Johnny Pomatto

New York City | 35-49 | Male
About:  I'm a writer and critic who has been going to theater ever since moving to Manhattan 20 years ago. I have eclectic tastes across multiple genres.
Reviews (96)
Disappointing, Dizzying, Enchanting, Absorbing, Beautifully but also overly directed.
November 5th, 2022

See it if You want to see Emma Rice provide another inventive take on a classic work, and be swept away by thrilling ambition.

Don't see it if you're a purist who wants to see the story of the novel presented in its originally intended tone.

Also My disappointment may be the result of being too close to the material... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Cheap, Indulgent, Disappointing, Dated
September 2nd, 2022

See it if you want to see Billy Crystal do his thing.

Don't see it if you want to see what feels like a fully realized musical.

Also First the good. Billy Crystal is great. He does a lot with a little. H... Read more Read less

Kimberly Akimbo
An updating of david lindsay-abaire's play that doesn't entirely justify itself, albeit with nice performances.
January 11th, 2022

See it if you're an Abaire/Tesori fan and curious enough to see perhaps not the best work by either, while potentially risking illness to do it.

Don't see it if you're feeling ill or showing COVID symptoms.

Also While not his best play, the original KIMBERLY AKIMBO is my sentimenta... Read more Read less

Morning's at Seven
Midtown W
They don't write 'em like this anymore, Comfort food, Gentle, Warm
December 4th, 2021

See it if you'd like to enjoy a pleasant, old fashioned play that's low on stakes but rich in character.

Don't see it if you're experiencing Covid symptoms or are unvaccinated.

Also It feels like every 20 years this play gets revived and people act lik... Read more Read less

A weird and wonderful show gets the worthy revival few people thought it deserved
November 24th, 2021

See it if you love wildly inventive scores and a story that approaches multiple cultures in unique ways.

Don't see it if you're unvaccinated, experiencing covid symptoms, or think the idea of a singing washing machine is too weird for Broadway.

Also I saw a very early preview of the original production at the Public ba... Read more Read less

A live concert bursting with energy and personality
November 20th, 2021

See it if you're a David Byrne fan, or even if you're not but want to see an incredibly imaginative live performance.

Don't see it if you're experiencing Covid symptoms or are unvaccinated.

Also I'm a fan of David Byrne and the Talking Heads, but they're not always... Read more Read less

Resonant, Profound, Moving, Comforting
September 18th, 2021

See it if you too feel like attending one of Richard Nelson's family plays is like visiting home.

Don't see it if you're experiencing Covid symptoms.

Also I absolutely adore what Richard Nelson has been doing with his family ... Read more Read less

Profound, Funny
September 18th, 2021

See it if you're a can of standup comedy that is concerned with more than just getting laughs.

Don't see it if you're experiencing Covid symptoms.

Also Neal Brennan's previous show 3 MICS leaned on an effective gimmick of ... Read more Read less

For a previous production
Coal Country
West Village
A powerful tale of documentary theatre punctuated with the musical presence of the legendary steve earle.
March 13th, 2020

See it if you are interested in true life stories told creatively, or if you just want to see an intimate concert with the legendary Steve Earle.

Don't see it if you don't care for docudramas or hillbilly music. Your loss.

Also I love good docudramas but have not always been swept away by the work... Read more Read less

Tumacho (2020)
East Village
Silliness abounds with fantastically fun performances, songs, & a bit of heart
March 13th, 2020

See it if you love broad comedy with a tinge of a heartfelt fable at its center.

Don't see it if you don't like when sketch comedy lasts for more than 5 minutes or so.

Also I had heard this recommended but didn't know what to expect. I found m... Read more Read less

During previews
A viciously dark comedy that goes from silly to shocking before you know what's happening.
March 4th, 2020

See it if you like political & historical satire, with a dark edge. If you're a fan of Letts and any of the stellar cast, you won't be disappointed.

Don't see it if you like your comedies to remain eventful & predictable, or if you fear the creeping entrance of a social message you don't want to hear.

Also This is a fantastically surprising play that will really sneak up on y... Read more Read less

Intimacy is mostly an asset for this creepy chamber play that holds up reasonably well
March 4th, 2020

See it if you want to see a spooky play with a unique storytelling device.

Don't see it if you're easily startled or if you're looking for a production that's a bit more fully realized.

Also In 1997 I ran sound for a production of this in California and I hadn'... Read more Read less

Grand Horizons
Midtown W
A somewhat bland comedy that would veer into sitcom territory were it not for some fine performances driving the story
February 26th, 2020

See it if you want to see a play that goes down smooth, anchored by some excellent actors not necessarily doing their finest work.

Don't see it if you're looking for as deep or meaningful experience as this play aspires to be.

Also This had been sold to me by some as "the kind of comedies you used to ... Read more Read less

Mack & Mabel
Midtown W
A fantastic jerry herman score & magnificent old hollywood setting sadly does not a great musical make
February 20th, 2020

See it if you want to hear some great show tunes performed by a fine cast & get the chance to check another box in your unseen musical spreadsheet.

Don't see it if you're expecting the show to be as great as the one that might play in your head when you listen to the cast recording.

Also This was a dream show that I've always wanted to see. I adore the orig... Read more Read less

During previews
Dana H.
A wholly unique first person account headlined by a lead performance unlike any you've ever seen
February 12th, 2020

See it if you want to see a true original with a performance unlike anything you've ever seen. You may enjoy if you love a great documentary.

Don't see it if you're easily triggered by intense stories of physical & mental abuse, or if loud noises or flashing lights bother you. This can be rough.

Also I knew the broad strokes of what to expect from DANA H but I was still... Read more Read less

The Enigmatist
A brain-tickling puzzler of a magic show that takes audience participation to the next level.
January 11th, 2020

See it if you love puzzles, scrabble, crosswords, magic, and having your mind challenged while being entertained.

Don't see it if you want the shame of sitting quietly in your seat while you see smarter audience members around you figuring out the solutions to puzzles.

Also I absolutely love magic and mentalism. Always happy to see a new take ... Read more Read less

A typically intense play from stephen adly guirgis that can go to from heartbreaking to hilarious with a snap of the finger
December 19th, 2019

See it if you're a fan of Guirgis' plays. You'll know it if you are by now. This is an unmissable entry in his canon.

Don't see it if you don't want to see the kinds of loud, angry, aggressive people that you might avoid on the street now portrayed onstage.

Also I've now been seeing Guirgis' plays for over 20 years and I always che... Read more Read less

A quiet, intimate first person account that you will hang on every word of
December 19th, 2019

See it if you like to curl up with a good novel from time to time, or simply want to see the best work from Mary-Louise Parker in a decade or more.

Don't see it if you like when plays are loud, overly dramatic, and full of major events.

Also I had heard many people recommend this to me but I didn't know anythin... Read more Read less

The Thin Place
Midtown W
A minimalist take on the ghost story, incredibly simple but chillingly effective.
December 19th, 2019

See it if you're a Lucas Hnath fan and are eager to see his take on the ghost story genre.

Don't see it if your stunted imagination needs high production values in order to enjoy a play.

Also I had no idea what to expect with this play. It really catches you off... Read more Read less

The Crucible (Bedlam)
East Village
An intimate, bare bones telling of miller's classic, anchored by excellent performances & unique staging
December 19th, 2019

See it if you're up for another Crucible production and want to see Bedlam's unique take on the classic.

Don't see it if you have a little Crucible fatigue and don't have another 3 hour session in you.

Also When you go see a Bedlam show, chances are you're going to see a class... Read more Read less

Daniel kitson's latest is a bizarre hodgepodge that may not reach the uninitiated, but is always fascinating
December 19th, 2019

See it if you never miss a Daniel Kitson show and want to see what he's got cooked up this time.

Don't see it if you've never seen Kitson. This shouldn't be your first. It's rambling & tedious, but may still appeal to you. It's a one of a kind.

Also I took my wife to see this because she had never seen a Kitson show, a... Read more Read less

A sad, somber visit to horton foote's texas, though nonetheless warm & comforting
December 19th, 2019

See it if you're a fan of the works of Horton Foote and you know that whenever one of his works is performed it's worth seeing.

Don't see it if this is your first experience with one of his plays. This may not be the best entry point.

Also In my opinion, every Horton Foote play is a gift. I never miss an oppo... Read more Read less

A return to form for the long running series, or maybe they just have some fine targets worthy of ridicule.
November 18th, 2019

See it if you love Broadway musicals but don't consider them so precious that they don't occasionally deserve to be taken down a peg or two.

Don't see it if you thought Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Frozen, Moulin Rouge, & Dear Evan Hansen were perfect and to suggest otherwise is blasphemy.

Also There was a time about 20 years ago when I wouldn't consider a Broadwa... Read more Read less

During previews
A play revival that attempts to put a fresh new stamp on things, but somehow dulls the original's edge in the process.
November 18th, 2019

See it if you're fascinated by European history and are eager to tie it into the modern political climate.

Don't see it if you enjoy having every play today transformed into a lens for current politics, even as that extends to plays written over 30 years ago.

Also I sense that Eustis & Kushner thought they would have the most talked ... Read more Read less

The Michaels
East Village
Another richard nelson family plays filled with typical warmth, humor, sadness, and dancing.
November 8th, 2019

See it if you're a fan of Richard Nelson's "family plays" or enjoy drama unfolding at a leisurely pace through character development.

Don't see it if you prefer your plays to be heavily plotted or if you like your actors to shout loud enough to reach the 2nd balcony.

Also I absolutely adore Richard Nelson's family plays. I look forward to th... Read more Read less

Soft Power
East Village
A collection of fascinating ideas, cultural comedy, & political metaphors, none of which feel fully realized despite a spectacular vision.
November 4th, 2019

See it if you want to see a bold, inventive play, with a fine score, acted & sung by a fantastic cast of nearly all Asian performers.

Don't see it if you just hear "New Jeanine Tesori Musical" and feel like that's the show's biggest appeal. It's worth experiencing, but expect imperfection.

Also When I got home from the Public my wife asked me to describe the show.... Read more Read less

During previews
Will eno takes a creative approach to telling a life story in this emotional if not always accessible play
November 4th, 2019

See it if you are a fan of Will Eno's work and if you enjoy human dramas with relatable content.

Don't see it if you're looking for more extremes of comedy and tragedy. The slight tone asks the audience to find the drama within their own lives.

Also Although it's still a little shaky in the preview process, I found Eno... Read more Read less

Minimalist abridged shakespeare with more positive results than john doyle usually achieves with such techniques
November 3rd, 2019

See it if You want to see a stripped down Macbeth with some stellar performances that make more with less.

Don't see it if this is your first experience seeing the play. The cuts are generous and the abstract approach and actor doubling could confuse novices.

Also I'm not always a big fan of John Doyle's "home by 10:00" approach to h... Read more Read less

An intense examination of politics and religion from an angle not often explored theatrically.
October 18th, 2019

See it if you enjoy sharply written debate, new points of view, and superb performances.

Don't see it if you like your politics and religion in theatre to come from more of a place of satire.

Also After seeing only two recent plays (Plano and this), I'm starting to g... Read more Read less

During previews
The Inheritance
Midtown W
A beautiful play that simultaneously feels like a well worn classic & of the moment.
October 18th, 2019

See it if you love epic theatre, classic literature, and plays that feel like they are reflective of our current times.

Don't see it if 7 hours seems like a bit long for an E.M. Forster retelling.

Also As a big Howards End fan I was eager to see this play and was not disa... Read more Read less

During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
A small scale play for letts, but nonetheless rich and rewarding.
October 3rd, 2019

See it if you're a fan of Tracy Letts and his signature brand of colorful characters & sharply written dialogue.

Don't see it if you don't like seeing plays about characters exhibiting bad behavior & poor decisions.

Also I've never seen a Tracy Letts play that I didn't find something to lov... Read more Read less

During previews
Scotland, PA
Midtown W
A half-fried rehash of an idea that wasn't terribly original to begin with, now made worse.
October 2nd, 2019

See it if you are a huge fan of the original movie (anybody?) or if you see and enjoy every musical out there, in spite of its quality.

Don't see it if No "if." Just don't see it.

Also Not every hit movie should be turned into a musical, and that goes dou... Read more Read less

The Great Society
Upper W Side
A continuation of lbj's presidency that may be concise but not always dramatically compelling
October 2nd, 2019

See it if you're a history buff who enjoys seeing great actors perform a by the numbers pageant.

Don't see it if you already weren't bowled over by "All the Way." This isn't necessarily a step up.

Also I love political history and rather enjoyed "All the Way" a few years ... Read more Read less

An engaging mind bender that should satisfy fans of magic and theatre alike.
September 30th, 2019

See it if you enjoy mystifying magic and brain-testing puzzles.

Don't see it if the threat of possible audience participation frightens you to the core.

Also It's hard to review a show like this. How effective it is may be depen... Read more Read less

The public theatre teaches disney the definition of "free for all."
September 6th, 2019

See it if you're a big fan of the 90's Disney movie and want to see an epic fantasy produced in small scale style with a large scale cast.

Don't see it if you're looking for a polished, complete show that ends up amounting to above average children's theatre.

Also Even if it's "lesser Disney," I've always enjoyed the original HERCULE... Read more Read less

A jukebox celebration of meat loaf that is getting around to finishing the book any day now
August 19th, 2019

See it if your love of Meat Loaf outweighs coherent storytelling and narrative sense.

Don't see it if you want to walk out of this show understanding what happened and why.

Also Admittedly, I am not a big fan of jukebox musicals, but I had hopes fo... Read more Read less

A tight, focused stand up comedy show that's insightful & hilarious
August 18th, 2019

See it if you want to see a rising star of comedy discuss typically taboo subjects in a sharply written treatise.

Don't see it if you were thinking of taking a parent to see it, or anyone else you might be uncomfortable to sit near throughout this spicy subject matter.

Also It's a bit strange to "review" stand up comedy. The format is by defin... Read more Read less

Road Show
Midtown W
A new staging of sondheim's newest, often troubled play that doesn't manage to fix most of the problems it was initially saddled with
July 28th, 2019

See it if you are a Sondheim completist and didn't see the initial and superior Public Theatre production.

Don't see it if you're expecting something on the level of any of Sondheim's other plays.

Also Let's face it. This show has never really felt complete. Through all i... Read more Read less

During previews
East Village
A surprisingly successful merging of classic greek drama and modern american tragedy
July 10th, 2019

See it if you're compelled by current immigration politics as well as classical Greek tragedies.

Don't see it if you don't like the classics messed with, or if you are unfamiliar with Medea. A few too many people in the audience surprised by the ending.

Also I had really enjoyed Luis Alfaro's OEDIPUS EL RAY a few years back, bu... Read more Read less

Working: A Musical
Midtown W
A dusting off of a well liked flop, given a fresh new spin with mostly positive results
June 28th, 2019

See it if you enjoy seeing Encores revisit shows from yesteryear that may never see the light of day again in a Broadway adjacent theater.

Don't see it if you prefer Encores to preserve a classic show as it was presented in the day, without trying to reinvent it.

Also I was reticent about seeing this show. I love attending Encores, mostl... Read more Read less

A silly, surreal, and absorbing allegory for modern politics through a puritan lens
June 27th, 2019

See it if you enjoy satire that doesn't exhaust itself after a few minutes with a one joke premise.

Don't see it if you don't want to work a little for the meaning within the play's madness.

Also This play has a lot going on in it. It starts off with some big laughs... Read more Read less

During previews
A deeply personal and traumatic memoir set to beautiful music
June 21st, 2019

See it if you want to hear a rather incredibly coming of age story, beautifully scored.

Don't see it if you're looking for a more traditional musical. This is not that.

Also For the first 10 minutes or so of this solo show, I thought it was rat... Read more Read less

A delightful, hilarious, & original musical that doesn't sacrifice humor while delivering an inspiring message
June 15th, 2019

See it if you want to see an original musical that will make you laugh, cry, & even hum a tune on your way home brought on by an outstanding ensemble.

Don't see it if your first question you have when attending a Broadway musical is "What movie is it based on?"

Also I don't know why it took me so long to see this. I thought this sounde... Read more Read less

This shepherd play hasn't aged great on its own, and this uneven production doesn't help it along too much
June 2nd, 2019

See it if you are a Sam Shepherd completist.

Don't see it if you want to see an ideal presentation of his play brought to you by a cast who fully has a hold on it.

Also I had only ever read this play and seen the film adaptation, so I was ... Read more Read less

A well intentioned but emotionally misguided musical with a decent but repetitive score.
May 23rd, 2019

See it if you're a teenage, YA fan or if you think Pasek & Paul are the greatest composers that Broadway has ever seen.

Don't see it if Aw... don't listen to me. I guess you should see it. I recognize I'm squarely in the minority on this one.

Also I'll preface this by admitting that I am clearly not the target audien... Read more Read less

Midtown W
Wholly original in subject & style, dave malloy amazes with another hauntingly unique work.
May 23rd, 2019

See it if you like to see unique musicals that challenge you and give you a lot to think about.

Don't see it if you don't care for a cappella singing or musicals that go to some strange places.

Also Dave Malloy continues to deliver on his promise of perhaps the most un... Read more Read less

An intense first person account of a family crisis that's exhausting for the performer & audience, though nonetheless compelling
May 20th, 2019

See it if you enjoy first person accounts of difficult times, that also touches upon true crime & stories of support in a horrifying situation.

Don't see it if the subject matter or actress don't appeal to you. There's not much there beyond that.

Also I've been a fan of Maddie Corman's work as an actress for many years, ... Read more Read less

Glenda jackson gives an outstanding performance but the play feels like mismatched leftover remnants from 10 other productions.
May 15th, 2019

See it if you didn't get the chance to see Glenda Jackson last year in "Three Tall Women." Or if you simply must see her again.

Don't see it if you want to see a competent production of Lear. Her performance is just about the only thing working in this show's favor.

Also KING LEAR is arguably Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, but it works bes... Read more Read less

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Ivo van hove directs a production of a classic film that is revolutionary, not always for the right reasons.
May 10th, 2019

See it if you want to see a truly impressive & energetic production with inventive use of live video.

Don't see it if you want to see theatre, because this too often feels like you're watching a live taping of television.

Also I am truly awed and impressed by Ivo Van Hove's direction of NETWORK, ... Read more Read less

During previews
A modern classic that would show its age a lot more were it not for two unique performances headlining it
May 9th, 2019

See it if you've never seen the play. It's a good one to see once. Also if you're a fan of either of these two sensational actors.

Don't see it if you've seen the last few Broadway productions and felt like you got your fill, in spite of fresh new takes on the roles.

Also This is a very good play, but I didn't know if it was one that absolut... Read more Read less