Mad Mike

New York City | 35-49 | Male
About:  I like smart, funny, provocative, new-ish plays and musicals. Sorry, I don't do Shakespeare. ... Read more Read less
Reviews (107)
78
During previews
Disappointing, Clever

See it if I think Colin Quinn's work is often in the uncanny valley between comedy and think piece, but falls short in either category. Entertaining..

Don't see it if But attempts at humor are hit and miss, and the observations -- in this case what separates red and blue America -- are somewhat dumbed down

87
Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Keeps you engaged with great acting and you keep wanting to know what happens next.

Don't see it if I completely bought into the first act, but you really had to suspend disbelief for the second act.

82
During previews
Stripped-down, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if ...you are interested in an exploration of the misunderstandings that arise between the hearing and the deaf, and a love story attempting...

Don't see it if to transcend those challenges.

84
During previews
Entertaining, Quirky, Atmospheric

See it if You'd enjoy an alternative-folk-rock show with some added atmospheric theatricality and storytelling; this one's pretty good in that lane.

Don't see it if You'd prefer a more traditional play or musical with actors, characters, sets, etc.

70
Clunky, Fluffy, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Clunky, but sweet, revue of excerpts from 100 years of pop music that infused the struggles and triumphs of American women

Don't see it if This makes the cut for basic NYC entertainment if you want to get out of the house, but keep your expectations in check.

89
During previews
Cliched, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if This play uses excellent, clear & entertaining storytelling, focusing on one specific day-in-the-life plot-line to make its relevant point

Don't see it if My critique is a lack of nuance in the characters; they all fit into a bit of a stereotype: sleazy boss, sycophantic gunner, team-player etc

79
Great staging, Great singing, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if This vanity piece works as a fun revue of many of your favorite Broadway musical numbers, but it disappoints in it's lack of insight into ..

Don't see it if ...the figure behind them, Hal Prince, who conceals even basic memoir-esqe facts of his journey as Broadway producer.

67
During previews
Disappointing, Clever, Sleepy, Great acting

See it if A fun premise that amused at times w/ intellectual and religious banter, but ultimately dragged on for too long ...

Don't see it if and never seemed to go anywhere.

85
During previews
Quirky, Solid comic acting, Laugh-out-loud funny

See it if Allegorical, absurdist indie play induces belly-laughs from the start w/ undercurrent of U.S.-Mexico politics on plate as food for thought

Don't see it if You're not in the mood for mild political commentary and a humorous take on racial stereotyping.

78
During previews
Melodramedy, Spare, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A good showcase for actors flexing their dark, comedic chops, and a fast-moving and engaging story.

Don't see it if I thought the play could use a re-write, as it seemed to speak in allegory, but I wasn't sure what the moral of the story was?

83
Slow, Thought-provoking, Enchanting

See it if If you can be patient with this slow drama, the last 15 minutes rewards with a satisfying conclusion to much of the puzzling build-up.

Don't see it if This isn't a big, bold drama, but very nice quiet, personal story with some insightful observations about ordinary people.

15
During previews
Excruciating, Confusing

See it if This is simply a mess of a play that is so disorganized and lacking in coherent narrative, that it is impossible to appreciate on any level.

Don't see it if Skip it!

79
Deliberately "so-bad-it's-good", Camp, Silly

See it if If your thing is Rocky Horror or Napoleon Dynamite - this may be a theatrical version of that type of campy cult-appeal absurdity.

Don't see it if This show still needs to find its audience, as it would be much more fun with an enthusiastic college/downtown crowd than Theatre Row-types.

Also Also, I think there was some out-dated and unnecessary stereotyping of... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Weak story, Spare set, Interesting characters, Great acting

See it if This is an interesting showcase of good performances giving life to interesting characters searching for a better life, but . . .

Don't see it if there's a real lack of compelling narrative or cohesive story that maintains the audience's interest and empathy. And no set to speak of.

83
Great acting, Interesting, Short, Edgy

See it if A kind of male-oriented take on the Marnie-from-Girls-type character, the the psychological backstories were interesting, but . . .

Don't see it if wondering if the writer is working on adding another half-hour to the play, with perhaps more depth of the demons haunting these characters?

91
Smart writing, Nuanced characters, Thoughtful, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Very well-written family drama brings us characters that defy expectations about their beliefs, tolerances, prejudices and vices.

Don't see it if I never say this: at 1:45, including intermission, I thought it was too short. I wanted to hear more from characters following the climax.

80
During previews
Quirky, Whimsical, Experimental, Clever, Entertaining

See it if Experimental musical two-hander has "downtown," "off-off-beat" sensibilities for the open-minded theater-goer, but

Don't see it if It may be a little too small and quirky to fill the sensible shoes of Second Stage.

91
Great staging, Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Clever

See it if This is must-see fun for any Casablanca fan; difficult to describe what I saw, but I know I liked it!

Don't see it if If you haven't seen, or aren't a fan of, Casablanca, you may have trouble following or appreciating this work, so do your homework first.

83
Entertaining, Long, Slow, Surpringly-funny

See it if For the history buffs and those interested in foreign affairs, this is an interesting look at one chapter of the middle-east peace process

Don't see it if Though I largely enjoyed, I can see others bored, and it's often difficult to keep up with every plot point and the multitude of characters

Also Unlike seeing a musical at the Beaumont with the deeper stage utilized... Read more Read less

70
Excruciating, Great staging

See it if O'Neill or not, this isn't much of a play, but the staging is awe-inspiring enough and a unique use of the space to make this worth a look.

Don't see it if Go elsewhere if looking for a compelling story, sympathetic characters, and less allegory.

74
During previews
Confusing, Quasi-immersive, Quirky, Interesting

See it if I liked the interactive mock-auction that includes the audience & thought some of the auction info was interesting, movement - amusing...

Don't see it if But thought whatever story there was was confusing (didn't follow the temporal jumps), uncompelling, and didn't really capture my interest.

81
During previews
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Smart dialogue

See it if I admired different perspectives of the white characters trying to have a conversation on race - very thought provoking.. especially 1st 1/2

Don't see it if Thought the second half of the show went in an unnecessarily bleak, sensationalistic, crime-thriller and difficult-to-relate-to direction.

93
During previews
Great storytelling, Moving, Great singing, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if Well-done moving musical storytelling of a moment we all remember - but through the eyes of strangers uniquely touched by the week of 9/11

Don't see it if Nothing negative to say, though I'd give the edge to "Dear Evan Hansen" for the Best Musical Tony this year.

91
Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if A very interesting look back at the life and times of noted and controversial activist lawyer, William Kunstler, mostly in the form of ...

Don't see it if a lecture to law students, from civil rights movement, to Chicago 7, to Central Park 5; gives a real sense of the man and what he did.

79
During previews
Quirky, Forgetable, Silly

See it if This is mostly light comedy, with a lot of gags that land, so can be enjoyed as romp through the perspective of the hapless single gay man

Don't see it if Never felt emotional connection to the characters, so didn't feel very moved by more serious moments; thought might be better as a musical

67
Meh, Not-so-funny, Dated

See it if If you're interested in seeing what kind of play was popular in the 1970's, it perhaps works as a time capsule.

Don't see it if But the jokes just don't land, and I'm not sure if it is a result of the dated material, new sensibilities, or a problem with the casting.

89
During previews
One-man-comedy-show-via-puppet, Funny, Clever

See it if This foul-mouthed puppet delivers some real laughs, and interacts with the audience, as he contemplates the meaning of art and life.

Don't see it if The show is genuinely funny, though I had to wonder if there were some "ringers" in the audience laughing just a little too hard?

55
Too long and meandering, Uneven, Disappointing

See it if Some interesting ideas, and some talent in the cast, but the writing fails to advance the central story and brings in too many substories..

Don't see it if and obtusely inflates what should be minor characters. With a lack of foreshadowing of main story, conclusion felt confusing and unearned

90
During previews
Intelligent, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if I found this to be a well-constructed thoughtful play, that kept me interested in well-rounded characters. Tensions without a villain.

Don't see it if The idea of 4 women talking for 2 hours bores you.

20
During previews
Excruciating

See it if This is weird, confusing, performance art crap, with an obtuse storyline. Stay away from this one

Don't see it if After the performance, every audience member I made eye contact had the same verbal or non-verbal response, along the lines of: "WTF!"

Also I silenced my pesky cell phone. ... Read more Read less

86
Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Based on a true story, this is tragic-comic farcical storytelling that delves into the cruelty and petty nature of small town politics.

Don't see it if you don't like spare, low-budget productions or hate politics, but I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging the show was over 2 hours.

90
During previews
Moving, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're up for a long evening of touching storytelling about characters looking for love, romantic and otherwise, in wrong and right places

Don't see it if You don't have three hours to invest, or need a musical score to accompany your romantic dramedy.

91
Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting

See it if An accessible and good use of 75 minutes -- absorbing dialogue on defining art and success in the context of Disney animation.

Don't see it if you're not looking for a short, fun excurson and want a more serious evening of theater.

95
Resonant, Edgy, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if I cynically want to hate anything derivative of Hollywood meant to please the masses, yet I was utterly charmed by this timeless fable --

Don't see it if maybe even spiritual journey -- of what to do with an infinite amount of time, proving that deep down, my tastes trend towards the low-brow.

40
During previews
Confusing, Excruciating

See it if A talented cast, but they could not save this dreary, obtuse, mess of monologue and music.

Don't see it if I can't recommend this to anyone.

90
Must see, Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You like jukebox musicals done the right way, with a compelling story that binds the hit music together.

Don't see it if See it. Fun going in not knowing much and having lots of, "Wow, she wrote that song too" moments.

72
For a previous production
Monotonous, Funny

See it if This was ROTFL for the first half-hour or so, but repetitious return to the same slapstick jokes over and over again somewhat muted ...

Don't see it if my guffaw factor over the unnecessarily long evening; 80 minutes of this with no intermission would be the right serving of knee slappers.

84
During previews
Resonant, Great writing, Uneven, Funny

See it if A really good study of class differences in the UK that I think will resonate with American audiences in this era of red/blue state divides.

Don't see it if A very unexpected shift in tone from Act I to Act II felt a bit off at first, but in the end, I think it all kind of came together.

84
During previews
Light entertainment, Clever, Farcical

See it if Silly farce, and puppet piranhas, make for fun time with bonus points for those who discover the homage to a classic drama late in the show.

Don't see it if This is not serious theater for serious people. Just a little fun.

90
During previews
Light fun, Laugh-out-loud funny, Silly

See it if This is wonderful laugh-out-loud comedy that doesn't even pretend to take itself seriously, with a delightfully farcical premise.

Don't see it if You're in the mood for drama, subtle humor, or less cartoonish characters. I think Mel Brooks fans will enjoy this.

79
During previews
Long, Well-done, Clever

See it if ..."mind reading," hypnotisim, and illusion are your thing, this show packs a wallop -- and ends with an impressive finale.

Don't see it if For the cynic-at-heart (like me) and others who have seen similar shows before, it still stands out, but at 2:40, is just too long.

83
During previews
Corny/weak writing, Fun, Entertaining, Great performances, Great singing

See it if Infectiously talented cast delivers on light-hearted musical numbers in fast-moving romantic musical comedy in low-budget production.

Don't see it if But the hokey book is an odd hybrid species of throwback-camp with modern idiosyncrasies: Leave It To Beaver with the F-word.

45
Not-ready-for-theatre-row, Disappointing, Banal

See it if Clearly the producers made an effort to combine stories w/ jumps in time, but afraid none of these tales or characters resonated with me....

Don't see it if At least not prior to intermission when I left.

85
Farcical, Clever, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if With all the structure and form of the classic opera, the modern references,farce,satire & winks to the audience were all the more effective

Don't see it if Interestingly, subtitles are provided not to translate to English but to make the mostly English-sung lyrics more clear. Be prepared to read

94
Energetic, Innovative, Relevant, Entertaining, Overrated

See it if You can't deny the energy, innovation and slick historically-grounded humor and drama that resonates with modern audiences.

Don't see it if Excellent, yes. Cultural phenomenon? Head scratcher. Don't pay extortionist prices; wait. Worth waiting for the lottery to finally come thru

69
During previews
Slow, Monotonous, Clever

See it if Interesting look at what these two real-life figures might have said to one-another (allegedly based on true story), but ...

Don't see it if like Beckett's "Godot" that this play pays homage to, it drags, and meanders and one is left asking what it was all about?

88
Traditional musical, Great dancing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Good "old-fashioned" musical, with a small Dames-at-Sea-like cast, but at a more intimate venue, the show charms and entertains.

Don't see it if The show's only real flaw, often suffered in bio-based-material, is a lack of a compelling or convincing antagonist in the plot.

80
Simple, Cliched, Solid performances, Well-written

See it if Well-structured, solid performances from this young team, covering some well-trodden romantic material w/ a few smart storytelling devices.

Don't see it if Will be interested in seeing more from this playwright as he grows older, wiser, and tackles some more nuanced and complex material.

82
During previews
Disturbing, Intense, Dark

See it if If you like your musicals dark, dreary and disturbing -- this ain't no "Dear Evan Hansen" -- this is a competent instance of one.

Don't see it if The central theme of child sexual abuse and kidnapping, and its aftermath, is going to be difficult for you to endure.

88
During previews
Entertaining, Relevant, Clever, Absorbing

See it if I liked this funny & clever British take on feminism, women in the workplace, and body image, and their impact on both older and young women

Don't see it if If you're not interested in female-centric social issues, I suppose you're not going to like this play.