Roundabout reunites writer Joshua Harmon ('Bad Jews,' 'Significant Other') and director Daniel Aukin ('Bad Jews') for this scorching examination of beauty, youth, and sex, starring Idina Menzel. More…
Reeling from her ex-husband’s engagement to a much younger woman, Jodi Isaac turns to her famous fashion-designer dad for support. Instead, she finds him wrapped up in his West Village townhouse with Trey. Who’s 20. And not necessarily gay. But probably an adult film star. At least, according to Jodi’s son. Who’s also 20. And definitely gay. 'Skintight' assays the nature of love, the power of attraction, and the ways in which a superficial culture persists in teaching its children that all that matters is what’s on the inside.
"The most tantalizing aspect of Harmon’s new play — besides the fact that it’s very funny and poignant and well-crafted — is that the playwright explores the unfairness of Jodi’s predicament not by dramatizing her failed heterosexual relationship; instead, he lets us mull over the supposedly successful same-sex affair that Elliot is having with a 20-year-old man...'Skintight' might be the first great post-gay gay play." Full Review
“Harmon charms his audiences with witty dialogue and recognizable characters before slapping us back to reality with penetrating observations...Under the surefooted direction of Aukin, every element works to create the habitat of someone who values beauty above all else...The performances are similarly clear...’Skintight’ isn't just a cynical take on the state of love in 2018; it's a hard look in the mirror that reveals more lines and cracks than any of us would care to own.” Full Review
"In his newest play—his fourth, all winners—it is tight skin that reigns supreme...Director Daniel Aukin keenly accentuates the author’s rapid-fire comedy, both verbal and visual. While you might think there’s little humor to be derived from Botox jokes nowadays, author and director give us a barrage which becomes funnier and funnier...'Skintight' is loaded with laughter as it contemplates beauty, love and lust." Full Review
"For a play with serious matters on its mind, 'Skintight' is packed with jokes — droll ones, smart ones, silly ones, and some that are quite moving. The men may have all the laugh lines, but Menzel is marvelous at giving Jodi’s annoying smothering-mother the plaintive air of someone who feels completely at a loss in a world she never dreamed of...The play has no plot, in a conventional sense, which makes it feel loose and baggy...But let’s not take all the fun out of this smart play." Full Review
"'Skintight' doesn’t offer much in the plot department...No really surprising answers are forthcoming, but Harmon makes the neurotic gossip and power-grabbing fun to watch. His writing is a tad more humane, and less schematic, than in previous work...It’s a pleasure to see Menzel lark about in a vehicle that plays to her comic strengths, and Gelb pushes the fey brat routine to the edge of caricature without tipping over." Full Review
"If you are looking for a truly sympathetic character here, you won’t find one...As in any Harmon play, there is lots of snappy dialogue. The cast has been well-chosen and works well as an ensemble...Daniel Aukin’s direction is seamless...I found it very entertaining, but instantly forgettable." Full Review
“Can keep you laughing but also manages to be ultimately serious in exploring the meaning of love. What makes it work is the creation of characters whose quirks are meat for the excellent cast...Aukin milks steady, abundant humor out of the situations...He knows when to accent pauses to provide maximum comic effect, and excels by making the most out of bits of acting business...More successful than Harmon's earlier and less tightly constructed ‘Bad Jews’.” Full Review
“Funny and provocative...The play has something of a split personality; trying to be both a black comedy and a social commentary. On the one hand the characters seem too cruel and utterly unlikeable to be real, but in those moments when the author digs beneath their vein skins, it resonates...The play’s success goes to the fine ensemble under Aukin’s incisive direction...Harmon’s humorous insights on our obsession with youth and beauty...bares some ugly truths that speak to us all.” Full Review
"That set-up sounds like a soap opera. But the characters here are all plausible archetypes. And Harmon skewers the vacuous cult of beauty sustaining Elliot’s world with caustic precision...Harmon offers no competing idealistic vision, and his material starts to wear thin after the interval. But 'Skintight,' nimbly directed by Daniel Aukin, is still a bracingly cynical well-made play." Full Review
"Although audiences may be initially confused — or disappointed even — to see legendary belter Idina Menzel not sing a single note in this new play, they will leave pleasantly surprised...Mr. Aukin tackles this play with a fierce exactitude that revels in Harmon’s signature ethical ambiguities...Perhaps 'Skintight' is less powerful, poignant, and timely than Harmon’s other recent works, but it still is a fascinating play that leaves the audiences with quite a lot to think and talk about it ." Full Review
"Under the direction of Aukin, the entire cast is quite good...The gorgeously muscled Brittain is a stunner, and not only in the looks department. His Trey reveals surprising emotional elasticity...Not that there’s much of a plot or solid through-line...Harmon has spiked the dialogue with copious jokes about Botox, gay porn, and massive penises. Other questions, such as whether, in our youth obsessed culture, outward 'hotness' always wins over inner beauty, are worth considering." Full Review
“Menzel fans will relish in her performance...Her performance as Jodi is mesmerizing...Gelb's performance as the over-privileged-white-Jewish-homosexual- millennial is hilarious!...At times all feels a bit extreme but Harmon will have you laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. His script has been designed to mimic the world far beyond the clean-cut corners of this designer home.” Full Review
"Entertaining but thinly plotted…'Skintight' is mildly daring in its depiction of a love affair between two men five decades apart…Shave a couple of years from Trey…and the audience would include members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association…Menzel proves to be a deft, charismatic comedienne…If you're looking for something lightly amusing with familiar social issues coursing beneath a polished veneer of sexual naughtiness, 'Skintight' should prove a good fit." Full Review
"While extremely entertaining and absorbing both for its raunchy sexual language and its witty sophisticated repartee, 'Skintight'...appears to intend to go deeper into its subject than it actually does. It never clears up the question of whether Trey is really attracted to Elliot or his money of which he has plenty to spare. Ultimately, the plotting is a little too neat and the characters too self-absorbed for it to be more than an entertainment on a serious subject." Full Review
“Harmon tackles themes of fidelity, beauty, love, and betrayal...These themes and the characters that are embedded in them are not new...The difference here is on Harmon’s handling of the plot sequences that are driven by his perhaps familiar characters and their conflicts. There is a freshness...that transcends its familiarity...Carefully executed direction...One wishes for a more dynamic and layered Jodi...Same holds true of her son Benjamin.” Full Review
“Darkly comedic drama explores sex, youth, beauty and family...Although the provocatively privileged situation and its resulting banter is droll and superficial, Aukin elicits excellent performances, especially from Menzel, and keeps the pace as taut as Botox will allow.” Full Review
"Intriguing new play...Smart, funny, but clumsily crafted...So many questions put forward...With witty and clever tidbits by all...Brilliantly, and with great humor, but questions unanswered don’t really add up to much in the end...Ultimately a sad testament to life and engagement in our modern times. The writing floats along the superficial edges of beauty and connection...A whole lot of build up in this dysfunctional family dramedy with not enough of a solid meaningful resolution.” Full Review
“Harmon’s new comedy that is obviously inspired by fashion designer Calvin Klein and his love life, doesn’t provide any deep insights...Ultimately endorsing our culture’s superficiality, both explicitly through several characters’ monologues and implicitly through some of the choices Aukin makes...It does offer several surface pleasures — good acting, spot-on design, and the revelation of Menzel’s talent for comic timing in her first non-musical performance.” Full Review
"Harmon gets good mileage out of Jewish anxiety and discomfort; he is not afraid to make his main characters intensely abrasive. And Daniel Aukin’s staging gets laughs where it should...But the play is so tightly corseted by its central concern—'What is so great about hot?'—that its characters don’t have enough room to breathe. It makes good points, but as a human story, it seldom digs beyond skin-deep." Full Review
"Harmon’s keen wit and instinctive compassion ensure that none of these folks is ultimately unsympathetic, or unentertaining. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to spend two hours and change with them without at some point wanting to throw your program at one or two...Veteran director Daniel Aukin culls performances that mine both the humor in the characters’ considerable flaws and their underlying humanity." Full Review
“Another clever and insightful, if occasionally repetitive and overwrought, drama of family relationships...Aukin guides the characters with an assured hand...But it’s difficult to accept Jack and Jodi as father and daughter; they lack...connection...Trey is so over the top...like he’s from a different play...Harmon delves into the nature of superficiality but doesn’t dig quite deep enough, although he still comes up with another entertaining night at the theater.” Full Review
"A mashup of quirky, bittersweet, sluggish and hilarity...Sharply portrayed with flashes of humor by Idina Menzel...Menzel has an astute flair for comedy and one might almost feel a tinge of compassion for her character, if she weren't so caustic and egotistical...While director Daniel Aukin keeps the humor high and Harmon's dialogue is right on target, the plot moves into a serious vein...Laughs are abundant but the plot often hangs still in mid-air." Full Review
"Harmon’s writing is funny and observant and the cast is game (I especially liked Menzel and Wetherall), each one climbing or descending the long stairway in amusing ways specific to their characters, but Elliot delivers an unnecessarily long monologue about his cravings, spelling out what we already know, and by the end, I felt the evening had been as fleeting as a Calvin Klein affair." Full Review
“Harmon has plenty of things to say about our superficial culture, with its emphasis on youth and beauty...But ‘Skintight’ rarely pierces the epidermal level, harvesting plenty of laughs from its dizzily self-absorbed cast of characters while leaving alone some of the plot's queasier implications. The main event is the replacement of one fetishized youth figure with another...If ‘Skintight’ is ultimately just for laughs, at least there are plenty of them.” Full Review
"You anticipate a sleekly enjoyable romp: well made, sexy, with a bit of substance yet light enough for a summer evening. A low bar, perhaps, but 'Skintight' clears it...But something’s off, and it’s not the cast...The smoothness of the staging, by the director Daniel Aukin, will keep you from noticing that more and more of those stretches are stretching by without much build...'Skintight' stops well short of exploring, let alone indicting, its characters’ vapidity and historical amnesia." Full Review
See it if you want to see some witty theater. This was so well written, performed and staged. Loved every moment.
Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with the following topics: Jewish, gay, or large age gaps in relationships. But maybe go to expand your horizons
See it if you think Idina Menzel is a marvelous singer but don't know how good she is in a straight comedy, this will be an eye-opener
Don't see it if you don't enjoy comedies dealing with homosexual relationships
See it if Perfectly casted and well written, if you're a theater fan you can't miss this intense play.
Don't see it if LGBT topics/relationships make you uncomfortable and you don't like sarcastic humor or nudity.
See it if you enjoy family dynamics. There's love, jealousy, understanding and tolerance. What one generation discards another picks up.
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with May/December relationships, or homosexuality.
See it if You like stories of family dynamics, interpersonal relationships, issues of sexuality and acceptance
Don't see it if If you’re uncomfortable with depictions of homosexuality, seeing family discord and resolution
See it if you enjoy a fun, raunchy time at the theatre. This show would make a great FOX sit-com, and Idina Menzel captivates in the lead.
Don't see it if you don't like a comedy about family relationships, Gay relationships or May - December romances. Lots of dicey language.
See it if You love Idina Menzel. She is mesmerizing in this production. Quick and witty and she plays it to perfection.
Don't see it if You cant handle anything about the Gay community or movement.
See it if You enjoy a funny show about ageless-ness. This show had an interesting percepecive on what makes people beautiful. It Had refreshing humor
Don't see it if you Do not like shoes with an LGBT theme or are uncomfortable with Ronchy jokes
See it if You love contemporary realistic theatre with humor sharp enough to cut. A modern dramedy about family dysfunction. Idina Menzel kills!
Don't see it if You’d like a musical or a show with a happy ending. The play isn’t suitable for kids 14 and under. It is very vulgar and has some nudity.
See it if You like smartly written shows that have very real, flawed characters providing commentary on how we view beauty...or an Idina Menzel fan!
Don't see it if You prefer musicals or don't like shows that hold the mirror up (no pun intended) and comment on real life views.
See it if You enjoy plays, it is not a musical. You’re interested in the theme of aging and beauty. Are interested in lgbtq issues. Like Idina Menzel
Don't see it if You’re not interested in the subject matter of youth and beauty. Are looking for a musical and not a play.
See it if Idina fan...good funny banter, lovely acting by all, hunk in jockstrap is good
Don't see it if Hunk in jockstrap is bad. U only like idena if she's singing.. spring winter relations turn u off
See it if You enjoy a candid play that explores relationships, beauty, and self-worth with an underlying assumption - love is a transaction.
Don't see it if You tend to avoid provocative dramas with insightful writing, intriguing plots, and complicated characters.
See it if you like family dramas, Idina Menzel, and enjoy quirky and raunchy material.
Don't see it if you want a easy night out. Some of the characters are (intentionally) difficult, and it translates into the audience.
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