Varlotte

Brooklyn | 25-34 | Female
About:  Playwright, fantasist, and educator. I love telling genre stories.
Reviews (41)
92
Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious
July 2nd, 2022

See it if You want to know how we got here as a country, without feeling moralized to. You want to see Will Arbery's most grounded writing to date.

Don't see it if You don't want to look behind the curtain at American conservative religion, politics, or ideology, and the hell they've wrought on us all.

Also After 2016, a lot of us wondered what (if anything) American conservat... Read more Read less

84
Circle Jerk
East Village
Great staging, Edgy, Funny, Clever, Ambitious
July 2nd, 2022

See it if You like ridiculously clever referential theater staged for the gods that knows its roots and isn't impressed. You might be Very Online.

Don't see it if You don't like references, politics, or being made fun of, you don't like "internet humor," you don't understand social media

88
Resonant, Quirky, Great singing, Enchanting, Clever
July 2nd, 2022

See it if *You want to see two performers work magic from an empty room. *You love barebones storytelling and great music!

Don't see it if *You need a big cast, or fancy sets and costumes to enjoy a musical. *You're turned off by rural Scottish accents. *You need an edgy "twist"

Also This play might be twee or archetypal for some folks, but it really di... Read more Read less

50
Great lead, Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing
July 2nd, 2022

See it if * You want to see Danai Gurira try her damndest (and succeed in places!) * You want to celebrate a venerable NYC tradition!

Don't see it if * You were hoping for innovative cuts or intentionally inclusive casting. * You want themes, or a play that justifies its existence at all

Also I don't understand how this play was cut or directed. The dramaturgy f... Read more Read less

53
Dracula (CSC)
East Village
Great staging, Disappointing, Dated, Cliched, Banal
March 1st, 2020

See it if You want to see a "Dracula" that won't scare you at all, you love misplaced camp, hamminess, and lipservice to feminism that goes nowhere.

Don't see it if You want a production that actually interrogates its subject material in any sort of intelligent way.

Also Tldr; pardon the pun, but it sucks. ... Read more Read less

65
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious
February 17th, 2020

See it if You want to see a luminous performance by Ruth Negga almost obscured by cluttered and cliched staging/supporting cast.

Don't see it if You want visual coherence, you don't like unnecessary sexual violence imagery that doesn't have a CW for some reason, trump imagery.

Also Farber takes a few big textual swings with staging the soliloquies as ... Read more Read less

85
Wives
Midtown W
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Dizzying, Absorbing, Ambitious
September 29th, 2019

See it if You love anachronistic, feminist witchy theater happenings that know where they've come from and are burning brightly towards somewhere.

Don't see it if You need clear traditional narratives and/or approaches to history/theater. You need answers spelled out. You think history is great men.

90
Fairview
Brooklyn
Intense, Dizzying, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious
June 20th, 2019

See it if You want to interrogate American racial humor, and the relationship between playwright, actor, and audience.

Don't see it if You don't like confronting your own discomfort, you like more passive theater experiences.

60
During previews
In the Green
Upper W Side
Overrated, Disappointing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great singing
June 20th, 2019

See it if You love Grace McLean's innovative music.

Don't see it if you want specificity in lyrics/book/storytelling, you don't want to be triggered by an assault narrative that doesn't serve the story at all

Also McLean did a lot of research into medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen... Read more Read less

77
For a previous production
Mac Beth
Upper E Side
Thought-provoking, Overrated, Great staging, Cliched, Ambitious
May 23rd, 2019

See it if you like theater that "talks back" to the classics, but doesn't stick the landing. You like innovative staging and a fully-committed cast.

Don't see it if -you need logical environmental storytelling -"teen girl horror" isn't a genre you like -you want a consistent metanarrative, or none at all

Also This is a hard review to write. This play was fascinating in its ideas... Read more Read less

97
During previews
Must see, Great singing, Great staging, Dizzying, Ambitious
April 12th, 2019

See it if you love seeing classical myths through the prisms of America's most powerful exports: capitalism, spectacle, and the blues.

Don't see it if you need "traditional" showtunes, story, staging, and performances in musicals.

55
Tried so hard, Underwhelming, Basic, Banal, Dated
April 7th, 2019

See it if you're a Liberal Boomer Tourist who wants to pat themselves on the back for listening to something slightly challenging in a safe setting.

Don't see it if You want radical theater to be actually radical. You think that feminism should be intersectional. You think class/money influences the law.

90
Marys Seacole
Upper W Side
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Absorbing, Ambitious
April 5th, 2019

See it if you want to be immersed in an abstract, multigenerational portrait of resilient femininity in the face of horror, colonialism, and war

Don't see it if you think this sounds like a play about "women's issues."

96
During previews
Thought-provoking, Masterful, Intense, Edgy, Clever
April 5th, 2019

See it if you want to see all the lost raunch, humor, vitality, and menace restored to a play that's often rendered toothless, and neutered.

Don't see it if You don't like theater that makes you think or leaves the lights on. You like things explained to you directly. You put shows on pedestals.

89
During previews
The White Devil
West Village
Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious
March 23rd, 2019

See it if you're interested in Jacobean drama; you like a healthy mix of tones; you want to explore revenge, misogyny, and power.

Don't see it if you think violence, melodrama, and dark comedy shouldn't mix. You don't like ambiguity. You don't like classics in contemporary staging.

80
Clever, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Funny, Great acting
November 17th, 2018

See it if You get Shakespearean in-jokes, you want to see Janet McTeer teach a Master Class in performance.

Don't see it if You want to see a proto-feminist legend get narrative justice without a man snatching the spotlight

98
Honors Students
East Village
Ambitious, Dizzying, Edgy, Clever, Great acting
November 10th, 2018

See it if You like psychosexual teen-girl friendships brought to excruciatingly-stylized life. You love incendiary dialogue, dark humor, and ambiguity

Don't see it if Female pain makes you laugh. If you're squeamish, idealize/fetishize teen girls, are sexist, or need clear resolutions and explanations.

98
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Must see
November 3rd, 2018

See it if You like sci fi that expects an intelligent audience and doesn't explain, warm and compassionate grooves, and interstellar protest music.

Don't see it if You need plot explanations, you don't like sci fi, you like tidy resolutions, you're conservative or don't like thinking in the theater.

Also This show was incredible. Immersive without making your audience runni... Read more Read less

52
During previews
Days of Rage
Midtown W
Cliched, Banal, Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent
October 20th, 2018

See it if you're a babyboomer who needs recognition, you think that there are "bad people on both sides" so activism is pointless, you <3 flat writing

Don't see it if you want originality, you want a play about politics with a clear stance or a play about relationships with any well-written characters

99
During previews
Renascence
Lower E Side
Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Refreshing, Must see
October 19th, 2018

See it if you thought there needed to be a feminist, intersectional "Hamilton," you love gorgeous writing, staging, and acting, you don't suck

Don't see it if you need narrative "bio pic" style plays, you need plays to be "about" something, you're easily confused, you're a terrible person

95
Your Invisible Corset
Lower E Side
Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Great staging, Great acting
October 15th, 2018

See it if you love innovative takes on the classic that interrogate them for a contemporary audience, you want feminist horror and catharsis

Don't see it if you need things spoon-fed to you, you hate seeing women regaining agency and power, you only like traditional versions of older stories

80
Holy Ghosts
Chelsea
Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Relevant
September 29th, 2018

See it if you're interested in why people turn to fundamentalist religions, you like interesting staging and writing

Don't see it if you're protective of your religion, you need a concrete ending

98
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great singing, Masterful
August 21st, 2018

See it if you love Sondheim, imaginative, minimalist, and immersive staging that feels absolutely natural, you want to see phenomenal performers.

Don't see it if you don't like Sweeney Todd. You hate immersive theater, or musicals. You love big-budget broadway nonsense.

87
Delightful, Clever, Dizzying, Intelligent, Quirky
August 15th, 2018

See it if you like nontraditional theater experiences (part memoir, part concert, part TED Talk, part stand-up.)

Don't see it if you don't have the patience for thought experiments, sick rhymes, nerd humor, or abstract concepts.

50
During previews
Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Insipid, Great dancing
July 22nd, 2018

See it if you want to see a sterilized book report on the 70s with hot dancing guys, you love narrative and tonal dissonance, you <3 trauma tourism

Don't see it if you want three-dimensional characters, a coherent plot, or a play where female characters' trauma isn't used to manipulate the audience

30
Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Slow, Rapey
July 20th, 2018

See it if you love really cringey rape jokes, seeing interesting women reduced to really shoddy cliches, inconsistent writing, and banality.

Don't see it if you wanted an interesting play about a fascinating woman, you wanted a nuanced take on medieval history or feminism Just don't see it.

65
The End of Mermaids
East Village
Disappointing, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Slow
July 14th, 2018

See it if you like quirky quips and setups, Floridian Lake-Woebegone esque humor, and great dancing

Don't see it if you hate dancing, you want things that get set up to have narrative payoff, you like concise writing

55
For a previous production
Absorbing, Cliched, Great staging, Nostalgic
July 11th, 2018

See it if you still love Harry Potter for some reason, you have an extra couple hundred to burn

Don't see it if you've outgrown funneling money to TERFs

97
During previews
Mary Page Marlowe
Midtown W
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant
July 11th, 2018

See it if You like nonlinear plotting, finding the beauty in seeming banality, anti-"EPIC" storytelling clichés, celebrating small moments.

Don't see it if You need stories to be linear or have a clearly-defined "point," you need big teary resolution to things, women's lives don't interest you

78
Life Is But a Dream
Lower E Side
Ambitious, Absorbing, Enchanting, Cliched, Intense
May 4th, 2018

See it if you love new translation of old works, really committed ensemble work, quirky staging

Don't see it if older styles of dramatic plotting and characters irritate you

83
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Intense
May 4th, 2018

See it if You love dance, movement, and innovative visual storytelling

Don't see it if You need a linear plot spoon-fed to you

71
queens
Upper W Side
Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting, Absorbing
May 4th, 2018

See it if you love stories about multiple generations of immigrant women that all take place in one building

Don't see it if you're a stickler for consistency and also character development

100
The Wolves
Upper W Side
Enchanting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Great acting
May 4th, 2018

See it if you like feminism, strong women, strong dialogue, and innovative storytelling

Don't see it if you have bad taste or hate women

48
Ms. Estrada
Soho/Tribeca
Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent
May 4th, 2018

See it if you love stereotypes about marginalized groups, you're a TERF or a straight man who thinks they're qualified to write about feminism

Don't see it if you like dramatic consistency, well-thought out female characters, or "politically relevant" theater that is both of those things

100
Indecent
Midtown W
Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Dizzying, Exquisite
May 4th, 2018

See it if you're interested in the history of theater/American pop culture/Judaism, you want to see a GORGEOUS LGBTQ love story, or love amazing music

Don't see it if you hate having emotions, you have terrible taste, you are an antisemite or someone who hates language

70
[PORTO]
Upper W Side
Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent, Raunchy, Quirky
May 4th, 2018

See it if you love artisanal food, brooklyn-insider humor, and maybe-mocking millennials

Don't see it if you're a stickler for linear narrative, you don't like a voice-of-god narrator

79
Beardo
Brooklyn
Ambitious, Great singing, Indulgent, Raunchy
February 17th, 2017

See it if You like "Natasha, Pierre..." You like really good singing and staging, and don't care about lazy lyrics

Don't see it if You really hate it when lyricists repeat lines instead of writing dialogue, you want nuanced character development

100
Clever, Intense, Profound, Great writing
January 30th, 2017

See it if You are a feminist or a birth mother, you know a feminist or a birth mother, you like good writing, burlesque, or supporting strong women

Don't see it if You're a sexist tool, you hate one-man shows, you hate humor, you hate burlesque

80
The Christians
Midtown W
Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great singing, Intelligent
October 25th, 2016

See it if You like nuanced but still funny interrogations of massive, for-profit Christianity with really good singing

Don't see it if you're a devout Christian with no sense of humor

90
Confusing, Entertaining, Great staging, Riveting, Thought-provoking
October 25th, 2016

See it if You like beautiful production design, you like immersive theater, you want to explore a feeling more than a set narrative, you like disco

Don't see it if You want a traditional narrative, you don't like walking around, you hate disco, you're feeling cynical, you don't like being touched

89
Sleep No More
Chelsea
Dizzying, Absorbing, Riveting, Immersive
October 25th, 2016

See it if You like Rebecca (the Hitchcock Film or the DuMaurier Novel,) Ritual Sacrifices, Orgies, Incredible Dancing, Delicately Constructed Worlds

Don't see it if You need a narrative throughline, you hate nudity, silent shows weird you out