Charm NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(109 Reviews)
Positive
86%
Mixed
10%
Negative
4%
Members say
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious, Funny

About the Show

MCC Theater presents a new play about a black, sexagenarian transwoman named Mama Darleena Andrews teaching an etiquette class at a Chicago LGBTQ community center.

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Member Reviews (109)

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997 Reviews | 409 Followers
95
Great acting, Ambitious, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a really well written, acted, directed, staged and very topical show. Well done!!

Don't see it if You have no interest in transgender issues or have no patience for anything even approaching political correctness.

692 Reviews | 106 Followers
84
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Funny

See it if you enjoy a drama with humor and pathos. Some scenes were amusing and others very touching. Good acting and nice use of stage.

Don't see it if you don't like dialogue about gays or transgenders. You can enjoy this show just as a well done drama. Read more

495 Reviews | 725 Followers
79
Profound, Refreshing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Important

See it if you’re open-minded to LGBTQ—and really, human—issues. Or better, if you’re close-minded, as this is the medicine you need.

Don't see it if you’re looking for more of the same kind of story. This is a refreshing and necessary story told by voices that need to be heard.

528 Reviews | 132 Followers
80
Loveable characters, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Could have gone deeper

See it if you like being involved in the characters' lives; like good acting, especially Ms. Caldwell; comedic, touching, sweet and full of heart;

Don't see it if Enjoyable for those who believe all people are equal; for those who don't, see it and try to accept; play could benefit from more depth and Read more

534 Reviews | 57 Followers
60
Nothing really new.

See it if You're interested in transgender plays.

Don't see it if You're not interested in transgender plays. Read more

500 Reviews | 77 Followers
68
Cliched, Disappointing, Entertaining, Overrated

See it if you want to support transgender theatre, which I do.But the plot was trite, most of the acting was weak, script had plot holes.

Don't see it if you were expecting THE play about transgender issues.This tries, but it misses the boat.Worth seeing but not what I had hoped it would be.

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
97
Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Poignant tale of a group of trans homeless youth, their issues and problems, & why they "act out". Strong-willed teacher carries the show.

Don't see it if You'd prefer a musical. (But there's a couple of awesome dance-breaks with music that I'd love to see made into a music video!)

431 Reviews | 130 Followers
77
Entertaining, Absorbing, Good casting, Funny, A bit nonsensical

See it if Interested in the lives and stories of people who are often marginalized, told in a touching, engaging way.

Don't see it if Don't want to acknowledge the struggles for transgender people, don't like a little fantasy, don't like the premise.

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
September 18th, 2017

"However predictable their arcs, these characters are far more fascinating than the usual lifeboat crew...Whenever 'Charm' focuses on their lives outside of class it maintains at least a documentary interest. But within the class, the noisy action—all shade and byplay—is too often superficial. The potential for real conflict is largely left unexplored...Lacking scenes that truly test her philosophy, Mama is reduced to a collection of uplifting attitudes and sassy ripostes."
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Time Out New York
September 18th, 2017

"Dawkins and director Will Davis juggle a colorful array of characters with skill, and the actors, several of whom are transgender, form a wonderfully harmonious ensemble, especially when creating cacophony...Although the play’s ending is somewhat pat, the last scene of its first act—a tense, revelatory encounter between Mama and Beta—packs a real wallop. No one coasts on charm here; the talent is real."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 18th, 2017

"A truly outstanding company of performers...Davis knits them into a clearly cohesive and affectionate ensemble, while allowing each of them to shine...The intelligence of 'Charm' is that it’s actually structured around Mama's awakening, as much as it is around the the transformation of the Youth...The play’s more simplistic side emerges in the relative ease with which minds and people are changed for the better...If there is a whiff of unreality to 'Charm,' perhaps that is for the good."
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Variety
September 18th, 2017

"A bona-fide charmer...Davis directs a terrific ensemble cast in this bittersweet fantasy of perfect comity within the LGBTQ community...The characters aren’t as stereotyped as they sound, and the uniformly excellent cast humanizes every last one of them...For all its soft satire and good-natured laughs, 'Charm' has some sharp points to make...Dawkins treats his characters with respect...But he doesn’t know what to do with them in the shapeless second act, which lands with a dull thud."
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Deadline
September 25th, 2017

"The students, portrayed with verve by a transgender cast, all get their big, if predictable, moments to shine. Forgive me if they reminded me too frequently of Mr. Kotter’s Sweathogs, crude and amiably redeemable. 'Charm' is rough-hewn but gives voice to a group we need to hear more from."
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New York Daily News
September 18th, 2017

“Messy but moving…Director Davis has assembled a capable cast and is mostly successful guiding the ensemble through the play’s humor, poignance, dance breaks and fantastical scenes. The script and the acting do sometimes tilt toward stereotype and obvious button-pushing. On the other hand, moments like one when Ariela, a student and sex worker, reveals the depth of her desperation, make you sit up and take notice."
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Theatermania
September 18th, 2017

"It's that rare play that is simultaneously funny, smart, and emotionally gripping...As Mama, Caldwell gives one of the most heartfelt performances of the year. Her maternal warmth radiates off the stage...Under the thoughtful direction of Will Davis, plenty of excellent performances emerge over the course of two hours...'Charm' exercises our brains, or hearts, and our funny bones, resulting in a very satisfying night at the theater."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 10th, 2017

"At its best, 'Charm' is candid about the pain these young people endure and the overwhelming odds against which they struggle. Then again, these truths are often glossed over by sitcom-style plotting...Still, if the director, Will Davis, can't smooth over the script's rough edges he gets excellent work from a cast of new faces...Even if 'Charm' handles its hot-button topic in less-than-incisive fashion, it is certainly full to the brim with its title quality."
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