Ninwall

New York City | 50-64 | Female
About:  Broadway musical junkie and passionate theater goer, I live in New York City and see on average 1-3 shows a week.
Reviews (197)
80
Present Laughter
Midtown W
Clever, Dated, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Classic Noel Coward, witty drawing-room comedy is your thing. Acting is great, but you must concentrate on every word as they fly by fast.

Don't see it if First act is a bit slow; I found myself somewhat bored. Second really picks up. Kevin Kline is perfect; strong supporting cast.

88
Sweat
Midtown W
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Profound

See it if Moving depiction of the plight of blue collar, union workers - the disintegration of their world unfolds onstage. Couldn't be more relevant.

Don't see it if Message is driven home a bit heavy-handedly. The acting is superb, & you get to know & care about each character. I was deeply moved.

86
During previews
Indecent
Midtown W
Intense, Profound, Moving, Important, Historic

See it if Hauntingly moving true story of controversial 1905 Yiddish play w/ first lesbian love scene & the repercussions for all involved. Profound.

Don't see it if Was challenging to follow in parts due to Yiddish/English language switches; screen projections helped but were hard to see from balcony.

88
During previews
Entertaining, Great staging, Great costumes, Old fashioned, Bette!

See it if Lavish, colorful, larger-than-life revival of this classic old-fashioned musical. Bette Midler was good, but more subdued than I expected.

Don't see it if You're expecting something new. David Hyde Pierce was miscast as Horace Vandergelder - he was wooden & uncomfortable. Otherwise strong cast.

96
During previews
Great acting, Masterful, Intense, Absorbing, True classic

See it if Like watching a master class of acting. Performances were sheer perfection, including supporting roles. Riveting, intense, classic.

Don't see it if Amazingly, lead actresses switch roles every other night. I saw Nixon/Regina, Linney/Birdie. I want to see it again with roles reversed.

Also Richard Thomas was amazing - his heart attack scene was so real, I alm... Read more Read less

98
Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Wonderful acting, singing, sets, special effects. Real chemistry & emotion btw. actors; I was an emotional puddle by the end. Loved it!

Don't see it if You don't like big, intense, lavish musicals. I was not familiar with the original & was completely swept up by the story & blown away.

Also Kudos in particular to Eva Noblezada, who was absolutely luminous. I w... Read more Read less

84
For a previous production
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Funny, Fluffy

See it if Musicals Tonight does it again - well done, charming, shoe-string adaptation of this fizzy, fun musical. Great bang for your buck - loved it

Don't see it if You mind bare bones set & staging, tiny theater. Despite modest size, this production felt big, fun & full of life. Great singing & dancing.

94
During previews
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Utterly charming musical version of the beloved movie; beautifully captures the snarky humor & yet the pathos too. Andy Karl is outstanding.

Don't see it if you weren't a fan of the film - otherwise go! Reliving the same day over & over is handled so entertainingly, & the songs are smart & clever

70
During previews
Amelie
Midtown W
Quirky, Romantic, Charming, Lacked spark, Disappointing

See it if Story about isolated, introverted woman in Paris searching for love & connection. This tried hard to be quirky & cute - but lacked spark.

Don't see it if I found the plot confusing & hard to decipher. Sorry to say I think the lovely Phillippa Soo lacked the necessary quirky magnetism here.

94
If I Forget
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Really smart family drama w/multiple themes - Jewish self-image, politics, caring for aging parents, hidden family secrets. Superb acting.

Don't see it if I personally identified with so much of this play, but I wonder if a non-Jewish, non-middle aged person would be as engaged.

Also This play is so well written. Each character is well drawn, & the dial... Read more Read less

80
For a previous production
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Clever, Monotonous, Funny

See it if An animated, funny John Leguizamo reveals his personal pain & challenges as a Latino, simultaneously giving a whirlwind Latin history lesson

Don't see it if You don't like one-man shows. This is essentially a very long monologue, and while amusing, I found myself getting bored & restless.

Also I think I would have appreciated it more if I were Latino. There were ... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Feel good, Life affirming, Refreshing, Relevant, Heartwarming

See it if A seemingly impossible feat is achieved here - a feel-good musical about 9/11. Humor & sadness & pathos all combined. Beautifully done!

Don't see it if This is mostly sung-thru; actors play multiple roles. Sets are basic. The magic is in the music & true story & how it grabs your emotions .

Also The play felt especially relevant today, with our current refugee clim... Read more Read less

99
During previews
Fantastic, Masterful, Unique, Great staging, Great singing

See it if WOW! One of my best theater experiences EVER. So unique, intimate, immersive. This is mostly the original London cast & they were incredible

Don't see it if You are squeamish or don't like dark humor. Otherwise, GO!! Only quibble: the barber Pirelli, as played by a woman, didn't work for me.

Also This is a DON'T MISS show! If you're seated in the front (we were), yo... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Masterful

See it if If you want to see an acting tour de force by all involved. Stripped down set allows the words & emotion to take center stage. Very powerful

Don't see it if You want light, happy, escapist - this is heart wrenching. Or a fully realized set - this was very sparse. It's all about the acting.

90
During previews
Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
Great acting, Great singing, Epic, Riveting, Ambitious

See it if A tour de force performance from Glenn Close, with a strong supporting cast. Plot is true to the classic film; dark, disturbing, moody.

Don't see it if Andrew Lloyd Weber's score is just so-so; unmemorable. Full orchestra onstage was interesting choice but made the stage action feel cramped.

78
Cats
Midtown W
Great staging, Great dancing, Overrated, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if Great staging, costumes & dancing, but no real story or charm. This revival feels worn & tired. Grizabella was curiously weak, tepid.

Don't see it if I have no idea why this show was so long running - or revived. It seems to be all about the spectacle - all dazzle but no substance.

93
Ride the Cyclone
West Village
Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Unique, Quirky

See it if Unique, dark/funny musical about the death of 6 teenagers set in a decayed amusement park. Fantastic! You won't see anything else like this.

Don't see it if The theme of death or the creepy carnival set would bother you. Each actor was great & had a moment to shine. Great set & special effects.

Also I loved the Zoltar-type carnival fortune teller machine as narrator. S... Read more Read less

50
Disappointing, Amateurish

See it if Sophie Tucker's life story told thru anecdotes & song. Melanie Gall tried hard, but failed to channel Ms. Tucker's spunk & raunchiness.

Don't see it if You don't like 1-person shows. Ms. Gall's tame demeanor was wrong for the material; her delivery of raunchy material was uncomfortable.

60
Cliched, Tacky, Dated, Dull

See it if Nothing new here; you've seen every tired trick before, presented as a series of acts å la vaudeville. I was embarrassed to be there.

Don't see it if You're looking for cutting edge, unique magic and illusions; this was standard and cliché. Very touristy. Not worth Broadway prices.

79
Heisenberg
Midtown W
Talky, Great acting, Intense, Sparse staging

See it if You don't mind just 2 actors, bare stage, 2 chairs, a table and... lots of talking. Very well acted, but too talky & monotonous for my taste

Don't see it if You want to sit back and be entertained; you have to work hard to figure this one out. It didn't resonate with me, I found it tedious.

95
During previews
Sweet Charity
Midtown W
Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Entertaining, Engaging

See it if You want to see a wonderfully endearing, funny Sutton Foster channel Charity Hope Valentine in an intimate theater setting. I loved it!

Don't see it if you want big, glossy production numbers. This is a pared down, small scale version with minimal sets. Cast explodes with comedic talent!

85
During previews
Dead Poets Society
East Village
Absorbing, Intelligent, Moving, Solid production

See it if Well done, solid production. Jason Sudeikis is quite good and engaging. Play pales compares to film tho, doesn't pack same emotional punch.

Don't see it if You will miss Robin Williams performance - Sudeikis has a tough act to follow. The play feels slight while the movie felt profound.

90
During previews
Ambitious, Exquisite, Great staging, Edgy, Intense

See it if Wowza! Exquisite, immersive staging brings you right into a Russian nightclub of 1812, where the story unfolds. Unique, powerful experience.

Don't see it if You don't like sung-thru shows. Story line is less compelling than visuals & music, but it's hard not to get swept up in the magic.

Also Synopsis and family tree in Playbill was very useful to help follow th... Read more Read less

65
The Encounter
Midtown W
Confusing, Dizzying, Edgy, Excruciating, Tedious

See it if The story is not the point... the special effects are, but once the novelty wore off it became tedious. Audience wears special headphones.

Don't see it if You want a cohesive plot - it's disjointed, confusing, repetitive and frankly I couldn't wait for it to end. Like being inside an acid trip.

Also Special effects were mostly limited to sound coming out of your left e... Read more Read less

92
Refreshing, Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Fun

See it if Thoroughly delightful version of the 1942 film; classic, catchy Irving Berlin tunes, great dancing & singing, fantastic effects & costumes.

Don't see it if You're looking for original theater. Story is feel-good romantic cliché, but very well done; actors are enthusiastic, charming, refreshing.

Also Shout out to the charismatic Corbin Bleu; his singing & dancing was of... Read more Read less

80
The Whirligig
Midtown W
Great acting, Intense, Confusing, Sad

See it if You appreciate great acting within a somewhat confusing play. Sad examination of the cycle of addiction. Norbert Leo Butz was outstanding.

Don't see it if The play doesn't totally hold together coherently; some characters seemed unnecessary, confusing. The acting was better than the play.

96
Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Masterful

See it if Riveting true account of secret Palestine/Israeli peace negotiations in 1993. The acting is masterful & really makes this story come alive.

Don't see it if The play is 3 hours long; I thought I might struggle w/the wordiness & political subject matter, but instead was absolutely riveted. Bravo!

Also I can't stress enough how fantastic the acting was. Every actor, even ... Read more Read less

56
Cliched, Indulgent, Banal, Energetic, Overrated

See it if You're a huge Gloria Estefan fan. Otherwise, it's like watching mediocre cruise ship entertainment w/a Latin theme. Plot is stale & cliché.

Don't see it if You want something more than just empty spectacle, forced enthusiasm. Audience was full of tourists texting through the show.

84
During previews
Bandstand
Midtown W
Entertaining, Great singing, Great dancing, Big band swing, Not cliché

See it if Big-band musical about just-returned WWII vets & the toll of war on their psyches; both feel-good & romantic yet also serious w/a dark edge

Don't see it if Actors really played instruments; music was good, dancing great. The end was oddly abrupt; I felt chemistry btwn leads was a bit lacking

90
During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Great cast, Funny, Disappointing staging

See it if I'm a big fan of the movie & was not disappointed. Christian Borle takes the iconic Gene Wilder role & makes it his own. Great songs too.

Don't see it if The one glaring error was the staging - sets were oddly scrimpy. The chocolate room - why was it a tiny diorama? What were they thinking?

Also The performances & songs were so strong, the play so fun & charming, i... Read more Read less

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Too long

See it if You like intense family drama. Great acting but esp. Danny DeVito; he really lights up the stage. 1st act surprisingly comedic.

Don't see it if I liked it a lot, but felt the 2nd act was a bit too talky & long, esp. compared to the 1st act; the comedic elements dry up.

86
For a previous production
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intense

See it if Compelling examination of who assassinated Malcolm X, staged as a trial where audience is the jury. Powerful, really thought provoking.

Don't see it if You don't like examining history, although this never feels dry or lectur-y. Loved the trial presentation, & I learned a lot. Strong acting.

88
For a previous production
Hilarious, Slapstick, Silly, Funny, Delightful

See it if You're a fan of broad physical comedy & slapstick. Total silliness & mayhem - sets falling down, spit takes, etc - extremely well done.

Don't see it if You're looking for meaningful theater. This is pure silliness. The show gets stronger in the 2nd act; audience was screaming with laughter.

95
During previews
War Paint
Midtown W
Great singing, Entertaining, Great costumes, Fun, Great staging

See it if Fun, funny dueling divas rivalry btw. Helena Rubenstein & Elizabeth Arden thru decades. Lupone & Ebersole knock it out of the park- LOVED IT

Don't see it if You don't like big, belting musicals. This is LuPone & Ebersole singing their lungs out & having a blast. Amazing costumes & oh those hats!!

Also I'm not ordinarily a fan of Patti LuPone - she tends to grate on my ne... Read more Read less

78
Louisiana Purchase
Midtown W
Dated, Great singing, Charming, Fluffy, Interesting

See it if You can appreciate it thru the lens of what Musicals Tonight is all about - resurrecting little-known or forgotten musicals. Top notch cast.

Don't see it if This is not Irving Berlin's finest, but it's interesting for a glimpse of 1940s politics, tho some jokes & references were too dated to get.

Also Musicals Tonight is a truly unique gem. The productions are bare bones... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Beautiful exploration of the artistic temperament; Seurat's all-consuming need to create art, & the toll it takes on his personal life.

Don't see it if This is a cerebral, intellectual musical. Minimal set, w/dazzling Chromolume sequence. Wonderful cast, but Jake Gyllenhaal is a revelation

Also I can't stress enough how astonishing Jake Gyllenhaal's performance wa... Read more Read less

80
During previews
All The Fine Boys
Midtown W
Dark, Disturbing, Uncomfortable, Well acted, Thought-provoking

See it if Story of 2 teenage female BFFs & their sexual awakenings in 1990s South Carolina that begins frivolously, then takes an unexpected dark turn

Don't see it if You mind graphic sexual subject & violence. Well acted, but the BFFs were supposed to be 14 & actresses were obviously much older.

Also I'm curious whether the inspiration for this play was an actual horrif... Read more Read less

79
Great acting, Confusing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if A compassionate look at a family dealing w/mother w/Alzheimer's & moving her to assisted living. Wonderful acting but confusing plot lines.

Don't see it if Potential for a great show but too many characters w/unclear actions & motives, weird gratuitous nudity, muddied the plot & caused confusion

89
During previews
Kid Victory
Gramercy
Great acting, Intense, Profound, Uncomfortable, Dark

See it if You don't mind dark, uncomfortable, difficult subject matter. I thought it was profoundly moving w/ great acting. Packs an emotional wallop

Don't see it if I think the play could stand alone without the music; I'm still trying to decide if it detracted from the drama. Not bad, just not necessary

Also I really, really liked this play. Reading other reviews, I almost deci... Read more Read less

40
During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You want to see a top notch cast in a confusing mess of a play. 10-yr reunion of actors, some have become profilers for Big Brother - WTF?

Don't see it if Really, don't waste your money. Matthew Broderick was awful - stiff, flat, flubbed lines. Rest of cast was very good, in a very bad play.

87
During previews
Yen
West Village
Great acting, Intense, Wrenching, Dark, Sad

See it if Wrenching story of lower class British teen brothers abandoned by their troubled mother to raise themselves & the ensuing consequences.

Don't see it if This is a dark, sad story, slow to unfold, with graphic sexual themes, violence & animal cruelty. Very heartbreaking. Every actor is superb.

86
During previews
The Present
Midtown W
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Confusing

See it if A lost Checkov play gets a modern update; wordy & long, but the acting is fiery, intense, & superb & really brings the characters to life.

Don't see it if You need action or will be confused by many characters. Hang in there & pay close attention. The astonishing acting makes it a must-see.

65
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Boring, Misguided

See it if I really tried to make heads or tails of this, but it was just dull, boring, confusing. Maybe it picked up but I left at intermission.

Don't see it if You'll feel bad seeing top rate actors (Lane, Grey, Glover) wasted in a dull interpretation. Strange, pointless set on a tree stump.

84
During previews
In Transit
Midtown W
Clever, Great singing, Entertaining, Original, Great staging

See it if Strictly a cappella musical stories of love lives of various NYers intersecting on the subway. Charming, engaging songs, impressive vocals.

Don't see it if You want a cohesive plot; this was a melange of individual stories interwoven. Good, entertaining, lightweight - not emotionally engaging.

Also Full of NYC jokes and references; as a resident I got them, not sure i... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Entertaining, Enjoyable, Doo wop, Cliched, Fun

See it if Nothing new here (think West Side Story meets Jersey Boys) yet very enjoyable, fast paced w/peppy tunes. Kid actor Hudson Loverro was great.

Don't see it if You can't get past the clichés. But if you can overlook them, it's a very enjoyable night of theater. Audience clearly loved it.

79
Hoi Polloi
Midtown W
Dated, Great singing, Frothy, Enchanting, Cliched

See it if You would be interested to see a never-before produced Noel Coward musical. Bare bones production with strong acting & singing, no sets.

Don't see it if You expect the usual witty, tuneful Noel Coward fare; not his best work, probably why it was never produced before.

Also I'm a big fan of Musicals Tonight! They always do a great job resurrec... Read more Read less

89
Love, Love, Love
Midtown W
Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if Fresh, funny examination of the repercussions of selfish baby boomer parenting. Each act a different decade. Great acting, esp. Amy Ryan.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with the possibility of seeing some of your own less stellar parenting moments played out; some "ouch" moments for me.

92
Funny Face
Midtown W
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Fluffy, Dated

See it if Kudos to "Musicals Tonight" for this superb, delightful musical revival. Cast is bursting with talent & enthusiasm - great singing & dancing

Don't see it if You need a full blown set & effects; there are none, tho costumes are great. This is theatre on a shoestring budget, but oh how it shines!

82
During previews
Falsettos
Midtown W
Ambitious, Intense, Slow, Sung through, Emotional

See it if Sung-thru musical about a gay man in the 70's-80's & his complex relationship & family dynamics. Top notch cast, but slow, esp. the 1st act

Don't see it if Did not pack the emotional punch for me that it surely intended; actors were competent but their connection & passion didn't come across

Also Stephanie J. Block was a standout in her song "I'm Breaking Down". Tha... Read more Read less

86
During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Raunchy, Cruel

See it if Sexual power games between 2 rich, bored 18th c. French aristocrats, full of cruelty & manipulation. Gorgeous costumes; strong acting

Don't see it if It's risqué; there is some nudity & lots of sexual naughtiness. Lead actors good, but chemistry was not always there when needed.

Also In particular, there was a lack of chemistry between Valmont and Madam... Read more Read less