Karen S

New York City | 35-49 | Female
About:  Admitted theater noob, but I'm not a total philistine, so you can trust me.
Reviews (45)
90
Masterful, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing
February 24th, 2020

See it if It’s a murder mystery. Everyone loves murder mysteries. But the great ones delve into America’s history of racism & how it destroys us all.

Don't see it if If you’re uncomfortable with themes that deal with race & America’s history of systematic oppression, suck it up and see it.

Also I found David Allen Grier’s portrayal of Sgt. Waters very sympathetic ... Read more Read less

80
Betrayal
Midtown W
Star vehicle, Great acting, Intense
November 14th, 2019

See it if I’ve long wanted to see Hiddleston on stage, but frankly I came for Charlie Cox. He doesn't disappoint with his signature tragic sadness.

Don't see it if If you don’t like sparse staging, can’t follow a story that jumps around in time, or find subtle character studies boring.

Also I know Tom Hiddleston puts butts in seats, and I’d kill to see him do ... Read more Read less

90
Relevant, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting, Clever
June 14th, 2019

See it if Laurie Metcalf is always a joy. Best if you don't mind real life people not played as caricatures, writer Lucas Hnath is too good for that.

Don't see it if If you're expecting impersonations, you're going to be disappointed. If you hate the Clintons, why would you bother???

Also This is my second time seeing Laurie Metcalf on Broadway. She's just w... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Lobby Hero
Midtown W
Broad, yet introspective, Entertaining, Hilarious, Unresolved
March 22nd, 2018

See it if you like a little darkness in your comedy. Everyone is a schmuck, but a funny schmuck. And if you don’t need a tidy ending.

Don't see it if you don’t like borderline cliché characters making horrible life choices, and if you hate endings that don’t resolve anything.

Also Overall very funny, but like a dance, it depended on the partner. Cera... Read more Read less

85
Of Human Bondage
Midtown W
A classic tale, Innovative staging & sound, Great writing, Tragic
July 17th, 2017

See it if You needn't have read the book. It's a story everyone knows, well translated to the stage. Excellent performances Clever staging. Sad ending

Don't see it if If you want an uplifting ending, you won't find it in this story. This made me want to wallow on my couch, eating ice cream afterwards.

89
Funny, High audience participation, Catchy tunes, Campy, Very good production values
May 12th, 2017

See it if you like a free drink to loosen up for lots of audience participation! Get ready to move! Couple of really catchy tunes. Use your phone!

Don't see it if Really, you can't sit thru this show. There are prizes to be won & dances to dance.

95
During previews
Adam
Midtown W
Great writing, Great acting, Epic, Can i get an amen?!?, Resonant
February 12th, 2017

See it if you have a love for one-man shows. They rely on strong writing and an even stronger performance and Adam delivers. It took me to to church!

Don't see it if you need elaborate sets. The staging is a little clunky, but the performance mitigated it. One-man shows also require your full attention.

Also I had the good fortune to attend the same show as Adam Clayton Powells... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Sight Unseen
Soho/Tribeca
Big play in a small theater, Well written, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious
February 9th, 2017

See it if you enjoy good dialogue. I became invested in the characters & still don't know if I like any of them. I wanted to, but they make it so hard

Don't see it if you need elaborate sets. They did an awesome job despite everything. Brooklyn was more Boston sounding, but the performance overrode it.

Also The performances and Donald Margulies' writing exceeded all my expecta... Read more Read less

88
Made in China
Midtown E
Naked puppets will never not be funny, Ambitious, Delightful, Clever, Great singing
February 6th, 2017

See it if you enjoy irreverent, pointed satire. Political without being preachy. Staging worked even up in the nosebleeds. Needed more Giant Panda!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy puppets in association with adult themes and language.

88
Not That Jewish
Midtown W
Touching, Delightful, Great writing, Funny, Profound
November 1st, 2016

See it if you're Jewish, not Jewish but enjoys a good kinish, or not remotely religious. Monica Piper is the comedian that you didn't know you knew.

Don't see it if It's a one-woman show. No musical numbers, not a stand-up routine. It's touching and profound and funny. Secularly in line w/ the title.

87
5 Guys Chillin'
Soho/Tribeca
Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Titilating yet profoundly disturbing
October 2nd, 2016

See it if you live in a non-judgment zone. Not for pearl clutchers, because the pearls have probably been up someone's bum. It starts & ends w/o you.

Don't see it if you shock easily. Especially since much of the dialogue is lifted from real life. It can be nightmare fuel for some. It's barebacked theater

40
12th NIGHTed
East Village
Excruciating, Indulgent, Couple of good performers, Oh my god it's too long!, Good staging
July 18th, 2016

See it if Such a lovely space for such a bad play. 1 surprisingly good actress, 1 campy but competent actor. Use of sparse set pieces was well done.

Don't see it if don't have a high tolerance for badly written absurd farces. 1 HOUR TOO LONG! Painfully repetitive dialogue. The intermission is your escape

82
Ambitious, Couple of standout performances, Original, Modern, Still cliched
June 24th, 2016

See it if you like non-traditional Shakespeare. Janet McTee's Petruchio is sexier than any male lead I've ever seen. Gayle Rankin's Bianca STEALS IT!

Don't see it if you are not familiar with the original. Kiss Me Kate is not enough. Attacked the misogyny head on, but fell head first into racial tropes.

87
Indian Summer
Midtown W
4th wall breaking, Funny, Quirky, Refreshing, Original
June 9th, 2016

See it if Elise Kibler stole the show. Mr. Gabis, the dialect coach, bravo. Irreverent humor that I didn't realize I missed so much. Profound ending.

Don't see it if you are too PC to live. Deals w/ large concepts in non hoity-toity Summer People way. Odd 80s vibe for play set in the now. Still works.

96
For a previous production
Indecent
Midtown W
Exquisite, Moving, Great writing, Great singing & acting, Great staging & costumes
May 15th, 2016

See it if you want to be moved to your core. I'm still trying not to cry. I can't single out 1 performer because all were outstanding. So many feels.

Don't see it if you like fluffy subject matter. Are oddly put off by stellar performances, music, choreography, clever set design, & controversial themes.

49
Confusing, Clunky dialogue, Every "ism" is not the same, Circa 1980's sensibility, One stand-out performer
May 15th, 2016

See it if as was pointed out, you need the bad to appreciate the good. Danielle Barrett was a bright spot. Denzel Lloyd Williams equipped himself well

Don't see it if you demand polished productions. The transitions between acts were needlessly awkward, especially when you've seen more done with less.

68
Idiot
Soho/Tribeca
Techno-absurdity, Ambitious, Confusing, Weird, Experimental
May 8th, 2016

See it if you are truly into the absurd. Technologically proficient & as a result, a little self-serious. Cyrillic karaoke. Told you it was absurdist!

Don't see it if Seriously. If you're not into experimental theater, you're not going to like it & give it an unfair review. You've been warned.

65
Exile Is My Home
East Village
Original, Raunchy, Quirky, Support local arts!, Absurd
May 8th, 2016

See it if you enjoy supporting local arts. Absurdist poetry on a low-no budget. It's kinda like a live-action Dali painting. Enjoy it for what it is!

Don't see it if you have zero sense of humor. From my limited experience, basement theater is ALWAYS strange. This doesn't take itself seriously at all.

78
Evening - 1910
West Village
Original, Incomplete, Beginning... middle...., Inspired use of lighting, Wonderful score
May 8th, 2016

See it if Shira Averbuch's voice is exceptional. Sparse staging highlights the imaginitve lighting. Live quartet A+. All the men had sweet voices too.

Don't see it if I want to blame my 5 hours sleep, but the plot got lost somewhere. Who did Henry choose? What happens to the Spencers? What's Frank huffing?

95
During previews
Incognito
Midtown W
Absorbing, Well acted, Original, Created a world with 4 chairs, Must see
May 7th, 2016

See it if you enjoy excellent actors bringing a myriad of characters to life. Whole lives lived on stage w/o a costume change & 5 props. Brilliant.

Don't see it if don't like dramatic character studies & can't follow plot changes done so smooth and effortlessly, that you have no excuse to not get it.

70
Great acting, But no idea what was going on, Original, Quirky, Someone explain! i want to understand!
May 1st, 2016

See it if have patience for a slow burn. Wonderful accents. Opposed to most plays, the 2nd act was tighter than the 1st. So in that respect it worked

Don't see it if you need a logical conclusion. I can wrap my head around the most bizarre Monty Python sketch... but not this! Death? Lighting=??? Help!

78
In the Secret Sea
Midtown W
Intense, Thought-provoking, A bit scattered, Original, Tragic
May 1st, 2016

See it if you enjoy dramas. It's a serious topic, even if it doesn't go in the direction you think it was going. It mostly works, but it's confused.

Don't see it if You're looking fluff, or a more logical narrative. There're tangents that needed to be more realized. The second couple was better written.

80
Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Esoteric, Outstanding actors
April 20th, 2016

See it if you're wicked smart. You don't have to be an economist, but it helps. Actually made economic theory entertaining. Outstanding performances.

Don't see it if topic too deeply intellectual for the average audience. Post-show symposium was almost as entertaining (Prof.Livingston) & clarified a lot.

65
Not period, Not modern, Hedged, Safe, Talented actors
April 20th, 2016

See it if you know anyone in the cast. It hedged on satire. The Make America Great cap was a great troll. Should have ran with it. Balls to the walls.

Don't see it if you don't like slightly experimental, bare bones productions that play it just too safe.

80
During previews
Exit Strategy
West Village
Topical, Original, Clever, Great staging, Intense
April 11th, 2016

See it if you like fast paced, witty, raw, emotional performances. If you're the kind of person who would go to Vassar to teach in inner city Chicago.

Don't see it if have no tolerance for LOUD. There's a warning as you enter. The performances eventually overcome the frenetic pace, but not the loud.

88
During previews
Ideation
Midtown E
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Original, Great acting, Absorbing
March 6th, 2016

See it if you like more substance to your theater than fluff. How selfish/selfless are you really??? Sharp stuff, but accessible w/o that Harvard MBA.

Don't see it if you like a lighter fare. It has funny moments but the issues are heavy and ultimately unsettling. I'll be thinking about this for a while.

76
Dated, Cliched, Funny, Overrated, Almost so bad, it's good territory
March 4th, 2016

See it if you can get really cheap tickets. Unlike most of the cast, James Barbour can sing. He totally mushed Christine in the face and army crawled.

Don't see it if you're prone to migraines from blinding pyrotechnics. This production is sleepwalking through it at this point. It's more camp than anything

93
Hilarious, Great acting, Relevant, Clever, Ken starr does a kick split!
February 27th, 2016

See it if Too topical to have closed so early! Kevin Zak as Kenneth Starr kills it! Sums up Monica Lewinsky with torch songs. How perfect is that?

Don't see it if if you're Gloria Steinem or Madeline Albright. As much as I loved the Clintons, they are not exempt from a wicked satire. Not after 8 years.

95
For a previous production
Significant Other
Midtown W
Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Delightful, Great writing
February 26th, 2016

See it if if you need Barbara Barrie to set you straight about life. Solid, moving performances from all. Sas Goldberg's Kiki is a hoot.

Don't see it if you can't deal with angst. Gideon Glick made me cringe for him the whole time. Had me crying by the end. Like life, there's no happy ending

98
During previews
3 Mics
East Village
Hilarious, Great writing, Profound, Resonant, Must see
February 26th, 2016

See it if You like the Chappelle's Show, is the easy answer. But it goes deeper than that. I was all about that middle mic. Got me right in the feels.

Don't see it if you're looking for a straight-up comedy routine. Brennan bares himself like all great comics do. Profound truths liberally coated in funny.

97
Great writing, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Educational in the most fun way
February 26th, 2016

See it if You enjoy history, drinking, science, drinking, singing quartets, drinking. There's actual science in a room filled with literal history.

Don't see it if Don't like delicious mixed drinks or cocktails (there's a difference!), or if you hate learning things whilst being throughly entertained.

90
Entertaining, Great staging, Fluffy, Resonant, What a musical should be
February 22nd, 2016

See it if You love a sappy musical without an once of shame! First act is packed with goodness. Wayne Brady has chops. Jenna de Waal steals the show.

Don't see it if if you don't like fluff, this is not for you. Lola is strangely asexual in a show about drag queens. Noticable in the more serious 2nd act.

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky, Resonant
January 19th, 2016

See it if I can't find it in me to feel sympathetic to the Father. I want to. I feel like I need to understand him in order to understand myself.

Don't see it if But I hate him. His unmitigated selfishness, vanity, condescension & pediphilic tendencies. I'm glad the protagonist is more evolved than I.

85
During previews
I And You
Midtown E
Refreshing, Original, Intelligent, Great acting, Delightful
January 19th, 2016

See it if There's so much charm. Reggie D. White is hella charming. Its young characters play to an older audience so you don't hate their iThingys.

Don't see it if Could use a little tightening up. It's longer than it really needs to be, and the human buttock can tolerate without an intermission.

40
The Accidental Pervert
West Village
Dated, Indulgent, Raunchy, Slow, Cliched
January 10th, 2016

See it if You need a high tolerance to crudity. It's way too slow in parts. Painfully so. But there's a bar. That helps.

Don't see it if It's a lot of old gags and bits that would have worked better 20 years ago. Maybe. It's not even done in a nostalgic way.

90
Sylvia
Midtown W
Clever, Enchanting, Funny, Quirky, Delightful
January 10th, 2016

See it if High caliber actors. Some working harder than others... Neat staging. Little weirdness with the chemistry if you forget she's actually a dog

Don't see it if It's a little cutesy and precious, but darn it if I didn't tear up at the tribute at the end.

88
Shear Madness
Midtown W
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Heavy audience participation, Engaging
January 10th, 2016

See it if ...if you like free Starbursts! Tons of ad libbing. It's best when they crack each other up. Pay attention! There will be a quiz later.

Don't see it if If you're too lazy to participate, this won't be nearly as fun for you. Break out of your shell so you can pick the murderer!

69
Original, Funny, Edgy
October 31st, 2015

See it if You're a big fan of 90s tv, and irreverent humor. But frankly, Perez Hilton is the worst Danny Tanner. The rest of the cast makes up for it.

Don't see it if "Cum Dumpster" was too much even for me.

80
The Vast Machine
West Village
Original, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious
October 31st, 2015

See it if intellectually stimulating and profoundly disturbing. I'm still processing this play. Each character is a mystery I still can't figure out.

Don't see it if There's no reason not to see this. It's why small off-Broadway theaters are so important. Nothing this deep could exist on B'way.

90
During previews
Misery
Midtown W
Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Great staging
October 31st, 2015

See it if ...you're a fan of the movie or the book, you will not be disappointed. We all know the scene and we screamed anyway! LOVED the staging.

Don't see it if you want something like the movie. This is a different medium that's going to tell the story in a different way. Suspense needs work though.

95
Hilarious, Raunchy, Participatory
October 4th, 2015

See it if you aren't painfully shy. There's a HIGH level of audience participation. With the right audience, you will be crying laughing.

Don't see it if you're zzzz inducing. Grant McDermott can work with anything, but when the audience is good, it's fun watching the cast try not to laugh too

86
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful, Fluffy
September 27th, 2015

See it if you love Nora Desmond, little girls who can belt to the balcony, and murder!

Don't see it if you don't like $1 bottomless champagne, don't like mocking musicals that deserve all the mocking they can get.

80
39 Steps
Gramercy
Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Clever
September 27th, 2015

See it if you like Murder She Wrote, campy, actors who work ridiculously hard, retro, fun.

Don't see it if are slow on the uptake, can't follow a fast paced, dialogue heavy romp.

85
During previews
Fool For Love
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Masterful, Intense
September 27th, 2015

See it if You like drama, like disturbing themes, strong characters, visceral door slamming, have a fetish for cowboys.

Don't see it if You are high strung, have fragile sensibilities, waiting for the musical number, are too damaged to see fictional damaged people.

78
Drunk Shakespeare
Midtown W
Entertaining, Clever, Original, Funny, Raunchy
September 27th, 2015

See it if You like to drink, see others drink, like audience participation and bawdy humor.

Don't see it if You're painfully shy, don't approve of alcohol, need to bring children.