PenGwyn

New York City | 65+ | Female
About:  Avid theater-goer since my parents took me to see Oklahoma when I was six. Tastes are strongly Anglophile, spearheaded by Nicholas Nickleby. Deplore lack of wit in modern culture. Also like penguins, words, puzzles, G&S, Lewis Carroll!
Reviews (76)
54
High Button Shoes
Midtown W
Banal, Slow, Insipid, Disappointing

See it if Can't really think of a good reason. If you're there stay for that 2nd act Robbins number. Usually reliable Urie working too hard.

Don't see it if You like hardly any book, not funny gag lines, non-Robbins choreography repetitive and unoriginal.

45
Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You like mash-ups. It did nothing to illuminate either play, however.

Don't see it if You don't like either of the plays, or you like either of the plays. Bedlam sometimes does not expand beyond the basic concept.

61
Mother of the Maid
East Village
Banal, Great acting, Insipid, Disappointing

See it if You'd see Glenn Close reading the phone book. You know nothing about Joan of Arc.

Don't see it if You already know peasants are the salt of the earth; Joan was just a typical teen-age girl. You like phonebooks.

52
During previews
The Niceties
Midtown W
Confusing, Relevant, Dishonest, Cliched

See it if You liked "Oleanna."

Don't see it if You don't like emotionally dishonest plays or don't need a lesson on microaggression.

43
During previews
Downtown Race Riot
Midtown W
Slow, Overrated, Stereotyped, Disappointing

See it if You like plays about people living lives of quiet desperation and want to share their feeling for two hours.

Don't see it if You want to see non stereotyped characters and care about what happens to them.

80
During previews
The Home Place
Chelsea
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in Irish history, want to see a well-staged, well-acted production of a Friel play. Moore uses her small stage well.

Don't see it if You have trouble with accents (various), aren't interested in the intricacies of Irish/English relations in the 19th century.

75
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Unbelievable

See it if You like great acting, want to know what happened to Nora over all those years, though her talky disquisition didn't convince me.

Don't see it if You think Hnath might not have greater insights into feminism than Ibsen. That slammed door said more than her 90 minute harangue.

81
887
Brooklyn
Ambitious, Quirky, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want to see an enfant terrible grown up but still playing with toys, only now it's a huge box of tricks engineered by his Ex Machina Co.

Don't see it if You don't like one-person shows, or toys or don't think Canadians can be egotistical, political and charming!

89
During previews
The Liar
East Village
Delightful, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like clever rhymes, word play, demanding but rewarding verse, silliness, conscious anachronisms, silly complex plots, actors having fun.

Don't see it if You want to understand the plot, aren't very silly.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Hyper-realistic

See it if You like realistic dialog and characters, which reflect what's going on in our lives today. Nelson has developed his own brand of realism.

Don't see it if You don't use a hearing device. Unfortunately Nelson equates a conversational level of speaking with naturalism, a big mistake as his first

Also Concern should be with allowing us to hear his dialog!

70
During previews
Ride the Cyclone
West Village
Quirky, Indulgent, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if You like quirky premises, loose plots, musical pastiches, high-energy somewhat amateur performances, but inventiveness tops all.

Don't see it if You're not up on many musical genres so you'll have trouble telling clever satire from just bad take-offs. I liked Ukrainian folk parody,

Also Rock and rap stuff less so. As you can see this is a mish-mash but tha... Read more Read less

77
Dead Poets Society
East Village
Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like coming of age drama, well-staged by Doyle. Sudeikis does not erase memories of Williams but is charming in his own way.

Don't see it if You really loved the movie and want a thrilling experience rather than a pleasant night at the theater.

84
During previews
The Harvest
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in the role of faith in shaping lives. When does it take over one's entire life? Unusual treatment, well acted.

Don't see it if The theme doesn't interest you or you like neat endings.

59
During previews
Confusing, Tone-deaf, Poor ensemble work, Shallow

See it if You've seen a lot of Chekov and want to see if a modernistic approach retains the beauty, humor and pathos. ( It doesn't.)

Don't see it if You're unfamiliar with Chekov lest you think this is how it should be done. You believe characters should relate to each other.

67
During previews
Love, Love, Love
Midtown W
Disappointing, Slow, Dated, Unconvincing

See it if You like all thing British or plays about dysfunctional families, no matter how forced.

Don't see it if You can't believe that Maggie Thatcher is responsible for the breakdown of the family for a generation. Social commentary in England often

Also Seems ten years behind the times.

80
During previews
Aubergine
Midtown W
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Profound

See it if You think food, family, memory and intimations of mortality make a tasteful stew.Meditations on food and dying abound, a little overcooked.

Don't see it if You are totally indifferent to food and antagonistic to overly pat endings.

81
Butler
Midtown E
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You like the classic trope of servant ( or slave) outwitting master. A little stiff at first but legal and personal sparring engages.

Don't see it if You feel humor has no place in an exploration of race relations.

68
Entertaining, Fluffy, Great acting, Banal, Flat

See it if You're up for a summer divertissement with good acting by veterans Parsons and Ivey.

Don't see it if You like comedy with more wit, bite or relevance.

77
Confusions
Midtown E
Entertaining, Clever, Cliched, Funny

See it if You like Aychbourn and know what to expect- some funny scenes, stock characters, cartoonish acting. Still two out of five are quite funny.

Don't see it if You've seen enough Britcoms. It's fun to see the actors in many different roles but still the material is rather thin.

94
Sense & Sensibility
West Village
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing, Original

See it if You like exuberant original staging by an engaging cast. True to Austen while delightfully playful.

Don't see it if You only accept Masterpiece Theatre productions of Austen.

76
A Doll's House
Brooklyn
Dated, Thought-provoking, Pedestrian, Intelligent

See it if You've never seen the play, it will give you a good idea of the themes, but not of why Nora makes her profound transformative decision.

Don't see it if You've seen more vital, engaging Doll Houses and don't want to see J D Thompson mostly wasted . See The Father instead.

72
During previews
Entertaining, Indulgent, Original, Silly

See it if You like circuses, cross-dressing, broad humor, and don't much like Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You like Shakespeare and don't see how varying accents, women dressed as men, Trump satire and the kitchen sink illuminate the Bard.

60
Banal, Slow, Relevant, Schematic

See it if You like plays about a dystopian future, even though ideas are limited and without foundation.

Don't see it if You like to see a fully realized future where you can understand how we got from now to there. And some of the action is predictable.

81
The Judas Kiss
Brooklyn
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Murky

See it if You like good English acting, are fascinated by Oscar Wilde and how a brilliant writer can make bad life choices.

Don't see it if It will be a big minus that it's hard to hear and the motives for Bosie's and Wilde's actions are not satisfactorily explained.

78
For a previous production
Indecent
Midtown W
Great staging, Slow, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Moving

See it if You're interested in Yiddish theater history, like original staging, but it's hard to see why the play this is about was worth the trouble.

Don't see it if History of Yiddish theater is of no interest to you.

83
I Married an Angel
Midtown W
Old fashioned, Great dancing, Refreshing, Delightful

See it if You can be entertained by well choreographed numbers, nicely danced, stylish production, no book to speak of and only two memorable songs.

Don't see it if Flimsy book would disappoint, or dance doesn't entrance, tho a fine mix of ballet, ballroom and tap.

63
During previews
India Pale Ale
Midtown W
Banal, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if You like plays about assimilation. Pakistani families in US.

Don't see it if You dislike bland family dramas, punctuated by bizarre pirate pageant, a lecture about accepting people, but good samosas for those on aisle

Also Too many plays lately have taken to delivering lectures directly to th... Read more Read less

94
During previews
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Must see

See it if You like big sprawling plays with real people tumbling onto the stage. A blend of O'Casey, Friel and McDonagh!

Don't see it if Well, I must admit to reservations afterwards about the logic of some of the action, but it didn't lessen the enjoyment of watching the play

88
King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You don't want to miss one of the world's great actors grow old, lose his wits, find wisdom in an uneven but well-spoken cast.

Don't see it if You can't handle the language or sit for over three hours. But it's worth a trip to Brooklyn for the best Lear you're likely to see.

72
During previews
The Portuguese Kid
Midtown W
Uneven, Fluffy, Funny, Banal

See it if You like sit-com level humor, can stand battle of sexes jokes, Italian stereotypes, think Alexander and Testa belong in the same play.

Don't see it if Are put off by easy Trump jokes, like Seinfeld understated humor, this is very broad in parts. George Costanza wandered into the wrong play.

80
During previews
Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Confusing, Indulgent

See it if You can take stripped down Bard, can ignore substandard diction, audience participation, 4th wall shattering, you'll have a lot of fun!

Don't see it if You can't ignore the above cavils or aren't already familiar with the play. Not for introducing it to first timers.

74
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You like family conflict, Miller, sibling rivalry, da Vito doing shtick, Shaloub is very good.

Don't see it if You find long discussions of family history ponderous. Miller has addressed these themes before more gracefully.

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Must see, Exhilarating

See it if You want to see a great ensemble riffing on gritty reality, including more major themes than you think would fit into one grubby cab office.

Don't see it if Well, if you're a show-score member you love theater and if you love theater you Should see this!

38
During previews
Yen
West Village
Confusing, Slow

See it if You can penetrate London working class accents and care about gormless youths in the projects.

Don't see it if You want to understand the dialog. I couldn't decide if it would be any more interesting if I could understand what these yobs were saying

84
During previews
The Babylon Line
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You've lived thru Levittown, writing classes, the 60's, appreciate sharp characterizations, authentic dialog, want to know how all end up.

Don't see it if You prefer action to being read to. Aren't amused by somewhat broad satire of Levittown ladies.

68
Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Whaaa?

See it if You like expressionistic theater and absorbing impressions via symbolic characters, dialect, music, dance, shapes, poetry, you get the idea.

Don't see it if You value plot and coherence over impressions. Not sure how much is accessible to non-black audience members.

80
Entertaining, Raunchy, Fluffy, Indulgent

See it if You like to catch references, to Shakespeare, to musicals, like silly stuff, and are not too demanding about wit or cleverness.

Don't see it if You want something mildly entertaining to be more- sharper wit, more exploitation of musical tropes, nearer rhymes.

Also Tired commuters can congratulate themselves on recognizing lines from ... Read more Read less

71
During previews
The Front Page
Midtown W
Dated, Slow, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like old-fashioned plays, a few quirky performances, a few stereotyped ones, some good lines. Nathan Lane and bit by Robt. Morse fun!

Don't see it if Every journalist cliche' drags out first act. See the Roz Russell film version instead.

85
Quietly
Chelsea
Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Must see

See it if Like riveting acting and have always been fascinated by conflict in Ireland and the themes of reconciliation vs. revenge.

Don't see it if You have trouble with accents or like to sit in the front row- too close to some violence.

71
During previews
Disappointing, Great acting, Indulgent, Banal

See it if You like great acting, even if the material is not very riveting. Some good moments.

Don't see it if You wonder during one person shows whom the character is talking to and why??? I can't always accept this convention.

85
Privacy
East Village
Clever, Entertaining, Original, Thought-provoking, Cyberfun

See it if You want to have fun with your iPhone in public. Part cyber magic, part public service warning.

Don't see it if You don't like audience participation or want plot more than learning about our cyber exposure.

80
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Epic

See it if You like extremely competent British Shakespeare, want to see the comedic side of Merchant brought out without losing the pathos.

Don't see it if You think the whole play should be dark because of its main theme. You don't like audience participation or breaking the 4th wall.

70
Hero's Welcome
Midtown E
Banal, Predictable, Disappointing

See it if Wonder what an Ayckbourn play would be like without the humor, but still with set pieces and cardboard characters.

Don't see it if You don't know what's going to happen when you see a rifle in an early scene. You want more than soap opera plots, revelations, characters.

80
For a previous production
Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You're a history buff and enjoy seeing the machinations behind the scenes of an unusual accord and can tolerate some slow stretches.

Don't see it if You have no interest in behind the scenes Middle East negotiations and tend to nod off during talks about talks.

84
Skeleton Crew
Chelsea
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You like workplace drama, want to see real people in real situations, speaking real dialog, and excellent ensemble work.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the lives of blue collar people or have a lot of trouble understanding black accents.

87
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You want to see Strindberg's modern take on the battle of the sexes, with an amazing performance by John Douglas Thompson.

Don't see it if You can't stand that the whole mishegoss could have been avoided with one DNA test. Where is Dr. Phil when we need him?

61
During previews
Slow, Original, Unbelievable

See it if you are interested in mental disorders and can stay awake during slow exposition to get to the real ,not realistic, action.

Don't see it if finally making a human connection does not make up for slow beginning and having to sit through an endless country song.

64
During previews
Edgy, Great acting, Shocking, Ambitious, Tasteless

See it if You like the theme of laughing through your tears enough to put up with the negatives listed below.

Don't see it if You don't like jokes about cancer or vibrators, would rather not be exposed to a lengthy simulated sex scene, or want believable characters.

53
During previews
Incognito
Midtown W
Confusing, Dizzying, Quirky, Empty, Pretentious

See it if You like anything scientific, even if it doesn't make sense. ... You don't mind not knowing which actor is playing which character.

Don't see it if A blend of Oliver Sachs, neuroscience and quantum theory, thrown in a blender and spewed out in random, repetitive chunks doesn't intrigue.

82
During previews
Great acting, Quirky, Slow, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You like well written workplace drama with a real window on dreary life in a mind-sapping job, great ensemble work!

Don't see it if You find Yorkshire accents impenetrable, want more action, don't care about working class life.