Stephanie 22

Brooklyn | 35-49 | Female
About:  Rather omnivorous... but I prefer plays, new works and/or new interpretations of the classics, dark subject matter, playwriting that makes the audience work & creative staging.
Reviews (97)
80
During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Refreshing, Indulgent

See it if you'd enjoy the chance to see two short one-acts in tandem (both concerning Greek literature, Higher Ed, and sexual dynamics). Brisk.

Don't see it if you'd be put off by writing where you can feel the author preaching to the audience a bit or partial male nudity & sexual/identity themes.

Also Enjoyed Ajax (Jampol/Lorenz cast) until the dramatic shift in focus to... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Slow, Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a great performance by Brannon and appreciate minimalist staging. Would've liked a 3rd actor for role of guard to enliven.

Don't see it if you would be uncomfortable seeing a man shackled and chained; expect dramatic arc; want great writing at the basis of a dialogue-driven play

Also Despite its hardness, the bleacher seating effectively conjured both j... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Original, Relevant, Resonant, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy stories from perspectives/of experiences unlike your own. You want to salivate over the playwright's & actors' use of language.

Don't see it if u prefer more action/less talk. Strong emphasis on comm. (dialogue btwn characters & direct addresses to audience). Waxing philosophical.

89
Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if you want to watch a whirlwind... on wheels. It's inventive & lively in its economical staging. You'll have a blast along with the cast.

Don't see it if u want a traditional (vs. rollicking) production or can't tolerate over-acting bordering on camp. Avoid barstool seats (row C) at any cost!!

83
During previews
Absorbing, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if u want to consider contemp. US socio-political climate thru TCO lens: race/servitude/inequality/class (im-)mobility/entrenched views/change.

Don't see it if u want a traditional production of TCO. Felt a bit muddled in its new take on classic source, but hope that will better mesh after previews.

Also Harold Perrineau granted Lopakhin the complexity this character deserv... Read more Read less

88
During previews
Delightful, Great staging, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great dancing

See it if u want a fresh update on golden age of musicals: feel-good songs, all-out dancing, cheeky costumes & dash of holiday magic. Pinkham sparkles

Don't see it if u want edgy or rock-n-roll. It's tonally akin to last season's She Loves Me (and on the same stage). It's charming in its wholesomeness.

85
Absorbing, Intense, Resonant, Raunchy, Great acting

See it if u seek an uncomfortably humorous at times examination of (co-)dependency, grief, isolation, addiction & (illusory) solace. Shepard-esque.

Don't see it if you could not empathize with characters in the depths of despondency trying (unsuccessfully) to eke their way back through human connection.

85
Absorbing, Epic, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if u want a Classic tale about pawns & sacrificial lambs in "the fog of war" brought to modern times. EPIC battle scene! Glover & Stoll shine!

Don't see it if u have a low threshold for poorly written female characters: Cressida comes across as a schemer w/ karmic problems; Cassandra as hysterical.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great staging, Slow

See it if u want a captivating & claustrophobic update on classic. Having the leads rarely exit the stage ratchets up the domestic tension. Sweltering

Don't see it if u want sexy-ice-queen Gillian of "Hannibal"/"The Fall." G radiates as much heat as the New Orleans streets & is as unhinged as the shutters.

87
War
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy

See it if u want a very cerebral interrogation of race/identity/heritage/social constructs/language couched as family drama. Amazing sets & lighting!

Don't see it if u don't want to float above the slight plot to unpack/probe the layers of ideas posited via dialogue & meta-theatrical devices. Slow.

82
Edgy, Indulgent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if u want Hare's imagining of Wilde‘s perception of & reaction to his indecency trial & the respective roles of his lover, friends & family.

Don't see it if you'd be uncomfortable w/ 20 mins of full-frontal male nudity, sexual themes, selfishness & betrayal, or strident & screechy declarations.

86
During previews
Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Quirky

See it if u want a very funny & slightly punk rock "Taming." Female ensemble is perfect; McTeer/Jumbo/Moore/Champlin shine! Brilliant/offbeat staging!

Don't see it if u dislike premise of "taming" women (although this upends); prefer more traditional stagings; want period costumes. 2 hrs w/o intermission.

85
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want a drama about alienation and man's primal need for attachment. You are interested in characters on the brink.

Don't see it if you want an unambiguous takeaway message or an action-packed plot. Here you are steeped in a mood: desperation tinged with hope.

86
During previews
Ambitious, Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if u want to work... at following the brisk pace & character changes during the show & then unpacking the dense, intertwined themes afterwards.

Don't see it if u prefer not to wrestle w/ big philosophical & neuropsychological ideas presented in fractured yet related vignettes. U prefer light/breezy.

89
During previews
Enchanting, Epic, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Masterful

See it if u want a new adaptation of 19th c. classic w/ minimalist staging. Ensemble is terrific, esp. Gabriel Ebert -- sparkling, dynamic, magnetic!

Don't see it if u'd find rapid shifts btwn fantasy & reality and/or actors playing multiple roles across time/space to be confusing. 2 hrs w/o intermission.

82
During previews
Absorbing, Funny, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you want a tender & engaging portrait of a somewhat eccentric writer/illustrator that focuses less on his art and more on his personal life.

Don't see it if you are not into non-traditional staging including video projections, puppetry, and archival audio interviews. You want a linear narrative.

95
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Romantic

See it if u want a great old-fashioned romantic musical w/ charming cast, sweet & quirky songs, and a set that marries snow globe & pop-up storybook.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to saccharine romances, candy-colored sets, and endings tied up in a bow. You prefer new stories and big dance numbers.

83
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Slow, Funny

See it if you wish to ponder whether the realm of private equity is vampiric capitalism or an unfortunate (necessary?) agent of Darwinian economics.

Don't see it if you're expecting the ratcheted-up dramatic tension or outsized egos of "Billions" or "Glengarry Glen Ross." This is more of a slow simmer.

82
Relevant, Entertaining, Great acting, Fluffy

See it if you enjoy U.S. history set to music or shows poking fun at protagonists. Refreshing take on flawed congressmen *working* towards resolution.

Don't see it if you like your history tidy and full of heroes. The founding fathers are portrayed as haughty, petty, meek, drunk, greedy -- merely human.

78
Intense, Edgy, Original, Great staging

See it if you want to mine the effects of familial dysfunction across several generations through a challenging narrative approach. You like puzzles.

Don't see it if you'd be confused by lead actors playing multiple generations of family members across time and space, sometimes with little differention.

88
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if u want a play that is to dementia what "A Curious Incident" is to autism: poignant insight into a lived experience via theatrical artistry.

Don't see it if u don't want to *feel* the disorientation and frustration brought on by a darkening mind, as the play is written and staged to do just that.

84
Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Indulgent, Slow

See it if u want a show about a character unable to change his stripes despite frequent, adamant proclamations about his great desire to do so. Talky.

Don't see it if you have a low threshold for narcissistic protagonists, albeit here hilariously clueless and ineffectual in attempts at redressing that fact

96
Hilarious, Masterful, Dizzying, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want to see the most precisely executed display of everything going sideways by theatrical geniuses playing imbeciles. Uproariously fun!

Don't see it if u have a low threshold for absurdist physical humor, hilariously dimwitted characters, or the play-within-a-play narrative device (times 3).

95
During previews
Enchanting, Hilarious, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if you want a show with everything: hootenannies, bandits, gold-diggers, evil stepmoms, imbeciles, murder plots, talking heads, talking birds!

Don't see it if you don't care for farce, mistaken identity romances, or bluegrass... But you should see it anyway because it's fantastic and so much fun!

84
Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging, Indulgent

See it if you want a coming-of-age tale that very much feels that it was written by a literate, 60 y.o. playwright making sense of his adolescence.

Don't see it if nostalgia steeped in literary references is not your thing or if you have no interest in examining the difficulties of one's mid-teen years.

88
Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Relevant, Raw

See it if u want to witness emotions laid bare. A couple comes to terms w/ who the other really is & how to bridge their disconnection through empathy

Don't see it if you're not in the mood, as audience member in a small theater, to experience the rawness of emotions that the actors make manifest. Intense!

Also If you enjoyed the intensity of last season's "Cal in Camo" by Colt Co... Read more Read less

87
During previews
Funny, Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if u want a satirical portrait of the effects of Boomers' lifestyle/mentality on their GenX children & today's socio-political/economic climate

Don't see it if stories of intergenerational wealth disparity & the (maybe/maybe not) detrimental impact of the "me generation" hits too close to home.

Also Amy Ryan was (Absolutely) Fabulous... and channeling a bit of "Edina M... Read more Read less

90
Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if /to consider issues of racism, financial exploitation of women, propriety & piety, personal sacrifices to pursue joy punctuated w/ music.

Don't see it if u want a show w/ more dramatic arc. It's more of a character showcase that foregrounds the music that brought these talented women together.

Also A truly enjoyable 90 minutes! It's impossible not to be moved by the g... Read more Read less

82
During previews
Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Resonant

See it if u want to open a time capsule from pre-WWII Amer South to find characters' challenges w/ human connection & alienation that resonate today.

Don't see it if you would find the social casting out & hiding away of those with PTSD/anxiety/depression/delusions uncomfortable and/or unbearable to watch

Also As a woman born and raised in the South, I was surprised by how adeptl... Read more Read less

87
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Genre-upending, Murky, Slow burn

See it if u want to explore themes of projections/realities, desire/lust, blurriness of self/other in relationships, genre- esp. noir & "love stories"

Don't see it if u want to take play at face-value. Processing reveals gratifying subversive take on gender, self, predation, "love" & need/wish fulfillment.

69
During previews
Banal, Dated, Insipid, Slow

See it if u want tale of mid-life crisis & mid-century ennui in post-WWII England, when Brit. society was seeking identity/meaning in new world order.

Don't see it if u want a story that draws you in/resonates. Though I can relate to two 40 y.o. examining life thus far, the endeavor was tedious/distancing.

88
Delightful, Funny, Fluffy, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you want a fast-paced, quirky, satirical musical to banish the blahs of a bad day/week/month at work. It's silly, but delightfully so!

Don't see it if you just couldn't possibly bear good-natured poking of fun at Shakespeare and/or 20th c. musical theater.

88
During previews
Clever, Ambitious, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you are in search of meaning and/or connection in life or want to observe a band of six lost souls do so. Surprisingly funny & resonant!

Don't see it if u don't want to be implicated as participant-observer. Stellar design of theater space & staging make silent, watchful audience self-aware.

82
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want a positive message despite/predicated upon a senseless crime via charismatic storytelling in a streamlined one-man-show. Uplifting.

Don't see it if you want bells & whistles with your production. This show is ideally suited for portability, i.e. traveling to youth centers or campuses.

89
Absorbing, Masterful, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if u like intense dramas, stellar acting, creative staging & lighting, ominous music, allegories, witches, mean girls, spurned lovers, martyrs.

Don't see it if u have hearing difficulties. It was sometimes hard to hear the actors projecting over the Glass score & sound design. U want brisk pacing.

87
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing

See it if u want a well-directed & vibrant telling of the effect of economic collapse on the working class. Felt fresh due to charismatic performances

Don't see it if you have zero interest in factory decline, blue-collar milieu, Detroit struggles, morally gray defiance, rap music, or interpretive dance.

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if u want "It's the end of the world as we know it & I feel fine!" bc the state incentivizes the end of empathy & it's easier to look away...

Don't see it if u want really bleak dystopian fare a la Haneke's "Time of the Wolf." It's disquieting in that it's "civilized" society that ruins us all.

79
Edgy, Intense, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you want a murky two-hander exploring a taboo relationship that demands emotional depth & breadth from the leads. You like Jeff Daniels.

Don't see it if you expect catharsis or closure. [I wanted to like this more than I did, but the ambiguity was not the satisfying kind. I wasn't drawn in.]

90
During previews
Enchanting, Hilarious, Refreshing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if u want a play as warm & crisp as a summer breeze that reminds u of a period in your life free from the everyday & full of potential. GREAT!

Don't see it if u expect a lot of action: this is more a celebration of (clearly drawn & relatable) characters in moments of self-discovery & transition.

80
Clever, Absorbing, Enchanting, Dizzying, Refreshing

See it if u want the younger, rowdier sibling of Cirque du Soleil. Mostly aerial acts. Wonderfully transparent staging: rigs, pulleys & counterweights

Don't see it if standing for 2 hours on hard surface; lack of polish/mysticism of CdS; sharp tonal shifts & wildly eclectic house band are not your thing.

92
Absorbing, Delightful, Funny, Refreshing, Great acting

See it if you'd enjoy an exquisite comedy of manners that's brisk and sure-footed. Excellent costumes & wigs. Clever and snarky, in the best way!

Don't see it if you have zero tolerance for gossip, backbiting, sniping, plotting & lying... although the perpetrators are justly schooled in the end.

72
During previews
Slow, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if you want a window onto working-class British factory life in the 70's as men celebrate small victories and pleasures in a bleak canteen.

Don't see it if a 2-hour play on the near soul-crushing effects of low-paid shift work is not your cup of tea; if you have a low tolerance for crotch grabs.

81
During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Dizzying, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if you enjoyed the second and third acts of "Noises Off!", here without the play-within-a-play/backstage premise but rather a marriage comedy.

Don't see it if madcap hijinks, innuendo & double entendre, over-the-top acting, and multiple quick character changes are not your thing. Light as meringue!

78
During previews
Slow, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you'd enjoy a lesson on religious tolerance in the form of an extended parable. You appreciate translations using today's parlance.

Don't see it if you hope to learn anything about historical context (just after the Third Crusade) or religion(s). Emphasis is on message's timelessness.

80
During previews
Absorbing, Relevant, Funny, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to consider the social & psychological effects of a "failing" school's slated closure on its teachers, students, and administrators

Don't see it if you feel that school closures based on test scores and graduation rates is a simple, black-and-white policy matter.

88
Intense, Edgy, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want a smart & in-your-face update on a classic replete with charming musical interludes, sly cultural critiques & stirring performances

Don't see it if you don't care for meta, f-bombs, angsty protagonists, shouting, philandering, gun violence, or edgy narrative devices... but see it anyway.

88
During previews
Ambitious, Profound, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Exquisite

See it if you want a cerebral yet moving meditation on life/death/memory/dreams/the firmament that reveals itself as friends casually reminisce.

Don't see it if you do not want to ponder significant matters, piece together meaning from well-crafted fragments, listen vs. watch, OR leave w/o closure.

79
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Original

See it if you want "House of Lies" + Hannah Arendt + a "House, M.D." differential diagnosis on steroids & down a rabbit hole, w/ a dash of Neil LaBute

Don't see it if you don't want to listen attentively for clues amidst rapid-fire, frenetic dialog on a constantly moving target OR like conspiracy theories

80
During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if u want to ponder the myth of the American West in our era & relatedly the power of faith/ambition/self-delusion in forging on in tough times

Don't see it if you couldn't empathize w/ characters who use avoidance & fantasy as coping strategies as the global economy, and their household's, crumbles

75
Thought-provoking, Intense, Confusing, Edgy

See it if you want a play examining our collective need to establish our individual meaning vis-a-vis art or the artistic process, at great expense.

Don't see it if you do not want to tease out the significance of secondary and tertiary characters offstage that clutter the central story towards ambiguity