John Clum

John Clum is a critic with Theatre Reviews by John Clum. 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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (45)
Preview amelie1
90
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"One of the best musicals of the season with a charming book by Craig Lucas and a tuneful, delightful score, better than any Tony-nominated score except, perhaps 'Dear Evan Hansen.' The small-scale production is visually witty and perfect for the tone of the material...What was most impressive is that the production caught the offbeat quality of the film without being the least bit heavy-handed." Full Review

Preview bandstand 800x1200 l1
60
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The cast is enormously talented—some sing, dance, act, and play instruments expertly. The music is catchy and tuneful, if forgettable...The band, onstage and in the pit is excellent...The dancing is fabulous...The fact that the script is so predictable is the show's principal problem. I kept trying to think of ways to make the book more interesting...For all its virtues, 'Bandstand' is saddled with a book that resembles a 1940s B musical...The war flashbacks are pretty cheesy." Full Review

Preview doll 0129m showscore keyart 800x1200  1
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"My first thought as I experienced this brilliant play is that it is too good for Broadway, which is sadder for Broadway than for the play...One of the fascinating aspects of the play and the simple but effective production by the ubiquitous Sam Gold is the confluence of past and present...Unlike 'Sweat,' which will probably win all the awards, 'A Doll's House, Part 2,' is never preachy. It never falls into melodrama. It deserved the cheering it got at the performance I attended." Full Review

Preview 181116 dh showscore bl
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

for a previous production "McKeever has crafted his play brilliantly, moving from witty banter to argument to crisis. There were a lot of laughs in the first half and a lot of sniffling during the denouement. Yet I could not help thinking how stupid the couple was...Brancato has paced the play effectively and the cast couldn't be better...It's not a masterpiece; it's an old-fashioned drama built to please. I don't mean that in a condescending way. It was a pleasure to experience such a well-made play." Full Review

Preview screenhunter 2587 jan. 09 20.02
35
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"A disappointment...I found it to be quite a despairing play...As a person of faith, I found the play amusing but sad and empty. An adaptation of a play about faith without any faith...As usual with Jenkins, the play is imbued with a great sense of theatre...Lila Neugebauer has used the space effectively but I felt that the actors were left to their own devices. The rhythm overall was a bit slack...This should be a frightening play. It wasn't." Full Review

Preview the liar white
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Corneille's comedy 'The Liar' is every bit as delightful as any play by Moliere...In this production, the language is the star of the show. David Ives has created a delightful feast of witty verse. It is sometimes anachronistic, sometimes raunchy, often surprising and always great fun. The actors seems to relish the chance to speak language like this... Veteran Michael Kahn has directed with flair, but never allows the physical action to upstage the verbal wit." Full Review

Preview the mikado white
60
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"I was pleasantly surprised at how good Sullivan's music is -- not great, but very good. The musical values of this production were excellent. Fine singing, good orchestra. However, all the camping and shameless mugging of the principals reminded me of why I don't like productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. This kind of awful hamminess seems to go with the territory...However, the audience was obviously full of fans of G&S and of this company and seemed to relish every moment." Full Review

Preview great comet1
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Chavkin and her designer Mimi Lien have created a thrilling piece of environmental theater...My problem with the musical is that, except for Pierre's music, beautifully sung by Josh Groban, and a song Sonya has about her relationship with her sister, I don't care much for the music...Little is melodic in a conventional sense. Malloy's lyrics often seem to be more prose than poetry...As always in New York, the cast is brimming with talent...It's great theatre, less great musical theatre." Full Review

Preview sob 0056m logoresize 800x1200px 3 720
65
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

for a previous production "Lynn Nottage's play has powerful moments, yet there is something that rings false about the play...The play seems to hover between realistic drama and docudrama…The second act, in which tensions come to a violent head, is far more effective than the talky first act…There are powerful moments in 'Sweat,' but there are flaws…The ensemble couldn't be better...Kate Whoriskey has given the play as much of a sense of authenticity as the script allows." Full Review

Preview heisenberg
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"In this play by Simon Stephens, we never fully understand Georgie's motivations...The focus is on the words and the actors. I wish I had seen the play in a more intimate space...This sort of eccentric romantic comedy about the unlikely coming together of two lonely people was once a staple of the commercial theatre and film. Stephens, who, I am convinced, can do just about anything brilliantly, has mastered the genre." Full Review

Preview 82258 2
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

“The originality of this show is in its engagement with the audience. It's very much an audience participation show...Daniel Radcliffe is his usual charming self onstage and he is surrounded by an excellent ensemble including Rachel Dratch of 'Saturday Night Live' fame. The show is fun, challenging, frightening at times. It does overstay its welcome a bit. An intermission-less 90 minutes would have been enough.” Full Review

Preview total.bent
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"'The Total Bent' is well worth seeing for its dynamic music, the star-making performance of Ato Blankson-Wood, who is filled to the brim with talent, and the great band. Everyone in this all-male cast is excellent. The production is more staged concert than full production, which doesn't help the muddle of the ending. Stew's attempt at rhymed dialogue and his lyrics are best when they are taking a humorous view toward a very serious topic." Full Review

Preview 13954 5
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Wolfe's book is intelligent and always absorbing. The musical numbers are all from the score of the original 'Shuffle Along' and they're terrific...The five leads are the crème de la crème of current musical stars...How often does one get to see this many great stars in the same show?..Nobody seems to be able to talk about anything but 'Hamilton' right now. 'Shuffle Along' is also a great show. Even the band is special. Don't miss it." Full Review

Preview southerncomfort
60
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"There's a lot that is conventional about 'Southern Comfort' despite its subject matter. The show is simply, effectively staged. The musicians take on the supporting roles. Julianne Wick Davis's music is pleasant, but forgettable. James J. Fenton has designed an attractive, rural looking unit set. Ultimately, this is what Stephen Sondheim would call a 'why' musical. Why turn this powerful film into a musical? It made me want to go back and look at the film again." Full Review

Preview rb180x278
70
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"One's response to this production will depend a lot on whether one enjoys Alex Timber's relentlessly inventive direction. There's no question of Timbers' love of theatre, nor is there any question of his ingenuity. However, he throws so much clever stuff at the audience at such a fast pace in this show that it can get exhausting...The music is delightful, the story amusing, the production highly imaginative. It just needs to relax a little." Full Review

Preview noisesoff
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Jeremy Herrin's revival is hilarious...'Noises Off' takes a cast of superb actors who are masters at physical comedy. The play has to be choreographed as completely as a ballet. The timing has to be perfect. One could not ask for a better cast than that appearing at the Roundabout. Andrea Martin is brilliant as always. Everyone else is fine, but I have to give special recognition to Megan Hilty's screamingly funny, uncoordinated dumb blond and Rob McClure's frantic stage manager." Full Review

Preview gigantic 180x270px
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"A fun adult musical, albeit an adult musical about teenagers--fat teenagers who are sent by their parents to a summer camp to lose weight. The narrative is somewhat predictable...Nothing deep or revelatory here, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The book is funny and fast-moving and the lyrics are very clever." Full Review

Preview niar200x300
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The power of Naomi Wallace's gripping 'Night is a Room' is in the selection of scenes to present. Her model seems to be classical Athenian tragedy, where the scenes give the audience the aftermath of momentous events that have taken place offstage. There are also echoes of classical tragedy in the Oedipal relationship at the center of the play and the heightened emotions of the characters...rich, poetic and highly erotic. It is, after all, about the power of sexual desire." Full Review

Preview barbecue public
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"'Barbecue' is both hilarious and thought provoking...Above all, it's great fun. O'Hara's theatrical world is always a bizarre cartoon-like distortion of reality. Director Kent Gash and the large cast has given the play an excellent, perfectly paced production. Highly recommended." Full Review

Preview leonard pelkey resized
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"It's a sad, sweet story, competently written and acted. If I seem dissatisfied, it's because the show seems a bit formulaic. I would have liked more richness, more subtlety, better writing. In other words, I would have liked it to dig deeper. It's all a bit too nice." Full Review

Preview twentiethcentway628 194x300
45
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"There are just too many theatrical metaphors embedded in this piece of metatheatre. The two fine actors work hard to bring the play to life, but the only real characters they play that elicit any feeling are the victims of entrapment. The two actors they play throughout are devices, not characters...A disappointment, I'm afraid. " Full Review

Preview guards1
70
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The points Joseph seems to be making in 'Guards at the Taj' seem rather simple and obvious for a two hour play. There's a lot of realistic physical detail -- a stage literally awash in blood for part of the play, but the play moves into more poetic realm at the end as we move more into the imagination of one of the characters...The two actors are excellent. I can't say that the play moved me." Full Review

Preview iowa1
20
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"OK, folks, I give up. If this was a brilliant, groundbreaking piece of musical theater, it left me totally cold...'Iowa' just throws stuff at the audience with no sense of coherence. I just wondered what drug Schwartz and Almond were on when they concocted this. Maybe I'm just too much of a stodgy traditionalist to get what this show was doing or even to care. I would have walked out of it if I could have gracefully." Full Review

Preview the golden apple
90
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"This is a real score, a worthy companion to the great American operas of the period...The musical values have been not only preserved but celebrated...Ryan Silverman and debutante Mikaela Bennett sing beautifully...Lindsay Mendez is her usual terrific self...Berresse's staging is simple but effective as is Bergasse's choreography. Bravo to Rob Berman for such superb musical direction...A real treat." Full Review

Preview getnly down the stream white
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Martin Sherman's sweet, funny play traces a decade in their ever-changing relationship...I've never been Harvey Fierstein's greatest fan but here he gives a beautifully modulated performance. There's some of the Fierstein shtick, but moments that are genuinely moving. Gabriel Ebert, as always, is charismatic onstage...'Gently Down the Stream' isn't a masterpiece but is well worth seeing, particularly for the teamwork of Fierstein and Ebert who obviously love performing together." Full Review

Preview img 0085
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"We've seen some elements of 'The Profane' before...However, Zayd Dohrn brings a different, fascinating focus to these materials...'The Profane' is a stimulating play, effectively directed by Trip Cullman and performed by a consistently fine ensemble." Full Review

Preview groundhog day1
65
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The book is clever but the show depends more on visual magic than dialogue. Tim Minchin's lyrics are always witty. His best tunes are in the second act...Is there any other musical in which the second act is stronger than the first?...The first act seemed frenetic and heartless...The second act slows down enough for characters to establish themselves in solid songs...Until Act II it all seems as heartless as its central character. Clever, yes. Spectacular, yes. It's also a bit exhausting." Full Review

Preview big river
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Miller's generous score, filled with bluegrass, country and gospel, is very much worth hearing. Some songs seem tangential, but the novel is so episodic that not much justification for a rousing song is necessary...Barasch is charming and sings and dances like an old pro. Jim, the slave, is a tricky part to play in the 21st century. Scatliffe gives him great strength, integrity and pathos...The production didn't win me over to Twain's book, but reminded me of of how talented Miller was." Full Review

Preview candide white
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"More a recreation than a rethinking...It has mainly been cast by Broadway performers...Meghan Picerno sings 'Glitter and Be Gay' brilliantly and is a charming Cunegonde. Broadway veteran Gregg Edelman is funny in all the comic roles without being too hammy...The rest of the cast is fine, the chorus superb, and the orchestral playing good...It's a lovely looking production, though every bit as empty headed as its title character. Still, the score is gorgeous and the company does it justice." Full Review

Preview rsz the babylon line
60
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"‘The Babylon Line’ is an enjoyable, though flawed, play superbly acted…The classroom scenes are very well written…Yet, as usual with Greenberg's plays, ‘The Babylon Line’ desperately needs editing. Aaron's character is little more than a cipher, yet he narrates the play and functions as its central character…Josh Radnor has to hold his part and the play together by the force of his own personality…‘The Babylon Line’ has some fine moments but doesn't totally cohere." Full Review

Preview fwd key 800x1200
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"'This Day Forward' is not the collection of funny, cruel one-liners that have dominated Silver's recent plays. It is far more rooted in character. It is funny, but also more character driven. Irene, young and old, is a fascinating character, the centerpiece of a play filled with rich characters. Mark Brokaw has paced the play perfectly and the ensemble couldn't be better...The play deserves a future in regional theatre and beyond. It is one of Silver's best." Full Review

Preview letter to a man white
80
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The reviewers seemed to find it incoherent and dull. We (my husband and I) found it fascinating and quite clear in its intention...At sixty-eight, Baryshnikov, one of the greatest dancers of the twentieth-century (I am glad I saw him in his prime with ABT and the City Ballet), is still a potent performer. Baryshnikov has always been open to new challenges. He moves gracefully and is blessed with an expressive face." Full Review

Preview fiorello mps
60
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The cast of 'Fiorello' was young, attractive, eager and talented, but not polished...The movement seemed forced, particularly since Michael Callahan's choreography throughout the show was mediocre and the dancing not very good. Bob Moss's staging is fluid and effective though everyone needed more character work...Worth seeing if you've never seen 'Fiorello' or if, like me, you love the score and were hungry for a revival." Full Review

Preview incognito1
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"This is a brilliant, witty play that in its best moments is also heartfelt. Under Doug Hughes' direction, the cast acts as an ensemble, like a great string quartet. Best is Charlie Cox, particularly in his touching impersonation of a man who has no memory. His Henry is sweet, but pained at his realization that he is mentally unmoored. This is one of the best plays I have seen so far this season." Full Review

Preview rsz daphnes dive white
45
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Well, they can't all be good. You can't fault the acting or Thomas Kail's direction of 'Daphne's Dive.' There's just not much of a play there, so little that one wonders why the Signature decided to produce this...One wonders how the saloon has survived for the nineteen years of the play's action. Over those nineteen years, the characters don't change except to drink more...The cast is so good that at some moments they almost convince the audience that there's a play there." Full Review

Preview indecent poster
90
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

for a previous production "Despite its dark subject matter, 'Indecent' is a superb theatrical celebration...Vogel's script is inspiring, Taichman's direction is lyrical and masterful, Dorfman's choreography looks natural. The company of actors and musicians couldn't be better. All in all, 'Indecent' is a lovely experience. The audience was on its feet cheering at the end. This was not one of those automatic Broadway standing ovations, but a heartfelt gesture of appreciation for something special." Full Review

Preview str 200x300 logo
30
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Did the writers intend 'Straight' to be a comedy or a serious drama? There was a lot of forced laughter for the first few minutes but it soon subsided. Eventually, my audience wanted to take the play seriously but Ben isn't deeply enough written for a successful serious play. However, comedy needs funny lines and these are rare in 'Straight'." Full Review

Preview shelovesme
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"This revival is the best production of the show I have seen including the original...'She Loves Me' has a great score, up there with the best scores that the American musical has produced...Laura Benanti sings her gorgeous songs as well as Barbara Cook did fifty-three years ago. That's high praise, but Benanti deserves it...I saw the second preview and was surprised at what good shape the show is already in. It can only get even better. A fabulous production of one of my favorite musicals." Full Review

Preview lazarus
30
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"I must admit that I spent most of 'Lazarus' in a state of bafflement...This is not a show with a linear narrative or anything resembling conventional dramatic characters. The question is whether there is anything to relate to emotionally...I'm afraid I didn't warm to 'Lazarus.' My husband loved it, so I may be in the wrong here." Full Review

Preview iav200x300
75
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Michael Wilson keeps the play moving and varies the tone as much as the script allows. The cast of seventeen is consistently strong...Arthur Miller is considered one of our best playwrights, yet his work has serious flaws. The very fact that there are no women in this discussion play is reflective of his very old-fashioned sexual politics...Nonetheless 'Incident at Vichy' is worth seeing. The arguments are timely and the performances are excellent." Full Review

Preview cloudnine show page artwork
25
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Despite an able cast, this revival had no tempo...This sluggish production in an uncomfortable space made one aware how repetitive that first act is. It seemed to go on forever. There were long pauses that certainly aren't written into the script. I have never heard so few laughs during the first act of 'Cloud Nine.' It isn't the cast's fault. Clearly this one is down to the director. I was not the only person to leave at the intermission." Full Review

Preview threesome white
70
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"'Threesome' is really two related one-act plays that would be stronger if they related more...El Guindi goes all solemn in the second act, unfortunately. He's at his best when he is outrageous...Chris Coleman has staged and paced the work effectively. All three actors are good...For all its flaws, 'Threesome' is worth seeing." Full Review

Preview gloria
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"The play begins with a good deal of humor. It is difficult to see where he is leading us at first, but it's the aftermath of the climax of the first of three scenes that is important...It was fine, Evan Cabnet's production could stand a bit of tightening, a clearer sense of tempo. That will no doubt come in time...'Gloria' it is the work of an important contemporary playwright and well worth seeing." Full Review

Preview azak1 1 213x300
95
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"Talbott has given his play a mesmerizing production...'Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait' deserves to be seen. As writer and director, Daniel Talbott is a true poet of the theater and Numrich and Miskell give extraordinary performances. There aren't a lot of seats in the Judson Gym and the play is not performed every night, so plan ahead." Full Review

Preview screenhunter 62 may. 13 17.57
85
Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"I hated this show at first, but it slowly won me over, not to love, but to a respect for what it was doing...The unconventional style of some of Malloy's music doesn't move me, but it's partly my problem. Yet the second half of 'Preludes' has some truly beautiful ballads...'Preludes' won me over. I'm tempted to go again. It's unconventional, but fascinating." Full Review