OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEW: The Hard Problem

November 19, 2018: Yet as the characters in “The Hard Problem” argue and argue and argue — at work, at parties, during Pilates sessions, in bed — about the essence of human behavior, the stakes seldom feel compellingly high. Abstractly, this play may be taking on the biggest concepts imaginable, yet on stage it feels disappointingly small. Mr. Stoppard, always a tireless self-editor, has tweaked and massaged “The Hard Problem” since I first saw it at the National Theater in London. And Mr. O’Brien’s staging feels lighter on its feet than Nicholas Hytner’s original version. Yet it is hard to avoid the impression that “The Hard Problem” — which often feels like the work of a precocious young neophyte rather than an old master — has yet to solve itself.

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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: 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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