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Afterglow NYC Reviews and Tickets

(265 Reviews)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging

About the Show

Midnight Theatricals presents the world premiere of this drama that explores the complexities of polyamory.

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Member Reviews (265)

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Great staging, Great writing, Well acted, Raunchy, Thought-provoking

See it if Theme of open relationships treated in a believable and relatable way. Well drawn characters+situations. Great staging especially for offoff

Don't see it if Nudity is a big part especially in act one. Though it does seem to become a non-issue 15 min into it. Gay themes are not for you.

Disappointing, Edgy, Great staging

See it if some good acting, some not. An okay story with very good staging. If you like a story about polygamy and nudity.

Don't see it if If you do not like nudity or stories about polygamy or the New York City scene.

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
August 18th, 2017

"The frequent nudity is so willfully carefree that it ends up looking forced...Gay domesticity is turning out to be tough to dramatize, as evidenced by such flawed shows as...‘Dada Woof Papa Hot’ and ‘Steve'...The soap-operatic 'Afterglow' doesn’t even reach their level...It has funny moments, albeit of the inadvertent kind...The best joke of all, intended or not, may be the sly jab at the cult of youth among some gay men: Josh is having a midlife crisis — at the ripe age of 30."
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June 23rd, 2017

"Initially stimulating but ultimately flaccid...The story becomes as predictable as a headache after a bender...Haagenson, Reilly, and Simpson do their best to rise above the limitations of the script, but they can't overcome the fact that none of these characters is particularly interesting...The most disappointing thing is that it seems to promise and then fails to deliver a thoughtful discussion of polyamory...In the end, the play leaves us not so much with an afterglow as an anticlimax."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 29th, 2017

"The playwright, S. Asher Gelman, lets everyone speak his piece, exhaustively, with no cliché left unturned...If 'Afterglow' had been written with a modicum of wit, it might have made for a passable entertainment, but there isn't a single really amusing line over the course of two hours...What keeps 'Afterglow' passably watchable is the three talented young actors who -- very occasionally -- manage to endow these paper figures with something that passes for flesh and blood."
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August 17th, 2017

"Insightful, highly theatrical and fiercely acted...Mr. Gelman’s scenario and plot developments are well observed and true to life in their predictability. Gelman’s dialogue is realistic and perfectly crafted with flavorful simplicity...Despite the inevitability of its finale, 'Afterglow' is quite engrossing. Its dazzling production elements magnify its achievements...The actors all give bold, brave and intense performances that transcend stereotypes."
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Theatre is Easy
June 23rd, 2017

"Certainly Gelman has staged the play well...And the design is first-rate...Unfortunately, we end up with three people who are all kind of the same...Certainly the actors do what they can to add dimension...If at times the actors veer too quickly into heightened emotion, this is largely the result of Gelman’s script...The insularity and entitlement of all this is not only astonishingly tone-deaf, given contemporary conversations about privilege, but also makes for a weaker play."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 3rd, 2017

“A substantial drama with believable characters whose emotions are real and tug at the heart...Gelman skillfully creates three real people whose strengths and weaknesses make it difficult to judge their actions…Gelman leaves a great deal up in the air, just as such a situation would end in real life…Gelman directed his play to give each character his full worth. All the emotional ups and downs are clearly communicated. The play moves along with increasing speed to its finale.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
June 23rd, 2017

"Although their are numerous scenarios that feel unnecessary and hard to believe, Gelman with his cast of three very beautiful and talented men know how to keep our attention...They play out their overly long and slightly melodramatic tale that delivers few surprises in story line and character development...The three actors are impressive though, turning the material into something that feels honest and heartfelt, even as it drags out the romanticism of the doomed pair."
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June 27th, 2017

"The playwright, who also directs, has painted no obvious villains here, just, perhaps, a portrait of immaturity and poor judgment. If we feel for anyone, it is the unborn baby...The production benefits from Ann Beyersdorfer's cleverly constructed set...The play does not necessarily add to our growing understanding about gay relationships, except to point out how they are not necessarily any different from heterosexual ones."
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June 29th, 2017

"An insightful new play...While the characters approach these questions from very different angles, it’s easy to identify with each one. All three actors embody recognizable perspectives...Through candid emotional dialogue, Gelman demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the stakes in gay dating and relationships...It’s vivid and honest depictions like these that foster a greater understanding of the way we live now."
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Off Off Online
June 28th, 2017

"What makes 'Afterglow' fresh and riveting is the hand of the director, Gelman himself, and the performances his actors deliver...Gelman has cast well. The players fit the bill physically: his three leads appear to be in a race to stamp out body fat. But it’s just as important that they make the decency and good intentions of their characters apparent...Gelman is nuanced as both a director and a writer...An impressive calling card from a gifted new playwright and director."
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Queer Voices
April 13th, 2018

“Though ‘Afterglow’ is definitively part of this new gay canon and does in fact explore modern gay issues, it is certainly the least successful, significant, and wide-reaching of the bunch. Overall the show is a bit too melodramtic, oversimplified, and erotic to make any claims at having serious commentary on queerness…‘Afterglow’ is not necessarily a bad show, but it’s biggest faults are its lack of nuance and its lack of impact.”
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June 23rd, 2017

“‘Afterglow’ is the bittersweet story of a polyamorous relationship that ultimately brings emotional problems to the couple at the core. Beautifully acted by Brandon Haagenson, Robbie Simpson and Patrick Reilly, the play may be too slow or have too much nudity for some audiences—but it is well worth it. The cast brings honesty to the proceedings. You can fully feel the growing bonds between all three of these men, which gives audiences a real stake in the outcome.”
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The Modernist Beat
December 1st, 2017

“An innovative work that represents a new chapter in the American LGBTQ theatrical tradition...By placing the erotic moment at the beginning of the play, Gelman acknowledges the history of his sub-genre and moves beyond...Ultimately, the play, while having special appeal and resonance to a gay audience, speaks to all...All three members of the cast portray their flawed characters simply and honestly.”
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Plays to See
August 17th, 2017

"The play looks honestly at gay intimacy, and asks if a committed marriage truly be open...Patrick Reilly as Darius is flawless, his character articulating the complexities of gay culture without descending into caricature. Robbie Simpson, as the more mature partner in the marriage, is a standout...I took off a star for the play’s last sequences, which drew out uncomfortably with long pauses of moody silence and brings the play’s brilliant momentum to a grinding halt."
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Gay City News
June 25th, 2017

“This is Gelman’s first effort as a playwright and it shows. Although the plot is compelling, the occasionally insightful dialogue can turn wooden or preachy…'Afterglow' flirts with melodrama throughout...The actors do a solid job tackling demanding roles...Gelman’s dynamic staging helps mask the script’s limitations…Flaws aside, if the goal was to shine a brief light on the potential joys and pitfalls of queer polyamory, the overly ambitious ‘Afterglow’ succeeds as it titillates.”
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July 23rd, 2017

"What it offers, on the down side, is some vapid talk from adult gay men who at times express themselves like teenage girls, and, on the up side, eventual emotional payoff when everyone stops pretending and says exactly how they feel...The acting is uniformly fine here, with each performer pouring heart and soul into lines that don't always deserve it...Definitely provoked thought on the topics of sex, relationships and family as seen through a contemporary gay lens."
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Beauty News NYC
June 30th, 2017

“Gelman brings to the stage the very personal story of a threesome with heart, grit and a non-gratuitous exploration of the complex theme…Kudos to the cast…While the first act runs over an hour and is intriguingly constructed with solid writing, the second act fumbles a bit with too many repetitive topics and dramatics bordering on melodramas seen on Netflix…However, the actors, staging and even the lighting design save the production…A probing story for all sexes.”
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The Gay & Lesbian Review
July 6th, 2017

"The superficial pleasures of watching randy eye candy evolved into a sobering exploration of the pitted emotional terrain of a gay marriage...The acting is at a high level, especially notable given that the three characters are not always fully fleshed out...However, unexamined elements of real life, as opposed to theatrical life, risk leaving the play less than the sum of its engaging parts...A worthy first effort that gives three actors the chance to display their chops."
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