The New Group presents a sad and funny portrait of a group of longtime, theater-loving friends navigating midlife and mortality. More…
As Steven, a failed Broadway chorus boy turned stay-at-home dad, celebrates yet another birthday, he finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty. Is Stephen, his partner of 14 years, cheating on him? Why is one of his best friends dying of cancer? And what, exactly, has he done with his life? 'Steve' is a biting and bittersweet comedy about relationships, the unavoidable consequences of aging, and the passage of time.
“The ensemble cast of 'Steve' explores with remarkable distinction and dignity the vicissitudes in the lives of an extended family…Nixon successfully teases every nuance out of Mark Gerrard’s script…'Steve' is a must see and is a play one could see and appreciate more than once. Mr. Gerrard’s play raises important questions that are enduring and rich in nature and deserve to be 'answered' by everyone interested in significant and rewarding relationships." Full Review
"The dialogue, as I said, is deceptive in its depth. The performances are seamless. Cynthia Nixon‘s direction is every bit a match for Gerrard’s slight of hand. She directs our attention and our eye with the delicate touch of a brain surgeon...It is productions like this that remind you why you go to the theatre. When all the pistons are firing, it is a magic act of the First Order. Bravo all around." Full Review
"Don’t let the lightness of show tunes lull you into thinking this will be a happy-go-lucky show — there are moments of intense anger, fragility, and tenderness...The number of laugh-out-loud moments are too numerous to count. This show was such a surprise delight that I immediately called a good friend upon leaving the theater to tell him he just HAD to see it before it closed. I am so grateful I took a chance on this one." Full Review
"This deliciously well-acted New Group production, which opened under Cynthia Nixon’s assured direction, portrays a group of middle-aged gay New Yorkers...'Steve' also happens to have some of the funniest dialogue in town...But the jokes and the digs always seem to emanate impromptu from clever characters, rather than from a careful and clever playwright...'Steve' earns both its laughs and its tears with uncommon honesty." Full Review
"Witty, intelligent, and accessibly experimental...there's something queerly absurdist about this play. We recognize elements of our own lives, but everything is heightened in an almost operatic way...Midlife ennui has never been so simultaneously hilarious and dramatic...All of the performances are excellent...'Steve' is charming, heartfelt, and insightful in its own quirky way...Everything a play should be: entertaining, thematically daring, and fearlessly innovative." Full Review
"'Steve' may be the ultimate theater-geek’s tragicomedy. It is written by gifted New York newcomer Mark Gerrard, with an outstanding cast directed with enormous joy, verbal virtuosity and emotional understanding...Buoyant and sad, stylized and real, this is a find." Full Review
"Mark Gerrard’s smartly written, fast-paced, comedy-drama about gay couples facing life issues like domesticity, cheating, betrayal, and friendship in a rousing and raunchy peek into a world that feels a little frayed at times...Matters rise to a fever pitch, with lots of theater jokes and lines splayed throughout…Applause to Cynthia Nixon who does a fine job directing this uber-talented cast. You’ll laugh, you’ll tear up and I won’t spoil the clever bows!" Full Review
"Where 'Steve' succeeds is in its innovative theatrical convention, which explores what we want to say versus what we really say in our lives...'Steve' is tender and brassy, and perhaps sometimes too shrill for its own good. The musical theater references can become exhausting and are reinforced by an unnecessary pre show consisting of a cast sing-a-long...It casts a thin veneer over the play, which otherwise delivers plenty of heart and humanity." Full Review
"Nixon artfully mixes the tragic with the comedy. She sensitively stages a tender and humorous seaside scene with McGrath clutching the urn with his friend’s ashes, as he works to rekindle his failed relationship, while others are hooking up in the woods...For anyone who treasures their friendships, especially with the passage of time, 'Steve' explores, with raw honesty and spiffy dialogue, the value of having a history with people who ultimately have your back, yet hold nothing back." Full Review
"What happens when the marriage battle is won, and gays and lesbians get to deal with ordinary unhappiness. If that sounds like a depressing prospect, it isn't, at least in the case of 'Steve,' which explores such questions with considerable sparkle and hilarity...The entire cast performs expertly under the crack direction of Cynthia Nixon, who once again dazzles with the same mastery of comic timing that she demonstrated last season with 'Rasheeda Speaking.'" Full Review
"Gerrard gives us what we might call a show tune approach, which is at once less realistic and more rambunctiously funny...A musical-comedy-stuffed contemporary comedy might sound as if it's going to be precious or forced, or both. Not 'Steve,' which above all is wickedly funny." Full Review
"The writing is full of offhand quips, bitchy comebacks and many, many, many quotes from musicals and plays, with Sondheim coming in as the clear winner...Directed at breakneck speed, the wry comments, clever references to the entire Sondheim oeuvre and the underlying pathos of these men who know, to quote Elaine Stritch, 'everybody dies,' registers a heartbeat late, but nevertheless, registers deeply." Full Review
"When the comedy all but fades away, there is sincere heart to be found beneath the thick armor that's been chipped away...Nixon has coaxed impressive performances out of all of her actors, wisely playing up the personalities for which many of them are already known...everyone will find something to relate to in 'Steve,' as learning the boundaries of our imaginations is a universal experience." Full Review
"Director Cynthia Nixon draws charming performances from an adroitly cast ensemble...When it’s cooking, the script delivers a potent cocktail of devastating wit and rueful reflection on the ravages of time. Structurally, though, it feels a bit lopsided...In its current draft, 'Steve' is certainly worthwhile: an evening spent in good company. With a bit of revision, it could be much more." Full Review
"Mark Gerrard’s campy and thoughtful new comedy...The play’s plot points are not quite highly original, nor do they yield many surprises— then again, neither does life much of the time...Gerrard excels at capturing intimacy among friends: the jokes, slights, shared histories, and secret languages…Under the direction of Cynthia Nixon the banter proceeds at a steady clip and the tenderness and frustrations of kinship are deeply felt." Full Review
"Equal parts funny and sad, and so steeped in musical theater references that one could be forgiven for suspecting that the title is in part in homage to Stephen Sondheim…'Steve' doesn’t blaze new ground; it can be seen as 'Love! Valour! Compassion!: The Next Generation…' The banter is entertaining, even when it’s a tad too good to be true-to-life." Full Review
"Gerrard's take on the gay dads story is generally playful, with all of the characters making unabashedly campy references that wouldn't have been out of place in the uber-gay play 'Boys in the Band' and punctuating their remarks with show tunes. In fact, the cast is onstage singing when the audience enters the theater. It's as though Gerrard wants to make it clear that gay men don't have to give up all the things that were a part of their old pre-marriage culture." Full Review
"For while the play itself enjoyably glides along with chuckles aplenty, even with the fairly obvious musical theatre references, it never quite reaches the gleeful heights of genuine laugh-out-loud-humor. Similarly Carrie’s cancer and the schisms in Steven and Stephen’s relationship are handled with a levity that goes little beyond the surface. What’s left are some occasionally clever jokes and some light food for thought with hints of poignancy. " Full Review
"First, the good news...It’s funny, sweet, sentimental, likable, charming, and touching. It’s also wonderfully performed by a terrific ensemble, musically appealing, and delightfully directed by Cynthia Nixon. The bad news is that it’s clichéd, thinly and unoriginally plotted, and its characters egregiously stereotypical." Full Review
"Neither particularly compelling nor memorable in terms of its storytelling...Great ensemble cast and smooth direction. 'Steve' has flash and humor, not to mention a cabaret-style preshow where the actors gather around a piano and sing classic show tunes." Full Review
"'Steve' contains entertaining if generally predictable situations… An accomplished cast plows through snappy, sitcom-like dialogue and familiar scenes, creating characters we may like but don't necessarily believe in…Despite the feeling that we've seen a lot of this before, there are plenty of laughs in 'Steve' along with a few genuinely poignant moments." Full Review
"Gerrard's not-so-rosy picture of gay men finally being able to have it all is certainly timely. But his characters are rather stereotypical and tend to make 'Steve' come off as something of a wannabe update of 'Boys In the Band'...Though I was underwhelmed by the over-reliance on trendy technology, I found the performances excellent." Full Review
"The play wore out its welcome long before its 90 minutes had passed…Any attempt at meaningful communication is short-circuited by turning either to show-queen bitchiness or raunch...The capable cast does their best to animate characters that aren’t well-developed…Director Cynthia Nixon plays a weak hand well." Full Review
"The saving grace, to some extent, is that Gerrard and his likeable ensemble, under Cynthia Nixon's direction, do succeed in etching the indelible bonds that are the play's real subject. That's no small feat given that 'Steve' substitutes dialogue for drama and parts for actual characters, coasting by on the writer's facility for humorous banter and clever pop-cultural references. If 'Name That Show' is your idea of a fun party game, you'll find much cause for merriment." Full Review
"It's exciting that we live in a time when plays about gay people don't have to deal with homophobia and AIDS and can depict the same (boring) problems as straight people, but it's hard to feel that sorry for the characters and their cushy lives and their self-inflicted problems…Even when it's difficult to feel emotionally invested, it's always entertaining to watch the members of the cast interact with each other and interpret Mark Gerrard's snappy dialogue." Full Review
See it if you want to see something different on stage. The use of show tunes in the dialogue is a nice touch and the fact is, it is a great cast.
Don't see it if are not interested in relevant topics being brought in new ways to theater.
See it if you remember the late 80s, appreciate the resonance of friendships of long standing, and know your musical theater references.
Don't see it if you don't like your comedy mixed in with pathos.
See it if You'd to see a tight group of friends share deep secrets and encounter an unexpected confidant in a hard working waiter.
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable in seeing a group of close friends who are members of the lgbt community.
See it if you enjoy ensemble dramedies laden with theater references -- the Evita fan in me was enamored by the Argentine subplot!
Don't see it if queer culture ain't your theatrical jam.
See it if u love laughter & B'way. Hilarious show queens, I mean hilarious, w/ substance & heart. I laughed out loud and was moved, plus show tunes ++
Don't see it if if u don't like life, to laugh & have a great time in the theater. Come on...it's really good, Matt McGrath does it again, cast tops, do!
See it if you like a play that goes-down-easy. Not challenging, but fun use of songs and clever imagined scenes. Strong performances, well staged
Don't see it if you want a plot that rises beyond soap opera. Nothing new here, but still likable. Only one woman in the cast (4 men); female director.
See it if like touching relationship plays - friends and partners. Musical comedy references throughout make it fun. More character development please
Don't see it if you don't like 'theater person' personalities. If you can't relate to attraction, insecurity, and loss of relationships.
See it if you think Steven Sondheim is a god and like to see bitchy-funny dialogue delivered expertly by ensemble
Don't see it if you don't like cliche-ridden presentation of gay culture, play that is more intent on being clever than true
See it if you love theatre in-jokes and great acting (courtesey matt mcgrath who recently gave a genius performance in 'the legend of georgia mcbride)
Don't see it if you like your plays dramatic and deep
See it if you enjoy an evening where often obscure musical [mostly Sondheim] references amuse you. Very sit-com performances. Enjoyable, but thats it
Don't see it if you're looking for an evening of sophisticated gay wit or insights into gay culture.
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