Kurtal

Hell's Kitchen | 35-49 | Male
About:  Theatre junkie who works in higher education.
Reviews (336)
86
Great writing, Great acting, Touching, Slow, Absorbing
May 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see a small, moving, slow, but ultimately deeply profound two-hander about unlikely friends, loss, and unfulfilled dreams

Don't see it if you can't be patient through a very wordy, two-person show that's a bit claustrophobic and has a very slow build

Also Once I accepted that this was going to be a simmerer of a show, I was ... Read more Read less

92
Wonderful, Enchanting, Refreshing, Moving, Great singing
May 7th, 2022

See it if you want a simultaneously straightforward and revolutionary take on this classic; you want to see a stellar cast take on brilliant material

Don't see it if you don't like Sondheim's music;

Also This stripped back, straightforward production allowed the focus to st... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Fun, Indulgent, For the truest musical nerds, Insider baseball, Delightful
May 7th, 2022

See it if you've ever stage-doored; you have a deep and nerdy love of musical theatre; you don't mind some bumpy writing

Don't see it if you're not a musical theatre buff; you want really smart takes on gender and sexuality; you don't understand fandom culture at all

Also I really enjoyed this because I've been the two main characters. I got... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Clever, Foul-mouthed, Great acting, Funny
May 2nd, 2022

See it if you want to see a foul-mouthed fifth-grader go on a hilarious and heartwarming journey to self-acceptance

Don't see it if you don't like kids swearing; you don't like \ musicals that deal with challenging subjects; you're uncomfortable with (very) dark humor

Also I was pleasantly surprised by this! It's not a perfect show, especiall... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Macbeth (Broadway)
Midtown W
But still not good, Better than expected, Fine
April 26th, 2022

See it if you're a fan of any of the cast members; you like fairly bare-bones approaches on Shakespeare; you've forgiven sam gold for king lear

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare in modern dress with little sense of specific location

Also I went into this with very low expectations, as Gold's King Lear was o... Read more Read less

85
Dark, Master class, Great acting, Devastating
April 24th, 2022

See it if you want to see two of Broadway's best performers giving award-worthy performances

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with very dark subject matter involving grooming, child abuse, and sexual assault

93
During previews
Cathartic, Moving, Profound, Unapologetic, Relevant
April 21st, 2022

See it if you long for bold and daring musical theatre; you are ready to be confronted and challenged; you want to work through some parental issues

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with frank representations of race/sexuality; you're a Tyler Perry stan; you think theatre should be fun and escapist

Also I saw this at Playwrights and, while I liked it, I didn't really know ... Read more Read less

71
Indulgent, Dated, Great acting
April 20th, 2022

See it if you don't mind Mamet's writing style (or general persona); you want to see three solid performances

Don't see it if you think Mamet should crawl in a cave where he belongs; overly cluttered sets are frustrating to you

66
Overrated, Frustrating, Uneven, Dated
April 20th, 2022

See it if you are a big SJP fan -- she gives three excellent performances

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with casual misogyny, outdated gender politics

Also Matthew Broderick sucked the life of out of every scene he was in. Oof... Read more Read less

84
During previews
POTUS
Midtown W
Quirky, Refreshing, Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious
April 18th, 2022

See it if you want a great cast giving great comedy; Rachel Dratch gives an award-worthy performance; I really enjoyed the heck out of this

Don't see it if you don't like onstage vomit; you don't enjoy farce; you are expecting a political comedy to be very political

Also I'm not quite as rapturous as some of the other reviews here, but I re... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Hangmen (Broadway)
Midtown W
Confusing, Great writing, Great staging, Funny, Ambitious
April 16th, 2022

See it if very dark comedy with a solid cast -- and amazing set design! Satirical take on justice, vengeance, and the death penalty

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with capital punishment as a catalyst for dark comedy; you're impatient with very thick accents

55
During previews
French, Uninventive, Boring
April 9th, 2022

See it if you're a hardcore devotee of all things Little Prince; you're impressed by aerial acts at all

Don't see it if you have high expectations of the quality of performance that should be on a Broadway stage

Also this was such a yawnfest. Nothing about the choreography or aerials el... Read more Read less

71
During previews
Still worth it, i think, Uneven direction, Frustrating, Ambitious
April 9th, 2022

See it if you're a devotee of the show or a fan of any of the principles; you don't mind a non-belting Fanny

Don't see it if you want your Fanny to be a powerhouse vocalist; you need Fanny and Nick to have real chemistry

Also The Good:... Read more Read less

91
Moving, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great singing, Absorbing
April 9th, 2022

See it if you're into the idea of a theatre piece that's more immersively staged choral performance than plot-driven show; gorgeous music abounds

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional book piece

Also This show is everything I look for in a modern show - confrontational,... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Epic, Great staging, Ambitious
April 7th, 2022

See it if you want to see a brilliant take on a modern classic; you're up for a bonkers text that requires work to digest

Don't see it if you're not into unconventional plots or postmodern narrative devices; you can't deal with a three hour show

Also I went into this not knowing the text at all, and I was totally blown ... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Absorbing
April 5th, 2022

See it if you want to see a beautiful piece of classic Black feminist theatre that stays relevant; you want to see a fantastic cast

Don't see it if you're not interested in a piece that's more spoken word poetry than plot-driven theatre; you're triggered by discussions of sexual violence

Also I saw this production at the Public and liked this version even more. ... Read more Read less

72
During previews
Indulgent, Serviceable, Unnecessary, Fine, Dated
March 30th, 2022

See it if you're a big fan of Crystal's comedy or you're nostalgic for the Catskills of the mid-20th century; you are cool with light-hearted fluff

Don't see it if you want your leads to be great singers; you are under 50; you are looking for any hummable tunes

Also this was very good at exactly what it is - a somewhat schlocky nostalg... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Entertaining, Tear jerker, By the book, Unsurprising, Charming
March 26th, 2022

See it if you want to see a moving but fairly expected heart warmer of a show; you are a fan of Debra Messing; you could use a good cry

Don't see it if you're looking for something unexpected; the show is lovely but a little bit Hallmark Channel; and the epilogue felt extra heavy handed

90
During previews
Delightful surprise, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious
March 23rd, 2022

See it if you want a well-composed historical piece with a strong score and several outstanding performances

Don't see it if you believe some of the early mixed reviews; you want to be humming songs post-show; you think Garth Drabinsky is a dirtbag

Also I was primed to not like this based on some of the early reviews and r... Read more Read less

59
The Life
Midtown W
Frustrating, Ambitious, Great singing
March 21st, 2022

See it if you are okay with a completely new take on The Life; you want to see breathtaking performances, particularly from Ledisi

Don't see it if you don't want to see a hatchet job on the book; you like Cy Coleman's original orchestrations

Also this made me really grumpy. The orchestrations ruined the show for me.... Read more Read less

93
During previews
Confederates
Midtown W
Funny, Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Provocative
March 20th, 2022

See it if you're ready for a balls-out examination of race, gender, and power in the past and the present; you want to support Black artists

Don't see it if you're a white liberal who isn't ready to be held to task

Also this is one of the best things I've seen in a long time...I was uncomf... Read more Read less

70
Notes From Now
Midtown E
Contemporary, Uneven, Great singing
March 20th, 2022

See it if you want to see lots of songs about life with Miss Pandy by a range of emerging songwriting talent; you're okay with a song cycle

Don't see it if you aren't ready for art to engage with COVID; the idea of a song about sourdough starter is too much

Also Great young cast giving their all; some of the songs were really movin... Read more Read less

53
Bruise & Thorn
Midtown W
Lgbtqia+, Well-meaning, Confusing
March 20th, 2022

See it if you want an unconventional story about a couple of Nuyorican queer folks in Jamaica; you want to support queer voices of color

Don't see it if you are looking for a fully conceptualized show; the plot was all over the place

Also there are some decent ideas here, but this really felt like it needed ... Read more Read less

75
Man Cave
East Village
Suspenseful, Thought-provoking, Uneven, Great staging, Absorbing
March 18th, 2022

See it if you are interested in an ambitious horror/magical realism piece that focuses on the Latine experience in Arizona; you like cool stagecraft

Don't see it if you aren't into stories that involve the paranormal; you are troubled by domestic violence

Also Overall, I liked this piece a lot. It's quite ambitious and could prob... Read more Read less

58
During previews
To My Girls
Midtown W
Indulgent, Fluffy, Cliched
March 17th, 2022

See it if you want to see a good-looking cast deliver a very mediocre script; you enjoy ensemble pieces about contemporary gay life

Don't see it if you want any sort of thoughtful insight; you can't bear cliched writing

Also the cast tried really hard to elevate the writing of this piece, which... Read more Read less

71
Complicated, Frustrating, Dated, Great acting
March 15th, 2022

See it if you're interested in the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and sports; you want to see some excellent performers

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with nudity, strong language, or sexual assault; you want to cherish the memory of the original production

Also I really enjoyed the first act, which was filled with excellent perfor... Read more Read less

81
English
Chelsea
Relevant, Great acting, Uneven, Intimate, Moving
March 15th, 2022

See it if you want to see an un-flashy play examining the intersection of language, immigration, hope, and identity

Don't see it if you're looking with a script that ties things up neatly; language and its connection to culture and identity aren't of interest to you

Also As someone who has studied linguistics and lived and studied at langua... Read more Read less

78
Long, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Earnest, Ambitious
March 4th, 2022

See it if you are interested in an epic (albeit preachy at times) examination of the tensions and challenges of the modern French-Jewish experience

Don't see it if three hours and a lot of argumentation sounds like a slog

70
Space Dogs
Midtown W
Quirky, Uneven, Indulgent, Clever, Ambitious
February 21st, 2022

See it if you want to see a fun and quirky show with mostly forgettable music and a book in desperate need of an overhaul

Don't see it if you aren't interested in history, dogs, or the space race; you aren't willing to put up with some mediocrity to find some lovely moments

Also I appreciate what Blaemire and Hughes were going for here. They are cl... Read more Read less

77
Intimate Apparel
Upper W Side
Opera, Slow, Great singing
February 13th, 2022

See it if you want to see a well-written and well-performed operatic adaptation of an excellent play; it's fairly accessible opera, so don't be scared

Don't see it if you don't like opera in any way; you need a fast-paced piece

72
During previews
Black No More
Midtown W
Uneven, So much potential, Great singing, Frustrating, Ambitious
February 8th, 2022

See it if you want to invest time and energy in a piece that is very rough around the edges but has the potential to turn into something excellent

Don't see it if you want a complete piece; you don't like a rap/hip-hop infused score;

Also I'll start with the good stuff:... Read more Read less

75
Charming, Confusing, Fluffy, Great singing
January 14th, 2022

See it if you want to see some phenomenal performances in an unevenly written 19th century melodrama set to 20th century music

Don't see it if you want anything from the 21at century

Also It felt like there were two plays happening simultaneously. Several of... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Great choreography, Jukebox, Entertaining, Great staging
January 12th, 2022

See it if you can separate the man and the art; you want to see a star-making performance from Myles Frost; you want a better than avg jukebox musical

Don't see it if you hate jukebox musicals; you don't like Michael Jackson

Also Look, I generally hate jukebox musicals. And this production fell into... Read more Read less

92
WIT
East Village
Resonant, Profound, Must see, Great acting, Absorbing
January 8th, 2022

See it if you want to see a brilliant small scale production of a master work of theatre; you want to support smaller companies; you need catharsis

Don't see it if you might struggle with an unflinching portrayal of cancer, health care, palliative care, and death

Also I saw the original off Broadway production many years ago, and this pr... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Slow-burning, Subtle, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant
December 30th, 2021

See it if you want to see a portrait of the disintegration of working class Black Detroit; you are a fan of Dominique Morisseau's work

Don't see it if you want a flashy production; you want a deeply satisfying resolution; you aren't interested in supporting Black theatremakers

Also I saw this at Atlantic Theatre Company, and it was, truth be told, bet... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Uneven, Moving, Great acting, Confusing, Absorbing
December 24th, 2021

See it if you want to see Cecily Strong give a phenomenal performance in a seminal piece of feminist theatre; you can follow a complex nonlinear plot

Don't see it if you dislike solo shows; you're not willing to be patient for a strong payoff; you don't like non-linearity or experimental plot structures

Also yes, the show is occasionally confusing at times...I couldn't follow a... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Disappointing, Perfectly acceptable, Weird pacing, Charming, Dated
December 22nd, 2021

See it if you want to see some big theatre names in a classic show; you are a fan of the show itself; you want to see a fine but unsurprising revival

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of classic musicals; you want upbeat pacing; you want a new take on the show at all

Also Here's what I loved:... Read more Read less

85
Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing
December 4th, 2021

See it if You want to see a brilliant cast perform a masterpiece; you appreciate a stripped down production; you can be patient through a slow start

Don't see it if you don’t like performers playing their own instruments; you have trouble following complex lyrics; you’re not a fan of John Doyle’s style

Also The direction was a little clunky at times, and the first few numbers ... Read more Read less

65
But...like...fine?, Generally unnecessary, Palatable, Fine
November 30th, 2021

See it if you're looking for a fairly run-of-the-mill musical adaptation of a classic comedy; you're a big fan of the movie

Don't see it if you don't like movie musical adaptations; you're looking for tunes that will stick with you; you don't like overstuffed plots

Also Like...I'm not angry that this exists. It was perfectly fine. And the ... Read more Read less

65
Why does this exist?, Aimless, Unnecessary, Great singing, Great staging
November 24th, 2021

See it if you want to see a gorgeous cast in a gorgeous set singing pretty songs

Don't see it if you want *anything* beyond visual and auditory appeal; this show doesn't know what it is; it's way too long; what was the point?

82
Slightly uneven, Resonant, Great acting, Relevant, Slow
November 23rd, 2021

See it if you want to see masterful performances in a 66 y/o script that (tragically) could have been written this year; you can sit in discomfort

Don't see it if you aren't interesting in examinations of representation; you aren't willing to be patient through a slow (and uneven) first act

77
Clyde's (Broadway)
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Relevant, Great acting
November 22nd, 2021

See it if you want to see a strong but not flawless piece from the usually excellent Lynn Nottage. This has a phenomenal cast giving their all.

Don't see it if you're expecting perfection from the script. It's a little too on the nose in some spots, and a little confusing in others. But that CAST!

79
Concert, Resonant, Great staging, Entertaining
November 21st, 2021

See it if you are a fan of Byrne's music or are open to a well-crafted theatrical concert; you want to see good music presented in a compelling way

Don't see it if you're looking for much more than a concert; you don't like Byrnes

Also I enjoyed myself overall, and I think the show started and ended very ... Read more Read less

73
Fine, Funny, Fluffy
November 13th, 2021

See it if you want to support work by Black creative teams; you are looking for a lighthearted but ultimately fairly shallow comedy

Don't see it if you want a fully developed plot with characters with strong rationales; you want a deep or moving story

Also This was fun, but I wish it had been even more of a broad comedy. The ... Read more Read less

60
Unnecessary, Disrespectful, Cliched
November 8th, 2021

See it if you want a really great fashion show

Don't see it if you want Diana’s story told with any care or respect

Also This show is everything bad about broadway. It’s a cash grab that does... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Kimberly Akimbo
Chelsea
Must see, Entertaining, Resonant, Great acting
November 7th, 2021

See it if you want to see a great cast in a surprising and heartwarming new musical; you want to be moved and delighted

Don't see it if you’re looking for a kid’s show - this is firmly PG13/R due to language; you’re not willing to overlook some unevenness

Also Saw it in previews, and there’s still a little bit of work to do on so... Read more Read less

85
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing
October 31st, 2021

See it if you like documentary theatre; you're a fan of Anna Deavere Smith and want to see an evolution of her trademark style; you care about justice

Don't see it if you want traditionally structured shows; you don't like interview transcripts as text; you're uninterested in conversations about race

Also Anna Deavere Smith's one woman show structure is a classic staple of m... Read more Read less

68
Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent
October 28th, 2021

See it if you’re a big fan of Neal Brennan’s work; you don’t mind navel gazing comedy from a privileged white guy

Don't see it if You’re looking for new takes on just about anything.

Also This was disappointing to me. There were a ton of tired jokes about po... Read more Read less

79
Entertaining, Resonant, Funny, Big-hearted, Charming
October 25th, 2021

See it if you want a charming story with a heart of gold; you want to support stories about LGBTQ+ youth; you want to be uplifted

Don't see it if you don't like primarily kid casts; you don't want a show that's a little very-special-episode; you could be triggered by attempted suicide

Also I went into this show truly knowing nothing about it and was really ch... Read more Read less

75
During previews
The Visitor
East Village
Confusing, Ambitious, Uneven
October 17th, 2021

See it if you want to see a new musical with solid performances; you don't mind a plot that isn't fully cohesive; you like Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey

Don't see it if you want to understand all of the characters' motivations; you are over white men being at the center of otherwise diverse stories

Also I will be very interested to hear how the show continues to develop. I... Read more Read less