Michael Sommers

About:  Michael Sommers is the former President of The New York Drama Critics' Circle. Currently he reviews for the New York Stage Review.
Reviews (224)
The Perplexed
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

2/5 Stars. "Sometimes a writer has absolutely nothing to say but writes a play about it anyway." Full Review

The Hot Wing King
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "A playful dramedy with an upbeat viewpoint and dynamic characters, The Hot Wing King is agreeably performed by a company of tiptop actors." Full Review

Dana H.
Gramercy
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. " Deirdre O'Connell delivers a vital, authentic performance that anchors the work in the truth that it hopes to tell." Full Review

Mack & Mabel
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "A fond, agreeable interpretation of Jerry Herman's imperfect darling of a musical." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "Cleage's absorbing 1995 drama receives its overdue New York premiere in this disappointing Keen Company production" Full Review

New York Stage Review

1/5 Stars. "The less said the better about this new musical about a not-so-fab foursome of the Swinging '60s" Full Review

New York Stage Review

2/5 Stars. "As an admirer of Busch ever since witnessing his Vampire Lesbians of Sodom in 1984, I'm sorry to report that 'The Confession of Lily Dare' is not one of his major works." Full Review

Timon of Athens
Brooklyn
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "An opportunity to experience Timon of Athens in a smartly revised version that's staged and performed with unusual distinction. It's worth the trip to Brooklyn." Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "This 'Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels' is a lovely little circus show mixing handsome visuals, eccentric machinery, flavorful music, and old-school circus feats." Full Review

Greater Clements
Upper W Side
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "A significant though flawed, perceptive and touching new drama." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "Maria Irene Fornés' 1977 play is an absorbing and thoughtful if somewhat enigmatic work, still distinguished by its unorthodox structure." Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 stars "Will Eno's lovely and touching new play is a generous, kindly, and yes, downright old-school American look at an unremarkable life." Full Review

The Inheritance
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars "This vivid, highly ambitious work by Matthew Lopez is an entertaining, if overlong, study in cultural change and the power of human compassion." Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars: "A sensitive work by an up-and-coming playwright. Ars Nova, a company that discovers and nurtures new artists, adds Birkenmeier's name to the roster of young dramatists whose future plays can be pleasantly anticipated." Full Review

Scotland, PA
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "Cute, okay, pleasant, not bad. You've seen better musicals than this one, but heavens know you've seen plenty worse." Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars "A choice gallery of thoughtful songs given a classy staging and headlined by a charismatic star, the exhilarating American Utopia will please David Byrne fans and probably win him plenty of new ones." Full Review

Soft Power
East Village
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars: "A frequently wry, extremely topical cheerfully mocking musical. Expertise, smarts, and speed gloss over the musical's lesser stretches and deliver a national lampoon likely to engage audiences who like their entertainment thoughtful." Full Review

The White Chip
Midtown E
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "'A Blithe Spirit Spins into Chronic Alcohol Abuse': Three actors make a cautionary saga of excessive drinking go down easily" Full Review

(A)loft Modulation
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

2/5 Stars "'Obsessive Behavior and All That Jazz': A bluesy atmosphere and musical performances enhance an awfully talky new drama" Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars "'Greek Tragedy Is Reflected Through Traditional Japanese Modes': A Japanese company delivers an unusually immersive staging of a classical play" Full Review

runboyrun & IN OLD AGE
East Village
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "'Ghosts Haunt a Nigerian-American Family Saga': New York Theatre Workshop stages two installments of Mfoniso Udofia's nine-play cycle" Full Review

Wives
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "'Life With Papa and Three Other Feminist Tales': An episode involving Ernest Hemingway's several widows is a highlight of a new satirical comedy" Full Review

Eureka Day
Soho/Tribeca
New York Stage Review

"'A comical Clash from the Current Culture Wars': A smart new comedy takes a satirical shot at the antivax issue" Full Review

New York Stage Review

★★ "'Driving Through the Jim Steinman Songbook.' Too bad the show looks cheesier than the state of Wisconsin" Full Review

New York Stage Review

★★★ "'Neil LaBute Delivers a Typically Toxic Comedy.' A smart topical comedy outshines lesser works in an annual off-Broadway festival" Full Review

Coal Country
East Village
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "A new docudrama regarding a mine disaster in 2010, performed by a fine company of actors and beautifully staged at the Public Theater." Full Review

We're Gonna Die
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "A surprisingly lively look at death, 'We're Gonna Die' directly confronts human mortality with some songs, a few stories, and a matter-of-fact attitude." Full Review

New York Stage Review

5/5 Stars. "One of those intensifying dramas that sneaks up and grabs you by the throat, 'Cambodian Rock Band' is a major event of the off-Broadway season." Full Review

West Side Story
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "The 1957 Bernstein-Laurents-Robbins-Sondheim masterpiece gets a harsh modern makeover" Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "Prehistoric characters deal with global warming, with the way that the actors adeptly meld their characterizations into the puppets the nicest seen this side of 'Avenue Q.'" Full Review

Stew
Soho/Tribeca
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "Playwright Zora Howard debuts Off-Broadway with a tasty kitchen sink-type drama, from the Page 73 non-profit company." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "An excellent production of Eboni Booth's insightful working class drama, set in a big box store in 1995" Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars. "Talene Monahon's smart new docudrama studies people who re-enact battles from American history" Full Review

One in Two
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "The sadly familiar story of a black man living with HIV gets an absurdist twist in this lively and smartly crafted look at an issue that unfortunately needs to be constantly addressed." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars. "There's little particularly holiday-ish about this 'Magic of the Holidays,' but there are six magicians of various kinds conjuring up some easygoing entertainment." Full Review

The Crucible (Bedlam)
East Village
New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars "In Bedlam's exciting and extremely fluid staging, the 14-member ensemble delivers a blazing performance in dark, relatively intimate, 99-seat circumstances." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "This Dickens adaptation is a grim and cautionary character study of a mean old moneylender who is redeemed by supernatural intervention." Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "Modest in scale and mostly melancholy in mood, this musical Cyrano is a faithful, if rather flat, retelling of the story in an indeterminate though obviously bygone period." Full Review

Seared
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "Raul Esparza fires up Theresa Rebeck's tasty yet underdone comedy." Full Review

Is This A Room
Gramercy
New York Stage Review

for a previous production 4/5 Stars "A stark and striking new work of documentary theater, a sharp slice of real life that gives audiences something current and substantial to chew over afterwards." Full Review

New York Stage Review

2/5 Stars: "A tiresome, overlong, patchy, tuner. 'The Lightning Thief' makes 'Be More Chill' look like Der Rosenkavalier." Full Review

New York Stage Review

4/5 Stars "'Millennials Argue About Our Civil Wars': Younger conservatives drunkenly debate fundamental issues at Playwrights Horizons" Full Review

The Great Society
Upper W Side
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "'A Not So Great Play About LBJ': Troubled 1960s events overwhelm a President and dishearten a drama" Full Review

New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "'A Schoolgirl Crush Goes Tragically Wrong': Teens idolize Pablo Escobar in newcomer writer Alexis Scheer's offbeat dramedy" Full Review

Sunday
Chelsea
New York Stage Review

2/5 Stars "'Spending a Desultory Evening with Generation Z': Meet some 'wry and ironic and dull' characters at Atlantic Theater, or perhaps not" Full Review

Felix Starro
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

3/5 Stars "Not Entirely a Magical New Musical: A sorrowful story about a faith healer does not entirely satisfy" Full Review

Make Believe
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

"'The Games That Kids Play.' Fine acting brings Bess Wohl's tender new drama to realistic life at Second Stage Theater" Full Review

New York Stage Review

★★★ "'Private Feelings Versus Public Perceptions in a Raggedy Rome.' Jonathan Cake has a sneer for every occasion as Shakespeare's proudest Roman." Full Review

Manilow Broadway
Midtown W
New York Stage Review

★★★★ "'He Writes the Songs That Makes the Audience Sing Right Along with Him.' The ever-exuberant entertainer delivers a dandy Broadway concert." Full Review