Kurtal

Hell's Kitchen | 35-49 | Male
About:  Theatre junkie who works in higher education.
Reviews (233)
74
Clever, Entertaining, Enjoyable

See it if you want a solid if fairly unsurprising magic/psychic/illusionist show. I enjoyed it more than I expected to, but I also saw right through

Don't see it if a couple of the bits. But ultimately it was an enjoyable night out. Don't go if you're expecting anything more than a magic show. There's

Also no deeper message to be found.

84
During previews
Soft Power
East Village
Uneven, Quirky, Relevant, Hilarious

See it if you want a sharp but somewhat uneven satire on American-Chinese relationships; you can embrace the occasionally ludicrous; you want to laugh

Don't see it if you're not keen on satire; you need your musical's book to make total sense; you don't want 80% of your show to be a dream sequence

64
During previews
Could be something with an overhaul, Disappointing, Poorly directed, Exhausting

See it if you're a fan of The National; you want to see a stellar cast doing its best with challenging material

Don't see it if you want songs that sound like they're from musicals; you want a show that knows what story it's telling; you want a lead that can sing

Also Ok, so this was the first preview, so maybe they'll work out some of t... Read more Read less

51
The Green Room
Midtown W
Promising?, Underdeveloped, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if you want to see a collection of okay songs performed by very earnest (and fairly talented) young actors.

Don't see it if you want a book that makes sense at all. The plot had more holes in it than a whorehouse. And most of the jokes were worse than that.

73
The New Englanders
Midtown W
Uneven, Could have been more, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a queer family's journey in suburban New England. It's a pretty soapy drama, so if that's your thing, you'll be well set.

Don't see it if you want to feel like your characters' choices are earned; you want fully developed characters; you are interested in full resolution

78
Weirdo, Whacko, Immersive, Art installation, Quirky

See it if you're into a weird immersive art installation/theatre piece that is about dolls and art and art with dolls.

Don't see it if you're not into weirdo shit.

Also I actually dug this. It's underdeveloped and needs some work on the fl... Read more Read less

83
Fellatious, Smart as hell, Delightful, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you want a (dare I say) feminist take on fellatio that is clever, literary, and inspired. This tight stand-up set may make Novak a star.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with frank and hilarious depictions of sexuality; you don't want to think of penises as little ladies.

81
During previews
Super fun, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like improv, hip hop, and an enjoyable night of entertainment. This takes "yes and..." to a whole new level.

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional book musical or show. This is a pure improv show with a beatbox base. But don't be afraid to try...

Also ...something new. I mean, I never thought I would shed a tear at a fre... Read more Read less

60
Alice in Wonderland
Greenwich V
Amateur, Cuteish, Cheesy, Only for kids, For kids

See it if you've got kids and are looking for a cute, cheesy, and kinda mindless show.

Don't see it if you're looking for something professional or nuanced.

85
During previews
Cryptic, Ambiguous, Absorbing, Great acting, Haunting

See it if you're willing to be patient with a show that builds very slowly and doesn't resort to flash or gimmicks in its storytelling; you want to...

Don't see it if ...see two excellent performances in a play that is incredibly layered, intentionally ambiguous, and deceptively simple. This show has...

Also ...crawled inside my brain, and I'm going to be thinking about it for ... Read more Read less

67
The Talmud
Brooklyn
Confusing, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you have a deep knowledge of the minutiae of Jewish scripture and are interested in seeing it brought to life... Kind of

Don't see it if you're looking for structure, plot, or interesting choreography. There was some cool production design here, and I can see how this might...

Also develop into a cooler piece, but, given that it was pitched as a mashu... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Uncomfortable, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you're looking for a fascinating, uncomfortable, and hilarious look at racial and sexual dynamics; you're willing to be challenged by a show

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with explicit sexual scenes; you need a perfectly polished show; you have a small bladder (>2hr w/o intermission)

Also This show is definitely not perfect. The second act in particular was ... Read more Read less

66
During previews
Opaque, Cast better than direction, Oddly staged, Disappointing

See it if you are a Bernard Shaw completist; you like shows that hover between history and comedy; you want to see a great cast...

Don't see it if ...that is so much better than this weird, uneven production. Maybe it was me, but I just didn't get it. It was too straight to be a good...

Also comedy and too broad to be a history. The cast was excellent, but it w... Read more Read less

49
Contact High
Midtown W
Rough edges, Overwrought, Confusing

See it if you want to support some up and coming theatre artists; you want to see some new young talent

Don't see it if you want to see this talent in a well developed show. The composers have some okay ideas, but they should step away from performing

68
During previews
Betrayal
Midtown W
Exhausting, Slow, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want to see three actors overcome grad school "cooler than thou" directing and still manage to do Pinter's text justice

Don't see it if you hate minimalist staging or are uncomfortable with long........................ ...........................................pauses

60
The Rolling Stone
Upper W Side
Uninventive, Expected, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You are looking for yet another gay tragedy. You haven't heard about the oppression of gay men in Uganda.

Don't see it if You have gay tragedy fatigue. You want a script that fully fleshes out its characters.

Also I felt emotionally exploited by this show.

68
Slow, Indulgent, Fluffy

See it if You win the ticket lottery or are a huge fan of the movie

Don't see it if You resent the Disneyfication of Broadway or are looking for truly visionary stagecraft

Also It was fine. The first act was ok, and Anna (young and old) was deligh... Read more Read less

95
Douglas
Gramercy
Profound, Masterful, Intelligent, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you want a take on gender and the patriarchy delivered through art history with side jaunts with dogs and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Don't see it if you're expecting exactly the same as Nanette. It's complex and complicated and deeply personal but not as squarely focused on trauma.

Also Hannah Gadsby is a gift to humanity.

68
Well-meaning, Problematic, Ambitious

See it if you want to hear a white man's perspective on the criminal justice system.

Don't see it if you want a truly nuanced examination of justice in American society. The show still trades in some pretty problematic stereotypes.

Also This show was incredibly well-meaning, but it uncomfortably straddled ... Read more Read less

71
Broadway Bounty Hunter
West Village
Loud, Confusing, Quirky, Indulgent, Fluffy

See it if you're a fan of Annie Golden; like quirky shows; are okay with the blurred lines between homage and satire

Don't see it if you want to hear all of the lines (TURN DOWN THE MICS, JOE!); you want to be clear when you're laughing because of the show vs at the show.

75
During previews
In the Penal Colony
East Village
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if This was more performance art than play, but it was really well put together, and the performers were excellent

Don't see it if You're looking for a well developed plot or traditional linear structure

54
During previews
Divisive, Indulgent, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you're a Chekhov scholar but not a purist; you're looking for modern (too modern?) takes on classic tales; you like broad comedy

Don't see it if you're a Chekhov purist; you're offended by foul language; you need thoroughly developed characters

Also There are definitely going to be people who love this play, and good f... Read more Read less

92
Toni Stone
Midtown W
Resonant, Profound, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if THIS PRODUCTION WAS SO GOOD! I went in expecting a somewhat run of the mill historical drama and was completely caught off guard by how...

Don't see it if captivating and relevant the show was. Run to the Roundabout to see this. Seriously...it's phenomenal.

86
The Comedian's Tragedy
Soho/Tribeca
Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You're looking for great writing

Don't see it if The classics don't interest you

75
Indulgent, Heartfelt, Personal

See it if you are interested in a one-person show grappling with a challenging personal narrative; you love David Cale's other work

Don't see it if you need a fully-fleshed out show or flashy production; you aren't interested in one-person shows

Also It's always a little hard to judge projects like this that are deeply ... Read more Read less

87
During previews
The Inheritance
Midtown W
Long, Relevant, Must see, Epic, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a brilliant examination of life for gay men in the post-AIDS crisis world; you don't mind a story within a story construct

Don't see it if you want a tight, cohesive narrative. The show occasionally sprawls, gets a bit preachy at times, and is hella melodramatic. But the whole..

Also ...is much better than the sum of its parts.

79
Stupid F**king Bird
West Village
Unpolished, Quirky, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you missed the 2016 production; you want to see if Posner's text holds up with no bells and whistles; you want to support some rising talent

Don't see it if you need a polished production or actors that know how to project. But the text really stands on its own.

69
The Wrong Man
Midtown W
Joshua henry is amazing, Needs workshops and a script doctor, Underdeveloped, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a gorgeous cast singing and dancing their asses off. Some pieces of the show were fantastic, and Joshua Henry gave his all.

Don't see it if you want a book that makes any sense at all. You want a score that offers variety and lyrics that advance the plot.

Also A show about a wrongly-convicted black man with an R&B score really sh... Read more Read less

58
Great singing, Confusing, Dated

See it if So, I've seen hundreds of shows, but somehow I'd never seen Phantom. And now all I'm wondering is what it was like 30 years ago when the...

Don't see it if ...show was fresh and interesting and the cast cared. Because this has not aged well, and it felt like everyone was phoning it in.

59
LOVER
Midtown W
Disjointed, Disappointing, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in one woman sharing her personal journey with love, sex, and life.

Don't see it if you need a cohesive structure. There were a lot of vignettes that, to me, didn't come together to be worth it overall.

68
During previews
(A)loft Modulation
Midtown W
Jazz, Great acting, Confusing, Dense, Ambitious

See it if you want a glimpse into late 50s/60s Manhattan; you enjoy pontifications on art and the creative process; you enjoy good live jazz

Don't see it if you need a linear plot; you want a play with a clear theme and mission; you mind simultaneous and overlapping scenes; you don't like jazz

Also There are some really brilliant moments in this show, and the acting i... Read more Read less

75
Visually arresting, Japanese, Slow, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a fascinating Japanese Noh-inspired take on Greek tragedy. The staging is beautiful, and the structure is captivating.

Don't see it if you're looking for something super accessible or are unwilling to engage with different cultural styles of theatre.

Also You'll do best if you brush up on the plot of Antigone and on what the... Read more Read less

40
During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Mediocre white guy alert, Frustrating, Overrated, Cliched, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of Tracy Letts or any of the cast members. The acting is great. But the story is infuriating.

Don't see it if you don't want to be yelled at by a mediocre old white guy or you're turned off by explicit sex scenes and nudity.

Also This show was "Old Man Yells at Clouds: The Tracy Letts Play". The las... Read more Read less

59
In progress, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you're super into Bette Davis and are interested in seeing a one woman show that's clearly still developing.

Don't see it if So, I'm going to say medium things. Everything that could have gone wrong at this performance did. Missed sound cues. Cell phones galore...

Also Dropped lines. So it's hard for me to begrudge the actor for the rough... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Sunday
Chelsea
Misses the mark, Uneven, They are gen z - not millennials

See it if you're interested in a take on Gen Z; you want to be told what to think; you are willing to endure an uneven show with some very odd choices

Don't see it if you want an authentic look at the lives of 20-somethings; you want fully fleshed out characters; it's any day other than Sunday

87
During previews
All the Rage
Midtown W
Heartfelt, Moving, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you want to be reminded how to find compassion and centeredness in an occasionally tragic world; you don't mind a meandering one man show

Don't see it if you are uneasy with issues of trauma, abuse, and loss; you dislike intensely biographical one person shows

Also this show gut punched me. Martin Moran beautifully weaves stories of t... Read more Read less

60
During previews
The Great Society
Upper W Side
Exhausting, Superficial, Unnecessary, Dated, Cliched

See it if you're super into those cheesy decade based miniseries: "The 60s" "The 70s" etc. This is just like those but without the great music.

Don't see it if you're looking for nuanced or innovative storytelling or a new or interesting perspective on late '60s history.

Also This show would have done much better to focus on one or two events fr... Read more Read less

71
Make Believe
Midtown W
Plot twisty, Almost something great, Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a play that is a couple of rewrites away from something good; you don't mind child actors; you like unconventional structure

Don't see it if you want the plot devices to not pummel you over the head.

Also The things that pissed me off are major plot spoilers, so I won't air ... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Masterful, Must see, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you want to see a breathtaking tour de force dancing at the intersection of race, the theatre industry, Shakespeare, and personal reflection

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a deep dive on Othello and its relevance to American black male identity.

70
Uneven, Great writing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You are a Tennessee Williams completionist. You like small, intimate productions.

Don't see it if You aren't into experimental theatre forms or have trouble following a complicated plot structure.

80
Great singing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if you want to be entertained with some fantastic singing, great set design, and strong choreography. The mash up numbers are the strongest.

Don't see it if you want a wholly believable love story. All of the elements are there, but the show dragged a bit in act two, and I wasn't sold on the...

Also chemistry between Tveit and Olivo. Also, the supporting characters wer... Read more Read less

85
Slow, Resonant, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Two monologues that ponder death and life and parenthood and childhood intrigue; you want to see two brilliant actors command the theatre

Don't see it if you're not ready for an emotional journey; you want a fully fleshed out play rather than two monologues

Also I saw this at the Public and liked it but wasn't blown away. Somehow, ... Read more Read less

71
Mojada
East Village
Relevant, Intense, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in a retelling of Medea that centers on the immigrant experience; you want Latinx focused theatre; you like modern updates

Don't see it if you want your characters' motivations to be clear; you aren't comfortable with some Spanish; you are looking for any plot reinvention

Also Using Medea to tell the story of a Mexican immigrant family could have... Read more Read less

90
Midsummer: A Banquet
Greenwich V
Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you want a wonderful bare bones production of Midsummer. I laughed so hard. This 8 person ensemble Is fully committed and utterly delightful

Don't see it if you're expecting a banquet *or* a truly immersive Third Rail production. This is site specific *not* immersive. And banquet is overselling.

Also But the food (sparse as it was) was lovely. I was so pleasantly surpri... Read more Read less

61
During previews
I Spy a Spy
Midtown W
Scattered, Underwritten, Fluffy, Great singing

See it if This show features a stellar cast doing its best with unworthy material. There's a decent show in here trying to get out, but it needs to

Don't see it if decide if it's a slapstick comedy, a romance, or an American allegory. It could be any of them, but right now it's not doing them well

78
During previews
the way she spoke
West Village
Slow, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if This was a solid one-woman show exploring gender-based violence in the Ciudad Juarez. Kate del Castillo is strong in this important story.

Don't see it if The pacing and writing were a bit uneven and dragged a bit in the middle. There were a few scene shifts that I had a hard time following

Also The final line is haunting and will stay with me for a while.

72
The White Dress
Soho/Tribeca
Uneven, Experimental, Gender fuckery, Relevant

See it if I loved the explorations of gender, family, queerness, and self. The actors were fully committed, and I appreciated their authenticity.

Don't see it if The structure and some the more experimental conceits didn't quite work for me. But I'm very glad this exists!

38
Mislabeled, Confused, Slow, Excruciating, Ambitious

See it if your mushrooms are about to kick in and you can ignore everything else that is happening and just stare at the really cool light show.

Don't see it if I actually think everyone should see this to appreciate how good other shows are.

86
Smiley
Gramercy
Romantic, Charming, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want a charming romance between two handsome men; you enjoy breaking the fourth wall; you have ever had a funny online dating experience

Don't see it if you can't follow supertitles; you have a heart of coal; you don't believe that love exists.

78
Working: A Musical
Midtown W
Slow, Entertaining, Great writing

See it if You're interested in one of Schwartz's lesser known works with good new material from LMM; you enjoy slice of life pieces without a plot

Don't see it if You're expecting universally good songs or performances...it's a bit uneven throughout. But the highlights make it worth the night, methinks