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 (162)
39
The Sickness
Soho/Tribeca
Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing, Banal

See it if Don't. It seems to be trying to maybe show what junk time is like: confusing/repetitive/boring/poorly lit/semi-nonsensical. The cast is ok,

Don't see it if the play isn't - it's 80 min that feels like 200. Not enjoyable in any way & not unenjoyable in a way that you'll appreciate. A big misfire

73
During previews
Rules of Desire
Midtown W
Intense, Entertaining, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if My gf & I saw this. We both agreed that we liked it, but that it was disturbing. The most interesting of the 3 characters is a legit monster

Don't see it if but a compelling one. There's talk of sexual violence & it's a scary premise. I'm usually triggered by this, but wasn't here. Worth seeing.

74
Slow, Funny, Entertaining

See it if It's funny. It's a little long. The cast are all having a blast, and that's infectious. There are video elements that enhance the experience

Don't see it if rather than detracting from it. It's worth your time, but it's probably not going to be the best play you see this year.

71
During previews
West Side Story
Midtown W
Ambitious, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if It's a fine production, but an inessential one. And they cut "I Feel Pretty." I'm glad I saw it, but I don't exactly recommend it.

Don't see it if There are many scenes that occur offstage & are only seen via projected camera-distracting. It's tough to tell the gangs apart in the rumble

73
Great acting, Funny, Dated, Entertaining

See it if The cast are all very good. Better than the story, really.

Don't see it if It feels like a 1930's B picture (with some cursing thrown in) - it's fun but not essential viewing.

90
During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like intense procedurals. You like diverse casts. Or plays about racial justice. Or military plays. Honestly: just go see it; it's great

Don't see it if There's some cursing and a few gunshots. Otherwise this is well worth your time.

74
Great singing, Entertaining

See it if It's the Cole Porter songbook, performed in a fun, New Orleansy sort of way.

Don't see it if You've heard Sinatra, Ella, & every other damn singer sing these songs. Harry's great, but it's tough to give a new take to them.

80
Absorbing, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if It's professional magic. If you like that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like. Many different kinds of magic are on display

Don't see it if You don't like magic? It's not must-see, but it's a very fun evening.

67
Slow, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if Boy is this one tough to write. Dandy really puts his all into this, but it just didn't work for me. It's well-thought out & fervently acted

Don't see it if but he has sort of an insecure ringmaster affect to his voice that was off-putting. And the story was weird but not interesting. Not for me

90
Nutcracker Rouge
Brooklyn
Great singing, Exquisite, Entertaining, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if It's truly fantastic burlesque - the singing, dancing, juggling, aerial work, etc are all top drawer. It's delightful start to finish.

Don't see it if You don't like burlesque or bawdy humor. You need your Nutcracker to be traditional; this very much isn't.

77
Betrayal
Midtown W
Slow, Funny, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like dialog-heavy minimalist theater. The acting is good enough to largely make up for it, and the writing mostly warrants their skill.

Don't see it if The set is barely there, so don't see it if you're looking for flash. It's fun but not life-changingly good. Worth it as a cheap ticket.

85
Monsoon Season
West Village
Riveting, Funny, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if It's best to think of it as 2 interconnected 1 person shows. They're both great&inform each other. It's masterfully done. You should see it.

Don't see it if There's drug use, some blood, and references to violence. But unless those things are prohibitive for you, this is worth your time.

78
Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if Fantastic acting by everyone involved. It's got maybe the best set I've ever seen. Raises but doesn't answer questions of elder care.

Don't see it if It's (intentionally) a skosh confusing. And it'll trigger you if you know anyone with dementia or Alzheimer's.

63
Only Human
Midtown W
Disappointing, Great singing, Great acting

See it if Everyone sings, dances, and acts their hearts out. Gary Busey is Gary Buseying at varsity levels (though he only barely sings) & having fun.

Don't see it if Sadly, the play just isn't very good. See it if "Gary Busey is God" is a description that intrigues you, but don't expect a modern classic.

70
(A)loft Modulation
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Slow, Indulgent, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if The live jazz is great (I raised my score 5 points because of it), the set is well-designed, and the story is interesting.

Don't see it if It's also confusing, all over the place, longer than needed, & left unresolved. I liked it, but it's eminently skippable unless you <3 jazz.

68
Entertaining, Intelligent, Slow, Indulgent, Fluffy

See it if It's a 90 minute monologue about blowjobs. With jokes. You know based on that whether you want to see it or not. It was...ok, I guess?

Don't see it if Feels like something being workshopped for a stand up special or a dirty TED talk. It winds up ALMOST-but-not-quite succeeding as either.

85
During previews
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if The clever writing is the draw here; both of the actors are excellent, but the text is exceptional.

Don't see it if Some of the bits about cancer are hard to hear. Don't see it if you need a big cast or impressive staging; this is a minimalist production.

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.

90
About Love
East Village
Great singing, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever

See it if It's almost a fairy tale. Everyone in it impresses. The staging is minimal but effective, the story is great, the music suits the plot.

Don't see it if It's not wholly happy, but it's a Russian story, so you knew that, right? You should see this; it's remarkably good.

79
Look Back In Anger
East Village
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if It's a classic for a reason. The cast are uniformly good, the writing is top-notch, and the staging is decent.

Don't see it if There's some cursing and infidelity, and it's not exactly a HAPPY play, but it's worth the seeing.

67
Tape
West Village
Confusing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Relevant

See it if There's something here, but it isn't quite ready for primetime. It's not bad, but you probably don't need to see it.

Don't see it if It features a cassette tape purchased at K-Mart as a plot point & is set in 2020, so it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief.

71
Soul Survivor
Greenwich V
Confusing, Quirky, Great acting, Funny

See it if It's funny. It's pretty well written but sort of falls apart in the last 15 min. It's a young cast having a lot of infectious fun.

Don't see it if There's male nudity, there's a lot of cursing, there's some violence & gore, & it needs a bit of a rewrite. Worth seeing, but not essential.

65
Great writing, Ambitious

See it if Bit of a swing and a miss - they're trying to do something new (audience chooses who plays what role, though I think it was decided already)

Don't see it if It's...fine. It's well enough acted and staged, but you've seen better Midsummers. splitting the woods/mechanicals scenes didn't work for me

45
Intense, Indulgent, Ambitious, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if It's sort of like if the Shining starred cell phones and was awful. The only positive I have is that the staging was sort of impressive.

Don't see it if It's a mess; loud, confusing, & projected onto screens by cameras that can't adjust to shooting bright cell phones. It tries hard. And fails

75
Disturbing, Resonant, Relevant, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if It examines power and gender dynamics in mixed race couples in a way that I've never seen addressed before. It's got a fantastic monologue.

Don't see it if There are depictions of sexual violence and relationship breakdowns that *I* found very very difficult to watch. YMMV. It's very good.

83
Orpheus & Eurydice
Soho/Tribeca
Intelligent, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if It's an ancient tragedy rewritten for modern times. It's well-written and acted by a cast having the time of their lives. Go see it.

Don't see it if You don't like Bruce Springsteen songs or shows with the most minimal of minimal staging. Otherwise this is one to see.

90
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if Each half works as an independent play, but they REALLY need to be seen together. Fun special effects, good story; if you like HP, see it.

Don't see it if There are a couple plot points that don't go anywhere, but it just works. Only don't see it if you don't like fantasy.

72
Intelligent, Great staging, Great writing

See it if It's VERY well written, the stage is fantastic, it's fairly short, and it's cheap.

Don't see it if The acting isn't 100% there. It's a game cast, but you could see some of them ACTING in a way that was distracting. Overall worth seeing.

57
Broken Story
East Village
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if It's not super well acted or written. It's a bit confusing and relies a lot on coincidence and magical events to move the plot forward.

Don't see it if You have anything else to do. This is not a fun night. It's 80 min that feels like 2 hours.

78
An Enchanted April
Midtown W
Refreshing, Entertaining, Funny, Clever

See it if It's a classic-style musical. Fun characters with a lot of singing (and no dancing). Everyone needs change and finds it.

Don't see it if The set is pretty minimal. The story is fun & thrusts at depth, but some of the emotional work feels unearned. Well worth your time, though.

90
Must see, Masterful, Great singing, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if You even vaguely like David Byrne, Talking Heads, or live music. I'm only a moderate Byrne fan & was blown away by the music & choreography.

Don't see it if He doesn't do Psycho Killer. That comprises 100% of my complaints with the show. You need to see this.

74
FEAR
West Village
Relevant, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if There's a plumber who reads Shakespeare, a Shakespearean prof who grows weeds, & a teenager who might be a sociopath tied to a chair.

Don't see it if That's a glib description, intentionally. It's thought-provoking and surprisingly nuanced. I didn't like them, but I feel like I knew them.

80
Rap Guide to Religion
Soho/Tribeca
Masterful, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if The evolutionary reasons for religion are of interest or you want to understand why some people believe and others don't. Also? Sick rhymes.

Don't see it if You hate rap, are a creationist, or can't abide Canadians on principle. It's very entertaining and will likely make you learn something.

81
During previews
Linda Vista
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Hilarious, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if At first, some of the acting seemed obvious, but it became clear that the character was being phony. It's open and messy and honest. See it.

Don't see it if Protagonist isn't overly likeable, the nudity/language aren't going to be to everyone's tastes, & it fails the Bechdel test. But it's great.

80
Rap Guide to Culture
Soho/Tribeca
Profound, Great writing, Funny, Clever

See it if You want to learn about how we shape and are shaped by culture. You like science and rap. You like (mild) audience participation.

Don't see it if You don't like rap or would prefer not to learn anything at the theater. Honestly, this is good, even though he NEVER mentions PE or Run-DMC

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.