Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith is a critic with The New Criterion. 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 (17)
Burn This
Midtown W
National Review

"Driver is a handy illustration of the difference between an actor and a star...But his latest effort will make a believer out of even the most dedicated skeptic...He is by turns endearing, exasperating, exhausting, and hilarious...At its core it’s a romcom, albeit an R-rated one that finds a lot of humor in profanity and cocaine binges...It’s a highly entertaining if not particularly challenging evening at the theater made more than worthwhile by the punchy wit of the playwright." Full Review

National Review

"Good songs are the main thing when it comes to a musical, and Cherilyn Sarkisian sang a few of them...She managed to hit the pop-culture bull’s-eye in four consecutive decades, in three mediums. Or four, if you count the diva industry, and you probably should...All three actresses are outdone by the guy who plays Sonny Bono, Jarrod Spector...Sonny’s presence coincides with the show’s best moments." Full Review

National Review

"Bolt’s 1960 play will not resonate among everyone, of course: merely those who have principles...There is some debate over the historical accuracy of the play, but the story Bolt tells remains deeply stirring...Countryman’s More, a balding, slight man, lacks the vigor or the authority of Scofield’s More, but his quiet poise serves the material well enough. Cerveris, though, doesn’t invest Thomas Cromwell with nearly as much wicked opportunism as the character requires." Full Review

Days of Rage
Midtown W
National Review

"It’s sport to watch the Left be hoist with its own petard in 'Days of Rage,' an acutely observed play...'Days of Rage' has been sitting on the shelf for a few years but is being staged now, with tight direction by Cullman, because Levenson has made a name for himself and because the play is suddenly if obliquely timely: It’s a sharply funny commentary on a period when young people are getting the socialist itch again, becoming increasingly marchy and shouty in the process." Full Review

National Review

"Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, everything from the dancing to the acting to the sets is to theater what TGIFriday’s is to dining. As for the blisteringly generic 1980s power-ballad tunes by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, I’ve heard more creative lyrics in life-insurance commercials...If, as is often said, the 'Pretty Woman' is a hooker with a heart of gold, this fable is far more attentive to the gold than the heart." Full Review

National Review

"'Cursed Child' has broken the blood–brain barrier and created an unprecedented extravaganza out of a so-called straight play. It’s like a colossal magic show with a story wrapped around it...The play is a marvel...The character development is thin, the dialogue bland...That isn’t the point, though...'The Cursed Child' is a gargantuan entertainment extravaganza...It’s not likely to be a gateway to Shakespeare or Ibsen for your children, but it’ll surely captivate them." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
National Review

"A dog’s breakfast of political satire, adultery farce, and tired Age of Trump catchphrases...It’s a play that lives in the moment. So do fruit flies...The cynical comic tone gives way to a clenched earnestness, with much caterwauling about the president and pandering applause lines for Broadway’s reliably left-wing audience...It’s all quite desperate, even embarrassing. It’s the Broadway equivalent of bringing out a guy in a chicken suit to fire the T-shirt cannon into the audience.” Full Review

Cats
Midtown W
New York Post

“'Cats' isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. It’s a what-the-hell idea for a far-out little show that inexplicably became bigger than big...Freed from storytelling duties except for a vague through line about aging and dying, the actors become cheery bundles of pure theater mojo, slinking all over the stage and spilling out into the aisles. How can you not love these crazy kids when they’re putting so much gosh darn effort into it?...'Cats' is never pretentious — it’s unabashed Broadway glitz." Full Review

The New Criterion

"In a zippy and informative 100 minutes or so, Caporale and Co. explain how primitive man must have stumbled across beer and how this must have made the Neolithic dance floor a sprightlier place...The quartet rework traditional melodies with larkish alcohol-related lyrics, act out skits, and somehow deliver at relevant points a shandy, a gin and tonic, and an Old Fashioned...'The Imbible' is chatty and loose, full of silly campus-comedy touches." Full Review

National Review

"One of the finest plays I’ve ever seen...It’s impossible to imagine a more spellbinding evening of theater, and the way the actors interact with one another — they are so frequently in motion that the play is practically a dance, to the tune of a near-constant piano score played live at the front of the stage — is precision itself...Rendered with an exceptional gift for clarity; rare is the Wall Street saga that is easily understood but also doesn’t seem dumbed down." Full Review

Red State Blue State
West Village
National Review

"A refreshing reminder of what comedy’s aims should be...On the surface Quinn is staking out some neutral territory between enemy camps in the culture war...Quinn throws in a couple of Trump jokes just to reassure the audience that he’s not going to wander too far off the rails, but he offers sympathetic words for Trump voters...Quinn doesn’t just riff on the divided states of America, though; he proposes an actual (semi-serious) solution." Full Review

National Review

"'A Chorus Line' reaches me right in the aorta. It’s miraculous how a combination of the book and the songs gives each of 17 hopefuls at a Broadway audition a chance to shine...It’s funny, warm, and sweet, and even the dramatic turns aren’t edgy...All of these performers and their co-stars are brilliant, every last one. This show could transfer to Broadway tomorrow, exactly as it is, and it would play for years." Full Review

National Review

"Masculinity gone haywire could be the basis for a pointed satire but the thing about a successful satire is...it’s funny. ‘Wanda June’ mostly isn’t. Mostly it feels as if it’s playing to the cheap seats. It might have had more salience in 1970...Today that kind of material feels as hoary as the mother-in-law jokes the Vegas comics were doing...Satire that amounts to telling the audience what it already believes...isn’t cutting. It’s just flattery.” Full Review

Me and My Girl
Midtown W
National Review

"A two-and-a-half hour blast of pure twinkling Champagne...The musical numbers aren’t classics, but they’re hummable and daffy...The combination of 1930s-style gags and Fry’s varsity wit keeps the show relentlessly effervescent, a dizzy dream for any anglophile. To adapt its hero’s favorite toffee-nosed swear word, 'Me and My Girl' is a bally good time. May it return soon to Broadway, and never depart." Full Review

Admissions
Upper W Side
National Review

"A relentless, often very funny exposé of the hypocrisies and self-contradictions of the diversity craze that defines virtually every elite campus in America...An amusing opener gives us a hint of the absurdity to come...A nasty argument about a fraught cultural issue is plenty to build a play around. Yet the playwright, Harmon, sharpens the dispute into a dagger with a late development that pits Charlie’s youthful, all-in idealism against the corrupted middle-aged variety espoused by his par... Full Review

The Fight
Lower E Side
National Review

"A lean, tense, contrarian new play...Leaf’s take on two defining personalities of second-wave feminism — Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan — makes sense. This is a vital play...Leaf’s concise play doesn’t waste a moment as it shifts back and forth in time to build a picture of loathing between the two women as well as a certain ambiguity about what really happened...Leaf’s play is perfectly timed, expertly crafted drama that functions as an important cultural corrective." Full Review

The New Criterion

"Plotwise, 'The King and I' is a bit wanting, particularly in the first act…But you may have forgotten how many gorgeous songs it contains…O’Hara is a beautiful singer and as an actress she shares with Julie Andrews the gift for being able to toggle easily between withering brusqueness and sweet delicacy…'The King and I' is a model of how a musical can be borne aloft, rather than dragged down, by its sociological themes." Full Review