Rex Reed

Rex Reed is a critic with The Observer. 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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (81)
The Observer

"‘The Confession of Lily Dare’ Is a Side-Splitting Hoot From Charles Busch" Full Review

The Observer

"Laura Linney Is a Marvel in Solo Play ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’" Full Review

The Observer

"‘Kingfishers Catch Fire’ Is a Thoughtful and Provocative Theatrical Experience" Full Review

Something Clean
Midtown W
The Observer

"The star is the wonderful, nuanced and fascinating Kathryn Erbe, and the author, Selina Fillinger, is such a good writer...Fillinger manages to keep you riveted by writing about alarming contemporary issues with a style rarely encountered on today’s stages—real people saying real things to each other. The style some people might label old-fashioned is fresh as a spring blossom after a hard winter when it’s applied to a lethal subject." Full Review

The Observer

"The noisy musical...has arrived...like a garbage strike in Beirut...Aside from the usual cult followers, I suspect this horror will appeal mostly to pretentious grown-ups who discuss the psychological impact of Pee-wee Herman at cocktail parties at the MoMa....It left me with a headache no Excedrin can cure. Weird and macabre...sordid collection of gimmicks, sight gags and desperate jokes...I won’t bother to bore the uninitiated with the details of a plot, since there isn’t one.” Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
The Observer

“Best Show of the Broadway Season...A polished, moving and beautifully mounted revival...Told in restrained but intensely emotional terms...the play still delivers a gut punch...So many things to applaud in the heart-stopping dramatic impact of this exemplary production...You can start with the most fabulous set...You can applaud O’Brien’s fluid direction...And finally, there’s the cast...’All My Sons' soars again, with its original values intact, stronger and tougher than ever.” Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
The Observer

“Nasty and big as a tree, Driver’s Pale is a one-note samba in a play that cries out for subtlety and nuance. There is nothing about Driver that inspires sympathy...In the shadow of his loutish and overwhelming performance...Russell seems colorless...’Burn This’ offers a chance to absorb a play that is based on the ...writing instead of the...’concept’...Even if this production offers more ashes than flames...’Burn This’ is still earnest, riveting and well worth a visit.” Full Review

The Mother
Chelsea
The Observer

"A pile of incomprehensible gibberish...If you take the dare and suffer through 'The Mother,' I’m willing to bet you’ll wish you’d stayed home...Huppert enlivens every minute...Mostly a series of shrieks that are boring enough to be numbing, and the ugly set by Wendland is nothing more than a long white sofa that breaks into sections to allow for multiple shrieks at the same time...The dialogue isn’t worth hearing anyway...You go away from 'The Mother' baffled but exhausted." Full Review

The Observer

“Overwritten by Sorkin the way he overwrites everything, lacking the tenderness, detailed observations and nuance that were hallmarks of Harper Lee...The new Broadway version left me underwhelmed and disappointed. But even though it lacked the impact I hoped for, my reservations are minor compared with the joy I feel that a major work of literature is being felt and argued and revisited. The production has shortcomings, but they pale in the light of a work this rewarding.” Full Review

Downstairs
West Village
The Observer

"It’s a dark, talky, somber evening by uneven, prolific playwright Theresa Rebeck that will not please anyone seeking a coherent, well-written play in a naturalistic style, but the performances by the Dalys are well worth a trip...Directed with balance and vision by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, 'Downstairs' doesn’t add up to much, but what’s there is riveting and suspenseful." Full Review

The Observer

"TV actress Kerry Washington is superb in a role that plunges her into every imaginable checkpoint on the emotional scale, but it’s the ideas that come at you with a fast and furious frenzy that will escort you out of the theater dazed...Acted with dexterity by a great cast, directed with economy by Kenny Leon, and written with knowledge and sobering humanity by Christopher Demos-Brown...A profound and unforgettable evening at the theater that challenges the mind." Full Review

The Observer

“The finesse of Silverman’s direction and the polished comic timing of the three glorious stars onstage...guarantee a helluva good time...Pedantic, irritating, and a royal Pain...Radcliffe is very funny...Cannavale is laugh-out-loud funny...And Jones is delightful...The exaggerated fact checking in this saga took seven years...The result is both valid and tiresome. You are left with the uneasy impression that the three playwrights are still fact-checking each other.” Full Review

Final Follies
West Village
The Observer

"I must truthfully confess I found this compilation the second-rate output of a talented man on an off day with nothing better to do...A disappointing compromise, and not his finest work...The evening is a triptych of need, desire and stupidity that underscores the frustration of an author who unwisely surrendered to the charge of being 'passé' when he had nothing to prove, improve, or apologize for." Full Review

The Observer

“A nice, albeit mediocre production of a show with a boring book and a spectacular score...Errico is no Barbara Harris, but she sings with appealing gusto. Bogardus brings dignity to the role of her romantic shrink, if not much sex appeal. Unfortunately, the supporting cast poses, reacts, and overacts all over the place. The result is a perfunctory yet entertaining version that is, at least, a vast improvement over the unspeakable, short-lived 2011 Broadway revival.” Full Review

First Love
West Village
The Observer

“Mercifully, it’s over in 85 minutes...Aside from the consummate stupidity of words dumped into a word processor by the author for no other reason than to see his own voice land in total silence, and the stillborn direction there’s nothing much to acknowledge here...It’s embarrassing to watch two distinguished artists playing meatheads beyond their prime...It’s even worse to see them trapped in a ludicrous waste of time and talent by a writer of such ineptitude." Full Review

The Observer

"There isn’t a single moment of political correctness in it, but as a social and cultural dossier on what life was like for gay men in the Dark Ages, it still resonates with wit, poignancy, and heart-breaking truth...A play that has, in retrospect, gained insight and lost none of its power or potency. It holds up beautifully...The ensemble acting is rich, Mart Crowley’s script seems to have been written with rattlesnake venom, and the result is engrossing, sad, hilarious, and gratifying." Full Review

The Observer

"This brand new refurbished production...superbly populated by a huge cast that includes Metropolitan Opera diva Fleming, well directed by veteran O'Brien, and magnificently choreographed by NYC ballet star Peck, is a humdinger...Not only do they no longer write fabulous scores like this one; they don’t even know how...Mueller is lovely and warm as Julie...This is one musical that you risk overlooking at your own peril, a vein of Broadway gold that I hope runs forever." Full Review

The Observer

"The expert hands of three terrific actors assembled for this production, the viewpoints are thrillingly balanced, and director Mantello deconstructs the various aspects of the female gender and shows how they can either ensnare or liberate each other...Jackson discovers and reveals every detail, every nuance of a creature who marbleized into a monster...'Three Tall Women' is the benchmark by which everything on Broadway will be measured this year. The word is 'unforgettable.'" Full Review

Party Face
Midtown W
The Observer

"Collapses quickly into a pile of soggy canapés along with the five poorly-written but gamely-acted women guests...One hour and 50 minutes of meaningless babble while everyone pours wine and nibbles olives, stringing words together just so the audience won’t feel alone...One waits tiresomely for a shred of insight or some ray of revelation, but the characters remain stubbornly superficial...The cast is fine, even if nothing any of the women do feels real or remotely believable." Full Review

Meteor Shower
Midtown W
The Observer

"Dated and stupid, this weak excuse for humor is about…well, nothing, really. It has no point and no plot, but the surreal collection of moronic one-liners takes place in Ojai, California...All of it is pointless babble, signifying nothing...Even veteran director Jerry Zaks is lost at sea. The best thing about 'Meteor Shower' is that it only lasts one hour and 20 minutes, without an intermission, so the agony is mercifully brief." Full Review

The Observer

"Taccone does the only thing a self-respecting director should do. He gets out of the way...Most of the rant is frantic and funny...As dotty as his anecdotes, ad libs, history lessons, and other examples of higher learning are, it’s even more hysterical to watch him tell them....When it ends, you don’t know a thing about Latin History 101, but you do feel a little more like a moron." Full Review

The Observer

“’Everything old is new again’ might as well be the theme song for ‘Torch Song’...Under the new title...I am pleased to say it has lost none of its wit, heart, wisdom, poignancy or purpose...The result seems more modern, introspective, and better shaped. The production is well-served by a terrific cast, especially Urie and Ruehl...’Torch Song’ stands as a brave, brilliantly conceived period piece...Timelier than ever.” Full Review

Prince of Broadway
Midtown W
The Observer

"A joyous tribute...See it and cheer...An extravaganza nearly three hours long, in which you are entertained to dizzying heights...A superb cast...It never gets cloying. Nor does the overcrowded program ever sink to the level of a concert...Every number becomes a complete show unto itself...The pace moves with such clockwork that you are onto the next number before the applause dies down...Forget about passing this one by. This is as good as polished, professional theater ever gets." Full Review

Curvy Widow
Midtown W
The Observer

"Uneven and not entirely original, it still provides a witty riff on a vital subject...Opel plays the titular curvy widow with a certain seasoned charm that goes with her pleasant vocal range like tea and honey...Occasionally amusing but mostly undistinguished songs that sound more provocative than they really are...Goldman's book towers above the follow-the-dots direction of Peter Flynn and the perfunctory score by Drew Brody." Full Review

The Observer

"Stripped of its poetry, the rich lyricism of America’s greatest playwright is reduced to the rubble of words...With inconsistent and careless direction, the actors are rudderless...What’s missing is a clarity of vision and control of tone that would give this dark, depressing revisionist rehauling a reason to be different. Eventually the surfeit of pretentious clutter is overpowered by the writing of a master craftsman, and you realize the music in the language of Williams excels on its own." Full Review

Grand Horizons
Midtown W
The Observer

"Even TV Sitcoms Pull Off Dysfunctional Family Humor Better Than ‘Grand Horizons’ Does" Full Review

The Observer

"Poignant Performances Hoist ‘Harry Townsend’s Last Stand’ Above the Level of TV Sitcoms" Full Review

The Observer

"Broadway’s ‘The Height of the Storm’ Is Enigmatic Gibberish" Full Review

Lockdown
West Village
The Observer

"It’s a good premise, but not a very good play...The problem is that it’s all been done on cable television shows, and on stage a lot of talky repartee cannot duplicate the power of what the eye can see...By restricting Wise’s heinous acts to verbal descriptions, we only fleetingly feel the impact of his crimes, and a call for compassion seems manipulative...The other two actors...They have no impact at all. The perfunctory direction is by Kent Gash." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
The Observer

“Numbingly directed with...atrocious jokes masquerading as a ‘book’, and a trunk full of dopey, derivative songs that all sound alike but pass for a ‘score’...The show is a mess, but my admiration is boundless for a talented and industrious cast dedicated to milking it for all it is worth (and a lot of what it isn’t)...’Tootsie’ ends up being the same kind of vulgar, tasteless, cartoonish Broadway musical it sets out in vain to satirize.” Full Review

The Observer

“Metcalf is nothing less than mesmerizing...Lithgow’s Clinton is equally inscrutable, but the play...belongs to her, and she devours it like a room service sirloin...The story plays hopscotch with salient facts, but a (sometimes dubious) portrait of the Clintons does emerge without condescension and it’s worthy of perusal...The play is falsely advertised as a comedy, but except for a few jokes, it is rarely humorous...But I recommend ‘Hillary and Clinton’ anyway.” Full Review

The Observer

"Cheapened and vulgarized...Designed to appeal to kids who have never heard of ‘Oklahoma!’ and ignorant ticket buyers who hate musicals in general and avoid anything categorized as ‘old-fashioned’ in particular...Everything that can go wrong in a lunkheaded misguided musical actually manages to do so...There is evidence that the cast can sing, but everything has been done by director Daniel Fish to disguise the fact." Full Review

The Cake
Midtown W
The Observer

"'The Cake' is a play about our changing world that tries to understand every opinion in it, leavening the underlying seriousness with laughs. The comedy only works intermittently. Most of the time, I just wanted to strangle everyone onstage...Eventually, the author’s backbreaking determination to make everyone lovable leads to some happy-ending compromises I found unconvincing...Ultimately doesn’t provide much nutrition to take home...Its values belong in a doggie bag." Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
The Observer

“Despite an overwhelming star performance by Cranston...And a technology-crammed set so full of distractions that you are too busy watching all the visuals to remember what the play is about in the first place...’Network’ is as dated and irrelevant as a nickel phone call...Both the script and direction careen recklessly between a swerving clash of styles that lurch from mood to mood in scenes of farce, high drama, naturalism and comic fantasy...A combination of ambrosia and apocalypse.” Full Review

King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
The Observer

“A dismal disaster...Strip away the ropes, cables, wires and pulleys, and what you’ve got is a brain-damaged story about a boy, a girl, and a monkey. The monkey is the only thing you’ll remember...The animatronics engineers are nimble while they manipulate the big ape to make him look real...Too bad they can’t do the same for the actors...This show is so bad that while the plot just stumbles along, you can’t wait for the gorilla to come back.” Full Review

The Observer

"Worth seeing for the superb writing, the perfect ensemble cast, and a valiant standout performance by a lady with a lot to give, giving it all she’s got...The writing is delicate and full of pathos...Lonergan is a patient writer and Lila Neugebauer is a leisurely director, so if it was their intention to make the audience feel the same unsettling agony as Gladys’ long-suffering family, they succeed without mercy...'The Waverly Gallery' tugs at the heart but never really shatters it." Full Review

Apologia
Midtown W
The Observer

“Dominated by Channing’s tremendous energy and well-acted by a gifted supporting cast, but directed with a somewhat uneasy focus...the play is ultimately about a woman with ideas, opinions and insights who established her independence before it was fashionable—and the high personal price she paid for doing so. The toll celebrity has taken on Kristin, who chose success in a male-dominated society over the needs of her own children, has a relevance today that stings.” Full Review

The Observer

“There isn’t a moment of wit or originality in it, but judging from size of the mobs pouring out of buses from NJ...this vulgar, noisy load of arrant nonsense is making a lot of people very happy indeed...The new musical version, which follows the movie to the letter...makes no improvements and settles for cheap imitation...The result is a 2 ½ hour show with a five-minute plot...The cheesy pop-rock score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance gives Karl nothing important or memorable to sing." Full Review

Skintight
Midtown W
The Observer

“As a non-singing actress, Menzel is only intermittently successful and so is the play, but both are sometimes sexy and often quite funny...Harmon knows how to fill the stage with people on the verge of nervous breakdowns, and his one-liners are priceless. His problem is that he doesn’t know when to stop writing and give his characters the room to live and breathe...You laugh and you nod at the cleverness of the work, but eventually you long for the talkathon to end." Full Review

The Observer

“A curious mixture of low camp, high drama, and cabaret that shines some perfumed wattage on one of the world’s once-illustrious, now-forgotten icons from the same nightclub world as Édith Piaf, Josephine Baker, and Mistinguett...Walker never achieves the sultry throatiness of the flamboyant Suzy, but she still dominates the show with ersatz artistry...Some of the flavor of free love Suzy Solidor was selling in that bygone cabaret era comes through again in this uneven but fascinating show.” Full Review

The Observer

“A new play with sensitive writing, informed acting, wise and naturalistic staging...A profound work by a fresh talent...So beautifully written that it is impossible to believe it’s the playwright’s first play...What saves 'Mary Frances' from becoming maudlin is the superb ensemble work, headed by the great Lois Smith, the sublime writing, and the naturalistic style of gifted director Lila Neugebauer that adds up to the kind of moment-to-moment realism we haven’t seen since Elia Kazan." Full Review

The Observer

"The mindless...musical version of the stupid, tasteless 2004 film...A load of teenybopper trash which, like the recycled jokes and vapid, lukewarm Richmond-Benjamin pop score, cannot really be appreciated by anyone without a mouthful of bubble gum...The songs are banal and derivative. Fey's third-rate book is forgettable...Henson as the limp-wristed Damien walks away with the show...The egregious opposite of everything Fey stands for, so it's appalling that she put her name on it." Full Review

Good for Otto
Midtown W
The Observer

"Densely populated with dull case histories, frustratingly slow, and entirely too long (three hours of tedium)...This is one of the gifted playwright’s weakest efforts...The actors are very good. Too bad Rabe has given them so little to do of any real theatrical consequence...You leave with the wearying impression that Rabe hasn’t quite finished his job. This is a work in progress, still struggling to come alive in its unpolished infancy." Full Review

The Observer

“An evening of erudition, magic, and joy...Staging by Sullivan is minimal, but it moves Lithgow in and out of superbly lit spaces that illuminate the spirit of the star’s imagination and accent the moods of his interpretative skills. The rest is up to the man who dominates the proceedings...leaving his spectators spellbound...The joy of the production is not really the stories, but the passion and gusto with which Lithgow tells them.” Full Review

Harry Clarke
West Village
The Observer

for a previous production "Take advantage of the opportunity to see Crudup at the top of his game in the new off-Broadway tour de force 'Harry Clarke' at the Vineyard and you’ll be forever glad you did...It’s a wild romp played with gusto, finesse, and awesome authenticity...The program credits the excellent Leigh Silverman as the director, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Crudup directed himself. Whatever the case, 'Harry Clarke' is one of the oddest and most exhilarating theater triumphs of 2017." Full Review

The Observer

"It’s the best thing in town...Directed with an easy rhythm of his own by David Cromer and featuring a sublime score by the multi-talented composer-lyricist David Yazbeck, this is a show that manages with great subtlety and appealing versatility to cover a lot of musical ground, enhanced by a carefully written book by Itamar Moses...A work of low-key charm balanced by the high impact of intuitive ensemble work and a gorgeous score unlike anything on Broadway." Full Review

The Observer

"Dredging up a creaky old warhorse from 1937 like J. B. Priestley’s ossified 'Time and the Conways' does seem a bit like digging for fossils in the La Brea tar pits...The play is talky, complicated and second-rate...It’s mechanical and contrived. The current production fails to disguise old weaknesses. It has a creaky fascination when viewed from a curious historical perspective, but no new magic happens to give 'Time and the Conways' the freshness it desperately needs." Full Review

The Observer

“A funny, colorful and totally entertaining one-man show…I expected to be challenged, embarrassed, provoked and possibly enraged by so many condensed and concentrated opinions at one sitting. What I did not expect, in the bargain, was to have such a good time…Regardless of your politics, he’s so persuasive and charming that you end up agreeing with him in spite of yourself. You also learn things.” Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
The Observer

"You will be charged, thrilled and fascinated by two divas dishing it out with every trick in their careers of sharp, dagger-edged perfection as they command and hold the stage...There are songs galore but few of them will live in your heart after the final curtain. Blander than I expected and oddly lacking in rhapsodic melodies...The tunes in 'War Paint' do inspire you to go away humming. This does not, I must add, detract from the mega-watt voltage from the two divas onstage." Full Review

Significant Other
Midtown W
The Observer

“A dreary New York theater season has suddenly come vibrantly to life with ‘Significant Other’…Gideon Glick is simply marvelous, and so is the play and everyone in it…Joshua Harmon writes with heartbreaking truth and bittersweet honesty. Trip Cullman has directed with warmth and a refreshing lack of sentimentality. Although the entire cast is splendid, it is the career-defining centrifugal force of Glick that holds center stage captive.” Full Review