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"Mr. Tirado gives each character a ration of pithy dialogue, some of which is delivered by the actors as they are playing actual games of speed chess. That moderately impressive feat, though, cannot distract you from the overindulgence in this play...Requires a crackling type of accelerating tension that the actors hadn’t yet mastered. The director, Lou Moreno, presumably will tighten things up as the run goes along. That would at least make the play’s flaws more forgivable." Full Review
"Tirado plots his tale so cunningly, upping the stakes so stealthily, that it's difficult to pinpoint the moment when 'Fish Men' turns into such a nail-biter...'Fish Men' requires five vividly drawn characterizations, a mission neatly accomplished under Lou Moreno's taut direction...It's possible that 'Fish Men' ends on too neat a note, given the festering wounds afflicting some of its characters, but that won't keep you from being in a state of tense expectation throughout." Full Review
"This show tackles a lot of issues including the Holocaust, the extermination of American Indians, genocide in Guatemala and Black Lives Matter...Act One is a lot of exposition and should be cut or at least streamlined. Act Two has payoffs but again, less is more...The cast is all superb with Setrakian and Pérez standing out. Moreno’s direction is fascinating to watch as the dialogue goes hand in hand with high-speed chess. This play has a lot going for it but seriously needs some cutting." Full Review
"What gets played out during the course of this production is not only several riveting games of speed chess, but the burdens each character has carried through life for wrong’s committed...If you listen here, you will be challenged. Challenged and brought to a modicum of understanding. An understanding of, despite all the horrors we face that bring us to the precipice, we still innately have a desire to do good in the world." Full Review
"Fitfully fascinating, but ultimately disappointing con job drama...That it’s very well acted and staged compensates for its lack of tautness...The play is marred by drawn out and repetitious writing...Still, Tirado has created five interesting and well-delineated characters and placed them in an intriguing setting...Director Moreno has aesthetically succeeded in infusing tension and visual variety into the presentation along with some riveting sequences and the excellent performances." Full Review
"The second act moves at an exciting pace (much quicker than the first, which could be trimmed, as some of the dialogue gets repetitive)…Each one of their histories could be a play unto itself, and it occasionally feels like Tirado is tackling too much. But it's always refreshing to see diversity onstage and their stories are moving...They were still tripping over their lines the press performance I attended, but each actor is believable in his role, so it was easy to overlook." Full Review
"A rich character study...A thoughtful and compelling night of theater...Tirado could easily have turned this into another drama that assuages the guilt of liberal America by teaching and preaching to the choir, but he wisely masks it with natural and often funny dialogue...Director Lou Moreno has given his actors plenty of leeway to explore their characters, but still keeps the stakes high and the action laser focused." Full Review
“There's lots of dialogue; in fact, about a half hour too much…This demands excellent actors who understand subtext and know how to pace themselves to reveal just enough and when necessary. Such skills are beyond most of the men in this cast…In this production they either remain static or change in ways that are supported by the text, but not the acting…Nevertheless, 'Fish Men' is often compelling. And the actors manage to pull it together for an ending that is quite moving." Full Review
"'Fish Men' is a stunning and thought-provoking play, full of enriching sports metaphors and surprises about life, trauma, and adversity...The actors inhabit their roles superbly and effortlessly...If you enjoy theater that explores relationships, then you’ll definitely enjoy 'Fish Men.' And you’ll never look at the people who play those sidewalk chess games the same way again." Full Review
"Tirado’s craftsmanship includes solid structure, paced well by director Lou Moreno, although the final build-up could be bigger and with more urgency. The characters and world he creates are original and intriguing. The set director, Raul Abrego, has designed a persuasively detailed park down: the realistic stone chess tables, the benches, and a water fountain are wonderful." Full Review
See it if You want an intimate experience with a compelling, relevant and at times surprising story. Go with an open mind.
Don't see it if You don't like to be close to the actors. You don't like to think.
See it if you enjoy dramas which give us a message without preaching; explore important life lessons; excellent acting and a dramatic ending.
Don't see it if you only like big Broadway productions; otherwise, no reason not to see this.
See it if you appreciate well drawn, complex characters especially from cultures under represented on the NYC stage.
Don't see it if you have a short attention span and can't wade through the preachy, unnecessary dialogue in Act 1. Second act was tighter and rewarding.
See it if you like stories about humanity, inhumanity, and the effects of trauma; you love chess (it's fun to watch games and listen to chess talk).
Don't see it if you won't enjoy a script that at turns punches you in the gut with pure humanity but at other times pushes plausibility
See it if you like great set design, intense character development, plot twists & raw depictions of racial tension/violence/historic trauma—and chess!
Don't see it if you want escapism or light/fun entertainment. Or women—it's an all-male cast & the women discussed are archetypal. It also felt a bit long.
See it if There is a beauty and clarity that comes from the complexity of the story and the rapid exchange of ideas, in this play.Superb acting.
Don't see it if You only go for Broadway productions
See it if you want to see an original, thought provoking, suspenseful play; excellent, 5 male diverse cast each brings something different;
Don't see it if you want a large production and staging; want a female voice
See it if You like dramas about men's personal journeys and crossroads. This stellar ensemble won't disappoint.
Don't see it if You prefer lighter fare, but even so, you should break out of your pattern and see this exemplary play!
See it if You like intense and intimate. The acting and script are superb. Plot can feel a tad slow but there is a solid payoff.
Don't see it if You don't like serious plays or getting up close and personal. This may taps variety of tough emotions.
See it if You want to see a play with chess as the foundation but many other relevant issue are being discussed. You want to see some great acting.
Don't see it if You want really light and fluffy. You don't want to hear about some intense issues. You don't want to hear about a holocaust survivor.
See it if you want to see near perfect theater. Yes, its about chess but don't let that scare you. The acting is perfection
Don't see it if you want big fireworks on stage. This is 5 perfect actors and two chess boards but please don't let that scare you. see this show.
See it if You can play chess, you like intense plots. You want to see a play that can make you think about holocausts, human nature and relationships.
Don't see it if You want a light theater. This is a very serious piece.
See it if you enjoy a play that keeps ratcheting up the tension set in a park where chess hustlers look for easy marks.
Don't see it if you're not inclined to suspend your disbelief about unlikely events occurring in a setting where they're not likely to happen.
See it if you can wade through the indulgent preaching of the first act to uncover interesting multi cultural life in NYC
Don't see it if you have no patience for chess or stories that take a long time to unfold.
See it if you enjoy fast, smart plays; very intimate and up-close setting; ensemble acting w quirky, strong characters. If you are a chess fan!
Don't see it if you want a big production, you have trouble following fast dialogue, accents; you want light and easy (though this play is funny too)
See it if I absolutely loved this play. It has everything, and relevant for not only in our times, but since human history. It was clever, and touchin
Don't see it if I cannot think any reason
See it if Like small productions, black box style. If you like shows that tackle the same topic from different perspectives. Symbolism.
Don't see it if You need flashy and large spectacles. Don't like all male casts. Don't like shows that deal with darker issues. Don't understand chess.