TooFrank

New York City | 35-49 | Male
About:  Erstwhile theatre artist and recovering academic. Lately, I'm mostly just trying to enjoy my time in the audience.
Reviews (32)
79
During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Overwritten, Worthy revival

See it if you want to see this genuinely groundbreaking (in 1981) play pared down a bit, with first-rate actors, a peek of skin, & a fiery scene or 2

Don't see it if you're not up for a slightly dated story with a little too much stagy speechifying.

75
Pacific Overtures
East Village
Smart, Ambitious, Admirable, Occasionally slow, Great cast

See it if you are a fan of Sondheim at his headiest or Doyle at his most minimalist; you want to support a first-rate cast of Asian performers.

Don't see it if you want a show driven by bombast, romance or traditional musical theatre spectacle.

70
During previews
Venus
Midtown W
Ambitious, Challenging, Thought-provoking

See it if you're a fan of Parks (or deBessonet) and are up for engaging with a difficult, troubling play.

Don't see it if you want light, or even gripping, entertainment. Even in deBessonet's smart, polished production, VENUS demands some work from the audience.

70
Gently Down the Stream
East Village
Entertaining, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you want to see Harvey Fierstein at his Harvey Fiersteiniest. He's in good form, and the play is a solid vehicle for him.

Don't see it if you're intolerant of gay content.

69
For a previous production
Disappointing, Relevant, Resonant, Funny

See it if you're a fan of Leguizamo; you're interested in the representation of Latinx characters & histories; you're moved by fatherhood.

Don't see it if you only want to see Leguizamo at his best; this show is still very uneven and falls short of its admirable ambitions.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Political, Smart

See it if you like Deveare Smith's bravura documentary acting style; you care about prison reform, BLM, and other contemporary social issues.

Don't see it if you dislike political theatre or feel uncomfortable watching theatre about disenfranchised POC while surrounded by well-heeled white folks.

70
Privacy
East Village
Clever, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in formal experiments and engaging performances; the gimmicks are fun, & Radcliffe and co. are strong.

Don't see it if you're looking for new insights into the issues being explored; the show is clever, but not nearly as profound as it imagines itself to be.

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Epic

See it if you want an entertaining, provocative, and moving new musical with some stellar performances (Amber Gray!) and a first-rate live band.

Don't see it if you can't put up with uncomfortable seating or tolerate the occasional narrative stumble.

88
For a previous production
Indecent
Midtown W
Lyrical, Cerebral, Mournful, Poetic, Resonant

See it if you like smart, challenging, beautifully rendered shows. Or if you're a fan of Vogel or have an interest in Yiddish history & culture.

Don't see it if you're impatient with elliptical plot structures, post-Brecht estrangement, or same-sex romance.

85
Futurity
East Village
Smart, Fun, Tuneful, Quirky, Original

See it if you like idea-driven, ambitious musical theatre with live music and a charming cast.

Don't see it if you're allergic to hipsters, or if you need everything to make perfect sense in the end.

85
Ambitious, Intense, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Naked

See it if You're interested in exploring identity, body issues, race relationships, life, sex, & death with a physically & emotionally committed cast

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with nudity or impatient with devised, conceptual work.

85
Thank God For Jokes
East Village
Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like stand-up comedy and might enjoy a meditation on how jokes work and why they must always be offensive to someone.

Don't see it if you're jaded, easily offended, or easily bored.

80
Sleep No More
Chelsea
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Original

See it if you are interested in in edgy, adventurous, sexy, scary, interactive experiences

Don't see it if you are squeamish, prudish, or tire easily; you'll need to stay on your feet and be able to keep moving to get the most out of the show.

88
Old Hats
Midtown W
Entertaining, Funny, Masterful, Refreshing, Delightful

See it if you are a fan of, or are interested in, classic clowning and comedy technique performed with unrivaled virtuosity.

Don't see it if you dislike clowning, silent comedy, etc.

90
During previews
The Crucible
Midtown W
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you are interested in first-rate performances and provocative directorial choices.

Don't see it if you are too much of a Miller purist to engage with bold, unconventional directorial choices.

80
Hand to God
Midtown W
Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like slightly edgy, very funny, character-driven shows featuring strong actors.

Don't see it if you're squeamish or easily offended.

50
Disappointing, Sexy, Overrated, Homoerotic, Banal

See it if you're really just there to see buff bodies working up a sweat. The bodies are lovely; the ideas are lacking.

Don't see it if you have on-stage seats (they're uncomfortable and have lousy sight lines). Also don't expect substantive engagement with the text.

60
Disappointing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Banal

See it if you're a fan of Jo Lampert. She's great in the show and leads a first-rate cast of great voices giving compelling performances.

Don't see it if you're hoping for a great musical or for new and nuanced insights into Joan of Arc. The book and lyrics are clumsy frustratingly simplistic.

75
The Antipodes
Midtown W
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Funny, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if you are a fan of Annie Baker; you are interested in a surprisingly funny meditation on the nature of stories and storytelling.

Don't see it if you need fully developed characters or a completely taught production. There are a few lapses here.

75
The Outer Space
East Village
Funny, Thoughtful, Tuneful, Resonant, Warm

See it if you like welcoming, occasionally provocative musical storytelling.

Don't see it if you want a conventional theatrical experience.

79
The View UpStairs
East Village
Resonant, Fun, Sexy, Tuneful, Relevant

See it if you consider LGBT rights civil rights; you like your politics with a little camp; you like your camp with a little earnest reflection.

Don't see it if you can't forgive an uneven patch or two; you don't like moments of broad comedy; you're uncomfortable around sexy, singing queers.

75
The Effect
West Village
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Clever

See it if you enjoy cerebral plays of ideas with some sexy moments, staged with a high level of skill. It's a smart show, artfully rendered.

Don't see it if complex ideas and wordy arguments overwhelm and/or bore you. Or if you're offended by frank depictions and discussions of sex.

70
The Total Bent
East Village
Intense, Disappointing, Ambitious, Original, Great singing

See it if you're a fan of Stew and co., or of PASSING STRANGE. There's some great music, and a couple of stellar performances (esp Ato Blankson-Wood)

Don't see it if you want perfection. The show has been in development for quite a while, and still needs some structural work. Great at its best, but patchy

54
Evening - 1910
West Village
Pretty, Boring, Lovely, Soporific, Sleepy

See it if you like pretty music, sung well.

Don't see it if pretty music, sung well, might put you to sleep...

85
Riveting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great acting, Intense

See it if you want a masterful performance & virtuosic direction. Supporting performances are uneven; van Hove and Strong are at the top of their game

Don't see it if You want full period dress & naturalistic sets; you're impatient with "conceptual" direction; you can't tolerate some unevenness in the cast

65
Bianco
Brooklyn
Entertaining, Athletic, Beautiful, Uneven, Virtuosic

See it if you enjoy watching beautiful bodies perform astonishing feats. The comic bits mostly fall flat, but the aerial work is first rate.

Don't see it if you can't stand for two hours or you don't want to put up with being jostled and corralled from time to time.

85
Eclipsed
Midtown W
Absorbing, Resonant, Intense, Riveting

See it if you have a political conscience and appreciate bold, unflinching explorations of difficult subjects.

Don't see it if you can't adjust to unfamiliar accents.

70
Red Speedo
East Village
Thought-provoking, Intense, Engaging

See it if you're a fan of Lucas Hnath, fit guys in speedos, or explorations of emotional (and physical) violence.

Don't see it if you don't like Hnath's other work; this won't change your mind. Some moments are very uncomfortable (intentionally).

80
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of the book, or if you enjoy technically ambitious, masterfully staged spectacle.

Don't see it if you dislike the source material (the show won't change your mind) or can't deal with strong accents.

92
Hamilton (NYC)
Midtown W
Ambitious, Entertaining, Must see, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you have any interest at all in musicals, hip hop, history, or virtuosity.

Don't see it if you can't get tickets. Otherwise: go!

98
YOUARENOWHERE
Financial
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Ambitious, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in challenging, ambitious performance that defies expectations.

Don't see it if You're easily frustrated by confusion or lack of coherent narrative.

95
Ambitious, Resonant, Must see

See it if You have any interest in musical theatre, Alison Bechdel, or representations of LGBT characters.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals, you're homophobic, you want conventionally structured songs and acts.