Justinian

Manhattan | 25-34 | Male
About:  Coffee drinker by day, theatre geek by night.
Reviews (273)
40
During previews
The Minutes
Midtown W
Funny, Confusing, Overrated, Great acting, Banal

See it if You're in the mood for an absurdist farce that indicts the whitewashing of American history. Good acting. A dark version of Parks & Rec.

Don't see it if I didn't feel like there was a real payoff and don't get the hype around the ending. It doesn't say much new, and what it has to say is dull

76
Cliched, Cluttered, Indulgent, Ambitious, Great music

See it if You like musicals. The musical numbers aren't copies of the trackseveryone knows, making it more exciting at the expense of fan service.

Don't see it if You don't like shows throwing social issues at the plot wall like spaghetti to see what sticks. There's a LOT going on, but mostly works.

Also The orchestrations are interesting, inventive, and largely successful.... Read more Read less

82
Medea (BAM)
Brooklyn
Ambitious, Raunchy, Intense, Great acting, Great staging

See it if An tale of betrayal, marriage, and female rage ruthlessly modernized with a white-minimalist staging. Great acting from IRL married couple.

Don't see it if you're extending it to hew closely to Euripedes or cover any new ground. You don't like sex talk, profanity, videography, or violence.

Also After seeing this and Yerma, I think that I like Stone a lot as a dire... Read more Read less

82
The Thin Place
Midtown W
Refreshing, Quirky, Scary, Dizzying, Absorbing

See it if You like ghost stories, like the kind you tell around campfires. Also monologues and spooky lighting.

Don't see it if You don't like to suspend your disbelief, shiver, or use your imagination. It's a real play, but less "theatrical" than "storyfeeling".

91
Greater Clements
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Profound, Intense, Great writing

See it if Maybe I just really like Sam Hunter, but this play really did it for me. Gripping, heartrending, naturalistic, and compelling...

Don't see it if ...without being obviously great. The plot, as it is, doesn't sound that great, and some of the actors are much stronger than others, but...

Also ultimately the dialogue, the tempo, and the human scale of the drama k... Read more Read less

72
Slow, Overrated, Entertaining, Confusing, Clever

See it if You like magic, mentalism, and excellent stagemanship. You're curious about psychology or "psychic" manipulation.

Don't see it if Incredibly long, repetitive bits; copious audience interaction; or unexplained mysteries bug you. It's a bit preachy.

73
Seared
Midtown W
Banal, Entertaining, Funny, Riveting, Quirky

See it if This is the kitchen equivalent of a backstage drama. A dysfunctional, egoistic chef comes to terms with his limits at a bougie BK restaurant

Don't see it if You don't like small, naturalistic dramas with low stakes and flawed characters. You don't care about cooking, onstage or off.

79
Quirky, Fast, Resonant, Great writing, Delightful

See it if a streamlined, raucous, rollicking version of one of Shakespeare's problem plays with an all female cast.

Don't see it if You don't like cross-casting or streamlined Shakespeare productions. You don't want to engage with your fellow audience.

77
Great staging, Catchy, Indulgent, Epic, Great singing

See it if you want to see a great staging of a very Lloyd Webber musical. The music is great, catchy, and indelible.

Don't see it if The story is... less obviously wonderful. It's a curious subject for these writers, and it seems strange to turn a life into a hagiography.

88
Classic, Slow, Riveting, Intense, Great writing

See it if you want to see one of Shakespeare's best played by a great Irish company in a gorgeous, harsh, mixed modern staging.

Don't see it if You're looking for a fresh take of an enduring, timely classic. But this is a highly competent production with moments of excellence.

Also Even if there's nothing wild or outrageous (as there was in last year'... Read more Read less

85
Soft Power
East Village
Must see, Indulgent, Intelligent, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if this is a thrilling, new, political (meta-)musical with a lot to say about the state of the theatre and the world.

Don't see it if there's a lot going on, and for a while, it doesn't seem like it's going to be a musical. When it is, there's a sharp satirical edge.

Also I decided that trying to explain this show would turn people off, but ... Read more Read less

69
Intelligent, Slow, Overrated, Great writing

See it if you're interested in a solid but safe rendition of a Shakespearean classic.

Don't see it if You're looking for a fresh take or unforgettable performances. You're going to miss the porter scene.

Also Super competent production, but overall underwhelming. I know it's eit... Read more Read less

86
Great choreography, Entertaining, Relevant, Masterful, Great singing

See it if you like David Byrne, Talking Heads, or great concerts. Byrne's performance is engaging and dynamic, but Parson and Giarmo deserve praise.

Don't see it if It's a literal weird to me this is listed as "theatre". This is a concert. An excellently choreographed one, but don't expect anything else.

54
Sunday
Chelsea
Indulgent, Confusing, Intense, Quirky, Banal

See it if you want to see cringey, mean, annoying millennials talk in-depth about a random book (Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant).

Don't see it if you don't like talky, plotless plays; uncomfortable sexual overtones; or incomprehensible dance breakdowns mid-scene.

Also There are some good points to this play. It's broadly well-acted; ther... Read more Read less

85
Stupid F**king Bird
West Village
Great writing, Funny, Indulgent, Absorbing, Clever

See it if a strong production of a brilliant show. You don't need to know or like Chekhov to appreciate this play, but it certainly will help.

Don't see it if small, blackbox productions that run nearly 3 hours aren't your thing. You don't like profanity or breaking the 4th wall.

75
Simple, Refreshing, Hilarious, Erudite, Clever

See it if You want a filthy, classy, hilarious romp through Novak's sexual origin story with nods to Eliot, Nabokov, and Shakespeare.

Don't see it if you don't like standup. This is one comedian on a bare stage with a microphone, speaking in the first person.

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
For a previous production
Mac Beth
Upper E Side
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

85
The Inheritance
Midtown W
Long, Intelligent, Indulgent, Epic, Exquisite

See it if You've ever read any Forster. This show got me started and I have no regrets. You like literary, smart plays set in present day NYC.

Don't see it if Look, it's 7 hours long, extremely NYC, uncommercial, artsy, gay, based on a novel from 1910 with 4th wall breaking third person narration.

Also I can't believe this got produced on Broadway, but I'm very glad it di... Read more Read less

44
Banal, Cliched, Raunchy, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if Never seen the movie, but maybe if you're a fan of that or the actors. The acting is the highlight of this humdrum musical.

Don't see it if Well, despite bland songs, ridiculous plot, poor sound design / vocal opportunities, and a meandering story... I had a lot fun!

90
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Touching, Profound, Must see, Great direction, Funny

See it if a touching, tragicomic family drama surfacing family lies and touches on the nature of love, family, and passion. Especially in old age.

Don't see it if family drama isn't your thing. Despite feeling quite modern and up-to-date, it does entertain the sensibility of previous decades of drama.

Also I've been thinking about this play a lot ever since I saw it. Despite ... Read more Read less

64
Judgment Day
Upper E Side
Great staging, Slow, Dizzying, Dated, Ambitious

See it if Really fascinating, if ultimately superfluous, massive stage pieces moving dance-like to portray this pre-WWII tragedy.

Don't see it if The play arguably doesn't merit the epic scale of its staging. Solid writing, but quite dated. Acting was fine, but upstaged by...the stage.

81
Betrayal
Midtown W
Slow, Riveting, Great staging, Dizzying

See it if Small, intimate show about the ties that bind. Strong performances, characters, and script all around.

Don't see it if You don't like character-driven drama, backwards narratives, or petty, manipulative jealousies and betrayals (heh).

Also My first Pinter play, and I was into it. Great narrative framing (time... Read more Read less

74
The Michaels
East Village
Intelligent, Slow, Masterful, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if You're a Richard Nelson fan (I am), because he clearly has his technique: real-time family plays set in Rhinebeck. Small, intimate dramas.

Don't see it if You want all the dancers to the be good actors, you don't give a hoot about modern dance, you don't like conversational plays in the round.

Also Nelson is at it again, and while I'm not mad about it, I sort of hoped... Read more Read less

84
Relevant, Intelligent, Must see, Meta, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in playwriting, historicity, power, the purpose of theater, WWII, or what it means to act morally in the world.

Don't see it if You don't like breaking the fourth wall, supernatural plot elements, lots of talking, intellectualizing, or Tony Kushner.

Also This play made me realize how much I like Kushner. I would love to rea... Read more Read less

41
Slow, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Banal, Boring

See it if A slow, continuous play with strange language, low stakes, sketchy characters. Four dissimilar women hash out their desires.

Don't see it if There are maybe two interesting conversations in the whole play, and the most interesting characters are not the leads. This one's a bust.

Also Perhaps I was just not in the right mindset or this play wasn't for me... Read more Read less

64
Heartwarming, Enchanting, Great staging, Cliched, Sentimental

See it if You want to have your cockles warmed by a holiday classic. Thorne has kept Dickens' best lines and wisely recast the ghosts as The Fates.

Don't see it if A new, wholly unnecessary and ill-conceived ending will intrude on your enjoyment. Your tolerance for hand bells or cheesiness is low.

60
Power Strip
Upper W Side
Excruciating, Relevant, Riveting, Intense, Cliched

See it if a moving, intense depiction of life in a refugee camp and the compromises we will or won't make in our lives.

Don't see it if Fairly predictable plot unfolds and is full of bathos. Unfortunately, the lead gives the weakest performance in the production.

87
Pretentious, Inspiring, Literary, Intense, Absorbing

See it if A thrilling two-hander that twists and winds through the human condition. Desire, fate, fame, self-loathing, and good books abound.

Don't see it if This play stirs powerful emotions. (see more) You don't like contemporary plays that are self-consciously heightened in language.

Also There's a lot going on that might upset an audience. I found it ultima... Read more Read less

60
Thought-provoking, Intense, Excruciating, Dated, Confusing

See it if you're interested in poetic monologues only tenuously related to one another. Moving performances and well-staged, but all over the place.

Don't see it if you're looking for Aristotelian theater with a cast of characters and narrative arc. There is storytelling, but no beginning/middle/end.

93
Must see, Intense, Excruciating, Great staging, Dizzying

See it if A searing, vital, important play about ideological divides, even on the same "side." Genius character sketches and relentless dialogue.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about ideas, conversation, and character (however unsympathetic). There may be less plot than traditionalists desire.

Also For an incredibly insightful, thoughtful, and thorough review see Vins... Read more Read less

68
The Rose Tattoo
Midtown W
Slow, Romantic, Great staging, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you really like Tomei or Williams. This is a gorgeously-staged, unexceptional production. Sturdy but not fresh or interesting.

Don't see it if you want to avoid tired tropes and dubious accents. Lots of the language is unsurprisingly beautiful, but the plot is less so.

45
During previews
Scotland, PA
Midtown W
Fluffy, Epic, Great music, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You like goofy musicals with awesome music that mix the serious with comedic gags.

Don't see it if you're looking for interesting new approachs to ambition, Shakespeare, or Macbeth. This is a fun, fluffy musical you won't think much about.

Also I've never seen the movie, so I don't know how closely this silly show... Read more Read less

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