Michael Portantiere

Michael Portantiere is a critic with Talkin' Broadway. 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 (19)
Talkin' Broadway

"In the Mint Theater Company's current, eminently satisfying production of this obscure but extraordinary work, Brenda Meaney gives a wondrous performance...The play has some flaws of construction...'The Mountains Look Different' is worthy of this stellar revival, for which heartfelt thanks are due to director Aidan Redmond and the invaluable Mint Theater Company." Full Review

Days to Come
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"This is no unearthed treasure...'Days to Come' spends comparatively little time dealing with the plight of the striking workers and, instead, devolves for much of its length into a poorly written domestic drama...Probably due to both the flawed writing and a lack of strong guidance from Sullivan, the Mint production is inconsistently well acted...If 'Days to Come' has turned out to be a disappointment, the production design is up to the Mint's excellent standard." Full Review

Hindle Wakes
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

“The play's construction is rather unusual but highly effective in terms of what we see or don't see happen...Kaikkonen directs with the utmost sensitivity, helping to draw wonderfully naturalistic performances from all involved, and dialect coach Stoller seems to have been a big help with the Yorkshire patois. These two and the rest of the production team...work together with a superb cast and the words of a long-deceased playwright to create something very special.” Full Review

M. Butterfly
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"In terms of food for thought, 'M. Butterfly' is a veritable smorgasbord, even richer now...We get a highly intelligent, beautifully calibrated, fully committed performance by Jin Ha...That said, Clive Owen offers a surprisingly dry and flat characterization of Gallimard...'M. Butterfly' still packs a wallop—even, as it turns out, in a production that features a wan performance in one of the two central roles, and even though the element of surprise has inevitably been lost over the decades." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"These seven actors play a total of 22 roles during the course of evening, each performance beautifully etched and well delineated...Deevy's writing consistently displays a wonderful facility for dialogue and an ability to get under the skin of her characters, along with the intermittent liability that some of her plot devices and situations strain credulity...Bank has helped the actors achieve jewel-like performances, and his blocking is skillfully economic." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"'Surrender' has been dismissed by some as an example of 'preaching to the converted'...I for one welcome Moore to the historic Belasco Theatre...'Surrender' has its share of laughs...Still...comedy is not the main goal of this endeavor. Highly unnerving are Moore's stories of the many death threats and attacks he has suffered...Most unnerving, amazing, and heartbreaking of all is his detailed account of how the people in his hometown of Flint were denied drinkable tap water." Full Review

1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

“A few elements of this adaptation and production seem ill considered…If resetting the story in an ill-defined, non-specific place was done with a view towards making the tale more universal, it actually has the opposite effect in undercutting one of the novel's greatest strengths…But ultimately the day is won by the power of Orwell's words and the high quality of the acting—and, of course, by the story's eerie relevance to current events...An extraordinary production.” Full Review

The Golden Apple
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"While the show certainly has its serious, deeply moving sections...overall it's notable for the creators' wonderfully light touch, and there's general agreement that the Moross/Latouche score is among the very best ever created for a flop Broadway musical...The quality and range of the music in 'The Golden Apple' is astounding, the lyrics true genius...One of the essential series' finest and most noteworthy achievements." Full Review

A Day by the Sea
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"The play's length and its three-act structure seem ill advised...Most of the subplots and interrelationships between the characters are interesting in themselves, but they are not woven together very well by the playwright — a flaw exacerbated in the Mint production by the flaccid direction of Austin Pendleton…Whatever flaws exist in the show's direction and some details of the performances, the Mint has given 'A Day by the Sea' a typically gorgeous, thoroughly professional production." Full Review

The New Morality
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing any production of the Mint Theater Company will not be surprised to hear that artistic director Jonathan Bank and his colleagues have done very, very right by 'The New Morality'...Jonathan Bank’s direction is well-nigh pitch perfect, though I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about that at first...That said, if the production is flawed in any respect, it’s a miscalculation on the part of lighting." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"A fascinating curio from another time, its revival here yet another feather in the Mint Theater Company's multi-feathered cap...The marvelous actor Donald Corren has wisely decided to play Thomas Scott not as a sour, dyspeptic prig...Corren is far too skillful and intelligent an actor to have fallen into that trap...The only significant flaw in this play: The narrative suffers from the fact that the action is entirely confined to the back parlour of Thomas Scott's shop." Full Review

Conflict
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"As it is, 'Conflict' is a fascinating time capsule of British social and political attitudes in the early years of women's suffrage...Dare is a plum role, and if Jessie Shelton perhaps overdoes the character's affectations in the earlier scenes of the Mint production, she expertly and movingly communicates the raising of the woman's consciousness...Director Jenn Thompson aids and abets these wonderfully nuanced portrayals." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Book writer Moses and composer-lyricist Yazbek brilliantly mine this setup for a musical that emanates humanity and proudly wears its heart on its sleeve without for a moment descending into bathos or manipulative sentimentality...The quintessence of a skillfully wrought, perfectly calibrated ensemble piece...Directed by David Cromer with great sensitivity, if with pacing that sometimes seems a bit more leisurely than necessary, all of the actors are at one with their characters." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"The characters, themes, and subject matter of 'Time and the Conways' are involving enough that the play would no doubt be worthy even without its shifting chronology, but that element makes it an extraordinary work...Any production of this play rises or falls on the ability of the artists involved to make the audience fully believe we are seeing slices of the Conways lives in two different eras 18 years apart. Taichman and her exceptionally talented cast deftly create the illusion." Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"Any show that offers moments from so many beloved musicals on the basis that all of them were helmed by one person in the major role(s) of director or producer is fine by me, regardless of the lack of any other shared through-line...The entertainment level here is generally very high...Most of the material is well matched to the performers. That said, a few odd decisions have been made that mar the second half." Full Review

Marvin's Room
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"A staging that's eminently praiseworthy but for one major, surprising flaw...The production could scarcely be bettered in terms of its cast...It's hard to imagine why set designer Laura Jellinek decided to use virtually the entire width, depth, and height of the American Airlines' large stage...A considerable amount of intimacy is needlessly sacrificed, despite the actors' noble efforts to maintain it under direction by Kauffman that's strong and sure in every other respect." Full Review

The Lucky One
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"'The Lucky One' turns out to be so good a play that it's hard to understand why it's so rarely revived and isn't considered at least a minor classic...The casting could hardly be improved upon...But if I had to name only one actor here who deserves every possible award nomination for which she's eligible, that would be the sublime Paton Ashbrook...Director Jesse Marchese presides over all of the above with the utmost skill...A stellar presentation." Full Review

Yours Unfaithfully
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"Beautifully well written, thoughtful, intelligent play...The play is bracingly modern in its content and focus...The absence of full-on Brit accents was a disappointment to this audience member. Otherwise, this production is eminently satisfying in terms of Jonathan Bank's direction...All of the casting and performances are spot-on with the exception of Schnetzer, who seems a little too young, too easygoing, and yes, way too American." Full Review

Women Without Men
Midtown W
Talkin' Broadway

"'Women Without Men' is a smart, involving, skillfully crafted play...Some of the action and character relationships in the play might be viewed as soap opera-ish...But the whole enterprise is elevated by the exceptional quality of Ellis's writing and the superb Mint production. Jenn Thompson's direction of the play could not be improved upon, and across the board, the acting is extraordinarily good." Full Review