Muppet critics

Mad Mike

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 (61)
Preview kunstler white
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.

Preview 85180 5
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

Preview unnamed
Intelligent, Spare, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Solid performances in a gem of a play overcome the low-budget presentation of this commentary on art, love, marriage, judaism, fame & wealth

Don't see it if Not a good fit if you're looking for a big-budget production, or a lot of over-the-top emotion; its a lot of quiet, intelligent dialogue.

Preview manfromnebraska
During previews
Disappointing, Banal, Entertaining

See it if This was a pleasant evening with some funny and touching moments, but ultimately I never understood the motivation for the protagonist's ...

Don't see it if ... spiritual quest since we never heard what his questions were or why he did anything throughout the play.

Preview 299518
During previews
Predictable, Entertaining, Interesting

See it if Thought there was interesting material here about how different people of Latino origin react to one-another & how/when Spanish is used ...

Don't see it if But thought the plot development could be seen coming from a mile away, especially if you've seen Whorl Inside a Loop.

Preview unfaithfully cropped
During previews
Slow-paced, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You can be patient through a slow start, but over three acts, this 1933 gem rewards with thoughtful reflection in a manner still relevant.

Don't see it if You're looking for a lot of laughs, or for that matter, tears, or you don't have the patience to go 2:15 over two intermissions.

Preview sweat white
For a previous production
Timely, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if Those of us still trying to make sense of red-state America, and white working-class racial resentment, are given a lot to reflect on

Don't see it if This is a fairly serious play, with some difficult material, so not appropriate if you're looking for a light romp.

Preview image
Mildly amusing at times, Mercifully short (but not short enough), Uneven, Forgettable

See it if This "play" is more of a cross between 4 solo shows and an hour-long SNL sketch, but just not enough jokes land to justify attending.

Don't see it if I think Lampanelli's soliloquys were the strongest here- and think this would have worked better as her own solo show. The rest was weak.

Preview vietgone
Quirky, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if An optimistic and quirky love story arising from the Vietnam war, with a perspective on the war and immigrating to America that is rare.

Don't see it if I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you think you wouldn't like a story about Vietnam War refugees. Their story is the American story.

Preview kingdom
During previews
Adorkable, Sweet, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if This is a modernized homage to every romantic comedy movie in which the characters have a delicious secret that gets revealed in the end.

Don't see it if You loathe the Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers, Meg Ryan genre, "meet cutes" that are too cute, and plays with an optimistic point of view

Also Crystal Finn is adorkably wonderful as the clutzy, shy and lonely sing... Read more Read less

Preview 82854 2
Too long, Innovative

See it if Credit is due for finding a new way to do story-telling, mostly through sound, in a theatrical environment, but ...

Don't see it if this show is way too long, too small to warrant a Broadway theater, and I found it hard to concentrate over the course of two hours.

Preview bachelorette2
Excruciating, Laughless

See it if Comedy is hard to get right, & it goes horribly wrong in this mess of a play where barely polite laughs could be heard between punchlines

Don't see it if I'm 2 for 2 on disappointment with this playwright, so she's clearly not my cup of tea.

Preview b 8852 bearsinspace  copy
During previews
Disappointing, Frivolous, Silly

See it if There were a scattering of earned chuckles in this way-too-long 75-minute farcical Henson-channeling puppet play ...

Don't see it if ... But the show is more funny-strange than funny-haha, and while the performers are energetic, overall, the evening is tiresome.

Preview small mouth sounds show score
During previews
Ambitious, Funny, Original

See it if Satire about a semi-spiritual silent retreat, this play cleverly uses physical gestures to produce its laughs & proves less (talk) is more

Don't see it if At two hours w/ no intermission, it's about 15 minutes too long -- in chairs that aren't very comfortable.

Preview radiant white
During previews
Grating, Energetic performances, Disappointing

See it if The small cast enthusiastically sells this bizarre tale w/ energetic verve albeit to the point of exhaustion. The blurb reads cute & fun...

Don't see it if ...the story is more like a warped species of Sweeney Todd minus the Sondheim.

Preview rsz funny
During previews
Absurd, Irreverent, Guilty pleasure, Original, Funny

See it if The most morbid (and nominally insensitive) of settings for raucous comedy somehow make the guffaws at sex jokes guiltily more delicious.

Don't see it if I foresee every show-score review caveat to the effect of: "if you're sensitive to jokes about cancer," but the warning's in the title.

Preview indian summer white
During previews
Hilarious, Wistful, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if Coming-of-age-at-the-beach comedy delivers waves of laughs, sweet longing, and just a spray of salt water, with a sharp Woody-esque script.

Don't see it if Consistent belly laughs are difficult achieve, and it is a credit to the cast, playwright and director that they calibrated this so well.

Preview incognito1
During previews
Confusing, Spare, Great acting, Obtuse, Brainy

See it if The ensemble prove their chops, slipping in & out of characters & accents in this bare-bones staging of stories centered on the brain.

Don't see it if My overall reaction to the play is summed up by one character's response to a verbal exegesis from an intellectual: "I don't give a sh*t!"

Preview rsz daphnes dive white
During previews
Unique staging, Bitter-sweet, Absorbing

See it if Well-executed play considers the dichotomies of burying or confronting old demons, and medicating wounds with aloe or self-destruction.

Don't see it if Time is a character in this play, as scenes take place about 5 years apart, so don't expect every gap to be filled.

Preview curious
Exhausting, Great staging, Great acting, Dizzying

See it if Well-staged, well-acted, production tackling the difficult plight of a special-needs teenager; perhaps important that this play is on bway

Don't see it if Ultimately, does one enjoy or get satisfaction from spending 150 minutes with these troubled characters? I'm afraid not.

Preview redspeedo
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if to see an murky pool of morally-challenged, success-driven characters, and a character in an actual pool!

Don't see it if An ending with open questions is one thing, but this fade to black at the 80-min mark leaves one questioning what happened to the 2nd Act?

Preview father180
During previews
Clever, Hypnotic, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if to see - when, as here, used correctly - temporal shifts, character flips, and labyrinth-like storytelling draw you in, not out.

Don't see it if Many will avoid a play about a dementia-stricken man, but for the intrepid theater-goer, this play rewards with true empathy into his POV.

Preview rsz antliawhite
During previews
Atmospheric, Obtuse, Slow, Confusing

See it if You're ok puzzling between reality, dreams & the supernatural, even if the play didn't earn your curiosity by leaving enough breadcrumbs.

Don't see it if You want loose ends tied up, and weary about investing time in a worthy, thoughtful work that might be in need of a rewrite.

Preview smokefall
Disappointing, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if An amorphic, dream-like, non-linear, experimental journey through guilt-laden memories is your idea of a pleasant evening.

Don't see it if you want a coherent narrative.

Preview 1455315574
During previews
Train wreck, Can i have my money back?, When will this show end?, Excruciating, Confusing

See it if You have friends/family in the cast, and even then, you might want to come up with a credible-sounding excuse to avoid this utter disaster.

Don't see it if You're looking to save 105 minutes of your life and $23, which would be better spent on a mediocre meal at a fast-casual restaurant.

Preview kid victory key 800x1200
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.

Preview linda
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.

Preview rsz 1rsz evening at the talkhouse
During previews
Meandering, Poor performances, A mess

See it if Some of the all-star cast seemed to suffer from lack of rehearsal & the twist of this 100 min play could be reduced to a 5 min SNL sketch.

Don't see it if Just one of those things that sound great in theory: Matthew Broderick & Wallace Shawn in a Shawn play, but in reality, a waste of your time

Preview ada
Entertaining, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if As short-play collections go, this one delivers with a triptych of two-handers exploring long-term bitter feelings among rival.

Don't see it if As you might expect from a production at La Mama, spare sets and uncomfortable seats, but they make the most of what they've got here.

Preview labute white
Entertaining, Dark, Uneven

See it if The book-ends of this 4-play series were fun, silly, light and breezy, but ...

Don't see it if the middle plays were just too dark, too long, meandering and unsatisfying.

Preview in transit
Great singing, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if It's Love Actually, with singing; or Avenue Q without the puppets, yet it is its own original love letter to NYC commuters and their lives.

Don't see it if This is a feel-good romantic comedy musical with clever observational humor, look elsewhere for deep insight and character development.

Preview final thewolves poster copy
Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if I found it interesting to listen in on the dialogue among teen girls, some misguided, some cruel, but capable of growth and empathy.

Don't see it if There's no main arc of a plot here, so see this only if you appreciate the journey.

Preview career suicide white
Edgy, Quirky, Raunchy, Funny

See it if It's a funny and optimistic looks at a serious personal story, and I found it enjoyable and worthwhile throughout

Don't see it if The mere use of the "n word" -- quoting a real-life racist the storyteller encountered at a pivotal moment -- is going to trigger you.

Preview the portal white
During previews
Obtuse, Insipid, Sleep-inducing, Excruciating

See it if You like multimedia art installations at the Whitney Museum, but only wish live musicians and dancers could be added to the muddled monotony

Don't see it if You like music, or singing, or dance, or art films or storytelling, because there are better shows w/ 1 or more of these elements elsewhere.

Preview orwell in america white
During previews
Quirky, Edutaining, Great acting

See it if If you're engaged by the nuances of socialism, communism, capitalism, you'll enjoy this quirky look through the prism of Animal Farm.

Don't see it if Politics isn't your thing, but it's not necessary for you to reread your Orwell to enjoy this play.

Preview safe
Teen-oriented, Ordinary, Earnest, Slow

See it if I think this story of troubled teens, substance abuse, self-image and family problems may resonate with teens ....

Don't see it if But it's a bit too "after-school special" or "very special Family Ties" for theater goers old enough to know what those references are.

Preview cats
Dated, Simply terrible

See it if Yes, Memory is a great track, but for the love of God, download the song or perhaps go see a Betty Buckley live cabaret performance.

Don't see it if Avoided the original, but regret seeing the revival. Hard to believe this dreadful piece of mediocrity ran for 18 years. Now & for-never.

Preview layover white
Poor writing, Uneven, Disappointing

See it if I do think this show has something to say about how people aren't always what they seem at first, but the play's twists and turns are not...

Don't see it if earned with proper foreshadowing, it's not clear what the characters motivations are & it seems their personal baggage got lost in transit.

Preview 81716 1
During previews
For tourists only, Fluffy, Banal

See it if Dance #'s have the razzle-dazzle you'd expect but the interwoven "book" is so insipid, dumbed-down & trite, locals feel embarrassed 2B there

Don't see it if You're not a tourist from a non-English-speaking country who's already seen Chicago, Phantom & Les Miz.

Preview betterplace
Over-hated, Great staging, Frivolous, Silly

See it if Expectations are everything, and show scores here set the bar so low, one couldn't help but be charmed by this funny but forgettable farce.

Don't see it if I'm not saying to pay serious money for this, but I've seen far worse plays with show-scores in the yellow & green zones

Preview fa show score
During previews
Inconsequential, Slight, Cute

See it if Liked the underlying premise of relationship among friends guilted into supporting friend's art project, and such art's questionable value

Don't see it if Pleasant 85 mins, but got bogged down in conventional infidelity plot that didn't service the art themes & really didn't amount to much.

Preview ruins
During previews
Original, Slow, Challenging

See it if This play does have something to say about our present deficit of empathy through its dystopian future vision of environmental catastrophe

Don't see it if The show takes well over two hours to make its point, and tells the story through sad characters who I struggled to root for.

Preview tuckfall180
Grows on you, Incongruous, Quirky, Delightful

See it if The audience must give this charmer a lot of runway before it soars to emotional resonance about the gifts and curses of (im)mortality

Don't see it if The final scene puts a moving coda on this musical journey, yet is a somewhat bemusing departure from all of the preceding story-telling.

Preview in the secret sea white
During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Melodramatic

See it if A family struggle with a devastating diagnosis of likely birth-defects in pregnancy deserves smarter writing, more nuance & less soap-opera

Don't see it if This drama would be a strong Lifetime movie of the week, but theater audiences will expect more complexity to examine the moral dilemma.

Preview rsz dear evan hansen
For a previous production
Enchanting, Epic, Bitter-sweet, Resonant, Must see

See it if This original gem of a musical delivers a full spectrum of emotion that will resonate with anyone who's ever felt they didn't belong

Don't see it if See it before it's picked up for a Broadway run and is ruined by $200 tickets, and hyped expectations; it's this year's Fun Home, but better

Preview nathan1
During previews
Spare, Great acting, Delightful

See it if a charming, ageless parable examining religious tolerance (and intolerance) among the three Abrahamic religions could lift your spirits.

Don't see it if the accoutrements that go with a large-budget production are important to you; this is no-frills story telling.

Preview sor showscore 264x392
Dated, Delightful, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you need to take out-of-town guests to a sure-thing musical crowd pleaser that won't disappoint the masses with its hollywood-tested premise

Don't see it if you want a musical that isn't ever-so-slightly dumbed down in its humor, sensibilities & sensitivities & goes too often for the cheap laugh.

Preview aladdinnov180
Banal, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you're bringing kids that don't yet know the difference between the sloppy joes and filet mignon of family-appropriate musicals.

Don't see it if you agree that entertainment for all ages need not be "immature," "juvenile," and laden with nuance-free one-dimensional characters.

Preview 160504 aveq showscore bl
Hysterical, Great staging, Great writing, Delightful, Clever

See it if to watch lovable, dirty-talking puppets and live actors tickle you with some of the funniest lyrics and insightful observational humor

Don't see it if you've seen it before and own the album. It's an enchanting first-time experience, but I found diminishing rewards the second time around.

Preview ideation
During previews
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Clever

See it if you like an inventive thriller, in which the dark underbelly of corporate evil is slowly revealed over the course of 90 minutes.

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy. As a comedy, it certainly falls on the dark side.