Tom R

About:  I teach political theory and constitutional law at a college in NYC. I teach my political theory course with music and draw many of my songs from musicals. I also love thought-provoking dramas and use some in my theory classes.
Reviews (24)
Great writing, Indulgent, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want to laugh at an old-time musical with great musical numbers and wonderful lyrics.

Don't see it if You have seen it so much that you know all the songs by heart. It's good, but not one of the best revivals.

All My Sons
Midtown W
Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if This is a great study of how putting family above legal duty can backfire in unforeseen ways. Annette Bening deserves her nomination!

Don't see it if You are stressed out by the emotional conflict that pervades Miller's plays.

Entertaining, Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you would enjoy seeing a somewhat different version of Atticus Finch in a well-written and acted play.

Don't see it if You expect the play to track the book or the movie. Watch the movie instead!

For a previous production
Funny, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if you are easily amused by physical humor and don't care about lack of acting talent or meaningful content. Similar to Hasty Pudding shows.

Don't see it if you are looking for good value for your theater dollar. While somewhat amusing, it's not a fulfilling night of theater.

Building the Wall
Midtown W
Ambitious, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Intense

See it if You are not worried about how Trump's presidency will hurt the values of the country. And if you are, this will make you worry more.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy stories told though dialogue. Entire play is one 70-minute scene in a prison interrogation room.

Man From Nebraska
Midtown W
Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you get free tickets or have a friend in the show. It's not bad, just not worth the price of admission.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play about the meaning of God or religion. There is no serious discussion of either. Plot is contrived and implausible

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You are interested in C.S. Lewis' journey from atheist to devout Christian. Makes you think you are hearing a lecture from C.S. himself.

Don't see it if You have no interest in philosophic discussions of determinism and the problem of proving God's existence. Serious with some wry humor.

During previews
Midtown W
Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing, Resonant

See it if You enjoy discussions about the relationship of an unlikely couple, or if you just like Mary Louise Parker, who has a good role here.

Don't see it if You're expecting any great revelation about relationships, or an unusual plot line, or a show longer than 80 minutes.

For a previous production
Oslo (Broadway)
Upper W Side
Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Original, Masterful

See it if you enjoy an absorbing historical play about how Norwegian officials created a back channel for the Oslo Accords.

Don't see it if you have no interest in peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Clever, Disappointing, Funny, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if You don't mind paying Broadway prices for a one-hour sketch that is not always funny.

Don't see it if You have limited funds to spend on theater tickets because you can find many better shows for less.

The Humans
Midtown W
Banal, Disappointing, Fluffy, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you have boring friends and family and your idea of a good time is watching a moderately witty but disappointing play with a weak ending.

Don't see it if your dinner conversations are insightful and humorous because you are better off using your money for a nice dinner instead.

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Relevant, Original, Great staging

See it if You like modern reinterpretations of classic stories with excellent music and an engaging cast. Better music than 98% of musicals.

Don't see it if you expect the rewrite to copy the original story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if You like the movie or are interested in seeing the parallels between the media in 1974 and 2019.

Don't see it if you didn't like the movie

East Village
Resonant, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you would enjoy a dramatization of the Socratic dialogues at his life's end. Nice job of making his character annoying but inspiring.

Don't see it if Imaginary conversations appended to a play designed to be historical will spoil the enjoyment for you.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You appreciate Shaw's wit and insight into history. Condola Rashad is inspired as St. Joan and Patrick Page is great. Very clever staging.

Don't see it if You have little interest in history or find dialogue-based plays boring.

During previews
1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W
Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You enjoyed the book and want to see the live portrayal of a totalitarian state. Olivia Wilde is excellent as Julia.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the depiction of a totally carceral state. (Re)reading the book before will enhance your enjoyment.

Entertaining, Great staging, Masterful, Resonant, Delightful

See it if You want to see an uplifting play about how Canadians responded to 7000 grounded passengers on 9/11. It brought tears to my eyes.

Don't see it if You think humor about 9/11 is disrespectful. I think it's a well done tribute to how the people of Gander responded to others in need.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You enjoy well-written and often humorous dialogue in well-acted scenes depicting a slice of life in downtown Pittsburgh in 1977.

Don't see it if You expect to have a traditional play that limits its focus to a few characters. You will have to listen and think to get all from this play

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are interested in seeing Anna's interpretations of people struggling against barriers of inadequate education, poverty and injustice.

Don't see it if You don't like one-actor shows that represent characters of different age, race and gender.

During previews
Midtown E
Delightful, Entertaining, Masterful, Intelligent, Indulgent

See it if you like Bernstein's music or are interested in seeing how his Jewish roots influenced his composing. Very enjoyable.

Don't see it if you are expecting lots of show tunes since there are very few except West Side Story.

During previews
The Layover
Midtown W
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid, Great staging

See it if you enjoy poorly-edited scripts with a badly-designed plot, a terrible ending, a few good lines of dialogue, and nicely-designed staging.

Don't see it if You have to pay for it. This is not ready for a reading, let alone a staging. (Got comps so it was worth the price.)

During previews
Midtown E
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy a farce written in the style of George Bernard Shaw about Gen. Butler's decision not to return escaped slaves to their owner.

Don't see it if You expect a period drama or anything resembling the actual conversations that took place in 1861.

The Judas Kiss
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if you would enjoy a portrayal of a complex, intelligent writer as tries to reconcile reason and passion.

Don't see it if you find history plays boring and Oscar Wilde uninteresting.

Banal, Dated, Confusing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you would enjoy hanging out in a bakery break room for two hours while nothing happens and you miss lines said in a northern English accent

Don't see it if You expect a good play to have a plot or relevant insights into people today. Some English plays are best left in the UK.