Laurel Graeber

Laurel Graeber is a critic with The New York Times. 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 (26)
Preview tenc1
80
The New York Times

“Inventive staging and stellar design...As devoted to making children reflect as to making them laugh...When Death comes for the grief-stricken ruler, and the real nightingale’s song revives him, the moment isn’t just happy — it is as poignant as Andersen might have wished.” Full Review

Preview 1718 seedfolks showscore
85
The New York Times

“All come to vivid life in the person of Sonja Parks. Instantly changing ages, accents and ethnicities, this actress illuminates a nearly empty stage, embellished only by video projections and a soundscape...You can’t help wondering why this moving adaptation eliminates the novel’s most anguished character, Maricela, a pregnant 16-year-old...This omission does not undermine the impact of the production or of Ms. Parks, whose tour de force embodies the small miracle of Gibb Street.” Full Review

Preview rudolph white
60
The New York Times

"Frozen in time...The production, directed and choreographed by Dana Solimando, has a game cast...Hardrive Productions has created marvelous reindeer costumes and an adorable puppet menagerie...The story’s themes—that bullying is cruel, and that those who are born different can make vital contributions—certainly remain timeless lessons for children. But you can’t help being disappointed that this show championing equality still denies it to half the population." Full Review

Preview poppers penguins white
75
The New York Times

"Children may wish the birds were real, but Nick Barnes’s ingenious life-size puppets may be the next-best thing. Those endearing creatures steal the show...Unfortunately, this staging doesn’t include the Poppers’ two children, who might have provided some welcome nonavian action. But the show does offer visual surprises and often involves its young audience...Children under 9 will most appreciate the show...It never soars, but its cuteness is hard to resist." Full Review

Preview littleredshood   cottage final
80
The New York Times

“This clever show seems better suited to children old enough to understand computers...The very young won’t grasp the many New York references, though adults will chuckle often...But even preschoolers will enjoy the high-kicking sweets and the rollicking slapstick, expertly executed by the puppeteers. Although the show’s title may lead you to expect all this fun to unfold to hip-hop, the few musical numbers tend toward jazz piano and smooth pop." Full Review

Preview liberty white
70
The New York Times

"Earnest, sentimental and intermittently charming, this family production offers a slice of American history that here tastes mostly like apple pie. Whether the show engages you will partly depend on how easily you accept a walking, talking statue...The strengths of 'Liberty' include its songs..It also has a winning star in the teenage Ms. Shapiro, who brings pure conviction to her peculiar role. Under Evan Pappas’s direction, the rest of the cast is largely impressive." Full Review

Preview wringer2
75
The New York Times

“'Wringer,' Jerry Spinelli’s award-winning 1997 children’s novel, is suspenseful, poignant and sometimes disturbing. I wouldn’t call it fun. 'Wringer,' the musical adaptation by New York City Children’s Theater, is fun from beginning to end... The production offers a clever script, catchy tunes and fine performances. But...you may feel that it’s gotten the Disney treatment. A peppy and polished show. But I couldn’t help being disappointed that they dispensed with the novel’s bittersweet ending." Full Review

Preview vhc logo 420x630
85
The New York Times

for a previous production "This production, which will mesmerize audience members as young as 2, doesn’t so much adapt four of Mr. Carle’s picture books as animate them. You could swear that the stories’ creatures had stretched, stood up, shaken themselves and lumbered, leapt, sailed or flown off the page...The show saves 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' for last...Like Mr. Carle, he proves to be a master of artful transformation, beginning with the simple only to arrive at the bedazzling." Full Review

Preview flight school poster
85
The New York Times

"A charming adaptation that supports Penguin’s dreams while not ignoring the basic laws of aerodynamics...Simple and straightforward enough to be understood by a 3-year-old, but engaging enough to amuse a parent, 'Flight School' also owes its successful takeoff to Wendy Seyb’s fast-paced direction and Bobby Pearce’s costumes...The production’s biggest boon, however, may be its score." Full Review

Preview everything about a family almost
90
The New York Times

"The humorous conceit is an adolescent given — wanting a different family — but the results, set at a couple of different reunions, are often unexpectedly poignant." Full Review

Preview iluminate white
75
The New York Times

for a previous production "'iLuminate' is more spectacle than story, with technology its most dazzling star...When the lights on some suits are switched off, the action takes on other dimensions, and bodies that are carried appear to float and fly...At times like this, 'iLuminate' becomes more than a neon comic book, achieving a magic that’s as much a product of darkness as of light." Full Review

Preview white
85
The New York Times

for a previous production "It is as gossamerlike and insubstantial as some of the fluffy materials in the set, qualities that mostly charm but sometimes detract...But enough grown-up grousing. You may know that color will triumph, but you don’t know how, and that’s where 'White' proves thrilling. Ingeniously designed, the production abounds in visual surprises." Full Review

Preview 1
90
The New York Times

for a previous production "'Princess Phooey,' a world premiere musical, portrays the royalty of imaginary kingdoms as close kin to the queen bees of real eighth grade...What makes 'Princess Phooey' so inspired is the way the writer has adapted a time-honored story to the culture the show's actors (they are 9 to 17) inhabit...it's wonderfully witty in taking this genre out of the castle tower and down to earth." Full Review

Preview ten1
70
The New York Times

“Inventive staging and stellar design...Combines Andersen’s ‘The Nightingale’ with 18th-century Chinese politic...Chua presents a power struggle between teenage half brothers...whose father challenges them to prove who’s more worthy to succeed him...Many comic elements are played so broadly that little seems at stake. Briskly directed by Fan the show is fun, but watching it feels more like cheering pro wrestling than like witnessing a struggle for the soul of an empire.” Full Review

Preview ptc1
80
The New York Times

"A high-energy, irrepressibly cheerful whirl, more charming than it is hilarious. Directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, the show is so thoroughly wholesome that I waited in vain for a litter-box joke. But Sarah Hammond, who wrote the book and lyrics, does have fun...The show also gets plenty of punch from Will Aronson’s pop-rock score...It’s delivered by a thoroughly committed cast." Full Review

Preview pips island white
75
The New York Times

"As much a technological extravaganza as it is a theatrical experience — sometimes more so...What they offer is a fantasy adventure for theatergoers ages 4 through 10, who probably won’t care that you can learn more about the characters from the show’s website than from its script. The point is to play roles themselves — thrilling at any age — and to be dazzled along the way. And 'Pip’s Island' definitely dazzles." Full Review

Preview 1001 nights show page artwork v2
90
The New York Times

"Mr. Koplan has nimbly directed the 70-minute production, which frames the grim premise in a nonscary way...It’s hard to say what’s funnier: the many rhyming jokes or the stage business, which includes an 'Open Sesame,' 'Shut Sesame' routine that’s like 'Who’s on First' in ancient Arabia. The show’s feminism, though, feels 21st-century fresh. Sherry/Scheherazade always triumphs, whether she’s pitted against a homicidal king or a homework-obsessed dad." Full Review

Preview image 525 567229 200x200
80
The New York Times

"Ms. Heisler has deftly expanded her source material, an advice book in Junie’s voice, into a multilayered story...The results are usually effervescent and entertaining, despite the script’s faithfulness to Junie’s odd locution...Junie’s escapades aren’t always believable, but Kristin Stokes carries them out with appropriate moxie. Imaginatively staged by the show’s director, Peter Flynn, they incorporate several standout musical numbers." Full Review

Preview new physics
80
The New York Times

"What Mr. Maiullo does onstage is still extremely cool...He dedicates his theater piece to demonstrating Newton’s laws, which operate every day, but rarely this theatrically...The most intriguing moments in 'That Physics Show,' however, are when Mr. Maiullo makes the invisible visible...Mr. Maiullo can go awfully fast himself, and occasionally I wished he had taken more time with his explanations. But, as he reminds you, there won’t be a test." Full Review

Preview tpldd show page artwork
90
The New York Times

"It examines not just gender roles, but also income inequality, the nature of justice and the role of good government. That it manages to sail all its subplots comfortably into port in about 75 minutes attests to the talents of its creators, cast and crew...Directed with comic flair, the show abounds in surprises...Perhaps the biggest surprise is the seriousness that underlies all the fun. This may be comedy for 5- to 10-year-olds, but it’s comedy with a conscience." Full Review

Preview young charles dickens white
80
The New York Times

for a previous production "Young theatergoers don’t have to have read Dickens to enjoy this earnest and often evocative family show...It merges fact and fiction...It’s unclear why the script departs so much from history here, except perhaps to accentuate the drama of the family’s downfall...Under Josh Penzell’s direction, all the actors do fine work, often in multiple roles...While words wouldn’t feed the hungry or clothe the poor, 'Young Charles Dickens' shows that they were sustenance, too." Full Review

Preview skip amp princess web zpsi8ppxhji
90
The New York Times

"This effort is clever, comical and boisterous...Parents can be forgiven for wondering if this isn’t too big a dose of gender, not to mention ethnic, stereotypes. But the wryly satirical 'Snow What' never offends. And the story doesn’t stick with tired traditions. Nieve Qué takes up sword-fighting and feminist attitudes." Full Review

Preview pirate white
80
The New York Times

for a previous production "This show combines a parody of piracy and 'A Christmas Carol' with audience-assisted improvisation and a variation on the children’s fill-in-the-blank game Mad Libs. I don’t know how many other pirate holiday spectaculars (excuse me, spectacularrrs) may be vying for greatness, but this has to be the most inspired and funniest...These onstage mateys may not be the Rockettes, but who needs a toe-tapping tin soldier number when you can have a pirate duel with candy canes?" Full Review

Preview mother africa white
90
The New York Times

for a previous production "Imagine attending a circus, a dance performance and a world music concert, all in one day...Now this feat can be accomplished in a single location in 100 minutes: It’s called 'Mother Africa'...Music punctuates most circuses, but this show’s live band plays almost continuously, offering sounds that can be sinuous and eerie or feisty and fun...'Mother Africa' really is a circus...But its unfamiliar moments are the most thrilling." Full Review

Preview christmas carol musical white
75
The New York Times

for a previous production "As welcoming as this production is, it is not for those under 6 or 7. While the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present are ebullient, and Marley borders on silly, the Ghost of Christmas Future completely captures Dickens’ vision. Faceless, swathed in black and gliding eerily, it made even the second and third graders near me cringe. And why not? Without menace, the story loses its full moral impact." Full Review

Preview alice
90
The New York Times

for a previous production "William J. Brooke's book is full of comic wordplay and Joanne Bogart's lyrics follow suit. With a memorable score by Eric Rockwell, who also directed, this hourlong show is likely to send children home singing ''Off With Her Head.'' But don't worry: no one here is condemned to anything but a good time." Full Review