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Zachary Stewart

Zachary Stewart is a critic with Theatermania. 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 (265)
Preview kid victory key 800x1200
95
Theatermania

"This new musical employs Kander's instantly recognizable Broadway sound to tell a story that is contemporary, relevant, and brave. The result is the most exciting new musical of the season...Through his consistently lovely music, Kander conveys the discord between what should be and what is...Director Tommy smartly augments the emotional whiplash of the score with her clear and efficient staging...Flynn leads the cast with an unforgettably angst-ridden performance." Full Review

Preview ontheexhale
45
Theatermania

"Zimmerman's decision to indulge in formal gimmickry keeps the play from ever hitting the bull's-eye...We don't get the sense that the stakes are life-or-death...We are always acutely aware that she is reciting poetry. This problem is compounded by Leigh Silverman's stripped-down production...There are moments of simmering intensity…Sadly, ‘On the Exhale’ always takes a breath and backs off the ledge. The result is a drama that feels safe and unmemorable." Full Review

Preview manfromnebraska
80
Theatermania

"A sensitive look at the limited time we have on earth and how that time is governed by the constant struggle between obligation and desire...Birney encases Ken in a cordial falseness, so that we are never quite certain that he means what he says, a trait that has fascinating implications for the end of the play...A combination of Letts' astute writing and Birney's sympathetic performance never allows us to completely discount his feelings, mired in privilege though they may be." Full Review

Preview beardo
85
Theatermania

"A wonderfully strange new musical...Overflowing with mystery and mirth, this tragicomic riff on a familiar tale is an unforgettable theatrical experience...Malloy employs an eclectic mix of styles for a score that is both tuneful and daring...Surprises abound in Heyman's earthy production...'Beardo' thrillingly leaves us to ponder what we just saw and to distrust any immediate conclusions we might make about it." Full Review

Preview img 0077
30
Theatermania

"It's like spending 90 minutes with a self-involved friend as he digs through his storage unit...This is certainly a worthwhile story, but Sobelle consistently chooses the most uninteresting ways to tell it. His interactions with the audience feel more labored than charming...Execution often feels like an afterthought in Neumann's production...The only feeling 'The Object Lesson' is able to deliver is confusion chased by a sincere hope that it will end quickly." Full Review

Preview boundtorise1
40
Theatermania

"The new production is undeniably memorable, but rarely in a good way...Policoff clearly wants to teach us something with his book, and director Oliver Conant stages with a correspondingly heavy hand...Unfortunately, the ensemble also proves to be a weak link. Their attack on group numbers is uncertain...The acting isn't much better, but there are a few glimmers of hope...'Bound to Rise' is, unfortunately, a mediocre musical in an unforgiving theatrical landscape." Full Review

Preview hiddentemple1
40
Theatermania

"The piece has the potential to use the lessons of the past to illuminate the present — an objective never fully realized in this half-hearted attempt at noir...Knockoff Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones: a suspense-free murder mystery that transforms into an inexplicable treasure hunt. To his credit, director Schwab faithfully stages the misguided script...A combination of wooden acting and an aimless script make 'Incident at Hidden Temple' an unmemorable night at the theater." Full Review

Preview mope white
90
Theatermania

“A devastatingly relevant new play…Hardy brilliantly distills giant themes of toxic masculinity and waning privilege into the microcosm of porn…Every performer in the cast works to deepen the story…Tolan keeps all these themes flowing together through efficient staging and design…You wouldn't guess from the play's smutty exterior, but Hardy has penned a 21st-century answer to John Steinbeck's ‘Of Mice and Men,’ that classic exposé of the elusive American dream.” Full Review

Preview rsz 1rsz orange julius face
75
Theatermania

"Barbagallo is an affable and engaging narrator, which is a good thing because much of the story is delivered through direct address to the audience. Unfortunately, some passages get the balance between show and tell wrong...Luckily, this flaw in the script is mostly assuaged by Wills' illuminating and efficient staging...Despite the playwright's inability to fully embrace the form of playwriting, Kreimendahl delivers a sensitive and moving portrait of Julius and his family." Full Review

Preview rsz the tempest
85
Theatermania

"The divine Harriet Walter plays Shakespeare's most godlike creation, Prospero, with uncommon depth of feeling…The prison motif works better here than in any of Lloyd's previous efforts, leading to the kind of seamless storytelling that one hopes for (but rarely gets) when Shakespeare is adapted to an unlikely time or place…In this week of presidential pardons, 'The Tempest' and its themes of clemency resonate, particularly in this astute adaptation." Full Review

Preview made in china white
75
Theatermania

"A surprisingly thoughtful story about the rise of modern China and our relationship to it as American consumers...Warnock and Waage's caffeinated and rigorous staging mostly offsets the effects of the unshorn script...The tone of 'Made in China' is so often derisive that it is difficult to tell when the creators are being sincere...We walk away from the theater with a feeling of profound ambivalence, suspicious of the stuff in our apartments and wanting to know more." Full Review

Preview mata hari white
60
Theatermania

"While ‘Mata Hari's’ story and Marks' music are individually thrilling, their merger onstage often comes across as a confusing jumble…Peers stages the show with great efficiency and thrift…Despite all this wizardry, we still walk away feeling a bit bored. We're confused by the story, but not in a way that makes us want to solve the mystery behind it...'Mata Hari' has a lot of individually great aspects, but it is undermined by its giant ambition to be all things in less than 90 minutes." Full Review

Preview bright colors
80
Theatermania

"This riotous solo play luxuriates in that favorite homosexual pastime: throwing shade. As performed by the witty and articulate Droege, it occasionally has the feeling of a high-concept stand-up comedy routine...Director Michael Urie smartly helps Droege maintain a balance between sassiness and nastiness. He slowly and deliberately pushes the boundaries, testing what he can get away with. He's an undoubtedly messy queen, but one that we can't stop watching." Full Review

Preview prrr
90
Theatermania

"An unforgettable theatrical experience, driven by brave performances and resourceful staging…Greig's playful use of language and magpie instinct toward mythology results in an enchanting story that will stay with you for days after…Luckily, everyone in this excellent five-person cast seems perfectly at ease enacting whatever Greig has written while creating specific and consistent characters." Full Review

Preview the dead white
65
Theatermania

"Through a series of choreographed moments (some more subtle than others), director Ciarán O'Reilly gives us the feeling of being invited to a family dinner during which a few skeletons escape the closet...While it doesn't feel as effortless as other immersive attractions, it gets the job done...'The Dead, 1904' is full of finely crafted moments, as well as many more that have a blunter quality. It's not a perfect immersive production, but one has to admire Irish Rep for taking the risk." Full Review

Preview tbt white
65
Theatermania

"An emotional (and slightly sappy) new play that compellingly theatricalizes the act of giving and receiving advice…Unfortunately, as performed by Vardalos, this radical sincerity often comes across as completely false…Vardalos' costars are more successful…While Sugar's sweeter moments are likely to send some viewers into a diabetic coma, 'Tiny Beautiful Things' captures its subject succinctly and effectively." Full Review

Preview rsz the babylon line
85
Theatermania

"Greenberg is clearly interested in endings, and he gives us a grand one in this thoughtful and sympathetic drama...Director Terry Kinney crafts potentially explosive moments with care and restraint, allowing the tension in the room to build slowly and surely until we are fully invested...Greenberg sacrifices the tragedy of the moment for the comedy of the long perspective — and we are grateful to him for it." Full Review

Preview rudolph white
65
Theatermania

"All of the songs from the TV special are here, smartly arranged...Director-choreographer Solimando gives the elves jerky jitterbug choreography that somewhat simulates the effect of stop-motion animation and the talented ensemble proves more than up to the task of performing it...Solimando delivers a fine imitation of the film, but she doesn't add much to make this event specifically theatrical. Her by-the-book staging gets the job done, but only that." Full Review

Preview pigeon in the taj mahal white
75
Theatermania

"The intimate space is perfect for this oddly charming little play...With a typically Irish handle of language and its comic potential, Sexton draws laughs by contrasting Pigeon's time-warped existence with the trashy excess of Lolly and her ilk...As Pigeon, Keating gives the heftiest performance, fully inhabiting a specific rhythm that feels very real in its strict artifice...Director Alan Cox commits to the tonal contrast of the script in staging and design." Full Review

Preview serv showscore
40
Theatermania

"The entire cast gives it their all in performing this thin yet convoluted plot, and that is part of the problem. The more you encourage them, the harder they push the comedy in ways that just aren't funny...Certainly, many viewers will delight in such gleefully lowbrow humor. Epp sells it better than anyone in the cast...Alas, even he cannot compensate for an overly long script weighed down by zany line readings and mildly funny sight gags." Full Review

Preview party23
25
Theatermania

"Nonstop music, movement, and energy undergirded by scant thematic substance…As Primo, Ruiz portrays the most insufferable theatrical creation in recent memory…It all feels incredibly exploitative with very little redeeming value…Liesl Tommy delivers a production that does little to clarify the haphazard script and regularly skimps on the basics of efficient direction…This is unfortunate since this tireless cast seems more than game for any physical challenge thrown their way." Full Review

Preview don t you say white
75
Theatermania

"An all-star cast as far as off-Broadway is concerned, and they all deliver plausibly human performances, which is fortunate considering that Bragen traffics in occasionally stiff prose and musty 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus'-style clichés. It has the potential to get very old, very fast, but it remarkably never does. Some of the credit surely goes to director Evans and her slick staging, which keeps our heads in the game without getting bogged down in the tennis minutiae." Full Review

Preview love letter white
90
Theatermania

"She's not just an ironclad set of pipes though...Chenoweth proves herself to be the consummate musical-theater actress, playing the intention behind every bar and note...Chenoweth joins the ranks of Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, and Liza Minnelli: leading ladies who can keep us transfixed through an entire night crafted around their considerable personalities and talents...In an age when our country feels increasingly balkanized, Kristin Chenoweth is a reassuring presence." Full Review

Preview notes from the field white
80
Theatermania

"Despite some structural shagginess in the script, Smith keeps us riveted with her mystifyingly real performances...Smith masterfully weaves facts around personal narratives, giving the numbers a human face...While both of these passages succeed at ending the play on a hopeful note...It's only a feel-good ending if you haven't been paying attention for the previous two hours. Still, Smith undeniably convinces us that this is a discussion worth having." Full Review

Preview keyart 01
65
Theatermania

"Only intermittently compelling...With a bold design concept and acidly cynical staging, director Josie Rourke convincingly argues that this is the perfect time for a play about the twilight gavotte of a rotten aristocracy. It leaves us wishing that the cast could keep up with the tempo...In bringing so many artfully executed ideas to the design, Rourke has unfortunately neglected some of the basics that make this drama endurable. The performances range from stilted to hypernaturalistic." Full Review

Preview screenhunter 2587 jan. 09 20.02
45
Theatermania

"At turns ambitious, witty, and a bit dull...Solid performances still don't fully rescue the play from its didactic origins. Dress a medieval morality play up in 21st-century slang and it comes off sounding like a skit for incoming college freshman performed by the resident assistants of purgatory...Nothing in director Lila Neugebauer's high-design production quite rises to the tone set in those austere first 10 minutes, but it is often very impressive." Full Review

Preview rsz 1rsz evening at the talkhouse
80
Theatermania

“The art of dystopian drama is crafting a reality that feels familiar to the audience, so that we can easily draw a line between our world and the one onstage. Shawn has created a world that is uncanny, especially for anyone who frequents the New York theater...Shawn seamlessly blends deathly serious themes with his unique brand of absurd humor…'Evening at the Talk House' isn't really a disturbing look at our possible near future, but our very real present.” Full Review

Preview img 0004
80
Theatermania

"For two hours, these well-to-do white men shout at one another about privilege and politics, capturing the authentic palaver of a certain set of New Yorkers...While Fingerman's characters do fit a little too neatly into their boxes, he uses them to snap a Polaroid of gay conversation in the early part of 2017, proving that a playwright can be a first responder to our culture...Under Dinero's steady direction, the actors are able to make their dialectical lines sound real and believable." Full Review

Preview big river
80
Theatermania

"It sounds better than ever...Scatliffe gives the standout performance of the evening: His delivery is vocally spectacular and he seems to sweat urgency from his pores...Lear deBessonet's production captures the matter-of-fact cruelty of the world according to Twain: Lines that make a modern audience blush are delivered without so much as a second thought...Everything comes together for Miller's distinctive country and bluegrass sound, which keeps our toes tapping throughout the evening." Full Review

Preview 299518
80
Theatermania

"When so much of the American discussion of privilege focuses on race, Saracho bravely writes about class...Some confusing and all-too-easy moments...Luckily, Ruiz's well-staged production helps us suspend our disbelief over these storytelling chasms. His staging is tight and efficient without smothering the performances of the two actors...Saracho's teeming intelligence and emotional sensitivity more than compensate for the occasionally awkward contrivance of her script." Full Review

Preview img 0010
65
Yen
Theatermania

“Director Trip Cullman presents this story with clarity and sensitivity, aided by some truly remarkable acting...Smith gives one of the most electric performances of the season…It all seems calibrated to disturb and we can see the calculation coming, making ‘Yen’ something of a disappointment...Jordan proves herself to have a firm grip on both contemporary language and timeless human behavior…Unfortunately, she cannot resist the siren call of sensationalism." Full Review

Preview the liar white
55
Theatermania

"Even if the play isn't the laugh-out-loud comedy of the year, it comes as a welcome respite from our postmodern age of words without meaning...Ives' adaptation is slow to get off the ground...It never culminates in the tear-producing belly laugh we truly crave. Director Kahn makes up some of the difference with a caffeinated staging that keeps the ornate plot churning along...A diverting, visually sumptuous, but only mildly funny evening at the theater." Full Review

Preview tell hector i miss him
75
Theatermania

"With a beautifully lyrical but unwieldy style, Lázaro explores an entire community...She impressively captures the essence of her subjects through raw and honest dialogue. Unfortunately, she opens so many doors in the first act that it proves difficult to close them all in a satisfying way in the second...Whatever Lázaro lacks in finesse, she more than makes up for by crafting believably round and dynamic characters...A sophisticated, brutally honest take from a promising young playwright." Full Review

Preview 800x1200 jitney
85
Theatermania

"Thoughtful and heartrending production...A deeply satisfying drama that leaves us grappling with these issues as they pertain to the present day...Unfortunately, Dirden is miscast, appearing entirely too comfortable and hale for a man who has just been released from two decades behind bars...Luckily, great performances outnumber mediocre ones in this stellar revival, which has been directed with loving attention to detail by Ruben Santiago-Hudson." Full Review

Preview beautyqueen2
85
Theatermania

"McDonagh's tale still produces the intended gasps 20 years on…Mullen gives an inscrutable and highly realistic performance as Mag…Together, Mag and Maureen make a perfect picture of mother-daughter codependence. Hynes directs the play with special attention to the relationships between characters…'Beauty Queen' has some surprisingly astute things to say about the gulf between desire and responsibility, especially as it pertains to the immigrant experience." Full Review

Preview blueprint white
70
Theatermania

"An unmissable historical curiosity, if not a particularly great musical…An old-fashioned physical comedian, Mattfeld runs away with the show...Unfortunately, not every actor pops quite as much, and Ridgely's breezy direction leaves some performances blowing in the wind. Still, there is a DIY spirit that feels appropriate…The intent of the work doesn't always translate to a modern audience…Theatrical slack aside, 'Blueprint Specials' is mostly watchable and undoubtedly fascinating." Full Review

Preview 82707 9
75
Theatermania

"Upton and Crowley have the benefit of a stellar company of actors...Blanchett dominates the stage like a hurricane: All people and events revolve around her inescapable pull...Crowley shrewdly directs the play like the comedy it was meant to be, drawing humor from the occasionally cheesy dialogue and awkward silences...Through a fresh set of circumstances, Upton captures the spirit of Chekhov's dark humor much better than a more traditional production." Full Review

Preview martinluther
85
Theatermania

"This drama makes up for its rough edges by being consistently imaginative, intelligent, and provocative…Director Michael Parva choreographs this complex ballet of ideas with clarity and precision. He artfully employs dimension shifts and magical special effects in a way that deepen the themes of the play…’Martin Luther on Trial' offers something that has been sorely missing from the NY theater scene for far too long: high-quality, challenging theater from a Christian perspective." Full Review

Preview nytw othelloshowpage 4641x2616 1280x721  1
40
Theatermania

"Gold's lethargic production never delivers...We leave the theater completely unfazed and emotionally untouched...At least Craig makes a memorably sociopathic Iago: He reaches out to each of us in his highly personal soliloquies, nearly winning us to his cause...Oyelowo seems to be in an entirely different production...No matter how loud he gets, our minds still wander, unable to focus on a performance that masks sloppiness in volume." Full Review

Preview thebandsvisit
90
Theatermania

"This charming new musical has a gentle elegance that is all too rare, making it a must-see of the off-Broadway season...Less is consistently more in these performances. This is also the case with Yazbek's songs: None of them qualify as showstoppers, but all of them articulate the feeling of the moment with grace and clarity...Cromer's restrained yet deliberate production fits the story like a glove, allowing for a surprising emotional resonance from the simplest of acts." Full Review

Preview rancho viejo white
45
Theatermania

"Simultaneously stylish and frustrating…While some viewers will undoubtedly hail the play as a brilliant encapsulation of the human condition, even more are likely walk away feeling like their time has been wasted...Everyone in the cast excels at making this a watchable three-act nothing…Aukin is never able to fully resolve the problem of a script that is sarcastically self-aware while also calling for realistic performances...It all feels fashionable, sophisticated and incredibly safe." Full Review

Preview the portal white
30
Theatermania

"Not only is its mystical wisdom a generic mashup of Campbell and Jung, but its theatrical staging is mushy and lethargic…A serious sound-balance issue renders most of the lyrics incomprehensible. When a line or two does sneak through, one begins to understand that the overpowering music might be intentional…Billy Lewis Jr. has genuine rock pipes and a gorgeously pure falsetto. Sadly, his talents are misused in this ill-gotten project." Full Review

Preview rsz ride the cyclone
60
Theatermania

"This quirky show pushes hard for its desired audience response, be it laughter or tears. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as funny as the writers seem to think and a last-minute U-turn toward schmaltz comes across as unearned…Everyone in the cast works up a sweat selling the material they have to work with...Under the steady and efficient direction of Rachel Rockwell, the whole thing feels like a Fringe Festival musical with really high production values." Full Review

Preview sweet.charity.cropped
85
Theatermania

"This intimate mounting seamlessly welds comedy to tragedy with the help of one of the musical theater's great leading ladies, Sutton Foster...The production benefits from a stellar supporting cast...Everyone in the small ensemble takes on several parts with committed vigor...Not everyone will be pleased with some of Silverman's choices, especially musical purists...Still, Silverman strikes at the story's essence in this scaled-down revival starring a first-rate actress who really gets it." Full Review

Preview dps white
65
Theatermania

"Sudeikis impressively steps out of the long shadow of Robin Williams in his gutsy portrayal...Schulman has smartly condensed his original screenplay, reassigning scenes to a smaller cast of characters and eliminating others altogether...Despite Doyle's breezy production and solid performances from the cast, the show doesn't make a very good argument for its necessity onstage. You can get the exact same story on-screen, much of the dialogue word for word." Full Review

Preview download
90
Theatermania

"The most exciting theatrical experience since 'Hamilton,' a must-see for anyone who wants a sneak peek at how Broadway will look in the coming decades...Malloy's sharp lyrics and tunefully experimental music make the occasional haziness of the book easy to forgive...'The Great Comet' is a model for how to present 21st-century theater in venues designed 100 years ago....Everyone in this cast is working hard and it pays off." Full Review

Preview master harold white 2
75
Theatermania

"It's a beautifully rendered yet somewhat sleepy revival of Fugard's best-known work, which feels unfortunately diminished amid its own grandiosity...Under Fugard's steady direction, 'Master Harold' reaches its emotional climax at a slow boil. This is as it should be, but the necessarily nuanced performances occasionally drown in the cavernous Diamond Theater...Still, those looking for a traditional and well-acted production of Fugard's masterpiece won't be disappointed." Full Review

Preview homos1
90
Theatermania

"This fascinating and fearless new play brims with universally recognizable emotions, even if they are dressed up in very culturally specific drag...With an eye for nuance and an ear for urban vernacular, Seavey explores the dynamics of modern gay life...The proximity of exposition to climax allows for some rather cruel foreshadowing...Thanks to airtight staging by director Mike Donahue, the play keeps it up until the very end...Even if we get lost, we always find our way back." Full Review

Preview sweat white
95
Theatermania

for a previous production "Nottage has crafted a microcosm of the recent past, showing just how fragile that ecosystem was. It ought to be required viewing for all Americans...Better than any playwright who has dealt with the subject in this century, Nottage delicately unpacks the interplay of race and class in American society...Much credit goes to Kate Whoriskey for directing an unrelenting production that keeps our eyes glued to the stage...The best new play of the season." Full Review

Preview falsettos temp 285x375.jpeg  284x50000 q85 subsampling 2
80
Theatermania

"While it is always delightful to hear the composer's idiosyncratic voice onstage, the dramaturgical flaws inherent in the piece don't go unnoticed...The songwriting is the real reason to see this show...The drastic tonal swing of the second act requires an emotional gear shift that not every audience member may be able to make...That disappointing outcome is not for lack of trying on the part of the cast...A near-perfect revival of a decidedly imperfect musical." Full Review