John 86

New York City | 50-64 | Male
About:  Stage director, playwright, and teacher. Avid theatre-goer
Reviews (87)
98
Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Profound
May 4th, 2022

See it if you want a serious play about friendship and navigating whatever life throws at you

Don't see it if you are looking for a light comedy or dislike plays with a message

Also The writing in this play is so outstanding. The author is one of Ameri... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Delightful
April 28th, 2022

See it if you want a play about family and finding one's place in life

Don't see it if you want a light comedy because this play has serious moments about the ups and downs of life

Also Debra Messing is excellent in portraying all the different ages of her... Read more Read less

98
Company (Broadway)
Midtown W
Brilliant songs, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Must see
April 11th, 2022

See it if want to see a brilliant revival of one of Broadway's greatest musicals with a innovative and masterful staging

Don't see it if you somehow don't appreciate Sondheim's work

Also The gender reversal works beautifully. The direction is creative and f... Read more Read less

79
Unnecessary media, Unnecessary staging, Great songs, Entertaining
December 16th, 2019

See it if you love Cole Porter's songs or if you love Harry Connick's style of singing and personality

Don't see it if you'll be put off by having so many Porter standards done in a jazz style

83
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Uneven, Interesting structure
October 6th, 2019

See it if you want to see a serious play that interweaves three parallel stories

Don't see it if you are not interested in gay themes, are offended by males kissing, or want a light evening of entertainment

98
Outstanding design, Outstanding acting/singing/dancing, Outstanding direction, Wildly entertaining, Spectacular
September 7th, 2019

See it if you loved the original film or if you want to see one of the best Broadway musicals in several seasons

Don't see it if you're not interested in using pop songs to tell a story set in 1899 Paris

69
Well-directed, Sophomoric, Edgy, Disappointing, Overrated
August 17th, 2019

See it if you're interested in a musical filled with juvenile humor

Don't see it if you want a musical with a strong score or if you're offended by profanity and religious humor

95
Road Show
Midtown W
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting, Great singing, Great writing
July 27th, 2019

See it if you want to see an excellent production of this show (much better that the one at the Public) and to hear Sondheim's masterful score

Don't see it if you aren't interested in Encores productions where they carry the scripts

Also The two lead performances by Raul Esparza & Brandon Uranowitz are subl... Read more Read less

79
Some great acting, Cliched, Entertaining, Great singing
June 3rd, 2019

See it if you love Cher's music or if you want to see an outstanding performance by Stephanie J. Block

Don't see it if you're looking for a musical with a strong book

Also Like so many of the "jukebox" musicals, the script is the weakest elem... Read more Read less

89
Clever, Intelligent, Ambitious, Edgy, Great staging
May 7th, 2019

See it if you want to see an innovative, unusual staging of a classic musical

Don't see it if you are a Rodgers & Hammerstein purist or if modern interpretations of older works including stressing the characters' sexuality bother you

Also The staging is excellent except for one major misstep (no pun intended... Read more Read less

95
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Great staging, Entertaining, Hilarious, Great singing, Great acting
April 27th, 2019

See it if you want to see an excellent, genuinely funny stage adaptation of the film and to see the outstanding lead performance by Santino Fontana

Don't see it if you're looking for a more non-traditional musical

85
Absorbing, Intelligent, Uneven, Great singing, Great acting
April 23rd, 2019

See it if you want to see the two great performers in an unusual performance piece

Don't see it if you are not well versed in Greek mythology or if you require a plot with a clear through-line

91
During previews
Brilliant score, Imaginative, Great set, Interesting, Intelligent
January 28th, 2019

See it if you want to see an interesting production of a top-notch musical and for the chance to hear Sondheim's superlative score

Don't see it if you're a Sondheim fan and will be disappointed that much of the transition music has been cut

95
Torch Song (NYC)
Midtown W
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking
January 2nd, 2019

See it if you want to see an excellent production of a brilliant play, with expert direction and an outstanding performance by Michael Urie

Don't see it if you're not interested in plays that focus on gay characters

79
Good acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing
December 26th, 2018

See it if you want to see a good representation of the classic novel

Don't see it if you love the novel and will be disappointed with the way the book has been adapted

Also The almost constant changes of scenery seem unnecessary and impede the... Read more Read less

88
Lured
East Village
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant
November 19th, 2018

See it if you are looking for a serious play that is well written and has an interesting structure

Don't see it if you are offended by gay themes, violence, strong language, or brief male nudity

69
During previews
Uneven, Some great acting, Confusing, Ineffective direction and design, Disappointing
November 3rd, 2018

See it if you enjoy political plays or want to see an amazing performance by Raul Esparza

Don't see it if you're looking for a light entertainment or if you're bothered by theatre that parallels the current political climate

79
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Uneven
September 8th, 2018

See it if you're interested in plays that explore gay themes, especially acceptance, and themes about finding meaning in empty lives

Don't see it if you're looking for a light evening of theatre or you're not interested in plays dealing with fighting for gay rights

35
During previews
Trainspotting Live
Midtown W
Incoherent, Disappointing, Edgy, Overrated
July 9th, 2018

See it if you're a fan of the novel or film

Don't see it if you're offended by near-constant profanity, drug use, and brief nudity or if you're looking for a linear plot

Also The Scottish accents are very heavy, making it difficult to understand... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Silly, Entertaining, Clever, Quirky, Funny
June 16th, 2018

See it if you like goofy parodies of science fiction films with a touch of improvisation, performed by 3 versatile actors

Don't see it if you're looking for something deep or if you're put off by "anything goes" type of comedy where some gags work and others don't

75
Entertaining, Great singing, Cliched, Weak script
June 16th, 2018

See it if you like disco-era music or are a huge Donna Summer fan

Don't see it if you are looking for a musical with a strong book

95
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing, Entertaining
May 26th, 2018

See it if you love Lerner and Loewe or you want to see an excellent production of a classic Broadway musical.

Don't see it if you're looking for something edgy or a radical re-thinking of the show

Also Interesting interpretation of the characters of Higgins and Eliza. Har... Read more Read less

69
During previews
The Stone Witch
Midtown W
Slow, Cliched, Good acting, Excellent set design and projections
March 17th, 2018

See it if you like plays about the creative process

Don't see it if you are looking for a play with deep insights

95
For a previous production
Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious, Clever, Must see
March 12th, 2018

See it if you're looking for a play that will make you laugh non-stop for two hours

Don't see it if you're looking for a deep or serious play

65
Party Face
Midtown W
Dull, Disappointing, Slow, Cliched, Good acting
March 3rd, 2018

See it if you are feeling nostalgic and want to see Hayley Mills on stage

Don't see it if you are looking for a really funny comedy or if you're looking for a play that treats some serious issues with more insight

88
During previews
Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy, Funny, Romantic
March 1st, 2018

See it if you are looking for a light, goofy, fun musical

Don't see it if you are interested in a musical with a strong book or if you're not a fan of Jimmy Buffet's music

80
Hey, Look Me Over!
Midtown W
Entertaining, Great singing, Funny
February 8th, 2018

See it if you are interested in seeing excerpts from some neglected Broadway musicals

Don't see it if you are looking for a book musical or a razzle- dazzle revue

Also The evening might have been more successful if it had been only showst... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Balls
Midtown E
Great staging, Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant
January 20th, 2018

See it if you are interested in the the themes of equality and the current state of the world and/or if you're interested in very interesting staging

Don't see it if you are bothered by non-linear plots

83
Aladdin (Broadway)
Midtown W
Entertaining, Colorful, Glitzy
December 26th, 2017

See it if you want a lavish, old fashioned, family friendly musical

Don't see it if you are looking for a serious musical with a deep plot

91
Brigadoon
Midtown W
Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Romantic, Great dancing
November 20th, 2017

See it if you want to see a superior production of a classic musical

Don't see it if you don't like romantic musicals or you're bothered by shows with minimal sets

90
Imaginative, Clever, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting
November 12th, 2017

See it if you want to see an interesting interpretation of one of Shakespeare's lesser produced works

Don't see it if you only enjoy full productions of Shakespeare. This one is cut to 90 minutes with only five actors

Also The actors do a masterful job of playing multiple characters. The dire... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Interesting staging, Good acting, Great writing, Relevant
November 5th, 2017

See it if you are looking for an interesting production of Euripides' great anti-war play

Don't see it if you don't like modern dress productions of classics

20
During previews
Fuck Marry Kill
West Village
Confusing, Overlong, Banal, Excruciating, Chaotic mess
October 29th, 2017

See it if you have 3 hours to waste or care about the problems of whiny, self-indulgent adolescents

Don't see it if you are bothered by simulated sex, violence, rampant drug use, incest or you are interested in a coherent, well-written play

Also The play is poorly written (and at least 30 minutes needs to be cut) a... Read more Read less

60
Disappointing, Quirky, Entertaining, Not enough variety
October 14th, 2017

See it if you are interested in a show entirely comprised of music

Don't see it if you are expecting a play with a plot

Also The performers are obviously very talented. But there needs to be more... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Up the Rabbit Hole
East Village
Inconsistent, Cliched, Entertaining, Slow starting, Thought-provoking
September 24th, 2017

See it if you are interested in the problems of addiction or a play about dealing with adoption

Don't see it if you are put off by gay themes, drug use, or simulated sex

75
Loveless Texas
East Village
Uneven, Entertaining, Fluffy, Romantic
September 16th, 2017

See it if you're in the mood for a light musical or if you know Shakespeare's play and can enjoy spotting the parallels

Don't see it if you don't enjoy Country/Western music as the score is a series of variations on Country Western themes

Also The musical's first act is fun as it comes up with some interesting wa... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense
September 9th, 2017

See it if you want to see an interesting take on the theme of what constitutes evil in the world

Don't see it if you are put off by depictions of violence and sex or dislike stylized staging

Also The staging is very stylized which works exceedingly well in underscor... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Expecting Isabel
Midtown W
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Intelligent, Uneven
June 11th, 2017

See it if you're interested in a comedy that also deals with serious issues and has moments of pathos

Don't see it if you're not interested in all the ins and outs of trying to have a baby

Also The play has numerous scenes and locations. The director's way of hand... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Uneven
May 28th, 2017

See it if you're in the mood for a spoof of film noir and/or Zola's "Therese Raquin"

Don't see it if you're expecting a show with a consistent style and pace and that is funny throughout

92
Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Great staging, Great score
May 28th, 2017

See it if you want to see an excellent revival of a great Broadway musical

Don't see it if you are looking for a new take on the material

88
During previews
Pacific Overtures
East Village
Great singing, Great score, Intelligent, Clever, Relevant
April 22nd, 2017

See it if you want to see a minimalist staging of this great work and hear most of Sondheim's masterful score

Don't see it if you're expecting an elaborate production or if you're a Sondheim fan and will be annoyed that they cut one of his best numbers

Also The number cut is "Chrysanthemum Tea" and its exclusion is a serious e... Read more Read less

30
Perversion
West Village
Confusing, Disappointing, Banal, Indulgent, Slow
April 8th, 2017

See it if There is no reason to see this play.

Don't see it if you are looking foe an entertaining or thought-provoking play

Also The playwright thinks he is making profound thoughts on contemporary A... Read more Read less

48
Sub-Basement
West Village
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Pretentious
April 3rd, 2017

See it if you're in the Village and have 80 minutes to waste

Don't see it if you are put off by non-realistic, absurdist- type plays

Also The playwright is trying to make relevant points about contemporary so... Read more Read less

98
For a previous production
Daniel's Husband
Midtown W
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
March 27th, 2017

See it if are interested in great contemporary plays on relevant topics that pack an emotional wallop

Don't see it if you are put off by topics such as gay marriage; but really, there's no reason not to see this exceptional play

100
During previews
Must see, Masterful, Great writing, Exquisite, Great singing
February 21st, 2017

See it if you want to hear Sondheim's magnificent score and see, arguably, the best play about what it means to be an artist

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see it!

Also Jake Gyllenhaal's and Annaleigh Ashford's performances are outstanding

78
Funny, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Cliched
February 13th, 2017

See it if you are interested in gay themes/characters and topical situations

Don't see it if you are bothered by frank talk or are conservative

Also The play suffers from too many short scenes and blackouts and from nee... Read more Read less

79
Uneven, Edgy, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
January 30th, 2017

See it if you like episodic shows that are topical as well as entertaining

Don't see it if you need a show with a strong through-line or are put-off by a show that is hit or miss; some material works, some doesn't

80
Sleep No More
Chelsea
Edgy, Great staging, Intense, Great design, Ambitious
January 25th, 2017

See it if you like interactive shows and an unusual theatrical experience

Don't see it if you need a linear plot or are looking for an original take on MACBETH as the connection to Shakespeare's play is tenuous at best

79
The Front Page
Midtown W
Funny, Dated, Cliched, Entertaining, Some great acting
December 18th, 2016

See it if you enjoy old-fashioned comedies with some serious ideas and if you're a Nathan Lane fan - he's great. Just get past the mediocre first act

Don't see it if you're expecting hilarity throughout or expert acting from the entire cast - some of the performances are disappointing

65
Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Edgy
December 11th, 2016

See it if you are in Long Island City and want to see a play and there's little else. Though the performance of the lead actor is excellent

Don't see it if you are looking for a well-written play that has something interesting to say