Lane Williamson (critic)

Lane Williamson is a critic with Exeunt Magazine. 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 (48)
Hamlet (BAM)
Brooklyn
Exeunt Magazine

"It’s the only production of 'Hamlet' I’ve seen where the production feels like it can freely mess with the play, interpolating ad libs and songs and slicing the text without feeling beholden to the play as the masterpiece it is." Full Review

A Man of No Importance
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"Jim Parsons isn’t quite able to capture Alfie’s magnetism. He’s friendly and a little warm, but it never coalesces into something more than that." Full Review

american (tele)visions
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"'american (tele)visions' is certainly bold, and loud, but it’s also too long." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"As the production opens at the St. James Theatre, it becomes the third rendering of Into the Woods on Broadway, and the only one not directed by its author, Lapine. The text is ripe for mining; there’s so much to explore in it that is often just overlooked in service to the plotting...But here they have a second chance and it doesn’t feel like much has been deepened or enriched in its new digs." Full Review

Corsicana
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"'Corsicana' is packed full of emotion under its tightly locked lid. Like Samuel D. Hunter with Idaho, Will Arbery is quickly establishing himself as the poet of Texas loneliness. He is one of the most exciting playwrights working in the American theatre, stretching the form to new shapes and expanding his voice with each successive play." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"'Into the Woods,' because of its fairy tale trappings, is a crowd pleaser and is often put in a separate category apart from the intellectual masterworks that are more commonly associated with [Sondheim]. But one of the gifts of this Encores! revival is that it brings out how smart this piece of writing is." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"McAvoy’s performance is one for the history books and the character Crimp has written him, along with the environment Lloyd and his collaborators have created, allow that to prosper. Its successful elements so outweigh its unsuccessful elements that it’s unnecessary to spend time parsing them. This production of 'Cyrano de Bergerac' takes the strongest of swings and it makes cracking contact." Full Review

The Life
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"The revision would be unstageable under normal terms–its preachy sermonizing is less than dramatic–but when presented by a book-in-hand narrator as it is here, its bluntness doesn’t need to be disguised as plot...Porter’s revisions are so close to working in this format, but the narration he gives to Destan Owens’ Old Jojo is too wordy. It requires a dexterousness that Owens is unable to deliver...The revisions succeed even less when Porter abridges or repositions the existing book. There is... Full Review

This Beautiful Future
West Village
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "You can’t choose when you fall in love. For Elodie and Otto, the central characters of Rita Kalnejais’ This Beautiful Future, that turns out to have a load of complications. In Jack Serio’s quietly moving production, the audience experiences a similar conflict. We become invested in these characters, in their relationships with each other and with the outside world, only to learn something dark and evil, and then turn around and question our judgment of that darkness. In a spare 75 minutes, ... Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"A jumbled production brings down the first rate cast in this revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The sparring between Brown and Good is comedic on the surface, but what simmers under it is fear and heartbreak and bloodthirstiness. With the stakes so high for these characters, but the dialogue so frivolous, it sets up a juxtaposition that underscores every word." Full Review

The Cradle Will Rock
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"The contemporary relevance is tenuous at best and Doyle’s production does not go any further in clarifying it. Blitzstein’s songs are all performed with the same rousing drive and they blend together until they’re numbing. By the time Tony Yazbeck leads the title song towards the end, it doesn’t inspire a wave of collective support in the union, it’s just another blip on the radar. That’s no fault of Yazbeck’s who turns in another in a string of phenomenal performances...The minimalism is to... Full Review

I Married an Angel
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"Encores! is devoted to reviving forgotten pieces of musical theatre, but in the case of 'I Married an Angel,' it’s best to let sleeping musicals lie. The show is so blatant in its sexism that many of the actors on stage looked uncomfortable when delivering their lines...So tone-deaf to our current social climate that it’s actually shocking that Encores! would think it’s okay to produce...The bulk of Rodgers and Hart’s score is bland and forgettable." Full Review

Boesman and Lena
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"Unlike Beckett’s play, its dramatic tension goes slack for long sections and it’s difficult to jump back in when it ramps up again...Farber’s production creates an intoxicating atmosphere that immediately transforms the theatre into its location visually, aurally, and even olfactorily...In its repetitiveness, the play is wont to fall out of the taut, attention-grabbing moments of its best sections, but Jah’s performance is so alive that it is a constant pleasure to watch.” Full Review

Eddie and Dave
Chelsea
Exeunt Magazine

“The story is familiar...except Staats sparks it up by flipping the gender dynamic...Staats’ dialogue lampoons the bro-babble of rich, entitled white men while also keeping the band in a loving embrace...Parts of Staats’ script are amusing, though most of the jokes didn’t land...but when the play...speaks about the experience of fandom, about aligning life experiences with what you were listening to at the time, it stretches beyond its comedic confines and becomes something profound.” Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"It refuses to be beholden to anything you thought you needed from a musical. The result is equal parts exhilarating and mystifying, hilarious and stupefying, empowering and conflicting. Sounds like Cher to me...As nuts as the whole enterprise is, it goes so far into the absurd that it reinvents the theatrical rules that bio-musicals depend on...It knows what it is and it embraces it. If a musical can’t be high art, at least it can be low art with integrity." Full Review

Renascence
Lower E Side
Exeunt Magazine

"Dean’s music is, at times, lush and powerful and the six-person cast is exquisitely voiced, but as a whole, the enterprise has a confused dramatic perspective...The payoff is worthwhile, though nothing before quite lives up to this final section or justifies the lengthy run time to get to it...This musical may have its peaks and valleys in its first production, but between Dean’s unique compositional voice and the intricate syntax of Millay’s 'lyrics' lies the promise of something remarkable." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The women counterbalance each other and each adjustment in one causes a responsive adjustment in the others. This structural back-forth-and-sideways is captivating at times, but bloats the play...Here, in an intermission-less evening, the extraneous material is especially apparent...Nielsen and O’Toole spend much of the play sparring while Dottie hides in the bedroom. These two gifted actresses are alert and connected, feeding each other to great effect. " Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The intricacies of Shakespeare’s play recede to the background in The Public Works’ musical adaptation of 'Twelfth Night' at the Delacorte Theater, but due to the inventiveness of creators Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, it doesn’t matter...The score is robust with lyrical dexterity and musically distinctive in its brass-and-accordion orchestration...In this production, Viola is the only character who seems like an actual person. The others are secondary to her." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"It’s lengthy and heady, but it's also a complete masterpiece of writing, acting, and directing, and it speaks to the current time in bold and all caps...From a director at the height of her powers to an unparalleled cast giving, across the board, emotionally raw, thrilling performances, there is nothing else like what is happening at the Neil Simon Theatre....A play that crackles and jolts you...Elliott's staging has such equality that each story is as important and as enthralling as the next." Full Review

Office Hour
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"The deepest fears of these characters are physicalized and then wiped clean over and over, and then it happens to the audience. It’s bone-chilling, and, I guess, effective if that’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s also in very bad taste...The play is muddied from the start of the office hour...Dennis leaves the room unchanged...If nothing is different, why does this play exist? The only answer I can land on is the shock value of Cho’s refractions." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"Uses its unashamed navel-gazing to chart the history of the modern musical...The dialogue is often extremely brief anecdotes...This conceit is almost immediately tiresome...The second act’s structure hops around in time and disjointedly attempts to link songs by theme...The result is a string of songs–some performed exceptionally well, some not so much–that plod along without any perspective." Full Review

Gently Down the Stream
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"Beau is embodied in a sensitive and nuanced performance by Harvey Fierstein...This is a character crafted with attention to the smallest detail, drawn with a deft hand and a personal touch...It is a testament to the strength of the writing and the rich performances that the relationship between these characters feels lived-in and true. Ebert and Fierstein have a natural chemistry...There is a great use of mirrored staging, highlighting the refractions of time and shifting power." Full Review

Sweet Charity
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"The largest achievement in The New Group’s revival (and it is a production brimming with achievements) is that the title character is somehow entirely believable…There is a seamless meld of actor and character that grabs the audience and does not let go…The singing is uniformly excellent…The production is smart and contemporary. If this ‘Sweet Charity’ has a life beyond its off-Broadway run, it will be a gift to the thousands of other people who will get to experience it." Full Review

Parade
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"It’s an incredible show, though, and Arden and his team must be applauded...I would not be surprised if this production gets another life and I’ll be going back repeatedly if it does." Full Review

A Little Life
Brooklyn
Exeunt Magazine

"As in the book, the extremity and the frequency of the violence does pile up and tumble over through the end of the play, reducing the hours before to a feeling that they were just one fucking thing after another." Full Review

Oresteia
Upper E Side
Exeunt Magazine

" 'Oresteia' has been given a complete, contemporary rewrite, letting his voice as a writer mesh with his vision as a director. 'Oresteia' is such an all-out banger." Full Review

Epiphany
Upper W Side
Exeunt Magazine

"'Epiphany' is enjoyable, quibbles aside. There are some strong laughs and Burke’s performance elicits some pathos. Perhaps it’s unfair to expect something else from the play based on what it looks and sounds like. I didn’t leave feeling unfulfilled, I left feeling like 'Epiphany' happened in the environment of a different play. For something so talky, it doesn’t have anything revolutionary to say about people or life or art. But maybe it doesn’t have to." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The title is revealed not as a question, but as the heading of a list: Who Killed My Father. Here, Ostermeier and Louis unite in their political fury and use their art to highlight the injustices perpetrated by that cohort. The lull of the play’s first hour was merely a very long wick and they finally light a match." Full Review

POTUS
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"A raucous and wildly entertaining comedy, the likes of which haven’t been seen on Broadway in years. In such an overstuffed season, it stands apart as a solid, belly-shaking good time." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"You can’t understand the delicate alchemy of performers and material, staging and design that have resulted in this transportive experience unless you witness it for yourself. Christian, director Lee Sunday Evans, and the soul-altering eighteen-person ensemble of singers and musicians have achieved something so intensely personal for the audience that it then unites the individuals into a collective...Christian’s composition is wholly original, often startling, occasionally hilarious. The sh... Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"Where 'Dolly' was constantly reaching for (and grasping and embracing) something better, 'The Music Man' is content to rest on what it gives you up front: a clever design concept, athletic choreography from an enormous cast, and Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster: bold-typed stars in the leading roles. The result is a weirdly flat production that rarely transcends its base givens." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"Jarrow’s play takes very little time to effectively flush out the characters and create meaningful relationships between them. It’s a sharp, economical bit of writing and confirms him, after his stellar work on SpongeBob Squarepants, as an incomparable librettist. We meet Christopher, Lily, and Yasuhiro only at a time of upheaval. We don’t get to know them outside of this, but Jarrow still finds a way to show that there’s a lot more life under these dampened souls." Full Review

A Dozen Dreams
Financial
Exeunt Magazine

"Guided by the writers’ own voices via sanitized headphones and impeccable sound design by Rena Anakwe, the pairing of these whispered fantasies with the detailed environments provides an intimate experience welcome after the past fourteen months...Each segment is less than five minutes long and there is so much to take in that it feels like you could spend twice as long in some of the spaces. If the scope occasionally feels out of balance in other rooms, it’s easily forgivable." Full Review

Happy Talk
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

“Sarandon is curiously flat with a character that should be anything but...Ireland brings a sunny goofiness to Ljuba, masking the character’s pain with an unwavering cheerfulness...It might have been welcome to see one positive female-female relationship. Instead, 'Happy Talk' is an ironic moniker – this talk is anything but happy. It’s fear talk, it’s isolation talk, it’s hopeless talk. Unfortunately, the production doesn’t bring these emotions fully to the surface.” Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“Despite an elegant design and phenomenal acting, this play...focuses on the bankers and ignores the common man...Despite the breathtaking design elements, Mendes’ clever direction, and shape-shifting, but not gimmicky performances...the fundamental problem of the play itself is that it neglects the darker side of Lehman Brothers Holdings...The novelistic narration gets tiresome...It’s poetic and descriptive, but rarely active...A conservative play, telling only the side of the banks." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“It’s an impressive, bravura piece of acting and singing on Berryman’s part, but there’s a pervading sense of something hollow looming over the show..For the final track...As he listens...His relationship with the record is clear, and it’s a chilling, effective moment. But it’s too brief. The passion of this man for this music reaches its apex when he is just silently appreciating it, which places a larger question mark behind the theatrics before it.” Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "By repositioning the language, it refocuses the narrative. At times, it is startlingly successful; at others, the beloved musical loses what makes it great...Friedman’s translation attempts to capture the humor, but is never quite successful...The translation is effective overall, though, in establishing a new mood and tone...Grey’s production emphasizes the serious over the romantic...In the moments where the show really clicks, it’s breathtaking." Full Review

Train With No Midnight
Soho/Tribeca
Exeunt Magazine

"Mixing a dark, classical baritone voice with pop music harmonies and irreverent lyrical asides, Joseph Keckler’s song cycle creates its own theatrical beast immediately and distinctly...Keckler’s songs all exist in the space between earnestness and satire, bouncing from confessions of heartbreak to wry observations about his own choices. His rich, deep voice brings a resounding sense of weight to the melodies." Full Review

Lewiston/Clarkston
West Village
Exeunt Magazine

"Williamson: Hunter is so skilled at drawing the outside and the inside together and at letting external circumstances inform internal life...'Clarkston' is a better play, but 'Lewiston' lays some important groundwork in terms of tone and mood for the latter play to really soar...Sims: 'Clarkston' is also just a brilliant, brilliant piece of writing. Williamson: The quality of the acting in Clarkston – from all three actors – is truly extraordinary." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“The abundance of characters is occasionally overwhelming, but McPherson wisely narrows the focus in key moments...The songs are so potent and the design is so atmospheric that I couldn’t help but consider if McPherson’s book scenes live up to everything happening around them...Some of the plot threads end up frayed and unfulfilling...The structural, tonal, and musical achievements of the production are thrilling, though." Full Review

Heartbreak House
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"The challenge in presenting Shaw's plays now is to blow the sediment off of them...Staller achieves this not through an erroneous framing device he has placed around the play, but with casting that, for the most part, allows skilled actors to revel in Shaw’s wordplay...The effect of the play-within-the-play could have been achieved through design and staging without fashioning a new scene to support it." Full Review

The Lucky Ones
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"By scripting former anguish and forcing themselves to relive the past for the length of an off-Broadway run, it turns the truth into something manufactured. Theatre is, by nature, false. Actors, playwrights, and directors are encouraged to be honest in their creations, but that’s not the same thing as being truthful...Abigail returns nightly to a brutal event from her youth...It’s either a brilliant performance or the memory is still so alive in her that the musical is functioning as therapy." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"It’s a pleasurable experience insofar as it translates a 'Springer' episode into a musical language that draws from British pop-opera. Once that premise has settled, though, there’s another hour of the opera and the jokes have already been had...The first act thrives by heightening the familiar Springer tropes with music...In hell, Jerry is forced to perform a mirror version of his show....This section of the opera is less inspired. The production feels too big for the space in which it’s pr... Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"'As You Like It' is a comedy, but you wouldn’t know that from the dearth of laughter surrounding Doyle’s lifeless production...The play plods along with all the zest of a dusty tome...In general, this production of 'As You Like It' suffers from a lack of directorial clarity and specificity. It’s pleasing to look at it, but the various plot points don’t land and the events don’t connect with one another...It’s inoffensive, but bland. There is no passion, no momentum, and no tension." Full Review

The Whirligig
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

“The result is anguished character after anguished character heaving and stammering and shouting in the same place for 150 minutes, minus intermission. None of the characters have anything to do but talk about all the things that are upsetting them. They are heavy issues, sure, but where is the action?...‘The Whirligig’ is structured to prevent our investment…Mamet imbues Trish with an authenticity that is lacking from the text…Grating and unfulfilling.” Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“A sprawling, ambitious piece of work…It is also a piece of meta-theatrical genius…This blending of period, location, and persona captures a wide range of American history in turn comical and poignant…Arin Arbus’ production is notable for its inventiveness and its nimble negotiation of the play’s spiraling tone…Even three quarters of a century later, it feels daring and brave. 'The Skin of Our Teeth' is an intelligent play and an intelligent, and immensely enjoyable, production." Full Review

Heisenberg
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"Parker uses her limbs, every muscle in her face, and the full range of her vocal cords to bring Georgie’s anguish bursting through the surface. The result is thrilling; Parker suffuses the text with empathy and pathos. And what text it is...Pushed along and anchored by Parker and Arndt, respectively, this two-hander is unlike many plays seen on Broadway. Its focus is squared tightly, telling a small story in rich detail with vivid, memorable performances." Full Review