Already closed | 2h 0m | West Village


From 109 member  reviews
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. More…

Mama quickly finds that the idealistic teachings of Emily Post clash with the real-life challenges of identity, poverty, and prejudice faced by her students. Inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen and her work at Chicago’s Center on Halsted, Philip Dawkins' 'Charm' asks, how do we lift each other up when the world wants to tear us down?

Member Reviews (109)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious, Funny

Nothing really new.

See it if You're interested in transgender plays.

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

Also Also very confusing about genders of the characters.

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.

Entertaining, Quirky, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in POVs from various members of (and outside) the LGBTQ+ community. You enjoy a small amount of shmaltz with your drama.

Don't see it if You find anything to do with gender identity boring or irrelevant to you as an audience member.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Funny

See it if trans matters a lot to you

Don't see it if you are looking for a dramatic story that is persuasive

Relevant, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if You haven't seen a play about the trans community and want a solid (albeit fluffy) introduction to the community.

Don't see it if If you an uncomfortable with the trans community, and if you expect a deep plot.

Also Huge respect to this show for displaying the talents of an all-trans c... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing, Refreshing

See it if you want to support a production that authentically casts a diverse production. You like lively staging.

Don't see it if you want to see a well-written play or nuanced characters. The script needs restructuring, and the characters are broad stereotypes.

Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if You want to understand more about transgender, both historically and currently.

Don't see it if You want to be entertained for the entire play.

During previews
Indulgent, Entertaining, Confusing, Loud, Cliched

See it if are interested in seeing a play that portrays a variety of transgender people.

Don't see it if expect to learn much about transgender people and their problems.

Also This might fare better as a trimmed 90-minute play.

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Loud, Stereotyping, Ambitious

See it if You have patience for new scripts. Have an interest in trans issues. Don't need a fully baked product.

Don't see it if Are easily frustrated by stereotypical writing and portrayals. Are easily offended by language and bothered by screaming dialogue.

During previews
Disappointing, Quirky, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you do not expect too much "charm." A superficial portrait of transgender youth rejected by society being taught by "model" trans volunteer

Don't see it if expect insight into the challenges transgender youth face or expect nuanced portraits of those young people. Acting is variable; some humor.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Cliched, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if you want to support up and coming talent knowing there is room for growth.

Don't see it if you want more experienced polished acting and story line.

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. Th...
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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, rev...
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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...
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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...
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