OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Wild Goose Dreams

November 14, 2018: Though they more or less speak the same language, Guk Minsung and Yoo Nanhee often don’t understand each other, especially in moments of attempted levity. “Is that a joke?” one will ask the other, sometimes with a postscript: “A South Korean joke?” or “A North Korean joke?” Even the language of physical attraction seems to be less universal than they might have expected. “Is it sexy to apologize during sex in North Korea?” Minsung (Peter Kim) asks Nanhee (Michelle Krusiec) after a coital encounter in Hansol Jung’s “Wild Goose Dreams,” which opened on Wednesday at the Public Theater. Such are the difficulties of conducting an affair when its participants come from opposite parts of a divided peninsula. And differences of geographical origin are just the start of the complexities that besiege Minsung and Nanhee in this overwhelming play about being overwhelmed in a very confusing century.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Thom Pain ( Based on nothing )

November 11, 2018: The dark and sulfurous chamber of Thom Pain’s mind has been unsealed for public inspection again. Audiences already familiar with Will Eno’s “Thom Pain (based on nothing),” which has been revived by the Signature Theater, may find this Stygian space roomier and less oppressive than they remembered. Oliver Butler’s new production, which opened on Sunday night, lets some fresh air and even a sliver of sunlight into the nocturnal depths of its title (and only) character’s imagination. And with a handsome, self-assured Michael C. Hall in the role of Pain (a last name that shrieks volumes), he appears as less of a lost cause than he once did. But while I’m usually grateful for glints of optimism in these cynical times, I can’t honestly say that this transformation is for the good. When I first saw “Thom Pain” at the tiny Soho Theater in London in 2004, its masochistic bleakness lingered on my skin afterward like a toxic slime.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Blue Man Group

December 28, 2015: The lights in the theater’s entryway turn us all blue as soon as we walk through the door. That’s kind of charming, and so is the ridiculously upbeat song playing on speakers in the lobby bathrooms. The main lyric is the word bathroom, over and over. And over.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Sistas: The Musical

October 23, 2012: When you go to one of those shows that seem to exist only to be marketed to a certain age or ethnic group (like “Menopause: The Musical” or “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy!”), your expectations may not be particularly high. But Dorothy Marcic’s “Sistas: The Musical,” now playing at St. Luke’s Theater, is a sweet and sassy if slightly rickety little show.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Avenue Q

October 22, 2009: They may have no legs of their own, but darned if those fuzzy creatures aren’t still standing, long after more full-bodied competition has bitten the dust. I mean the singing, occasionally foulmouthed hand puppets of “Avenue Q,” the “Sesame Street”-style musical for adults who can’t quite believe they’ve grown up, which reopened Off Broadway on Wednesday night at New World Stages, after a six-year, Tony Award-winning run on Broadway.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Stomp

July 29, 2005: Three years after "Blue Man Group: Tubes" opened, another Off Broadway sensation came on the scene with no talking, even more drumming and a familiar joke in common.

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OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: Blue Man Group

July 28, 2005: Blue Man Group has been around so long and played so many cities that it's easy to forget that its roots are in the New York performance art scene of the 1980's.

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