Melinda Pressler

Melinda Pressler is a critic with Melinda's Malarky. 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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (49)
Melinda's Malarky

for a previous production "Trisha's earnestness to understand & support her daughter are all very real...Ripley has this magical ripple effect that fills the stage with real characters and emotions spinning a one woman show into a transformative work of art that is quietly powerful and deeply penetrating...Playwright Edie has written a smart, warm, funny, and provocative play that mystify the soul inspiring empathy, tolerance, and love. We are all of us better for having experienced this miraculous production." Full Review

Hurricane Sleep
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

"The program portends a 'disaster that brings us closer together and true intimacy.' Unfortunately, it delivers only a disaster set in NYC during Hurricane Sandy inside a flooded bodega...Playwright Andrea Goldman borrows from both 'The Wizard of Oz' and the poetry of John Donne but mottles the play meant to be have an ephemeral dreamlike quality and theoretical gravitas. The writing lacks brains and courage...Red Alert: there's no play like this. It liquifies into a waste of time." Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"A disappointingly dull and uneven production...The draw of Driver & Russell drew me to the play but their pas de deus didn't flare...The overall acting was arid. The only real sparks of energy in the play came from the funny, inextinguishable roommate Larry...Uranowitz added hilarity into a triangle love story that didn't muster romance from any angle...Uranowitz was the only reason to see this soddened, dated play.” Full Review

Ain't No Mo'
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

"The play is broken into several skits meant to be both hilarious & profound. There's an incandescent brilliance to Cooper's ideas but many are rehashed tropes of discrimination, mass incarceration, rampant killing of black men...The segmented skits idle and then take off with fierce velocity. The rapid fire conceits are served up fast & furious leaving me baffled & off-balanced. Perhaps, that's Cooper's intent but it left me feeling apart from the conversation." Full Review

Shooter
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"A thoughtful portrayal of an alienated student shooter & a troubled adult...riveting & uncomfortable...strategically aimed at building intensity. Jim was the shooter outside a school that killed an armed student for which Jim is hailed heroic...A female student was also hit in the crossfire. The mounting isolation & rage in Jim's life is palpable...Joyless fanatics find sanctity of being from guns which provide purpose...The messaging hits the target." Full Review

Sea Wall/A Life
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

"Both One Act plays are long soliloquies delivered by Sturridge and Gyllenhaal in which parallels can be drawn...'Sea Wall' is a tauter constructed play with stronger impact...In the play 'A Life,' Abe (Gyllenhaal)...Thrashes through rows and this gimmick detered from the feeling of intimacy maintained in 'Sea Wall'...The 2 One Acts together create a complex and intriguing production. However, 'Sea Wall' is the One Act that can stand alone." Full Review

After
Midtown E
Melinda's Malarky

"A compelling one act drama...The bantering & blaming between the parents is sharp, unrelenting & wickedly humorous...'After' is entertaining throughout. The import of the play is to be an up stander rather than merely being a bystander. An up stander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes or speaks up to stop the bullying...Parenting, gun violence & our political climate all weigh into this provocative, dark comedy with timely messaging." Full Review

Dying in Boulder
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

"A thoughtful play that looks back on the life a dying woman and her orchestration of her Buddhist burial. The play orbits around dying, the 'big D,' and how people confront or deny the inevitability of human mortality...Faigao-Hall manages to view the yin & yang of life & death and its acceptance & denial in varying cultural norms. The play uses levity to raise the solemn topic of a dignified death...A sensitive and thoughtful play unafraid to face the fear of facing death." Full Review

The Hard Problem
Upper W Side
Melinda's Malarky

“This erudite play poses theological & ethical points of view without providing definitive resolutions for enigmatic ideologies. The ‘hard problems’ are multi-pronged and the list is long...A lot of the plot does not compute...So too are many of the lofty queries Stoppard puts forth with rapid fire. Regardless, Stoppard's erudite writing does make its way into the cerebellum some of the time with intrigue & clarity...The overriding essence is a healthy pastiche of skepticism & faith.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Benanti can really sing and plays the perfect waif with a Cockney accent and chameleon persona. Benanti hits all the right notes in playing Ms. Doolittle...This is a marvelous production with lots of treats and lots of heat. You can't leave the theater without humming any one of the marvelous musical numbers. It's impossible not to be teary eyed at the magical transformations occurring on stage. Sher's flawless direction gives the ideal balance of music & emotional heart." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"The quintessence of great theater. It's an ingenious production...Every musical number is comprised by Dylan's songs creating a miraculous theatrical experience that will leave you thunder struck with awe...This production has a unifying colorblindness that blends peaceful harmony in song & dance. The universal themes of pain, loneliness, and unrequited love transcends the era...The storyline moves seamlessly & poignantly to Dylan's lyrics." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"A potent social message...There are several strong messages driven home...There is no routine traffic stop for men of color and the world is not the same for whites and blacks. There are many subtle & overt racist comments spewed from all parties that strike like a lightning rod...When the facts are read to Kendra & Scott by Lt. Stokes the pain is piercing yet it leaves lingering doubts as to the culpability of the officer involved. The play is stirring drama with a superb cast." Full Review

Emma & Max
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

"The play is a black comedy and social satire blazing with wit aimed at reckless self-indulgent white privilege...Brooke and Jay's preposterous behaviors are hilarious, cringeworthy uncovering the detritus of their insular daily lives. The set changes are plodding and all manned by Brittany. The clever scenic design adds depth and fluidity. The final act takes a drastic and deeply disturbing turn...The acting by the cast is first rate especially by Ms. Love." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

“An absurdist comedy that is alternatively brilliant, prescient and profound...The play contemplates humorously and solemnly what's essential for journalism fact checking...There are multiple sides to truth and varying priorities to storytelling. Farrell's amusing examination of exaggeration or alternative facts makes ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ an impactful play that resonates long after the curtain falls.” Full Review

Pop Punk High
Greenwich V
Melinda's Malarky

“An original musical comedy that travels back to senior year in high school in 2003...The clever and witty lyrics were something to really give a fuck about...The choreographer did a fantastic job...The plot needed some revamping...The dick jokes went on too long and needed to be axed...The musical gleefully captures the carefree high school years in the early 2000s...’Pop Punk High’ delivers an amusing look back at the era, a decent sound track, and a rollicking good time.” Full Review

Scraps
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

"An astonishingly well-written and well-constructed play that hits home with hard truths of black males being shot by white officers...Iona's dialogue is crude and lyrical, formidable and credible...A potent, relevant and stirring play...Inoa took the play into a final nightmarish parody...This was a bold artistic direction, one I wouldn't have ventured but this gifted playwright is a name to remember." Full Review

Stage Life
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"'Stage Life' is an ambitious and intelligent gambit...While often insightfully razor-sharp to the angsts and misgivings that congeal into a theatrical performance, it was oftentimes clotted by its own cleverness...The one act, 90-minute play packed a lot of punch in what felt like a sparring match with multiple rounds. Some of the jabs connected with more impact than others...I choose to praise the outweighed fragmented scenes that succeed rather than knock the play with its flaws." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

“The combined talents of Stroman, Thompson, and Kander has all the makings for a real knockout show only it falls flat...The dance play is ephemeral fluff lacking in bite...The two leads went a few rounds with some charming though uninspiring choreography...The only knockout punch came from Kander's original score performed live. Stroman leads this 'Jungle' into a bungled beast. It's a sleepy, tangled mess.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Feels amiss despite the two outstanding leads...Too much weight is shouldered by the two which burdens the storytelling...The shortcomings with the play stem from a riddled script, flimsy sets and flawed audio. Too much of the dialogue gets lost in translation. However, the prescient messaging of the play resounds clearly. The multi-racial cast echoes the struggle to feel empathy versus pity and proffering help without browbeating." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Has all the winning ingredients to be a mega-Broadway hit but it melts into a sticky icing flowing goo...There wasn't enough spark. The three incredible lead performers were sensational...The biopic musical...didn't work hard enough to move an audience to get up and dance except for the show-stopping finale...The show has a niche audience who'll come to hear their favorites heard on the radio and relive their glory days." Full Review

Yerma
Upper E Side
Melinda's Malarky

"The theatrical glass box stage has audiences looking in on two sides is modern and surreal...There is an overriding feeling of being trapped as a voyeur as much as the actors are entrapped within their glass house. A strong sense of confinement and impending sense of doom is overwhelming...What little joy there is in the play is fleeting...For thespians who yearn for a moving theatrical experience this will leave an impregnable punch to your gut." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"The plot needs too much dusting off to be deemed worth reviving...The musical numbers lack luster except for a couple that can still muster up some shine...The singing talents of Henry, Mueller, and Fleming are all highly commendable. But not enough to make the show recommendable. It's the choreography and the fabulous ensemble dancing that give the show its stellar (and much needed) lift...Except for the stunning dancing I couldn't wait to get off this antiquated ride." Full Review

Ms. Estrada
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

"I can't find anything wrong with this sexual parody...The non-stop energy in this clever one act play has so many prescient pertinent topics parodied all in a most entertaining way...This compact musical condenses such clever topical lyrics, staging, and choreography some is bound to go over your head...Every musical number is a winner. I loved the yoga class with big blue balls especially. The ensemble cast featuring the Bats were riotously outrageous." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"This greatly anticipated theatrical revival falls from grace despite the talents of Garfield and Lane (whose comic delivery of Cohen was damaging.)...'Angels in America' limped along on fractured wings...With paltry acting and faulty staging...Kushner's brilliant writing appeared throughout...Unfortunately, the script was fractured by too many fleeting distractions including a frenetic set and dismal choreographing; especially disappointing in the Angel's aberrational transformation." Full Review

Harry Clarke
West Village
Melinda's Malarky

for a previous production "'Harry Clarke' is played with unctuous distaste by Crudup...The main obstacle is Clay's writing...A poorly written B film with a talented actor who didn't bring his A game...The story never took hold of credibility or any sense of sympathy for its characters. These are not reasons enough to dismiss the play...Simply a shallow facade...Felt more like an exercise for acting class than an earnest play." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"Exceptional production of an indelible portrayal of a ruthless & brilliant business operator...The entire cast is first rate...'Ink' makes you think whether the media feeds the people what they want or are we now being dictated by the media what it is we want. Graham's thrilling writing, Rupert Goold's tight direction and great acting make 'Ink' a formidable production that you'll want to see." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

“The voyeuristic look into the couple's marital & political tribulations is riveting...In Hnath's skillful hands, Hillary is seen as a relatable & complex individual with an omnipotent drive to be elected and a wife with ambivalent feelings for Bill...The acting is first rate and the sorry, not sorry repertoire is smart & humorous...What matters most in this amusing and exceptionally well acted play are the reverse images of the Hill & Bill we think we know.” Full Review

Socrates
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

“Nelson's brilliant & provocative play...The intoxicating historic biopic...stars the unconquerable Stuhlbarg...This intense & well acted performance is saturated in sagacious pretext...Nonetheless, Nelson has created a credible and deeply moving portrait of one of the most widely known & enduring figures of western philosophy...This impressive & explosive production is a master class of discerning how to think...A must-see powerhouse production.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"This earnest production is a cauldron of comedy that represents Heidi's personal history along with American history...She convinces us winningly with her earnest & energetic run-on soliloquies of sophisticated intellect with innocent jubilation...Schreck's ingratiating & informal performance enhances an exciting exchange of provocative ideas and information that make 'Constitution' a meaningful substantive show." Full Review

Southern Promises
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

“This is not a show to be enjoyed. It's a play that confronts us and ignites our consciousness causing us shame, indignation and immense pain for the plague of our nation's slavery history but for the perseverance of injustice and oppression regarding race and sexual abuse...It elicits strong emotions and reflections. Nor is this a redemptive play but an ensnaring and overtly political work imbued with rage and the hope of breaking the cycle of racial hatred and persecution.” Full Review

Good Friday
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

"The play succeeds constructing the intensity of this life or death event. However, a malady of bloody metaphors mar the credibility of the siege...Colon is an intelligent writer but the messaging gets tangled. The clever projection & sound design amplify shooting casualties, violence and rape on school campuses. I commend the proffered support the cast offers in the lobby for victims of assault." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Nothing in '55 Shades of Gay' is subtle...The vast artistic creativity onstage is innovative, provocative, and unabashedly electrifying...'55 Shades of Gay' scorches the inane & inhumane obstacles to people loving each other...The play also eloquently touches the heart in its quieter moments. A tree on stage testifies to having born witness to years of homophobic brutality and stands as a reminder there are no innocent bystanders. '55 Shades of Gay' at La Mama must be seen in all its glory." Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

“This production has so many flawed elements the result is a disastrous debacle...Cranston was not able to save this hodgepodge of a mess...I’ll place the blame on the indiscernible adaption by Hall...And his co-conspirator guilty of poor choices director Ivo Van Hove...The stage is overburdened with too many fractious moving parts...The relevance of social media...is all but distilled to a disjointed melodrama and sophomoric philosophizing...The play is in shambles." Full Review

Hype Man
Soho/Tribeca
Melinda's Malarky

"Playwright Idris Goodwin has written a poetical protest set to music by Wendell Hanes about love, loyalties, joy & justice; none of which are promised...'Hype Man' a break beat play beams light on the memes of racism in the past, present and probable future. Get up offa that thing! 'Hype Man' is a must see at The Flea. White, black, we gotta have each other's back." Full Review

The Hidden Ones
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"An immersive theatrical experience that resonates with deafening power...I was moved by the families tenderness with each other under these horrifying times...A short narrative tying in the families given for the participating audience may have better served to anchor the reality in which we were submerged...Yet, when the bashing of the doors finally arrived, the utter fear & selfless heroic acts left me with a visceral response of terror and persevering empathy." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

“The play is cleverly staged. The brick wall curtain serves as a screen between scenes showing how things have changed over the years in Greenwich Village from the 1960s to 1980s. Daniel speaking directly to the audience is very affecting. Allen & Hedges are excellent in their roles. May gives a powerhouse performance. Lonergan's brilliant play is a potent reminder to listen to each other...A masterpiece and May is a miraculous force of nature.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"A charming & poignant cabaret show that offers an intimate ruminating of life as Mrs. Cole Porter...Between musical selections all composed by Porter, Linda looks back with fond & bittersweet memories of their lives together...The book by Stevie Holland and Gary Friedman strikes the right note between storytelling and song. Holland is adroit at taking us into her confidence...An entertaining window into Linda & Cole's collaborative co-habitation in a cabaret fashion." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"An ambitious production...The lengthy 3 hour play is convoluted and a complex mixture of components. The Carney family works hard, drinks heavily, and celebrates joyously. The dancing following the harvest uplifts an otherwise sombre play...Somehow strewn altogether the combined elements in 'The Ferryman' creates an intoxicating brew but one that casts confusion like a lingering hangover." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Mann's evolution from a self-pitying mess, to a heartless cretin, to a humble and considerate human being is uninspiring. Nonetheless, the talented collaborative musical score & lyrics by Douglas Cohen and Dan Elish offer some uplifting numbers that elevate the overall production...Trimm's impressive singing voice and versatility is notable. Still, much of the musical numbers tend to blend and the story overly sentimental." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Smart and painful play...This intelligent and emotionally draining play sheds light on a dark treatment of people that's mostly hidden from history under sheets. The acting is very affecting particularly from the mother...The play is compelling in its direct depiction of the inhumane eugenics program sanctioned by legislation." Full Review

The Fourth Wall
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

"Gurney's brilliance evident in sharp dialogues of his earlier works is MIA throughout this mishmash of theatrical structures that degenerates into a cacophonous calamity...'The Fourth Wall' tries too hard to be clever in constructing a new paradigm for playwriting. The incongruent concoction is a discordant drama that fails miserably." Full Review

Travesties
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

“Dada Yaddah Erudite Nonesense...A loquacious and surreal homage to literary and poetic legacies...The overlapping of historic figures is meant as verbal barrage on revolutionary impact; art vs. war throughout history. The crossfire is blisteringly bizarre and oftentimes incomprehensible...This is a madcap pretentious and repetitious play...A dadaist play that is deliberately irrational and artistic anarchy.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Entering the newly renovated Lyric Theater is an immersive magical experience...The play is an exhilarating escape into a fantasy tale of time travel filled with friendship, family, courage and magic. The ensemble cast was exceptional. The convincing special effects were haunting and surreal; the staging smart and effective. I was transported to a make believe world that came alive. I felt a kinship to the characters and transfixed immersed into this supernatural universe." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Inordinately funny & thought provoking...Once the puppet has the crowd in hand the show transforms into a more erudite prologue of iconic literary writers...Randy shifts from his comedic schtick to more enlightening topics of Buddhism, existentialism, and mortality. The musings of a pink sock puppet pull some about face twists...This ingenious Laughing Stock production pushes the boundaries of communication and disconnection." Full Review

Admissions
Upper W Side
Melinda's Malarky

"The absurdity and political correctness is satirized with razor sharp wit which earns an A+...However, the rest slides downward...Hecht is too shrill and incredulous in her self-righteousness and fierce tiger mom stance. Charlie's acrimonious meltdown...Was extremely off-putting and puerile...Uneven performances and writing. Perhaps some corrections could make 'Admissions' worth submitting as a viable candidate for a Tony." Full Review

Dutch Masters
East Village
Melinda's Malarky

"Keller's skillful writing and directorial talent by Holland have created a work of racial inequality that resonates...Erick (a tour-de-force performance by Ian Duff) is a young black man riding the NYC subway...What starts as a harmless and then irksome exchange...morphs into a distressing and volatile encounter that reveals clear-eyed picture beneath the hazy gauze of ignorance...This production paints a powerful and eloquent statement of our nation's challenges and lack of progress." Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

"Churning with good intentions, humor and delightful musical numbers...The play is curdling in a loaded plot, partly an homage to Harvey Milk...and a heavy-handed humanitarian message...Still there's plenty to enjoy thanks to earnest performances that tug at your heart and the entertaining musical score...The inspirational communications and backstory in the camps are spread with schmaltz but there is a lot of honey to savor." Full Review

Lobby Hero
Midtown W
Melinda's Malarky

“Jeff (a miscast Michael Cera) is the omnipresent lackey "security guard." He's also the source of levity to this social drama/comedy. Jeff's hapless, pathetic life becomes paltry in comparison to the complications...that soon overpower the other three characters. The other 3 self-righteous characters' hypocritical hearsay says a lot about social injustice, harassment & abuse of authority. Basically this amusing play seems to say: lie and deny.” Full Review

Melinda's Malarky

“The deceptively clever play...will have you pondering what constitutes a family & what are familial/societal obligations for people in need of constant care...The ensemble cast is outstanding. Amy (Jamie Brewer) is the youngest of 3 siblings...Jamie has Down Syndrome, a pivotal factor in this fractious family. Her soliloquy of notorious movie lines at the end is miraculous. How true & tragic are her lines, ‘I could have been somebody.’” Full Review