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
Avg Score

Entertaining, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you want a play that is jam-packed with social ideas but often tries too hard to be "millennial."

Don't see it if you want a drama/quasi-comedy with suspense and characters (except Jason) you might really care about.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Ambitious, Clever

See it if If you are interested in social and political issues and even possible solution

Don't see it if Looking for great acting

Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you feel the pain of gentrification and its effect on communities. Or if you are open to shows with a slightly kooky premise.

Don't see it if expect your theater experiences to be completely believable, or have no patience for an exaggerated premise.

Mudded, Confused, Relevant

See it if you care about revitalizing small cities and urban development. There are good actors in the cast and some interesting characters.

Don't see it if you expect a coherent story where everything ties together and reaches for a meaningful resolution.

Quirky, Entertaining, Intense, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You like Anna Chlumsky

Don't see it if If you don't enjoy watching hyper active people

Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging, Insipid

See it if You are a fan of the actors or want to support new plays

Don't see it if You want to see a well written, exciting or comedic show. It has a little bit of everything with not enough of anything.

Also The whole show felt a little lacking, the actors did a great job with ... Read more Read less

Confusing, Insipid, Quirky, Racially biased, Weird

See it if you like young talent: the actors are pretty good, while the show is shallow and plain weird.

Don't see it if you are not into slow pieces that remind you of your school productions.

Disappointing, Unfocused, Not compelling

See it if You happen to get low cost tickets and have nothing better to go to, otherwise you will be disappointed spending money to be disappointed.

Don't see it if you have better things to do.

Cliched, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Unsatisfying, Incomplete

See it if You want to see a somewhat different take on current events and the growing urban/rural divide.

Don't see it if You hate cliches about “Rust Belt” towns; you don’t like convenient plot turns

Also I thought Cardinal was an interesting take on the same issue Whoriskey... Read more Read less

Boring, Cliched, Overrated

See it if you live in a dying small town

Don't see it if you don't like cliche characters and a save the town Hallmark movie story line.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are interested in seeing the millennial transformation of a town in the branding era. Very real and relevant.

Don't see it if You refuse to open your mind to racism underlying communities who fear change.

Also My partner and I really enjoyed this play and don’t agree with the neg... Read more Read less

Great acting, Resonant, Indulgent, Confusing, Banal

See it if You like Anna Chulmsky, minimal sets, shows with relevant topics, a story that raises questions and that things don't always go as planned.

Don't see it if You want a story that isn't complicated and strong theme to a play that makes a point.

Great acting, Banal, Hilarious, Raunchy, Quirky

See it if you are curious how small towns function, and your interested in some messed up relationships

Don't see it if you want something fast passed or overly entertaining

Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched, Great staging, Romantic

See it if you want to see Anna Chlumsky and Adam Pally.

Don't see it if you want to see an engaging, interesting play.

Banal, Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you're a fan of new plays, director Kate Whoriskey, the actors, or Second Stage Theater. Not much is here otherwise.

Don't see it if you have the option to see a better play. The acting and the direction are great individually, but the writing fails to tie them together.


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

Entertaining, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if very good charachter work from the entire cast

Don't see it if you are not forgiving of a narrative that gets lost. it starts off as a rom com and then gets lost while trying to make a point

Funny, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if You like the author, Greg Pierce, and his previous plays. It's got some interesting writing and good moments.

Don't see it if You have other plays you'd rather see instead; don't make it a priority.


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.

Ambitious, Messy, Screwball

See it if you can't settle on what type of show you'd like to see tonight.

Don't see it if you need at least one of those types of shows to be done being written.

Absorbing, Funny, Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a clever semi-fantasy about topics in the news.

Don't see it if You want a play with an ending that is reasonable.

Clever, Ambitious, Relevant, Quirky

See it if You want to see an imaginative younger generation trying to solve problems of urban renewal.

Don't see it if A linear, rather improbable, plot is not for you.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd like to see a thoughtful new play with some great talent

Don't see it if you're expecting a comedy based on the actors - this is a drama with comedic elements

Slow, Quirky, Funny

See it if I'm not really sure who this play was written for... fans of "My Girl" and "Happy Endings"?

Don't see it if This show lacked originality and was written/produced about 10 years after it could have been refreshing and relevant. Pass on this.

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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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