John 86

New York City | 50-64 | Male
About:  Stage director, playwright, and teacher. Avid theatre-goer
Reviews (75)
91
During previews
Brilliant score, Imaginative, Great set, Interesting, Intelligent

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

79
Good acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing

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

69
During previews
Uneven, Some great acting, Confusing, Ineffective direction and design, Disappointing

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

35
During previews
Incoherent, Disappointing, Edgy, Overrated

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

75
Entertaining, Great singing, Cliched, Weak script

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

69
During previews
Slow, Cliched, Good acting, Excellent set design and projections

See it if you like plays about the creative process

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

65
Dull, Disappointing, Slow, Cliched, Good acting

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

80
Entertaining, Great singing, Funny

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

83
Entertaining, Colorful, Glitzy

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

90
Imaginative, Clever, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

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

20
During previews
Confusing, Overlong, Banal, Excruciating, Chaotic mess

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

78
During previews
Inconsistent, Cliched, Entertaining, Slow starting, Thought-provoking

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

90
During previews
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense

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

65
During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Uneven

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

88
During previews
Great singing, Great score, Intelligent, Clever, Relevant

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

48
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Pretentious

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

100
During previews
Must see, Masterful, Great writing, Exquisite, Great singing

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

79
Uneven, Edgy, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

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

79
Funny, Dated, Cliched, Entertaining, Some great acting

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

85
Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Interesting, Great staging

See it if you like immersive theater experiences done with a great eye for detail

Don't see it if you need a play with a strong plot or if you dislike interacting with actors and being left alone in small spaces

79
Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Surprising

See it if you like plays with an unexpected twist

Don't see it if you find stories with what the play calls "magic realism" uninteresting

88
Entertaining, Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Funny

See it if you enjoy musicals with an interesting premise performed by a talented group of singer/musicians

Don't see it if you need a linear plot or are uninterested in revue-type musicals

90
During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an interesting adaptation of one of the great plays of the modern theatre

Don't see it if you don't appreciate some updating to make the play relevant to today's world

82
Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you enjoy musicals that explore serious themes

Don't see it if you need a linear plot or a traditional Broadway-style musical score

85
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like serious, realistic plays that also contain symbolism

Don't see it if you're looking for a light entertainment or if you dislike plays with overlapping dialogue

95
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

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

88
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

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

79
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Uneven

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

79
During previews
Silly, Entertaining, Clever, Quirky, Funny

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

95
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing, Entertaining

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

95
For a previous production
Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious, Clever, Must see

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

88
During previews
Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy, Funny, Romantic

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

85
During previews
Great staging, Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

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

91
Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Romantic, Great dancing

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

79
Absorbing, Interesting staging, Good acting, Great writing, Relevant

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

60
Disappointing, Quirky, Entertaining, Not enough variety

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

75
Uneven, Entertaining, Fluffy, Romantic

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

75
During previews
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Intelligent, Uneven

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

92
Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Great staging, Great score

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

30
Confusing, Disappointing, Banal, Indulgent, Slow

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

98
For a previous production
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

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

78
Funny, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Cliched

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

80
Edgy, Great staging, Intense, Great design, Ambitious

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

65
Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Edgy

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

98
Must see, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you like innovative musicals with some of the best staging you'll ever see. Josh Groban is amazing

Don't see it if you dislike sung-through musicals or need a more traditional Broadway type score

79
Intelligent, Intense, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a straightforward production of one of Shakespeare's masterworks and for the great performance by the actor playing Iago

Don't see it if you don't like modern dress Shakespeare or plays staged with the audience on four sides of the action. Some scenes may be blocked from view

78
Funny, Raunchy, Quirky, Uneven, Edgy

See it if you like outrageous comedies that also attempt to address serious issues

Don't see it if you're put off by adult language, sexual situations, and nudity (though very brief)

48
Insipid, Amateurish, Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if there is nothing else to see

Don't see it if you're interested in a well-done musical. The book and score are poor as is the direction and most of the acting

88
Entertaining, Delightful, Great staging, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you're interested in Carole King's story and 50s/60s pop songs

Don't see it if you like a strong script or if you're opposed to jukebox musicals and feel that pop songs don't constitute a true Broadway score

80
Clever, Original, Romantic, Indulgent, Great acting

See it if like interesting modern dress productions of Shakespeare

Don't see it if you dislike Shakespeare done with only 6 actors and where some of the directorial ideas are odd