Kenji Fujishima

Kenji Fujishima is a critic with Theatermania. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (35)
Felix Starro
Midtown W
Theatermania

"Wrestling With Faith and Family in 'Felix Starro': Ma-Yi Theater Company presents the world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn and Fabian Obispo's musical adaptation of a short story by Lysley Tenorio." Full Review

Little Gem
Chelsea
Theatermania

“Three Generations of Irish Women Live, Laugh, and Love in ‘Little Gem.’ Elaine Murphy's 2008 play returns to New York City in a new Irish Repertory Theatre production.” Full Review

Nomad Motel
Chelsea
Theatermania

"Depending on your perspective, Ching's play will come off as either genuinely inspirational or overly rosy...Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's production doesn't always help, lending a certain artificiality to the proceedings...For all its shortcomings, 'Nomad Motel' is generous and heartfelt enough to never quite lose the audience's goodwill...Ching's play does offer genuine insights into a kind of familial relationship that is rarely depicted onstage with such acuity." Full Review

The Bigot
Midtown W
Theatermania

“The sitcomlike nature of ‘The Bigot’ is evident not just in its thin characterizations and tidy plotting, but in a worldview that is near-offensive in its simple-mindedness...The play's interest in having characters teach Jim the errors of his bigoted ways is contrived, not to mention predictable...In the world of ‘The Bigot’, even racism and homophobia could be easily solved...Amid such clichéd material, this quartet of talented actors bring all the conviction they can muster.” Full Review

Theatermania

“It's a bad sign for a show when the lighting design upstages the star...Whether this performance adds up to anything more than a virtuosic 90-minute acting display is questionable...The global reach is admirable, but scope is not the same as depth...Starts to take on the feel of a glorified photo album — and as with any photo album, unless one is already invested in its creator as a personality, one is likely to come away from this show shrugging one's shoulders in indifference." Full Review

The Mother
Chelsea
Theatermania

“A psychologically incisive look at a middle-aged mother's clinical depression, but never fully delivers the searing poignancy we expect...Once you grasp its structural gimmick early on, there's nowhere left for ‘The Mother’ to go but down, and Zeller doesn't offer many surprises...Overall, the cumulative effect of ‘The Mother’ is like watching a slow-motion car wreck: at times fascinating to gawk at, but leaving us none the wiser as we drive by.” Full Review

Nassim
Midtown W
Theatermania

"Warm and inviting...Most of the audience-participation gambits are in keeping with the creator's broader aim to foster a dialogue between two different languages and cultures. It's that ultimate goal...that gives 'Nassim' a poignancy that goes beyond the pleasantly playful surface...It's possible to find Soleimanpour's idealism overly sentimental...Still, maybe a dash of utopianism...has its place in a time as dispiritingly divisive as the one we're in right now." Full Review

Travisville
Midtown W
Theatermania

"Relatively hands-off direction puts much of the onus on the dialogue and actors to carry the day. Thankfully, Harper shows a knack for colorful dialogue throughout: funny at unexpected moments, eloquent during serious ones. And the cast bring a dynamism to their roles that feels positively electric..Perhaps most impressive about 'Travisville' is Harper's clearheaded willingness to embrace the agonizing complexities of his subject." Full Review

Theatermania

"Whatever similarities Tucker saw in both these dramas, though, he has failed to communicate them in the mess of a production that has resulted...Even when the transitions from one play to another are smoothly done, Tucker's production never makes a convincing case for why these two works should be presented this way at all...God bless Bedlam for continuing to take risks with the theatrical canon, but this latest provocation is a misbegotten misstep." Full Review

Neurosis
Gramercy
Theatermania

“A musical comedy that only half-fulfills the promise of its inventive concept...Purely as musical theater, though, ‘Neurosis’ does have its charms...Edwards's lyrics and Rice's book are filled with quick-witted jokes and wordplay, and Green's music abounds in buoyant energy...This conceptually intriguing but disappointingly skin-deep show proves too committed to its crowd-pleasing ways to be both diverting and profound.” Full Review

Theatermania

"After a while, one wonders whether this ambitious show might have been better off without such concessions to conventional storytelling...'Secret Life of Humans' is at its most stimulating when it ignores the thinly characterized relationship and fairly unsurprising mystery at its center and becomes a free-ranging meditation on what defines us as human beings...'Secret Life of Humans' offers enough to leave us pondering anew some of the largest eternally burning questions of our time." Full Review

Dutch Masters
East Village
Theatermania

"A concise yet impactful work that manages to pack in a lot about troubled race relations in the US...Duff and Jake Horowitz's performances are especially vivid in highlighting the contrasts between the two characters, with Duff's alternately charismatic and terrifying extroversion bouncing off Horowitz's general nervous anxiety...A viscerally gripping experience...also a thought-provoking one, bound to inspire reflection long after its immediate intensity has worn off."" Full Review

Theatermania

"There's nothing naive or immature about this rousing piece of political theater. Instead, this collective work exudes the kind of nuance and wisdom born from difficult personal experience...The kind of mature, clear-eyed hindsight that is the mark of promising young artists...Ultimately, it's that sense of blazing passion that one is left with in 'The Fall'...'The Fall' stands as a stirring testament to their adaptability and fortitude, with lessons that deserve to be heard." Full Review

Draw the Circle
West Village
Theatermania

"Exemplary...Instead of offering a first-person account, Deen tells his story through the perspectives of everyone around him...The result is an insightful work that is noteworthy for the compassion with which the playwright-performer explores viewpoints different from his own...The agility with which he jumps from one character to another is dazzling, but it's the humane understanding he brings to his portrayals that impress the most." Full Review

Theatermania

“Though Wolf's idea of juxtaposing details of Shelley's life with scenes from her most famous literary achievement to suggest how one influenced the other has plenty of potential, Sanders is never quite able to make this concept transcend...The performances don't always help...Thankfully, the play is dominated by Fairchild... 'Shelley's' reach may exceed its grasp, but enough of its disparate parts connect to make it a reasonably stimulating and occasionally insightful experience.” Full Review

Theatermania

“’Conquest of the Universe’ still packs an exhilaratingly off-the-wall wallop if you're able to get onto its deliriously campy wavelength...With bits of high-art eloquence coexisting with instances of low vulgarity...The show's anarchic spirit — the sense of liberation it exudes in breaking down barriers of style and taste — that makes it as enlivening as ever. There's a beauty to the madness...As this new production proves, such an experience has the power to transcend time and history.” Full Review

Syncing Ink
Soho/Tribeca
Theatermania

"The story 'Syncing Ink' tells is rather thin and the characters never progress beyond the one-dimensional...As sheer spectacle, 'Syncing Ink' is often exhilarating...Above all, Njikam's show offers a brilliant display of the physical and vocal prowess of its performers, all of whom make memorable impressions with their distinctive characters. 'Syncing Ink' is the equivalent of a less-than-great album with just enough great singles to make the experience still worthwhile." Full Review

The Great Leap
Chelsea
Theatermania

for a previous production “'The Great Leap' occasionally skirts didacticism in the cross-cultural clashes it explores...Still, Yee's writing can be sharp and illuminating...There's much to admire in director Magar's economical yet handsome production...An entertaining history lesson, at the very least. But the character of Wen Chang offers something more: an affecting portrait of a man who finally realizes the emotional limits of his cultural and political loyalties." Full Review

Theatermania

"Theater Mitu Considers Whether a House Is Indeed a Home: A multimedia riff on Anton Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' makes its world premiere in Gowanus, Brooklyn." Full Review

Theatermania

“By virtue of simply treating it as a period piece, Battista's new production...does hold a certain sociological and historical fascination. And when the text itself is performed as sensitively as it is here, it's enough to temporarily pulverize any reservations one might have about the play's dated qualities...’Lone Star’ may feel slight in the moment, but only in retrospect does the inner pathos of the material become apparent." Full Review

Continuity
Midtown W
Theatermania

“This world premiere is only intermittently engaging, and never fully realizes the grand philosophical statement that its more heavy-handed lines of dialogue seem to be making...Wohl appears to be in such a rush to get her points across that she creates a soapbox instead of a drama. Despite the efforts of the all-around excellent cast to make these characters come off as human beings, ‘Continuity’ aims at worthy targets but barely grazes any.” Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
Theatermania

"If one is willing to overlook the incongruity of making George black but keeping Ann white, there's something empowering in Ogbuagu and Fluker playing the grim truth tellers amid a sea of white characters who are all suffering from varying degrees of self-delusion...However, this production is a straightforward presentation...Still, if seeing a powerful drama staged and performed well is enough of a reward, then this new production mostly satisfies." Full Review

Theatermania

"Cooper's urgent and worthy interpretation reminds one of just how much this play in particular gains from a fairly straightforward approach - straightforward, that is, except for its bruising physicality...The fact that Cooper manages to imply topical parallels without overwhelming the play's enduring power feels refreshing...It also allows us to focus on the performances of the excellent cast, and thus on the human elements underlying Shakespeare's epic sociopolitical dissection." Full Review

Suicide Forest
Brooklyn
Theatermania

"Simultaneously confounding and thrilling...Lee's sudden swerve toward introspective navel-gazing is a double-edged sword: As touching as it is...it does also leech away the more beguiling sense of mystery the play had heretofore built up...Even if not all of Lee's formal and emotional gambits work, enough of them connect to make 'Suicide Forest' an invigoratingly risky, genuinely thought-provoking experience, one worth seeing no matter your linguistic and cultural background." Full Review

Theatermania

"Eno's play is much more than just a playful comic lark...Michael C. Hall is dynamic enough as an actor to hold our attention for 70 minutes, keeping us rapt through Pain's quicksilver mood changes and evasive forays into whimsy. But a sense of pained inner life is lacking in Hall's interpretation, with the actor seemingly prizing speed over depth in delivering his character's ramblings...It's a tribute to the richness of Eno's play that it survives a relatively superficial approach." Full Review

Theatermania

“Essentially a solo show, with Page delivering Dickinson's words to us in the nonmusical portions. She does so in a manner that seemed excessively affected in the first half...Like she hadn't yet fully learned the part...One will still come away...feeling both awed by the musical and literary beauties on display but also a little hungry for a more substantial experience. There's not a whole lot here one couldn't learn by simply reading Dickinson's poetry and listening to Beach's music.” Full Review

Remnant
Brooklyn
Theatermania

“Perhaps ‘Remnant’ tries to tackle too much. Considering its philosophical aspirations, this work should be thought-provoking. Instead, the sheer sensory overload of its multidisciplinary approach to some degree becomes self-defeating, as one is bound to come away appreciating the ceaselessly inventive stagecraft more than meditating on the themes it presents...’Remnant’ is the kind of admirably overreaching failure that is willing to risk disaster for the sake of testing theatrical boundaries." Full Review

Theatermania

“The subject is certainly worth exploring, though it's hardly conventional musical material...The young cast's relative inexperience is at times glaringly obvious...Like watching a competent college production...Generic musical-theater idiom in their score...Melodramatic book...This banal and forgettable musical leaves you thinking less about the historical atrocities it dramatizes than about how much more illuminating a Wikipedia page on the subject would be.” Full Review

Paradise Blue
Midtown W
Theatermania

“Feels less like an improvisatory jazz number than a tightly structured opera...Blue is less interesting as a character than as a thematic totem...If the rest of the characters feel more deeply characterized, that may lie less in Morisseau's writing— than in the very fine actors who bring these ciphers to vivid life...Visual and aural imagination helps Morisseau's flawed but worthy drama sing even when we sometimes find ourselves too conscious of the notes she's trying to hit." Full Review

Rocktopia
Midtown W
Theatermania

"Turns out to be far more on the rock side of the concept than on the classical side...The result is thoroughly half-baked...Even when the mash-ups sounds more or less smooth there's nothing new to be gained...More invested in pandering to baby boomer nostalgia...Whatever crumbs of pleasure are to be found...come solely from the singers...Considering how unevenly balanced the acoustic is, one can't help but wonder if it was even worth bringing in the orchestral elements." Full Review

Theatermania

"While it'd be overselling 'The Brobot Johnson Experience' to suggest that the cheesy set-up gradually broadens into something profound, Dauchan does have more on his mind than simply offering a hip-hop-inflected riff on sci-fi tropes...Simply as a showcase for one performer's theatrical and musical prowess in a live setting, 'Brobot' is impressive, even stupefying at times...It may all be corny, but Dauchan makes us fully believe it, at least for 80 minutes." Full Review

Until the Flood
West Village
Theatermania

“A heartrending demonstration of the potential of art to reach across cultural boundaries and generate the kind of empathy that could potentially help bring us all closer together...Part of the appeal of ‘Until the Flood’ lies in seeing the dazzlingly nimble ways in which Orlandersmith transforms from one character to another...Orlandersmith's virtuosity as a performer never overwhelms the human beings at the heart of this show...A production that impresses in its simplicity." Full Review

Theatermania

"This version doesn't diverge from or reinterpret its widely beloved source material...Duffy offers the most consistent delights with his props and gadgets for creating the sounds...To hanker for a more emotionally wide-ranging experience is to wish for something fundamentally different from what Palermo and Moore are interested in providing...Comfort food par excellence...There's nothing wrong with indulging, especially under hands as capable and affectionate as these." Full Review

Animal Wisdom
Brooklyn
Theatermania

"Christian's mass mixes precious spiritualist whimsy with gospel-like fervor in ways that feel at best like a genuine communing with the ghosts of the creator's own past, and at worst like an overextended therapy session...'Animal Wisdom' may not necessarily live up to its title in offering an eye-opening perspective on dealing with an awareness of death, but cumulatively, Christian's work accomplishes what all great requiem masses ought to do: It leaves us in a state of hushed reflection." Full Review

Theatermania

"The second act doubles down on the less interesting angle of Krebs's drama in ways that make its ending play as more of an exhausted shrug than a satisfying, if tragic, conclusion...The drama, for the most part, is riveting, especially with Pelletier commanding our attention as Blixen...As a character study of an irresistibly eccentric and elusive artist, 'The Baroness' leaves a lasting impression long after the details of this particular affair have dissolved." Full Review