Members say: Funny, Disappointing, Entertaining, Cliched, Indulgent

About the show

Second Stage Theatre presents a new comedy about love and friendship in NYC's aspiring artist scene.

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Kevin and Molly are a 30-something couple about to get married. Their best friend Nate (played by 'American Idol' alum Constantine Maroulis) just broke up with Lil, his much-younger performance artist girlfriend. The group is navigating Gotham living at varying levels of success, which inevitably means attending friends’ basement art shows. In Sofia Alvarez's world premiere comedy, the characters are confronted with what it means to support each other's artistic endeavors and how that impacts their friendships.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"An insightful comedy-drama...Your affection for 'Friend Art', may depend upon how much interest you have in listening to people in their 30s worry over their not exactly momentous problems. At times, 'Friend Art' comes close to feeling like, um, friend art — of interest primarily to people who may not actually be friends with the show’s creators and performers, but know a lot of people like them. But the play has enough biting, aware humor to move us past the navel-gazing aspects." Full Review


“You won't struggle to find complimentary things to say about this very funny, almost painfully astute play that is sure to resonate uncomfortably with a certain subset of New Yorkers...While the dialogue is very funny, it begins to wear thin in the second half...The play has difficulty landing and its end feels quite abrupt. Despite this shagginess, Alvarez intelligently hits upon a larger angst shared by more than just a few failed artists in Brooklyn.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"A queasy little play with an attention-span problem...There's very little material here, since neither the imperiled relationship nor the actual art-making much interests the playwright...There may be no way to portray these characters realistically, nor is there much that director Portia Krieger could have done to help...But the weight on all the actors is great indeed. You feel bad for them. I hope their friends don't come." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Alvarez seems determined to prove her thesis correct by crafting a lean evening that's all about pretending to say something while in fact it's not saying anything...It's dry, frequently tripping up in the banality of its own self-deluded adventurousness...Friend art is more or less the only kind of art there is, but it doesn't make for a good reason to see 'Friend Art' when so many other options are available that find much more worth in looking outward than inward." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s a worthy and interesting idea for a play, and begs us all to examine our actions and motivations for working on our creative endeavors, but even with the fresh and surprising start to this play, it remains in the category of ‘getting there’ and ‘still needs work’...It remains unclear what Alverez is trying to tell us with these scenes. Here lies one of the problems with this untidy unpolished play. Many of these encounters feel like setups rather then organic and real." Full Review

Reviewing The Drama

"The thing is, 'Friend Art' doesn't rise above the level its title suggests. There are moments that suggest Alvarez is a good writer and that the ideas in 'Friend Art' have potential...But Alvarez only gives us seeds. She doesn't delve into anything too deeply, and, in fact, seems to abandon what had been presented as the A-plot...I saw glimmers of hope for a character study of a modern young woman, and instead I got friend art.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if eh, don't. Unless you have a subscription, or a comp, or dig retrod, derivitive banalities.

Don't see it if you can see anything below 75th St.

Funny, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging, Relatable

See it if you have friends whose art you are obliged to support whether or not it's any good.

Don't see it if overly self-involved characters are a turn-off for you.

Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you enjoy well developed characters and good actors

Don't see it if you dislike contemporary light drama

Original, Quirky, Relevant

See it if It presents a real-life situation re: Paintings, Music and Performances. How does one react to a pal's work?

Don't see it if you have pals in the show and will not know how to react to their work

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You appreciate a nice set that uses all possible spaces. You support friends' performance art. You are a fan of Constantine moroulis.

Don't see it if You want an interesting show with believable characters and understandable relationships. You are a fan of good acting.

Funny, Engaging

See it if funny, friendship, relationships

Don't see it if banal, obvious,

Original, Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Pretentious

See it if You are under 35. You enjoy pretentious empty shows. You like a plot that includes drugs. You don't mind loud bad music.

Don't see it if You are looking for an evening of thought-provoking theatre. You are over 35 years old.You enjoy recommending a show to other theatre goers.

Disappointing, Slow, Shallow, Half-baked

See it if you have friends in the show; you want to support Second Stage (which usually presents much better material); you enjoy self-indulgent art.

Don't see it if you have high expectations. (The abrupt ending implies that even the playwright & director didn't know in what direction to take the play.)

Original, Banal, Cliched, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if Entertaining fluff. Ridicules the performance art scene and the folks who populate it.

Don't see it if We've seen it before; it says nothing new. The romance story doesn't add much. The performance art scenes were really bad.

Banal, Disappointing, Yawn

See it if you have been dragged to see friend's performance pieces and been forced to render an opinion. Relationships felt forced. Acting was weak

Don't see it if you want an engrossing show.

Relevant, Indulgent, Confusing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if You enjoy plays by Labute (very similar in tone, setup), or like the "30-something, upper middle class, white New Yorker problems" genre.

Don't see it if You want a play that actually examines the themes this touches on; this is a cliche take on relationship drama and early-30s life crises.

Quirky, Indulgent, Banal, So what, Friend art

See it if inscrutable relationships between quirky people interest you.

Don't see it if you want to care about characters or their lives. Felt like friend art to me. I just didn't get it and took nothing away with me.

Funny, Clever, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you've supported the artistic endeavors of your friends! It's hilariously relevant.

Don't see it if you haven't supported a friend's artistic endeavors. The humor definitely relies on the audience having had that experience.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Relevant

See it if You're up for some random stuff happening. There's a lot that goes on in the show that makes it real and refreshing.

Don't see it if You're more into hard dramas and realistic plays. It's real, but honestly to an extent.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if Great effort to create a mindful piece that attacks the struggles of 30 something's. I thought the acting was good but I left wanting more.

Don't see it if You want to see a perfectly polished work.

Funny, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You like plays about angsty thirtysomethings with some laughs.

Don't see it if You want to see a completely polished work.

Funny, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy quirky relationship stories, or enjoy Constantine Maroulis. He is adorable and the other actors are engaging. Funny and smart.

Don't see it if You are not interested in interpersonal dynamics, or are offended by party life.

During previews
Preachy, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if Well acted especially Chao. Entertaining and cute. Characters and their flaws are recognizable. Alas none really grow from their experiences

Don't see it if you have any vocation in life other than being an "artist." Woe be unto you! Such preachy outdated cliche. No character evolution/conclusion

During previews
Clever, Edgy

See it if Millenials are your group and you want to know how to define friends and lovers.

Don't see it if performance art is a joke to you

During previews
Funny, Short, Terrible acting, Relatable

See it if You're in your late 20's/early 30's and don't mind a show that hits close to home. Or if you know someone who does performance art.

Don't see it if You're expecting good acting and a great script because you won't get either.

During previews
Funny, Dizzying, Quirky, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You want a take on modern relationships

Don't see it if You have neck problems or don't want to sit through too-long "performance art" scenes that are intentionally awful

During previews
Funny, Relevant, Resonant, Cliched, Dated

See it if you like modern day urban tales of tackling adulthood.

Don't see it if you expect a polished script with profound ideas.

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing, Insipid, Eh...whatever

See it if you're interested in stories about adults in their 30s questioning their decisions and trying to discover themselves.

Don't see it if you're a fan of a well-developed script. This feels like a first draft.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You have had to deal with "friend art," or often find yourself in debates with friends over "following your dreams" vs "practical job."

Don't see it if You don't have the patience for Millenials' existential crises; you want something on a grand scale instead of an intimate small play.

During previews
Funny, Original, Quirky, Fresh

See it if you have fellow art friends are find yourself at openings and performances. cheering them on.

Don't see it if you can't relate or find annoying characters in their 20's and 30's flaying around trying to figure themselves out

Cast & Creatives (7)