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 (68)
american (tele)visions
East Village
The New York Times

" 'American (Tele)visions' can be a bit repetitive at times. Yet the production still manages to surprise and entertain — so don’t touch that dial." Full Review

The New York Times

"Under Giles Croft’s direction, Arison’s Broadway debut proves spotty. He recites his opening lines with the stiffness of a child delivering a book report, and never totally eases into the role." Full Review

The New York Times

"'Hamlet' is one of the Shakespeare plays that most suffers from diminishing returns — adaptations that try too hard to innovate, to render a classic modern and hip. Though Icke’s protracted production occasionally falls into that trap, ultimately the creative team’s visual and technical prowess — along with its provocative young lead — make this a tale of musing, mania and murder for our age." Full Review

Fat Ham
East Village
The New York Times

"For all that Ijames dismantles in Shakespeare’s original text, he builds it back up into something that’s more — more tragic but also more joyous, more comedic, more political, more contemporary. ... 'To be or not to be' becomes a different kind of existential query. It’s not a question of life or death, but of who we can decide to be in a world that tries to define that for us: Can you be soft? Can you be queer? Can you be brave? Can you be honest?" Full Review

Wish You Were Here
Midtown W
The New York Times

"It’s exciting to see a portrayal of the complexity of female friendships, including both the niceties and the petty rivalries alike. It’s something I’ve been considering a lot lately in conversations with my female friends — how we have shaped and been shaped by one another, how we’ve grown into or outgrown the roles we’ve been assigned in each other’s lives. There’s so much to appreciate and even more to explore here, within the confidences of rowdy, supportive, spiteful women; I just wish ... Full Review

The New York Times

"Vogel’s script creates its own piercing language for assault, harassment and all the ways our society reinforces regressive ideas about gender, sex and consent. The play is structured as an intimate collection of memories roughly organized around a set of rules about the basics of driving, as if someone had sneaked in a series of watercolor portraits between the pages of a driver’s manual. So the warnings about idling and using the reverse gear, which function as clever subtitles announcing ... Full Review

Suffs
East Village
The New York Times

"“Suffs” has a hefty two-hour-and-45-minute running time, after all, and though the musical isn’t guilty of scolding, it is guilty of stifling an impressive — though exhausting — breadth of U.S. history through its contemporary lens." Full Review

Misdemeanor Dream
East Village
The New York Times

"Attending a theatrical production whose cast members are of different ages and genders and are from Indigenous nations across the United States, Canada and the Philippines is, unfortunately, a novelty in a predominantly white art form. However, the story weaving in this production leaves too many loosely tied or unconnected threads, and the heart of the show — accounts of communal traditions and personal experiences — ends up getting lost. This isn’t helped when the performance elements don’... Full Review

The Same
Midtown W
The New York Times

"The set design, by Owen Boss, is immersive...It’s novel to sit among the action, with one Lisa or another shuffling past your seat, though ultimately the effect doesn’t support its execution. Kiernan’s direction, however, imbues the production with an unsettling feeling...The success of the play’s Gemini effect is in large part because of the actresses’ talents...Walsh’s script, however, doesn’t leave as lasting an impression." Full Review

Tambo & Bones
Midtown W
The New York Times

"The director, Taylor Reynolds, doesn’t help clarify or illuminate Harris’s shallow script, defaulting to only one mode: loud and emphatic. And the transitions between sections do little to connect the parts in service of a grand thesis. A satire and a concert and an off-road turn into speculative fiction: “Tambo & Bones” is a lot of things, but nuanced is not one of them." Full Review

The New York Times

"Three nuns hard at work at their convent look up to discover that the sky is falling … It could be the beginning of a joke, or a New Yorker cartoon. But it’s the opening scene in “The Collision and What Came After, or, Gunch!,” a play being presented alongside “The Martyrdom” by Two Headed Rep at 59E59 Theaters. Despite the comic potential of this setup, these works, inspired by the writing of the 10th-century nun and playwright Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, are neither as funny nor — at two... Full Review

Medicine
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"CRITIC’S PICK...By the end, John’s dejection feels as familiar as a phantom pain. He may still be within the same sad four walls where he began, but Walsh’s production transforms the space from one of isolation into one of empathy that even the audience can share. Because ultimately, a couple of doses of human connection is the best medicine anyone can ask for." Full Review

The Visitor
East Village
The New York Times

"Perhaps it is doable to respect the politics around these issues and the immigrants trying to build a life in the United States in this format, but it’s tough. Which is why the new musical “The Visitor” feels so obtuse and helplessly dated...The ensemble, however, often upstages the main cast members, etching small but remarkable performance moments, even in the background and during the fleeting transitional numbers." Full Review

By Heart
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"Literature is the great love of my life. And yet I’ve never liked memorization or recitation...the playwright and actor Tiago Rodrigues has changed my mind...After the show, as I waited for the subway, I read the poem aloud — once, then twice and again. The train pulled up, and I was so engrossed in the text, I nearly missed it. So give me some lines to memorize. I’m now a believer." Full Review

The Watering Hole
Midtown W
The New York Times

"What I’d hoped for was refreshment. What I left with was a thirst for a more memorable and neatly composed offering...The production is too heterogeneous and muddled to rally around one clear theme or concept...Though well-intentioned, it’s hard to find the connective tissue here or, as Nottage says, the organizing principle. Whatever 'The Watering Hole' means to express, it’s drowned in this sea of artists." Full Review

Seven Deadly Sins
West Village
The New York Times

"'Seven Deadly Sins' is eye candy, no doubt, and a fun interactive experience for those who crave a lively outdoor performance with a few raunchy surprises. But given the emphasis on sexuality, and nods to the meatpacking district’s transgressive history, I expected a more exacting sociopolitical statement. There should be more than meets the eye." Full Review

Zoetrope
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"The small scale of 'Zoetrope' allows it to be truly interactive in ways that larger productions cannot logistically pull off. The show lets the audience be, in some small but significant way, the authors of the story...The biggest pleasure of “Zoetrope” is spying on this couple in their space, beautifully designed by Emily Addison and Dominica Montoya." Full Review

The New York Times

"Review: Name-Dropping Harlem in ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’: The neighborhood is referrred to constantly, insistently, but doesn’t come to life in Pearl Cleage’s play about a nightclub singer from the 1930s." Full Review

The New York Times

"Blood Runs Too Thick in ‘Doctors Jane and Alexander’: Edward Einhorn’s playful play takes on a lot: his scientist grandfather, his aging mother and his own doubts about putting their lives onstage." Full Review

The New York Times

"Learn. Laugh. Suffer. Move Along.: An immersive play crossed with an art installation offers sharp angles on race and white supremacy, but is dampened by didactism." Full Review

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

The New York Times

"This highly stylized contemporary production, which recently opened at NYU Skirball in a nearly three-hour production, feels like a series of ideas that never quite cohere." Full Review

The New York Times

"The text could be enlivened, even challenged, with more forceful direction. A night of sensual play, manipulation, machinations and tragedy courtesy of two fiery playwrights like Berkoff and Churchill should never leave a room as cool as it does here." Full Review

Epiphany
Upper W Side
The New York Times

"I could describe Brian Watkins’s “Epiphany,” ... as an existential dinner-party play. Or a satire of academics, armchair psychologists and the general intelligentsia, always trying to find a common language for our ways of living in the world. It could be called a critique of our modern society of self-interest. A statement on grief. Or a ghost story." Full Review

The New York Times

"This production then reads as an indelicate transcription, because Brecht may be stone cold, but that doesn’t mean his work lacks spark. The spark of revolution, that is — though Brecht pioneered the Lehrstück, or 'learning play,' his aim wasn’t just to educate but to incite audiences to make change in their society. He wanted his plays to 'knock them into shape,' Brecht wrote. Unfortunately, this 'Mother Courage' fails to pack a punch." Full Review

The New York Times

"It seems as if there is no measure of praise that could be too much; after all, this is a show that allows a Black gay man to be vulnerable onstage without dismissing or fetishizing his trauma, desires and creative ambitions. Now that’s some radical theater." Full Review

The New York Times

"Noah Haidle’s “Birthday Candles,” which opened on Broadway Sunday night at the American Airlines Theater, tries to build poignancy and depth through moments that repeat like a record needle stuck in a groove. Instead, this Roundabout Theater Company production gets caught in a superficial cycle of wannabe profundities and emotional pantomimes." Full Review

Confederates
Midtown W
The New York Times

"Feels like an elegant experiment, thoughtful and put-together but not quite realizing its full potential...'Confederates' creates this tension between its two parts but doesn’t do anything with it. If Morisseau has built her stories with this inherent magic of alternating settings, allowing us to time-travel with her through a discussion of racial politics then and now, why not try to allow the worlds of the two protagonists to extend a bit more? Why not go bigger?...Morisseau is a fabulous ... Full Review

On Sugarland
East Village
The New York Times

"Harris certainly isn’t the only playwright who writes lyrical dialogue with its own internal meter, but she is one of the best navigators of shifts in language and registers, even within a single scene. So we get tasty figurative gumdrops that subtly illuminate the inner thoughts of the characters...But Harris struggles with an overambitious story. 'On Sugarland' is unable to adequately unpack its cornucopia of themes...The issue isn’t a lack of exposition; it’s that 'On Sugarland' is incons... Full Review

Space Dogs
Midtown W
The New York Times

"It’s informative, in a slipshod way, but also hopelessly cheesy, packed with dad jokes, puns, silly accents and even a doggie beauty contest. 'Space Dogs' gives off the vibe of a B-grade educational children’s show — though one with the occasional vulgarity amid the bleak material...Most of the musical’s songs are pretty uniform stylistically and generically upbeat — bouncy yet forgettable numbers that contribute little to the story." Full Review

Shhhhh
Chelsea
The New York Times

"The other issue is the show’s erratic pacing. A Looney Tunes-esque chase scene and a mystical ritual both feel interminable. While other scenes are too short, and characters lack depth. Amaya has a sparky energy, but their character is less developed in relation to the others. And the characters of Francis and Sandra speak in only one scene, in the pizza shop, though the dialogue is incredibly compelling: candid exchanges about what it’s like to be a woman in a world of modern dating, and ro... Full Review

The New York Times

"But the director Jerry Zaks’s ambivalent production tries to have it both ways: The story of a playful man-child with whom we empathize but whose good intentions can’t excuse his machinations. The film pulled it off at the time, primarily thanks to Williams’s charms. McClure’s Daniel, though, is more irritating than entertaining, and his antics — which include hacking into his wife’s email account to sabotage her nanny search — are more creepy than kooky." Full Review

Gnit
Brooklyn
The New York Times

"The playwright Will Eno puts his own stamp on Ibsen’s version in “Gnit,” which opened at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn on Sunday night. Portraying the protagonist as a listless young man on a search for self, Eno ends up with a funny story that is myopic in scope — a self-aware and sometimes cloyingly precocious thought experiment in individualism and identity." Full Review

The New York Times

"Who is the Colored Man? It’s a question that Scott’s Broadway debut...doesn’t quite know how to answer. [Thoughts of a Colored Man] aspires to be a lyrical reckoning with Black life in America but only delivers a gussied-up string of straw-man lessons." Full Review

The New York Times

"The very first instrument we learn to use is the human voice. In “Lackawanna Blues,” Santiago-Hudson shows his expert prowess with his, which he uses to deliver music with his portrayal of the various personalities. He strings together a cadence, tone and rhythm into a piece of work that is equal parts narrative and song." Full Review

The New York Times

"I’m reporting on a moment in time when I, a Black critic and a Black woman in America, felt the safest and most embraced by my Blackness in a theater...If you can’t imagine the comfort of being with people who look like you in a space where art is being made, it’s something like sipping from a steaming cup in the dead of winter: the warmth is precious, immediate and shocking all at once...It’s true that 'What to Send Up' feels less like a play than it does a series of cathartic experiences —... Full Review

A Dozen Dreams
Financial
The New York Times

"Most of the installations hit a sweet spot in the middle, with the audio performances mellowing the tone, as though each playwright were speaking to a friend...Throughout the production, it’s the details that delight...In fact, there’s so much to see that 'A Dozen Dreams' can overload the senses, making it likely you’ll miss something — an excuse to revisit it." Full Review

Incantata
Chelsea
The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "An Elegy in Words, Video and Potatoes: A solo stage adaptation of Paul Muldoon’s poem considers whether making art can offer solace in the wake of grief." Full Review

Where We Stand
Upper W Side
The New York Times

"Gifts are Given, but at What Cost? Donnetta Lavinia Grays is winningly uninhibited in her fable-like solo show about a community seduced by a mysterious benefactor." Full Review

The Crucible (Bedlam)
East Village
The New York Times

CRITIC’S PICK "A ‘Crucible’ for the Modern Mob: Eric Tucker updates the allegorical play about the Salem witch trials, directly implicating the audience in its examination of mass hysteria." Full Review

New Yorker

"Beneath the charming, if familiar, premise of the production is a sombre core, about loneliness, brokenness, and addiction, but the play doesn’t take the time to mine that fascinating ground, instead opting for a quick, calculable resolution." 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