Michael Hillyer

Michael Hillyer is a critic with Front Row Center. 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 (15)
Front Row Center

"A big disappointment in almost every department...Any interpretive directorial choices...aren’t much present, and the result is a tame, by-the-book production. Even the staging is formulaic textbook stuff, the kind of physical mounting one would expect of a college show, which it pretty much resembles...Unable to rise to the level of its subject matter...This curiously anemic production resists its own call to urgency and relevance.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"A sumptuous, haunted revival...The cast is quite good, and if a few of the performances here and there cannot outrun the memory of those who came before, for the most part the company is able to put their own indelible stamp on things...The director and choreographer Josh Rhodes has retained so many elements of Tommy Tune’s original staging that this is not so much a revival as un hommage." Full Review

Meteor Shower
Midtown W
Front Row Center

“What does one say about an entertainment this lightweight, this pointless, this short? I could start with an observation about the splendid cast and design team assembled by Zaks and the surprising amount of theatrical talent...Or, I could just jump right into the issue of high expectations and low return...The collection of funny bits and silly pieces of action that comprise this short evening in the theatre do not, at the end of the day, a whole play make.” Full Review

Pacific Overtures
East Village
Front Row Center

"The tone of the play is somewhat pedantic...The resulting evening is a little dull, and the unfamiliar score, while capable of rendering up some gems, is not as satisfying as many other Sondheim compositions...The entire acting ensemble is flat-out excellent, individually possessed of superb musical and acting skills and collectively capable of playing like a tight-knit team...George Takei's droll, assured presence is alone worth the price of admission." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The story packs an unavoidable emotional punch, even if you do see it coming, largely due to the performance of Ms. Noblezada...She simply nails all of it...Briones is doubtless giving the best performance of his long career...The large cast is uniformly excellent...The design elements are appropriately impressive...The pop-rock score is sometimes tepid and often repetitive, but when it has to soar it does so, usually on the wings of Eva Noblezada’s beautiful soprano voice." Full Review

Peer Gynt
East Village
Front Row Center

"Mr. Doyle’s adaptation reduces Ibsen’s sprawling opus into a pint-sized 'Reader’s Digest' version of its former self...The actors are all quite good and perform with confidence but it doesn’t amount to anything remotely coherent, either in the moment or in later recollection...As a director Mr. Doyle does not seem interested in telling a story of any kind...I would even encourage you to stop reading this review, so you can avoid wasting any more time on this pointless production." Full Review

Nathan the Wise
East Village
Front Row Center

"The director has helped to create a simple storytelling framework, as actors slip into and out of parts...He has also enlisted his talented company in successfully creating a strong sense of ensemble, and the resulting playing style has the cohesive unity of a family effort. The cast is quite fine, although there is no question that Abraham is giving an extraordinary performance...The play is an impassioned plea for religious tolerance, and its relevance to modern life couldn’t be clearer." Full Review

Front Row Center

"This reworking is much less effective onstage than it was in the novel...Regardless, there is good reason to rejoice. The company assembled here is a joy to watch, and the number of riveting performances given in Wolf Hall is off the charts. The staging by Jeremy Herrin is exceptionally good...The excellent first part of Wolf Hall hurtles by; those attending a double performance should finish your meal with a strong cup of coffee before you head back to the theatre for round two." Full Review

Front Row Center

"A moody, gloomy piece, and for its self-absorbed and regretful protagonist, John Marcher, things do not turn out very well...Yazbeck, an extraordinary dancer...Dvorovenko is simply sensational. The two of them dance together beautifully, and it is a decided pleasure to watch them perform...Although the sum of its parts may not add up completely into a powerful theatrical whole, the parts themselves are alone well worth the price of admission." Full Review

Admissions
Upper W Side
Front Row Center

"Interesting, if ultimately limited...The cast is excellent...Hecht and Garman deliver solid performances...Aukin's staging is adroit, apart from some minor bumps and flatness...The play never seems to open itself up to the larger issues of race...This is a play specifically about white people and how they respond, or not...In a play ostensibly about race, there is not one person of color in the cast." Full Review

Front Row Center

"Burstyn’s understated, precise performance delivers a riveting lesson in dramatic economy, simplicity, and truthfulness...There are a number of other moments during the course of 'As You Like It' that rise to almost the same performance level. But these moments are few and far between, and they do not channel Shakespeare as profoundly, or quite so effortlessly...This 'As You Like It' is reduced to a distillation of itself; more the idea of 'As You Like It' than the actual play." Full Review

Indecent
Midtown W
Front Row Center

"Beautiful and emotionally shattering...Vogel and Taichman work their transporting magic in plain sight and without any apparent help from a big Broadway budget, relying instead upon their own imaginative sense of stagecraft, an excellent company of actors and a resourceful design team...'Indecent' is pretty much just three boards, two actors, and one magnificent, transcendent passion." Full Review

Front Row Center

"A jewel in its own right, radiant with talent, and shimmering with color and light...Heading a stellar, multi-ethnic supporting cast as well as Sondheim’s achingly beautiful musical score...This production will hold you enraptured throughout and leave you nearly spent of all emotion at its conclusion...This is a production for the ages, as good as it gets, a performance so exceptional, so overwhelming, you might be lucky enough to see something like it once, maybe twice in a lifetime." Full Review

Front Row Center

"I felt nothing. I wasn’t moved, not once, either to laughter or tears...Part of the problem is that the actors have been allowed to get weepy pretty often, and we are unconstrained to join them, but a larger part of the problem is the director’s failure to connect them, in any meaningful way, or to pull them together into any semblance of a real family. With the exception of John Gallagher Jr., the actors do fine individually, but they are acting in their own vacuums." Full Review

Front Row Center

"This is Lloyd Webber’s best rock score in decades. There isn’t a weak song in the show, and the cast is up to its demanding vocals as well. I should probably mention at this point that although there is also an offstage band, these kids are actually playing those instruments, and they are off the charts amazing...Director Laurence Connor’s loving and tight control of the material, never loses sight of the goal; let’s rock!" Full Review