Sarah J

Brooklyn | 25-34
About:  <3 theater, especially musicals. I want to feel something when I watch a show.
Reviews (138)
75
Round Table
Midtown E
The author has actually done her larp research -- the larp humor was actually funny to this larper, Relatable, Funny, Cute

See it if you can empathize with people who can find meaning in taking themselves seriously in a fantasy world; you like rom-coms.

Don't see it if you'll write off roleplaying as "too weird for you" you're bothered by cringe-y romcom humor, or very occasional swearing.

75
Ludwig and Bertie
East Village
Impressively on-point makeup/costume, Informative, Good acting

See it if you love Bertrand Russel, Ludwig Wittgenstein or philosphy/logic. I delighted in seeing them come to life. I enjoyed Ludwig's development.

Don't see it if your idea of entertainment does not include surface level discussions of European male philosophical ideas. This play isn't more.

70
Raunchy humor, Excellently atmospheric set, Evocative movement

See it if you want to spend a night watching sexy dancers in moulin rouge attire in a red-lit bar space. It's a show that loves showmanship.

Don't see it if you're looking for story or much characterization. Things don't develop as much as evoke feelings.

80
During previews
runboyrun & IN OLD AGE
East Village
Powerful, Phenomenal acting, I almost cried at run boy run., In old age drags sometimes, and is stronger if you know more of abasiama's story, Please keep in mind these are 2 plays in a 9-play cycle about the same family.

See it if <3 RunBoyRun. Felt Mom's fear, anger & love, the sister's love, the boy & Disciple's pain. It's beautiful. In Old Age tells a powerful story

Don't see it if you don't have patience. Both shows are slow to start, especially if you don't have the context of her other plays about the same family.

85
Midsummer: A Banquet
Greenwich V
Hilarious, Magical atmosphere, Delicious food, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you like atmosphere. The smells and sights and sounds of this production were great. Pyramus and Thisbe is hilarious, actors were having fun

Don't see it if lacking some sight lines will bother you; there are columns throughout the center of the area being used as a stage.

90
During previews
Exquisite, Resonant, Great staging, Excellent music

See it if You love folk music. If you saw it at NYTW, the new version has more character depth and neat choreography and is worth re-seeing.

Don't see it if you're looking for something naturalistic; this is over the top in the tradition of greek theater.

45
During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Interesting idea, Good $5 beer

See it if you like awkward comedy that plays on people's insecurities, overstated. You like the platonic ideal of bar conversations.

Don't see it if you'd like the conversation to be particularly interesting or deep. Actor-improved spontaneous group conversation sounds great. This isn't.

74
Dark, Entertaining, Great music, Raunchy

See it if You like shows led by strong personalities and great music. You like raunchy humor (a whole section is devoted to double-entendre).

Don't see it if you don't want a relentlessly depressing story, are looking for something romantic (this couple only barely works as a couple)

76
During previews
The Stone Witch
Midtown W
Great set, Enchanting, Disconnected, Cliched, Heartfelt

See it if you like stories of art/commerce and age. The magic of children's stories is a great backdrop, but not focused enough for the main draw

Don't see it if you need a tight script. Points about living through the war were not fully explored, but were also not really the point.

65
During previews
An Ordinary Muslim
East Village
Relevant, Too long

See it if you like family drama plays and want to understand the Muslim experience better. Takes place in Britain, but has a lot to say about US.

Don't see it if you're looking for a tight play (does not need all 2 hrs 40 mins of runtime), you'll be offended by frank tear downs of white liberalism

73
The Children
Midtown W
Funny, Brooding, Slow burn, Relatable, Pervaded by a sense of doom and dread

See it if You'd like a play about the past having consequences, musing on age, love, responsibility, some natural and some absurdity

Don't see it if you're uninterested in the problems of old people, need a show full of action, want to leave the theater hopeful and happy.

71
During previews
Jimmy Titanic
Chelsea
Funny, Great characterization, Wildly varying tone

See it if you'd like funny vignettes of an irreverent Christian heaven mixed with poignant vignettes about the Titanic.

Don't see it if you'll be offended by an irreverent portrayal of the afterlife. Despite enjoying the portrayals, I'm not sure this made sense done one-man

85
During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Theatrical - they do a lot with little, Long

See it if you like musing on truth and history with excellent actors bringing over the top characters to life

Don't see it if you like more naturalistic theater. The courtroom drama gives interesting characters, framing and staging, but is very theater-not-real

90
Hold These Truths
East Village
Great acting, Frighteningly relevant, Relatable, Adorable, Moving

See it if you'd like to see a loving, empathetic portrayal of a man who stood up for his beliefs against racism. Excellent performance and direction.

Don't see it if you're looking for something unique, or need more than one voice. Great execution, but nothing stood out to me as breaking new ground.

95
During previews
Counting Sheep
Financial
Absorbing, Ambitious, Resonant, Actually immersive

See it if you want a unique theatrical experience that actually gives you the feeling of being a protester. It draws you in.

Don't see it if you need a linear storyline. It is an experience, not a play. It's not sympathetic to the other side. In Ukrainian, but understandable.

Also The real question is: do you want to be a revolutionary? If yes, "see"... Read more Read less

99
Animal Wisdom
Brooklyn
Beautiful music, Beautiful lighting, Moving, Almost-concert, Must see

See it if you love southern folk and rock, characterizations, raw personal storytelling, unique theater.

Don't see it if bothered by part new-age part Christian spiritual talking to ghosts. The experience still works if you don't "buy" her metaphor however.

75
During previews
Enchanting

See it if you're interested in a discussion on art and money. You love Stravinsky or Disney or both. You like sparse shows.

Don't see it if just enough real history to not have quite a satisfying story. I know Fantasia 2000 exists and they have a beautifully animated Firebird.

90
In a Little Room
East Village
Funny, Intelligent, Tear-jerking, Great writing, Beautiful

See it if You want to laugh. You want to cry. You have to want to do both those things, though the crying didn't hit me until the very end.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear about death and meaning (or lack thereof) in life and in grief in a comedy. It's 90 minutes of mostly 2 guys talking.

93
Sleep No More
Chelsea
Creepy, Sexy, Immersive, Intense, Great dancing

See it if you love atmosphere, especially of the noir and jazz variety. You enjoy evocative theatrical movement.

Don't see it if you will be bothered by strangers in the dark accidentally bumping into you as they navigate poorly lit areas with running actors.

85
Arcadia (PTP)
Chelsea
Hilarious, Great writing, Intelligent, Raunchy, Delightful

See it if you love math or poetry. You love plotting where every line counts. This is my favorite play.

Don't see it if you don't like very wordy plays, you won't enjoy connecting who in the present is wrong about what in the past.

66
During previews
Charming, Relevant

See it if you want to celebrate the Jewish experience with alternating fun and touching performances.

Don't see it if you'd like characters. This is a concert about Jewish immigration than a story. Immigration itself is more a main character than the names.

69
Off the Top
Soho/Tribeca
Entertaining, Adorable, Funny, Informative

See it if you're interested in neuroscience explained well and interspersed with comedy and freestyle. I learned a lot. Love between leads is adorable

Don't see it if you don't like: white guy rap, dark basements, self-deprecating humor relying in part on competent woman less competent man tropes.

96
Gorgeous singing, Hilarious, Great staging, Jump-scare terrifying, Clever

See it if you like immersive theater. Actors make the parts their own. Judge+Sweeney duets gorgeous. Timing is perfect. Sitting at tables worth it.

Don't see it if don't like audience interaction. Sweeney would yell directly at audience members which was scary... but also made horrifying scenes funny

80
Pacific Overtures
East Village
Great music, Thought-provoking, Sparse

See it if you want a quiet history composed by Sondheim. Stripped down, it becomes more about Kayama, and the actor does a great job with that.

Don't see it if you don't like things stripped down, without linear plot. it's a white composer, librettist, and director telling a Japanese story.

86
During previews
Her Portmanteau
East Village
Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you want intimate, real-feeling family experience with Nigerian Americans at the forefront written by one. Every prop has a story.

Don't see it if you don't like family dramas that take place largely in real time in one room.

77
During previews
TERRA FIRMA
Gramercy
Absurdist, Slightly preachy, Funny and sad, Memorable characters, Evocative set/costume/sound desgin

See it if you'd like an absurdist play about how and why to keep living when everything seems awful. Reminded me of The Children

Don't see it if you won't laugh at humor in a bleak world; you need a through-line story with resolution

75
Beautiful, Spiritual, Romantic, Personal

See it if you'd like to see a beautiful story about finding light in love, and finding and living and sharing your truth when we're all afraid.

Don't see it if you need high production values (don't sit in the back row); won't sit through 2 1/2 (connection b/w plays non-obvious awhile)

69
Low budget, Fun shakespeare twist, Fun costumes

See it if see what Marc Antony's "Friends Romans Countrymen" speech would sound like in an 80s Sci Fi Dystopia, or what Cleopatra would wear.

Don't see it if You're looking for a polished production; this theater is good for taking a chance on new writers with low budgets.

88
Costumes telling of characters, Great acting, Minimalist, Powerful

See it if You like actors' shows: even the minor characters (like Motl's Mother) have recognizable characterizations. Minimalist set lets chorus shine

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by a very binary understanding of gender - it is a show about a tradition

Also This Tevye is excellent; he feels more vulnerable than previous Tevye'... Read more Read less

75
Road Show
Midtown W
Confusing, Great acting

See it if you want to see Raul Esparza charm sleazily, but happily, Jin Ha steal your heart, and Brandon Urowitz act his heart out. The actors had fun

Don't see it if you're looking for a deep show. This one doesn't quite know what it wants to be. It re-hashes a lot of its sound from older Sondheim shows.

72
During previews
The Mortality Machine
Lower E Side
Unique, Immersive, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you want more interactivity than Sleep No More. You are given your own character to play and experience the world through.

Don't see it if You have to know exactly what is going on. Even at the end, I was not fully clear on all implications until talking to designer afterwards.

Also At the door, you're told you should "be brave" and "vulnerable" can "F... Read more Read less

70
Travesties
Midtown W
Ambitious, Cerebral, Wordy, Farcical

See it if you want a cerebral discussion on the importance of art &anti-art in the face of political realities, but certainly not taken too seriously

Don't see it if you don't want to listen to LOTS of words; I almost think this play is better read than seen. The women are not as interesting as the men.

85
Disconcerting, Ambitious, Great direction, Vivid characterization

See it if you want to see an excellent production of a hard show by a small theater. They make use of their space well.

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by guns pointing directly at the audience, lack of props. Usual "this is about killing presidents" apply.

76
Folk Wandering
Midtown W
Heartfelt, Cute

See it if you like vignettes of Americana set to good music.

Don't see it if the vignettes are not quite long enough to go deep with any one of them, thus making the characters feel a tad stock.

68
Earnestly acted, Some good songs, Loving, community theater feel, Storyline kind of all over the place, Long

See it if you like songs that tell stories and give character, you want to support community theater.

Don't see it if you like your stories crisp. This is a bit disjointed. It's hard to like the main character for most of the show. Lots of talk of death

91
Delightful, Life-affirming, Great staging, Heartwarming

See it if you want to rejoice at humanity. This is a show about the joys of human connection.

Don't see it if you have a problem with simplifying stories. While the show doesn't shy away from Islamophobia, entirely, it's mostly telling kind stories

71
During previews
Balls
Midtown E
Interesting staging, Takes on way too much, Great performances by billie jean king's lovers, Frenetic, Long

See it if you're interested in several different neat ways to stage tennis, and a lecture on feminism and Billie Jean King.

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by the surface level discussion of ALL THINGS GENDER. The fact that Caitlyn Jenner isn't a man is used as a joke once.

73
The Wolves
Upper W Side
Nostalgic, Entertaining

See it if you like characterization; each of these girls is a fully fleshed out human just in the conversations before a soccer game.

Don't see it if bouncing between talking about the Khmer Rouge, periods, soccer and more all at the same time with same significance will bother you

73
During previews
Hundred Days
East Village
Great singing, Emotionally raw music, Indulgent

See it if you want to be transported by music. Sound design makes this well worth seeing live. The performers are great. Muse on love, time, and fear.

Don't see it if you can't empathize with the protagonist for whom love comes with terror based on past trauma and a dream

77
During previews
Beautiful music, Understated, Funny, Quiet, Passionate

See it if you revel in music, especially Arabic and Jewish music. You like quiet slices of life. See it to watch Katrina Lenk's fantastic performance.

Don't see it if you like plot or spectacle, you're not good with accents

63
Earnest, Amusing, Fluffy

See it if you like old-school musicals with simplistic love plots punctuated by pretty songs and amusing over-the-top performances. Good live music.

Don't see it if you're looking for good writing; I think maybe the bookwriter was trying to translate Chinese directly? Some points overly belabored.

80
Addy & Uno
Midtown W
High energy, Hummable tunes, Optimistic, Kid friendly, Kindhearted

See it if you'd like to support a show where kids with disabilities are represented, with a great cast that empathizes with the children they play.

Don't see it if You don't have 3-8 year olds. It's a simplistic storyline about overcoming anxieties due to kindness and friendship.

Also I am very happy there is representation and it is definitely coming fr... Read more Read less

70
Absurd, Weird, Neat staging

See it if you like neat ways to stage stories, movement-based silent stories, the absurd

Don't see it if you're looking for storylines you can follow, you don't see the absurd or beautiful in the tragic

73
Bullet Catchers
Greenwich V
Resonant, Ambitious, Symbolic, Personal, Passionate

See it if you enjoy compassionate minimalist movement-based storytelling of truth-based military stories from women. Some staging was gorgeous.

Don't see it if it's about celebrating women in combat not questioning the war. Some tripping over lines, some hard-to-follow symbolic bits, sound issues.

79
Assassins
Midtown W
Clever, Great acting, Intense, Funny

See it if you love Sondheim, are interested in US history, like the performers.

Don't see it if subject matter bothers you; you don't like concert productions where they're still figuring out sound and aren't off-book.

80
During previews
The Enchantment
Soho/Tribeca
Intimate, Passionate, Historic

See it if You like period soap operas. You are interested in a story written by a nineteenth century woman told by a production team of women.

Don't see it if you're looking for an empowering piece. This is focused on the suffocating environment of the 1800s and relationships.

Also If you sit on the far side next to the pole characters will block each... Read more Read less

75
Quirky, Ambitious, Thrilling

See it if you like escape rooms with production values. The actors are totally in their roles. Hints are therefore ore interesting.

Don't see it if you're looking for challenging escape room with very clever puzzles. The storyline is not entirely coherent.

67
Political, Uneven, Funny

See it if you like modern re-stagings, great use of extras.

Don't see it if you can't get over Trump-as-Caesar. The metaphor didn't really work for me.

85
During previews
Sojourners
East Village
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like the intimate made grand-scale dramatic. You want the background on Her Portmanteau. You want to watch an immigrant experience.

Don't see it if you like the intimacy of Her Portmanteau.

61
Beneath The Gavel
Midtown E
Ambitious, Funny, Disconnected

See it if you'll have fun with the occasional bidding, you'll enjoy laughing at the art world's absurdities.

Don't see it if you're looking for plot, or depth. There are lots of disconnected scenes, many are done well, but no time for develpment.