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"Disappointingly, all we get is a tear-stained melodrama of the most obvious variety...Moss's script is perfectly calibrated to stoke our righteous gay fury, to the point that it often strains credulity...The cast impressively turns on the waterworks for this schlock. It's hard not to feel something in such close proximity to pain...Moss has not written about real people...We know who to cheer and who to jeer, making 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens' not much more than a secular morality play." Full Review
"Excruciatingly sincere, Moss’s melodrama about intolerance is all bleeding heart. That leaves no room for anything else in 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens,' an overwrought tale of two gay Texas men whose lives are shattered by an act of gun violence sparked by hateful religious rhetoric...In midtown Manhattan, it feels like preaching to the choir, and the sermon is rarely inspiring...The actors strive valiantly to enliven the lugubrious material." Full Review
"Dewey Moss, the author and director, keeps arranging and rearranging the characters in a series of artificial-looking stage pictures when not dispatching the minor characters offstage on a series of lame pretexts, so those remaining can take part in yet another turgid confrontation...The result is a kind of Southern-fried Ibsen, with everyone hurling accusations at everyone else...The acting is of the clenched-jaw variety, with bursts of rage and floods of tears flowing as needed." Full Review
“It's asking too much for us to accept that an otherwise normal boy would be so swayed by such a comment that he'd shoot, not Junior but his child, and then kill himself, especially as absolutely nothing is done to explain Connor's mental state…Some left the theatre wiping their eyes, but the only emotion I felt was pity for the actors unable to form a cohesive ensemble in this well-intentioned but poorly staged, lugubriously paced, dully acted, emotionally forced, and awkwardly written drama.” Full Review
“Dewey Moss directs his engaging play with the care of a playwright and – after creating some distance between himself and his work – he will surely quicken the pace of the action to more exactly match the emotional strength of this important play. The intermission seems unnecessary and serves to break the action and affect the energy of the performances in the second act. ‘The Crusade of Connor Stephens’ could not be more relevant in the current climate.” Full Review
"A play that comes roaring out the gate like a bull let loose from its corral...Even though Mr. Moss proffers some hope for humane redemption, such redemption is couched realistically in small amounts, with no phony reconciliation to wrap things up on a cheery note...'The Crusade of Connor Stephens' is a bit of a sledgehammer as a play, but it is equally a cri-de-coeur by the playwright, Dewey Moss, who also directs the fine company." Full Review
"While the intensity of Moss’s theme sometimes crosses the line into melodrama and histrionics, the impassioned beliefs contained in the story are not unfamiliar. A compelling cast of eight displays the characters’ deeply felt emotions...The final family showdown lacks credibility...It seems counter-intuitive that the inflamed characters would wait patiently to be heard...A powerful examination of important issues that plague our society, shining a spotlight on bigotry." Full Review
"Because 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens' is designed to be so entirely moving, it fails as a piece of construction—in between the histrionics, the play never lifts off the ground...The text of 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens' doesn't inform the performance; every actor has so much charged emotion that there's no room for subtlety...As much as I didn’t enjoy this particular play, I realize that 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens' is not meant for me." Full Review
“A very complex and illuminating family drama about acceptance, loss, religion, and hate…The play cunningly reveals each character’s values and builds to a climax that forces each to take action…However, the current production does not fully realize the potential of the play…Mr. Moss’ direction once again demonstrates that playwrights should let someone else direct their works...This production is still worth seeing for a New York audience." Full Review
"James Kiberd as the patriarch is wonderful...He endows Big Jim with surprising nuance and even sympathy...The positioning of the players at certain points in the play is a master class in stage direction...The ending is a touch too facile; what had been an hour and 45 minutes of carefully layered exposition and a study in familial relationships takes a surprising turn toward sentimentality...This concern notwithstanding, the drama isn’t forced for much of the play." Full Review
"A devastating, heartbreaking and timely piece...This is a full two hours containing the kind of plot revelations and family secrets that make us decide how we want to be remembered as a country...Mr. Moss’s direction keeps the story moving with simple, effective staging. His writing allows us to examine both sides of every issue...It’s gorgeous, devastating stuff, folks. Run, save yourselves, do not miss 'The Crusade of Connor Stephens.'" Full Review
for a previous production “Moss treats all perspectives with equal compassion, and shows that both sides can sometimes be guilty of finger-pointing…A well-cast ensemble embodies these contradictions effectively, but they are somewhat inhibited by the limitations of the production. Moss exhibits good directorial instincts, but the venue itself seems to fighting him…These problems will likely diminish if ‘Crusade’ gets a longer run in a theater the right size and shape. It deserves to.” Full Review
See it if would like to see an 8 person play that discusses the harsh reality that religion can sometimes spread hate. Actors were uneven in talent.
Don't see it if you are looking for a feel good play. This play had me feeling unsatisfied on how it ends.
See it if you enjoy issue plays touching on current topics including religious hypocrisy & gay acceptance, family plays with multiple revelations
Don't see it if References to recent events such as school shootings, religious bigotry & family rejection make you uncomfortable
See it if You like family dramas with LOTS of drama. Breakdowns, confrontations, revelations - it plays out like an entertaining soap opera.
Don't see it if Performances are uneven. Verges on melodramatic - prob not the directors intent but entertaining nonetheless & never boring.
See it if Intense fast-paced and dramatic. Multi-layerd plot. Kiberd is riveting to watch. Very entertaining and thought-provoking.
Don't see it if LGBT and religiosity issues are not for you. Small but adequate production. Some really uncomfortable acting.
See it if You would like a well-acted, riveting show regarding a hate crime. Despite the confusing about-turn in attitude by the mother - worthwhile.
Don't see it if You want a fluffy show or don't like intense dramas dealing with religious beliefs.
See it if You want to see a story about Christianity and homosexuality. If you care about social and familial issues.
Don't see it if You're expecting comedy, or are offended by homosexuality.
See it if Topical issues - gay rights, religious freedom, mass murder - portrayed in a simplicitic, melodramtic fashion. Able actors work in vain
Don't see it if A more skilled director may have honed some credibility out of proceedings but alas director & author are one & the same. A sad misfire
See it if you are in the mood for a very serious drama about how intolerance can destroy a family.
Don't see it if you want a fresh perspective on a topic that has already been addressed in many forms.
Also Although very well acted and a good play, there are few surprises.
See it if You want to be challenged and blown away by the ultimate showdown between fundamentalist rigidity and the power of gay love. Explosive drama
Don't see it if You only want light fluffy entertainment and avoid serious theater examining the crucial issues of today.
See it if you want a well-acted, well written play about themes which are relevant today. Aside from being a bit long, this was a very satisfying show
Don't see it if you dislike themes of hatred and homosexuality; otherwise no reason to not see this show unless you only like musicals.
See it if you enjoy well written & acted contemporary drama exploring themes of loss, religion, gay adoption, hate, violence,& dysfunctional families.
Don't see it if you are offended by realistic portrayals of evangelicals using religion to espouse hatred. Sorry if my bias shows in this comment.
See it if Family melodrama of fundamentalist religiosity, same-sex marriage and gun violence. Intense plot,relevant issues and good acting. Well done
Don't see it if you are looking for light entertainment. Inconsolable sadness leavened by Granny's pathos and humor. Loved the boys, too.
See it if you like to be close to the performance. This show touches a lot of nerves plus you think about how love is given and withheld in families.
Don't see it if you have an affinity for Baptists and their beliefs/hypocrisy.
See it if You are curious to know how most of the rest of the country feels about subjects that we, here in NYC, are more tolerant & open minded about
Don't see it if You are homophobic, or deeply involved in organized religion.
See it if See it for the great writing and acting that brought to the forefront, hatred, homosexuality, religious intolerance and other social issues.
Don't see it if You want a fluffy, non thought type play. It's in your face on family and relevant social issues of today.
See it if if you want to see a struggle between what is considered "normal" and "abnormal," and how intolerance can lead to tragedy
Don't see it if You aren't interested in contemporary issues of religious, life style and cultural differences.