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See it if Creative musical re: 1950s exploration with (then legal) LSD - imagining 3 celebs jointly tripping. Quirky, thoughtful; can't sustain 3 hrs.
Don't see it if you want strong story. LSD trips show (repetitive) individual experiences, but not strong interactional narrative. Good singing & dancing.
Also IMPRESSIVE scenic and lighting design.
See it if you want 100-minute sitcom-like dramedy re: ex-cons working in roadside sandwich shop. They wax philosophical re: art of sandwich-making.
Don't see it if you want compelling story. Each ex-con tells their tale, ex-con who runs shop is verbally abusive, and they're passionate about sandwiches.
See it if you want funny & familiar (from movie) tale, expertly staged with strong performances (esp. McClure!), good music, and heart-warming theme.
Don't see it if you want something innovative or edgy. This is musical comfort food -- pleasingly palatable and thoroughly enjoyable. All-around fun.
See it if Compelling, well-constructed story. GREAT BOOK OF A MUSICAL. The score, though, is lousy: pulsing rock when additional styles much needed.
Don't see it if you want a real musical. In better hands, could have been an EVITA. Instead, great story dragged down by repetitive Bon Jovi-wannabe tunes.
Also Great use of fashion to tell story and illuminate character.
See it if Bleak story of suburban family dysfunction (makes Peyton Place look like Mayberry), punctuated/interrupted by sometimes relevant songs.
Don't see it if you want something calm. Loud. Chorus singing muddies almost all lyrics. Great acting, good story; so why does it need to be a musical?
See it if Sweet musical of budding artistic (gay) youth struggling with (un)popularity, suicidal thoughts - supported only by Diana Ross obsession.
Don't see it if you want something edgy. This is sweet/simple, with enjoyable music - performed by STELLAR ENSEMBLE of talented teens. Great set design!
See it if Great acting unfortunately can't save weak play. Important (& sadly still timely) themes of racism/power backstage. Shrill and wooden tempo.
Don't see it if you want powerful exploration of crucial topic. Despite great acting, the story is weak and unfocused.
See it if you want powerful, one-woman performance of Ibsen's depiction/indictment of whistleblowers and corruption.
Don't see it if you're not prepared to think (and vote -- since audience gets to vote at key points) about personal and collective responsibility and greed.
See it if you want to see Karen Ziemba's GREAT acting in a Shaw play about women's rights, marriage, power, and independence. Still relevant today.
Don't see it if you want speed or force. This is slow at times, and drags when Ziemba's not on stage. Still, worth experiencing for Shaw's ideas alone.
See it if you want great acting in a sweet, charming, dated 1920's play. Four adult sisters, their families, and hopes/dreams in small town America.
Don't see it if you want spectacle or flash. This is a sort of OUR TOWN wannabe: sweet, funny, a tad cliched, but solidly entertaining.
See it if you want emotionally compelling musical that touches on immigration, power, finding a purpose. Impressive set design adds to story-telling.
Don't see it if You want spectacle. Some songs beautiful; others indifferent. Questions linger: Is this story re: immigrants - or re: white man's discovery?
See it if you want POWERFUL performances (esp. Sharon D. Clarke) of timely story re: race, gender, power, & privilege. Set in 1963; still relevant.
Don't see it if you want something light or upbeat. This is serious drama in sung-through musical. A few parts drag, some songs stall ... but worth seeing.
See it if you want epistolary-style play recreating letters among 4 disparate people seeking human connection and understanding. Poetically written.
Don't see it if you want action or linear story. This unfolds slowly, revealing layers of the 4 characters through sequence of letters over many years.
See it if Humor re: stereotypes of race, gender, and sexuality. Funny bits, but amidst mostly cliches. MICHAEL URIE, though, is a NATIONAL TREASURE!
Don't see it if You want great comedy or storytelling. Banal staging, which good acting can't rescue. "Steel Magnolias" meets "Madea" movies - but weaker.
See it if you want theater that feels real, timely, and powerful. Like sitting in a room with people talking about things that matter to you.
Don't see it if you want spectacle or flash. This is warm, human, & naturalistic. Like previous MICHAELS, this show incorporates modern dance pieces.
See it if you want compelling theater about diverse front-line healthcare workers in the early months of COVID-19 pandemic in NYC. Powerful stories.
Don't see it if You want a strong plot or story line. This is instead several actors representing healthcare workers telling their experiences and pain.
See it if you want lovely small-scale musical w/ compelling book; evokes NEXT TO NORMAL in many ways. Beautiful score, great performances all around.
Don't see it if you want big, flashy musical. Here, music & acting tell absorbing tale of amnesiac WWI soldier & solving a mystery across generations.
See it if you want wry, funny look at intense & cut-throat family dynamics (a la AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY or THE LYONS). Strong performances all around.
Don't see it if you want clear, sharp comedy. Play unfortunately also tries to be intellectual, but sadly misses the mark. Academic ramblings undermine.
See it if u want 1 LONG poem (evokes FOR COLORED GIRLS) re: a town's revival & then responsibility for selling its soul. Boring. Intriguing end, tho.
Don't see it if you want clear narrative thread, or don't appreciate poetry. One actor does multiple roles in epic-like (& somewhat rambling) storytelling.
See it if you like naturalistic plays like SWEAT about lives of urban working poor facing mounting challenges. Compellingly written, great acting.
Don't see it if you want big or flashy. While tale can be somewhat predictable, its 16yo protagonist and family draw audience in to their lives & struggles.
See it if you're passionate about the tale - & can tolerate an ambitious attempt to pare it down to a 2-actor piece. Creative uses of music & staging.
Don't see it if you want something highly engaging. This is slow & often quite boring. A fairly long 80-minute slog with moments of interest and clarity.
See it if you want intelligent theater exploring serious themes (responsibility of artists, priorities for being human). Beautifully written/staged.
Don't see it if you want something flashy. Thoughtful & nicely presenting Chekhov & Tolstoy using short stories (now plays) to grapple w/important issues.
Also Lovely 90 minutes of theater.
See it if you are fan of cast who act well in VERY WEAK show - or want to see Suzanne Vega in unique role. Slow/boring intermission-less 2 hours.
Don't see it if you want memorable music - or score that adds to story. Songs could disappear without any loss. Play tries homage to 1960s film, but fails.
See it if you want wry, VERY FUNNY play like well-written episode of TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond." Aging parents divorce; adult kids overwrought.
Don't see it if you want deep or profound. This is great acting with excellent comic timing (esp. Michael Urie) - in a fairly predictable sitcom-like plot.
Also Act II is overly long (by about 20-25 minutes).
See it if you want *brilliantly-staged* play evocative of Ibsen's ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. Serious, heavy-handed look at truth/responsibility in society.
Don't see it if you want something light; this is grim (but gripping) tale of taking responsibility for mistakes which lead to tragedy. Masterful staging.
See it if you love WSS & want to see it in any form. Strong performances by Powell & Pimentel as Tony & Maria. Deservedly classic score & book.
Don't see it if you want strong production of WSS: this is oddly & confusingly staged. Continuous video projections distracting - leaving stage often empty.
See it if you're a fan of Yeston's music, or even if you don't know his work. A fun, classy revue - elegantly staged w/great voices doing great songs.
Don't see it if you want a story told or plot-driven piece. MUSICAL BANQUET, allowing you to sample clever, warm, funny, terrific songs - classily sung.
See it if you want GREAT STORYTELLING via sweeping music & compelling staging. Excellent performances (esp. Pfeiffer & Gotay).
Don't see it if you don't want to see a now-classic musical wonderfully staged in streamlined style. Sung-through & powerfully presented.
See it if Sadly, an inchoate mess: Imagine Stoppard intellectual history text infused w/ Michael Moore views then put thru a blender --> dialogue mush
Don't see it if Muddled & rambling. Some good performances (esp. Urie) can't save this long, meandering, political piece. Too long for far too little.
See it if you want very good acting (esp. Judith Ivey & Edmund Donovan) - and want a VERY BLEAK and LONG soap opera-like tale in small Idaho towns.
Don't see it if you want to smile. This is a dreary/bleak story & sudsy storytelling. Mundanely-staged; columns block many views. Good acting can't rescue.
See it if you want quite interesting premise (looking back on intersections of policy, power, & gender) in prepping Pres. Carter's "malaise" speech.
Don't see it if you want strong execution of fascinating history moment. Awkwardly directed/staged, with hit-or-miss performances. Makes for slow 1hr,50min.
See it if you liked THE GABRIELS. Similarly set in a Rhinebeck kitchen, now with extended family of dancers gently confronting matriarch's mortality.
Don't see it if you want spectacle. This is a NATURALISTIC, quiet drama - beautifully realized without fireworks. Family dynamics, transitions, food.
See it if you want theme-park-style spectacle - like KING KONG only better (and lots longer). This is triumph of special effects over story-telling.
Don't see it if you want compelling theater. Great technical stagecraft impresses, but story is chaotic, convoluted, and careens among episodic adventures.
See it if you want thoughtfully staged & evocative poetry about lives/loves of African-American women. Covers familiar ground since 1970s premiere.
Don't see it if you want a narrative or linear story. Perhaps 20% is compelling tales; the rest is more inchoate performance art. Strong acting & singing.
See it if you want charming musical of 1920s UK women finding meaning of life/love via holiday in Italy. Score beautifully serves story & characters.
Don't see it if you want modern tale or style. This is old-fashioned & sweet: a small show w/ big heart. Acting is quite good; singing could be better.
Also Note: Longer than its posted 2-hrs; runs 2 hours, 40 minutes.
See it if you want heartfelt, 2-person, sung-thru chamber musical. Resonant, emotional tale of 2 gens of African-Americans in south in 60s and today.
Don't see it if you want spectacle. This is bare-bones set; story told by two GREAT performers and 7-piece orchestra. Low-key musical tells powerful tale.
See it if you want GREAT writing/acting/staging in powerful, emotional, & sweeping play re: gay men's lives. Sumptuous theatrical banquet. GO SEE IT!
Don't see it if you can't do a 2-part, 7-hour MASTERPIECE. Investment of time (& money) - but absolutely worth it! By far, GREATEST PLAY OF LAST DECADE.
See it if you want theater that reaches for big/complex issues - even if it doesn't quite reach them all. Fascinating & provocative. Worth seeing.
Don't see it if you want the easily palatable. Comedically/musically/smartly wrestles w/race, identity, patriotism, democracy, power - sometimes awkwardly.
See it if you want thoughtful, serious, literary-style, 2-person play about life, loneliness, & literature. GREAT acting, powerful script & staging.
Don't see it if you want spectacle or big events. This is a quietly absorbing tale of a lonely professor of creative writing and her quirky student.
See it if you want to see BRILLIANT & POWERFUL USE OF THEATER to illuminate issues of power, conscience, & law. Fascinating concept; great acting.
Don't see it if you're not interested in politics, policy, whistleblower issues. Taut and gripping 75 minutes with 4 impressive actors on a bare-bones set.
See it if you want intelligent, witty play re: themes of power, responsibility, mentorship, & legacy - thru story of Caesar meets Cleopatra. Timely.
Don't see it if you want something experimental or edgy. This is classic, literate, relevant theater. Neglected gem. Braxton performance esp. noteworthy.
See it if you want STRONG ACTING in an otherwise WEAK PLAY. Intentionally confusing/disjointed tale (Pinteresque attempt?) not saved by performances.
Don't see it if you want compelling tale. Bleak story of dementia & loss, moves slowly through fragmented memories. Interesting ideas, but long 80 minutes.
See it if you want cute musical satire based on MACBETH set in fast-food joint in 1970s small town PA. 1 or 2 very good songs. Good, earnest acting.
Don't see it if you want great score. This is, unfortunately, mostly indifferent/forgettable music (w/1 or 2 exceptions). Cute, but cliched/predictable.
See it if you want brilliantly-conceived, creatively-staged musical about a man wrongly convicted. SUPERB ensemble singing/performances. GREAT SCORE.
Don't see it if you want lighthearted tale or lush sets. This is serious story, w/bare-but-evocative staging & powerful choreography to indie-pop score.
See it if you want 2 plays in 1: (1) a satire about competitive mothering at toddler day care, and (2) a dystopian apocalypse brutality. Very bizarre.
Don't see it if you want thoughtful theater. Despite very good acting, the writing sinks this painfully pathological tale which morphs into war & chaos.
See it if you want FUNNY and PROVOCATIVE exploration of race, gender, sexuality, sex, and power in relationships. SUPERB direction & acting by all 8.
Don't see it if you're uncomfortable w/intense & sexually explicit - & racial/racist - situations. Lots of laughs, but alongside raunchy yet potent themes.
See it if you want MESMERIZING entertainment by a superb mentalist/magician. Not a play or musical - and not ordinary B'way fare - but truly engaging.
Don't see it if you want story, music, or dance - or more than an impressive one-man show. A master entertainer, even skeptics will be stunned and amused.
See it if you want to learn about LBJ's presidency in 3 hrs. Strong performances (esp. Cox), but densely-packed drama tries to do too much. Too long.
Don't see it if no interest in 1960s US politics/history. Compelling, but undermined by length/scope. Tries for KING LEAR, but is History Channel instead.
See it if you're patient with unpleasant characters talking pointlessly (& endlessly) - interspersed w/inexplicable dancing to loud pop. LONG 105 min.
Don't see it if you want thoughtful theater. Tries to be LaBute or Lonergan - but is instead poorly staged, banal conversation among emerging young adults.
See it if you loved Disney movie & want to evoke memories. Otherwise, this is mediocre staging with 1-2 strong performances (e.g., Bart, Rodriguez).
Don't see it if you want great musical theater. This is mediocre story-telling, cluttered staging, with a few good songs. Clearly for diehard fans of movie.