Michael Feingold

Michael Feingold is a critic with Village Voice. 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 (80)
Village Voice

‘A leisurely but gripping four hours...Wolfe keeps the action lively, allowing the script’s more vaudevillian bits a slight natural exaggeration, without losing sight of the overall bleakness of these bedraggled souls. Not everyone onstage is at the high level of the best performances but the standout turns here give Wolfe’s showier version the looming strength that ‘Iceman’ requires...Washington’s performance overall is the finest piece of stage work I’ve seen from him.” Full Review

Village Voice

"Slackly structured, verbose, stylistically muddled, overwrought mishmash...Makes elaborate forays into flashbacks that seem included purely to rouse Potter-fan sentiment...The dialogue, often weighed down by the soggily earnest tone of after-school specials, seems to drag on too long in nearly every scene...A great deal of the acting is shrill...If the rest of 'The Cursed Child' were as carefully built and precisely timed as its effects, the show would cast a genuinely bewitching spell." Full Review

Village Voice

"In O'Brien's new production, which manages to make strong, decisive choices and yet appear strangely wishy-washy, Henry rarely gets to display the confident, cock-of-the-walk side of Billy...Mueller, though vocally and facially as dainty as a Victorian cameo, seems trapped in a role that compels her to hold back rather than let loose...This production, so full of great things, has itself not been fully imagined, and so has not made a world for the performers to enter into." Full Review

Village Voice

"A clear-cut and largely excellent production...The play is a triumph of empathy, in which a woman unyielding and unforgiving is made forgivable, and even somewhat admirable, through an effort of comprehension that could come only through a playwright’s long-practiced skills...Less a piece of action than interaction, Albee’s text is really a dramatized poem, full of humor, sharp in its psychological details, and suffused with the complexity of human motives." Full Review

Village Voice

"The stylistic range is nearly as incoherent as its storyline...All leeway and no style, hopping randomly from neo-primitive vocalized chants through 'Student Prince'-like operetta choruses to jaunty 1920s-style comedy duets to heavily belted rock ballads...Strikingly lackluster...'Frozen' is like Elsa's ice palace - a big, cold, ugly thing, full of glittering effects but ultimately barren. Its touch, I would hazard, will leave a little piece of ice in a child's heart." Full Review

A Marriage Contract
East Village
Village Voice

"It’s a city-country comedy, the 1892 version of red-state/blue-state polarization, with occasional sharp-edged lines that strike altogether contemporary chords...Daly is neither a subtle thinker nor a socially/politically minded one. But he is, in playwriting, a highly skilled charmer who knows how to keep an audience amused...If Roe’s company plays a tad rawly, they also play with a bouncy spirit that seems to mirror the urban brashness with which Daly infused the script." Full Review

Kings
East Village
Village Voice

"Though extremely well-played by everyone under Kail's sure-handed direction, this narrative feels like a truth with all its inconvenient complexities airbrushed out. Kate, as written, has no strong qualities that would justify putting her at the play's center...Nor does the play convey anything about the basic problem that has led to our current political miseries...Diverting, but the political play we need right now would have to go beyond mere diversion to reach something quintessential." Full Review

Fire and Air
East Village
Village Voice

"McNally's new play gives a hasty and superficial guided tour of this rich but heavily worked-over material...McNally manages to sandwich in a good bit of artistic discussion...It barely registers, however, because Doyle and actor Douglas Hodge have built a Diaghilev who is almost maniacally unappealing and unmagical...The rest of the cast largely does better...All do as well as they can with material that mainly seems predictable." Full Review

Generation NYZ
East Village
Village Voice

for a previous production "Would make you think more sharply about the actual effects of the Orange Narcissist’s prejudices — and the actual people on whom those effects are visited...Zatz and Traber have cunningly structured the piece to be both formally organized and easy-going — just kids on the first day at a new school, going around the room....It holds the enchantment that hearing about any individual’s life can hold. By the end, I loved and admired them all." Full Review

The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
Village Voice

“Willimon has a good sense of the political game-playing involved...But turning Becque’s Parisian lady into a Capitol Hill cynosure brings two problems. The first the work’s machinery depends on its power to shock...Second shortfall lies within MacKinnon’s rather lackluster production...The three secondary characters are supposedly fixated on the scintillating woman at the play’s core...Thurman is precise and appropriate in every moment of the role. But she is never more than that.” Full Review

The Children
Midtown W
Village Voice

“Tries to compress several genres into a small-scale kitchen-sink drama, the length of its single act slightly distended to accommodate enough material that it runs a full hundred minutes...Kirkwood's play, written in a flat naturalistic style, doesn’t bring its materials to life, and Macdonald’s production, well played but slackly paced, follows the script glumly, though the visionary projections that close the event have an attractive fascination that makes for a strong finish.” Full Review

Village Voice

"The performance, though always skillful, depends entirely on your willingness to enjoy something that hews to Austen’s narrative while consistently violating her manner, her spirit, and her tone...The excess of goofball behavior has not left sufficient room for Austen to cast her spell, and without her spell, what was the point of adapting her novel?...The company’s love for the work, though not entirely absent, has been displaced by other concerns, like making noise and having fun." Full Review

Office Hour
East Village
Village Voice

“For all its focus on gunfire, it doesn’t really deal with school shootings and what makes someone a shooter. It’s more concerned with emotional comprehension and issues of creative expression...The net effect is a play in which two sets of concerns keep displacing each other...It says something for Keller’s production that it’s able to hew to a straight line artistically in the face of all the script’s divagations, and even greater praise goes to Sue Jean Kim." Full Review

Junk
Upper W Side
Village Voice

“An exceptional work to be produced right now: It dramatizes a time, and a factual story, in which the greedsters who run our financial world actually had—or, at least, believed to some degree that they had—virtuous motives mixed in with their simple selfishness...Akhtar is unsparing: He lets nobody off the hook, but he also gives them all full credit...Director Doug Hughes obliges, driving his game cast at a nerve-jangling tempo.” Full Review

Village Voice

“For all the silly, superficial things they do, every detail seems to have been carefully chosen and calculated. It’s just that what they do has so little relation to the story that I thought Shakespeare was telling us...This company uses every kind of effect - But the effects don’t harmonize with each other...These actors are quite talented...They don’t appear to the best advantage here because they are all devoted to this feckless way of taking the play off its conventional pedestal." Full Review

Village Voice

“Doyle’s overall approach is flattening, abstract, and ‘dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage’...He flattens the rhythm out of much of the text, either driving past the jokes or pounding them into the ground. Regarding erotic spark, in this play full of love and gender ambiguity, he supplies next to none, so that his intermissionless hour and 45 minutes of playing time seem more plot recitation than comic romance...Given its castful of gifted performers, that shouldn’t be the case." Full Review

Village Voice

"It rarely rings false, and it never stumbles over misguided grandiose ambitions. Its main flaw is that, simply, it isn’t very interesting...The harmless sincerity of this schema can be respected, but Ruhl does very little to delve into the complexities that presumably underlie it...It all seems accurate enough; it just never seems enough...Ruhl’s script has understandably not given director Les Waters much inspiration...The acting is all good." Full Review

Village Voice

"Gold can’t decide what he most wants his production to do...Each of Gold’s tactics has its reasons...The problem is that Gold’s many devices don’t mix well together; their diversity of effects gives the evening a jumble, or at best a sort of tasting menu, of concepts, instead of a unified approach...This directorial mix-and-match has unhelpful effects on Isaac’s performance, which might, in a better-sustained context, have been genuinely exciting." Full Review

Napoli, Brooklyn
Midtown W
Village Voice

"Kennedy seems to be trying to cram all the plays she wants to write into one story, which produces an exciting mixture of elements but also badly dissipates focus and fractures narrative confusingly...Full of interest, the play is also full of head-scratching anomalies...Gordon Edelstein’s production works, with only occasional hints of struggle, to harness the play’s constant shifts of topic, scene, and narrative. He gets generally fine performances." Full Review

Village Voice

"For all the reservations I have—and I have plenty—about Kirsten Childs’s 'Bella,' I can’t help admiring the piece, laughing and smiling over various bits of it, and applauding Childs’s undaunted, apparently borderless ambition. 'Bella' is way too much of a good thing...Robert O’Hara, a skilled and sensitive director, has carefully balanced the work’s vast number of competing elements. The problem simply lies in the fact that Childs has provided so many competing elements." Full Review

The End of Longing
West Village
Village Voice

“It might be possible to believe some of this, intermittently, if Perry’s writing had some center or substance to it, but it seems, instead, to jump arbitrarily from one notion to the next, often losing its way...The pallid efforts at sitcom are succeeded by bursts of soap-opera angst with patches of feel-good sentiment spliced in. Almost nothing seems organic to the characters, a fault redoubled by Lindsay Posner’s direction…It’s a disheartening experience." Full Review

Village Voice

“Hefty, loud, and extravagant...Midler makes an amusing but detached Dolly, with an on-again, off-again vocal delivery that makes her big songs seem to evanesce as they build to the finish...Her proficient comic sense, rather than her energy or commitment, is what keeps it going…Overall director Zaks has shown a lax hand in the performance department…A similar problem afflicts Carlyle's choreography...Still, when all's said and done, it's ‘Hello, Dolly!’...And audiences go home happy.” Full Review

The Antipodes
Midtown W
Village Voice

“It's a paradoxical, puzzling, compellingly hypnotic work…Baker doesn't explicate; she lets her characters speak their piece and leaves us to parse the results…The incessant feeling of an impending cataclysm seems impossible to shake off. Neugebauer's actors all catch the play's eerie dualistic quality with perfect pitch. Despite their flesh-and-blood tangibility, I can't escape the persistent feeling that I dreamt the whole thing.” Full Review

Present Laughter
Midtown W
Village Voice

"Moritz von Stuelpnagel's new production...builds an easygoing comic style that suits the script's charmingly old-fashioned construction. The audience's laughter presents itself readily and smoothly because the cast doesn't push for it...Though not the most innovative nor the most spectacularly showy revival of 'Present Laughter' New York has seen, this is the one that, for me, has best caught the play's lighthearted essence." Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
Village Voice

"'War Paint' may not be this year's best musical, but it's a highly entertaining, inventive, and informative show...The substance seems solidly, sagaciously traditional. Lyricist Korie and composer Frankel rarely transcend the conventional show-music idiom, but they work fluently and intelligently within it, while Wright's pungent, pointed book skillfully encapsulates its many topics without ever running aground. Greif's direction pulls everything together with expectable smoothness." Full Review

Mlima's Tale
East Village
Village Voice

"The subject of 'Mlima's Tale' is, quite literally, the elephant in the room. Mlima, embodied onstage with heart-rending roars and writhings by...Ngaujah...Three actors play all the human roles, sliding with ease among a string of ethnic and gender identities...A running irony is that Nottage makes every scene contain praise of the magnificent beast...Bonney's production enhances the stark and quiet ironies of Nottage's script." Full Review

Village Voice

"Sher's lushly designed and largely traditional production catches both the romantic sweep of the musical and the bite of Shaw's wit. It has some fussiness and gratuitous oddities...The show is generally well cast, and everyone falls smoothly into place...The leads, curiously, all have a slightly inhibited air of self-consciousness...Ambrose's second act is a glorious piece of smooth sailing, in which her scenes with Higgins and with Freddy lift the show to the masterful heights." Full Review

Feeding the Dragon
West Village
Village Voice

"Washington is very, very intelligent. In addition to which, she’s a delightful person to be around for ninety minutes, with a fine actor’s capacity for transformation and a born storyteller’s knack for casting a magical haze over even the most everyday events...Each story opens a new vista, yet each also links, quietly, to matters raised earlier. The effect is cumulative: the shaping of an artist’s personality...Acting, mimicking, presenting, or narrating, Washington is always a figure to wa... Full Review

Village Voice

"Elliott’s production seems simultaneously to succumb to this tendency toward abstraction and fight it ferociously — at times even too ferociously...Like the soundscore, the acting it accompanies tends to push toward the frenetic...The revelation of what suddenly seem to be so many barren patches in the script is distressing because it seems to enlarge flaws that 'Angels in America' has always been acknowledged to have. To say so is not to underrate its achievement." Full Review

The Low Road
East Village
Village Voice

"Though 'The Low Road' sprawls in every direction, as picaresque narratives will, and raises far more questions than its two and a half hours can conveniently clarify, its snarky, cynical attitude offers both good entertainment value and great usefulness as a thought-provoker...Not everything in Greif’s production has the tonal assurance of its two mainstays, but the sprawling script poses extreme challenges for a large ensemble in which nearly everyone juggles multiple roles." Full Review

Relevance
West Village
Village Voice

"Lee’s playwriting can be strikingly effective...What Lee hasn't found a way to take his play to a higher plane of meaning...It reiterates arguments we've already heard...Its substance is too densely piled, its themes too rich with potential controversy...Probably could have used another draft...Tommy has done extremely well with her actors...Whatever 'Relevance's' failings, the opportunities it provides its cast make it a notable event." Full Review

Is God Is
Soho/Tribeca
Village Voice

"While Harris's story sometimes reduces itself to a supermarket-tabloid bluntness, her way of telling it - postmodern, formalized, distanced - keeps it from ever seeming a piece of facile sensationalism...Magar's skillful direction creates an outré kind of dynamic tension...Whether one can feel purged, transfigured, or even informed by a play like 'Is God Is' remains an open question...Something more than sensationalism is going on. And down that path lies hope." Full Review

Hindle Wakes
Midtown W
Village Voice

"Though somewhat sleepy-eyed, the revival reaffirms the play as both well worth knowing in itself and particularly resonant in today's political climate...Like a good stew, the plot keeps thickening...with each turn another set of conflicting social attitudes bubbles up...Kaikkonen's cast weighs in most strongly when the females come to the fore...A slight air of cautious earnestness hangs over the whole production...They needn't have worried...The play has aged charmingly." Full Review

Mankind
Midtown W
Village Voice

“When the play’s thinking blurs and its dramatic focus skitters, its brash impudence will see you through...O’Hara’s anxiety or eagerness to get from one high point to the next, has left many matters fuzzy or unexplained...It’s hard to imagine that a dramaturg or a different director could have helped O’Hara find his way out of these foggy spells...’Mankind’ is bothersome in a good and potentially fruitful way, and that O’Hara’s continued audacity may well pay remarkable dividends.” Full Review

Village Voice

"A tuneful tribute to the Antillean residents’ adaptive ability and will to survive, its spirit well captured in Arden’s cheerfully flamboyant production...Of the many musicals Ahrens and composer Flaherty have written together, this one shows her skills at their best...Flaherty’s score, which basically infuses a set of catchy Broadway tunes with the roll and bounce of Caribbean rhythms, makes a sort of musical mesh hammock in which the story swings with appealing ease." Full Review

A Room In India
Upper E Side
Village Voice

"The quality of the piece and its power are equally undeniable. Of the Théâtre du Soleil works that I’ve seen, I would frankly call this one of the less-satisfying ones. Its loose structure and predictable rhythm can have a slightly lulling effect...Mnouchkine’s less-satisfying work is so far superior to the best our quotidian theaters can offer that every moment here is like a masterpiece: perfectly composed visually, perfectly executed musically and dramatically." Full Review

The Mad Ones
Midtown E
Village Voice

“It’s an intriguing but empty shell, a husk of a musical from which the nourishing substance inside is inexplicably absent. This is a pity. Everyone involved clearly has talent, including the authors...The piece itself appears attractive and solid while it’s going on, but the solidity vanishes in retrospect...Nor does ‘The Mad Ones’ offer a compelling male alternative to balance this one-dimensional female dialectic." Full Review

Village Voice

“’The Band’s Visit’ lives happily without all the usual tawdry tricks beloved by standard-issue Broadway musicals...Nothing that happens in ‘The Band’s Visit’ is ‘very important.’ It’s just all wonderful — heartwarming, heartbreaking, heart-confusing, and mind-stimulating...We get floods of charm, empathy, and human understanding, thanks to Moses’s script, Yazbek’s songs, and Cromer’s stunningly discreet, daringly austere production.” Full Review

M. Butterfly
Midtown W
Village Voice

“If anything, the explicitness with which Hwang has retooled his troubling story only enhances its intellectual richness. True, a little of the mystique of what used to be a tantalizing psychological romance has vanished, but in its place lie the political and sexual ramifications, now fully spelled out...Taymor’s production, stark and harsh for all its lavishness, serves Hwang’s new take on his material with the same effectiveness Dexter brought to the world of the original." Full Review

Village Voice

"Taichman’s revival, handsome and effective reveals both what made the original run so brief and why people might be attracted to the notion of bringing it back. Never incompetent, and skillful enough never to be dull in a conventional way, Priestley simply isn’t a very imaginative creator of characters...They lack the inner life to provide dramatic surprises...Ultimately, the shortcomings onstage come from Priestley rather than the production." Full Review

The Treasurer
Midtown W
Village Voice

“With a central character who refuses to change, and an antagonist who refuses to give up on her, ‘The Treasurer’s’ situation hits a dramatic impasse. It seems much longer than its ninety minutes because it can’t do anything but get worse, and it can only end, as it does, with death. Nor is there much to empathize with along its frustrating way, though Friedman, convincing and articulate as always, conveys The Son’s inner pain without any extra pleadings for pity.” Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
Village Voice

“This tribute to a great producer-director basically honors the songwriters he’s worked with, again desultorily, offering an arbitrarily chosen string of songs and song sequences...Ineffective at conveying the scope of Prince’s relation to the numbers, the show also displays remarkable uncertainty about shaping them into a revue...Many of the numbers don’t lend themselves to the revue form’s spotlighting…Prince's sagacity deserves a better-sustained tribute than this." Full Review

Pipeline
Upper W Side
Village Voice

“Morisseau’s powerful, passionate, and intelligent new play…Velazquez and Lawrence ride these characters’ wildly efflorescent outbursts with a blend of smart know-how and the raucous excitement of teens on a roller coaster…Smith and Omari give subtly shaded performances, elegantly counterbalancing the more demonstrative female roles…This is not a facile message drama about the pathway from school to prison, but a tragedy.” Full Review

Fulfillment Center
Midtown W
Village Voice

"In its quietly distraught manner, 'Fulfillment Center' makes a true portrait of today’s Americans...That you feel a helpless sense of pitying affection for them all comes partly from Koogler’s terse, astutely turned dialogue...An equal amount of your feeling is roused by Aukin’s four actors...Each of these performances alone would be an impressive achievement; the four of them together give this low-down, plainspoken play the transcendent effect of a great string quartet." Full Review

Cost of Living
Midtown W
Village Voice

"The acting of all four, under Jo Bonney’s direction, is on a par of excellence. The show’s main difficulty lies not with the actors’ abilities, but with Majok’s play. Full of effective moments and often deeply felt, it lacks the connective tissue to make the interactions of its intriguing characters add up to a dramatic event...A series of touching moments that lead nowhere can’t quite be called a play. Almost—but not quite. It’s a pity, because Majok has a flair for character." Full Review

Anastasia (NYC)
Midtown W
Village Voice

“The pity is that there's much charm in the new version: Several of the songs by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are inventive, as are some of Peggy Hickey's choreography and the projections…The cast, too, is jewel-laden…Mary Beth Peil, an empress of our stage, makes an excellent dowager empress. But the focus wanders unsteadily, as if everyone involved were faintly aware that this myth was no longer recyclable." Full Review

Village Voice

“Both powerfully dense and elegantly sparse. Ideas seem to shoot off in all directions...Ibsen might well applaud…Hnath, deconstructing both Nora’s arguments and her opponents’ layer by layer, has reawakened the clash between her psychology and her premises. Ibsen painstakingly planted the seed that flowers, in ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2,’ bearing bitter, complexly flavored fruit that, 138 years later, we still need to learn how to swallow.” Full Review

Gently Down the Stream
East Village
Village Voice

“Both the stories being told and the new chapter of gay history being lived seem a little predictable, a little too issue-bound and detached from life. Fierstein gives his iconic presence full play; Ebert, always convincing, listens here with convincing eagerness; and Christopher Sears is effective as the brash youngster…But the enterprise seems hidebound and pat; the vibrancy that gave gay life its meaning has vanished from the bare recollections pasted in this dramatic scrapbook." Full Review

Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Village Voice

"Powerful and haunting...At its most fraught moments, 'Oslo' can seem like a shouting quartet...But under the vociferation, something meaningful is being built...Rogers has tidily stitched the history that preceded the negotiations into the text; the Middle East tensions that surround them come to life in vivid projections on the back wall of Michael Yeargan's largely bare setting. Sher achieves a gallery of first-rate performances." Full Review

Amelie
Midtown W
Village Voice

“Everybody works very hard and very thoroughly, everything seems to happen more or less in coherent sequence, but the end result seems all efficiency and no charm. This is especially unfortunate because 'Amélie's' thread-thin story depends heavily on the kind of nonsensical, reality-defying charm we call pixilated...'Amélie' lacks that lightness...A little relaxation of that insistent Broadway grip might have made it a great deal easier to enjoy." Full Review