Leah Richards

Leah Richards is a critic with Culture Catch. 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 (50)
Sleeping Beauty
Midtown W
Thinking Theater NYC

"A fun, empowering variation on its source in a colorful, comedic production...The audience is treated to excellent costumes that give the production a big, bold, storybook look; duels between women of both the traditional and magical varieties; jokes that work...for kids and adults; and instrumental adaptations of female-fronted pop songs, all in a family-friendly running time of under an hour...This ‘Beauty’ casts a beguilingly exuberant spell; don’t sleep on it.” Full Review

Culture Catch

"Compromised codes and a pair of arrests mean trouble for the quintet and their mentor, and courage and commitments are tested on the way to an explosive climax. The production creates a palpable sense of constant tension, danger, and surveillance...The play's central position, that collective action should be used to help others rather than to harm one's enemies is anyway relatively timeless, and it delivers -- or rather, dead drops -- this message in a suspenseful and entertaining package." Full Review

Culture Catch

"For a play including rapes, suicides, gravely misdirected desire, and the anguish of the need to be loved, 'The Tallest Man in the World' is funny as often as it is harsh or elegiac. This play is likely to stick with audiences like Eamonn's encounter with the one woman who ever made him feel blissfully small. Seeing 'The Tallest Man in the World' should be high up on any theater fan's list." Full Review

Zombie Asian Moms
East Village
Culture Catch

“Biting, heartfelt, and hilarious, ‘Zombie Asian Moms’ offers a marvelously enjoyable evening of experimental theater...Consistently funny and increasingly moving...’Zombie Asian Moms’ makes clear an appreciation of its eponymous parents without discounting the hurt that they sometimes cause(d) their children or the (inter)cultural factors that impacted these dynamics. The result is simultaneously thought-provoking, poignant, and wildly entertaining." Full Review

Your Invisible Corset
Lower E Side
Culture Catch

"A perfect fit for those who like their scares to have something to say...The second half turns a lot of expectations on their heads. Saying much more would be a disservice...The play comments on and subverts or inverts genre tropes...It is not easy to pull off horror onstage, but this production...succeeds in maintaining an atmosphere of tension and intensity...A creepy, clever, and intensely resonant re-envisioning of 'Dracula' for our cultural moment." Full Review

Culture Catch

"The juxtaposition of these works produces intriguing resonances amidst a sometimes discomfiting, often funny, and always compelling experience...While Churchill's play may feel timely in more specific ways, the questions raised by Barker's short plays are equally relevant. PTP/NYC's production shows that these texts can speak to one another as vitally as they continue to speak to audiences." Full Review

Culture Catch

"Takes aim at targets from toxic masculinity to our would-be technocratic overlords while maintaining a spirit of steadfast and endearing silliness...The play makes its themes very clear. Marx's is not the only song among the snappy, self-aware dialogue, up-to-the-minute jokes...The production is as willing to make jokes about Russian hooker pee as it is about linguistics, giving it a feel something like an exceptionally nerdy and historically knowledgeable episode of South Park." Full Review

We Are A Masterpiece
East Village
Culture Catch

"The production, whose deliberate pacing, scope, and construction make for a Hamlet-length evening, boasts some fun period details...Some of the most emotional parts are the broader, non-character-specific reminders of how horribly people with AIDS were treated during the 80s, but the cast brings an intimate specificity to the individuals impacted...There is a certain kindness...Even characters who are on the wrong side of things don't come across as malicious." Full Review

Culture Catch

"The striking physicality of much of the acting, and the overlapping and interruptions in the delivery of the dialogue all work with the space itself to create a captivating immediacy. This crisply directed production tosses the audience in in medias res and sweeps it along, the overlapping dialogue reflecting the web of the characters' entanglements, and the continuous action is itself Shakespearean in its unbroken flow across a bare stage...The entire cast does magnificent work." Full Review

Pillowtalk
Midtown W
Culture Catch

"Delves deeply, fearlessly, and often hilariously into the marital life of crusading Asian-American journalist and his African-American ex-athlete husband...'Pillowtalk' manages regularly to be simultaneously self-aware and emotionally honest, and JP Moraga and Basit Shittu similarly balance tension with tenderness as they create a fully realized, lived-in interplay between Buck and Sam." Full Review

AMP
Soho/Tribeca
Culture Catch

"Christopherson's play does excellent work engaging with the gender politics of 19th-century Romanticism and their unfortunate twentieth-century analogs. Christopherson herself is riveting in a demanding onstage role, and makes both Mary and Anna complex and compelling in differing but complementary ways...'AMP' is, dare we say, electrifying, and as must-see as even the most anticipated Newgate hanging." Full Review

The Mecca Tales
East Village
Culture Catch

"'The Mecca Tales' is an earnest drama that rests its overarching optimism on an individual humanism (facilitated, in the climax of play, by a community of women). With its heterogenous characters, it also works against any monolithic notion of Muslim womanhood. Malik's foregrounding of underrepresented voices enriches the tapestry of contemporary American theater." Full Review

Petie
Chelsea
Culture Catch

"The production excels at creating atmosphere, expertly drawing the audience not only into its blue-collar Southern setting but also into its confining domestic space...While many plays that tell the kind of story that Fischer's play does progressively darken an initially light tone, 'Petie' successfully interweaves its funny and dramatic strands throughout...All of these effects are underpinned by a fantastic cast...A gripping, impactful new production." Full Review

Jessica
West Village
Culture Catch

"Vermillion's winning work joins a rich tradition of speculative fiction in exploring what artificial minds can tell us about our own...'Jessica' leans more heavily into the philosophical questions raised by its premise, though not at the expense of being any less entertaining or human...'Jessica' carves out its niche in inquiries about the consciousness, and any violence is emotional...A memory worth adding to your own neural network." Full Review

The Floor Is Lava
Lower E Side
Culture Catch

“All four characters are gratifyingly nuanced and multifaceted…This richness of character is enhanced by excellent performances…There is a stretch where 'The Floor Is Lava' seems to be headed in an atypically dark direction before it moves back onto a safer, more familiar narrative path. But it does avoid neatly resolving everything at the end, and its strong, layered characters are intriguing and enjoyable to watch.” Full Review

Culture Catch

"It is not difficult to envision the connections between the late-1960s setting of Retro's newest revival, the darkly comic 'And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little,' and 2017's own tensions around race, gender, military conflict, and political upheaval...Complexity lends the play balance and nuance—none of the characters is entirely beyond reproach or without blemish...The production provides an engrossing, funny, provocatively relevant study of character and context." Full Review

Culture Catch

“The performers sometimes employ language from ‘Hamlet’ and sometimes paraphrase or summarize it (many times to hilarious effect)...‘How to Hamlet is a clever exploration of the theatrical tradition accomplished through some really entertaining verbal and physical comedy…All of the cast members shine as both the convincingly down-to-earth performers and the more exaggerated Shakespearean characters.” Full Review

Culture Catch

"Most importantly, Codec and Townsend imbue their roles with an intensity that embodies the bond between the sisters as a crackling mix of hostility and a deep, borderline sensual love...The subtitles weren't always easy to read across the well-lit stage, but we agreed that the performance was compelling...'Les Bonnes' is both a satisfying revival of Genet and an auspicious debut for L'Atelier." Full Review

No Man's Land
Midtown W
Culture Catch

"Given its focus on identity, race, and theatrical narratives, the new play 'No Man's Land' could not be more timely...Keeps the audience pleasurably on its toes while it tries to hammer out its own existence. It's aided in this by strong, versatile, entertaining performances...This is a very smart play that acknowledges the messiness of trying to tell this story or any story, and insists on characters that are correspondingly less than perfect." Full Review

Culture Catch

"Without having to say so directly, the production makes the audience aware of the extent to which homelessness is a systemic rather than an individual problem...Don't get the idea that this is presented as some sort of didactic lesson: it all comes organically from rounded characters who have friendships, aspirations, and humor. The production keeps the audience invested in them throughout...'Roughly Speaking' gives voice to those who are not usually given a platform to speak." Full Review

Hedda (Gabler)
West Village
Culture Catch

"'Hedda' is still going strong 125 years later, now reincarnated in a fleet, fluid refresh...The performances achieve an energetic naturalism, and this 'Hedda' is very funny, almost surprisingly so, especially in the early going, before the darker undercurrents become more prominent...If you are already a fan of 'Hedda Gabler,' then you owe it to yourself to see 'Hedda (Gabler)' or if it's your first time with the Norwegian classic, then you can't go wrong with this as your introduction." Full Review

Culture Catch

"The actors, and Lillis' direction, convincingly, and often movingly, establish the chemistry, rhythm, and dynamics of a group of (mostly) friends with an extensive shared past…'In the Event of My Death' keeps the touch light and deft, consistently making the audience laugh out loud without losing its emotional heft. The production weaves the different embodiments of its themes together in an entertaining, satisfying theatrical experience...To this gathering, RSVP yes." Full Review

Universal Robots
East Village
Culture Catch

"Though Čapek's life and corpus provide the intertextual focus, audiences will also be put in mind of the works of writers including Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov, as well as of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis'...'Universal Robots' combines allegory, allusion, humor, and propulsive storytelling to fashion a sweeping, almost Shakespearean sci-fi experience. Give your robot avatar the day off and go see this production for yourself." Full Review

Culture Catch

for a previous production "Russ’s play, using a combination of Gorey's own words and the playwright’s reimagining, also fills in the complexities and contradictions, the yearning, loss, and humanity, contained in the space between 'strange' and 'fabulous.' All three actors are excellent separately and together, and play their 'Teds' as discrete parts of a whole, producing a touching production that is charming, warm, and at times melancholy...Gorey fans will enjoy this vision of a life and its art." Full Review

Culture Catch

for a previous production "'Puffs' transcends mere parody and develops its own narrative and thematic arc about growth, friendship, and self-worth, the cornerstones of Rowling’s House of Hedgehogs. Its underdog story succeeds in getting the audience invested in these characters...The cast is impressive and engaging, and almost everyone plays multiple parts...Even a passing knowledge of Rowling’s wizarding world will be more than enough to thoroughly enjoy this funny, charming production." Full Review

The Great Novel
Soho/Tribeca
Thinking Theater NYC

"'The Great Novel' fashions a witty, delightful exploration of art and identity...Puts all of those characters in whiteface, even if an actor is already white. The whiteface makeup recalls a masquerade mask around the eyes and nose, an appropriate metaphor for both the assumption of identity and the lenses through which people see art and self, as well as each through the other...Smart, lively, and entertaining, 'The Great Novel' is a great time." Full Review

Culture Catch

“Bertocci's new reimagining of William Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest’...A compassionate, funny, and invigorating production that will appeal as much to die-hard fans of the upstart crow as to those who vaguely recall reading him in high school...Magical realism would aptly describe ‘Miranda from Stormville’ itself, a play which is mostly but ambiguously realistic...The short scenes and excellent use of space make for a lively pace. The cast delivers fantastic performances.” Full Review

Wickedest Woman
Upper W Side
Culture Catch

“The production is replete with great details, from gender-blind doubling of the cast, to the semi-impressionistic set...the mix of accents in the play's NYC, and the effective snatches of traditional songs...O'Hara-Baker is superb. Her complex, deeply human, and dignified portrayal of Ann is enthralling right through its moving conclusion...The rest of the cast brings strong performances to a range of roles...This is one time that seeing the doctor is something to look forward to.” Full Review

Culture Catch

“The unvarnished criticism of gender roles in the earlier part of the play, evolves into something thornier by the end, but its cheeky sense of humor is constant, and it combines that sense of playfulness with an almost storybook aesthetic and feel...’Sycorax’ and its long-lived protagonist take on issues from patriarchal oppression to self-aware AIs and still leave room for some laughs...For anyone who has ever wanted to know more about Shakespeare’s mysterious ‘blue-eyed hag’." Full Review

Dick Pix
Midtown W
Culture Catch

“'Dick Pix's' witty, self-aware comedy lets audiences have a wonderfully fun time interrogating the entire system of gender...Makes some fun of the conventions and self-seriousness of the art world...Brings about a sort of alienation effect by swapping the expected genders in certain situations...Shines in the execution of its combination of winning silliness and social satire. Don't miss your chance to experience it in the flesh.” Full Review

Culture Catch

“It isn't afraid to embrace the play's bawdiness and meta jokes about comedians, theater, and poetry, but it also doesn’t let those crowd out interpretive choices that create small character moments...There is some inventive and effective use of the outdoor space, and this barest of bare stages showcases the talent of the cast...Boomerang's ‘Twelfth Night’ offers something for everyone: slapstick, wordplay, romance, and song.” Full Review

Culture Catch

"Takes an admirably complex view of the communities that it examines...Vaynberg and Bowen exhibit great chemistry together in addition to communicating their characters' conflicted personal journeys. Arcaro perfectly embodies the type of assertive, experienced working man that one could picture falling into conversation with...’Alternating Currents’ perceptively explores the messy realities of living and laboring in NYC, and, by extension, the United States today." Full Review

Hal & Bee
Midtown E
Culture Catch

"Baker's unsurprisingly excellent new play...It's savagely funny as well as intellectually rich...Baker has a gift for dynamic, rich, rhythmic dialogue, and the cast more than does it justice. Buckley is marvelous and packs every line with personality. Hayenga's performance is equally terrific, nuanced and recognizable. Both he and Buckley are extremely funny...As examinations of marital and existential crises go, 'Hal & Bee' is funny, surprising, and ultimately moving." Full Review

(Flying) Dutchman
Midtown W
Culture Catch

"Effectively keeps the audience unsure and off-balance...Schenk's performance as Lula openly and appropriately signals its own performativity, heightened almost from the first. Hines is remarkable...'{Flying} Dutchman' preserves the incendiary, confrontational fury of the original, intensifies it with smart choices, and offers a discomfiting experience that denies closure. It may not be the typical experience for most NYC theater audiences, but that is perhaps to our detriment." Full Review

Culture Catch

"The final product is a delightful balance of comedy, adventure, and just a tinge of melancholy...A lot of fun: energetic and funny, family friendly but not sentimental, with eye-catchingly creative costuming and some great movement work. McArthur captures Gerda's resourcefulness and loyalty, ably playing a child on the cusp of adolescence-to-adulthood without trivializing the character...'The Snow Queen' will melt even the most frozen of hearts this cold winter season." Full Review

Culture Catch

"One of the biggest payoffs for this intimate approach comes when the show complicates Pericles' climactic reunion in a clever and emotionally powerful way. On a lighter note, it also allows amusing speculation for the audience...The cast play their multiple roles with aplomb...'Pericles: Born in a Tempest' is lively, funny, and affecting: a great opportunity to hear an old song newly sung." Full Review

Culture Catch

"The play constructs a picture of the kind of city and country that most of us hope not to have...Many of these characters reveal new layers over the course of the play...This process of revelation includes characters who appear at first to be mainly comic relief, and the humor should be noted here: despite taking place in a combination surveillance/police state, ‘Werewolf’ is a funny play throughout...The entire cast gives strong performances. " Full Review

Aliens Coming
Gramercy
Culture Catch

“‘Aliens Coming’ weaves some light satire into these narrative threads…Its primary aim, though, is to be entertaining and funny, and it unquestionably succeeds. The production is well-paced and the songs, accompanied by live piano onstage, well-crafted. The cast puts forth terrific performances…‘Aliens Coming’ feels fresh, is a bit queer in places, and even, unexpectedly, turns out to have actual stakes. Fans of tuneful, genially raunchy silliness will find plenty to like here.” Full Review

Navigator in Love
East Village
Culture Catch

"Propster, the center of a strong cast, plays Rostom as a man who blusters his way through discomfort...By no means the first work to structure itself around the concept of emotional attachment to a technological object, but the play engages its conceit with accomplished performances, deadpan humor, and a brisk pace aided by clever lighting and sound design. It is also not as if alienation and artificial intelligence are topics that will lose their relevance any time soon." Full Review

Lou
East Village
Culture Catch

"'Lou' incorporates its philosophical elements and its biographical exposition with a consistently deft hand and always in the service of telling Salomé’s personal story...Perhaps unexpectedly, 'Lou' is also very funny, thanks in no small part to excellent performances by the cast...'Lou' is a wonderfully entertaining production about a singular figure. It offers a well-crafted, engaging study of a woman who could captivate Nietzsche and call out Freud’s repression." Full Review

The Conspiracists
West Village
Culture Catch

"'The Conspiracists' displays the same rich, deeply human portrayal of knotty interpersonal dynamics as Baker's previous two plays...The structure includes clever interlocking elements among the parts, some more and some less subtle and some more and some less thematic...Anderson gets the flashiest role...The rest of the cast, however, make equally distinctive and funny showings...Its speculative elements are always firmly in service of its characters, to their and the audience's great benefit." Full Review

Kyle
East Village
Culture Catch

"'Kyle' mines comedy from the depths of addiction and marks an impressive debut both for James as a playwright and for his and director Emily Owens' newly founded production company...'Kyle' seasons its humor with insight and grounded emotional moments...The increasingly unkempt Nat Cassidy is outstanding...An addiction comedy might itself sound paradoxical, but 'Kyle' walks the line between laughter and darkness with entertaining aplomb." Full Review

For Annie
Midtown E
Culture Catch

"Annie and Nick's story is typical in many ways, but its very typicality is what makes its telling important...The choice to present 'For Annie' as as play-within-a-play lends it dimension, and it is very successful in creating the reality of its frame...It isn't easy to realistically play non-professionals acting, but the cast pulls it off convincingly. The leads all give solid performances...The play does some interesting things around our experience of authenticity as audience members." Full Review

Culture Catch

"Bragen's hilarious play creates a snapshot of two years in the friendship of a pair of New York City couples…In this fast-paced, fun production, all four actors deliver performances of richness and humor. ‘Don't You F**king Say a Word’ fixes its more heartfelt moments in a comedic framework, and it earns its sincere emotional beats through well-crafted and well-played characters while also being one of the funnier plays that we've seen in awhile." Full Review

Culture Catch

"It deftly uses the frame of NYC history to open onto interweaving personal, urban, and cosmic histories; to touch on fragmentations and metamorphoses of the self; and to interrogate self, city, and art, even making such questions literal in one section and directed, seemingly, at the audience...An anarchic pastiche of voices, atmospheres, songs, and other cultural flotsam that is by turns, funny, unsettling, and strangely affecting, but always mesmerizing." Full Review

The Black Crook
Lower E Side
Culture Catch

"The real-world frame introduces some clever and illuminating mirroring between the dual plots...The musical numbers often sound quite modern...All of this is packaged with lots of comedy...Gelb and his team have created a thoroughly enjoyable postmodern take on a very significant piece of America's theatrical past. You will learn a little history while having a lot of fun at 'The Black Crook.'" Full Review

Sweat & Tears
Brooklyn
Culture Catch

"'Sweat & Tears' places a binary before the audience and asks us to do some of the interpretive work and question our own adherence to social constructs...The women’s half contains more variation and so can be more opaque at times than the male half. Together, these halves add up to a work that is imagistic, physically impressive, at some points funny, and at all points challenging." Full Review

This Time
East Village
Culture Catch

"As '90s Amal, Delphi Harrington skillfully conveys a mixture of defiance and vulnerability. As younger Amal and Nick, Heywood and Moore artfully capture the emotional journey involved as their relationship evolves from simmering attraction and apparent liberation to increasing disillusionment. Salma Shaw’s Janine is an involving blend of resolve, frustration, and longing...'This Time' may not provide easy answers, but it offers a compelling meditation on family, love, and identity." Full Review

Due To Events
Brooklyn
Culture Catch

"Terrific and very funny new play...The play and its questions are animated by great work by the cast...The show makes effective use of the entire space of the Brick... the play excels at creating its own world with a specific atmosphere and rhythms...'Due to Events' is a subjective experience that you should definitely have for yourself." Full Review

The Quare Land
Gramercy
Culture Catch

"Maloney keeps the cantankerous Hugh just likeable enough, and Collins elicits both laughs and empathy with Rob's increasing frustration and hostility. 'The Quare Land' looks to the past and the future, reaping both laughs and reflection, and, unless you're Rob McNulty, it's probably the most entertaining 90 minutes that you can have watching an elderly farmer in a bathtub." Full Review