Paul Meltzer

Paul Meltzer is a critic with Plays to See. 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 (20)
Preview romantictrapezoid 300x400
60
Plays to See

"The title 'Romantic Trapezoid' suggests an interesting twist on the classic triangle. It isn’t...There are also no real plot complications or reversals, one at most...We have exposition, the introduction of the other woman, and the resolution...There could be interesting characters or memorably witty dialogue along the way, but there isn’t either really...This is a competent, professional production...The performers are all certainly capable. There’s just nothing to rave about." Full Review

Preview img 0122
90
Plays to See

“An unforgettable theatrical experience that will stir you and leave you shaken. Abili gives an impressively physicalized, fearless performance…He handles O’Neill’s potentially cartoonish African-American dialect with a more updated street bravado. It works...O’Reilly employs an experiment, having the local people all in masks. The effect is both distancing and chilling. Maybe not having to show their faces also makes it a little easier for actors to embrace this troubling, important work.” Full Review

Preview captureccc  copy
90
Plays to See

"Mease’s 'Omega Kids' has such an original new voice, a new way of hearing naturalistic speech, that you can’t stop hearing it afterwards...It’s a series of utterly unforced vignettes over the course of a long, aimless evening of basically hanging out...We could do with about three fewer vignettes and not lose a thing. But the sense of privacy and generous attention is palpable with both actors, but especially the so-present and disarmingly and charmingly tuned-in Will Sarratt." Full Review

Preview keyart 01
60
Plays to See

"Schreiber's performance sapped emotional energy, as if his lines had to be delivered through a pillow, which makes it, instead of a thrilling romp, a very slow, nearly three-hour wind up before we get the pitch...McTeer can make us pay attention to her with the merest flick of a fingernail in the air...Sadly there’s not a great deal of chemistry between the principals–we sense more mutual respect than anything. More convincing were the 'marks' in Valmont’s romantic cons." Full Review

Preview orwell in america white
60
Plays to See

"Gratefully, I did leave this show feeling I had spent an evening in the presence of Orwell...Jamie Horton as Orwell makes his remarkable New York City debut as a mature actor here...The play itself is a rather slight dramatic vehicle designed to bring Orwell to us, tracing a fictionalized relationship between him and a young female publicist...We don’t learn much more about Orwell’s life than is commonly known...De Waal does a wonderful job with the fairly thin material comprising her role." Full Review

Preview rsz a persistent memory
70
Plays to See

"Drew Ledbetter gives a tightly wrapped and interestingly layered performance...Each individual scene is a clear, well-wrought bubble of lived experience, but the play consciously tumbles the chronological order. It has that Stoppard-like effect...It’s less simplistic you might say, or less clear, or more ambiguous and artistic. I can’t say the totality of the effect is moving exactly...On the subject of humans, it’s smart, engaging mostly, and ultimately an uncomfortable puzzle." Full Review

Preview tfanafather
90
Plays to See

"Unlike Ibsen’s proto-feminist case for liberation, Strindberg asserts here that women have always been the stronger...Lacey’s convincing Laura is Nora as an utter adult. And Thompson certainly gets his chance here to release all emotional safety...This is modern domestic drama of the highest caliber, played exceptionally well, and presented in a program that will leave you discussing it for days." Full Review

Preview long.day.cast
95
Plays to See

"This titanic masterwork is so closely observed and carefully structured by O'Neill that it stands up to new meanings…In Jessica Lange’s masterful hands, we have a very intimate long day’s journey into the terror and soul robbery of mother Mary Tyrone’s addiction…This production is crystal clear…When she stares uncomprehendingly at her aged hands, we believe her disbelief. What a wonderful, wonderful piece of work…What concentration. What a privilege to see it." Full Review

Preview father180
95
Plays to See

"This should be required viewing for all human beings...Through Frank Langella’s brave, masterful performance, we experience the dislocation, indignity, and sense of abandonment, ultimately by reality itself, that comes with the onset of this all-too-common disease in our era of extended years...This is realism of an entirely different kind. Langella’s unforgettable performance is one of the best I’ve ever witnessed." Full Review

Preview screwtape
85
Plays to See

for a previous production "What a challenge, to take a character dictating letters and make it a captivating theatrical spectacle. Kudos to the entire technical team...A deliciously witty, theatrical treat that still resonates and amuses the day after." Full Review

Preview show score image
80
Plays to See

"You get a punchy, soulful eight-piece orchestra, and a cast of 12 including chorus. And oy, mamaleh, what can these people not do?...Sure, it’s a pageant. It’s very earnest...These immigrants are not hardened or embittered, or neurotic or difficult in any way. They love each other, and they break into song regularly. But as the host demonstrates for us in her WEVD Yiddish Radio cooking show, a little schmaltz makes things transportingly delicious." Full Review

Preview sam and dede white
55
Plays to See

"A series of conversations, an extended encounter contrasting two misfits’ attempts to come to terms with life. Averett is impressively, fully convincing as Dede...Is this the Beckett who needed open, alien air around him even to be able to think his own thoughts?...The shadow and intensity of that lifelong intellectual struggle is evident in any photo of Beckett, but in this portrayal, not so much...Beckett’s wit might have been a little more evident too if he were more clearly Irish." Full Review

Preview life according to saki
80
Plays to See

"Charming and endlessly inventive staging...A nimble cast of six manipulate themselves and a small assortment of props to suggest myriad animals, starchy English characters, and settings...The ensemble transforms kaleidoscopically again and again as do each of the players...All this gleeful stagecraft is really what stays with you, more than any particular story...Playwright Rundell might have given us an early brush with mortality so we feel what’s at stake." Full Review

Preview the city that cried wolf white
55
Plays to See

"Reeves doggedly mashes up every Grimm’s fairy tale line and character onto every film noir whodunit trope, sometimes to amusing results...Tremblay’s direction keeps the changes flying fast...But this is a full-length whodunit stocked with rapid patter–lots of it–so inevitably the premise runs thin...There’s enough here for a very witty twenty-minute sketch. Run time is 90 minutes without intermission." Full Review

Preview dvr poster copy v5
80
Plays to See

"All three actors bring us crystal clear, minutely well observed, contrasting characterizations that set up the engine of the play…Bullmore gives them witty but entirely plausible dialogue as they define themselves and each other...It’s a contemporary coming-of-age story from a purely female perspective that we so rarely get on stage…Look–we laugh and cry, we think about life...If not one for the ages, it’s a pretty darn good night in the theater." Full Review

Preview dollshouse
80
Plays to See

"Thompson’s Thorwald is all stuffy respectability, with a springy-legged half crouch that simultaneously suggests readiness for action and due deference to the system at large...Thompson’s intrinsic dignity as an actor though seems to keep him from ever being quite fully stripped bare emotionally, which blunts the power of the ending a bit...This is modern domestic drama of the highest caliber, played exceptionally well, and presented in a program that will leave you discussing it for days." Full Review

Preview harry
65
Plays to See

"In many respects a very winning show, an underground sci-fi comic book brought amusingly to life...There are many real laughs and some earned emotional payoff amidst the mayhem...The show needs–deserves–some work. The brisk blocking and pace is spot-on but is ultimately wearing without enough additional dramatic or entertainment value...But the biggest area worth working on is paying off the central premise in the book." Full Review

Preview orpheus
65
Plays to See

"Those fascinated by Tennessee Williams should make it to this. 'Orpheus Descending' is a beautiful mess, rarely performed and almost never with great success...Williams is at his lyrical best here, and on the knife edge at the end of realism...The play functions almost like opera, riding on the emotional force of arias with not overmuch concern for the literal plausibility of the plot points. Driving it all is pure passion, or frankly, sexual desire. And here, this production seems amiss." Full Review

Preview hughie180
35
Plays to See

"Whitaker plays a very generalized Erie Smith almost entirely on one note, a genial rube who thinks he’s wise, with a very generalized need to talk, never quite making the Broadway patois of the day fully his own. The aimless halting phrasing becomes tiring, without the flashing intelligence and sensitivity Whitaker has brought to so many movie roles so unforgettably. We get a vivid walk-on’s worth of character." Full Review

Preview unknown
65
Plays to See

"It is a political play with a message, which can give it the feeling at times of a pageant at some kind of peace school, especially as the supporting cast still seemed a bit unsteady...Still, 'Land of Fire' challenges us to particularize, to face the full individual humanity of those with whom we may be locked in conflict." Full Review