Karen 6302

New York City
About:  I'm an avid theater-goer who does a lot of volunteer ushering. I've been going to the theater since 1954 -- Peter Pan with Mary Martin.
Reviews (175)
60
During previews
Overlong, Indulgent, Great staging, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you're curious about an African folk tale re-imagined. There are some good musical numbers.

Don't see it if you have difficulty with heavily accented speech. I missed much of the dialogue. The play goes on too long with about three fake endings.

84
During previews
Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Emotionally wrenching, Absorbing

See it if if you want to witness a heart-wrenching story of South Africans suffering through the apartheid regime.

Don't see it if you have to understand every word. One of the 3 characters is not even speaking English. And accents often make it difficult to understand.

Also This play packs an emotional wallop, especially the last half-hour.

82
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a true story brought to life by three talented actors. The play moves right along, holding the audience's interest.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with frank discussions (and enactments) of sexual activities.

Also I was particularly impressed with the "choreography" of the sexual sce... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Quirky, Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland and Duncan Sheik. There are some lovely melodies (Down the Hole) and some entertaining staging.

Don't see it if if you're looking for a unified product. I was bothered by inconsistent accents and near (and not so near) rhymes: tomorrow/forever.

Also MCC's new theater is lovely with great sight lines.

71
Quirky, Fluffy, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you're up for an evening of some silly, over-the-top entertainment. The cast displays enthusiasm and the end result is enjoyable.

Don't see it if you're looking for something serious. Although one does gain some insight in the long-lasting Eddie van Halen/David Lee Roth rift.

86
During previews
Quirky, Great score/orchestrations, Entertaining, Clever

See it if if you're a Sondheim fan. Wonderful score -- even with a small (eight musicians) band.

Don't see it if you need big. Somehow the six-person cast (often playing multiple roles) make it work.

Also I've enjoyed Fiasco before (Twelfth Night and Into the Woods) and admi... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Topical, Relevant, Funny

See it if you're a fan of Colin Quinn. I especially liked his tour of each state, with a bon mot for each one.

Don't see it if you're looking for something meatier. At times he seemed disengaged and mumbling.

80
Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to see a bravura performance by Cherise Boothe. The other actors do well in playing several roles.

Don't see it if you object to over-the top, often stereotypical depictions.

Also I was taken by the riches-to-rags story and Nottage's gift for story t... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Some good acting, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you want to explore case studies and interactions of people in a halfway house working out their problems.

Don't see it if you want to see a finished, cohesive play. For me, it just didn't hold together. There are some fine, moving moments.

Also The accents and overlapping conversations and some staging choices mad... Read more Read less

79
Great staging, Edgy, Convoluted, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some terrific acting -- from all three. The story certainly holds your attention.

Don't see it if you're looking for a clear resolution. There is ambiguity with the ending.

86
Enchanting, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to spend about 90 minutes being entertained with music, humor and delightful nostalgia.

Don't see it if you need something big. The 6 singers (including violinist) and pianist perform traditional carols and some written by Charlotte Moore.

Also What a lovely respite from the real world. The audience exited with sm... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Slow, Quirky, Indulgent, Great acting

See it if you like Reza's works - similar structure/characters to God of Carnage and Art. First preview, no mishaps.

Don't see it if you're looking for something with substance. There are three mini-playlets (90 minutes) with the same four characters, different scenarios.

Also I had seen this 15 years ago at Circle in the Square: Helen Hunt, John... Read more Read less

90
Riveting, Masterful, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you want to see three wonderful solo mini-musicals. Each one was a complete little story, beautifully performed.

Don't see it if you need big. Each bare-bones piece with little musical accompaniment was just perfect.

Also Unfortunately, it closed today. So glad I got to see it.

93
During previews
Absorbing, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see some fine ensemble acting in a much-loved story. It unfolds beautifully and the almost 3 hours seemed to move right along.

Don't see it if you're looking for a replication of the movie. Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger (indeed the entire cast) created a new view.

Also Even though I was familiar with the novel and the movie, I was complet... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Relevant, Riveting, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in seeing a Brecht play brought to life with innovative staging and an astonishing tour de force performance by Esparza.

Don't see it if you're looking for something light and frivolous. This requires concentration and focus, but well worth it.

Also I'm glad I read the Wikipedia article beforehand. It helped me connect... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Original, Great singing, Funny, Delightful, Clever

See it if you want to see a fun show with a very talented (and multi-faceted) cast. Some clever story-telling and a tuneful score.

Don't see it if you have no affection for or interest in Neil Diamond (not really a spoiler). There's quite a bit of ethnic-based humor.

77
Overlong,, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see some fine acting, including real tears. Some lovely scenes.

Don't see it if you're looking for a coherent plot. Several fake endings. Even at only 90 minutes, it went on too long.

93
During previews
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you want t see an exhilarating, moving family drama with comic moments. Completely engrossing; even though lengthy, it moved right along.

Don't see it if you don't have the patience for a convoluted plot and listening to accented speech.

Also After reading some comments about the difficulty in hearing the actors... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Quirky, Edgy, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're up for something different. Vigorous acting, convoluted plot and gore ... lots of blood and violence.

Don't see it if you're put off by frank (and weird) sexual discussion, coarse language, and (Did I mention?) many violent scenes.

Also My take: Just sit there and witness the spectacle in all its Technicol... Read more Read less

69
Indulgent, Great music, Disappointing, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you love Emily Dickinson's poetry and Amy Beach's music. I was unfamiliar with the latter, but was so pleased to have an introduction.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for inflated use of projections and other gimmicks.

Also I would have enjoyed this so much more just listening to the music and... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if if you want to see some terrific ensemble acting in a story both poignant and humorous -- but always credible.

Don't see it if if watching a family member suffer from dementia hits close to home and may be difficult to observe.

Also Elaine May gives a bravura performance, seeming to shrink physically a... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Refreshing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like Gurney's work and enjoy one-acts. I especially liked the first and the third. The second was a tad overlong.

Don't see it if you can't appreciate convoluted comic plots and exaggerated characters.

86
Absorbing, Refreshing, Great writing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you have an interest in Berlin's work. Even though I was familiar with his songs, the scope of his outcome is just amazing.

Don't see it if you're put off by sentiment, as Felder does get emotional retelling some of the sadder aspects of Berlin's life.

61
Too long, Slow, Intense, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if if you want to see a depiction of a horrible historical event. The cast gives it their all for material that often isn't worth their effort.

Don't see it if you do not want to witness one brutal event after another. Some of the songs are lovely and there is a brief comical scene.

90
Great dancing, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if If you want to have a delightful evening, watching an enormously talented cast.

Don't see it if if you need a story-line to link the songs together. No dialogue, just great singing and dancing and musicianship.

Also "You're gonna need an ocean ... of Calomine lotion." These oldies but ... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Good acting, Great sets, Slow, Dated

See it if you enjoy seeing period plays. An interesting story about a man who adheres to his principles.

Don't see it if you need action. The play is quite static with an abrupt ending.

Also I loved the costumes, set, and the two dance numbers. Other aspects, n... Read more Read less

84
Irreverent, Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to have several laughs at the hypocrisy of televangelists. All 3 actors superbly portray their characters, and God does show up.

Don't see it if you are or know a televangelist or do not like to see anyone poking fun at organized religion.

85
Entertaining, Great orchestrations, Lovely score, Great dancing, Great singing

See it if you're looking for an old-fashioned musical. Thin plot, some lovely songs and dances, and a happy ending. Great costumes.

Don't see it if you want fast-moving action. However, the Berlin score is well-served by the talented cast.

84
Emotional, Relevant, Great staging, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if if you want to witness great acting and singing. Jeremy Pope is wonderful (real tears!) and the whole cast performs as a tight ensemble.

Don't see it if you're put off by gay characters and some vivid sexual scenes.

82
During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if if you're a Strindberg fan. This production seems so modern, even though it was written in 1900.

Don't see it if you don't like theater in the round (or the rectangle). It is long (almost two hours) with no intermission, but moves right along.

Also I had seen a Broadway production years ago -- and was unmoved. There's... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to be completely absorbed in the reenactment of the 1968 trial of the Berrigan brothers and 7 others for burning draft records.

Don't see it if you might find it difficult to follow a script that has only three actors playing multiple roles. Their performances were riveting.

74
During previews
Dark humor, Edgy, Great set, Absorbing

See it if you can laugh at very, very dark humor. Worth seeing for Gordon Clapp's completely believable performance.

Don't see it if you're put off by macabre events and depictions of Alzheimer's and dark family secrets.

Also Apparently, the lead role was written for Gordon Clapp, and he was exc... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Intense, Great staging, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a vigorous depiction of Sam Shepard's play. Dano and Hawke give vivid performances.

Don't see it if you're turned off by volatile, physical, destructive actions. The two brothers create a chaotic, frenzied scene.

Also This was the first preview, and I am certain things will tighten up. I... Read more Read less

82
Romantic, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a believable love story with dialogue that seems credible. I bought the story, which has some unexpected turns.

Don't see it if you're turned off by plays with LGBTQ themes.

76
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of Friel. Acting students take note: some wonderful monologues, especially in Lovers:Winners.

Don't see it if you need action. Both plays are quite static. Sightlines in the first play make it difficult to see the actors. Try for front row.

Also Friel certainly had a way with words. These two plays, written years a... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Relevant, Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in the problems of immigrants adjusting to life in the United States after leaving a war-torn country (here Iraq).

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with a cohesive, clear story line. This play meanders all over the place.

Also The playwright has much to say, but somehow for me it didn't hold toge... Read more Read less

90
Refreshing, Great writing, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to hear a real story told by an excellent story-teller. Mike's tale really rings true and he does entertain the audience.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to one-man shows and don't want to hear about one man's journey into fatherhood.

97
Talented cast, Touching, Wonderful score, Great dancing, Exquisite

See it if you've never seen A Chorus Line, you have seen A Chorus Line.The cast is so talented. There is magic in the final number (and mirrors, too).

Don't see it if you don't like musicals. That's the only reason I can think of. And, if you don't like musicals, you're missing some great shows.

Also I hadn't seen a production of ACL since early in its Broadway run -- a... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Bryan cranston's tour de force, Relevant, Epic, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're a fan of Cranston and von Hove. Be prepared for a very busy evening, with action and dialogue (and dinner) covering the entire stage.

Don't see it if you don't want to be prodded into reacting and shouting and applauding. This is not a passive audience experience.

Also The staging is similar to von Hove's The Damned at the Armory with liv... Read more Read less

50
During previews
Banal, Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you missed it in its earlier incarnation and you are curious about its success. This production will not resolve the issue.

Don't see it if you want to see a well-mounted, well-acted play.

Also As others have noted, there are many examples of poor acting, inaudibl... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Slow, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you're a Will Eno fan.I've seen 2 of his plays, and I'm not in the category. Much of the monologue is clever and meaningful, but not enough.

Don't see it if you're waiting for something to happen. Michael Hall is a terrific actor with great presence, but the story he tells didn't hold me.

81
(sadly) relevant, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if if you're a Vonnegut fan and are willing to go on a crazy, wild trip. I especially liked the musical interludes.

Don't see it if you have a problem with theater of the absurd and want to be grounded in reality.

95
Profound, Masterful, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to spend 90 minutes completely engrossed in watching and listening to Bill Irwin perform and elucidate Beckett's works.

Don't see it if you need a big cast to provide a full presentation. Alone on stage (with just a little assist), Mr. Irwin is more than sufficient.

Also I was completely captivated and at times felt as though my head would ... Read more Read less

85
Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to be taken on a fun trip to a snooker tournament. My only quibble is that I missed some of the lines due to the accents.

Don't see it if you're turned off by very British humor. Outrageous (but believable) characters and a convoluted plot combine for a laugh-filled outing.

72
Some fine moments, Interesting topic, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you have an interest in societal and labor/management conflicts during the Depression or you're a Hellman completist.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for talky plays. This one has too many plot lines, too many characters (some blatant stereotypes).

Also And yet, it held my interest. There are some well-written and well-per... Read more Read less

91
Raunchy, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to see five excellent actors and great staging in a play examining women's roles (sexual and societal) in today's society.

Don't see it if you are put off by a frank discussion of genitalia (meow!) and LGBTQ issues.

75
Some good acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in strange religions in the rural South. A large cast acquits itself well. To discuss this further would reveal spoilers.

Don't see it if you don't like shouting actors. I was in the front row so that might have added to the high noise level.

Also There are several musical interludes -- hymns -- performed quite well.

75
Great projections, Fun, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you want to have an enjoyable time watching a hard-working, talented cast -- even if your teenage years are long ago and far away.

Don't see it if you have no interest in teen-age angst and if loud, repetitive music annoys you.

71
Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see four actors (no, six actors) do their stuff. Some very interesting conversations, but the play doesn't hold together

Don't see it if you're put off by LGBTQ talk, especially in the introductory piece. Also, if you want more than just character sketches.

Also As the play ended, I was disappointed that there wasn't a clearly defi... Read more Read less

80
Relevant, Profound, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in women's right to choose. With Ireland just recently passing a referendum on allowing abortions, this play is so timely.

Don't see it if you cringe at discussions of reproductive rights. If you're strongly aligned to one side, you might not like this balanced presentation.

Also The talkback was extremely informative and added so much to the play.