Philip 6247

New York City

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Reviews (114)
42
During previews
Sentimental, bland, flabby, pretentious, occasionally amusing

See it if you enjoy what might be called "observational" theater pieces that gussy up the mundane to pass if off as profundity.

Don't see it if you're ready to throw your hands up at yet another play filled with labored quirkiness.

Also Here's what this piece means, as far as I can tell: When the curtain f... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Mothers
Midtown W
Interesting but overlong and tedious

See it if you want to see a play that at least superficially involves parenting.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for disjointed narrative.

Also There's a good satire to be made from the competition among mothers ov... Read more Read less

75
Delivers what you'd expect

See it if you enjoy the Temptations' (and other Motown singers') songs and somewhat hyped-up versions of their dance routines.

Don't see it if you need more than the predictable dramatic developments that musical "biographies" offer.

Also Talented young man adrift finds his calling in music, forms group, gro... Read more Read less

74
Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy plays about language used for subverting political repression.

Don't see it if the combo of absurdity (DH) & mostly realistic action (CM) might seem labored & tenuous (I believe an argument can be made.)

Also The connection between the two plays, other than Shakespeare (and Beck... Read more Read less

95
Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you'll enjoy a satire that indirectly explains how & why the music & lyrics of modern musicals sound alike & banal.

Don't see it if you find improv tiresome.

Also Every performance is different because the songs are improvised on the... Read more Read less

68
Excellently acted, imaginatively staged and directed

See it if a play popular from several years ago, overpraised and overrated but amusing, witty, occasionally touching, and never boring nonetheless.

Don't see it if you want to support a new (three-years-old or so) worthy theater company and pass two hours pleasantly ..

Also The play left me wondering if the point of all its busy-ness is that e... Read more Read less

90
Old-fashioned entertainment, presented with great energy

See it if you want to experience a great score from the golden age of musical comedy.

Don't see it if you won't abide even the somewhat updated-for-the-pc-era book about "taming" a woman who doesn't really need taming.to begin with.

Also A few points off for pc revisions to the book. O'Hara terrific singer ... Read more Read less

75
Boesman and Lena
Midtown W
Great acting, nicely stages, absorbing

See it if you would be moved by a story of racial injustice in South Africa that has metamorphosed over 50 years into one of existential survival.

Don't see it if you demand action and have no patience for untranslated lines spoken in Afrikaans as well as sometimes hard-to-understand English accents.

Also The acting is intense and a lie revealed late puts paid to any real re... Read more Read less

55
The Convent
Midtown W
Nicely staged, earnest, feminist, shrill, cigarette-smoking on stage (ugh)

See it if you’d root for (mostly) sympathetic women to achieve fulfillment at a convent, an ironic setting for this spiritual/quasi-religious retreat.

Don't see it if Don’t see it if you’re skeptical of EST and all the other spiritual/quasi-religious retreats that people pay a lot of money to go to.

Also The play’s thesis is presented, apparently without irony, as an axiom:... Read more Read less

78
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense

See it if you don't want to miss the chance to see two intriguing plays.

Don't see it if Churchill's sometime-mannered writing or Norman's cool and almost clinical writing about so stark a subject will turn you off.

Also A Number may be more admired than enjoyed (by me), but in fairness to ... Read more Read less

99
Absorbing, Delightful, Funny, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see great musical theater performed at a level commensurate with its music, lyrics, and book.

Don't see it if you (mistakenly) think this warhorse has is outdated and has nothing to say to contemporary audiences.

Also I've seen this before, and I've heard the music on recordings many tim... Read more Read less

82
Timely, relevant, well-staged, well-acted

See it if you'd appreciate an approach to dementia that has humor.

Don't see it if you've overdosed on plays, movies, & TV shows about dementia.

Also The characters are well-drawn, & the playwright does a notable job of ... Read more Read less

68
During previews
Evokes a backstage atmosphere, entertaining, witty

See it if you enjoy fictional constructions of events that didn’t happen but conceivably could have .

Don't see it if you demand more historical accuracy and a plot with strong internal logic.

Also The dialogue is often bright & witty, though some of it & its delivery... Read more Read less

68
Ambitious, over-extended, slow

See it if you want to see or support an admirable troupe that often converts prose into plays and/or are interested in Chekhov's sensibility.

Don't see it if seeing a not entirely coherent and well-integrated presentation of several stories will leave you disappointed or frustrated.

Also I like this little company and have seen several of their productions.... Read more Read less

85
Conflict
Midtown W
Engaging, witty, contemporary despite its century-old setting

See it if you enjoy traditional and well-made plays or are willing to give them a chance.

Don't see it if you like drawing room comedies or feel you’ve seen one too many.

Also Calling a play “traditional” &“well-made” is damning it with faint pra... Read more Read less

57
During previews
Heartfelt, gritty at times, timely, predictable

See it if you want to see a presentation of the hopeless, trapped, violent, cop-controlled, expendable lives of young African-American men.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a drama (as opposed to a presentation) about those young African-American men.

Also That sensible people agree with a play’s point of view doesn’t make th... Read more Read less

91
Absorbing, Funny, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you want to see a great and moving play. I like it more than Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Don't see it if the usual characteristics of O'Neill's play-length (4 hours), repetitiveness, windiness, speeches in dialect-you deem to be insurmountable.

Also I think this play is a remarkable playwriting achievement.... Read more Read less

73
Progressive, relentless, funny, serious, moving, messy, angry, part vaudeville, part greek tragedy

See it if you want to see a play epic in its scope and its examination and critique of America and its politics past and present.

Don't see it if you are a Republican or a Morman, and certainly not if you are both.

Also The decibel level was sky high. The music between scenes was rock-conc... Read more Read less

76
The Metromaniacs
Midtown W
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy contemporary wit applied to an 18th Century comedy, replete with disguises, secrets, and hidden identities.

Don't see it if wordplay isn't exciting enough for you or you feel if you're going to see an 18th Century comedy, you might as well see a real one.

55
During previews
Static with periodic bursts of thought-provoking exchanges

See it if you want to see an ensemble presentation of an important time in pre-Restoration England.

Don't see it if you're expecting or hoping for a history play anywhere along the lines of one of those by Shakespeare.

Also Long on polemic and short on drama. It's hard to imagine any enlighten... Read more Read less

70
King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
Good acting, fine movement on stage, especially good storm

See it if you go to plays by Shakespeare.

Don't see it if if you are put off by Elizabethan language and can’t abide the likelihood that you won’t be able to hear or make out everything that’s said.

Also My preference leans toward a Lear who is foolish but not a fool. After... Read more Read less

75
Simple staging, well-acted, a pagan setting in non-pagan dress

See it if you want to see one of Shakespeare’s strangest yet transcendent plays.

Don't see it if you’re a purist about the staging and casting of Shakespeare or are frustrated about not getting all the language when spoken rapidly.

Also Be aware that the actor playing the rogueish character Autolycus inter... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Virtually indestructible piece that survives all productions

See it if you want to see one of the greatest of all musical comedies-music, lyrics, & book. Not a bad note in the score.

Don't see it if your standard is the original & you’ll be disappointed by the invidious comparisons to Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Stanley Holloway.

Also Why can’t producers trust the audience to see... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Fine acting, often amusing, entertaining

See it if you want to see an often scathing portrait of an old woman; or one or more of the actresses; or Albee's most personal work.

Don't see it if you've had enough of Albee's bitter humor and caustic perceptions.

Also It seems heresy to suggest, given its Pulitzer Prize & Albee's eminenc... Read more Read less

70
Education
Midtown E
Another entry in the season of school plays

See it if another play about schools—this one about freedom of artistic expression—interests you.

Don't see it if you’ve had your fill of plays taking place in schools.

Also There is an echo of Romeo and Juliet in the articulate, poetic hip-hop... Read more Read less

70
To Life
East Village
Slow, Resonant, Intense

See it if you want to see a (mostly) naturalistic play about family dysfunction.

Don't see it if you'd find a play that has cancer, child abuse, sexism, and misogyny overwhelming or overwrought.

Also The family's problems are exposed early on, so this isn't a play that ... Read more Read less

74
Make Believe
Midtown W
An interesting approach to presenting the familiar topic of family dysfunction

See it if you'd like an ensemble (as opposed to character-driven) play that presents its subject from an off-the-beaten-path angle.

Don't see it if you might be frustrated watching kids (whose speeches aren't always easy to hear) or are tired of plays about dysfunctional families.

Also Like so many ensemble plays this one has little in the way of plot & l... Read more Read less

78
Variable in quality and impact but worth seeing

See it if a worthwhile opportunity to see 3 short but related plays written in a repressive regime.

Don't see it if you don't like or have had enough of political plays, or would find a mix of absurdity and realism incompatible.

Also The Pinter sets the tone; the Beckett seems anti-climatic, although ap... Read more Read less

83
An absorbing incarnation of a difficult chapter of a difficult novel

See it if you want to see an enactment of Molly's monologue from Ulysses; you are interested in or curious about Ulysses; you like excellent acting

Don't see it if Ulysses or a one-person show or an adaptation from the chapter of a novel doesn't interest you

Also My interest in this show was more for its literary connection than its... Read more Read less

66
During previews
Long Lost
Midtown W
Tepid, tired, perilously close to a daytime soap

See it if you, like me, are an admirer of Donald Margulies’s work.

Don't see it if you want a play with a compelling drama and surprises.

Also This play seems cobbled together from clichéd situations. Margulies al... Read more Read less

70
Thorny, edgy, thought-provoking

See it if you want a chance to see a famous play in the early style of French theater of the absurd.

Don't see it if you don't have patience for a sometimes slow play that veers between absurdity and melodrama.

Also The actress playing Madame is young--perhaps too young. Madame hardly ... Read more Read less

81
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if you'd appreciate a modern version of an old-fashioned type of play w/a large cast (no doubling of parts), a lot of text, & 3-hr running time

Don't see it if another play about "The Troubles," the IRA, and the attendant violence doesn't appeal to you.

Also It's impressive to see a play with so many characters distinctly indiv... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Marys Seacole
Upper W Side
Imaginative, sometimes amusing, well-acted, very busy, some clever staging

See it if you want to see a play, more symbolic than dramatic, about empowering women, especially women of color.

Don't see it if you prefer a more traditionally designed drama rather than a more metaphorical one.

Also The intent is implicit in the title-Marys (plural) Seacole-explicit in... Read more Read less

49
During previews
God Said This
West Village
Overrated, Relevant, Cliched

See it if See it for the moving depiction of a woman in treatment (hopelessly) for cancer.

Don't see it if you’re averse to seeing (yet another) play that brings together quirky family members to air out their mutual complaints and resentments.

Also I found the scenes about the effects of cancer, treatment, & hospital ... Read more Read less

68
During previews
Behind the Sheet
Midtown W
Intelligent, Slow, Resonant

See it if you would enjoy a play where the history of medicine and the history of slavery intersect in America c. 1850.

Don't see it if you object to history plays that take significant liberties with the history they’re presenting.

Also The play has some fine acting, characterizations, and ensemble writing... Read more Read less

82
Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you want to see relatively brisk production of a Chekhov play.

Don't see it if you are not enamored of the type of play (Chekhovian) that unfolds like a slow-burn of several interior dramas.

Also This production is based on a new translation. I don't know whether or... Read more Read less

75
Caligula
Midtown W
Ambitious, timely, earnest

See it if you want to take a chance on a small theater & a very interesting early play by Camus, with eerie parallels to today’s political climate.

Don't see it if you insist on seeing only highly polished productions.

Also I admire Medicine Show Theater for several reasons. They have put on a... Read more Read less

53
During previews
Edgy, Excruciating, Relevant, Slow

See it if a timely story about African-Americans-some who are honest & caring, some who are not-trapped in a ghetto-like neighborhood appeals to you.

Don't see it if you blame a play for its lack of coherence & cumulative effect on the playwright rather than on yourself for not getting or buying it.

Also I couldn't help but think of how often the play development process ki... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Interesting themes

See it if a melodrama concerning shades of blackness, black slave ownership, & voodoo in 1813 New Orleans at time of LA Purchase interests you.

Don't see it if you're not prepared for some lines garbled by accents or unarticulated pronunciations & for loud hip-hop before Act 1 & at intermission.

Also After Act 1 I got earphones to see if they would help me make out the ... Read more Read less

73
Exquisita Agonia
Gramercy
Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if you have wondered how a meeting between the family of a heart donor and the recipient might go.

Don't see it if you don't speak Spanish and are not prepared to read the translated lines on the screen on the back of the seat you are facing.

Also It was frustrating at times to follow the dialogue; the translation fr... Read more Read less

69
Intelligent, Resonant, Slow, Romantic

See it if you're interested in a piece that is more an evocation of than a drama about grief and the journey past it.

Don't see it if you expect a probing psychological drama.

Also This piece probably comes as close as anything to translating a haiku ... Read more Read less

76
A little creaky but it holds up

See it if you want to see the first, and still pretty good, play about the gay subculture of pre-Stonewall NY (and urban America).

Don't see it if you find self-hating gays too retro or simply too depressing.

Also Kudos to the author for writing an ensemble piece where several, inste... Read more Read less

70
Absorbing, Intense, Slow

See it if you want to see one of the cornerstones of red-meat American theater.

Don't see it if O'Neill's flaws as a playwright deter you more than his strengths appeal to you.

Also This is the 1st time I've seen this play, so I have no basis of compar... Read more Read less

53
Bobbie Clearly
Midtown W
Uneven, curious, portentous

See it if the murder of a child by another child in a small town arouses your interest.

Don't see it if you're looking for a coherent examination of a senseless murder and its after-effects.

Also The play seems to be a documentary 10-to-13 years after the murder in ... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Travesties
Midtown W
Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if you want to see a clever, farcical counterfactual "history" play enacted in the unreliable mind of one of the characters.

Don't see it if you want to see verbal and conceptual ingenuity produce a dramatic payoff.

Also For all its virtuosity of composition, I was never quite clear what th... Read more Read less

57
An important subject presented in an unusual way

See it if the worthiness of the subject of elementary schoolers committing suicide is enough to make you attend.

Don't see it if you want a compelling drama to deal with this sensitive subject.

Also The idea of a kabuki-like show as a vehicle to explore this subject so... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Entertaining, Romantic, Absorbing

See it if you want to see one of Rodgers-and-Hammerstein’s best musicals well sung and well-acted.

Don't see it if you can’t countenance the redemption of a ne’er-do-well wife abuser, no matter how beautiful the music & occasionally uplifting the lyrics.

Also Maine, end of the 19th Century, beginning of the 20th. The incidents (... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Dido of Idaho
Midtown W
Concerns a serious topic worth examining; witty, amusing; has a thesis

See it if Worth seeing for its subject, energy, wit, & mostly successful melding of humor and grim seriousness. Fine acting, nicely staged.

Don't see it if you find a woman’s struggles, failures, and self-abasement in the pursuit of love too depressing or annoying.

Also Act 2, only 35 minutes long, shortchanges the excitement of Act 1; Act... Read more Read less

68
During previews
Fine acting, but as slow as the negotiations themselves

See it if what appears to be a reasonably interesting relationship between an eager American and a jaded Russian appeals to you.

Don't see it if you look forward to fireworks, tension, suspense, or much in the way of conflict.

Also So: Russians are people, too. The woods are the respite from the tense... Read more Read less

84
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you want to see early and late Albee in one composite play.

Don't see it if you don't want your memories of The Zoo Story as a one-act "tainted" by Albee's revisiting of it.

Also We have 3 plays: HomeLife, ZS, & At Home at the Zoo. As separate 1-act... Read more Read less