Maya Phillips

Maya Phillips is a critic with Edge New York. 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 (28)
The New York Times

"Stuck in Maine in ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’: Friends and family about to be left behind when a young man goes to college reckon with a world of narrow choices in Chad Beckim’s play." Full Review

Mothers
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Mommy and Me and the Apocalypse: A barbed comedy takes a grim turn when friends find themselves tested over how far they’ll go to defend their choices and protect their children." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"There’s plenty to savor in the cast...The problem is larger than one or two tragically out-of-place numbers; this 'Much Ado' bears upon its back the weight of a capital-M-Message...It could have been nothing but black joy, or black joy tempered by the reality of the issues that sparked protests like Black Lives Matter in the first place, but the middle ground—somewhere between joy and a broader context of blackness in America—just doesn’t quite do." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"One may imagine a production with direction that’s more taut and active in its relationship to the text. Even so, because 'Norma Jeane Baker of Troy' succeeds on its most fundamental level, and Whishaw and Fleming are good at what they do, witnessing the play is like indulging in some intellectual candy, both deliciously sweet and sour at the same time, the flavor with you even after it’s over." Full Review

The Unwritten Law
Lower E Side
The New York Times

"Talk of systemic racism is necessary food for thought in this America, but it’s abruptly and awkwardly incorporated into the production...Featuring poverty, physical and sexual abuse, and addiction, this stage memoir includes more than its fair share of misfortune, but it’s undone by the gaps in its telling...And for a show so grounded in language, 'The Unwritten Law' lacks the precision and freshness of first-rate wordsmithery." Full Review

Dido of Idaho
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Morbidly charming...Hilariously off-kilter and engrossing at the start...Even when the romantic trio seem too aware of the laughs, watching them is a delight. That is until the end of the first act, when the play takes a sharp turn with a grisly fight scene that, while artfully choreographed, raises a dramatic hurdle that the script can’t clear...For all its daring subversion of expectations, the play takes a sharp left turn out of familiar territory, only to lose its way." Full Review

The Portuguese Kid
Midtown W
Edge New York

"There aren't many surprises to be had in this play...Part of the issue is the delivery...but through it all, you still get a sense of the humor in the writing...The real problem with the play is when Shanley inches toward sentimentality or gender politics...'The Portuguese Kid' attempts to be a hilarious battle of the sexes, its laughs are shallow and simplistic and, unfortunately, rewarding of views that don't quite sit right with our current politics." Full Review

Desperate Measures
Midtown W
Edge New York

for a previous production “Cute but predictable and unfortunately not as funny as it tries to be. And that's just it–‘Desperate Measures’ tries desperately hard, but you can feel that strain from some of the forced gags and physical humor…That isn't to say there's nothing in the show for fans of Shakespeare or musicals or farces that take place in the Old West; the seams show and the jokes sometimes land flat, but even when it pushes too hard, it's still endearing, rhymes and knee-slaps be damned.” Full Review

My Eyes Went Dark
Midtown E
The New York Times

"The staging...effectively guides the play through hopscotching shifts in setting and time. Too often, however, the script jumps face first into scenes, then flounders as the exposition-laden dialogue tries to pick up the slack...Ms. Jayasundera moves deftly from role to role...Mr. Conlon’s Koslov is an unfinished sketch, barely shaded beyond his revenge...The peak emotional moments verge on the melodramatic...'My Eyes Went Dark' at once presents us with too little and broadcasts too much." Full Review

Vanity Fair
Midtown W
Edge New York

"As much as the production attempts to energize itself with movement, it fails to do so...Ironically, despite its best efforts, the play drags at moments, and part of the fault lies in the writing of the play itself. Hamill's adaptation is unfortunately overwritten...The main problem in this adaptation: the amount of time it spends telling its audience what to and what not to think of its characters...Despite the script's problems, Hamill is still a delight to watch as Becky Sharpe.": Full Review

The Liar
East Village
Edge New York

"Undoubtedly funny and utterly ridiculous in all the best ways…With all of its over-the-top ridiculousness, ‘The Liar’ takes farcical theater to its limits, and its campy, hyperbolic rendering of the form teeters just on the edge of being too much without ever really going over...Regards must be given to playwright David Ives...and director Michael Kahn for interpreting the vision, but the cast also stands out for being the vehicles of the hilariously absurd." Full Review

Public Enemy
Midtown W
Edge New York

"More essential than ever...In the beginning, 'Public Enemy' seems to present itself as a clear-cut morality play...It gets interesting when it reveals its true colors as a play that does not directly deal in the dull, predictability of moral and political absolutes but instead in the contradictions inherent in any matters attached to human ego...The actors hit their stride and present the most interesting performances as their characters start to reveal their aims, interests, and initiatives." Full Review

Buried Child
Midtown W
Edge New York

"What truly makes 'Buried Child' engaging is its hybridity; it's seemingly straightforward at parts, existing in the real world, but then it's remarkably surreal and symbolic...The obvious mechanism behind the play is the family's secret, but the real treasure is the dualities that complicate the story and whose tension give everything ironic weight...The cast knows how to work with each other, taking their time to set up comedic cues and establish a palpable tension." Full Review

Dying For It
Chelsea
Edge New York

"Buffini's jokes aren't always as spot-on as you would hope, with some strained moments that are more reminiscent of a failed sitcom than a black comedy. The play has its moments, and the elements for a really comedic show are there. I'm just waiting for the real punchline. " Full Review

The New York Times

"‘Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo’ Offers Stand-Up Comedy Without the Standing: Mr. Sunshine is one of the rare Westerners to become a master of the centuries-old Japanese comic storytelling form." Full Review

Midsummer: A Banquet
Greenwich V
New Yorker

"Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,'...is already a sweet, toothsome morsel of theatre. This makes Food of Love Productions and Third Rail Projects’ immersive production of the play, accompanied by a multicourse tasting menu, delectable in more ways than one." Full Review

Long Lost
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

"So shadows—and secrets, and drama—are promised, and, sure, Margulies delivers, but they arrive mundanely, predictably, like the USPS...But the problem is also the cold air in the production. The direction, by Daniel Sullivan, lacks urgency and a firm atmosphere of confrontation to work the play’s turns...Though no single element of it is cause for ire or serious disdain, 'Long Lost' neglects to transcend the formulas it sticks to, making it, at best, an unremarkable trip to the theatre." Full Review

The New York Times

"Though this morality play has its collection basket full of tokens of charity, it still feels withholding. Under Hill’s direction, the 95-minute Keen Company production moves quickly, in a series of gasp-like three- or four-minute scenes...While full of heart, the writing skimps on the meat of the story...Hutchinson sprinkles in tidbits about class and race but the most charged material is quickly sidestepped. It’s too bad, for both the characters and the actors who capably portray them." Full Review

Ms. Estrada
Soho/Tribeca
The New York Times

"This lively production sets its comic sights on too many targets...Positions itself as a knowing response to the current moment with a decidedly millennial spin...Its comic ideas are haphazardly flung about...Fails to focus its satire...The spirited choreography, rhymed dialogue and zippy songs, when paired with a stream of sexual euphemisms and tasteless jokes, sometimes create an unsavory contrast." Full Review

Cross That River
Midtown E
The New York Times

“A showcase for its music above all else...As likable a yarn-spinner as Mr. Harris is, the yarn itself has its flaws. The show uses its songs as a framework then connects the dots in between, but the result is disjointed, with a story that presumes to be about Blue but veers off into other tales of the West. 'Cross That River' ends up presenting a historical fiction without engaging with the full context of that history...'Cross That River' goes too easy on the more complex story of America." Full Review

Oedipus El Rey
East Village
Edge New York

“Delgado brings a wanting and vulnerability to the unlucky queen, though the script's heavy foreshadowing in her dialogue lays it on too thick. The same is true for the chorus…The most impressive part of "Oedipus El Rey," is how it builds upon Sophocles' existential questions about the nature of humanity and grounds them in important social commentary about incarceration and people of color…An engaging new take on an old story.” Full Review

The New York Times

"Toggles between friendly gibes at American culture and somber accounts of past hardships. Revues typically invite more playfulness than 'Amerike' allows, though it finds its heart in moments of self-aware mugging...The musical’s attempts to encapsulate such horrors as the Triangle factory fire in three-minute songs feel rushed and didactic...'Amerike' mostly aims to educate museum-goers and share in nostalgia for Jewish-American culture of yore—and at that it succeeds." Full Review

Animal
Chelsea
Edge New York

"'Animal' feels intimate and domestic, but by that same token, it feels confined, even claustrophobic as its protagonist veers off into the realm of psychosis...Hall's Rachel is funny—darkly, bitingly funny but funny nevertheless—and sarcastic...Hall is fascinating to watch...Not much happens in this short, 85-minute play...Still, 'Animal' resists exploiting its reveal and instead makes a statement about domesticity, mental illness, and gender that feels important and relevant." Full Review

Wakey, Wakey
Midtown W
Edge New York

"It all can amount to too much in the end, however. Even with the talents of Emerson and Lavoy to guide the production, the play still struggles in its tonal shifts, overreaching in its attempts to bridge its moments of cynicism and fear with its tender moments of redemption. Eno undoubtedly loves to show his hand in this play, but sometimes it is that very hand that obstructs our view...But all that isn't to say that 'Wakey, Wakey' doesn't have its moments; in fact, it has plenty." Full Review

One Flea Spare
East Village
Edge New York

"'One Flea Spare' is immediately brought to life in a space that, though bare and understated, nevertheless creates the perfect atmosphere in which the play's scenes can unfold...In fact, while the cast and the staging and the direction of the show undoubtedly create a well-crafted experience, it is the writing that stays with you after the show ends. The characters speak with a somber poetry that recognizes beauty and horror, darkness and light as by the same token." Full Review

Small Mouth Sounds
Midtown W
Edge New York

"The actors so ably embody their characters through their postures, their sideways glances, and their movements that when they do finally speak those moments come as a surprise and feel gratifying…In a play so focused on sounds and silence, it's fitting, then, that the sound design is remarkably done…Overall, the play acts as a realistic snapshot of six lives…Every bit reveals them just enough for us to empathize with whatever of us we see in their pain and joy and misfortune." Full Review

Cloud Nine
Chelsea
Edge New York

"The Atlantic Theater Company's revival of the play really gives it its due...While sexuality and gender expectations are certainly Churchill's main interest in this play, the themes of racism and colonialism are also particularly poignant...Less feels at stake in the second act, though the personal evolution of the characters certainly make the ending feel fulfilled and emotionally resonant." Full Review

Dying For It
Chelsea
Edge New York

"Buffini's jokes aren't always as spot-on as you would hope, with some strained moments that are more reminiscent of a failed sitcom than a black comedy. The play has its moments, and the elements for a really comedic show are there. I'm just waiting for the real punchline. " Full Review