Charm NYC Reviews and Tickets

(109 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (109)

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95 Reviews | 16 Followers
Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in true stories about LGBTQ youth. Straight plays with real dialogue and three dimensional characters dealing with gender

Don't see it if You prefer grand productions or musicals. Have any issue exploring the realities of being an LGBTQ youth in modern society.

72 Reviews | 8 Followers
Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if MCC consistently delivers great plays. Charm deals with gender & sexual identity in a frank, engaging way.

Don't see it if Your squeamish about people who's gender & sexually doesn't fit into the traditional binary models.

314 Reviews | 52 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Funny

See it if you like well written plays beautifully acted. It will make you laugh and cry. Each character is a gem.

Don't see it if you don't want to see Transgender issues on stage.

470 Reviews | 113 Followers
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!)

1166 Reviews | 464 Followers
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.

273 Reviews | 200 Followers
Really funny, Really tragic, Really important truths

See it if You would love to laugh and realize you want to delve into the meaning behind the jokes, the pain and loneliness.

Don't see it if You alienate yourself from the LGBTQ community. You do not want to confront issues in our country around race, sexuality, poverty.

175 Reviews | 30 Followers
Ambitious, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to expand your notions of gender beyond male and female and if you want to understand the trans population.

Don't see it if you have no interest in gender or LGBTQ issues.

192 Reviews | 24 Followers
Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Charming, Moving

See it if you want to be thoroughly entertained, moved and challenged.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play about the LGBT community.

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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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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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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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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