John Fred

New York City | 65+ | Male
About:  I am a recently retired public high school theater teacher. I taught for 34 years in 4 high schools in three states. I directed over 100 high school plays and musicals. I miss teaching very much. I miss all my wonderful, inspiring students. I love to attend all types of the theater from large B... Read more Read less
Reviews (266)
84
Chester Bailey
Chelsea
Profound, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing
October 19th, 2022

See it if you want see 2 great actors working very hard with a challenging text. The play at first is very confusing but eventually works out

Don't see it if if you want a normal type drama with a plot that can easily be understood. It has lots of dramatic tricks- some real some not.

61
This Beautiful Future
West Village
Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Quirky, Confusing
October 19th, 2022

See it if you want to see a very challenging play with great acting yet confusing staging between all of the actors. What was actually going on?

Don't see it if if you are looking for light entertainment easy to understand.

97
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting
October 19th, 2022

See it if you want to see an intense play about the struggles of black people among themselves and others over the years. Brilliantly written & acted

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play with only black actors.

73
Washington Square
West Village
Minimal, Slow, Great acting, Entertaining
October 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see a play about a wealthy family trying to keep their wealth from being squandered by stranger that enters their lives.

Don't see it if you want to see a lavish production with lots of technical aspects

84
Intense, Epic, Edgy, Confusing, Ambitious
October 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see a very large cast portray the lives of a wealthy Jewish Australian family over ten decades living in very difficult times.

Don't see it if you want to see a easy to understand play about a Jewish family trying to live their lives in comfort

81
1776 (Broadway)
Midtown W
Great singing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious
October 9th, 2022

See it if It is a new way of looking at our forefathers engaging in important issues of our country.

Don't see it if You want a realistic portrait of our forefathers all of whom were male working on America's Declaration on Independence.

95
Refreshing, Epic, Funny, Great singing, Clever
October 1st, 2022

See it if See it if you have never seen it before. It is a classic modern musical written by Steven Sondheim. One of his best.

Don't see it if if you only like to see traditional musicals and do not want to be a bit challenged. The actors pushed the comedy too much to the audience.

87
I’m Revolting
Chelsea
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing, Clever
October 1st, 2022

See it if you like plays with great dialogue and a group of stories about people in a doctors waiting room bunched together. The acting is great.

Don't see it if you are looking for a comedy that goes all the way to make you laugh. The play has some very serious moments.

82
Jasper
Midtown W
Intense, Great acting
September 25th, 2022

See it if you want to see a play about a family dealing with child chronic illness that affects the family dymanics

Don't see it if you don't want to see upset by illness especially in children.

60
Strings Attached
Midtown W
Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing, Banal, Ambitious
September 22nd, 2022

See it if if you want to see great performers in an OK story.

Don't see it if you want to see a traditional musical with a story that you can get involved in. Thank god there was an intermission you the audience could

80
Los Otros
Midtown W
Confusing, Quirky, Great acting, Great singing
September 22nd, 2022

See it if you want to see great solo singing by both a male and female. The story is just okay but not engaging.

Don't see it if you want to see a traditional musical with a great story and to see the characters go though it. There is not much Drama to see.

65
An Unbalanced Mind
Midtown W
Slow, Cliched, Great singing, Confusing
August 16th, 2022

See it if If you want to see very good performers with good voices and talent doing the best they can with the material they were given.

Don't see it if If your looking to get involved emotionally in a story. The narration was very confusion and thoughts were scattered all over the place

90
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent, Profound
August 15th, 2022

See it if you want to see a play that has an engaging story about a family and neighbors with difficult relationships. It is beautifully staged

Don't see it if you are wanting to see a lighthearted comedy with a happy ending. I would advise do not bring children to this show.

88
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious
August 13th, 2022

See it if you are up for a challenge. The acting and staging are superb - the story is told in a unique way and is sometimes hard to follow.

Don't see it if you don't want to have a challenging evening in the theater. The show goes in many different directions and it is difficult to follow.

90
The Butcher Boy
Chelsea
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Edgy
August 13th, 2022

See it if if you want to see a great musical with a challenging story line. All the actors did a great job.

Don't see it if if you are looking for a lighthearted musical comedy. Some of the show especially the ending is very disturbing.

86
The Nosebleed
Upper W Side
Great acting, Quirky, Indulgent, Clever, Funny
August 13th, 2022

See it if you want to see a comedy that keeps you guessing all the time about what the show is about.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy audience participation in a show. The audience is expected to get involved to keep the show moving forward

84
Chains
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent
July 18th, 2022

See it if If you like to see plays that you might see on BBC. You want to see people who are caught in a situation that they trapped in.

Don't see it if If you don't care for a English drawing room drama that explores the working class wanting to free themselves to explore adventure.

96
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious, Absorbing
July 18th, 2022

See it if You want to see a challenging gay play about he contrast between 2 pandemics (AIDS & COVID). - sharply told from characters from both worlds

Don't see it if You are disturbed by the subject matter. It is compelling and emotional in some parts.

Also It is one of the best gay plays that I have seen in long time. It is i... Read more Read less

84
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing
July 18th, 2022

See it if You want to see a well written play that is topical and relevant for our times. It builds to an interesting climax.

Don't see it if You don't have an interest in how local politics mimics the needs of the community, and how people are marginalized.

67
Slow, Funny, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing
July 18th, 2022

See it if If you want to hear one actor talking directly to the audience the entire show. The situation while being obsessive it entertaining moments

Don't see it if If one-persons show annoy you and the subject becomes very repetitive.

80
Quirky, Entertaining, Refreshing, Funny, Clever
July 18th, 2022

See it if You like to see Billy Crystal in a show that displays his diverse talents. Act I is fun, and Act II is more serious and relatable.

Don't see it if If you really don't care to see a vaudevillian type of show.

Also Shoshana Bean was an excellent actor ans singer throughout the entire ... Read more Read less

92
Between The Lines
Midtown W
Great singing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful, Ambitious
July 18th, 2022

See it if You want to see a Disney-like production with a much more profound meaning. Each actor plays more than one role exceptionally.

Don't see it if You don't care to see fabled and real life characters struggling to find their way during difficult times.

Also The staging ,scenery and projections are Broadway quality. Amazing spe... Read more Read less

90
Great writing, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing
June 27th, 2022

See it if if you want to see the original actors reprising their roles of over 20 yrs. ago. The play still holds the same weight as it did originally.

Don't see it if the subject of sexual abuse in a family is a disturbing subject.

80
Resonant, Ambitious, Great acting
June 27th, 2022

See it if you want to a family of 3 generations that are struggling to reconnect as a family unit.

Don't see it if you are bothered by a play with a gay theme

93
Little Girl Blue
Midtown W
Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Absorbing
June 27th, 2022

See it if you want to emotionally experience the life of Nina Simone. The acting and the singing was excellent in her portrayal.

Don't see it if If not interested in one-woman shows.

96
Must see, Masterful, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing
June 27th, 2022

See it if you want to see an absorbing musical about New York history during the Civil War, based on a true story of the Irish immigrants and Blacks.

Don't see it if you want a standard musical where you don't have get emotionally involved in the story and each groups fights for a place in society.

93
Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever
June 27th, 2022

See it if you want to see a small scale delightful musical with twist and turns that are very funny and at times emotional. The performers -excellent.

Don't see it if your not interested a Shakespearean drama turned upside down into modern musical version of the play.

80
Epiphany
Upper W Side
Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Ambitious
June 27th, 2022

See it if you want to see a large cast drama with great acting getting together after a long time and trying to make sense of their lives.

Don't see it if your not patient enough to wait as the drama unfolds.

72
Hangmen (Broadway)
Midtown W
Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Ambitious
June 27th, 2022

See it if You want to see a large cast drama that involves the death penalty and how the English penal system worked.

Don't see it if The actors had a heavily British accents., and at times it was hard to hear and understand.

78
Slow, Relevant, Great acting
June 27th, 2022

See it if A family drama involving sickness, and sacrifices one has to decide to make for family.

Don't see it if If you want to see a family drama that might be upsetting to certain people and circumstances

86
Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Delightful
June 27th, 2022

See it if If you enjoyed the movie and you want to see a fantastic lead playing the main role ...Rob McClure. It had a nice inclusive message.

Don't see it if You want to see something with a profound theme.

85
¡Americano!
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great staging, Ambitious
June 27th, 2022

See it if If the subject of "dreamers" struggling to become American citizens is of interest. Great music and dancing.

Don't see it if If the subject of immigration and the struggles they face do not interest you.

92
Mr. Parker
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing
June 27th, 2022

See it if if you plays that tell an interesting gay story.

Don't see it if if you have no interest in gay themes.

82
Raunchy, Overrated, Funny, Edgy, Ambitious
June 27th, 2022

See it if You want to see a musical that is both challenging with music and story line that provoking.

Don't see it if if your offended easily by language and graphic scenes. A story about a struggling black gay man.

80
POTUS
Midtown W
Overrated, Funny, Disappointing, Entertaining
May 31st, 2022

See it if you want to see 7 female comic actresses do their stuff.

Don't see it if If you are offended by a lot of profanity. Don't see it if you want to see more than just over-the-top comedic acting. If ou love Trump!

77
For a previous production
A Sherlock Carol
Midtown W
Great acting, Slow, Entertaining, Clever
January 1st, 2022

See it if you are looking to see a spectacle. The play convoluted where the tale is told from the eyes of Sherlock Homes with the ghost of Scrooge.

Don't see it if you like plays that move quickly. The first act was slow to build the story, but the second act got better.

95
Kimberly Akimbo
Chelsea
Quirky, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Ambitious
January 1st, 2022

See it if you want to see a challenging piece of theater that has both joy and sadness. The mission of the lead character was to fit in.

Don't see it if you get upset seeing a grown woman aging faster in life due to a genetic condition and trying to find her way in life under extreme hardship

Also The cast is superb and Victoria Clarke does an amazing job making that... Read more Read less

91
Clyde's (Broadway)
Midtown W
Intense, Great writing, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing
January 1st, 2022

See it if you want to see a drama that portrays people trying to make a life for themselves after being imprisoned and trying to make a better life.

Don't see it if you are not interested in ex-cons, strong language, and a captivating and moving story.

82
During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting
January 1st, 2022

See it if you want to see an ensemble piece that works magic on stage. A play that looks a blue-collar workers in a failing auto plant struggling.

Don't see it if you don't have an interest in the human condition and the struggle of people living from paycheck to paycheck struggling to survive.

80
Great acting, Great singing, Overrated, Relevant, Intelligent
January 1st, 2022

See it if you want to see a challenging piece of theater. The lead playing Caroline is quite a good actor and singer.

Don't see it if Your looking to a piece of theater that gives you immediate gratification. This show takes a while to build to a climax.

Also John Cariani is excellent as always! so versatile as an actor - being ... Read more Read less

91
Refreshing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever
December 20th, 2021

See it if You want to see a play that is very funny, but by the end becomes very poignant. It was refreshing to see the audience get so involved.

Don't see it if Your not interested in a black family struggling to get and mend old wounds.

80
Great staging, Edgy, Great acting, Great singing, Ambitious
December 20th, 2021

See it if If you want to be challenged by an unconventional musical plot. You want to suspend reality and go with their journey on drugs..

Don't see it if If the subject matter of taking drugs is disturbing with you. If you want to see your "typical" musical.

90
Selling Kabul
Midtown W
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing
December 20th, 2021

See it if You are interested in hearing about the survival of people living in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. The acting was superb!

Don't see it if You don't really care about people suffering forced to live under a violent sect, and the compromises that have to make.

85
Candlelight
West Village
Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Entertaining, Clever
December 20th, 2021

See it if you want to see a well written show about how a ten year old girl copes with the world after a major loss and a abusive father

Don't see it if you want a lighthearted comedy

80
During previews
Slow, Indulgent, Dated, Clever, Entertaining
January 8th, 2020

See it if you want to understand the relationship between Bess Myerson , the only Jewish Miss America, and her daughter.as told by the actual daughter

Don't see it if if you don't like one person shows. It was interesting seeing her actual daughter doing the role - but she was only an OK actress.

83
Not a good fit between the songs and the story, Quirky, Ambitious, Great staging, Great singing
December 31st, 2019

See it if you know and enjoy Alanis Morissette's music. The story of the problems of the family was interesting and at times shocking.

Don't see it if you don't know Morissettte's music. Many times it was hard to hear the lyrics in the chorus numbers. The story at times was melodramatic

94
During previews
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Funny, Great singing, Great writing
December 29th, 2019

See it if want to see a well written & acted play about an elderly couple who want to get a divorce and their children's desire to keep them together

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play about aging and how it affect the entire family. While the play is very funny at times it is also haunting

78
Entertaining, A one woman stand up comedy act, Quirky, Raunchy, Funny
December 29th, 2019

See it if you want to see a stand up comedy act about a women reluctantly learning to give blow jobs to her journey to become a Blow Job Queen

Don't see it if you don't like very explicit language. It gets extremely raunchy. It is also just a one woman show - more of a stand-up comedy routine.

80
A story seen many times before, Entertaining, Cliched, Funny, Great acting
December 29th, 2019

See it if You want to see two great actors do a great job with their roles. It is about a son struggling to deal with his aging father.

Don't see it if You want to see a new play with new ideas to express.

80
Very talky, Slow, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious
December 21st, 2019

See it if you want to see a well written and acted play about the serious subject of "Child Molestation" Shocking yet interesting.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play about Child Molestation and how it affects you in your later life. Very serious.