Skintight
Closed 2h 15m
Skintight
77

Skintight NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(288 Reviews)
Positive
81%
Mixed
16%
Negative
3%
Members say
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Thought-provoking

About the Show

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.

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Member Reviews (288)

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70
Artificial, Funny, Superficial, Absorbing, Highly polished

See it if you're interested in classic trade of old men's wealth for youthful beauty. Discussion, tho, isn't well-balanced. Funny dialogue is forced.

Don't see it if you want more than entertainment. Clever lines, well-acted, well-staged, great set...but doesn't add up. Unconvincing resolution. Pre-nup!

65
Slow, Cliched, Amusing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a sometimes funny, provocative & revealing play about youth, beauty & privilege that barely penetrates the surface.

Don't see it if you expect Idina to sing (mercifully, she doesn't); very frank sex talk will turn you off; you need at least one likable/relatable character

Critic Reviews (38)

The New York Times
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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Time Out New York
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 21st, 2018

"Harmon certainly has a talent for crafting bitingly arch dialogue that's on ample display here. But this work never quite comes together. The evening feels diffuse and overlong, filled with scenes that offer some laughs but peter out with little narrative momentum...Seems designed more as a delivery system for bitchy one-liners than a comic examination of the all-important role of beauty in our lives. The performances are a mixed bag."
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Variety
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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The Observer
June 25th, 2018

“As a non-singing actress, Menzel is only intermittently successful and so is the play, but both are sometimes sexy and often quite funny...Harmon knows how to fill the stage with people on the verge of nervous breakdowns, and his one-liners are priceless. His problem is that he doesn’t know when to stop writing and give his characters the room to live and breathe...You laugh and you nod at the cleverness of the work, but eventually you long for the talkathon to end."
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New York Daily News
June 21st, 2018

"Fitfully amusing but blurry...Joshua Harmon is a smart playwright with a keen ear for zingers...Guided by director Daniel Aukin, the likable cast capably breathes life in Harmon’s unlikable characters. They verbally spar about youth and beauty, wealth and privilege, familial expectations and various other topics. All of the hot-button issues and flashes of flesh don’t quite add up to a satisfying evening...The play never gets more than skin deep."
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AM New York
June 21st, 2018

"The role fits Menzel like a glove and she gives a fine enough performance. The play offers food for thought about society’s shameless attraction to youth and beauty, the mutability of one’s identity and the aloofness of those accustomed to privilege. That being said, 'Skintight' is too often static, slow and messy. It is not on par with Harmon’s other recent comedies."
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NY1
June 22nd, 2018

“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.”
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Theatermania
June 21st, 2018

“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.”
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Lighting & Sound America
July 10th, 2018

“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.”
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New York Stage Review
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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New York Stage Review
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
June 29th, 2018

"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."
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Theatre is Easy
July 5th, 2018

“A play populated with characters as chiseled as they are shallow...Jodi has no dramatic arc and is in the play exclusively to serve as the screen onto which all the men project their own neuroses...This would be less obvious if the men in question were fascinating enough to distract us from all the casual misogyny...If the purpose of the play was to satirize the homogeneity of affluent white people...Harmon takes these characters too seriously for ‘Skintight’ to work as that.”
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CurtainUp
June 29th, 2018

“Harmon knows how to create Jewish angst filled and out-of-joint milieus and populate them with often abrasive characters like Menzel's Jodi...A thoroughly modern family comedy, and Menzel and her colleagues give committed performances. However, you're unlikely to care much about these characters, none of whom will stay with you once you leave the theater. ‘Skintight’ is just too determinedly provocative, to make a really skin deep impression.”
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Stage Buddy
August 5th, 2018

"Harmon’s premise about the difficulties of age gets diluted by many other themes...I found myself waiting for connections and reasons for characters and themes, but generally there were few. Instead, Harmon relies on some cheap and obvious jokes...Padded by these extra jokes and characters, the play ends up being too long...It isn’t about looks but age and the need for love and belonging...It’s wonderful to watch Idina Menzel onstage again. I just wished she had better material."
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Front Mezz Junkies
July 3rd, 2018

"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.”
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T
July 24th, 2018

“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.”
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New York Theater
June 29th, 2018

“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.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
June 28th, 2018

"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."
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Village Voice
July 2nd, 2018

"'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."
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Gotham Playgoer
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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The Wrap
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
June 28th, 2018

“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’.”
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T
July 2nd, 2018

"Harmon does supply us with a fair quotient of laughs...He has created other unpleasant and/or narcissistic protagonists in previous works such as 'Bad Jews,' 'Significant Others,' and 'Admissions.' But in those pieces they were complex, if deeply flawed. Here you just want to get away from them...Fortunately, director Daniel Aukin delivers a taut production and the cast is sharp and funny."
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Broadway & Me
July 7th, 2018

"The main draw for this production is the presence of Idina Menzel, who, in a rare non-singing role, has a great time playing Jodi...There may be a defense for Elliot's philosophy but 'Skintight,' filled with one-dimensional characters and specious arguments, makes a damn shallow case for it...Harmon has a way with snappy lines...Maybe it’s best, particularly for those of us over 40, to think of 'Skintight' as just mindless summer entertainment."
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Stage Left
June 24th, 2018

“Entertainingly surveys the ways in which our notions of beauty and age shape and shade all our relationships. Harmon lightly wrestles with these ideas employing the same piercing humor and humanity that made his earlier plays so enjoyable and thought-provoking. This effort is of a part, but remains too skin-deep to make the same impact...This play offers little resolution, only more questions, and a steady stream of laughs—enjoyable, but largely forgettable.”
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Towleroad
June 22nd, 2018

“A witty but muddled satire of cultural fixation on youth and beauty...Menzel is in her element here...lending Jodi’s frenetic insecurities a comedic air that grows progressively more natural...Not much happens in ‘Skintight,’ whose characters seem like particularly well-spoken archetypes behaving just as you’d expect them to, under Aukin’s steady direction. Nor does Harmon dig too far beneath the surface-obsessed world he only obliquely mocks.”
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Financial Times (UK)
June 21st, 2018

"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."
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City Cabaret
July 9th, 2018

"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."
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T
July 8th, 2018

“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.”
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NewNowNext.com
July 2nd, 2018

"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."
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Newsday
June 21st, 2018

"Love may be love may be love, but yikes, it can be mind-boggling at times, a message delivered in excruciating detail by 'Skintight,' Joshua Harmon's far from groundbreaking dysfunctional-family comedy...Idina Menzel does what she can with the unlikeable Jodi Isaac, showing some strong comedic timing."
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Medium
June 29th, 2018

"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 ."
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StageBiz.com
June 23rd, 2018

“The play starts with Menzel delivering a lengthy screed...A comic tour de force...It’s hard to overstate what an unappealing character the aged Elliot is...and Wetherall portrays him with an air of wounded nobility that doesn’t help matters...Aukin successfully mines every nugget of needed humor to be found in this script and crafts an ending which offers a faint ray of hope for this disaffected foursome. My only hope is that Harmon comes up with a better play next time.”
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SusanGranger.com
June 25th, 2018

“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.”
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Gay City News
July 1st, 2018

"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."
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N
June 21st, 2018

“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.”
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