William Wolf

William Wolf is a critic with Wolf Entertainment Guide. 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 (294)
Handbagged
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Witty, unusual and pointedly funny comedy...Buffini’s concept has Thatcher as her older and younger self, which provides the opportunity for internal thoughts. The author does the same with Queen Elizabeth...All four are superb...Although it takes a while getting into the spirit and thrust of ‘Handbagged’, which is a very odd play, soon Buffini demonstrates her gift of being able to mix wit, broad humor, political viewpoints and enjoyable acting into an entertaining topical stew.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Ranks among the company’s best productions...It is superbly cast and directed, filled with laughs and colorful renditions of the songs, whether comic or romantic...The new mounting of ‘Enter Laughing’ in such entertaining fashion is an indication of why that work has longevity. The laughs, the clever songs and the colorful roles still hold up.” Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Driver is a super dynamic actor who piles on his peculiar charm with the force of fierce winds of a hurricane...Russell does a very effective job portraying the various frustrations and emotions of Anna in relation to Pale and her work...’Burn This’ holds up as an important work in Lanford Wilson’s writing, and it is delightful to get such an excellent all-around production with this formidable cast.” Full Review

Socrates
East Village
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“The conversation is intense but never boring in Nelson’s drama, which is getting a splendid staging under the direction of Hughes...Stuhlbarg’s portrayal of the ancient philosopher is a highlight of the season as he makes the influential figure of ancient Greece come vividly alive...What Nelson achieves in his play is a depiction of both the personality and the wit of Socrates...Powerful theater." Full Review

After
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A superb five-member ensemble grippingly advances a story involving two families steeped in the challenges of parenting and in the difficulty of knowing what their children at school may be up to...The dialogue is snippy...The play is smartly tuned into what can happen in schools today between kids, often involving bullying. Brancato’s direction proceeds with mounting intensity in sync with the playwright’s build-up to all of the revelations." Full Review

A Jewish Joke
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"With taut direction by David Ellenstein, Johnson recounts Bernie’s story between phone calls as step by step the situation becomes fraught with increasing tension and danger to his career...The process of reading gags from Bernie’s collection periodically breaks the tension...The strength of the play, which lasts 90 minutes without an intermission, lies in uncertainty right up to the bitter end. Johnson does a superb job connecting with his audience." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The actresses are clearly talented as performers and singers—it’s the characters they play who are a hopeless lot. What makes the foursome look ridiculous is that while they behave like teenagers at a sleepover they are really mature women in terms of age...Perhaps the dialogue and songs and the intimate get-together for a chick night of booze and gab speak to an audience ready to swallow the brainless banter defining the lives of these exuberant losers. Good luck." Full Review

Lolita, My Love
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It is definitely worth this fresh look in the concert style staging...The difficulty with the work—and I speak of the musical itself, not this presentation—is that as it grows more and more complicated and serious, Nakokov’s satirical vision is overshadowed, and the right tone that we experience in the first act, is lost. Although there still are some good numbers that Lerner wrote, the story turns primarily nasty...An interesting attempt to make a musical out of a difficult subject." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Basically succeeds, even though this is a pared down version that still could stand more editing. It has been deftly re-imagined in the direction...and with new orchestrations and arrangements...An excellent cast is sufficiently appealing to make one care for the characters...The revival is enjoyable to watch, as well as reminding us of how creative this Sondheim work is despite the book’s complexity.” Full Review

God Shows Up
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

for a previous production "As the play gets more intense and progressively funnier, the ideas are hammered home to excess, and the piece could stand trimming...Audiences are in for a surprise supplied by the versatile Bofill, a unique ploy central to Filichia’s viewpoint on heavenly control and retribution...Filichia has a good sense of comedy and how to build humor into the lacerating dialogue illuminating the hypocrisy...Basically amusing and often witty." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It is easy to see how the musical as originally staged might have been moderately enjoyable but not a smash hit. However, it is quite charming in this intimate 90-minute intermission-less concert-style version in one act. The York has assembled an excellent cast capable of coming through effectively after a week’s rehearsal. The performers manage to eclipse the thinness of the plot that makes this a very minor Lerner-Loewe collaboration." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Hawke and Dano are having a riotous time...Nasty but darkly hilarious...Shepard’s genius is that he is able to express his ideas with so much humor. There is a lot to laugh at even as one may cringe from the basic ugliness of what we are witnessing...Macdonald has staged the play with comic and dramatic precision. Hawke and Dano make the most of the opportunity, and their timing through it all is letter-perfect, as is their interpreting of the dialogue.” Full Review

Carmelina
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Staging under the direction of Michael Leeds, with David Hancock Turner as musical director, is quite delightful. Yes, the plot may still be a stretch, but the story abetted by some very good songs offers the opportunity for performances that are amusing and also sometimes touching...The York has come through once again with an impressive cast of eight who bring the tale to life.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A provocative program, with two particularly strong works following a problematic opener...'Great Negro Works of Art,' is set in a museum...LaBute explores their differences as the two walk around observing paintings and verbally spar with increasing intensity...'Unlikely Japan' consists of a heartfelt monologue by the impressive Gia Crovatin...'The Fourth Reich' is difficult to swallow...LaBute’s efforts to make us look at Hitler in a different way are shallow, and even offensive." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Music is integrated into the production, with mezzo-soprano Swann...and an ensemble of talented musicians providing the accompaniment...The spoken passages are the weakest aspect...It is the dancing of Fairchild and the balletic conception of the creature that gives the production its chief distinction...Highly unusual in the pantheon of ‘Frankenstein’ endeavors, and despite the monster’s violent behavior, the emphasis is on the beauty of the production rather than on horror.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Boothe is triumphantly dynamic in the role of Undine...She stresses the comedy of the play more blatantly...and so does director Lileana Blain-Cruz...For all the laughter the play generates, this is basically a serious story...The play never loses the pizzazz of the staging, with its very busy and proficient cast members...The ending is in an entertaining and celebratory mode, showing that Undine’s journey of self-discovery has been successful." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Johnson is a talented young girl with firm command of her lines, gestures and stage presence. However...Johnson’s constant barrage of comments...can grate on one’s nerves...One may appreciate the skill of the youngster and look forward to seeing her in a play that is more substantial and less cloying. Masur does what he must to move from initial annoyance to affection, in addition to reflecting loneliness and loss. However, Mallon’s play only offers a very thin experience.” Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“van Hove’s direction...is spot-on and exciting. Making the most of the star performance by the terrific Cranston, The director has done a spectacular job of staging this National Theatre production...What van Hove has accomplished is creating a lively, busy and frequently hectic television studio atmosphere...It all has a dynamic effect...There is some extra baggage that should be eliminated...Rising above even the best of the staging is the mighty performance of Cranston.” Full Review

The Hello Girls
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A delightful tribute to the real-life women...What’s special about this production is that most of the cast members, in addition to providing affecting acting, play an assortment of musical instruments, and director Reich and choreographer Christine O’Grady keep the performers moving swiftly about the stage as the story unfolds...The musical numbers are catchy, and the lyrics are bright and intelligent...Winning performances and admirable creativity." Full Review

Life x3
Chelsea
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Cast members...tear into their roles with a vengeance, and that breathes life into one of Reza’s lesser works...The ‘x 3’...refers to getting three different versions of a gathering...Reza has written a few funny lines, but the marital conflicts and the interplay between the couples mainly provide the humor. Although things can at moments become somewhat tedious...It is enjoyable watching the four excellent actors make the most of their roles.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A rollicking, fast-talking comedy with contemporary implications delivered entertainingly by a perfect cast...Although the 80-minute, intermission-less romp can grow a bit tedious in spots after a while despite the acting expertise, it basically comes across as a very funny, witty show offering blasts of laughter in line after line. Radcliffe proves himself to be an increasingly fine stage actor, and he deserves an award just for his speed-talking. Jones and Cannavale are also terrific." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“The staging is awkward, with cast members having to open and set up tables, as well as closing them, and there is a lack of overall smoothness. The strongest element is the casting of Raúl Esparza as the villainous Ui, and when he dramatically gives it his all in his huge second act speech, the play rises to the occasion. Another thing the play has going for it at this particular moment is our own sensitivity to the evil of the current Trump administration.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"May is triumphant in her dramatic venture, displaying remarkable acting talent at a new level...It is one of the season’s performances not to be missed...Impeccably directed by Neugebauer with mounting tension to match the increasing desperation...Lonergan has written a play that may be especially tough to take for those who have had to deal with family members with dementia. But he has succeeded in dramatizing the problem with admirable effectiveness." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The genius of Jez Butterworth’s riveting play lies in its exuberant portrayal of a family named Carney effectively linked to the Troubles in Northern Ireland...The threads eventually mesh dramatically in a shattering climax after the build-up in the fast-paced three hours and fifteen minutes overall dynamic depiction...An experience of unusual dimension, fascinating characters made so life-like, snappy dialogue, and staging that keeps one’s attention glued to all that’s happening." Full Review

Apologia
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Family and personal issues are at the root of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s perceptive play...The problems encountered are expertly spotlighted by the fine cast...The direction by Daniel Aukin builds tension with cumulative effect...’Apologia’, for all of the humor it contains along with the outbursts, is a sad play marked by the impressive acting of a well-chosen cast, but it is Channing’s skillfully modulated performance that is especially affecting.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Robust, entertaining and relevant up-to-date staging...What works especially well is the casting...The spirit of this production fits neatly into the concept and enables one to have a very good time without feeling that the Bard would have anything to complain about. On the contrary, inherent in the ultimate romantic resolution is an appeal for peace and people getting along, a today-ring of hope without seeming heavy-handed.” Full Review

Killing Time
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Forsyth gives a feisty performance as Hester Brooke...What keeps Mills’ play going is the acting. Forsyth communicates Hester’s concerns about what her life has meant, and morbid humor is mined when Sara reads Hester a pre-prepared obituary...This is a slight work, but the intimacy with the closely-seated audience and the acting intensity of Forsyth and Mills keep things rolling in a manner that makes us question the course of mortality." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Two words make the only reason to see the current production...Glenda Jackson...Jackson lives up to expectations, with a powerful, remarkable performance...Some of the cast members are good, but the production lacks distinction...No matter...This is Jackson’s show, and she certainly delivers...This production, which will most likely be forgotten except as the occasion of Jackson demonstrating her prowess with her memorable, award-caliber performance.” Full Review

Sincerely, Oscar
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Emerges predominantly as an often mesmerizing trip into the musical world in which Hammerstein made enormous, lasting contributions. We can immerse ourselves into the gentle exploration of those contributions presented with panache by two expert singers able to honor the lyricist’s genius and express his messages about love, the joy of living, and especially the importance of racial equality." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It is clearly aimed at young audiences...As for older folk, beware. The super-loud electronically oriented pop music and mostly witless lyrics are by Joe Iconis, and the book about high school angst by Joe Tracz...The cast does its job big-time, eliciting loud applause for solo numbers from the adoring audience members who act as if they are experiencing euphoria...I do have one optimistic takeaway: anything that introduces a younger generation to the theater is a plus." Full Review

The Cake
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The issue is dealt with in terms of relations between the characters involved, not as a political drama, and that gives it a fresh take...The baker is Della, played by Debra Jo Rupp in a luminous performance that is entertaining and ultimately emotionally critical to the plot and relationships...The play’s resolution makes for more potent drama and perspective than a rehash of the real-life legal battles might have been." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It is a wonder to behold...'Fiddler' is being played in the language in which it was meant to be, and it seems thoroughly natural in this appealing staging directed with sensitivity, humor, pathos and dignity by distinguished actor Joel Grey...Steven Skybell is a great Tevye. He makes the character come realistically alive...The large cast does an excellent job all around...The dancing is creative and exuberant, and the singing is tops." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“As usual, The Mint has assembled an excellent company to play the various roles...What’s especially interesting is the play’s understated tone, set both by the writing and the respectful direction...What Baker achieves is a candid portrait of a family with strong ties but in crisis as a result of the need of the father to adhere to his principles. You may think those principles idiotic but the family depicted is prepared to honor them even though they conflict with personal needs and goals.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"I had trouble adjusting at first to the southern accents, and also, the staging by Bartlett Sher seemed awfully busy flitting back and forth between the courtroom and other venues. But eventually I adjusted to that too. Putting Harper Lee’s long popular novel on stage was a challenge to Sorkin, given the narrative and character demands. But I am happy to report that his writing has succeeded admirably in capturing the essence of Lee’s work with strong dramatic impact." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The drama’s power is fully realized in this staging directed by Ciarán O’Reilly with an effective buildup to the shattering climax. The company, with its customary dependability, has assembled a superb cast that milks every bit of the drama...It is remarkable how successful the author is in setting the stage and following through with a tense buildup in a complex play that is only 105 minutes long." Full Review

Call Me Madam
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"With its typically smart concert style staging, almost at full production level, Encores! demonstrates how cleverly satirical the show was for its time, and it has some absolutely delightful Berlin songs to enjoy...Carmen Cusack makes the character come to life believably as she integrates the comedy with the romance that blossoms so that there is real feeling projected within the corny plot and her deft satirical interpretation...The cast and chorus work brighten the revival." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Bolt’s superb play...The role of More in the current revival...is in the hands of the excellent Countryman...Scott-Reed succeeds in stressing key aspects of Bolt’s play despite the small scale of the staging against a background of minimal scenery geared to suggest the 16th century period. This may be a small production, but, acted and staged with intensity, the play still speaks to us.” Full Review

Trick or Treat
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Neary’s play ‘Trick or Treat’...has the best first act closing scene of any recent play, and it fits neatly with the thrust of the story about a mess of a family that nevertheless makes its immorality entertaining...The cast is excellent, making the characters as believable as they are outrageous. Good actors can go a long way to covering up a play’s contrivances, as is sometimes the case here. Neary even succeeds in bringing some pathos into the nasty situation, and the cast pulls that off ... Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Here is another case in which the performances exceed the caliber of the play...The cast is a stalwart one...But the play abounds in plot clichés, seems overlong...and abounds in predictable situations...Much seems contrived. However, the choral singing, mostly of religious songs, but enhanced on occasion by some well-choreographed modern riffs, brighten the show. And always there is the assembly of fine performances.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The show’s big plus is the performance by Dove Cameron in the lead...The various plot threads are too thin to care much about, including the assorted relationships between Cher and friends and also with Josh,...The rest of the cast members fit neatly into the overall busy entourage. But despite all the show biz know-how and the especially entertaining Cameron, an avalanche of teenage vacuity may be more than some can take.” Full Review

Christmas in Hell
Midtown E
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Although the York Theatre Company flashes a quality cast typical of its productions, the word cockamamie could have been invented to specifically apply to the book that Gary Apple has written for this musical. The actors work valiantly, but the story is so patently stupid that only occasionally entertaining numbers, for which Apple also has written music and lyrics, relieve the overall idiocy." Full Review

Noura
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Raffo packs so much into her plot, including a surprise twist, that the end result is rather diffuse. There are commanding ingredients for an audience to contemplate, but the play doesn’t have sufficient impact to leave one deeply moved. However, there are many striking moments tied to the underlying theme...Settle keeps the busy dialogue brimming...Settle is meticulous in building an atmosphere ripe for puncturing...If only we could feel more deeply about the outcome.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"This is sensational actress-singer Block’s show as she turns in a rousing performance...Primarily a flashy expedition...There’s little depth to the book as it attempts to span developments in Cher’s life and career...The main attraction is pure glitz, the kind that sets off applauding by Cher enthusiasts...It is a sweeping jukebox bio with a chance to ooh and ah at the costumes and enjoy performance highlights in the triple-duty depictions of Cher...particularly the stint of Block as Cher." Full Review

The Hard Problem
Upper W Side
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“A barrage of ideas related to human existence raised by Stoppard is given voice by an excellent cast...Clemens is giving a performance that is among the season’s finest in the role of Hilary...What’s ultimately impressive is that despite all the talk about trying to scientifically understand the brain, a key aspect of the play comes down to human emotions and trying to do the right thing. Stoppard’s vision in this respect is movingly expressed by Hilary and her approach to life.” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Washington gives a totally riveting performance in Christopher Demos-Brown’s taut, intermission-less play that intensely builds toward its climax in real-time. It is sternly trying to depict a recurring problem in America, but spins the tale via dramatic portraits and confrontations rather than by sermonizing. Under Kenny Leon’s sizzling direction, this is an unrelieved, high-tension drama with a stalwart cast that never falters." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The wittiest musical to brighten Broadway this season...Add an enjoyable cast, Casey Nicholaw’s slick direction, and rousing choreography perfectly attuned to the subject matter and you have the ingredients for a sure-fire, word-of-mouth hit...A terrific ensemble masters the spirited, demanding choreography, often to audience applause...Fun-filled and packed with entertainment blending with the underlying sincerity." Full Review

Gloria: A Life
Gramercy
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Informative and motivational, as well as entertaining...Steinem brings the play’s impassioned views up to date, including opposition to Trump and the ongoing threats to a woman’s right to abortion...The entire play is fueled by the charm of Lahti’s candid performance, and the production adds up to a huge activist rally. On the night I attended this was reinforced in the post-play discussion...The chat session, at moments like a revival meeting, was frequently interrupted by applause." Full Review

India Pale Ale
Midtown W
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"It is at once educational about Punjabi-Americans, including their culture and heritage, and also a plea for understanding and peaceful relations between people...While the play is best when showing intimately the Batra family members and their lives, the playwright also goes in for fantasy numbers attempting to show the heritage linking to pirate ancestors...At moments the ploy becomes downright silly...The interplay between visiting Tim and the Batra family...is amusing and hopeful" Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Thoroughly zany in style and performance under the direction of Wise, but it all makes sense thematically in its inherent attack on war, man’s proclivity for killing, inflated heroics and human behavior...The author’s lines add up to a steady beat of stripping away pretension, undermining phony wartime heroism, and mocking machismo...It would be shortsighted to expect a totally logical pot. The acting fits into the concept and mad tone, with excellent cast members.” Full Review

Mother of the Maid
East Village
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"The play, directed by Matthew Penn with tight precision and intensified emphasis on key situations, goes where other dramas about Joan have not—emphasis on her family in relation to all that took place...It is Close who makes this her play...One walks away with deep feelings both for Joan, so effectively played by Van Patten, and for her hitherto overlooked mother, brought so amazingly to life and into our minds by the brilliance of Close’s acting and the perceptive writing by Anderson.” Full Review