Justinian

Manhattan | 25-34 | Male
About:  Coffee drinker by day, theatre geek by night.
Reviews (242)
71
Mojada
East Village
Disappointing, Enchanting, Intense, Relevant

See it if You want to see a contemporary play about coming to America.

Don't see it if You're expecting a Medea in the classic Greek style.

71
Little Gem
Chelsea
Cliched, Confusing, Quirky, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you might like Irish family dramas set in the recent past. You think you don't like monologue shows -- this one could change your mind!

Don't see it if You're expecting anything meaty or revelatory. There are certainly surprises, and plot, but this is almost more of a fluffy memory play.

84
During previews
Quirky, Intense, Indulgent, Great singing, Epic

See it if you like the songs made famous by Meat Loaf. The over-the-top treatment of them in this show make for some unforgettable, powerful moments.

Don't see it if you don't like Meat Loaf, rock music, or want a coherent and plausible storyline. Plot-wise, this is more of a jukebox musical.

Also Lena Hall and the woman who sings "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" both ar... Read more Read less

56
Romantic, Fluffy, Entertaining, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You like trite, feel-good, implausible rom-coms that telegraph every plot point. You like Broadway musicals and good music/singing.

Don't see it if You're expecting this show to be anything surprising or hard-hitting. It's a fun fluff piece with silly rhymes and absurd plot elements.

Also The songs are variable in quality, but when they're good, they're VERY... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Indulgent, Quirky, Raunchy, Hilarious, Clever

See it if You want to laugh often and uproariously, like a well-earned joke and well-placed jibe, are not a fusspot.

Don't see it if unless you have a passable (Wikipedia) grasp on Three Sisters & preferably Chekhov, dislike satire, strong language, or stylized performance

70
Working: A Musical
Midtown W
Sad, Relevant, Great singing, Dated, Delightful

See it if See it for heartfelt personal stories, great singing, and some fine songs.

Don't see it if The James Taylor songs are amusingly easy to spot. You're expecting a plot, this is more of a revue.

86
A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Indulgent, Confusing, Ambitious, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if A rollicking, searing, original, raucous, wonderful, surprising, introspective, self-aware musical.

Don't see it if you're queasy about frank discussions of sex, dislike strong language, or prefer a traditional/linear/cliched musical plot.

Also Although the circular, self-referential conceit occasionally wears thi... Read more Read less

75
Fairview
Brooklyn
Excruciating, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Intense, Absorbing

See it if Hard-hitting, high-concept, Brechtian, vital theatre; race relations in America, the weight of the assumptive gaze, and fair(skinned)ness.

Don't see it if You have very low tolerance for non-traditional theater, can't wait to see how strange things resolve, or only care about entertainment.

Also The play grows on me on the more I think on it; I'm not sure I took aw... Read more Read less

85
Refreshing, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You want to see one of the best Beatrice's ever or a fabulous night out in the park. I wish more Shakespeare were done in this style.

Don't see it if No real reason not to, unless you hate Shakespeare comedies or getting rained on.

70
Slow, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You're a fan of Shepard or portrayals dysfunctional families or the rot of American idealism. Great staging and committed acting.

Don't see it if You can't stand symbolism or jagged plots. Some of the acting/monologues are uneven, and I'm not ultimately sure what the play wanted to say

70
All My Sons
Midtown W
Dated, Profound, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate the craftiness of Miller and a heavy dose of Greek fate. A well-architected, inevitable tragedy with some resonance.

Don't see it if Maybe this production, or just the era of the writing, but although I was touched, I was never moved. The concerns here seem far away.

72
Burn This
Midtown W
Raunchy, Funny, Dated

See it if You want to see Adam Driver's excellent, thrilling performance of someone abusing substances. You like F'ed up romances.

Don't see it if There's not a load going on beyond the good performances. The story is sort of a domestic drama intermingled with badboy attraction.

Also It's unclear to me this needed a revival, but I enjoyed it much more t... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Problematic, Raunchy, Dated, Great writing, Clever

See it if You loved the movie and want to see a great update. Some really good music and songs, but inconsistent. Good performances.

Don't see it if you hate cross-dressing, foul language, or off-color jokes. It was surprisingly dirty. You don't want to be reminded of 1980s gender roles.

Also A great update of a dated, problematic film remains an imperfect, date... Read more Read less

89
White Noise
East Village
Great writing, Riveting, Upsetting, Excruciating, Great acting

See it if a searing play about racial dynamics in America with excellent dialogue and acting.

Don't see it if You hate being uncomfortable in the theatre. Some of the plot leaps and character actions felt forced.

Also At three hours long, I expected a bit of a slog, but NO, I was glued t... Read more Read less

92
During previews
Indulgent, Quirky, Hilarious, Great staging, Clever

See it if You've seen the film; like irreverent, sarcastic, self-aware metacommentary in your shows. Want see giant monster puppets or a elaborate set

Don't see it if You may be a little confused without the film context...lots of nods. Some of the best laughs come at the expense of musical theater history

91
During previews
Great staging, Romantic, Must see, Epic, Great singing

See it if you like myths, musicals, folk music, spinning stages, or Eva Noblezada

Don't see it if You don't like your shows with any whiff of allegory or politics (in the broad sense). You demand a kickline.

Also I saw this show at NYTW and I think the Broadway budget has been well-... Read more Read less

97
Resonant, Profound, Indulgent, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you've ever lived in Scotland or loved a Scot, ditto Applachia, ditto "rural America" at large. You love cool songs and whisky.

Don't see it if You want a linear plot or traditional structure. This show is about emotions, lived experiences, shared history, and personal myth-making.

Also This production felt extremely targeted to me specifically, so I'm not... Read more Read less

46
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Dizzying, Confusing

See it if You love Nathan Lane, have seen Titus, are pleasantly inebriated, love random, are interested in literary criticism.

Don't see it if You're averse to bodily fluids, gore, sex, dicks, slapstick humor, cerebral humor, don't care about Shakespeare.

Also I almost feel like this would have been more focused and/or successful... Read more Read less

79
Lolita, My Love
Midtown E
Clever, Long, Interesting, Icky, Great singing

See it if you're interested in a historical flop with some surprisingly great tunes and a compelling frame narrative around Nabokov's masterpiece.

Don't see it if for better & worse, this hews closely to the plot of the novel. There is a lot of talk/portrayal of sex with an underage girl. 3 hours long.

Also It is deeply unclear why anyone ever thought converting a novelistic m... Read more Read less

45
Banal, Cliched, Entertaining, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you're really into the source material (or have compatriots who are) and have a high threshold for bad audiences. You love light design.

Don't see it if Well, the film isn't very good, so it's no surprise the musical isn't either. The songs are ok to good, but the motivations are a mess.

Also Full disclosure, I was never enamoured with the film, but I did think ... Read more Read less

91
During previews
We Are The Tigers
East Village
Great singing, Great staging, Campy, Clever, Must see

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

54
Call Me Madam
Midtown W
Cliched, Dated, Funny, Fluffy, Overrated

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.

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

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

81
Delightful, Entertaining, Fun, Romantic, Refreshing

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.

45
During previews
The Dance of Death
East Village
Dated, Great staging, Resonant, Overrated

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

87
During previews
Wives
Midtown W
Must see, Indulgent, Great writing, Hilarious, Clever

See it if You like genre-bending, searing comedy that explores gender roles and self-conception across time, place, and culture. Witty writing.

Don't see it if Actors playing multiple characters in different scenes isn't your thing. Non-linear narratives with a clear normative thrust disturb you.

Also One of the most promising, interesting, and funny plays I've seen late... Read more Read less

57
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Indulgent, Dated, Confusing

See it if you really love Williams and want to see him indulging in a new playwriting style that diverges from his naturalistic trademark style.

Don't see it if I think the contemporary reception of the play had it about right: it was a miss, but not a mess. Intelligent, irksome, interesting, obscure

72
Toni Stone
Midtown W
Interesting, Great acting, Delightful, Confusing

See it if April Matthis is incredible. You're interested in a wonderfully discursive bio-piece about a little known pioneer in American sports.

Don't see it if You don't like obscure histories, strong language (there's a lot of it: profane/obscene/racist), or non-linear storytelling.

Also Matthis should win an award for this show. She is pitch-perfect and ca... Read more Read less

55
Quirky, Raunchy, Awkward, Entertaining

See it if You like internet-themed catfishing comedy, or things like Aziz Ansari's book on "modern romance."

Don't see it if This isn't a "play" in a traditional sense, though I suppose it has an arc (she gets a date). Also, there is audience participation.

68
During previews
The Rolling Stone
Upper W Side
Upsetting, Relevant, Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want to see a well-acted family drama viscerally set against explicitly religious homophobia in Uganda.

Don't see it if you don't like being upset by theatre, you expect fresh takes or in-depth examinations of issues, believe in the #OwnVoices hashtag

Also Ultimately, the excellent actors carry this mediocre play. I find it q... Read more Read less

35
Dying City
Midtown W
Clever, Confusing, Slow, Excruciating

See it if One actor doubling two brothers across time (well-staged) & some ok performances are the only positives here.

Don't see it if Even at 75 minutes, it dragged. The ultimate revelations managed to be both boring and offensive.

77
Ink
Midtown W
Relevant, Upsetting, Ambitious, Clever

See it if A well-written, well-staged, well-acted, clever play about a dispiriting epoch in advertising and culture.

Don't see it if You don't want to enjoy the rise of Rupert Murdoch.

79
During previews
In the Green
Upper W Side
Quirky, Indulgent, Confusing, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you love music, McLean's music specifically, interesting musicals, great singing, experimental storytelling, or Hildegard specifically.

Don't see it if You're expecting historical narrative, or much of a narrative at all.

Also There is a biographical epilogue that feels tacked on, but largely the... Read more Read less

67
Mac Beth
West Village
Clever, Indulgent, Intense, Disappointing, Great writing

See it if you like the passion of committed amateurish productions with a slightly higher production value or want to see a competent Macbeth.

Don't see it if You're expecting a particularly fresh take, dislike staged violence, or can't understand actors that talk really fast.

Also I'm sure this is what the production was going for, and the young acto... Read more Read less

71
During previews
Cliched, Great singing, Confusing, Enchanting

See it if Wonderful music, especially when the songs aren't expected to the move the plot forward. Great acting from the whole cast, including Teeter.

Don't see it if (never read the book but) I found the plot hamfisted, boring, and heavily reliant on the tired trope of the "magical negro". Lily's annoying

86
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Confusing, Stressful

See it if An intensely personal look at how smart, self-aware people can participate in toxic, self-destructive behaviors.

Don't see it if You can't take being uncomfortable in the theater or you have no interest in the jagged angles of modern gender interactions.

Also The opening scene was equal parts searing, cringey, and sublime.

95
During previews
Octet
Midtown W
Profound, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if A stunning, beautiful, haunting a capella musical that explores facets of online existence and hits very close to home. Timely and terrific!

Don't see it if You want loads of plot (there's very little**), instruments (who needs them with voices like these?), or the traditional musical trappings.

Also I loved that Malloy manages to chillingly critique constant connectivi... Read more Read less

53
During previews
safeword.
Midtown W
Raunchy, Great staging, Funny, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if this play had a lot of potential and several great moments. It does a good job explaining BDSM, even if these explanations sap the action.

Don't see it if cliched depictions of couples (mono-straight denigrated, poly-queer idealized), actions and scenes come out of nowhere (mostly from Lauren).

Also The set up was sitcom-y, but the crisis genuinely took me off guard an... Read more Read less

65
Overrated, Masterful, Great dancing, Cliched, Dated

See it if for some excellent performances, tap dancing on the ceiling, several great numbers. You LOVE Porter or Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You don't want to endure a very dated production adapting a very sexist play. I don't want to say it's irredeemable, but maybe unreviveable?

Also Cole Porter is hysterical and clearly brilliant, but the show is just ... Read more Read less

88
Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Epic, Absorbing

See it if You like Anaïs Mitchell or folk music generally. You're all about that bass (Patrick Page). You like mythology and/or know the story.

Don't see it if You don't know or care about Orpheus, want a straightforward / realistic plot, don't like immersive shows.

60
The White Devil
West Village
Slow, Intense, Entertaining, Dated, Confusing

See it if You like old plays or are interested in the historical time capsule that is Jacobean revenge tragedy.

Don't see it if You're expecting Shakespeare. The language is less lyrical and the action less urbane. Popes and blood abound.

70
During previews
Long, Slow, Intense, Great writing

See it if You want to see Glenda Jackson slay. You love Lear and want a good production of it with great acting.

Don't see it if You hate gender-blind casting, don't like Lear, don't want a 3.5 hour play, are looking for a fresh take or expect Sam Gold to dazzle.

Also I really think if you're going to do Lear uncut (and should you? there... Read more Read less

67
Superhero
Midtown W
Slow, Great music, Enchanting, Cliched

See it if You like well-scored, predictable musicals without very many surprises. The music was great, the songs were trite to fine, the acting good.

Don't see it if You're looking for anything out of the mold or something that a comic book fan would enjoy. This was a watered-down but pleasant show.

70
Marys Seacole
Upper W Side
Confusing, Intense, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Educational

See it if you want to be engaged by vibrant theater, learn about Mary Seacole, and see an undercover play about motherhood and the American experience

Don't see it if you struggle with nonlinear narratives, dialect, doubling, or plays trying to do a whole lot of things at the same time. War scenes warning.

Also My reservations about this show largely involve the three-ish separate... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Alice By Heart
Midtown W
Confusing, Great movement, Great singing, Enchanting, Ambitious

See it if You like well-staged musicals with phenomenal movement and good performances. You want to see Grace McLean and Heath Saunders sing-off.

Don't see it if you don't like Duncan Sheik or Lewis Carroll. Alice By Heart leans very heavily on its source material, making it necessarily très bizarre.

Also an ambitious tale told on three levels (the real, the literary, and th... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Hurricane Diane
East Village
Dizzying, Intense, Resonant, Relevant, Raunchy

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

81
Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Confusing

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

60
For a previous production
Confusing, Intense, Quirky, Loud, Absorbing

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

75
During previews
Mies Julie
East Village
Intelligent, Intense, Raunchy, Relevant, Riveting

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

94
Blue Ridge
Chelsea
Intense, Riveting, Must see, Real, Emotional

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