Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W


From 170 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

About the show

Second Stage's world premiere comic drama tells the story of what happens when a small-town girl decides, quite literally, to paint the town red. More…

Paint it red. So begins Lydia's wild idea to invigorate her Rust Belt town. But when a whip-smart entrepreneur co-opts her scheme, a precarious rivalry is born. A battle for the town's soul ensues, causing its obsessive mayor, its defiant matriarch, and the rest of its residents to question who they are and where they're headed.

Member Reviews (170)


Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

Bland, Disappointing, Dull, Meandering, Slow

See it if you want to see a play that tries hard to be topical/relevant, dealing w/racism, xenophobia, gun violence, depression, urban renewal, sexism

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play fail miserably at being topical/relevant, aimlessly drifting from one topic to another, one style to another.

Excruciating, Indulgent, Racist, Manic, irritating anna chumsky

See it if Attempted suicide, ethnic slurs, sleeping with your sister's ex, voyeurism, "yellow peril", mentally disabled character, debts as humor????

Don't see it if And that was the good part. The bad part was listening to Anna Chumsky screech through every scene. I very much like male lead.

Indulgent, Insipid, Just not good

See it if Fan of Anna Chlumsky, although far from her best. Part of subscription.

Don't see it if Meh, just skip it

Shallow, Confused, Embarrassing

See it if you are a fan of the TV-star leads, like plays that appear to deal with current urban issues, and prefer relatively fast-paced plays.

Don't see it if you expect to see real characters on stage, a deep treatment of the topics the play raises or more than mediocre (and over-) acting.

Disappointing, Banal

See it if you like Adam Pally, he's the best part of this show. This is impressive considering the material and limited lines he was working with.

Don't see it if you are looking for the next great new play. Story lacks cohesion and feels forced. Uses disabled character as negative stereotype for plot.

Also Beyond the play itself, the production is equally scattered. Presentat... Read more Read less


See it if you like an infinite number of contrived situations. Started to watch the clock after the first 15 minutes

Don't see it if if you don't like contrived situations and exaggerated emotions


See it if you feel the need to see Anna Chlumsky, Becky Ann Baker and/or Adam Paley even in a bad show.

Don't see it if you like interesting theater.

Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Insipid

See it if You want to waste your time and have nothing better to do.

Don't see it if You enjoy acting and thoughtful plays.

Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Excruciating, Topical

See it if You have 90 minutes to spare.

Don't see it if You appreciate nuance, intelligent writing, and decent acting.

Confused, Pointless, Boring, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you just want to spend money on a ticket.

Don't see it if you like good, intelligent theatre.

Also I understand that this show was a new piece, but after seeing Torch So... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Dizzying, Confusing

See it if You to see one actor shine above all the rest; you enjoy seeing shows that don't really make sense

Don't see it if you're looking for a very well written show with a concise beginning, middle, and end.

Also I went to the show originally to see Anna Chlumsky (I love Veep) ​and ... Read more Read less

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid, Clumsy

See it if You don't want to be challenged.

Don't see it if you've seen literally any show or movie before; you like Adam Pally in Happy Endings and don't want to learn how bad an actor he is.

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Messy

See it if You want to see Anna Chlumsky and Becky Ann Baker.

Don't see it if You want a well written play. This is all over the map. A little of everything and a lot of nothing.

During previews
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if'll see any new play I guess? (Not worth it for the cast)

Don't see it if you demand consistency in plot, character, and theme

During previews

See it if Interested in New Plays.

Don't see it if Looking for a New Play that's passed the workshop phase.

Also First scene is promising. But the play never takes off. Way too many t... Read more Read less

During previews
Insipid, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You want to see comedy that isn't funny with an inane storyline.

Don't see it if You enjoy well written, well acted, and interesting plays. This isn't one of them!

During previews
Disappointing, Inconsistent, Inauthentic, Shameless

See it if you can stomach some cartoonish sitcom-like plotting and wouldn't be disappointed by a lack of authentic concern toward the subject matter.

Don't see it if you're legitimately interested in place-building and the future of small towns; this show is supposedly about that but shows no respect.

Also So oddly plotted. The playwright ended up deciding he wanted to write ... Read more Read less

During previews
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying, Slow

See it if you like confusing shows with mediocre acting that will have you checking your watch wondering if it's over.

Don't see it if you like good plays that have a developed plot line.

Also The acting was mediocre and the player it's tried to fit too many issu... Read more Read less

January 30th, 2018
"It so outstrips its gears — trying almost anything to keep the story heading toward the author’s themes — that you may experience severe bumps if you stick around for the whole ride...Perhaps we should see 'Cardinal' a fable; that would certainly explain the way the characters have been pai...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"'Cardinal' is a bit like its own central character. Both are cute at the outset, both probably mean well despite cynical tendencies, and when you get down to it, both are pretty awful...The story’s dependence on stale devices betrays its would-be hopeful messaging...Pierce might have had noble g...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"Simultaneously attempts to be satire, drama and rom-com, failing dismally at all three...While its absurd plotline would seem to hold the promise for satirical humor...'Cardinal' instead goes in so many different and unfulfilling directions that it flounders aimlessly...Bouncing around from one ...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"A dark vein of cynicism churns Pierce’s blood that keeps pulling 'Cardinal' back from the edge of cutesiness...Whoriskey isn't as fully in control of the work as I expected. As likable as the two stars are, they swallow some of the best lines and haven't quite got the rhythm of the repartee...Ab...
read more