TallErnie

Sunnyside | 35-49 | Male
About:  Former Midwesterner who moved to NYC to experience as much culture as I could. I see a few plays a week and also enjoy the odd movie, museum, or storytelling event.
Reviews (128)
80
Riveting, Masterful, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if It's a seldom-produced Shakespearean epic with no doubling. It's very well done. It's a good company with good actors. Go see it.

Don't see it if There are a LOT of characters and they can be a little tricky to keep track of, but unless you need impressive sets or male actors, see it.

55
Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if Some of the singing is good, though the songs themselves aren't great. Weird dystopic/New Age vibe. Might be of appeal to someone. Not me.

Don't see it if The cast are good, but the play isn't. It's not exactly BAD, but I wish I'd stayed home instead of going. Learn from my mistake.

75
Intelligent, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if It's 3 unrelated vignettes. It's more funny than serious, but the middle piece in particular will make you think.

Don't see it if There's a lot of multimedia that really adds to the experience, but if you're opposed to watching tv at the theater, you might object.

89
Intelligent, Hilarious, Delightful, Clever, Funny

See it if You're a Kids in the Hall fan or you just like intelligent comedy accompanied by deliberately mediocre (but funny) songs.

Don't see it if Unless you SEVERELY hate Canadian accents or intelligent comedy, there's no real reason to skip this.

88
Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
Great singing, Delightful, Great staging, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You like the movie or musicals generally. This is a great deal of fun and there's not a weak link in the cast. Ride the elevators afterward.

Don't see it if It's a man taking a job from a woman and that feels problematic. The play acknowledges the problem and it didn't kill my enjoyment, but YMMV

54
Last Gasp
Greenwich V
Slow, Banal, Disappointing

See it if If you see only one play about sex toys this year...make it one you enact yourself with actual marital aids. This is a bit of a mess, TBH.

Don't see it if It's slightly misogynistic. It was had to hear 2 of the actors. I didn't care about 2 of the 3 characters and actively hated the 3rd. Avoid.

78
Great writing, Riveting, Epic, Funny

See it if It's got sword fights and sex and palace intrigue and war and French monarchs. It's well written and acted. And it's fun. Go see it.

Don't see it if There's a LOT of plot and no staging to speak of. This is a minimalist production, other than the costumes.

61
Collective Noun
East Village
Intense, Indulgent, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if It's something of a celebration of people fighting to change the system. But it's very much preaching to the choir.

Don't see it if It feels like a college lecture much of the time, and not in a good way. I thought I should be taking notes. The characters are clichés.

74
During previews
No One is Forgotten
West Village
Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if It's a somewhat touching meditation on friendship and love in adversity.

Don't see it if There's a fair bit of implied violence & it's intense. If you heard "women in prison" and thought "Shannon Tweed," this is not for you. :)

81
Delightful, Great staging, Funny

See it if It's basically a John Hughes movie turned into an SF musical. The characters are fun/feel honest, songs are good, and the cast is having fun

Don't see it if The love interest is VERY manic pixie dream girl; I liked the rest of it in spite of her, but your mileage may vary.

76
Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Intelligent, Hilarious, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like Chekov, or just plays with well-defined (but mostly unpleasant) characters. It's very funny and very well done.

Don't see it if There's a gunshot at some point, so avoid if that's a concern.

86
Resonant, Relevant, Must see, Clever

See it if You like recontextualized classic musicals - a sweet tale of Okie love becomes something modern, dark, & relevant. Also there's free chili

Don't see it if You want a typical Broadway musical - the singing is top notch, but there's limited dancing and almost no set to speak of.

94
Queen of Hearts
Brooklyn
Must see, Dizzying, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if There's singing, dancing, juggling, burlesque, and aerial work, all well done. It's the single finest burlesque show I've ever seen.

Don't see it if There's a lot of semi-nudity; avoid if that's not your cuppa.

71
The Bigot
Midtown W
Relevant, Funny, Great staging, Great acting

See it if It's funny and very of the moment. It deals with race and gender issues in a way that's mostly organic.

Don't see it if The 3rd act is a little deus ex machina-y and some of the journeys don't feel earned, but it's feel-goodish enough you won't mind.

79
Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if You like very good modern dress Julius Cæsar productions with minimalist staging. There's some clever no contact depiction of the fights.

Don't see it if You dislike the play, Shakespeare, or the guy we named July after.

85
Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You dig musicals, 60's music, Carole King, or biopics. Seriously: you know if you want to see this or not; I'm not changing your mind.

Don't see it if My only real quibble is it focused less on the post-Tapestry Carole we all love and more on her early days. It's still well worth seeing.

78
Perp
Midtown W
Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if You like cop stories, prison stories, or just watching 5 very good actors do their jobs well.

Don't see it if There's some police corruption herein, and it really didn't need the penultimate scene at all, so it felt a little long, but that's minor.

77
Quirky, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like Bette Davis, classic Hollywood, or 1-person bio shows. A lot of research and time has gone into this.

Don't see it if You're not interested in those things. You want a traditional play.

73
Unfolding
Midtown W
Slow, Great staging, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if The puppets are beautiful and the staging is top-notch. It's a modern (almost entirely dialog-free) fairy tale.

Don't see it if It's a little light. Don't see it if crying baby noises give you PTSD or if puppets creep you out.

76
Great singing

See it if It's 3 people singing the entirety of the album - if you like this sort of music, you'll enjoy it.

Don't see it if It's very good, but other than some minimal video bits, it's just 3 people singing an album. If you want a play, this isn't. It's also short

90
The Day I Became Black
Soho/Tribeca
Relevant, Funny, Clever, Entertaining

See it if It's a one man show about family and racial identity. It's funny and not preachy, informative but not oppressive. This is a very fun show.

Don't see it if There's swearing if that bugs you. There's also a video of police assaulting and killing black citizens that's hard to watch.

85
During previews
After
Midtown E
Resonant, Relevant, Profound, Absorbing

See it if It's a series of discussions about bullying, violence, and forgiveness. It's not light, but it manages to be funny.

Don't see it if It deals with violence and bullying at school. There's a lot of yelling, a scene with a gun that's crazy intense, & some clunky exposition.

79
Funny, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if You're ok with some dodgy accents and a small scale story that sets modest goals and meets them.

Don't see it if You're expecting something profound or momentous. Or something that passes the Bechdel Test.

71
Switzerland
Midtown E
Confusing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You like Patricia Highsmith, Tom Ripley, or 2 person plays with confusing twists.

Don't see it if It's pretty confusing. After a couple of conversations about it, I think I know what happened, but those chats were needed.

85
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Intense, Funny

See it if You want to see a family drama with a big cast dealing with love, loss, the IRA, and car bombs. The characters feel real.

Don't see it if You can't abide cursing, Irish accents, or a combination of the 2. You're looking for a simple view of "The Troubles."

79
During previews
The Great Society
Upper W Side
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if LBJ is a fascinating bastard. He's shown here going from idealist to broken man. It's well done and important to see, but it's a sad arc.

Don't see it if It's intense, dry, & has a lot of cursing, racist language, & violence in it. Lots of flubbed lines. Cox is great, but I didn't buy his LBJ.

79
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if It's clever mind-reading "magic" that he partly explains. He's funny and charming.

Don't see it if It's a long, very well done mentalist act - if that's not your cuppa, avoid. Also avoid if you hate gorilla suits (not that you'll see them)

80
Intelligent, Great writing, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It's the sort of story that really only works in theater - 5 characters who're caricatures but feel fully realized, at a significant moment.

Don't see it if There's some violence in it and some cursing, but really there's no reason to not go and enjoy. It's very good.

73
Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Beautiful language and fine acting in a nice space. It's not an amazing play, but it's a good one.

Don't see it if It's depressing. It (spoiler alert) breaks Chekov's rule. This is a seldom-produced for a reason play, but worth seeing once. Esp. here.

85
Resonant, Masterful, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like Shakespeare, Kennedy-era period dress, or simply good acting. It's maybe the most woke Shakespeare play &this is a great production

Don't see it if Honestly, aside from it being outside in the summer, there's nothing to dislike here.

79
Hannah Senesh
Financial
Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It's a Holocaust play where the Shoah is a definite presence and motivator, but not the only thing.

Don't see it if I've spent a few days trying to decide if Hannah's a hero or a misguided idealist. I'm still not sure, but you should find out for yourself.

72
Long, Funny, Great writing

See it if You already know if you like this story or not. Their Juliet is great; almost everyone else in the play is at least very good. Worth seeing.

Don't see it if No AC in the theater, which detracted from our enjoyment. There's a very brief nude scene, so avoid if that's not your cuppa.

74
During previews
I Spy a Spy
Midtown W
Great singing, Great staging, Funny

See it if It's an off-Broadway musical that's clearly got ambitions. It's well acted and the songs are catchy. If you like light musicals, see it.

Don't see it if It's longer than it needs to be and the story is sort of a mess; it's entertaining enough, but it's not essential viewing by any means.

78
During previews
Reborning
Soho/Tribeca
Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want a short but intense play that feels longer than it is in a good way.

Don't see it if It's a little creepy, I guess? TBH, while this isn't essential viewing, it's very good, & if you think you might want to see it, you should.

87
Hilarious, Great staging, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if You like the movie, puppets, or anything gothy. It uses projection and lighting and puppetry in fun ways that serve the story.

Don't see it if There's no breakout musical number. That's the only thing keeping it out of excellent territory; the songs are all good, but none stand out.

40
God of Marz
Midtown W
Insipid, Excruciating, Disappointing, Banal

See it if Don't. Just don't. There's some fun gogo dancing in the beginning and a nice aerialist bit at the end, but everything in between is bad.

Don't see it if It's weirdly right-wing. It's painfully slow (65 minutes have never felt longer). It has no intermission, but people still left. Avoid.

85
Great singing, Ambitious, Funny

See it if It's a straight-ahead musical about a kid with a dream who makes good in the business of show. And it has the doctor from Star Trek:Voyager.

Don't see it if It's a good example of the breed, but if musicals don't do it for you, this won't change your mind.

79
Funny, Clever

See it if It's funny, but not exactly the ground-breaking tour de force it's been painted as.

Don't see it if Parts of the book are a little white savior-y and the view of Africa here is not exactly nuanced.

78
Slow, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It's got one truly standout performance, but everyone here is very good. It plays with time a little and tiptoes up to magical realism.

Don't see it if Senility, aging, and drug/alcohol abuse are all on offer, so avoid if those are trigger points. And some cursing, but you're an adult, yeah?

64
During previews
Caroline's Kitchen
Midtown E
Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if You like French farce but wish it wasn't so, y'know, FUNNY. This play is manic start to finish but not really funny very often.

Don't see it if You want something profound - a lot happens here, but it's never feels significant.

79
During previews
safeword.
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Slow, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You're interested in NB people, non-traditional relationships, BDSM, power dynamics, or betrayal in relationships.

Don't see it if You're bothered by any of the above. There's no actual sex in this, but there are some bad words, so caveat emptor if that's not your cuppa.

30
Excruciating, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You love Genet, irrespective of the quality of the production?

Don't see it if I really only enjoyed some of the costuming and 1 of the actors in this. It felt much longer than it was. No part of it worked for me.

73
Sincerely, Oscar
Midtown W
Great staging, Great singing

See it if You want to hear a lot of well-sung R&H songs with only minimal connective tissue between them. Or if you're all about holograms.

Don't see it if You need the hologram in question to say something especially profound. Or you want a conventional play/musical. This is a revue.

55
Overrated, Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You like marionettes more than story. You like seeing plays by people who're clearly having a lot more fun than the audience.

Don't see it if It's full of "topical" jokes that don't land and a storyline that's sort of nonsensical. Avoid unless you LOVE seeing puppets in action.

90
The Light
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Relevant, Intense

See it if Well written, acted, and staged. This is a damn fine play.

Don't see it if It deals with sexual assault in a pretty explicit (verbal only) way. One woman in the audience was in tears when I saw it.

77
Fiercely Independent
Soho/Tribeca
Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You want to see a very accurate portrait of the end of a relationship. It's short and well written/acted, but intense.

Don't see it if It's intense & feels like watching 2 real people tear each other down & try to build each other up on stage in front of you. It's not light.

76
During previews
Great staging, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if 2 words: Glenda Jackson. Score is good, (only) some of the other performances are good, the staging is lovely, but you're there for her.

Don't see it if There's a few conversations in sign language that aren't translated. Several of the actors do not do their job well. It's very long.

70
Eat the Devil
Midtown W
Ambitious, Dizzying, Funny, Disappointing

See it if You don't mind sloppy shows grounded by a fantastic lead performance. Much of it was good, but a lot of it was superfluous or distracting.

Don't see it if I would've liked this show a lot more if there'd been less of it. It did a lot of things around the edges of the story that lessened it.

90
During previews
Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if You like intergenerational friendships, clever staging, basic human decency, or black church.

Don't see it if Maybe if cursing bothers you? There's a bit of that herein, but it's really pretty great start to finish.

72
Trick or Treat
Midtown E
Absorbing, Great staging, Intense

See it if There's a funny comedy somewhere in end of life decisions for Alzheimer's patients & if this isn't quite it, it's well-acted & entertaining.

Don't see it if The writing isn't 100% up to the task it sets itself (you can see the strings being pulled). It's good but not amazing.