Julia Polinsky

Julia Polinsky is a critic with TheaterScene.com. 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.

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Reviews (24)
Vilna
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

“Sitting in the audience...feels like attending a history lecture. After the framing-device opening, ‘Vilna’ descends into...exposition...Fuchs and director Discher make a mess of telling a simple story...Introducing fifty or so scenes displaying evil tells us nothing new, and slows the play down. Had the show been tightened to a core story, instead of flailing off into...how bad the Nazis were, perhaps ‘Vilna’ might have had a strong impact. As it is, the story of 'Vilna' gets lost in the te... Full Review

Skin
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

“An evening of terrific stories out of nothing but their bodies, their mime-mask faces, and a couple of boxes...Some stories are very short...Some are funny, some satirical. Some explore memory, consent, perception; some, love, loss, expectation. They’re all good...Several of the stories cut pretty deep...The ensemble give uniformly terrific performances, and you can feel the smashing success of a group of people who know how to collaborate deeply and well...’Skin’ will charm you.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"Fish’s integrated, intimate, immersive staging of one of the landmark pieces of American musical theater transforms Rodgers and Hammerstein’s sunbeams-and-cornpone vision of America into art as dark as the oil-soaked soil of the state itself. Though not much has been changed from the original script, the show feels absolutely new, completely modern...Definitely not your mother’s 'Oklahoma!' No; it’s better. Open your mind and go with the richly rewarding experience." Full Review

Tevye Served Raw
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

for a previous production “We get splendid stories, superbly acted by all three cast members...We get a tear in the eye, belly laughs, character galore. Not to mention: here, we get Yiddish...Captioning and translation make it possible for those of us who don’t know a schlemiel from a schlemazel to understand everything...The actors are so good...Rickman in particular shines in this show, although it’s hard to assess one performance as better than another....It’s delightful.” Full Review

Me and My Girl
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

“The cast led by the indescribably wonderful Borle, bring this 1937 British class-warfare comedy to vivid life...Takes its cues from music hall and farce timing and silliness, with people popping on and off stage, pratfalls, physical humor with props, groaner jokes. All kinds of fun...And the score...Tuneful does not begin to describe...Carlyle’s lively choreography adds yet more pizzazz and his direction feels as natural as such an absurd story can stand...Sweet, charming, beautifully perfor... Full Review

Shakespeare's Will
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.com

"Thiessen throws many of the documented facts about Hathaway out the window, apparently in service to using Anne as a springboard. For what? Unfortunately, for his own exploration of the journey of a woman who faces adversity, rises above it, and rekindles a zest for life in herself. Oh, yawn…The inconsistencies, the flavorless quality of the performance, the basic premise, the odd musical accompaniment: all add up to a New Age-y feminist statement that just doesn’t work." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

“Every moment of this revival touches the heart and rings true...Splendid direction by Arden evokes magical performances from everyone...The music is splendid...Not only that, but the cast brings the orchestrations to life, singing as instruments, as well as actors. It’s subtle, beautiful, brilliant...'Once on this Island' bends rules and makes new ones...Go ahead, enjoy those bent rules. When the result is as divine as 'Once On This Island,' you’ll be thrilled with the result” Full Review

Lili Marlene
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"The show has all the hallmarks of a vanity production by the cleverest kid in the class, the star of 8th grade: a jejune treatment of a serious story, written with great reverence but a tin ear. An upright piano tinkles fair-to-poor songs. The cast churns out so-so performances with one star turn (the talented and lovely Londyn as Rosie)...Eager, dull choreography and clueless direction miss the mark over and over...It will reward you more to go to a revival of 'Cabaret.'" Full Review

TheaterScene.com

“Between the terrific performance by Obi Abili as Jones, and the splendid vision of director Ciaran O’Reilly, this is one of those times when a not-so-good play gets an excellent production, which makes it a don’t miss…Abili gives an astonishing performance as Brutus Jones. His rage, his arrogance, his fear, his regret, remorse, and disintegration are all perfectly embodied. It’s a knockout performance…The ensemble are all terrific.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"McTeer and Schreiber have such an accomplished interaction with each other, it’s like watching a master class in How to Act with Someone Really Good...Yet the intimacy between them can be extreme, as if McTeer and Schreiber are in one play by themselves, with all the other actors in another. Fascinating to watch, but not engaging...Go see this perfectly postmodern production. If you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for a rare treat. Don’t miss it." Full Review

I And You
Midtown E
TheaterScene.com

"The majesty of Whitman’s language thoroughly shows up the inanity of the discourse between Caroline and Anthony...Throughout 'I and You,' something stirs beneath the banal surface...'I and You' may feel overlong (at 90 minutes, yes, overlong). So what? The end of the play has such impact, it’s well worth wading through the setup, to get gobsmacked by the finish." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"Charming, elegant, confident, delightful, and engaging: pick an adjective that basically says, 'How Cool Was THAT,' and it’ll apply to Maurice Hines in 'Tappin’ Thru Life'...A feel-good evening of song and dance." Full Review

Betty and the Belrays
East Village
TheaterScene.com

"Betty’s decision, and its consequences, make 'Betty and the Belrays' something other than a series of scenes that showcase a wonderful cast, ensemble, and musicians, and a cute group of songs...Really a lesson in the history of race relations in the past fifty or so years...Pity that’s still necessary...A bubbly, humorous 60s girl-group story, and a dark tale of segregation and civil rights makes for an odd combination, but author/director William Electric Black pretty much pulls it off." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"It’s hard to love 'Godot.' Even in Beckett’s English version, there’s just too much of nothing happening...It’s not the text, in English or Yiddish, that makes this production work. It’s the feel of the characters. In fact, if you just watch the actors, and let the show wash over you, you’ll get a lot out of it. In some ways, this is the most likable 'Waiting for Godot' imaginable...If 'Waiting for Godot' is your kind of theater, though, then go see this version." Full Review

Popcorn Falls
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"A mile-a-minute silly experiment in loopy absurdity, with some laughs, some wincing, and the hardest working two-man cast ever...Heller and Souhrada play all the Poppers? Kernels? The citizens of Popcorn Falls, which should be a tour-de-force of acting chops, but feels more like a couple of guys having a ball on stage...And yet. The end of the show satisfies...as the playwright pulls a theatrical rabbit out of his hat...It’s fun, if you like your comedy broad, fast, and furious." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

“A beautiful look at Tchaikovsky’s music and his deepest relationships, his passion and, yes, his loneliness...Deeply dramatic...A magnificently performed chamber music concert...Staggeringly good performance by the musicians, violinist Zyzak, pianist Ji, and cellist Evan. This trio takes these works and wring them dry of every last minim of emotion...The difficult, beautiful songs! So feelingly sung, and so appropriately chosen, and so much the perfect last word.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

for a previous production “After a somewhat slow start, crammed with exposition, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’...will have you in its spell...Lots and lots of eye-filling magic...Some of the most breathtaking stagecraft ever made...That’s really the best part of the show...A transformed Lyric Theatre draws you in to the Potter world from moment one...Even a Scrooge-level cynic would be enchanted by this theater, the wonderful design, and the terrific theatrical illusions, made to enfold you completely." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"Kudos to producer Miller for bringing this potentially tired rerun to cheerful life, and to director/choreographer Colgan for doing a brilliant job of shoehorning all those massively talented people into that tiny space...They all pull off performances with gusto huge enough to fill a house ten times the size, and treat this period piece with respect and affection...How wonderful to hear voices! Singers who sing! And beautifully, too! Porter's songs have seldom been so well served." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

“Regardless of what you think of his opinions, Moore can really tell a story that touches the heart…Yes, it’s entertaining; he’s a gifted storyteller, and some of the stories are enchanting. He’s a showman, and inserts a game show (hilarious), a hypothetical campaign rally (funny and thought-provoking), and some unexpected Broadway-style razzle-dazzle here and there. But most of all, he’s a hugely successful provocateur, and can move a despairing audience to be activists.” Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"There’s so much to like! The cast for one thing...Some of the songs are simply wonderful...Story and character and craft and skill and meaning add up to crap...Director O’Hara has to work a damn hard to make this 'tall tale' make some kind of sense. He only partway succeeds...A show that can’t make up its mind whether it’s serious or comic...But it’s fun and it’s tuneful and silly, and if you don’t mind not being able to figure it all out, it’s worth seeing just for the splendid performances." Full Review

Marty's Shadow
East Village
TheaterScene.com

"'Marty’s Shadow' dishes up enough family drama and psychological scarring to make a viewer’s heart bleed. Don’t let that put you off seeing this show; if you miss it, you’ll miss one beautifully nuanced, fully realized performance by Jimi Stanton...It’s worth seeing the show just to watch him embody this poor schnook, and work through his moments of fear, weakness, humiliation, cowardice, integrity, love, and even courage, to the perfect denouement." Full Review

Verona Walls
Midtown W
TheaterScene.com

"Kudos to Laura Hirschberg for almost pulling it off, and the excellent cast, for making these potentially annoying bros into people it wouldn’t kill you to know...Without the cross-time, cutesy cultural references, there’s a real play here. It would be interesting if Hirschberg wrote that play – she’s good enough to pull it off. In the meantime, 'Verona Walls' has much to entertain, charm, and delight you, and is well worth seeing." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"'The Neil LaBute New Theater Festival' at 59E59 fills this two hours in the theater with uneven production values, in some OK plays and one damn good one. Some plays are bizarre. Some are funny, some frightening. The same can be said of the performances: some OK, and one damn good one; some bizarre, some funny, some scary...The plays and performances in this festival of one-acts need more than earnestness to make them work." Full Review

TheaterScene.com

"'Phalaris’s Bull' claims to be 'solving the riddle of the great big world.' In the process of trying to understand what he’s saying, that may, or may not happen. And you may, or may not, stay awake through the 80 nonstop minutes of his dazzling tour de talk...Not everybody’s cup of tea, that kind of thinky-thinky talk. If you don’t want to stretch your mind, then 'Phalaris’s Bull' is not for you. If you do, it can be deeply rewarding, provoking lots of thought." " Full Review