Justinian

Manhattan | 25-34 | Male
About:  Coffee drinker by day, theatre geek by night.
Reviews (202)
Preview showscore  1
91
During previews
Must see, Clever, Campy, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you like camp, murder mysteries, high school cheerleading dramas, self-aware musicals, or Bowling For Soup. If you like *any* of these, go!

Don't see it if you're averse to (stylized) violence, sleepover parties, or narratives that can wink at their own conceits.

Also I had an absolute blast at this pop-music-driven murder/revenge myster... Read more Read less

Preview cmm1
54
Overrated, Fluffy, Funny, Dated, Cliched

See it if you like stale political satire, historical musicals, or Irving Berlin. A fine revival of a very dated musical with a couple great numbers.

Don't see it if You don't feel the need for a predictable, slightly sexist comedy set in a poor duchy in Europe. It was fine, just very unmodern.

Preview merrily
89
During previews
Refreshing, Must see, Exquisite, Dated, Delightful

See it if you're a fan of musicals, Sondheim, non-linear narratives, or great tunes.

Don't see it if You're not looking for a revival of an infamous flop (however reworked and vindicated). You want a full-blown production.

Also Fiasco does a fine job with a gem of a musical. The set is busy and la... Read more Read less

Preview cohen
81
Refreshing, Romantic, Fun, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want a light-hearted musical comedy tinged with self-awareness and romance. Fun music and a happy ending.

Don't see it if You want a serious, high-budget play. You don't want to smile and be entertained with silly jokes.

Preview tdod3
45
During previews
Overrated, Resonant, Great staging, Dated

See it if You're a fan of relationship dramas or Strindberg. It turns out I am decidedly not, but this was a good production of a crap play.

Don't see it if You don't like naturalistic one-room dramas full of unlikeable characters scheming against one another. You're not so into 19th social mores

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87
Confusing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Hilarious, Clever

See it if You want to see some dynamite performances or a very talky play about factchecking minutiae and the meaning of Truth in personal lives.

Don't see it if You're expecting a traditional, linear plotty play. This is more dialogue scenes within a skinly sketched framework. You want a good ending.

Also The play started out fantastically, with a a disheveled & superb Radcl... Read more Read less

Preview tkam 06 07 show score 800x1200
90
Great writing, Must see, Riveting, Complicated, Powerful

See it if you think you might like it -- it drastically exceed my expectations. A fresh and vital retelling that doesn't feel hackneyed or superfluous

Don't see it if Contains a lot of dark themes -- vitriolic racism, sexual assault, incest, child abuse -- that are addressed directly.

Also I think the advertisement properly highlights the three people felt la... Read more Read less

Preview ui 800x1200
74
Farcical, Allegorical, On the nose, Dated, Great acting

See it if You want to see a well-acted political farce decrying the complicity of wealthy business interests in the success of the Nazi Party.

Don't see it if you're expecting parallels to modern day politics. Brecht wrote so specifically about the rise of Nazism it is obvious and nontransferrable

Preview hard problem
84
Funny, Slow, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Clever

See it if You like Tom Stoppard plays. You ever took a metaphysics class. You want an exploration of consciousness and the sublime with lots of words.

Don't see it if You don't like drama as a prop or justification for explorations of thought. You don't like Tom Stoppard plays. You're easily bored.

Also After seeing this play, I want to marry Tom Stoppard, but I'm not sure... Read more Read less

Preview ug1
93
Searing, Upsetting, Riveting, Must see, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a stupendous, hyper-stylized, deeply honest play about girlhood, female sexuality, and growing up Asian in America

Don't see it if You want to leave happy. You will laugh, but this is an emotional harrowing play. Contains full frontal nudity and sexual violence.

Also An incredibly affecting performance from a vibrant cast (especially Fr... Read more Read less

Preview onbeckett
84
Quirky, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Funny

See it if Irwin is simply wonderful and thoroughly engaging. He gives a witty, poignant interesting insight into Beckett.

Don't see it if you hate Beckett AND clowns AND solo shows. You're not interested in an "actor's view" of Beckett's work, no matter how amiably delivered.

Also Turns out I love Bill Irwin, but still hate Sam Beckett. Ah well, so i... Read more Read less

Preview djdyla9w0aakw k
82
Intelligent, Great music, Great singing, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You want to hear deep Dylan cuts beautifully arranged and sung. You want to see a Depression era play with some great acting and uneven plot

Don't see it if You like your musicals to have plot advanced by song or song motivated by plot. You're expecting a jukebox musical.

Also Ultimately, although the music is lovely, the lush Dylan covers are mo... Read more Read less

Preview annatropicsjpg
60
Slow, Overrated, Intense, Funny, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a Pulitzer Prize winning play in a lovely basement theater with ardent acting.

Don't see it if you're expecting professional gloss or consistency. You value good endings; this one was abrupt, unresolved, disappointing, and confusing.

Preview pposd1
82
Great lighting, Raunchy, Edgy, Banal, Absorbing

See it if Intense, frank, and overwhelmingly personal relationship details. Queer sex. Working through intimacy with new partners.

Don't see it if You don't want to encounter the above topics. You're looking for a resolved, Aristotelian narrative arc. 65 minutes is too short for you (?)

Also The play started out phenomenally, and I was captivated. The reminisce... Read more Read less

Preview showscoreimageupdate  2
92
During previews
Must see, Quirky, Dizzying, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if You want a vibrant, original, thrilling performance that awes with the power of suggestion. The first preview was already right on point.

Don't see it if You want normal. This is a scifi-tinged musical performance with narrative banter containing more protest anthems than traditional plot.

Also An incommunicably joyous experience tinged with tragedy, this is cyber... Read more Read less

Preview aap1
40
Promising, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you like supporting small theater. You want a fever dream quality mashup play of Guy Noir Private Eye and Borges.

Don't see it if you're expecting a polished production, coherent script, or high production value. This is a barebones, black box experience.

Also The lead actress playing Flynn is very strong and brings interest and ... Read more Read less

Preview 800x1200
70
Bizarre, Raunchy, Indulgent, Entertaining, Confusing

See it if you love musicals. Or! you like the Go-Go's AND obscure Elizabethan fantasias AND gender politics (srsly, who is this show aimed at?)

Don't see it if you're expecting a boring jukebox musical; a coherent, linear musical. This is farcical and fun and full of stilted Shakespeare-style verse.

Also I had loads of fun, but I'm baffled at how this show ever got made. It... Read more Read less

Preview bmcfinal
72
Ludicrous, Overrated, Funny, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you want a fun romp of a high school music with a cliched but accurate lens on the angst of adolescence; or to smile and laugh with teens.

Don't see it if you're over the age of 30, have a low tolerance for the ridiculous/absurd/deus ex machina, you've been listening too closely to the hype

Also Turns out I love musicals. So I had a great time. But I am pretty surp... Read more Read less

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87
Must see, Hilarious, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You like Shakespeare or dark comedies. Care about representation in the arts & how we treat people/minorities/villains.

Don't see it if You want a straight adaptation or parody. This self-aware play blurs the lines and jumps around a lot from straight to 4th wall busting.

Also This play attempts to cover a lot of ground and, I think, largely succ... Read more Read less

Preview thedamned2
80
Riveting, Scary, Beautiful, Slow, Haunting

See it if you like the Visconti film (I didn't); like von Hove (I do); like plays in French; prize visual excellence above narrative momentum.

Don't see it if You don't want to be excruciated by a Greek-tragedy-inflected (incest & all) Holocaust narrative. IVH calls it a "Ritual of Evil"

Also See the film first. Even though IVH did not rewatch it, and just assem... Read more Read less

Preview aintnodisco
73
During previews
Specific, Indulgent, Great singing, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you want to see two talented leads (with the best material) in a patchy musical about one season in 1969 at Studio 54 with Warhol & crew.

Don't see it if you're looking for another Hedwig. Or a musical that is particularly polished, focused, or thematically contiguous.

Also At its best, it's *really* good; unfortunately, this is not most of th... Read more Read less

Preview songs
89
Funny, Riveting, Great singing, Delightful

See it if You like Jason Robert Brown as a composer, or want to see some excellent songs, each of which is a one-off, self-contained. Good dancing too

Don't see it if you don't like JRB, revues, or are looking for something with a connected, straightforward plot.

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72
Experimental, Cliched, Enchanting, Romantic, Raunchy

See it if New, vibrant, funny, interesting plays about sexual politics and interpersonal Brooklyn relations have ever crossed your mind.

Don't see it if plays about gender, sexual, and race relations aren't your cuppa. You don't care about the families of Ft. Greene residents.

Also [SPOILERS] The play is unfocused and tries to tackle too many issues a... Read more Read less

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87
Profound, Confusing, Upsetting, Intense, Edgy

See it if you care about new plays addressing the heart of the American spirit, race relations, and personal responsibility/integrity.

Don't see it if contains extreme and constant profanity and a blazing indictment of White America. Be warned this is not a "comfortable" show.

Also Playbill nailed the tagline: "a mashup of Waiting for Godot and the Ex... Read more Read less

Preview carmenjones
87
During previews
Cliched, Dated, Epic, Great music, Great singing

See it if you like classical music / opera. This is an American "Carmen" after Bizet. Hammerstein's lyrics are broadly good, if written in dialect.

Don't see it if You just really hate great music or don't want to see an older, dated Hammerstein show. You're expecting a full-fledged opera.

Also This production, like the original Broadway show & the film, has an al... Read more Read less

Preview hd2
79
During previews
Raunchy, Relevant, Resonant, Intense, Dizzying

See it if you like plays that incorporate mythology (I do!), climate change, and queer pagan rituals. Fresh drama that directly addresses the audience

Don't see it if This premise doesn't sound awesome: Dionysus is back to save the earth baby, but they have to seduce 4 women on a NJ cul-de-sac to do it!

Also Even though some of the climate change rhetoric was super on the nose ... Read more Read less

Preview tw showscore 800x1200  1
81
Confusing, Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like intense family drama, drenched in symbolism with hints of danger and surrealism (the mom)

Don't see it if Contains lots of violence and is not naturalistic. The stakes can also seem low/unreal. You don't like your narrative at service of metaphor

Preview oatc1
60
Absorbing, Loud, Quirky, Intense, Confusing

See it if you're inebriated or very hip. More seriously, if the idea of a wide-ranging, queer-friendly, pop-rave musical with dance interests you.

Don't see it if You don't want to stand in a rambunctious performance on a dance floor in a dive bar for a loud, unfocused show about Wilde and reality TV.

Also It was interesting, but not always clear what was happening, and I cou... Read more Read less

Preview capture
75
During previews
Riveting, Relevant, Raunchy, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You like Strindberg and want to see an intelligent translation set in 1990s South Africa.

Don't see it if One-room naturalistic relationship dramas full of woman-hating, rough sex, and blood don't interest you.

Also Despite not liking Strindberg much (read his stridently misogynistic p... Read more Read less

Preview blue ridge
94
Emotional, Real, Must see, Riveting, Intense

See it if Great actors depicting heartwrenching characters dealing with trauma, purpose, and the ties that bind

Don't see it if You want a happy play (although there are plenty of laughs), a traditional narrative, or want to avoid themes of abuse (in many forms).

Also This play felt emotionally raw, honest, and powerful. Ireland was rive... Read more Read less

Preview choirboy
92
During previews
Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Tragic, Beautiful

See it if A stunningly good "boarding school story," about young, black men struggling with sexuality, school, and selves. Passionate and affecting.

Don't see it if Contains offensive language, sexual discussion, and violence. You don't like gorgeous gospel singing.

Also Though this is not a musical, it contains several musical numbers (the... Read more Read less

Preview ferryman poster
94
Must see, Great writing, Great staging, Intense, Epic

See it if Emotional, political, familial, romantic, tragic, epic, historical, comic, relevant. I don't know how this incredible play packs it all in.

Don't see it if you can't deal with accents, multitudinous characters, profanity, violence, or sprawlingly lengthy plays.

Preview ap showscore 800x1200
74
Profound, Great acting, Disappointing, Absorbing, Slow

See it if You like monologues or characters. You don't mind awkward curses sprinkled over the dialogue.

Don't see it if You want something more plot-heavy or less heavy-handed. It's a bit moralistic and loses some momentum in the second half.

Also The first half was a promising start, full of well-acted, interesting ... Read more Read less

Preview nytwconstitution
79
Thought-provoking, Profound, Intelligent, Absorbing, Depressing

See it if A well-executed, honest, funny, intelligent production that interrogates the relevance, importance, and failings of the US Constitution.

Don't see it if A personal, (mostly) one-person show about politics and ugly truths in life. Unsparing and probing, it often may be uncomfortable.

Preview thenap
70
Great snooker playing, Farcical, Funny, Entertaining, Cliched

See it if You like farces, Guy Ritchie films, and over-the-top character acting. Imagine a classist The Sting performed in a tracksuits.

Don't see it if You're easily offended by crudeness or lack of tact, don't want to watch a silly play, have no interest whatsoever in sport.

Preview motm1
75
Slow, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if For the premise if you can deal with an long, uneven familyish drama with some interesting scenes about religious leaders and class dynamics

Don't see it if You're just going for Glenn Close. You were hoping for an Arc tale sans Joan — she's everywhere, and the play is less interesting for it.

Also I wish the playwright had abandoned Joan in the beginning of the play ... Read more Read less

Preview oklahoma mobile 04
84
Refreshing, Must see, Intense, Great staging, Great music

See it if you value a vivid and occasionally chilling re-contextualization of a gorgeously scored Broadway classic. Great acting.

Don't see it if bold direction sometimes oversteps itself (especially in the confusing ending). the show is dated despite the fresh interpretation.

Also The music was wonderful and the acting was very solid, especially the ... Read more Read less

Preview 800x1200  1
54
During previews
Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Good set and sound design, largely good acting, some interesting emotional moments and twists.

Don't see it if a play caught in between muddled politics and half-baked characters. you don't need a dozen or more scene changes in a 90-minute play.

Also I think the confusion inherent this play arises from the fact that it ... Read more Read less

Preview kong
65
During previews
Overrated, Great props, Riveting, Dated, Ambitious

See it if you love the source material or want to see a one-ton marionette operated by 14 roaring through the (concrete) jungles

Don't see it if the "King Kong Live Spectacular!" would not appeal to you; you're looking for a fresh story or memorable music

Also The King Kong puppet is absolutely stunning, but it's unclear that alo... Read more Read less

Preview bh showscore 800x1200
88
Refreshing, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Cliched

See it if You like Shakespeare, but are over Hamlet. You enjoy historical plays, theater jokes, Janet McTeer, strong-willed protagonists.

Don't see it if You want to watch loads of Hamlet. You want to watch no Hamlet at all. You're not that interested in turn of the 20th century theater.

Preview tn3
84
Great writing, Great singing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you like Shaina Taub (who doesn't); Shakespeare; or musicals. This is a full-blown, short (90-minute) musical version of Twelfth Night.

Don't see it if you're expecting a straight Shakespeare play or don't like fun reinterpretations.

Preview house showscore image
77
Resonant, Intense, Great staging, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if Great performances, wonderful set, moments of genius, good script. You've seen the Garcia Lorca play it's riffing on (I sadly have not)

Don't see it if A bit long, seems unfocused or undecided on what kind of play it wants to be. Veers between family drama, magic, social commentary quickly.

Preview b7
82
During previews
Intense, Funny, Great acting, Raunchy, Riveting

See it if you like one-woman shows. want to see a woman wrestling with the fallout from intense interpersonal drama.

Don't see it if contains a lot of obscenities and sexual frankness. not a linear narrative. doesn't wrap up everything in a neat package.

Also Ellinor DiLorenzo gives an absorbing, manic, nervy performance. When t... Read more Read less

Preview swm poster
78
Funny, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in the dynamics of power; the dominant discourse in America; the framing of certain narratives; and cultural expectations.

Don't see it if you're expecting a vicious satire, a traditional drama, or something impenetrable. This is a smart, "real" play about culture and family.

Preview mpm2
86
Dizzying, Refreshing, Intelligent, Quirky, Great acting

See it if you like "slice of life" cinema, plays with a lot of jump-cuts through time, psychological portraits, empathetic portrayals of unlikeables.

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional narrative structure. This is more of a character study of the life of an "average" American woman.

Preview hpatcc2
85
Nostalgic, Extravagant, Indulgent, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if if you are a moderately serious fan of Harry Potter OR technical theater, this is a must-see. You care at all about lighting (it's superb).

Don't see it if you didn't like HP and are just here for the hype. The stage magic is marvelous, but it's 5.5 hours of reveling in universe & characters.

Also Note to authors & playwrights: don't write a time travel work if you'r... Read more Read less

Preview st plum 800x1200
65
Raunchy, Unfocused, Funny

See it if you like contemporary family dramas

Don't see it if the psychosexual angst of the 0.1% doesn't grip you

Preview 97915 1
68
During previews
Riveting, Banal, Cliched, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if You like nuanced, in-depth takes of the creative process and the often titanic egos involved therein.

Don't see it if unsympathetic characters make it hard for you to dig into a production. Or you have trouble with choppy timelines.

Also RNJ is great (despite the roaring) and really the motive force, despit... Read more Read less

Preview efwvw1
70
Hilarious, Indulgent, Quirky, Confusing, Clever

See it if You're a lover of internet fandoms and Great American Theater. You are conversant with Williams, Albee, Ibsen, and slash.

Don't see it if you can't stand farce or satire. You don't know what fan fiction is (or you do, and you've never read it).

Preview o2
90
During previews
Slow, Epic, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You want to see an well-played, conventional staging of one of Shakespeare's finest works. Stoll is especially compelling as Iago.

Don't see it if You've seen a bunch of Othellos already. Although Desdemona's death scene is particularly well-staged, the last two acts felt slow.