John Francis

Hawley | 18-24 | Male
About:  Theatre student. Director. See 70+ productions a year.
Reviews (110)
60
During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if stuffed with sitcom humor and thin characters. unfortunately, the brutal subject matter act a substitute for dimensional​ characters

Don't see it if let down by all aspects of this piece. directing and design felt uninspired, and many performances felt cartoonish at times

85
Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if if you like a well made, thought provoking new British play on what it means to be responsible. Superbly acted, directed, and designed.

Don't see it if you don't like slower more traditional plays. This does take a while to really get going.

45
During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated, Boring

See it if couldn't really recommend this. Chloe Sevigny is flat out terrible in this play that says nothing new, and almost nothing at all.

Don't see it if you're expecting a play that interrogates an interesting, complex time in history. Cast is universally mediocre and uninspired.

60
During previews
Disappointing, Insipid, Overrated

See it if you must see Uma on stage. Otherwise this poorly written play with Trump references shoehorned in offers very little insight/entertainment.

Don't see it if Poorly written and directed, Parisian Woman feels like a waste of talent and resources. The play thinks it has a lot to say, but it doesn't.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like dystopian narratives with strong central performances. A terrific and promising debut by Zoe Kazan, seamlessly designed & directed.

Don't see it if if dystopian narratives aren't your jam. The script also leaves a little something to be desired. At times it feels unfocused.

Also Special shout out to the terrific robot by Noah Mease and the beautifu... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you have an appreciation for fantastic older plays. Direction, design, and the performances lift this play and make it urgently resonant.

Don't see it if if slow burn dramas are not your deal. The play takes it's time and requires to you listen.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great staging, Resonant

See it if see it for Posner's exciting new play about the difficulty of loving an aging mother. Outstanding central performances, direction, & design.

Don't see it if you're not willing to overlook the play's sometimes odd tonal changes and occasional lack of focus. An exciting debut play nonetheless.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in engaging with a thought provoking but not totally successful play about rape. Satire is funny here, but not successful

Don't see it if if you are squeamish about rape. It is tackled head on here.

Also Perkins gives an outstanding performance.

65
During previews
Disappointing, Slow

See it if you're a Horton Foote die-hard. But there is no denying that this a lesser play. A superb cast, save for the leading actress.

Don't see it if you can't stand slow moving dramas. Just not enough of interest here for me. And the leading actress does not have the chops to pull it off.

75
During previews
Entertaining, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if see it for Hall's great performance in a relatively bland play that features a singular great twist.

Don't see it if lots of weird bits of staging and design. Was surprised by how seemingly uninspired the physical production was. The script needs some work.

Also The play has a lot of interesting things to say about depression, anxi... Read more Read less

70
Absorbing, Confusing, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you're intersted in an avant-garde, multi-media, take on isolation and imprisonment. Echoes of 1984. Stunning choreography and projections.

Don't see it if you don't like works that mix mediums. The piece is theatre, visual art, and dance. It certainly isn't for anyone, but a breath of fresh air

65
Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Confusing

See it if you're willing to accept a lesser play from a great playwright. Contains the kernels of some great ideas, but is overwritten and confusing.

Don't see it if if you can't stand 2 hour plays without intermission. The piece really drags in the last 35 minutes. Even the great acting can't save it.

90
Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Riveting, Relevant

See it if for an absolutely top notch production of Hellman's incredible play. The entire cast is at the top of their game and the design is stunning.

Don't see it if if you can't stand traditionally structured 3 act plays. But even if you don't think you like them, this production may change your mind.

Also I saw Laura Linney as Regina and Cynthia Nixon as Birdie, and I'd high... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great staging, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in supporting new, exciting, American, plays on Broadway. A relevant play about immigrants, homophobia, and our history.

Don't see it if if you're looking for a strictly uplifting evening. INDECENT tells a terrible true story with genuine heart.

Also Beautiful staging by Rebecca Taichman. Also only 90 minutes. An import... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you're looking for a finely crafted, intelligent, subversive, and thought provoking evening about Jewish culture, history, identity & family

Don't see it if you can't handle a more traditional longer family drama style play. The play builds slowly and carefully and takes its time.

90
During previews
Relevant, Resonant, Intelligent, Epic, Great acting

See it if you want to understand how Trump was elected. Excellent, moving, and timely new play. Performed by a tremendous ensemble cast. No weak link.

Don't see it if you're uninterested in socio-political dramas. But in this moment, I don't know how you couldn't be. Excellent play.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Resonant

See it if see it for Marin Ireland's incredible performance of a mother who's lost her son in a shooting. Jen Schriever's lighting is also outstanding

Don't see it if you generally don't care for solo pieces. The show is a little saturated in imagery and doesn't quite the cathartic punch you want it to.

65
During previews
Disappointing, Great staging, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in female driven narratives/the suffragette movement. In interesting new play that unfortunately falls flat.

Don't see it if if you're expecting great play. This isn't really a play so much as an interesting anecdote, smartly directed, designed and acted.

Also What an odd show. There were unfortunately no real stakes or questions... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Disappointing, Quirky, Great design, Has so much potential

See it if you're willing to overlook an overwritten play about the World's Fair for exciting narrative details, strong acting, and outstanding design.

Don't see it if you're expecting relevance and cohesion. The play wants to be three plays and unfortunately spreads itself too thin between 3 plots.

Also the show ran under two hours when I saw it (no intermission) and it is... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Ambitious, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Disappointing

See it if see it for Janie's Dee excellent performance and a compelling and smart new script by Penny Skinner.

Don't see it if The ensemble is uneven and the set doesn't serve the play. This was a lackluster production of a play with much potential.

Also Lynne Meadow proves once again that she shouldn't be allowed to helm a... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Thought-provoking

See it if you like BBJ's writing, modern updates on classic tales, and overall exciting, unique and challenging new theatre.

Don't see it if you can't stand unconventional structure, staging, and narrative. If you are looking for the well-made play, go elsewhere.

Also I found EVERYBODY to be a really exciting night at the theatre. Unlike... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Funny, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if see it for Martin McDonagh's great writing brilliantly serviced by an incredible cast of four. A slow burn of a play, but gripping.

Don't see it if if you aren't able to really sit with characters for the evening. It's a slow play, but your patience is rewarded.

60
Disappointing, Dated, Indulgent, Slow

See it if see it for Austin Pendleton's performance. He does the best he can with overwritten material and aimless direction.

Don't see it if you expect a great play. The play itself needs lots of cuts and playwright Stuart Fail does him self no favors by also directing. It's long.

70
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if see it for the kernels of a really exciting narrative and strong ensemble performances

Don't see it if unfortunately the play's undercooked and not fully realized moments outweigh the exciting fully fleshed out ones. Worth wild nevertheless...

Also The play looks at the connecting threads between male violence, assass... Read more Read less

90
Exquisite, Must see, Profound, Refreshing, Unique

See it if this is a really incredible, deeply profound, 75 minutes that creates a community and a world out of a room of strangers. Go.

Don't see it if you truly can't stand audience participation or interaction. Although, understand its nothing like you've ever seen/participated in before.

Also Note that you are not asked to talk or speak as apart of the participa... Read more Read less

55
During previews
Raunchy, Missed opportunity, Hollow, Insipid

See it if O'Hara's new drama is manages to be both boring, poorly written, and slightly offensive. Not sure why this is being given the platform it is

Don't see it if you've liked Robert O'Hara's previous work. Loved Bootycandy and Barbecue but O'Hara misses the mark here, big time.

85
During previews
Ambitious, Absorbing, Resonant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you love a political thriller. Joseph's play is smart, exciting, and filled with resonant history and interrogations of the truth & politics

Don't see it if you can't commit the energy to a longer play like this and aren't willing to really think about and grapple with the complex narrative.

85
During previews
Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if for an exciting new playwriting voice! Bioh's writing is funny, moving, smart, and necessary. Flawlessly performed and directed.

Don't see it if school girl humor isn't your thing.

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging, Riveting

See it if see it for a Denise Gough's superhuman performance of a recovering addict in MacMillan's excellent play. Outstanding production/design.

Don't see it if Macmillan's play isn't flawless, but it provides a vehicle for this incredible performance and production.

70
During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're looking for a nuanced interrogation of gun violence and the people behind school shootings. Puts voices on stage we haven't seen.

Don't see it if the play is overlong, and doesn't quite live up to its full narrative potential. However a lot can change in previews, and I expect it will.

55
Cliched, Dated, Disappointing

See it if for whatever reason you have some fondness for this dated, dusty, play and a production that doesn't help hide it's flaws.

Don't see it if if you're expecting a funny and or relevant production.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in a superb, heart-wrenching new play by Amy Herzog featuring an incredible cast lead by Coon. Outstanding design as well.

Don't see it if you can't stomach plays about children with severe disabilities. You never see/meet the child, but he is very much present in this play.

85
Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Niche

See it if this is a play for theatre people, and a smart/witty one at that. Superbly acted with a centerpiece performance by Pendleton.

Don't see it if I can imagine most of the show not being nearly as entertaining if you weren't in the theatre. The script could also stand to loose 15 min.

95
Absorbing, Epic, Masterful, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to see one of the most searingly relevant new plays of the season. The production's sweeping scale fits perfectly in the Beaumont.

Don't see it if you don't want to see/learn how people can learn to work towards peace. There is no reason to miss this excellent play.

85
During previews
Brutal, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if you're a fan of the novel. An exciting, brutal, and visually intense adaption. Wilde & Birney give a fabulous performances. Excellent design

Don't see it if the play is unnecessarily structurally confusing during a number of sections. Sturridge's performance also leaves something to be desire.

70
Ambitious, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you're looking for exciting and quirky downtown theatre. A delightfully weird play given a solid production.

Don't see it if the production doesn't totally congeal, and I found some of the language a bit laborious. The play's reach exceeds its grasp a little bit.

Also I love Clubbed Thumb and make habit of seeing their work every summer.... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Riveting

See it if Trip Cullman's sleek and riveting production is a must see. Incredible acting from the entire ensemble in a play that still resonates.

Don't see it if you're looking a more traditional production of the show. This is a stylish production of the play that breaths new life into it.

85
Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging, Smart, Relevant

See it if see it for 4 terrific performances, smartly directed and staged. Hnath's compelling play never drags and raises many interesting arguments.

Don't see it if I was a little let down by the play it self. I had hoped for more from Hnath. In my opinion The Christians remains his strongest writing.

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Clever, Resonant

See it if you're interested in Kneehigh's brand of whimsy and life-affirming theatrical charm. Great music. Great design. A real fun night out.

Don't see it if you are expecting Kneehigh's very BEST. I really enjoyed this piece but felt earlier work by the company (Tristan/Yseult) had been stronger.

Also The second act is leaps and bounds stronger than the first, be sure to... Read more Read less

85
For a previous production
Clever, Hilarious, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you love great physical comedy expertly performed by a witty top notch cast! I preferred this to Noises Off! Real great fun!

Don't see it if if you're looking for a searing drama. This is farce at its best.

65
During previews
Slow, Ambitious, Clever, Funny

See it if you're interested in strong female characters, exciting design, and the potential for something great. Unfortunately, The Moors falls flat.

Don't see it if you can't stand overwritten plays. The characters and the plot took too long to go anywhere. Also, if you don't like fog, this isn't for you

55
During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Great acting, Banal

See it if you're interested in a handful of really fine performances. Unfortunately Bond's play is real let down and never materializes into anything.

Don't see it if you're expecting lots of music from the Bengsons. It's pre-recorded and barely featured. The set is also particularly amateurish.

Also What a let down of an evening. I am a fan of so many artists involved ... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Must see, Resonant, Relevant

See it if you're looking for incredibly moving new musical about the human spirit. Beautiful music. Incredible feeling being in that theatre.

Don't see it if go see it.

Also This is the sleeper hit of the season! Go!

85
During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Moving, Quirky

See it if you're interested in a smartly written new play about moving through life single. Tremendous performance by Glick. Aptly directed/designed.

Don't see it if you're expecting the next great American play. S.O. is well written, but it's themes aren't quite potent/important enough to world altering.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great staging, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Epic

See it if you're looking for an incredible stripped bare production of Menagerie with an outstanding cast. Fields and Mantello shine.

Don't see it if you're looking for anything resembling a traditional staging and design of this show. If you don't like Ivo's work, you won't like this.

65
During previews
Clever, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if see it for Sobelle's winning charm/ personality and an incredible final illusion. The scenic design/installation is also wonderful.

Don't see it if ultimately I was let down by this show that seemed to offer huge potential. Sobelle does too little too late. Not sure the point...

Also There is very little magic/illusion in this production. The show consi... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Yen
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you want to witness a quartet of incredible performances, masterfully staged, and beautiful designed. An incredible brutal and real new play

Don't see it if if you can't take graphic language on stage or have trouble understanding thick accents.

80
For a previous production
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Romantic

See it if see for an unique and interesting narrative about singleness, dating, and gastronomy. Excellent design, direction and ensemble performances.

Don't see it if if you're expecting the next great American play. [Porto] is an entraining 90 minutes, but I was hoping for a little more in the writing...

80
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if see it for the incredible means of storytelling. The use of puppetry and overhead projector is incredible. Unlike anything I've ever seen.

Don't see it if you are essentially watching a silent film (with a beautiful live score) but there is no dialogue and the narrative does drag a little bit.

90
For a previous production
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great singing, Romantic, Refreshing

See it if absolutely fabulous, soul stirring, foot-stomping, music performed by a talented and likable group of actor/musicians. Beautifully designed

Don't see it if if you're expecting a traditional musical or play. The show is a hybrid concert/cabaret/musical...and it works wonderfully.