Great music, weak book
Some very good singers, and if this had been a concert I would have enjoyed it much more. The story has such promise, but its more a thin frame for the songs, and its not as if the songs tell the story. I had high expectations of this, and sadly, they werent met.
Baby It's You! on Saturday, Jul 2nd, 2011
Absolutely joyous--do go!
An absolutely wonderful a capella show. Amazingly talented cast, clever premise, funny. Arrived hot, grumpy and sad, left in a great mood. You really can forget problems for the 90 minutes. Didnt solve my woes but a great escape. And the singing in delicious. Go!
Voca People on Sunday, Jul 24th, 2011
Found it engrossing
While certainly not a perfect play, I enjoyed it. Went with 21 year old son, and he did as well. Both of us found resonance in the themes, even though we're white, but class, father issues, acceptance, that crosses all races. Condola Rashad blew me away with her performance and there was no one there who was weak. Maybe a little too much music as it slowed down changes, but overall, very worth seeing. Perhaps the other reviewer just attended an off night? Or maybe just a matter of taste. People around us in the audience seemed to enjoy very much, judging by the reaction. Loved the set, as well. Glad I got introduced to this playwright and the work. Thinking about adding it to classes when I teach.
Stick Fly on Thursday, Feb 9th, 2012
Good play, but something missing
This is a brilliant play and while Cynthia Nixon was competent in the role, I felt as if something were lacking. After discussing with friends we came up with gravitas for lack of a better word. Vivian Bearing uses her fierce intelligence as a shield and a weapon, and somehow the weapon part seemed lacking. Nixon lacks the precise iciness that is usually associated with the role. It's still a touching play with some brilliant use of language, but this production seems a little flat. I was happy to see that the New Yorker reviewer agreed with me. I think that was a very accurate review. Sometimes I wonder if the reviewer and I saw the same play, but not this time.
Wit on Thursday, Feb 9th, 2012
Definitely worth seeing
Very powerful performances of a classic that stands the test of time. Brilliant stage design. I very much recommend,
Look Back in Anger on Saturday, Feb 11th, 2012
GO SEE THIS SHOW!!!
Yes, I am yelling with the caps. Student loan debt and for profit colleges are serious issues for everyone in America. Our tax dollars are funding the for profits, and it's a giant cash cow for the shareholders but a terrible drain for most of the students. And believe me, the faculty and staff aren't seeing any of the pie. Calafato clearly shows the why. I was nodding, shaking my head and finally shaking with anger. But I was also laughing. It's not only didactic, it's didactic done well--a 75 minutes well spent. Go, go, go. I give 4 stars, as it's a work in progress, but I'm a tough grader! I gave Pacino 4 stars, too! Very impressive, and this is a young writer/actor to watch,
For Profit on Sunday, Mar 18th, 2012
Will leave you singing
Threadbare plot, but a fun night of great voices and classic 50s and 60s pop. My sister and I went for a laugh one Saturday night and we cant wait to bring our mom. If you like your girl groups and rock and roll, a must see.
The Marvelous Wonderettes on Friday, Nov 20th, 2009
Not as bad as the papers say Strong Performances
Hadnt read reviews, but wanted to see the play when I saw the adverts in October. Strong performances and some very funny lines. Maybe the bad press worked as a strong motivator, but Broderick was fine. He flubbed a few lines, but not badly, just misspoke, and he has a *lot* of lines. The problem lies with the writing. The play is supposed to be about a life changing meeting, but there is not enough change in Marks character to actually register with the audience. And there were at least two places in the second half that I thought were the ending. They were good, natural end points, but the play continued. And I never really got the "point". And since Im a college professor of drama, I have a little experience getting the point. The story aside, I did enjoy the performances very much. Catalina Sandino Moreno is lovely and strong, though what her character sees in the Broderick character is difficult to see. Grant Shaud has delicious comic timing. Merwin Goldsmith was a standout. My party of four agreed that the play was worth a try for the performances alone. Lighting, set design and music also very good.
The Starry Messenger on Saturday, Nov 21st, 2009
RE:Must see for Shakespeare fans
If you are a scholar/teacher/fan of Shakespeare, take advantage of seeing this rarely performed play. Very good acting, loved the sets and costuming--very effective. The company didnt shy away from the violence, nor did they let the violence be the star. The emotions rang true. Im recommending to all of my students.
Titus Andronicus on Sunday, Mar 7th, 2010
RE:Take a chance and see it!
Went opening night having no idea what to expect. Wonderful performance, beautiful costumes and sets. Brought my 77 year old mom and she loved it, too. Her review: "beats the h*ll out of the cr*p they show on television. that was GREAT" Someone behind me said "as good as anything on Masterpiece Theater." So yes, worth the time, especially for theater buffs. Excellent choice for womens history month.
Ladies in Retirement on Monday, Mar 8th, 2010
This was one of those powerfully intense plays that I know will stay with me for a long, long time. The play itself is so beautifully written that it transcends the plot to mean much more. It makes me want to read the text so I can savor it. Then the acting was just superb. All three actors had moments in which they shone, but of special note was Catharine Pilafas. The set was clever, using the small stage space well. Lights, music, costuming all added to one very powerful evening. Left me thinking and moved. Cant say better than that.
Conviction on Wednesday, Mar 10th, 2010
Some laughs,drama was nothing unexpected
Not a huge Mamet fan, but once Eddie Izzard joined the cast I decided to go. He and Afton C. Williamson were the standouts. Both own the stage and make their somewhat stereotypical characters more believable. While race is a hot trigger issue in America, Im not sure the play added anything new to the dialogue, though it hits all the usual talking points. That said, it was one of the better Broadway plays Ive seen this year. I didnt find the play suspenseful at ll, though, but solid performances and Mamet does have a way with words.
Race on Wednesday, Jul 7th, 2010
One of the best I've seen this year
I see a lot of shows, and this was absolutely wonderful. I am a huge fan of the book, and the tweaking done to "update" it from 1942 fit perfectly. Im sure Lewis would have approved. But it was the cast that make it shine. Max McLean was mesmerizing, and Elise Girardin was unbelievable as Toadpipe the creature. She is so lithe and athletic that there were times she seemed positively inhuman--some kind of feline-lizard-dragon-devil creature. The set was simple but effective and the costuming, especially of Toadpipe, was fantastical. All-in-all a wonderful experience. Go see it!
The Screwtape Letters on Sunday, Oct 31st, 2010
As a Rochester scholar, this was a must see for me, but I brought my son who laughed as much as I did. Excellent performances--the actors did this fine play justice. One of the best Ive seen all year Costuming, make-up, set design, music all work to make this a very enjoyable night of theater. Short run, so highly recommended.
The Libertine on Friday, Nov 12th, 2010
Lily Rabe shines but that's not enough
Al Pacino was very good. Too many of the rest of the cast did not impress. I hate to say this, but Ive seen better Merchant productions by regional theaters. Lily Rabe, though, was a standout. Lovely Portia. Very nuanced performance. Marsha Stephanie Blake as Nerissa and Christopher Fitzgerald as Launcelot livened things up and made me think, yes, now were getting somewhere. Alas, we didnt. Merchant is a tough sell these days with its inherent anti-Semitism and misogyny. The "comedy" of making the Jew convert has thankfully dissipated in the 400+ years since it was written. But the language is still beautiful and some of the roles are juicy. Too bad so many actors seemed unprepared. And many of them have long experience with Shakespeare. The costumes, while, yes, odd in terms of mixed periods, were beautiful. Very ingenious set design, but I really wanted more from the actors. Perhaps it was an off night?
The Merchant of Venice on Friday, Nov 12th, 2010
RE:Go see this show!
First off, the Norwegian film is very well written, and this English translation/adaptation is just as funny. I havent laughed so hard at a play in a long time. Denis OHare is a standout. Elling is a difficult role, a difficult person, and OHare gave a nuanced performance that allows the characters inherent goodness to shine through. Very very fine. Brendan Frasers Kjell is spot on. Kjell could be played as a cartoonish character, but here hes also infused with humanity. Jennifer Coolidge in her three roles is a hoot. So talented, great timing. Highly recommended.
Elling on Friday, Nov 12th, 2010
RE:Moving performance, still unsure on the script
OK, so a long time David Duchovny and Amanda Peet fan, but Duchovny was a revelation. His John Smith is a difficult role, very taxing as hes in every scene, but boy, was he good. His opening monologue drew me right in to the world of the play and kept me involved when the words themselves werent doing it alone. Amanda Peet owns the stage when shes on it. Kudos to Tracee Chimo, who is a hoot as a talk show host, dead on satire. Moving as the hooker Gigi, too. Very much appreciated the actors work, but still chewing on the story itself. Not sure how I feel about the actual action of the play itself. Interesting listening to comments when I left the theater--so many interpretations. It made me want to read it so I can think more about it and its meaning. It deals with difficult questions, and it needs more than 90 minutes attention. So, if you are a fan of any of these actors, definitely go. LaBute fans should go, as well.
The Break of Noon on Sunday, Nov 28th, 2010
Update, I went again
Thanks to the Gold Club I got to go back and see this again painlessly. On second viewing it was still engrossing. Complex play, yes, but well worth the investment, even twice. Would love to read it for myself, so will buy it. But for now, Go see it.
The Break of Noon on Saturday, Dec 18th, 2010
Im a huge Beatles fan since 1966 when I was in Kindergarten. True love never dies, and their music still holds up. Went with a friend from that same year, another fan. We had a great time. Lots of nostalgia, sang along, danced a bit, the "Paul" had a great patter not unlike the real Paul, videos were like a "this is your life" trip. Mixed audience, though most my basic demographic. All ages were having fun, though. We all left grinning. A fun day. That said, I had Gold Club tickets really, you should look into it, and I would say this is a fun trip, but have to agree, full price Broadway tickets are too much to pay. Not sure how non fans would react.
Rain - A Tribute to The Beatles On Broadway on Thursday, Mar 31st, 2011