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Review Roundup: WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME IF..., Directed by Kathleen Turner, Opens Off-Broadway

Academy Award Nominee & Golden Globe Winner Kathleen Turner directs the world premiere Off-Broadway production WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME IF... a love story that tackles the issue of gender identity. The cast features Rebecca Brooksher, Sofia Jean Gomez, Roya Shanks and Kathleen Turner. The show officially opened on Saturday, October 10th at New World Stages.

WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME IF... is the story of Danya and Addison, caring intelligent young women with a promising future and a baby on the way, but there's a lifelong secret that threatens to destroy all they hold dear - prompting the profound question...why do we love who we love?

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: Everything that is interesting about the text of John S. Anastasi's drama Would You Still Love Me if... is the basic premise that inspires the piece; should a person who isn't bisexual be expected to stay in a relationship with someone who has decided to come out as transgender and undergo sex change surgery. It's a subject loaded with controversy, passions and deep emotions and hopefully a New York stage will soon host a competent play about the subject. In the meantime, Anastasi's piece occupies New World Stages in what looks like an extremely low-budgeted production. The acting is good. Sofia Jean Gomez, who plays the transgender character, is very good. But the play itself suffers from dialogue that sounds more like a lecture than actual people speaking and too much of the evening just isn't believable.

Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times: In "Would You Still Love Me If ... ," an ungainly new play by John S. Anastasi, erratically directed by Kathleen Turner at New World Stages, the more pertinent question on Danya's mind is whether Addison (Rebecca Brooksher) would still love her if she were a man...It's a topical setup, yet this diligently educational play has the feel of a bad television movie, its ginned-up plot rife with implausibilities...That Ms. Turner keeps the production from teetering into camp is an achievement in itself, but that danger may be what makes the show so nervous about humor. It never finds its tone. Yet Ms. Turner, who last month replaced the original director, Nona Gerard, has no trouble melding comedy and pain in her own very smart performance...Mr. Anastasi is relatively early in responding to this historical moment. More plays about transgender experience will follow, and with them, perhaps, more poetry.

Jonathan Mandell, DC Theatre Scene: Now that Would You Still Love Me if... has opened at New World Stages, the decision by Turner, a Tony- and Oscar- nominated actress, to invest her time and talents in this unskilled play is baffling. Would You Still Love Me If... is decently directed, professionally performed and certainly well-intentioned. But Anastasi's script, while earnest and enlightened, is so flawed as a drama that it would be put to better use as reading material for a transgender friend and family support group...The dialogue in Would You Still Love Me if... is generally so inept - everything is spelled out so blatantly, and woodenly - that it's nearly an insult to the audience's intelligence.

Samuel L. Leiter, The Broadway Blog: So what does Would You Still Love Me if..., a new work written by John S. Anastasi, and both starring and directed by Kathleen Turner (who took over from Nona Rogers during rehearsals), offer that sets it off from the pack? Not much, really...Anastasi's script is schematic and predictable, the dialogue stiff and stagey, and the air rife with clichés and soap opera...Still, some of the exchanges about sexuality and medical procedures are interesting, and the brisk pace and slick, if not particularly convincing, performances help keep the piece afloat...Turner is noteworthy more because of her familiar presence and voice than for anything unique she brings to her supporting role as the confused mom...There's not much to love in Would You Still Love Me if...

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