Rachel Abrams

Rachel Abrams is a critic with Theatre is Easy. 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)
90
Theatre is Easy

"A profound and validating piece for the #MeToo era...The strength of the play really depends on the element of surprise when its farcical comedy turns into something more sinister, and eventually a bit magical...A brilliant play that expertly wrestles with complexity, with the daily battles women are fighting to be heard and respected, and with how women can help hold each other up in a world that keeps trying to tear us down.” Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"'Lost and Guided' offers a sympathetic depiction of those whose lives were torn apart by the Syrian war...It is not the sort of play that hammers home a clear thesis on the war or what should be done about it...'Lost and Guided' seems less concerned with driving action onstage than it is with catalyzing an emotional impact offstage...It is wonderful to see a strong cast of Middle Eastern performers, and all four leads in particular give endearing and compelling performances." Full Review

95
Theatre is Easy

"A historic, deeply relevant, and beautifully presented production…’Jitney’ is a must-see for its artistic merit as well as the production’s significance…MTC couldn’t have picked a better company to round out Wilson’s Broadway legacy. Tony-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s direction is seamless, and his staging is authentically rooted in Wilson’s casual, yet heightened and highly poetic world.…MTC’s 'Jitney' is a beautiful celebration of Wilson’s legacy." Full Review

60
Theatre is Easy

"Schmoll's direction and Kimie Nishikawa’s scenic design try to fuse traditional Japanese theatrical forms with the play's Western tone, but the result is tonally disjointed...This direction feels like an unnecessary reminder of the company's 'Asian-ness,' and a tack-on that distracts from the story rather than serving it...There are other aspects of 'Sagittarius Ponderosa' that make the one-act worthwhile...The intersectional representation of trans Asian Americans is all too rare." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

"The magic lies in how the piece transports us to intricate fantasy worlds with just a few (seemingly) simple elements...Once one gets accustomed to the 'exposed theatrics' aesthetic, 'Hit The Body Alarm' is incredibly approachable and easy to follow. While deeply intelligent, the performance never purports to be some heady, 'holier-than-thou' experimental piece, and pairs its found texts in ways that enhance, rather than mystify or unnecessarily complicate, their meaning." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"'Gorges Motel' is a great Fringe show to see for some lighthearted fare…Though at times sophomoric and bordering on stereotypical, 'Gorges Motel' is chock-full of surprises and jokes ready for a sit-com pilot. Certain segments grappling with grief, doubt, loss, and other heavier topics keep the evening grounded…While some of the stories were more fully integrated into the central throughline than others, it is quite entertaining to experience a 360-degree view of the Gorges Motel." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

"A wonderful evening of absurdist plays…The star of the evening is director Lila Neugebauer. Any lesser talent may fumble with the three plays’ absurdism, or lose sight of the distinctions between each play’s unique approaches to heighted language. Neugebauer excels in finding relatable ties to unfamiliar worlds...It is her acute dramaturgical eye that ties all three distinct plays together in a cohesive evening of theater." Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

“'Butterfly' effortlessly swept the audience away in a sensory adventure...The movement is clean and clear, with a crisp specificity in its symbolism and a few hints at familiar sign language imagery...Gavin Glover’s puppets steal the show...The play seems to celebrate the marvel of how things are made...A lush, one-hour sensory explosion that engages us in the impact of visual theater through a tragic tale.” Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

"Each vignette harnesses each writer’s strengths, including poetry, song, various forms of dance, and more traditional scenes and monologues. I found the dance segments particularly compelling: Beautifully executed by the company and smartly choreographed by Ian Stewart, the dance sections predominantly fuse classical ballet and modern techniques." Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"While a few over-acted moments early in the play briefly broke Pendleton’s spell, for the most part the cast works well with his vision and were a joy to watch...It’s wonderful to see this English translation of 'Nora' in NYC for the first time, in order to experience the thrill of Ibsen’s play reborn. And watching the Cherry Lane’s production, a tasteful homage to Ibsen’s original with a modern lens, feels like catching up with an old, dear friend." Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"The one-act makes for an enjoyable evening. Obviously it takes skill to recreate Diana..The ensemble pulls it off in the end...The inherent structural challenge with trying to make a thriller out of a history play is that we already know how the story ends...I’m hesitant to say that the play adds much new to the conversation about Princess Di. But perhaps for a true Anglophile, the issue of novelty is less pressing than the chance to relive history." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"While the book gets a bit muddled, particularly in Act 2, I found myself moved by Paiman’s plight and interested in the moral complexity of the entire show. It’s refreshing to see a new musical grapple with multi-layered conflicts while exposing New York audiences to parts of the human experience we haven’t seen before. Another major highlight of the production is the gorgeous music...It also helps that the score is executed by such gifted singers." Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "Overall, it’s a delightful little event for young audiences…Throughout the performance, the actors encourage participation from the kids sitting up front…The production’s design is lovely in its simplicity, with surprises for youth and adult audience alike…Overall, the simplistic approach to the design supports the quiet kind of magic that resonates through Hanna’s world of childhood wonder." Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

"Sometimes, all the right elements come together to make a production that’s just delightful...The artistic elements that come together here: visceral acting, transporting, detail-oriented design, Stafford Arima’s masterful staging, and A.R. Gurney’s buoyant yet dynamic new plays...Aside from a few telegraphic moments in the dialogue to keep the plot going in these two micro-plays, Gurney’s writing is delightful." Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"Kilusan’s writing is part long-form poem, part political statement; it entertains with its witty metaphors while conveying the agony of homelessness, even if it is a little heavy-handed in its message…Puts on a vibrant low-tech projections display that creates the backdrop for the entire performance...Kilusan’s performing talents are best showcased in the dramatic switches he makes between his own voice and physicality, and the voice and physicality of his 'scene partner.'" Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"Sargenti crafts a colorful cast of personalities, shifting between ages, genders, and classes in each new monologue. Her words are poetic and clever, and for the most part she is a decent performer to watch...While alluding to violence and tragedy throughout the city’s history, 'Interludes' maintains a playful atmosphere and continually surprises as each character’s fortune unfolds." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"It is also exciting to see an off Broadway play that not only champions stories by and featuring artists of color, but also a play that centers on strong female characters...Though the themes of the play get a bit muddled, Greene and Fahmy are most successful in crafting a sad, nostalgic love letter to youthful, whirlwind romances...While the entire cast shines with the material they are given, the design of 'This Time' is the star in this production." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

"As entertaining and engaging as it is enlightening...'but i cd only whisper' is a play that will grip your heart while igniting your mind. Like the best horror stories, the greatest thrills of the play come from the surprises you simply must see to believe, and I highly recommend that you do see it before its short run at the Flea ends. It’s a refreshingly intelligent play, with brave performances and a keen design, that is truly a standout in this year’s off-off-Broadway season." Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"'Death of the Liberal Class' takes a typical dysfunctional family narrative and raises the stakes with an economic conspiracy theory…Even though she only appears in three scenes, Olivia Horton particularly shines as Maggie…Horton approaches the work with a delightful truth and simplicity…How reassuring to see the New Ohio continue to take risks on new plays like 'Death of the Liberal Class.'" Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

"'Becky Shaw' is a mind-boggling play that makes you reconsider relationships, goodness, and class, even though the plot may leave your head spinning. The production is also well worth seeing to meet the new Community NYC company, and to see how this delightful colony of Meisner-trained artists navigates these complicated characters. Elena Kritter provides smart direction, with informative pantomimes in each transition that illuminate characters' states immediately before and after each scene." Full Review