Reviews of "Deconstruction"
"Smart...deftly [plotted and]...moving." Ian Tuttle, National Review
"Brilliant...brave...a real triumph...a tour de force." Victoria Ordin, Broadway World
"Powerful and astute...an erudite detective story...Leaf strikes a rare balance between narrative and thesis, between action and thought...Deconstruction is a skillfully wrought and unusually weighty play." Kyle Smith,The New Criterion
"Heady...this play makes one think..." Nick Radu,Theater Beyond Broadway
"Deserves wider recognition..." David Goldman, PJ Media
"A refreshing and contemporary take on love and philosophy."
Ed Malin, TheaterInTheNow
"Powerful...Smart." Thomas McArdle,The Stream
"An intelligent exploration of modern philosophy through the imagined personal lives of its leading proponents." Deb Miller, DC Metro Arts
Below: Jed Petersen as Paul de Man and Fleur Alys Dobbins as Mary McCarthy in the Storm Theatre's production. Directed by Peter Dobbins.
Reviews of "Sexual Healing"
Leaf's direction is tight and focused and serves his script well...
Sexual Healing...deals with potentially titillating topics in a grown-up manner...a play like Sexual Healing, that helps provide some perspective on these very universal, very personal matters, is valuable...and surprisingly rare."
- Martin Denton, NYtheatre.com
"Women will understand...Sexual Healing will have you thinking and discussing the issues long after..."
- Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicle (Cover Story Review)
"Playwright and director Jonathan Leaf weaves an engrossing, intricately woven story that explores the changing attitudes towards issues that remain timely today: the differences between how men and women view sex and marriage, the nature of homosexuality, and how watching or making sex tapes affects desire...
Leaf's strong writing and flowing dialogue come alive through his fully developed, three-dimensional characters...a top-notch production. One leaves the theater looking forward to what Jonathan Leaf has in store next for his audience."
- Iris Greenberger, Show Business Weekly
"A play with something interesting to say. While the Sam Mendeses of the world are congratulating each other on their courage for the utter uniformity of their absolutely conventional views, Mr. Leaf has taken a critical eye to the so-called Sexual Revolution and its rather sad cookie-jar full of delusions and pathologies. His view does not seem to be a puritanical one—as indeed his play is not...his approach is refreshing...Mr. Leaf’s characterization and Chuck Montgomery’s performance in the role [of protagonist William Munson] are perfectly calibrated gauges of twentieth-century life...never less than convincing..."
- Kevin Williamson, The New Criterion
"Leaf, who also directed, has boldly laid bare a cultural turning point...and this play will leave you marveling..."
- Sandy MacDonald, EdgeNewYork.com
Reviews of "The Germans In Paris"
"Thought-provoking comedy...[it may be] the sleeper hit of the Off-Off-Broadway season...Mr. Leaf has woven his web of fact and fiction with enviable skill, and the result is a sharp-witted comedy of manners that modulates neatly into high seriousness...Don't dally: the run is short, and the theater small."
- Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
"Leaf's epigrammatic dialogue shines."
- The New Yorker
"Thought-provoking...an enjoyable romp...with some serious ideas slipped in."
- Duncan Pflaster, Broadwayworld.com
"Leaf manages to make café and boudoir arguments compelling by giving his characters full flesh-and-blood…It’s heady stuff, but never boring...This is the rare off-off-Broadway experience that really delivers the goods: a well-crafted play that is as stimulating as it is enjoyable."
- Steve Weinstein, EdgeNewYork.com
"The wonderful new play, The Germans in Paris is a shining gem in the sometimes unpredictable world of off-Broadway theatre… Leaf is one to watch. His use of language is clean and pure, and his characters jump off the page, even before they are embodied by the actors who are lucky enough to portray them… If everything he writes is as wonderful as The Germans, we are all in for a treat.”
- Peter MacKay, Thecinemasource.com
"Leaf has proven once again that he can write narrative and develop scenes with tremendous skill."
- Menachem Wecker, The Jewish Press
"Leaf, a nimble thinker and accomplished stylist, manages to challenge and engage the audience...Such scenes showcase the play's sparkling dialogue (Leaf seamlessly weaves in writing from the historical record) and abundant wit. The narrative structure is so deftly conceived that we barely notice the gears at work."
- Deidre McFadyen, OffOffOnline.com
"There are two types of people in New York: those who are intimately familiar with the historical dramas of playwright Jonathan Leaf.... and everyone else."
- James Panero, TheNewCriterion.com
The comedy-drama The Germans In Paris was rated the highest of all the shows in New York City during its 2007 run according to Theatermania.com audience surveys - above "The Producers", "Hairspray" – above every other show then playing in the nation’s theater capital.
Reviews of "The Caterers"
"It doesn't often happen that a piece of theater grabs you by the lapels, keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn't let you go until it's good and ready. That's what happens in Jonathan Leaf's The Caterers…plausible and gripping...Remarkably, Leaf also injects humor into his chilling tale….an extraordinary level of suspense...Under Jose Zayas' direction, the play moves powerfully, unerringly to its grim conclusion."
- Howard Kissel, The New York Daily News
"Talk about timely...So nightmarishly believable a portrait of terrorism in action that the friend with whom I saw it had a panic attack when it was over... I've been hearing good things about Jonathan Leaf for the past couple of seasons, and now that I've finally seen one of his plays, I understand what the fuss was about."
- Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
"There have been a few plays riffing off 9/11 for some inert limpid equivalist meditation, but Leaf cuts to the chase... taut, riveting...Leaf grabbed the big theme and found an angle on it...Unlike the navel-gazers who infest so much of the American theater, this guy is engaged with the world and deserves a bigger audience."
- Mark Steyn, The New Criterion
"This tightly plotted play moves at a fast pace with no intermission to break up the suspense or spoil the illusion that you are trapped in the room. Because of this, the anxiety level can get quite high, and several audience members were crying or covering their mouths in horror. When the play ends, it is hard to shake the feeling that you have just spent the past 80 minutes locked in a room with a terrorist."
"Terrific - go see it!"
- Dr. Joy Browne, WOR Radio
"Extraordinary and disturbing..."
- Andrew Stuttaford, National Review Online "The Corner"
"Very strong…enormously affecting."
The Caterers received three nominations in the 2006 Innovative Theater (IT) Awards: for Best Play, Best Actor (Brian Wallace) and Best Production.