested in historical family dramas. Masterful acting from a large cast, including quite a few kids. Also a goose, duck and baby.

Don't see it if have trouble with accents or can't sit through a 3+ hour play. If unfamiliar with Irish history. I wish I had done some research before.

72
Well acted, Heavy handed, Abrupt changes in tone, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in stories about relationships. If you like sad plays. If gay themes, mother/son relationships interest you.

Don't see it if Felt that the playwright hit you over the head with his message. Abrupt shifts in tone were startling. Breaking of 4th wall jarring.

85
Raw, Brutal, Intense, Great acting, Relatable

See it if play addresses many important themes including sexuality, racism, girls and women's friendships. Voices that we don't often hear in theater.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in women's stories, particularly a woman of color. If you are a misogynist you'll squirm.

Also There's a lot here. I think all women will relate to some, if not all,... Read more Read less

78
Fun, High energy, Fluffy, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you go in not expecting more than it is. Great performances from LaChanze and Ariana DeBose. Mediocre book but nevertheless entertaining.

Don't see it if you don't like Donna Summer's music or don't want to learn about her life. If you want something deep.

78
Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent, Slow, Repetitive

See it if you are interested in history &/or the Kennedys. Very well performed. Interesting how relevant content of his speeches are today. Cool set.

Don't see it if you don't like 1 man shows, have no interest in history. Speeches are sometimes repetitive.

Also There was a talk back following the performance I attended and that re... Read more Read less

84
Funny, Touching, Well written, Engagingly performed

See it if you are interested in one man's journey about the decision to have a child. He's a great storyteller with a low key style of delivery.

Don't see it if you don't like 1 person shows or stand up comedy. If you don't want to hear about how a baby changes someone's life.

Also As someone who never wanted kids, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to rela... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Fun, Sweet message, Energetic, Great performances, Entertaining

See it if actors playing the adults from NY perfectly cast and steal the show. Lots of fun Bway insider jokes. Great dancing and great energy.

Don't see it if not interested in LGBT themes and a story of acceptance. Somewhat cliched but enjoyable. If not familiar w Bway might miss some jokes.

71
During previews
Cute, Talented performers, Fluffy, Entertaining, Trite

See it if you enjoy light rom-coms. Supporting cast is impressive, playing multiple instruments and multiple roles.

Don't see it if you are looking for something profound. This is a pleasant evening but it's not going to change your life.

69
Great acting, Slow, Slight, Inconsistent writing

See it if if you want to see Glenn Close in an intimate space. She doesn't disappoint. Good acting all around.

Don't see it if you are bothered by writing that at times sounds contemporary and at times not. I'm really not sure why this play had to be written.

81
Intimate, Great singing and musicians, Dark, Intense, Surprisingly relevant

See it if you appreciate modern takes on classic musicals. This feels very relevant for our times and hard to imagine that it was written in the 40s.

Don't see it if if you aren't open to new interpretations. If you haven't seen Oklahoma I recommend reading a synopsis first (wish I did).

Also I could have lived without the dream ballet. I understand why it was t... Read more Read less

88
Well written, Well acted, Funny/serious, Powerful, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a smart play about teen girls that deals with important topics. Funny, heartbreaking, touching. This onepacks a punch.

Don't see it if you just aren't interested in how girls interact and what their cruelty toward each other masks. I wish this was longer and went deeper.