Richard 129440

New York City | 50-64 | Male
About:  Why not read my column to pass the time? The minutes will fly like hours.
Reviews (209)
60
During previews
Cornelia Street
Chelsea
Well acted, Indulgent, Slow, Banal, Cliched
February 1st, 2023

See it if An enormous amount of talent - dir: Pepe, actors: Butz, Peil, Lage, Abud sets: Pask is used in vain to try & salvage this inept non-musical

Don't see it if A stunningly messy & confused book (gifted Simon Stevens) does little to bolster the heavy-handed lyrics & lack-luster music of Mark Eitzel

75
Not About Me
East Village
Dated, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow, Thought-provoking
January 30th, 2023

See it if Despite the title, its ALL about Machado; an uneven bio-drama about coming of age in the age of AIDS The 1980's verisimilitude shines bright

Don't see it if While the acting can be a little to earnest & the writing a little to purple; Machado's message is up close & personal esp around creativity

79
The Appointment
Upper W Side
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Funny, Edgy
January 26th, 2023

See it if This potent yet uneven devised theatre piece hits many targets in the pro-life/pro-choice polemic with both empathetic and satiric power

Don't see it if Essentially sketch comedy, often missing its mark (usually the skits concerning the performing fetuses) & audience participation falls flat

87
Great singing, Great staging, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
January 23rd, 2023

See it if Dexter's 1977 production remains as intense & emotionally satisfying as ever with Met vets Perez, Coote, Goerke & Barton in vocal command

Don't see it if Production can feel slow as the nuns come to grips with the inevitability of their fates but Poulenc's masterpiece remains a haunting saga

73
Our Country
East Village
Quirky, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious
January 21st, 2023

See it if Annie Saunders' dense, complex devised theatre piece juxtaposes the Antigone story w/her own sibling drama w/mixed results Often fascinating

Don't see it if Saunders ambition can get the better of her all the interwoven plot lines/references Her brother's story can get indulgent (by design?)

76
Otto Frank
East Village
Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Confusing, Ambitious
January 20th, 2023

See it if R G Smith's latest for UTR is a dark, deeply moving monograph to Anne Frank from her father (and eternal guardian) His grieving is palpable

Don't see it if While the work is an intense howl of pain & regret, its also strangely morally forthright & contemporary Smith tends to swallow the dialogue

79
Des Moines
Brooklyn
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Confusing, Ambitious
January 3rd, 2023

See it if A consummate ensemble of NYC theatre actors hold us at attention as they careen through an existential no man's land here called Des Moines

Don't see it if Life at the margins & how one navigates them is of more interest to Johnson than any linear plot development Get comfortable with chaos!

77
Resonant, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious
January 3rd, 2023

See it if Crouch's inventive, intense & a bit scary performance is the glue that holds this conceptually meta mash-up of King Lear & stand-up together

Don't see it if Knowledge of Shakespeare's Lear a must - it becomes the catalyst of the piece; the audience & theatre mores become as potent as Lear's death

76
The Stakeout
Soho/Tribeca
Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Intense, Confusing, Ambitious
December 28th, 2022

See it if Actors Dockery & Broaddus blast their way through author Dockery's meta, meta, meta dramatic rift w/farcical & surprisingly poignant results

Don't see it if Whirling through themes from Shakespeare, Freud & Beckett among others one is left somewhat exhausted like watching a dog chase its own tail

88
Slow, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious
December 26th, 2022

See it if Stoppard's heartfelt semi-autobiographical chronicle of 3 generations in a Viennese Jewish family on the cusp of Nazism Atypical for him

Don't see it if Much more emotive & melodramatic than his usual cerebral-ness At times, the family chronology is difficult to follow; still a powerful drama

83
Resonant, Funny, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Absorbing
December 26th, 2022

See it if Birbiglia - theatre's existential 'Jeff Lebowski' has another hit Here he's reflecting/deflecting on his health/mortality & thus on our own

Don't see it if Birbiglia's laconic, free form intellectual rambling may not be to all tastes Patience is a must But once converted there's no going back

92
Resonant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing
December 22nd, 2022

See it if Guirgis' taut, tough, no holds barred Pulitzer Prize winning dramedy is on its way to winning a Tony w/an incredible cast led by Henderson

Don't see it if While Guigris' tendency to overwrite is on a short leach here; it still gets a little lugubrious Pendleton's sharp direction finds the humor

90
Great writing, Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Ambitious
December 22nd, 2022

See it if An American classic gets an invigorating makeover w/Cromwell's dynamic staging, a powerhouse supporting cast & Pierce's unforgettable Willy

Don't see it if Miller's indictment of capitalism while a little didactic still stings anew; the dramatic arc while a little slow still packs a sucker punch

76
Sandra
Gramercy
Banal, Slow, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious
December 19th, 2022

See it if Marjan Neshat works overtime to sustain our interest in this quasi-suspenseful solo show; a bravado performance even with her accent foibles

Don't see it if Cale packs far to much plot into Sandra's life as it moves from the curious into the melodramatic into the implausible leaving one annoyed

79
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Ambitious
December 19th, 2022

See it if Bettany (Warhol) & Pope (Basquiat) shine in McCarten's uneven drama of a collaboration of creative geniuses Well staged by Kwei-Armah

Don't see it if Its main problem is it spends too much time on Warhol's story (much of it common knowledge) & not enough on the more interesting Basquiat

85
The Far Country
Chelsea
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great writing, Absorbing, Ambitious
December 12th, 2022

See it if Suh's intriguing, edgy look at identity, assimilation & community Crafting the entire 1st Act as an interrogation proves a breathtaking feat

Don't see it if While the 2nd Act's denouement is a bit ambiguous & confusing it somehow proves satisfactory Ting's staccato staging throughout reinforces

77
Great staging, Indulgent, Funny, Confusing, Ambitious
December 11th, 2022

See it if Gallery's ambitious DIY production is greatly aided by Gallagher's fleet staging & an eager, effervescent cast led by an adroit Brown & Beer

Don't see it if While production values are minimal (except the "mermaid ballet" number) & lighting can get dodgy, the script's 'la joi de la vie' shines

84
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing
December 11th, 2022

See it if Kennedy's most accessible work gets a splendid B'way debut via Leon's subtle, hands-off direction & an incandescent performance by McDonald

Don't see it if Despite its gripping story line of violence & casual racism, its essentially an evening length monologue Pinkham's creepy cameo aids tempo

78
George Kaplan
West Village
Dizzying, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious
December 9th, 2022

See it if If Hitchcock & Kubrick ever collaborated this dramedy might be the result A surreal satire about surveillance & the fragility of identity

Don't see it if Starting off at a fever pitch one never quite gets ones bearings but that's not a bad thing Try to hang on as more is revealed... & revealed

79
Underneath the Skin
East Village
Absorbing, Raunchy, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
December 8th, 2022

See it if Performance artist Kelly's elegiac, informative homage to Samuel Steward a gay pioneer of the 1950's Infused with poetic raunchy reveries

Don't see it if The episodic structure of the piece while extremely interesting & often elegant is difficult to follow & rambles, frustrating the narrative

78
The Rat Trap
Midtown W
Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious
December 5th, 2022

See it if The Mint's impeccable standards on full display for Coward's early dramatic endeavor Leads West & Evans spar beautifully under Gray's watch

Don't see it if Evident influence of GB Shaw's moral philosophizing here as Coward works to find his own voice Pungent witticisms/observations abound

74
Well acted, Raunchy, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
December 5th, 2022

See it if Boudreau's irreverent homage to the bawdy. raunchy humor of Shakespearean "taphouses" The author/actor's raconteur quality is its highlight

Don't see it if The limerick device while appropriately humorous soon grows a little repetitious and looses some luster yet audience participation helps

84
During previews
Sentimental, Great singing, Resonant, Dated, Entertaining
December 5th, 2022

See it if Irish Rep's annual elegant. lyrically pleasing rendition of Dylan Thomas' Christmas verse poem A beautiful holiday gem delivered w/aplomb

Don't see it if The robust verse tends to takes a back seat to the glistening music making music director/pianist David Handcock Turner the evening's star

80
Funny, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Ambitious
December 5th, 2022

See it if A wildly transgressive, savagely entertaining & deadly serious look at black/white relations since the Obama era w/an uproarious "Peaches"

Don't see it if While the sketch comedic format works well, each individual one is just a little too long robbing the piece of a needed fleetness of purpose

86
Great acting, Great singing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining
November 29th, 2022

See it if Yet another renascence of this 'native tongue' Fiddler still glistens with all its emotional powers intact Skybell (Tevye) & company triumph

Don't see it if New World Stages' space is a little too compact for all the musical's emotional exuberance Feels somewhat cramped esp in its dance numbers

75
Jack Was Kind
Chelsea
Intense, Disappointing, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking
November 26th, 2022

See it if Ms Thorne approaches her material with a needed gravitas & admirably holds our attention over its ambiguous course Yet a detachment sets in

Don't see it if This sense of quasi-detachment seers dangerously towards entitlement which proves fatal negating our sympathies More rigor is required

87
During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Quirky, Entertaining, Delightful
November 9th, 2022

See it if The incandescent Jefferson Mays dazzles as all of Dickens' characters in the beloved holiday novel His only competition is the soundscape

Don't see it if No Bah! Humbug!! here; unless you don't care for Arden's enthralling mise en scene turning the classic into a dark Victorian penny dreadful

70
During previews
Where We Belong
East Village
Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious
November 7th, 2022

See it if Native American author/actor Sayet has created an interesting & admirable stew of a show covering identity, heritage, colonialism & academia

Don't see it if Unfortunately, Sayet is far less interesting as a performer and does a major disservice to the piece turning it into an attractive TED talk

66
During previews
Slow, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Disappointing
November 7th, 2022

See it if The taut chemistry between leads McInerry & Berchtold hold our interest despite Wohl's illusive & uninspired tale of American Nazi Youth

Don't see it if Wohl seems unable (unwilling?) to bring a solid focus to the neo-Fascist underpinnings of the adolescents Cromer's direction suitably creepy

85
During previews
Relevant, Dizzying, Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining
November 3rd, 2022

See it if B'way showman Nicholaw in top form in this dance-crazed adapt of the classic Wilder film w/nifty, vintage score & gently 'woke' book Fab fun

Don't see it if Needs major cuts (1st preview) At 3hrs-it can't sustain its momentum Ballads the cause But that show-stopping coup-de-theatre ending!!!!!

76
During previews
Good Enemy
West Village
Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense, Disappointing, Ambitious
October 31st, 2022

See it if Off-B'way vet Francie Jue anchors author Liu's earnest look at the repercussions of Mao's legacy on the youth from the period Well directed

Don't see it if Non-linear construction causes focus problems w/Liu's ambitions over taking his talent Relationships often sketchy or underdeveloped

87
During previews
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious
October 30th, 2022

See it if Not for the faint of heart...Norris' latest iconoclastic drama concerns qualities of mercy & forgiveness in a community for sexual offenders

Don't see it if The constantly changing, deliberately provocative situations can cause anger & frustration as well as challenging questions/responses

83
During previews
Great staging, Fluffy, Quirky, Clever, Entertaining
October 30th, 2022

See it if Surprise! This juke-box musical is a boisterous, entertaining fit of songs & concept; edgy & energetic Betsy Wolfe shines as 'Anne Hathaway'

Don't see it if What glistens in Act 1 congeals in Act 2 as the book becomes much more interesting than the retro-fitted songs & becomes musically too long

78
Indulgent, Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
October 28th, 2022

See it if Gabriel Byrne's charismatic presence is the biggest asset in this adapt of his memoir on growing up Irish (with all the prerequisite tropes)

Don't see it if The lengthy opening on his youth in Ireland takes up too much time/space sucking energy out of the piece; Its episodic structure is damaging

76
During previews
You Will Get Sick
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow, Confusing, Ambitious
October 28th, 2022

See it if Noah Diaz hits a raw nerve in this quirky, disorienting yet humane tragi-comedy: society's inability to deal with fatal illness Well acted

Don't see it if It takes time to orient oneself to the fractured setup & its somewhat crass outlook But gradually it moves towards its transcendent ending

65
During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Banal, Dated
October 28th, 2022

See it if A spirited cast (esp Anika Larsen) try valiantly to breathe life into Crowe's tepid book/lyrics & Kitt's uninspired music; from movie adapt

Don't see it if What hurts the piece most is its inability to focus on its major character/plotline: William's coming of age. Herrin's direction scattered

83
During previews
Edgy, Well acted, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking
October 24th, 2022

See it if Albee's high WASP drama about existential dread in and outside the home gets a fantastic new read via NAATCO Great cast esp Herlihy's Claire

Don't see it if No getting around that its a 'big' talk fest w/a lot of heavy themes/recriminations But director Cummings keeps the pacing lean & swift

84
During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
October 24th, 2022

See it if Hansberry's modern American classic while of its time still (sadly) rings true Powerful ensemble led by Pinkins (Lena) & Gilbert (Beneatha)

Don't see it if O'Hara's direction is fairly straightforward allowing the drama to build & then closes with a signature incendiary ending that rings true

80
Chester Bailey
Chelsea
Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious
October 22nd, 2022

See it if The acting brilliance of the Birney duo almost makes one miss the formidable theme: no amount of reason can triumph over human imagination

Don't see it if Opening exposition scenes delivered in full frontal monologues starts the drama off badly Story ignites when the leads can finally cut loose

77
During previews
Intense, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious
October 21st, 2022

See it if It's to the dramedy's credit that despite all the meta, meta, meta-ness of the piece that Chekhov's ever haunting humanity still comes thru

Don't see it if There's a lot to unpack here...some of it wildly inventive; some of it broadly pedantic with a measure of Sam Beckett tossed in Oddly moving

85
During previews
KPOP (Broadway)
Midtown W
Great staging, Dizzying, Cliched, Entertaining, Ambitious
October 17th, 2022

See it if A visual/aural extravaganza - sets, costumes, projections, choreo, videos & lighting commingle using Circle/Square at its immersive best

Don't see it if Yeah, the plot is a cliched, backstage, back biting hot mess nearly derailing the show but those KPOP kids!! - get it back on track w/gusto

76
Funny, Indulgent, Dizzying, Entertaining, Clever
October 16th, 2022

See it if Shakespeare's knockabout farce get the royal treatment from director Gould & company: broad characters, glitzy costumes, non-stop slapstick

Don't see it if Some actors handle the language better than others (no one is jarringly bad) & some handle the zany antics effortlessly (the two Dromios)

80
During previews
Eloquent, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
October 14th, 2022

See it if Augustine's poignant, elegiac paean to his father moves with the pace of a tropical breeze yet is strong enough to challenge societal norms

Don't see it if The folk husband/wife duo - The Bengsons - elevate the drama into chamber music territory giving it gravitas Piece is slight but powerful

88
During previews
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious
October 13th, 2022

See it if Parks' Pulitzer Prize winner is still as potent & trenchant as ever (even with the dated 3 card monte motif) Furious performances from leads

Don't see it if Drama percolates with anger & recriminations under Leon's taut direction His scene changes are the only missteps in this vivid production

77
During previews
Well acted, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
October 11th, 2022

See it if Despite its title, the show rests on Marchbanks young shoulders Avery Whitted is gamely up for the challenge & runs away with the show

Don't see it if Staller's commendable 100 minute streamlining keeps much of Shaw's witty observations; his galloping direction tends to undercut their punch

76
Well acted, Quirky, Intense, Indulgent, Ambitious
October 11th, 2022

See it if Millonzi (Hedda) & Quinn (Brack) help ground Baitz's fleet adapt of Ibsen's classic but Bedlam's DIY approach often works at odds with them

Don't see it if Director Tucker's direction is really the questionable element veering from impressionistic to often cartoonish leaving us tonally uncertain

75
During previews
Peerless
Midtown E
Disappointing, Indulgent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
October 9th, 2022

See it if Park's college admissions dramedy via MacBeth is aided by a nifty ensemble (esp Benny Wayne Sully) & dimmed by Bordelon's aggressive staging

Don't see it if Park's use of satirical stereotypes starts out strong & funny but the devise soon swallows up the plot & leaves it sputtering to a close

80
Thought-provoking, Intense, Epic, Great singing, Great acting
October 7th, 2022

See it if The incandescent soprano Sondra Radvanovsky burns a hole in the Met stage in Cherubini's Medea; aided by Matthew Polenzani's fierce Jason

Don't see it if Cherubini's music is a bit lackluster & McVicar's staging is a bit indulgent but nothing can dim Radvanovsky's raging, aggrieved Medea

86
Resonant, Raunchy, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining
October 7th, 2022

See it if The new leads Rob McClure (Seymour) & Lena Hall (Audrey) send the show into musical comedy heaven Oscar, Pinkham & the Urchin chorus shine

Don't see it if Elements that usually kill a show - camp, schmaltz, outrageousness - work like a charm to produce a modern, small scale American classic

85
Intelligent, Dizzying, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
October 4th, 2022

See it if The incomparable theatre icon David Greenspan mesmerizes in a new solo show this time from a Gertrude Stein text Dense material made musical

Don't see it if Both Stein & Greenspan are acquired tastes & can be somewhat opaque & precious But as Stein says "If you enjoyed it than you understood it"