Kurtal

Hell's Kitchen | 35-49 | Male
About:  Theatre junkie who works in higher education.
Reviews (363)
70
The Nosebleed
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Confusing, Ambitious
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to see the playwright's deeply personal reckoning with their relationship with their father told in an unconventional way

Don't see it if you want traditional structure or despise audience interaction

Also this felt like an A- MFA thesis. There was some good stuff here, but I... Read more Read less

68
Between The Lines
Midtown W
Great staging, Messy, Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you love the text; you want to see an uneven but fairly charming YA book adapted for the stage with some lovely performances

Don't see it if you want a perfect book or hummable tunes...there's a very good. show in here, but the book needs a lot of work

77
During previews
Absorbing, Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to see powerhouse performance from an all-around excellent cast; you want to appreciate an unmatched piece of theatre canon

Don't see it if you're a total purist; there are some directorial choices, especially towards the end, that I found heavy-handed and unnecessary

60
During previews
Only Gold
Midtown W
Uneven, Confusing, Disappointing, Great dancing
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to see some breathtakingly good choreography and some very solid orchestrations...and little more

Don't see it if you are looking for a well-written book or a well-structured show; you despise Kate Nash's music

Also the good parts of this show are great -- wonderful choreography and ex... Read more Read less

60
During previews
KPOP (Broadway)
Midtown W
Great dancing, Great singing, Entertaining, Confusing, Ambitious
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you're already a fan of the genre or of any of its stars appearing in the production; or if you're willing to figure it out

Don't see it if you want a good book or a traditionally structured music; you're not willing to fill in some language gaps, as there's a lot of Korean

Also This could be a good show, but I don't think it has translated well ou... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Hound Dog
West Village
Ambitious, Confusing, Great staging, Quirky, Thought-provoking
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you're interested in a lovely but flawed examination of grief and identity; you want to support up and coming artists

Don't see it if you're confused by nonlinear plots or flashback sequences; you aren't used to listening to accented English

Also I actually liked this show a lot, but I'm an oddly specific target aud... Read more Read less

66
During previews
Unnecessary, Fluffy, Great singing, Disappointing, Dated
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want a nice little mood piece on 70s rock music, or you're a massive fan of the move

Don't see it if you're looking for a fresh take on the show or you want a more accessible musical theatre score

Also There's nothing in this production that told me that this movie needed... Read more Read less

71
1776 (Broadway)
Midtown W
Great singing, Uneven, Ambitious
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to see a fresh but ultimately uneven production of a classic but fairly mediocre musical; you like unconventional casting

Don't see it if you want traditional production and staging; you don't like modern updates of classic texts

Also when this production gets it right, it soars, but it's incredibly unev... Read more Read less

80
Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great acting
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want a respectful yet modern interpretation of this classic text; you're okay with some inventive (and occasionally distracting) staging

Don't see it if you don't like somewhat flashy productions of classic texts; you're looking for a definitive production

Also Super strong take on Albee's classic with some award-worthy performanc... Read more Read less

49
Homophobic, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you love the book but won't mind a watered down and un-nuanced interpretation

Don't see it if you despise the trope of closeted queer villains and their connection to pedophilia

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intense
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want a strong production of Parks's two-hander; you want to see two award-worthy performances; you are interested in race on stage

Don't see it if you need true realism in your text; you're not ready to dig into a piece laden with metaphor and symbolism

70
Dense, Unsurprising, Sprawling, Ambitious, Great acting
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want an epic tale of the impact of the rise of Naziism on one sprawling Viennese Jewish family

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with actors playing multiple roles; you already have a solid awareness of Jewish European history

Also this is a well acted production with writing that feels very pedantic ... Read more Read less

89
During previews
Quirky, Refreshing, Great acting, Delightful, Funny
October 23rd, 2022

See it if you want to see a lovely intimate musical with unusual subject matter. Star turns by Clark, Milligan, and Cooley.

Don't see it if you want a flashy musical with a huge cast; you're uncomfortable with dark subject matter treated with humor

91
During previews
You Will Get Sick
Midtown W
Slow, Quirky, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing
October 20th, 2022

See it if you want to see a strange yet beautifully moving meditation on terminal illness and accepting one's fate.

Don't see it if you're not open to some unconventional storytelling and aren't willing to settle in to a somewhat ambiguously defined world

Also I see a lot of theatre. And this piece moved more than just about anyt... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Funny, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing
September 17th, 2022

See it if you want a well-paced, well-written, well-acted production of a show examining caretaking and the fear of isolation

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with on-stage nudity; you want a splashy production

Also I thought this show was gorgeous. I saw it early in previews, so there... Read more Read less

53
Unnecessary, Slow, Great singing
September 17th, 2022

See it if you want to see some good unknown performers taking on a classic tale

Don't see it if you want interesting music or a compelling plot

Also Overly simplistic music and lyrics, lots of plodding exposition. There... Read more Read less

63
Los Otros
Midtown W
Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Slow, Exhausting, Dense
August 29th, 2022

See it if you want to see two strong actors working through some pretty impenetrable material

Don't see it if you're not into 90 minutes of recitative

Also I *think* there's a good show in here. But I found the structure and t... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Refreshing, Simple, Enchanting, Great singing, Great acting
July 9th, 2022

See it if you want to see a stripped down version of ITW with a ridiculously wonderful cast

Don't see it if you're looking for a Bartlett Sher-style lavish revival...this is a production that lets the score and book speak for themselves

61
Snow in Midsummer
East Village
Slow, Confusing, Ambitious
July 9th, 2022

See it if you're interested in a speculative fiction Chinese ghost story

Don't see it if you're not

Also This just wasn't my bag. The cast was working hard. But horror isn't a... Read more Read less

81
Epiphany
Upper W Side
Profound, Heady, Great acting, Uneven, Absorbing
July 1st, 2022

See it if you want to see a wonderfully acted show about a dinner party and the far flung conversations it comprises

Don't see it if you're not willing to wait through 90 minutes of fairly aimless talking for a sublime final 20 minutes

Also This won't be everyone's cup of tea, and I get that. It's very talky a... Read more Read less

75
Relevant, Verbatim theatre, Esoteric, Heady, Great acting
June 30th, 2022

See it if you're interested in a staging of a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation between Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin

Don't see it if you are looking for a plot-driven piece that is more than a documentary style glimpse of an existing, real-life interaction between the two

Also Baldwin and Giovanni take you on a wide-reaching journey of intellectu... Read more Read less

79
Delightful, Fluffy, Indulgent, Great acting, Funny
June 24th, 2022

See it if you want to see a low-tech, dated, nostalgia-filled musical spoofing R&J and Brooklyn Italians; it's a throwback show that's way funnier...

Don't see it if ...than it deserves to be; it's very kitsch and very pastiche, and if that's not your thing, you can skip it; but if you're looking for a...

Also ...light-hearted good time in a show that knows exactly what it is and... Read more Read less

74
Circle Jerk
East Village
Quirky, Confusing, Dizzying, Great writing, Ambitious
June 24th, 2022

See it if you want a frenetic, postmodern examination of the underbelly of gay white maleness; you like audacious, ambitious, irreverent theatre

Don't see it if you want high production value; you don't like self-referential theatre; you struggle with SUPER fast dialogue or pop culture references

Also There's brilliant writing in this piece. It was hard to follow along d... Read more Read less

68
Swing and a miss, Slow, Cliched
June 18th, 2022

See it if multigenerational queer family dealing with love, trauma, and loss...a few very strong performances...support black queer artists

Don't see it if you want all of your characters to be fully developed; all of the plot points beyond grandpa felt superficial and first-thought

Also I think there's a great show to be found in here...focus more on grand... Read more Read less

72
Soft
Midtown W
Intense, Great acting, Ambitious
June 10th, 2022

See it if you want to see a contemporary piece focused on the experiences of young Black men; you like dramas that center modern life

Don't see it if you want an evenly written piece; there are a lot of abrupt tonal shifts, and character inconsistencies that are hard to justify

Also There's a really brilliant play in here. I wish most of the scenes wer... Read more Read less

70
Suffs
East Village
Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious
May 29th, 2022

See it if you are a big fan of Shaina Taub's music; you want an ambitious take on the Suffragist movement of the early 20th century

Don't see it if you want a score that lives up to the material; you aren't ready to sit through a nearly three-hour show

Also There's a very good show here. But I found the music repetitive and th... Read more Read less

86
Fat Ham
East Village
Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Deep, Dizzying, Entertaining
May 28th, 2022

See it if you want to see Hamlet queered, turned on its head, and set at a Black family's wedding BBQ with strong meta and self-referential elements

Don't see it if any of the above isn't of interest to you

Also It took me a minute to settle into this play, and every time I thought... Read more Read less

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