Jillbaila

Manhattan | 50-64 | Female
About:  Avid theatergoer!
Reviews (223)
83
During previews
Bella Bella
Midtown W
Funny, Engrossing, Relevant, History lesson

See it if you are interested in NY political history, remember Bella Abzug or are a Fierstein fan. 1970s politics feel strangely relevant today.

Don't see it if you can't deal with Harvey's voice--this is just him for 90 minutes. Helpful to understand a few words of Yiddish although not necessary.

Also There was some sort of malfunction with many of the assisted listening... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Requires concentration, Great acting and directing, Intimate, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy smaller, talky plays with some fabulous writing. Witty, funny lines but serious themes. There's a lot to digest in 90 minutes.

Don't see it if You aren't prepared to concentrate and give this your full attention. If you want more action. If you don't like quiet, small plays.

Also I wish this was in an off Broadway house. I was in 2nd row of the rear... Read more Read less

88
Entertaining, Cheesy, Great set/costumes, Dizzying, Pure spectacle

See it if for the spectacle of it all! Great performances all around but Olivo & Burstein shine. Enjoy for what it is & don't overthink it. It's fun!

Don't see it if you want substance and depth. If you don't like snippets of pop songs. This is an over the top jukebox musical on steroids.

68
During previews
Indulgent, Way too long, Ambitious, Uncomfortable, Provocative

See it if you want theater to challenge you. I appreciated this more than I liked it. Great acting and some brilliant moments but didn't work for me.

Don't see it if Over 2 hours w/out an intermission is way too long--all 3 acts could be cut. If you are disturbed by graphic sex and violence.

Also This was an audacious piece of theater that made me think and I apprec... Read more Read less

76
Road Show
Midtown W
Actors mostly on book, Great singing, Slow start

See it if you are a fan of Sondheim's work. Some lovely songs. Uranowitz and Jin Ha standouts. If you like Encores stripped down format.

Don't see it if not a great book and I don't feel the Encores format worked very well for this show. Presented as a radio broadcast but not consistently so.

Also There was a talkback after the Saturday matinee with Sondheim, Weidman... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Broadway Bounty Hunter
West Village
Entertaining, Fluffy, Energetic, Great singing, Silly fun

See it if you like shows that don't take themselves too seriously. Just enjoy without overthinking. Annie Golden is great with strong supporting cast.

Don't see it if you want something deep or profound. If you like big productions--this is pretty bare bones but makes effective use of projections.

74
Formulaic, Uninspired music, Silly, Talented cast, Entertaining enough

See it if Talented and energetic cast (including a few understudies) do a great job with mediocre material.

Don't see it if you're not very interested teenagers and/or sci-fi. Stories of teen angst have been done before and done better.

84
Working: A Musical
Midtown W
Touching, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing, Poignant

See it if some beautiful songs and fabulous voices. Andrea Burns a standout but strong overall cast. Solid Encores production.

Don't see it if you want a plot driven show-this is mostly a collection of songs. Some of the narratives worked better than others. Some clunky transitions.

87
During previews
Absorbing, Moving story, Beautiful music, Great singing

See it if to see a well constructed show where all parts work together--good acting, singing, music, story. I was invested in it from the beginning.

Don't see it if you don't like smaller or more minimalist staging. If you don't want to be see horrible racial injustice and abuse.

85
During previews
A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Emotional, Original, Great cast, Meta

See it if to experience the journey of the protagonist (playwright). While funny at times, his pain is palpable. Ambitious & creative show. Very meta.

Don't see it if not comfortable with LGBT themes, explicit depiction/description of sexuality, or going deep with painful experiences. Could be tightened.

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
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
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
The Day I Became Black
Soho/Tribeca
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
I Married an Angel
Midtown W
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
Behind the Sheet
Midtown W
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
The Cake
Midtown W
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
The Light
Midtown W
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
Call Me Madam
Midtown W
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
Avenue Q (NYC)
Midtown W
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
Awake
Midtown W
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

85
During previews
The Wrong Man
Midtown W
Riveting, Stark, Intense, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if Joshua Henry is phenomenal and rest of the cast is very strong. Music, dancing and choreography mostly great. Some powerhouse songs.

Don't see it if you want a flashy production--this is very simply but effectively staged. Story could be better fleshed out--it feels underdeveloped.

92
During previews
Unpredictable, Dizzying, Creative, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you like improv. The skills of these performers are top-notch. If you are open to a non-traditional theater experience.

Don't see it if you only want to see Lin-Manuel--no guarantee of who will be at any given show. If you don't like not knowing what to expect.

Also I was so lucky to win a lottery ticket and was even luckier that LIn-M... Read more Read less

76
During previews
The New Englanders
Midtown W
Forgettable, Watchable, Absorbing, Good acting

See it if you enjoy family dramas. Unfolds slowly and is entertaining while watching. I was engaged in the story and It held my interest throughout.

Don't see it if Some behavior of characters not believable. I don't think this one is going to stay with me.

69
Campy, Doesn't know what it wants to be, Some great singing, Too long, A hot mess but fun

See it if you like Meat Loaf and don't mind seeing a story that doesn't make sense. This would have been better as a 90 minute sung through show.

Don't see it if you want to know what you are seeing. Is it an earnest teen dystopian drama? A campy show that winks at the audience? Or just a hot mess?

69
During previews
Two's a Crowd
Midtown E
Indulgent, Fluffy, Rudner is delightful, Trite, Some funny moments

See it if for the funny lines sprinkled in what is otherwise a mediocre musical. Rudner is fun to watch.

Don't see it if would have worked better as a play rather than a musical. Under 2 hours but felt long. Trite, and predictable.

75
During previews
I Spy a Spy
Midtown W
Should be funnier, Repetitive, Way too long, Talented cast, Cute

See it if you like immigrant stories, to see a talented cast giving it their all. Willing to see a show that feels like a work in progress.

Don't see it if you don't have patience for songs that go on too long without providing new information. It's a clever premise that doesn't always deliver.

50
Fairview
Brooklyn
Provocative, Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Bizzare

See it if to see an experimental play that deals with race. If you like absurdist theater. If you want to see this year's Pulitzer prize winner.

Don't see it if I appreciate that the writer wanted to make a statement about race/racism but this just didn't work for me. I didn't like it at all.

79
Dizzying, Inconsistent, Funny, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you like improv and are willing to take a chance Talented cast and pianist. Some skits worked better than others. Silly fun.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of improv. If it will bother you when some moments fall flat.Not as good as Freestyle Love Supreme--they set a high bar.

80
Luzia
Queens
Inconsistent, Entertaining, Great acrobatics, Visually beautiful

See it if you want to see some phenomenal performers in a mostly good (but very by the book) Cirque show and don't mind some weaker numbers mixed in.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Cirque du Soleil, this won't make you one. They do what they do well but it can get repetitive.

Also One of the most badly behaved audiences that I have encountered. Numer... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Dying City
Midtown W
Could go deeper, Slow at times, Intense, Thought-provoking, Well acted

See it if you enjoy study of relationships, plays with talk not action. Story unfolded like a mystery, info revealed little by little.

Don't see it if you don't like going back and forth in time, or same actor playing 2 roles (although it was very clear which he was at all times).

Also While this isn't a perfect play, I don't understand the low reviews he... Read more Read less

72
High Button Shoes
Midtown W
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
White Noise
East Village
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
Nassim
Midtown W
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
Superhero
Midtown W
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
Freestyle Love Supreme
West Village
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
Alice By Heart
Midtown W
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
Generation NYZ
East Village
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
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
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.