Shades NYC Reviews and Tickets

(106 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intense, Relevant

About the Show

Is blood thicker than politics? VIDCAPT presents the New York premiere of this timely dramedy about Val, a recently widowed nurse, who visits her WWII veteran father.

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Member Reviews (106)

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928 Reviews | 379 Followers
Slow, Stiff, Unfocused, Predictable, Thought-provoking

See it if you like shows about the ravages of war though this one tries to shine a light on too many aspects of it and doesn't do any of them justice.

Don't see it if you're looking for something fresh or new or hoping to learn something. No new ground here.

677 Reviews | 186 Followers
Disappointing, Pedantic, Slow

See it if you're a veteran who seeks affirmation of your view that the gov't doesn't care about its soldiers; you have the patience of Job.

Don't see it if you can't abide a sluggish, mildly interesting family drama that lacks any dramatic arch & turns into a screed about veteran's affairs.

506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Need some levity and action

See it if enjoying discussions re: the problems facing veterans and families from all eras. It might be cathartic for some.

Don't see it if you need hilarity or action.

563 Reviews | 195 Followers
Intense, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Gets off to a slow start; the rest is better paced

See it if You want a smart, unique take on veterans & the disconnect w/people who weren't there. You like intense drama.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear war stories. You want a light comedy.

430 Reviews | 127 Followers
Ambitious, Dated, Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you don't mind being pounded with The Message; you are sympathetic to family tragedy and crying makes you feel good.

Don't see it if you are tired of wars and their well know effects on families and individuals; you want action; you hate sitting for over 2 hours Read more

419 Reviews | 99 Followers
Redundant, excruciating, ugly sets well chewed literally and figuratively

See it if you like intergenerational drama you are interested in the dichotomy of pro and anti war sentiments set in late 1990's.

Don't see it if you want sets that make sense. you need something to look at. you like subtlety. you dont want plot points hammered at you. Read more

333 Reviews | 87 Followers
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Impactful

See it if you're a veteran or know someone who is, in this evening of often raw argument dealing with family, health & political disillusionment.

Don't see it if You expect a fleshed out play rather than a series of positions however well performed, in this therapeutic discourse on family, vets & duty Read more

330 Reviews | 69 Followers
Dated, Disappointing, Dull dialogue, Slow

See it if you haven't gotten your fill of family dramas that tell you nothing new.

Don't see it if you need drama stronger than a cup of decaf. I found it bloviating and repetitive at times, and not really relevant.

Critic Reviews (6)

Talkin' Broadway
November 17th, 2016

"Caplan has filled the play with multiple problems regarding the emotional and physical toll of war...The cast members, under Alex Keegan's direction, do well with roles that essentially serve to present the playwright's urgent message...Nevertheless, as a theatrical work, it could do with a more realistically human touch. Despite the heated issues it raises, 'Shades' needs less talking and more dramatic heat to fire up its audience."
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Theatre is Easy
November 17th, 2016

"Playwright Paula J. Caplan has had an extensive career as an academic and one gets the sense that the testimonies that she offers here are based on primary research...Unfortunately, the play lacks action...'Shades' feels less like a play and more like a chance to pick the brains of veterans over a cup of coffee. Under the direction of Alex Keegan, some of the performances are quite successful."
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Front Row Center
November 18th, 2016

"'Shades' is more a textbook than a play. And any comparisons to Eugene O’Neill are delusional. If Dr. Caplan truly wants to make a mark in theater, and not just use it as a tool for expounding her psychological theories, she needs to study the art as well as the science. The dialog is extremely stilted, the first act is way too long, and the attempts at comedy fall flat...I will say that the cast gave it a valiant effort...I admit to being moved at the end, but it was a long row to hoe."
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Broadway Blog
November 19th, 2016

"The last 15 minutes of the show are rather heartbreaking and poignant. On the other hand, this story of a family reeling from the traumas of war is a sluggish exercise of enduring poor playwriting and, for the seasoned theatergoer, it is primarily a forced melodrama in need of some serious surgery…Forced, unrealistic dialogue runs rampant…The major problems with 'Shades' are the lack of nuance and subtly. The characters are clichéd and rarely believable."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
November 27th, 2016

"While the themes are ones that should never be forgotten, the heavy-handed script contains an overwhelming number of worst-case scenarios afflicting the four inter-related characters…As a result, 'Shades' plays more like a relentless socio-political diatribe on recent history than a focused work of theater, exhaustively presenting, en masse, information that has been known for decades…The cast is hindered by often stilted implausible dialogue.'
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Eye on the Arts
December 16th, 2016

"In a play of drawn-out reveals, none of it is withheld from its audience. We bear full witness to the conflict and confusion within each character, emphasized through vivid performances erupting in Cherry Lane’s Studio Theatre. Collins in particular has a mannered delivery, perhaps signaling her character’s hunger for immediacy in communication, calling to mind the military’s guidelines to transparent communication."
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