Juan Michael Porter II

About:  Juan Michael Porter II is a leading reviewer for Broadway World, HuffPost, The Dance Enthusiast, and Ballet Review. His writing focuses on engaging, entertaining, and educating the reader without being a prick about it. He is the award-winning playwright of "Whore Works" and the artistic director of... Read more Read less
Reviews (13)
85
Time Out New York

"The playwright has taken ethnographic pains to expertly capture the speaking patterns of his characters, and director Saheem Ali weaves together a world that feels like real life, even when the action branches into the supernatural. His ace collaborators include costumer Ayite, choreographer Moultrie and hair and makeup designer Cookie Jordan. Together with a uniformly wonderful cast, they movingly convey 'Sugar’'s central message: Love prevails even in a hopeless place." Full Review

65
Time Out New York

"Holland crafts powerful stage portraits that play on Duff's swaggering buff blackness and Horowitz's timid, well-meaning whiteness; their physical interaction suggests a tense game of chess that keeps threatening to spill over into violence or sex...Although their star turns yield moments of heartbreaking drama, 'Dutch Masters' remains a one-note issue play. The basic situation is implausible...The back-and-forth interrogation that ensues seems formulaic." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"Grappling with midlife 'conscious uncoupling' promises to unleash all sorts of demons in 'My Brilliant Divorce.' That no monsters end up appearing in this potentially hilarious vehicle for a woman of a certain age has everything to do with Melissa Gilbert’s miscasting...Gilbert comes off as a sweet shiksa milquetoast, knocked flat by the sudden turn of events but without a proportionate sense of rage; she is delightfully engaging, but has none of the conspiratorial vengeance one craves." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

for a previous production “Though Galinsky meticulously captures the soul of each persona...there is a lack of propulsion and energy to the plot; in this instance there is not enough of to the plot to keep the audience interested...There is tension but no real conflict...Without a doubt, this is an accurate display of life for many homeless people, but onstage the absence of heightened drama feels dull." Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

"Because its performances are so fully rendered and points so wonderfully tackled, one does not realize that 'Neighbors' follows a parroting formula of, 'You know what the problem with you people is? Let me tell you,' until well after the fact. The majesty of what playwright Cubria has accomplished, and the astute hand with which director Moreno has rendered it, is such that it is difficult to fault him for this cheat. The end game is this magnificent production." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

“A barnyard-raising show with unflagging energy…There are too many songs...These people are constantly and inappropriately breaking out into song…This production hovers on the edge of greatness by virtue of its marvelous production values and performances. Though the ‘choreography’ is quite bad, Heffernan's direction is solid…If this show wants to fly, it needs to pare down on the interminable singing and focus on the songs that really matter.” Full Review

80
BroadwayWorld

"The sort of thing that one chortles through from paragraph to paragraph while unraveling additional meanings until the final period lands...There is so much to slog through, with so little actually happening, that missing even a beat means losing five or twelve points...Thank goodness then for the vivid balls-to-the-walls acting...Though always clever, the proceedings risk becoming exhausting, particularly during the second act...Oh but that ending is a beauty." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"Working with a superb multigenerational cast, Campbell-Holt fleshes out every uncomfortable nuance in Roper's collection of mostly two-person conversations. Placid as some of the interactions might look from our voyeuristic vantage point, they are tense with potential violence; corruption, betrayal and resentment are never very far from the surface." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"Buried under long passages of nonsense in 'The Stone Witch' is a moving tribute to confronting one's heroes...The problem is Bitterman's focus on mental illness. When depicting insanity onstage, anything can happen and frequently does—but the mere absence of reason is rarely interesting. Zuckerman coaxes honest reactions out of his performers, but watching Peter repeatedly struggle with Simon's hallucinations grows exhausting as they slog through the largely meaningless confusion." Full Review

30
BroadwayWorld

"Purports to excavate the background of Billy The Kid but buries the lede beneath lackluster dialogue that mistakes clichés for insight...Encumbered by Charles Cissel's flat prose, these actors fail to register as anything other than cinematic stand ins. In fact they look as if they are marking time along with the rest of us until curtain falls. In lieu of direction, Gabriel Vega Weissman has the actors yell their lines as if increased volume will summon greater lucidity. " Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

"Using a sly hand, Malik dispenses information through rapid fire thoughtful humor and honest dialogue that flows naturally. Fahmy's direction, Esler's scenic design, and Kengmana's lighting embrace this seamless quality by treating the show as if it were one beautiful dream sequence...It is undeniable that 'Mecca' wraps things up too tidily, however that resolution feels earned and gratifying. Like the production team, the entire cast is flawlessly marvelous." Full Review

55
BroadwayWorld

"Yassur's direction is bold and intelligent. Rosen's translation is clear...Unfortunately most of the performances are delivered in one mode: whiny, angsty, and loud...As the play's prime character, Twersky spent the bulk of his time mugging at maximum volume regardless of what was happening...The musicality of language and nuances found in measuring a breakdown between insanity and reality were missing. Despite that, the illustration of the play's themes...was clear." Full Review

40
BroadwayWorld

"It's a violent little play full of gallows humor, misogynistic cracks, and rambling word games that go on for too long and yet, there is something to it. 'Love Is Dead!' gave a rough premiere tonight at The Secret Theatre. Beneath its plodding pace, one thing is clear: the work is a modern-day penny-dreadful, though with more 'South Park' style than Grand Guignol wit." Full Review