Tulis McCall

Tulis McCall is a critic with Front Row Center. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (262)
The Vagrant Trilogy
East Village
Front Row Center

"This is an epic tale – the classic theme of home and heart. What do people do when home is not a simple location, as it is for most of us. What if home is something we carry with us? What if it is a location for which we settle, not the location of our dreams. And what if, like the destiny of every mythic journey, it is found within us?" Full Review

Front Row Center

"The long and short of it is – this one will stay with me. I wouldn’t want to sit through it again (quite a few folks walked out), but I will pick up the script. This play is worthy of a post-graduate perusal." Full Review

Front Row Center

"Which is why this production rests on the very capable shoulders of Ramin Karimloo (Nick Arnstein). In this new hodge podge of a script (with revisions by Harvey Fierstein), Nicky Arnstein has been given a larger presence in the story. Originally, Nicky was a sidebar. Now he is a driving force. From the moment he enters, we cannot take our eyes off of him. To be sure he is very easy on the eyes. More importantly there is something going on inside him that pulls us in." Full Review

To My Girls
Midtown W
Front Row Center

"'To My Girls' is rock-solid sitcom speak. A gay fluff piece that did not rock my socks off. (Of course, this could be you cup of tea.) Call me crazy, but I am one of those theater folks that wants something to happen, even when it appears otherwise. I want a toe hold. Here, all I found was a glossy surface." Full Review

Front Row Center

"4/5 stars...According to many reviews Neil Simon is out of touch and passé. The #Metoo movement has exposed and solved it all...I think these dismissive reviews are themselves out of touch...This 'Plaza Suite' is relevant in every way. This production directs our attention to what was: the depressing, the embarrassing and the dumb-ass of the late 1960s. This production also reminds us of what still is. People are still clinging to empty marriages; people are still making unwise sexual choice... Full Review

Front Row Center

"4.5/5 stars...This production, aided by the choreography of Warren Carlyle, and sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto, leaps tall buildings at a single bound. I cannot tell you why it chugs along. It is cartoonish, sentimental, and not believable. Even so, it made me misty...Sutton and Jackman are having such a good time bringing their characters to each other that the rest of the choppy story doesn’t matter." Full Review

Front Row Center

"This is theatre that reminds you why theater is the closest thing to hallowed ground we have. These actors are daredevils living life without a net, and letting us in on the free fall. Get over there and grab some of this goodness." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The story by Barry Kleinbort is laid out smoothly between the songs in a chronological sweep from 1927 to 1954 – nearly 4 decades of delivering the simple songs that caught the ear of people who loved to dance. That would be folks born in the 20’s – like my parents. Those people knew how to dance while holding each other. None of this jumping up and down in one place that passes for dancing today. And this brilliant cast knows from dancing. Randy Skinner’s choreography is a wee bit mo... Full Review

Front Row Center

"Why this musical exists and why anyone would want to go see it remains a mystery. But theatre is like that. Ideas come from who knows where and most of them do not make it to the drawing board, never mind the actual stage. This one has had a journey of over five years, a pandemic set back, a film version produced on Netflix, and still it made it to the Longacre Theatre. In short, it persisted. Let us all lower our critics’ knives, lest we injure ourselves, and let us leave Diana,Th... Full Review

The Visitor
East Village
Front Row Center

"A story of, not only visitors to this country, but the very idea of being a visitor in one's own life...Every song is exquisitely delivered, but most do little to move the plot along. Songs of yearning, songs of frustration, songs of joy all tumble into one pot, and like a stew with too many ingredients, the flavor is lost" Full Review

Letters Of Suresh
Midtown W
Front Row Center

"It is a charming essay on the interconnectedness of everything. But an essay is often cerebral to the point where the heart is barely involved. That was the case here. In the end we are interested in these characters but not concerned or involved." Full Review

SIX (Broadway)
Midtown W
Front Row Center

"They have created a generous, funny, provocative show that races by you, grabs your hand and flies up into the stratosphere." Full Review

Front Row Center

"Saheem Ali’s direction pulls the elements together in a seamless and often hilarious and definitely welcomed production...A brilliant way to return to the theatre. Get there if you can. It will do your heart good." Full Review

We're Gonna Die
Midtown W
Front Row Center

Score: 90%. "It seems like no accident that this show has arrived...just in time to pair with the COVID-19 epidemic that is reminding us all of our mortality. Life and death are opposite sides of the same coin. As long as that is the case - why not blow up a few balloons and have a party!" Full Review

Dana H.
Gramercy
Front Row Center

"I have pretty much liked everything I have seen Deirdre O'Connell do. Let us add Dana H. to the list. As a matter of fact you can put it at the top. This is a play that has been urged into being by Lucas Hnath. Dana Higginbotham is his mother, and she was held..." Full Review

Front Row Center

Score: 80%. "I am confounded. I don't know what 'My Name Is Lucy Barton' is. I know what it is not. It is not a play. Which, in and of itself might not be a bad thing if a person could latch onto whatever it is and go for a ride. I could not find a latching-on place." Full Review

Greater Clements
Upper W Side
Front Row Center

Score: 60%. "'Greater Clements' has now joined the three hour club, and for no good reason other than to add new meaning to 'exposition.'" Full Review

Front Row Center

Score: 80% "That Tony Kushner was so prescient in his thinking is astonishing. He leads us through the rise of Hitler in a few short months and parallels it to our political cesspool created by the current administration. This is not a show for the faint of heart." Full Review

Rinse, Repeat
Midtown W
Front Row Center

75% "The topic here is one no one wants to talk about because it is elusive: eating disorders. In this case it is anorexia. Feraud takes the topic in hand and eventually sweeps us into the confusion and bewilderment that traps people afflicted with this disorder." Full Review

Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Front Row Center

“The story is Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya,’ but the characters have had the sawdust in their veins replaced with real blood...These characters know exactly where they are...They are here to defend their point of view...An evening of love, longing, and loss...Peppered between those layers are bursts of brilliance, belly laughs...and moves that would put a three-card-monty master to shame...The writing, directing, and acting combine to produce a little slice of heaven.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“McDonald and her smashing co-star Michael Shannon perform a pas de deux that is perfection. McDonald’s outbursts are nothing short of an aria. Positively inspirational. Not to mention hilarious...McNally has bestowed a grace on these two lunatics. It is as if once they enter the arena, they are exposed to a kind of magic that engulfs them...Arbus's direction releases just the right amount of lunacy in these characters so that they end up willing to leap off the cliff of ‘possible.’” Full Review

Happy Talk
Midtown W
Front Row Center

“’Happy Talk’...plays tricks with our perception - and it takes a long, long time to get where it is going...The performances are all quite fine. Some are more rounded than others, but this is due to the writing that often feels tentative. No one person dominates the story...The result is that this play travels along its sad path until it reaches the climax, where a touch of dastardly is thrown in...Nothing is really resolved. The play just ends...We all leave...wondering what we just watched.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“I rarely cannot find a place to start, but this production is so slippery that it keeps wiggling out of my hands. It doesn’t get far...because like so many of the victims that are piled high on the stage, it is missing ambulatory appendages that will take it anywhere...I cannot say with certainty what the play is about...In the end we have no idea what we have watched or why...If you have money to burn and are in the mood for mildly entertaining without a scoche of sense – you need look no f... Full Review

Caroline's Kitchen
Midtown E
Front Row Center

"Torben Betts has taken British Farce and put it a crash diet of steroids. Not a good idea for any of us...Betts has thrown everything into this stew without discriminating. And unlike a good old farce there is no unraveling of story paths that will surprise or delight because we see everything coming a mile away, drip by drip...The cast has little chance to craft much of a performance and instead spend their time gasping and mugging from point A to point B and back again." Full Review

Front Row Center

“Spend your time and money elsewhere. ‘The Pain Of My Belligerence’ is one of those shows that will stick to the bottom of your shoe no matter what you do...In spite of everyone's best efforts - there is nothing to be done for this production because the script never delivers...The best thing that can be said for this show that it drives people to the nearest bar.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"Alison Leiby has constructed such an intelligent, surprising, direct and unadorned story that you will want to listen. I promise. ... Not only has Leib nothing to hide, she has a boatload of stuff to share with you. Share as in – these are ideas that would like to make a home in your noggin’ and then you can share. See how this works?" Full Review

Front Row Center

"The rule of creating art is: the more specific you are the more universal the truth. Michale R. Jackson is very, very specific. This black gay man wandering around New York wondering why life is so terrible – that man himself is a voice in all our heads." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The relationship between these two people is painted with such intimacy we feel like we are eavesdropping. Each pushes the story forward, one step at a time. Recklessness cannot be measured in centimeters. What we bear witness to is our own strange paths. This play is a mirror. We are all survivors of our own making: broken and brave; remorseful and strong; battered and brilliant. All driving with our pedals to the metal." Full Review

Front Row Center

"3.5/5 stars...The entire cast of 'Paradise Square' is a boatload of triple threats...The problem here is that someone forgot to decide on the story. There is no clear beginning, middle or end...On the plus side, there is singing that will make you stand up and cheer and dancing that will make you weep for joy...And yet, without a story line to guide us, and songs that do not further the tale, in the end we are left wandering in the wilderness holding a bowlful of good intentions. We are insp... Full Review

Out of Time
East Village
Front Row Center

"3/5 stars...It could have worked if as much attention were given to the texts themselves. With the exception of the last piece, 'Disturbance Specialist,' performed by Natsuko Ohama and written by Sam Chanse, none of the pieces had a raison d’être strong enough to support the effort...The up side of all of this is that most all of us are watching actors we have not seen, or noticed, or considered before now. That is a damn shame and one can hope that this production will shine a light on the... Full Review

Front Row Center

"For the duration of the play we are guided (with the aide of a spectacular set by Takeshi Kata) back and forth in time. There are a few logistical glitches here and there as well as puzzling gaps in the narrative, but these pass and we are back with this family in a blink. Harmon does not suffer fools, nor does the excellent director David Cromer. We must pay attention, and these fine actors make that task a pleasant one indeed." Full Review

Front Row Center

"No matter my lack of interest or insider knowledge about the TV series, Bushnell is at the ready with stories that will make your head spin." Full Review

Clyde's (Broadway)
Midtown W
Front Row Center

"So we have Clyde plowing over the people like a steam ship and the workers putting up with it out of fear. There is never a let-up in this scenario which is a problem. Although it is a very real situation, I can tell you from experience, this is not what we want in the theatre. We want someone to change, or something to change. By the story’s conclusion we are nearly as worn down as the workers from this relentless battle between cruelty and hope." Full Review

Front Row Center

"Assassins is a particular piece. There is only one prop common to all of the characters: a gun. It is their strength, their sword, their sword arm for that matter. Because they welcome it, and everything for which is stands, they can and will murder – or at least try. But murder, in this case is not a blip on the monitor." Full Review

Front Row Center

An intense, disturbing, and impeccably produced production. Deavere Smith has now surrendered her one-person show to the very capable hands of these fine actors (Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, Karl Kenzler, Elena Hurst, Francis Jue and Wesley T. Jones) and their director Taibi Magar as well as the extensive production crew. This was an unusual choice, and it has paid off. Full Review

Front Row Center

"This is sit-com writing and stock characters from start to finish, but the actors take it all in stride and walk hand in hand to the finish without flinching. It is we who do the flinching. And the laughing. There seems to be an equal balance of both." Full Review

Front Row Center

"You know one of the best parts about living under a rock? The best part is that you get to be continually surprised by things, people, places that other people take for granted. You get surprised over and over again while the rest of the informed world is saying, "Been there. Done that." Neal Brennan: Unacceptable is my most recent discovery." Full Review

Front Row Center

If you had told me, say, a year ago, that would be watching a live toy puppet theatre production of a play based on "Planet of the Apes," I would have tossed you out the window. If, however, you had said the production was created and featured the talent of Peter Marino, I would have put the date in my calendar - in ink. Full Review

The Hot Wing King
Midtown W
Front Row Center

Score: 95% "Katori Hall loves people. She loves to hear what they have to say. And these fine gentlemen ALL have a lot to say in 'The Hot Wing King.' Hall says,'If I know where a character sits in the house then I can figure out who they are.' Lucky for us there are plenty of seats in this house." Full Review

Medea (BAM)
Brooklyn
Front Row Center

Score: 65% "I was interested but never concerned. As sad a story as this is, I remained outside. An observer, uninvolved. Not, I suspect, the effect desired by the creative team." Full Review

The Thin Place
Midtown W
Front Row Center

Score: 88%. "Hnath and director Les Waters have created something like a pas de deux. Matching pacing and movement from moment to moment. What they have created releases what has been set to paper and lets it fly - creating a new 'Thin Place' where there was none before." Full Review

The Inheritance
Midtown W
Front Row Center

Score: 80% "In this play there is one moment where the great loss from the plague of AIDS is handed to us like a baby in swaddling clothes. Before we know it we have wrapped our arms around the now visible wound that we thought we had left behind." Full Review

Front Row Center

70% "This year’s crop of 'Summer Shorts' is a ho-hum, hum drum sort of an evening. At 'Series B' the evening featured three plays, each with a solid core of an intriguing idea that was then dressed up with too many words and not enough action." Full Review

Toni Stone
Midtown W
New York Theatre Guide

“Lydia R. Diamond has created a mesmerizing narrative overlaid onto the rhythm that is baseball...Her writing, combined with the supple choreography of Camille A. Brown, the guidance of Pam MacKinnon, and a cast delivered from heaven creates a quiet play that soars like an opera...This is a trifecta of great theatre - a good script, direction that pays attention to detail, and a fine cast...An evening of hope and inspiration combined with just the right amount of remonstrance." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"It sings. It flies. Leon and his fine cast have imbued the production with a certain style, grace and spirit...Both Brooks and Coleman bring a special understanding to the text, lifting it above the strict confines of the page and turning it into a kind of sweet music...Chuck Cooper turns the poetry into dialogue that is a marvel to the ear. Nearly everyone else follows suit....What did they do to make it so their own? Methinks it is a soupçon of theatre magic." Full Review

Little Women
West Village
Front Row Center

“Retrofitted to within an inch of its life to be relevant for today. The thing is, it was already relevant...The lack of dramatic arc prevents these fine actors from shining. There is little or no inventive direction...Every time Harvey appears, the stage brightens considerably. The singular scene that crackles is the one in which Crane plays a parrot. He is brilliant...In this production, the ties that bind are loose. Just as this play is loosely based on the novel." Full Review

Proof of Love
West Village
Front Row Center

“Well, this show may be many things, but ‘Proof of Love’ it surely is not. To be completely honest, I cannot tell where the problem rests - there is plenty of problem to spread around...Pressley plays pretty much one note - a sort of maudlin condition - for most of the 70 minutes she is with us. So consistent is her tone that this must have been the wish of...Hutchinson, as well as...Carroll...The result is that the pace and tone are like the blips on a hospital monitor. Repetitive and monoto... Full Review

Passage
Soho/Tribeca
Front Row Center

“A great big Nothing Burger. It is, however, presented by some top-notch actors. Thus, what could be a disaster of an evening remains afloat,..Has the feel of a spiritual seminar...This is a supremely well-intentioned piece...With ‘Passage’ Chen swaps out specificity for generalities, details for philosophy, and emotions for platitudes. It ends up being a singularly uninteresting event – despite the intentions of the author and the fine work of this cast.” Full Review

Link Link Circus
Upper E Side
Front Row Center

"She is voracious and insistent. And because this is her passion, she has little trouble passing on the passion to us. What gets in the way is everything else. The evening is basically a dissertation defense and as such is fascinating. The addition of props, a puppeteer and especially her dog, Pan, is not only unnecessary, but it is distracting...She is an utterly charming presence on the stage. She can afford to keep it simple." Full Review

Front Row Center

“Not a lighthearted romp. It is, as the title suggests, a recital of, well, 17 border crossings...Phillips is a skilled storyteller. Combined with the superb lighting...these crossings crackle with life. This does not stop the evening from tumbling into a blur of borders, however, because there is no connective tissue. There is no chronological order, no itinerary, and no reason given for why Phillips has been bouncing around the world for the past 18 or so years.” Full Review