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 (277)
85
Incantata
Chelsea
Great staging, Powerful, Riveting, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a mournful poem come to life. I had read the poem several times before the play which made his enactment more meaningful.

Don't see it if you're not a poetry fan and prefer more subdued (this performance isn't understated) theatrics.

90
Dana H.
Gramercy
Intense, Riveting, Masterful, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an amazing piece of theatrical skill. Dana's story is fascinating and Dierdre O'Connell fully inhabits the role.

Don't see it if you need stage action. Seated, she is telling a story -- and what a story it is! Not usually a fan of one-person shows, I was captivated.

78
Some good moments, Great acting

See it if you want to see a bravura performance from Laura Linney. The play is not worthy of her exquisite characterizations.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of one-person shows. Although, Linney's ability to create two different characters is praise-worthy.

88
During previews
Delightful, Beth malone is terrific, Great staging, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're looking for a rarely-done Meredith Willson (with some changes) score. Small theater, but beautifully done.

Don't see it if you need a big production. Small cast playing multiple roles and a small but excellent band.

Also Disclaimer: My critical skills may be somewhat muted as I was so pleas... Read more Read less

89
Mack & Mabel
Midtown W
Marvelous orchestrations, Great singing, Great choreography, Terrific score, Entertaining

See it if you want to see Jerry Herman's tuneful score come to life. Some great acting, singing and dancing.

Don't see it if you would be troubled by the much revised, still troublesome book. This is not a happy story, but it's beautifully performed by a great cast

60
During previews
72 Miles to Go...
Midtown W
Slow, Relevant, Confusing, Disjointed, Early preview

See it if you want to see a depiction of the effects of a family member being deported. It's a relevant topic calling for a more cohesive presentation

Don't see it if you want to understand all the dialogue. Sounds were muffled, especially phone calls. Almost 2 hours without an intermission.

76
Some funny moments, Entertaining, Clever, Beautiful costumes

See it if you're a Charles Busch fan. Lucky to be sitting up close and watching his facial expressions was a treat. A tad too long.

Don't see it if campy parodies of old movies are not your cup of tea. Watching everyone over-act does does become tiresome after a while.

85
Darling Grenadine
Midtown W
Great staging, Poignant, Interesting story, Great singing, Clever

See it if you're up to see a new work with some good songs and interesting characters. Clever staging and projections. Small cast does great job.

Don't see it if you want big -- large cast, orchestra, scenery. This is an intimate piece in a very small (black box) theater and the audience was involved.

Also This could use some judicious cuts.

61
During previews
Frankenstein (CSC)
East Village
Great music, Disappointing, Talky, Ambitious, Slow

See it if you want to see one more version of Mary Shelley's story. Interesting concept that just didn't work for me. Prefer Gene Wilder/Peter Boyle.

Don't see it if you need a plot that moves in a cohesive manner. This was confusing and seemed much longer than the 80 minutes.

77
Energetic, Fluffy, Great staging, Funny

See it if you want to see a comedy of manners, over the top, and quite amusing.

Don't see it if you're looking for a message or characterizations that delve into meaningful insights.

90
During previews
Relevant, Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a time capsule of Army life & racial conflict in the '40's. Kenny Leon brought some innovative touches enhancing the story.

Don't see it if you don't like murder mysteries. You have a problem with non-chronological order. Past, present, & future (in an epilogue) are all there.

Also This was a first preview, and all went smoothly.... Read more Read less

84
Seared
Midtown W
Amazing set, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to see 4 actors acquit themselves beautifully in the close quarters of a restaurant kitchen--with actual cooking. Absorbing.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to witnessing loud arguments. Much yelling, but always in character.

Also Versatility, thy name is Raul. Truly being alive in every role -- Bobb... Read more Read less

82
So original, Refreshing, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you want to see a funny, yet sometimes poignant, depiction of a man's journey to a far-off place. No spoilers!

Don't see it if you need your plays to be firmly fixed in the real world. This is so imaginative and clever, with great acting and great staging.

Also Who expects to find all of these in one play: It's a Wonderful Life, J... Read more Read less

71
FEAR
West Village
Interesting, Thought-provoking, Some good acting, Edgy

See it if you want to see a talky three-character mystery. Who done it? And who done the other thing? And why? Certainly 3 interesting characters.

Don't see it if you like a straight-forward plot structure with clear motivations and resolutions.

76
An Enchanted April
Midtown W
Slow, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you have fond memories of the movie and enjoy stories set in bygone eras. It's a lovely story with some sweet moments.

Don't see it if you don't want to sit for 2-1/2 plus hours. Definitely could use some cuts as there is much that is repetitive.

87
Clever, Mystifying, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to be amazed & find yourself repeating, "How did he do that?" People were certainly entertained by the feats and his personality.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of psychic powers and mental feats. I'll admit it--this kind of show (magic, illusion, mind games) has always intrigued me.

80
Dublin Carol
Chelsea
Absorbing, Poignant, Great acting, Great set

See it if you want to see a small, one-set, 3-character play. The actors bring the characters to life with McPherson's usual moving dialogue.

Don't see it if tales of alcoholism, family estrangement, Irish life aren't your cup of tea--many of which are consumed during the course of the 90 minutes.

84
Lots of fun, Great tapping by danny gardner, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy the revue format and are a Cole Porter fan. Some of his lesser known tunes.

Don't see it if you need a strong plot line to link the songs together. The intimacy of the small theater and the great voices made for an enjoyable time.

79
Pryce and atkins - superb, Great sets and lighting, Indulgent, Absorbing

See it if you can accept a non-linear time frame w/much ambiguity. Definitely worth seeing for the thoroughly believable performances of the 2 leads.

Don't see it if you need a story that goes from point to point in a neat chronological order with everything clearly explained. Many questions here.

60
The White Chip
Midtown E
Timely, Indulgent, Some funny moments, Manic

See it if you want to see one man's story of his battle with alcoholism. The 3 actors work very hard, constantly moving, 2 playing multiple roles.

Don't see it if you might be offended by some blatant religious stereotyping -- particularly offensive.

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

See it if you're open to hearing a point of view that might differ from yours. The actors seemed committed to their dialogue & were mostly articulate.

Don't see it if you're put off by radical Catholic conservatism and some gross stage business. All five actors are fine.

Also I had a tough time making up my mind on this play. The views presented... Read more Read less

71
Fluffy, Entertaining, Great songs

See it if you want to hear some great Cole Porter songs. I liked the 2 pianos and banjo accompaniment.

Don't see it if you're looking for more than bare-bones staging, as are all Mufti performances. Several singers lacked projection.

82
During previews
Moving, Literate, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're ready to go on a 90 minute journey with M.L. Parker. Yes, it's wordy with little action, but I found her story compelling and moving.

Don't see it if you need action. This is a writer's story (2 writers) and the focus is on their words. Both actors were excellent.

84
During previews
The Great Society
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Profound, Epic, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to gain an understanding of the LBJ era. Large cast w/some memorable performances. Great use of visual media.

Don't see it if you abhor violence depicted on stage and don't really care about LBJ and our involvement in last century events.

Also Having lived through (as an adult) the '60's, I found much of the depi... Read more Read less

62
During previews
Wives
Midtown W
Semi-funny, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You can get out after the first two vignettes. Steep downhill after that.

Don't see it if As others have noted, the King Henri and Hemingway's wives pieces were mildly amusing.

Also The final piece might as well have been spoken in Swahili. It was that... Read more Read less

78
Drift
Midtown W
Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you want to see an interesting story of family relationships unfold. Some of the past events were a bit confusing.

Don't see it if you don't want to hear actors screaming at each other -- a lot of yelling, as the whole play was presented at a fever pitch.

79
We're Gonna Die
Midtown W
Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Quirky, Clever

See it if if you want to see a great performance by Janelle McDermoth, a true life-force in a show about death. Some great staging and a terrific band

Don't see it if you're looking for a full-fledged play. Only 60 minutes, more like a cabaret act.

Also A bit of inconsistency with the audience singalong lyrics, "We're goin... Read more Read less

63
During previews
The Perplexed
Midtown W
Good actors doing the best they can with a script not worthy of them, Great set, Convoluted and confusing

See it if you want to see a set that you want to move into. Not nearly up to Richard Greenberg's past successes.

Don't see it if you want to see a believable plot. And it's much too long. I understand that 5 minutes have been cut -- not nearly enough.

75
During previews
Francis hue is mesmerizing, Intense, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you're up for a concert (as indicated in the title) mixed with some harrowing scenes of torture circa the Khmer Rouge regime.

Don't see it if you don't care for loud rock concerts. I found the juxtaposition between the music scenes and the dramatic scenes disconcerting.

71
Look Back In Anger
East Village
Intense, Profound, Edgy, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of Osborne's writing and want to visit (or revisit) the world of the angry young men of British drama.

Don't see it if you have little tolerance for yelling and mild violence. The volatile relationships are intense and rapidly change from moment to moment.

Also I liked the first act more than the second, hence my lowered grade. Th... Read more Read less

89
During previews
Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you love theater & Irish history. Beautiful retelling of the important role Lady Gregory played. And you get to meet Yeats, Synge, O'Casey.

Don't see it if you don't like "talky" plays. But you'll be missing a fascinating history lesson and 2 excerpts from Lady G's plays.

78
Absorbing, Relevant, Great set

See it if you want to see Len Cariou give a realistic performance, playing a very interesting character. Some lovely moments.

Don't see it if you don't like discussions about aging, failing health, and difficult father-son moments.

70
During previews
Lovely incidental music, Interesting plots, Some good acting, Slow

See it if if you like the Chekhov/Tolstoy stories and want to see them brought to life.

Don't see it if you need a more complete presentation. These are really slices of life enactments.

Also Some of the dialogue in Chekhov was difficult to hear.

84
Refreshing, Funny, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you love musicals and want to be entertained with clever parodies. Great cast and pianist.

Don't see it if you need a plot. This is a real revue that moves smoothly. Lots of fun.

Also Less emphasis on impersonations than in past incarnations -- more focu... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Grand Horizons
Midtown W
Quirky, Some clever dialogue, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you want to see some great acting, especially Jane Alexander and James Cromwell.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the trials and disappointments of a long-married couple and their neurotic children.

Also At 2:15 it is a tad too long and Michael Urie's "date scene" could be ... Read more Read less

84
Some great choreography, Refreshing, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to spend 75 minutes in the company of 5 talented performers (and one great pianist) presenting Yeston tunes.

Don't see it if you need a narrative/plot to tie the numbers together.. This is a true revue and it all worked for me.

Also This piqued my curiosity -- I want to see the full IN THE BEGINNING.

79
Ambitious, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a couple experience the disillusionment of their beliefs amid shattering self-realization. Some powerful acting.

Don't see it if the implicit comparisons to Death of a Salesman make this Pulitzer Prize winning play come in a distant second place.

79
During previews
Greater Clements
Upper W Side
Intense, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're up for a long evening that held my interest. Judith Ivey and Edmund Donovan were terrific in very demanding roles.

Don't see it if you want happy. The town is closing and there are some very difficult family situations. And yet, it worked for me.

Also Once again I ask, what's the rationale for onstage seating? Every now ... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Quirky, Indulgent, Some interesting dialogue, Confusing

See it if you're a Will Eno fan. Some fine actors and some interesting dialogue presenting the theme of life's journey.

Don't see it if you need a standard plot line. I had trouble following the characters' lives and their inter-relationships.

83
Panama Hattie
Midtown E
Fluffy, Fun, Terrific cast, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you're a Cole Porter fan. A terrific cast on book in a story that's surprisingly touching at times. An entertaining evening.

Don't see it if the Mufti concept (no sets, small cast on book, two-piece "orchestra") is not for you.

Also I never got to see Ethel in person, but Klea Blackhurst is just terrif... Read more Read less

81
Monsoon Season
West Village
Absorbing, Great sets and lighting, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want to see two fully depicted characters come to life. He's morose and she's manic.

Don't see it if You want to see interaction between them. The action is in the form of monologues, believable and touching.

85
During previews
Intense, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a bravura acting performance by Michael Benjamin Washington. He fully inhabits all the characters in this involving piece.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of one-man shows. But there's certainly more than one man on the stage: Lubavatcher women, Mr. Cato, Al Sharpton, et. al.

68
Misterman
Upper W Side
Confusing, Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you admire Enda Walsh and are willing to view his dizzying portrayal of a man's dramatic breakdown without understanding everything he says.

Don't see it if you need to understand everything the marvelous solo actor says. As others have mentioned, his accent is thick and it can be frustrating.

89
During previews
Absorbing, Profound, Masterful, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you're up for a different take on Macbeth. Doyle's staging is more intimate and made it more personal.

Don't see it if you need costumes, scenery, big casts for your Shakespeare. Some of the tableaux were so striking, almost like paintings.

Also The entire cast was great-- terrific ensemble acting. Corey Stoll's pr... Read more Read less

85
Is This A Room
Gramercy
Riveting, Profound, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a timely true depiction of Reality Winner's interrogation by FBI agents. The 70 mins completely held my attention.

Don't see it if you need action. All talk, but what a fascinating reenactment. Superb acting, especially by E. Davis. Her every facial expression rang true.

70
During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Raunchy, Relevant, Great set, Some funny lines

See it if you want to spend 2+ hours with a very unpleasant (albeit intelligent & witty) 50-yr-old man, watching his misadventures w/friends & lovers.

Don't see it if viewing nudity and demeaning women offend you. Letts is a good writer, capturing clever dialogue, but the plot isn't worthy of his talents.

92
During previews
The Inheritance
Midtown W
Epic, Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some terrific ensemble acting, absorbing plot, intriguing (albeit not always sympathetic) characters in a well-told story.

Don't see it if you are offended by fleeting nudity, simulated (and well-choreographed sex scenes), much focus on being gay.

Also I understand the lavish praise for this production (in London). It's a... Read more Read less

92
Thought-provoking, Moving, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to hear a fascinating post-WWII dialogue between an Irish monsignor and a captured German officer. Based on an actual event.

Don't see it if you cannot deal with vivid, extremely graphic descriptions of wartime brutality.

Also The audience hung on every word uttered by these two talented actors o... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Scotland, PA
Midtown W
Quirky, Great sets, Enthusiastic performances, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to see a musical combining Macbeth, hamburgers, '70's culture (and great costumes), and Kojack mentions. Some fun ensues.

Don't see it if you're looking for memorable tunes. These are forgettable. The show could be cut, but there is much to like and the cast is winning.

84
During previews
Vivid, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Poignant

See it if you'd like to see an engrossing tale of 5 friends in Scotland and their childish "games." The narrator is looking back at an intense moment.

Don't see it if you have a problem with heavy accents, exacerbated by a loud AC system. I was in the second row and missed a lot of the dialogue.

Also There is much to like here -- a moving story, great swing set for scen... Read more Read less