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 (229)
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

70
Make Believe
Midtown W
Interesting story, Disappointing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you're interested in dysfunctional families -- and this one certainly takes the cake. The then and now approach was well done.

Don't see it if you need a well-constructed plot. Often repetitious and confusing.

71
Intense, Relevant, Too long, Ambitious

See it if you like autobiographical stories. The young actor is fervent and emotional. An unusual angle -- as described in the title.

Don't see it if you're put off by stereotypical depictions: Puerto Ricans, transsexuals, privileged white guys ...

Also Maybe because I was sitting in the first row, at times the emotional i... Read more Read less

70
Hannah Senesh
Financial
Some lovely music, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you're interested in the depiction of one woman's growth from a young schoolgirl in Hungary to kibbutz life in Palestine to WWII heroics.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of one-person shows. Although Lexi Rabadi deserves credit for her dual characterizations--and her quick wardrobe changes.

85
Road Show
Midtown W
Marvelous performances, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're looking to find out why Weidman/Sondheim keep re-working the show. There are some great songs and certainly a captivating story.

Don't see it if you need straight-forward story telling. The plot meanders all over the place, mirroring the lives of the Mizner brothers.

Also I found this to be a great improvement over the version at the Public ... Read more Read less

84
Working: A Musical
Midtown W
Relevant, Some great songs, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you're up for great songs well delivered, depicting a wide range of professions. James Taylor, Stephen Schwartz, Lyn-Manuel Miranda, etc.

Don't see it if you're looking for a big production. This has a small band, but the singers were great.

Also I had never seen a production of Working before, so I'm not sure how t... Read more Read less

83
During previews
The Rolling Stone
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some great acting in a story that mirrors the devastating truth in Uganda and its horrific homophobia.

Don't see it if you do not want to witness gay love scenes and listen to intense evangelical preaching.

Also This was first preview and there were no visible glitches.... Read more Read less

51
Inconsistent, Cliched, Confusing

See it if you're a fan of Leenya Rideout. Was hoping to see the Chalks, no longer appearing. Songs of heartache, a la Parton, Wynette, Cash, et. al.

Don't see it if you're looking for a well-developed play.

71
During previews
Absorbing, Poignant, Interesting remounting

See it if you appreciate Irish drama. Some very poignant scenes and some good acting.

Don't see it if you have no patience for a long, drawn out unfolding plot. Some directorial choices made some of the dialogue difficult to understand.

92
Great costumes, Funny, Great singing and dancing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to have a great time at a well-constructed, tuneful musical. The entire cast was terrific.

Don't see it if you can't see the rationale of telling a story about a teenage lesbian and her desire to go to a prom.

Also Such a joyful ambiance pervaded the theater. It appeared as though the... Read more Read less

62
During previews
Dying City
Midtown W
Smooth scene changes, Great set, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you'd like to see a story where one actor plays identical twins - convincingly. An interesting story concept that just didn't work for me.

Don't see it if you're looking for a gripping tale. I'm not sure why this was so moving when I saw it in 2007 and seemed to drag interminably for 90 mins.

73
Happy Talk
Midtown W
Implausible, Edgy, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see Susan Sarandon's superb acting skills, creating a fascinating character.

Don't see it if you're looking for a believable, cohesive plot. Jesse Eisenberg writes some great dialogue, but it doesn't really hold together.

Also Maybe because I was sitting in the front row, I was completely captiva... Read more Read less

53
Talky, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you absolutely must see every Arthur Miller play.

Don't see it if you want something cohesive. I also had trouble understanding some of the actors as they were not projecting.

Also Sometimes there's a reason why plays are not produced.

92
During previews
So much fun, Clever staging, Great singing, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you want to have a fun evening. Great physical comedy and clever, ingenious staging. Many, many laughs and a happy ending.

Don't see it if you don't want to take a trip back to an earlier time. No big orchestra, just three musicians, who acquitted themselves beautifully.

50
Numbness: Chapter 2
West Village
Quirky, Edgy, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you relish being let in to a play without a logical narrative and with actors who are certainly extremely agile and enthusiastic.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of theater of the absurd.

Also Maybe I'm not adventurous enough, but this just didn't do it for me. A... Read more Read less

81
During previews
Octet
Midtown W
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a capella singing. Some great voices and lovely, haunting melodies.

Don't see it if the subject matter (technology addiction) is of no interest to you and you prefer big musicals (with musical instruments).

Also I'm still thinking about it as it is so unusual -- in concept and in s... Read more Read less

69
Funny -- yes, i laughed, Disappointing, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you're curious about what happens AFTER Titus Andronicus. You're up for 90 minutes of kaka, farts, urine and the actors' great comic timing.

Don't see it if you're hoping to see a play worthy of the actors' talents. It's such a mess, literally and figuratively.

Also 5/11 - Saw Gary again, this time from a much closer seat and re-evalua... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Ink
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great set, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some bravura acting, especially Jonny Lee Miller, with the more flamboyant role of Larry Lamb. Absolutely mesmerizing.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the rise of Rupert Murdoch and don't want to sit for 2:45.

Also This production moves right along with dancing, singing, projections, ... Read more Read less

70
During previews
The White Devil
West Village
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Funny, Absorbing

See it if you're up for absorbing a very convoluted plot, many characters, projections, and confetti and power tools.

Don't see it if you're looking for simple. There's a lot going on; sometimes it was difficult to understand the actors, with their backs to the audience.

79
Hatef**k
Upper W Side
Very sexy, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in getting a rare theatrical glimpse into two Muslims' lives, their viewpoints, and how they interact.

Don't see it if you do not like philosophical dialogue (interspersed with some very sexy onstage actions).

77
During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to hear an interesting discussion on the Constitution as well as some moving biographical info.

Don't see it if you object to being lectured to. Ms. Schreck is obviously sincere, but I found her delivery at times a little shrill.

Also The switches between humor (Dirty Dancing mentions) and the horrific a... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Perp
Midtown W
Masterful, Edgy, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some bravura acting in a gripping, moving play.

Don't see it if you need to see big. Only five actors and minimal sets (with fluid scene changes) bring an unusual story to life.

91
During previews
After
Midtown E
Intense, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to become fully involved in a play about bullying and other frightening timely topics.

Don't see it if you're not up for an intense, disturbing ride. The audience was fully involved from beginning to end.

Also As evidenced by Daniel's Husband and After, Michael McKeever certainly... Read more Read less

79
Superhero
Midtown W
Great special effects and projections, Entertaining, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if you're ready for one more teenage angst story. There are some poignant moments. Cast is terrific.

Don't see it if you're looking for a completely developed story. Some plot elements are not totally resolved.

83
Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a clever play (or two plays) with some great performances and much humor. There is an underlying poignancy to the piece.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the role of the black woman in film.

Also Marvelous production values: vintage movie scenes, talk show setting, ... Read more Read less

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

97
During previews
Profound, Masterful, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to go on an enthralling 90 minute journey with Mr. Cobb. Along the way you will hear his musings on race, acting, and Othello.

Don't see it if you need an action-packed evening. Although Mr. Cobb is in almost constant motion -- nothing static in this production.

Also This is the third time I've seen a version of this show. There have be... Read more Read less

90
Love, Noel
Chelsea
Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you're up for a nostalgic cabaret type evening and want to discover or re-discover the talent and wit of Noel Coward.

Don't see it if you need big production numbers and fancy scenery. KT Sullivan and Steve Ross provide more than enough talent and charisma.

Also I went to a wonderful party at the Irish Rep -- 90 minutes of songs, r... Read more Read less

75
Little Gem
Chelsea
Rambling, Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like family stories told by 3 actors in a series of monologues. Some of the stories were quite funny and/or moving; others, not so much.

Don't see it if you need a play where the actors interact. There's a static quality here, and I never did figure out why they were in that setting.

Also Could use some editing.

75
During previews
Rinse, Repeat
Midtown W
Relevant, Intense, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play about a rarely dramatized subject: eating disorders. The playwright/lead actress plays herself.

Don't see it if you don't want to witness the dramatic interactions within a troubled family. Also, I had trouble hearing some of the dialogue.

83
Terrific casting, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you want to see a re-telling of a highly unusual commercial filming. The cast is impeccable, & the story is hard to believe. But it's true!

Don't see it if you don't care for the mixture of comedy and philosophical exposition. And yet, it worked for me.

82
During previews
Toni Stone
Midtown W
Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you have an interest in baseball. Toni's story is fascinating and well-told. I especially liked the choreographed baseball sequences.

Don't see it if the story of the first female MLB player (in the Negro Leagues) doesn't interest you and you have no idea who "Satch, Jackie, and Hank" are.

Also I've been a big baseball fan since my childhood (and saw Jackie Robins... Read more Read less

92
Great staging, Riveting, Masterful, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see Joyce's writing come to life in a masterful tour de force by Aedin Moloney. She inhabits Molly Bloom for 75 breathless mins.

Don't see it if you do not care for one-woman shows and are offended by nudity and sexual discussions.

80
During previews
A Strange Loop
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Great singing, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you want to see staging from a theatrically unusual point of view: overweight, gay black man with all his insecurities. Cast is amazing.

Don't see it if you are offended by coarse language and sexually explicit scenes. Almost two hours with no intermission.

Also This deeply personal story held my interest completely. While there ar... Read more Read less

40
During previews
Midnight Street
Midtown W
Slow, very slow, Indulgent, Excruciating

See it if No, don't see it. At times it seemed as though the singers (especially the woman) were making up the songs on the spot.

Don't see it if you're looking for a cohesive story line and songs that advance the plot. Only 70 minutes, but it seemed much longer. Much longer.

58
During previews
Butterflies
Midtown W
But wait, there's more!, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you want to see two talented actors work very hard to entertain -- dealing with an implausible, confusing, repetitious story line.

Don't see it if This was not for me, and I soon tired of this very strange, depressing story. I liked the singing.

94
Must see, Great acting, Moving, Great singing and dancing, Exquisite

See it if you want to see a glorious Fiddler. Beautifully acted and sung. Joel Grey honors Stein/Bock/Harnick's opus.

Don't see it if you don't like the idea of reading the supertitles. But the songs are so familiar that you can get the meaning just by listening.

Also Steven Skybell is back from vocal rest (as of May 16) and his Tevye is... Read more Read less

78
High Button Shoes
Midtown W
Terrific orchestrations, Great dancing, Dated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like old-fashioned musicals & enjoy great choreography. Lots of singing and dancing. Michael Urie works really hard - it sometimes works

Don't see it if you don't like contrived, silly plots. There are some tuneful numbers.

92
Lockdown
West Village
Compelling, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see four excellent actors tell a vivid story about the incarcerated and about learning to deal with loss.

Don't see it if you need a play with lots of action. The story-telling is through dialogue and monologues, creating vivid personalities.

Also What a compelling play! My interest never flagged during the 90 minute... Read more Read less

93
Riveting, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a terrific staging of an O'Casey gem.. The large ensemble acting is terrific and C. Moore's direction is again masterful.

Don't see it if you don't want to lose yourself in 1915-16 Dublin and bear witness to the lives of the inhabitants of one tenement.

Also I found this play the most moving of the O'Casey Trilogy, and the acti... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Great directing, Some terrific monologues, Edgy, Ambitious, Great set

See it if you're a fan of Sam Shepard's angry, boozy, violent family dramas. It's a gripping story, filled with plot twists and some great acting.

Don't see it if you don't want to spend 2-1/2 hours (90 mins. first act) with these people. Lots of screaming and some (fleeting) male nudity.

Also I was most impressed to see Maggie Siff play a role so diametrically d... Read more Read less

89
During previews
All My Sons
Midtown W
Riveting, Profound, Great acting, Wonderful sets, Absorbing

See it if you want to see some terrific acting (Bening/Letts/Walker) in a resonant Miller play. Even knowing the ending, I was still drawn in.

Don't see it if color-blind family relationships create a problem for you. It is a tad distracting to meet Ann's brother. But I did let it go.

Also Arthur Miller is one of my favorite playwrights, but once again, I bec... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Intense, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a personal, painful exploration of a relationship. The sexual tension between the actors was palpable.

Don't see it if nudity and simulated sex acts make you squirm. Also, these are not people with whom you might want to spend 80 minutes.

Also Halley Feiffer deserves credit for exposing herself (completely!) in w... Read more Read less

83
Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to see an interesting, modern take on Uncle Vanya -- kind of. The actors spill their innermost thoughts with resulting laughs.

Don't see it if you want a more formal approach to Chekhov. The actors constantly break the fourth wall, which usually annoys me -- but not here.

Also Regarding the breaking of the fourth wall -- when the actors speak to ... Read more Read less

70
I Married an Angel
Midtown W
Great costumes, Silly, dated plot, Great orchestra, Some good dancing

See it if you're curious about shows from the '30's. You like dance-heavy shows.

Don't see it if you're looking for a plot that makes sense and a score with more than 3 memorable songs.

71
During previews
Intense, Disappointing, Funny, Loud, Frenetic

See it if you're up for a frenzied black comedy with lots of screaming and physical action.

Don't see it if you're looking for a cohesive, believable plot involving empathy workshops in a debt collection office.

Also I know that as a farce this should be over the top, but these characte... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Vilna
Midtown W
Intense, Relevant, Ambitious, Great acting, Over-long

See it if if you have an interest in Holocaust drama and appreciate historical relevance.

Don't see it if you want a play that moves smoothly. This is very episodic; it was disconcerting that after an intense scene, the actors moved furniture.

63
During previews
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
Great sets, Quirky, Disappointing, Goofy, Confusing

See it if you're a John Larroguette/Will Swenson fan. They are both quite good in this confusing absurd play.

Don't see it if you want a linear plot. This jumps all over the place and can be quite difficult to follow.

94
During previews
Profound, Masterful, Great direction, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a beautifully acted (by all) classic O'Casey play. Irish Rep has done itself proud with such a terrific staging.

Don't see it if you have no interest in Irish history or dislike plays where the actors speak with accents.

Also The two hours flew by -- laughter, music, singing, dancing, tears. The... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Wonderful set, Intense, Masterful

See it if you're a fan of Irish drama. This is beautifully directed and staged, and I'm looking forward to the next two plays in the O'Casey trilogy.

Don't see it if you dislike plays with heavy accents and impending violence.

Also I loved that one of the main characters was a poet, and we heard snipp... Read more Read less