73

Shades NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(106 Reviews)
Positive
78%
Mixed
14%
Negative
8%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, 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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71
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.

45
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.

Critic Reviews (6)

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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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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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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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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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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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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