Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of SKINTIGHT Starring Idina Menzel at Geffen Playhouse?

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Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of SKINTIGHT Starring Idina Menzel at Geffen Playhouse?

Skintight recently opened at Geffen Playhouse starring Idina Menzel, who returns to the show after starring in the original production Off-Broadway. Critics were in attendance opening night, find out what they had to say!

In addition to Menzel, the cast includes Will Brittain (Kong: Skull Island, Colony) as Trey, Eli Gelb (The Twenty-Seventh Man, Ruth) as Benjamin Cullen, Tony Award nominee Harry Groener (Indecent, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Elliot Isaac, Kimberly Jürgen(Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Hamlet) as Orsolya and Jeff Skowron(The Lion King, Les Misérables) as Jeff.

Hanging on by a thread after her ex-husband gets engaged to a much younger woman, Jodi (Idina Menzel) retreats to her dad's swanky Manhattan townhouse. But rather than the comforts of home, she instead finds her aging father's new live-in boyfriend, Trey-who is 20. In his new comedy, playwright Joshua Harmon brings neurotic family drama to the forefront as father and daughter contend with the age-old questions of how to age gracefully in a world obsessed with youth and where love fits into it all.

Read the reviews below!


Don Grigware, BroadwayWorld: Under Daniel Aukin's taut direction, the ensemble deliver astounding performances. Menzel is like you have never seen her before. Yes, she fought back as Elphaba in Wicked but not with this relentless ferocity. Brittain is awfully good as Trey. Trey parades around in practically the buff in a few scenes, turning Jodi off and Benji on. Brittain brings out all the awkwardness of Trey and keeps him complex and mysterious. Gelb is pure delight as Benji. A typical kid, still trying to find himself and where he fits into the world, Benji wins our hearts and Gelb never makes him sympathetic. Elliot is amazingly callous and Groener plays him cold and totally withdrawn until he opens up in a confrontation with Jodi. In one of the best scenes of the play he bears his soul about life and how to live it. A marvelous performance full of intelligence and sensitivity! Skowron makes the best of a lesser role, as does Jurgen as the maid. Both play straightforward, keeping their loneliness under wraps.

Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly: Menzel and Gelb anchor the production, their past experiences with the roles lending them a lived in sensibility. Still, even in their hands, occasionally, playwright Joshua Harmon's hyperkinetic dialogue can feel overly monologued and less like real human speech than it should. Their bond as mother and son is a delicious picture of modern domestic neuroticism, veering from co-dependency to genuine connection to hilarious oversharing. Gelb manages to carefully tread the line between stereotype and quivering mass of self-doubt - his exasperations, attractions, and fears channeled through his pitch perfect physical comedy that allow a hand flourish or an eye-roll to say so much.

Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times: Harmon might like to be Chekhov, but his gifts for snappy repartee and clearly categorized comic characters tilt more in the direction of Neil Simon. There's a commercial appeal to the writing, a crowd-pleasing directness that would benefit from a tighter structure. It's not that "Skintight" is superficial. The place of beauty in our lives is a profound subject, and Harmon offers a complex understanding that respects the hazardous yet life-enhancing power of physical pulchritude.

Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA: Anyone familiar with playwright Harmon's oeuvre will find it no surprise that Skintight is filled with some of the most obnoxiously self-absorbed Bad Jews And Gentiles ever to kvetch their way into an audience's heart with unexpected layers of pain and humanity. Skintight's West Coast Premiere reunites its original off-Broadway director Daniel Aukin (who knows just what he's doing) with three of its original New York stars beginning with the absolutely spectacular Menzel, who doesn't need to sing a note to command the stage as the torrential force of nature that is Jodi.

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