THE NEW YORK THEATRE WIRE sm

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end Fortune City files

Archived after 12/6/05:

"The Head Hunter"

Two Views of "Amaluna"

"The Heir Apparent"

"Richard III"

Reinventing "I Remember Mama"

Three views of "Raisin in the Sun"

"Lost in Space"

"Beyond Therapy"

"Tosca e le Altre Due"

Two views of "Potion"

"The Pig, or Václav Havel's Hunt for a Pig"

"Love and Information"

"All the Way"

"Since Africa"

"Outside Mullingar"

"Captain John Smith Goes to Ukraine"

Lyrics & Lyricists, "Sweepin' the Clouds Away" at 92nd Street Y

"Daylight Precision"

"No Man's Land"

"Waiting for Godot"

"Hard Times: An American Musical"

"A Man's a Man"

"What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined"

"Noise in the Waters" at La MaMa

"A Night With Janis Joplin"

Mark Rylance's "Richard III"

Pinter's "Betrayal"

Two Views of "Quidam"

"The Last Cyclist"

"The Weir" at Irish Rep

Motown on Broadway

Two Views of "The Revisionist"

Cougars on the Prowl at St Luke's Theatre

"How to Be a New Yorker?"

Newsical

 

The Family in Crisis in "Falling"

Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

Zelda at the Oasis

"Things My Mother Taught Me: a daughter's journey" by Salma Allam

It's Off to "Work" We Go

The Sound of Music Can Be Heard in Millburn New Jersey

Garden of Delights by the New Stage Theatre Company

"Cyrano de Bergerac:" A Large Nose, A Lot of Noise and Little Poetry

Hopelessly in Love : The Lyrics of Tom Toce

The Songs of Larry Kerchner

John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey in “This Must Be the Place?” at Café Carlyle

Tony DeSare with "Making Love Songs"

"Marry Me A Little"

“Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Christine Andreas is "Bemused, Bothered and Bewildered"

A Chorus Line Is Still Kicking

Two Poignant Plays by Mario Fratti

"Shalom Dammit!"

"Smile" with Andrea Marcovicci

"Lovers" by Brian Friel

"The Exonerated" have their say one more time

"Mary Broome" at the Mint

"Pieces" by Chris Phillips

7th Monarch

"Miracle on South Division Street"

"War Horse" at Lincoln Center

Revival of "A Little Journey" by Rachel Crothers

"The Minister's Wife" at Lincoln Center

"Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard

"Beautiful Burnout" from National Theater of Scotland at St. Ann's Warehouse

"Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire

"The Divine Sister" by Charles Bush

"Star Alarm" by Wind Dell Woods

"I Married Wyatt Earp": The Story of the Gunslinger's Wife

Two views of “The People in the Picture” at
The Roundabout Theatre Company

" The Shaughraun" at the Irish Repertory Theatre

"Awake in a World that Encourages Sleep"
by Raymond J. Barry at Theater for the New City

"Benefactors" by Michael Frayn

"Triangle" at 59E59 Theaters

"Kin" by Bathsheba Doran

"Kin" at Playwrights Horizons

One Night with Fanny Brice at St Lunke's Theater

"This Ain't No Tea Party" at Midtown Theater

"The Whipping Man" by Matthew Lopez at City Center

"Miss Abigail's guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage!"

"Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz at Lincoln Center

Broadway-bound in Toronto: "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"

"Freud's Last Session"

An American Original

Elizabeth Bishop 101

"Freak Winds" Is Funny and Frightening

Fahrenheit 451

Children of a Lesser God

The Music Teacher

Romping through the Plastic Roses

Eye on Steppenwolf

[title of show] Is an Adolescent Adventure

Et tu, Jones?

The Family in Crisis in "Falling"
Pundits have often advised aspiring authors to write about what they know, which has yielded shelves of self-indulgent novels, confessional poetry, and plays without much insight into the human condition. I suppose the advice is designed to overcorrect pretentiousness and posturing, but it’s hard to get an artistic grasp on events that are more than raw material. Deanna Jent, is the rare and exciting exception. Her play “Falling” at Minetta Lane Theatre is not just an emotional roller coaster and a marvellous vehicle for actors, but it’s a transcendent voyage into the heart of a family in crisis. By Glenda Frank.

Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” comically channels Chekhovangst into the present
Christopher Durang, always clever and inventive, has taken four characters from different Chekhov plays and transported them to the countryside of Bucks County, PA. Durang’s comic remix of Chekhov at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater is amusing and gets laughs, even if it doesn’t always quite hit the mark. By Lucy Komisar.

Zelda at the Oasis
Zelda Fitzgerald once said, To be young and beautiful for a long time. That is what I want. But fate had other ideas, and the unlucky lady, locked in a room waiting for electro shock therapy, died at age 48 in the Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. But a new production at St. Luke's Theatre is bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife all her glory to the stage in "Zelda at the Oasis," a new play by P. H. Lin. By Edward Rubin.

A Souffle of Dance and Anger at your Mother
In "Things My Mother Taught Me: a daughter's journey," her new play with dance, Salma Allam represents herself as the daughter of an Egyptian-American Tiger Mom and a battered one, too: battered by her mother's relentless criticisms, threats, demands and New Age bromides. Everything the mother says to her daughter seems to drive them apart. Salma is too imbalanced in her chakras, too fat to be a ballerina, too un-committed to her dance, too dramatic,--a veritable crucible of faults. This experience of living under incessant and withering maternal criticism is explored in a two-hour collection of dialogue and poetry punctuated by modern dance. By Barney Yates.

It's Off to "Work" We Go
These days we hear a lot about the importance of jobs, but we don’t hear nearly as much about the value of work. This makes the revival of “Working,” a 1977 musical based on the 1974 bestseller "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" by oral historian and radio broadcaster Studs Terkel, even more welcome. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Sound of Music Can Be Heard in Millburn New Jersey
It's hard to go wrong with "The Sound of Music," but director and choreographer James Brennan certainly deserves credit for getting everything right: the humor, the drama, the danger, the love, and of course, the music. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Garden of Delights" by the New Stage Theatre Company
Larry Litt writes, "I didn't go to Catholic school but I know dozens of women who did. I've heard stories about both cruel, demented and caring, loving teacher nuns. I've also heard about rebellious Catholic school girls seeking to learn about the world of bad boys and teenage sex. Actually from the stories I've heard seems the girls are quite proud of their youthful escapades. Quite the opposite takes place on stage in 'Garden of Delights'." The play by Fernando Arrabal, is being mounted by New Stage Theatre Company at Theater for the New City.

Cyrano de Bergerac: A Large Nose, A Lot of Noise, and Little Poetry
Everybody knows Cyrano de Bergerac he of bulbous snout if not by name alone, than by play, movie, or perhaps even history. Published in 1897 by the French poet Edmond Rostand, the play, Rostand's most successful work is the story of Cyrano's love for his cousin the beautiful Roxane, whom he is obliged to woo on behalf of a more conventionally handsome but less articulate friend, Christian de Neuvillette. Well, Cyrano, thanks to the Roundabout Theatre Company, is back on Broadway. By Edward Rubin.

Hopelessly in Love: the lyrics of Tom Toce
Toce certainly has a way with words and clever rhymes. He also knows there’s nothing like details (suede boots, the velvet vest) to create a mood of nostalgia or regret.By Paulanne Simmons.

The Time Is Now, with Larry Kerchner
Times change but human sentiments remain. From Cole Porter to Dolly Parton, the best songwriters are craftsmen who fit expansive universal feelings to music in a straightforward way. They appeal to the man in the street. They stamp the zeitgeist of jubilation, fury, romance, heartbreak, humor, depression, treasured memories and secret dreams of everyday people. Some songs linger on to become standards that touch audiences for years and even generations. By Elizabeth Ahlfors.

So Nice to Come Home To
At the Café Carlyle, John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, the jazz world’s Bogie and Bacall, cool and simmering at the same time, are examining concepts of home. With an undercurrent of suffering from Hurricane Sandy’s destruction resonating even in the posh Café Carlyle, their sophisticated exploration could not be more timely or universal. By Elizabeth Ahlfors.

Once Again We are asked "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” has hit 50. The question is whether it’s a tired-out 50 that’s no longer particularly relevant, or a vigorous 50 that’s still got lots of juice. By Paulanne Simmons.

Tony DeSare with "Making Love Songs"
“This show is all about love,” declared Tony DeSare, and with his piano pizzazz, velvet vocals and songwriting savvy, he brought a vivacious “Wow!” to his eclectic new songbook, “Making Love Songs,” at 54 Below. He turned the phrase, “All About Love,” into a jaunty opening song, a window to an hour of well-crafted standards, show tunes, and sharp originals. Just after his opener, De Sare and his quartet – Mike Klopp on drums, bassist Steve Doyle and Edward Decker strumming hard and fast on guitar – raced into a vigorous, “Somebody Loves Me,” written by 1924 by George Gershwin. By Elizabeth Ahlfors.

"Marry Me A Little"
What I love most about Sondheim are the surprises -- in the music, in the lyrics, in the out-of-the-box attitude that inserts a touch of something real -- of doubt, reluctance, honesty, even cynicism in the face of convention. After all Stephen Sondheim brought us “Sweeney Todd,” “Passion” and “Assassins.” So I was looking forward to “Marry Me a Little” at the Clurman Theatre. But instead of the usual Sondheim tang, the show about two singles in Brooklyn was almost cloying -- and worse, predictable. Many people in the audience applauded with gusto and left the theatre happy. I caught a quick subway so I could play a little Sondheim to hear again his unique voice. By Glenda Frank.

“Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” Creates Fireworks
Those who are not yet convinced Ars Nova is dedicated to producing innovative and exciting theater need only see the theater’s newest production “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” to dispel any doubts. By Paulanne Simmons.

Christine Andreas is "Bemused, Bothered and Bewildered"
Calling a show “Bemused” (or is it “be-mused”?) might evoke some bother and bewilderment in Christine Andreas’ 54 Below audience. After a rhythmic, jazz-styled opener, “Get Happy,” Andreas explained that the reason for the title was a play on words, reading “bemused,” as “to be mused,” the musical click that happens when just the right singer and just the right songwriter click. By Elizabeth Ahlfors.

A Chorus Line Is Still Kicking
The Paper Mill Playhouse production of “A Chorus Line,” directed and choreographed by Mitzi Hamilton (one of the dancers in Bennett’s original production) has all those great numbers performed by superb dancers and singers. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two Poignant Plays by Mario Fratti
Mario Fratti, best know for his work on the musical “Nine,” has written over 70 plays, which has been produced in two dozen countries. His latest installation is a diptych at Theatre for the New City, one a comedy, one approaching tragedy. Both have strong and poignant moments. By Glenda Frank.

"Shalom Dammit!" Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink
All Things Jewish seems to be all the rage here in New York City. Old Jews Telling Jokes, a fun-filled revue starring Marilyn Sokol is packing them in like nobodys business at the Westside Theatre. Soul Doctor, the hit musical based on the life of singer-songwriter Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach it recently closed at the New York Theatre Workshop after a three week run is currently looking to reopen in a larger space. And David Lefkowitz Shalom Dammit!, a rollicking, rolling, one man work in progress which had two sold-out runs earlier in the year the first at the Richmond Shepard Theater, the last at the Roy Arias Theatre Center is threatening to come back to the Big Apple again. I might add by popular demand. Yes, the rabbi has a huge following. By Edward Rubin.

"Smile" with Andrea Marcovicci
After 25 years as the bright star of the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room holiday season, Andrea Marcovicci has moved uptown to the posh Café Carlyle. Before a sparkling opening night audience, taut and radiant in a glittering platinum backless gown, and despite an edgy political atmosphere, this eternal romantic strolled in strumming a ukulele to, “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.” Recession or not, she makes us believe in the power of a smile. By Elizabeth Ahlfors.

"Lovers" is Not Quite Revived
Brian Friel’s “Lovers,” first produced in 1967, is composed of two separate one-acts, “Winners” and “Loser,” which work together to present very different but complementary views of love. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Exonerated Have Their Say One More Time
Ten years ago, Culture Project’s “The Exonerated,” a documentary/theater hybrid thundered onto the stage with its six stories of men and women who had been unjustly sent to death row. Now Culture Project is marking the 10th anniversary of the show with a 7-week revival directed by Bob Balaban, and it is just as affecting and relevant as ever. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Anderson Twins Meet the Dorsey Brothers
“The Anderson Twins Play the Fabulous Dorseys” is both a tribute to the famed Dorsey Brothers and a showcase for the talented Anderson Brothers. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two views of "Mary Broome" at the Mint
Paulanne Simmons writes, "Comedies of manners do not always travel well through time. But in 'Mary Broome,' directed by Jonathan Bank at the Mint Theater, a hard-working cast and masterly direction turn a forgotten piece into something well worth remembering. Glenda Frank writes, " The Mint Theatre just keeps getting better."

What's Love Got To Do With It?
Chris Phillips may be the new voice of gay drama. Although he is young in his career, he has received awards from GLAAD and Robert Chesley Foundation, which supports LGBT playwrights. "the things i cannot change" (from his play "revolver") was chosen for the 2011 Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. His second play "Elysian Fields," was presented at the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival. "Pieces," his latest production, a transfer from Los Angeles, also played at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has been selected for the Encore series and will be presented at SoHo Playhouse September 7 to 17. By Glenda Frank.

"Zarkana" Is Back - Don’t Miss It
In the fashion familiar to anyone who has seen Cirque du Soleil productions, "Zarkana" blends mystery, magic and music in a breathtaking extravaganza that keeps both young and old on the edge of their seats. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Speak Easy Show Everyone’s Cheering About
A time of romance and rum is celebrated in "Speak Easy," Carole J. Bufford’s Prohibition-era show at the Metropolitan Room. By Paulanne Simmons.

"War Horse" Is a Children's Story for Adults
Not since Journey's End was revived in 2007 has Broadway seen such a searing depiction of World War I as National Theatre of Great Britain's War Horse, now at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. By Paulanne Simmons.

Richard Skipper is "Carol Channing" In Concert
Richard Skipper, the multi-award winning, triple threat actor, singer, and dancer – the guy does everything - has been channeling the "real" Carol Channing in plays and concerts all over the world for some 25 years. If he wasn't such good friends with the 90 year old Channing, who occasionally flies around the country with her husband to attend 'Skipper playing Channing' soirees – well, one would think he was a stalker. One thing is for sure, Skipper, like all of us Hello Dolly devotees, is in love with Channing. How else to explain his awe-inspiring ability to not only inhabit her legendary voice and her inimitable way of physically holding the air – here, true to life, he captures, from head to face to toe, all of her legendary movements – but to shower the audience to the very last row, with the warmth, love, vulnerabilities and strengths, that have always been Channing's unique calling card. By Ed Rubin.

Freud's Last Session
"Freud's Last Session." Imagine that you are hidden in a corner of Sigmund Freud's cozy Hampstead study, with wall of book shelves, a large window onto the garden and a leather chair next to the iconic couch. It's 1939, King George speaks on the radio, sirens warn people to extinguish their lights to evade the bombs of the Luftwaffe. Freud (Martin Rayner) is being visited by a young Oxford professor, C.S. Lewis (Mark H. Dold) who had satirized him in a book. Their conversation is stimulating, spellbinding. By Lucy Komisar.

"Memphis" is a vibrant back story of the Rhythm & Blues on Beale Street in the 50s.
"Memphis," book by Joe DiPietro, music by David Bryan, and lyrics by both, is a vibrant sometimes hokey but visually exciting story musical with terrific sounds that range from rhythm and blues to gospel. It's a social and political back story of Rhythm & Blues. It's 1951 on Beale Street. And Huey (Chad Kimball) wanders into a hot music joint He's found the music of his soul. The only problem is that he's in the black part of town and he's white. By Lucy Komisar

Alba Lite
Michael John LaChiusa's "Bernarda Alba" is Garcia Lorca's feminist play "lite." The women in this chamber musical lust after sex, not freedom. By Lucy Komisar.

The Irish Repertory Pays Tribute to a Yankee Doodle Boy
In the program notes to "George M. Cohan Tonight!" writer and director Chip Deffaa says, "At first I planned to write a book about [George M Cohan] but his life was so theatrical, his songs so rich and rousing and varied, I felt his story is better told on stage." A wise decision. But equally fortunate was Deffaa's choice of triple threat Jon Peterson to play the multi-talented Cohan. By Paulanne Simmons.

33 to Nothing
The sad truth is that "33 to Nothing" has all the earmarks of a work of love. It's pretty obvious that Grant James Varjas, who wrote the play with music, "33 to Nothing", now at the Bottle Factory Theater for a limited engagement, knows a lot about rock bands. At best, it's a psychodrama with music. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Post-Modern Hedda
In 1890 Henrik Ibsen wrote "Hedda Gabler," a play about a bored, neurotic woman who ruins the life of the people who surround her and then takes her own. It is a solid piece of drama with a preternaturally modern theme. For some reason, Andrew Upton saw fit to update the play with "spare dialogue and diminished exposition." Then The Sydney Theatre Company took this version and, under the direction of Robyn Nevin, turned it into something that seems to be a cross between a sitcom and a soap opera. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

A Fresh, New Look at "The Miser"
"The Miser" ("L'Avare"), The Jean Cocteau Repertory' s newest show at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, with its convoluted plot involving mistaken identity, shipwreck and unlikely reunions, may be the most Shakespearean of Moliere's plays. As translated by Charles Heron Wall and directed by Dan Zisson, the comedy has a modern ring that even Shakespeare at its best seldom achieves.

"Barefoot" BF (Before Feminism)
"Barefoot in the Park" is a dated comedy with feminist message. As a comedy, Neil Simon's play is just sitcom, but as sociology, it's fascinating. It inadvertently illustrates the ills of old-style marriage. By Lucy Komisar.

"Side Show" Makes the Weird Wonderful
The Gallery Players in Brooklyn have revived "Side Show," the 1997 musical about conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, and it shines. By Paulanne Simmons.

Oedipus Pimp
In celebration of Black History month, the New York Theatre Workshop is presenting Aeschylus -- in a high-voltage Hip-hop variation that makes the ancient tale as lively and accessible for grey panthers as for high schoolers. Make some room, "Rent." Here comes a phat rappin' cousin with impeccable credentials! By Glenda Frank.

 

Fanny Hill Is Irresistible
Going against the wave of films and plays depicting abusive, self-destructive and plain weird relationships, Ed Dixon's new musical, "Fanny Hill," now at the York Theatre, carries the old-fashioned message that sex can be fun. Based on John Cleland's 1749 "Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure," Fanny Hill is a tongue-in-cheek rollick that director James Brennan keeps fresh in every sense of the word. By Paulanne Simmons.

Rabbit Hole
David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole," about the grief of losing a child, is a look into what appears to be a bottomless abyss of permanent, all-encompassing mourning. It's also an obvious message about how slipping into isolation only makes things worse. And about how loss ought to be understood in the continuum of previous loss and new life. These are not original observations, but under the clear, unsentimental direction of Daniel Sullivan, they do not appear trite. He unfolds a drama, not a melodrama. By Lucy Komisar.

Laughing Around Town is back!
Three shows Larry Litt saw in February pointed to a direction that Americans should be very nervous about. The assorted and very diverse themes were ancient Roman history in "The Art of Love," contemporary women's susceptability to advertising and fashion dictates in "Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans with High-Class Issues," and self-reflection in "The Accidental Pervert."

"Paradise" Lost
David Foley's "Paradise" is a play about three couples: one is gay, one is jewish and one is constantly bickering. There is a faithless husband, his unhappy wife and their innocent daughter acting out their own story upstage, and a pedophile priest who tells bad jokes. You can't help but feel you've been to the play before, and this is a problem. By Paulanne Simmons.

I Would Like To Thank My Agent
If Diane had lived during the Renaissance, she would have brandished a mean sword; scowled mightily with her hand placed threateningly on her dagger; smiled widely and bowed low; or gazed beatifically to heaven and crossed herself. In short, she would have done anything to cut her client the best deal in town. But Diane the Super-Agent (Julie White) lives in the here-and-now. Diane lives in "The Little Dog Laughed," by Douglas Carter Beane, which is as sharp-fanged and belly-laugh funny as his "As Bees in Honey Drown." By Glenda Frank.

 

Co-op Crazies
"The Right Kind of People," Charles Grodin's new play, now in its New York premiere at Primary Stages, is the kind of comedy that plays best in big cities, most specifically, New York. The action, which revolves around the shenanigans of a Fifth Avenue co-op board, certainly rings true to anyone who has ever had to deal with this particular breed of people. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Emperor Jones Goes Greek
Arthur Adair had a good idea on paper, says Paulanne Simmons, in casting Eugene O'Neill's "The Emperor Jones" in a Greek mold.

 

Apartment 3A Mixes Romance, Comedy and Magic
In Jeff Daniels' new play, "Apartment 3A," Annie Wilson (Amy Landecker) a PBS fundraiser, moves into a new apartment after finding her former boyfriend committing an act of infidelity on her grandmother's table. On the very day she takes the apartment, she meets a mysterious widower named Donald (Joseph Collins) who seems to have powers far beyond mortal men. If over-the-top love scenes, sparkling dialogue and a touch of wonder have not yet lost their appeal, "Apartment 3A" will certainly be a hit. By Paulanne Simmons.

Huck and Holden
The title of Rajiv Joseph's new play, now in its world premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre, is "Huck & Holden," but it might have been "Huck, Holden & Navin." Indeed, if "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is the Great American Buildingsroman of the 19th century and "The Catcher in the Rye" is the classic coming-of-age story of the 20th century, then Navin's adventures in America might well represent a typical journey of self-discovery for the 21st century. By Paulanne Simmons.

An (Irish) American Tragedy
Eugene O'Neill's "A Touch of the Poet" is a powerful play in a gem of a production at Studio 54. Set outside Boston on July 27, 1828, it traces the final descent of Major Cornelius Melody and the rise of his headstrong daughter, Sara. It is a tragedy about the immigrant experience, a tale about Irish nobility – not about kings but about the transcendent dream passed from father to child, and the price of that dream. By Glenda Frank.

 

The Revenger's Tragedy
Ask a Boy Scout if the family is sacred, he'll say "of course." Then ask a dramatist the same question. He'll say "of course, the family is as sacred as the mysterious forces within all our lusty, vengeful hearts." This is the paradoxical twist of Red Bull's wildly funny, sardonically attractive show, The Revenger's Tragedy. By Larry Litt.

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
"Dog Sees God," Bert V. Royal's first play, is billed as an "unauthorized" parody. It is his take on Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts gallery – ten years later. Paulanne Simmons' take on the production is a great big "Good Grief!".

In a Red State, 1920
Small theatre companies dedicated to rescuing lost masterpieces are vital links in the New York theatre chain. Their productions offer many surprises, like the recent staging of Susan Glaspell's "Inheritors," which premiered in 1921 and is rarely revived. Some of us -- theatre writers and historians who are familiar with Glaspell's "Trifles" and "The Verge" -- have assumed that her other plays simply don't play well. The recently formed Susan Glaspell Society and Director Yvonne Conybeare at the Metropolitan Playhouse are providing compelling evidence that we need to take a fresh look at Glaspell's work. By Glenda Frank.

Ms. Wasserstein's latest play
There are very few scenes in "Third," Wendy Wasserstein's latest play, where Dianne Wiest -- as Professor Laurie Jameson -- does not smile, glance benevolently, look maternal And her course on new interpretations of Shakespeare is lively and provocative. Even Woodson Bull, III, nicknamed Third, a new student and a jock – he's on the wrestling team and plans to become a real-life Jerry McGuire – is excited. But surprise of surprises, Prof. Jameson is as close to a feminist villain as contemporary drama and her creator, Wendy Wasserstein, permits. By Glenda Frank.

….four one-legged men! Written and performed by Gary Corbin
There's nothing more harrowing than watching a person tell the absolute unfiltered, unexpurgated truth about their life's struggles. The event opens all kinds of doors in an audience that have nothing to do with the show in front of their eyes. Only a master storyteller can keep an audience focused on the subject and object of the oration. It's rare, when it happens to you, you remember. Gary Corbin's stellar one man performance is that kind of performance. If he performs this series again. Don't miss it. By Larry Litt

The Quality of Mercy
At the core of "Mercy at the Doorstep," Gip Hoppe's new play directed by Jim Simpson, lie several questions: What is mercy? Is it bestowed by God or man? Can it be forced on someone who doesn't want it? Does it sometimes cloak something more sinister? By Paulanne Simmons.

A Walk on the Wild Side
Whether you're a lifelong New Yorker, a temporary resident or a tourist on a short visit, "Accomplice" is a Big Apple experience you'll want to savor. This original piece of entertainment created by the brother and sister team Tom Salamon and Betsy Suffott is part interactive theater, part site-specific performance art and part walking tour of lower Manhattan. It is the most thoroughly entertaining ways to spend an afternoon in New York City one can imagine. By Paulanne Simmons.

Guardians: Provocative or Pornographic?
The two most sordid scandals to come out of the Iraq War may well be the Abu Ghraib debacle and the publication of fake torture photos in The Daily Mirror. Playwright Peter Morris use both stories in his two-character monologue, "Guardians." By Paulanne Simmons.

Titanic
A recent presentation of Christopher Durang's "Titanic" is proof that something's going awfully right at New York City's public universities. By Brandon Judell.

A Fine & Private Place
The titular fine and private place in Erik Haagensen and Richard Isen's musical premiering at York Theatre Company's home in St. Peter's at Citigroup Center is the imaginary Yorkchester Cemetery in the North Bronx. It is here that two couples, one live and one dead, meet. By Paulanne Simmons.

Adrienne Barbeau Breathes Life into "The Property Known as Garland"
Not a melodramatic soap opera about the decline and death of the late great Garland, but rather a funny and moving evening with the star. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Defying Hitler" Offers a Glimpse of History and a Man's Soul
Based on the memoirs of Sebastian Haffner, German journalist, historian and political commentator who grew up in Berlin between the two world wars, "Defying Hitler" weaves Haffner's personal story into world history. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Cooking for Kings"
From early childhood most people learn to equate food with love. But few take the metaphor to the same extremes as legendary French chef Antonin Careme, whose life story is told in Ian Kelly's one-man-show "Cooking for Kings."

Being Ernest Is Still Important
Poet, dramatist and novelist Oscar Wilde is known for many things: his flamboyance, his aestheticism, his homosexuality. But his most enduring and endearing legacy may be his masterpiece "The Importance of Being Ernest." Paulanne Simmons reviews the production at Brooklyn Academy of Music and deems it "just about as perfect as it gets."

J.A.P. Chronicles, the Musical
If there's one lesson in "J.A. P. Chronicles, the Musical," it's that not all Jewish American Princesses are alike. There are seven of them in Isabel Rose's new musical, based on her novel of the same name.

Wall
"Wall" is a shocking, searing account of the barrier now being built in Isrg out their assaults. Apparently, it has been working to some degree. Yet, is its success worth its financial, physical, and emotional costs? Director Simone Bitton apparently thinks not.

Oy vey, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The town is currently plastered with posters that just about everybody can relate to. A "nice boy" with the conscervative haircut who is just so fresh-faced in his forties, exuding innocence and optimism, you know he isn't any kind of hit with the ladies, who are all tattooed now. The 40-year old virgin could have been almost as iconic in our time as the Prisoner of Second Avenue was in the early Seventies. The trouble is not the prototype, but the movie.

The Constant Gardener: A Blooming Hit
What made Fernando Meirelles’s City of God so different from any other offering in 2003 was its vibrant colors, razor sharp editing, pulverizing soundtrack, ferocious energy, and its jolting ability to recreate life in the slum of slums of Rio de Janeiro. Sex. Murder. Robbery. Drugs. Hopelessness. They were all brutally depicted, creating a striking fusion of visual opulence and mental purgation. Now in his first English-language endeavor, Meirelles has taken on what most would consider the most unlikely of literary sources for him, John le Carré’s The Constant Gardener. The corporeal collides with the cerebral, and the result surprisingly is the most satisfying adult-oriented, suspense-filled feature of the year.

Last Days
Kurt Cobain's life and death have been a source of interest and speculation for fans, critics and media alike and has inspired Director Gus Van Sant who brings the introspection deeper in his latest film "Last Days" which is shaped around the finals hours of Blake, a rocker struggling in a mess of durgs, alcohol and mental illness.

Beowulf
Beowulf, the hero of the sixth century eponymous Anglo-Saxon epic, may have battled sea monsters, dragons, fierce trolls and their fiercer moms, but in the adept rock-opera adaptation by Lindsey Turner at Irish Repertory Theatre, Beowulf proves every bit the post-modern hero, a talkative cousin of Rambo and Batman. By remaining true to the mood and primitive setting of the original, director Charlotte Moore, sound designer Zachary Williamson and lighting designer Brian Nason created both an action-figure adventure and a ritualistic evocation that is powerfully affecting and not without its sense of humor in the use of giant puppets and shadow-narratives. By Glenda Frank.

Laughing Around Town is Back
If George W. Bush, elected or appointed as you may think, President of the United States were in the audience of the three performance events Larry Litt saw on October 6th and 7th, he would’ve seen himself portrayed as everything from a pitiful nazi commander to a hot fudge sundae. At seven pm on October 6th "Beating Around the Bush: An Evening of American Satire" at the NY Society for Ethical Culture saw five famous literary satirists, newspaper columnist Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins (also of Air America radio fame), The Realist’s publisher Paul Krassner, Harper’s publisher Lewis Lapham and the great American novelist Kurt Vonnegut talking about the President, his policies, the Iraq War, and his insidious cronies, err staff. Oct. 7th at HERE Arts Center on Sixth Avenue and Spring Street, he attended the first performance of the extended run of Burning Bush: A Faith Based Musical. With a large space to play in, author/performers Noah Diamond and Amanda Sisk created a theatrical romp with song parodies, dance routines, much camping and vamping.

October's Desperate Daughters
Is it the new school semester that brings two stories of desperate daughters (in compelling productions) to the off-Broadway stage? Or is it the success of David Auburn's "Proof," which has not only moved with fanfare from stage to film but also brought us a new, iconoclastic hero, the brilliant but distraught young woman. Certainly the two feuding co-eds of the hit musical "Wicked" have added their own spin to the prototype. This season, Rolin Jones's Jennifer ("The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow") is buzzing up the mix while Barbara Dunn's sisters in "War in Paramus" are grim reminders of what life offered in the 1970s. By Glenda Frank.

 

Musicals for Crash Dummies, Disagreeable Women and Monks in Heat
The full houses and round-the-block waiting lines at the exhilarating 2005 New York International Fringe Festival are clear evidence that theatre is very much alive. Not all of the 180 offerings in the 19 different venues could boast that they were genuine fringe -- experimental, fresh, honest, absurd, silly, brilliant and just waiting to be discovered. But as a showcase for new talent and unusual points of view, the 17 day festival remains an annual treat. Despite the many musical theater offerings, we will have to wait for next year to discover the next "Urinetown" meteor. By Glenda Frank.

 

Jenny Chow, Mia Farrow, Dr. Kinsey and more
In the Continuum: Black Women Alone with AIDS/Jenny Chow: Flying Robot/Mia Farrow in Fran’s Bed/Pastoralia: Theme-Park Cave-People/No Nudes on Appian Way or Broadway/Stockbroker Breadwinner Quits the Rat-Race/Lennon Sings Again But Stops Short/Alfred Kinsey Sings & Dances in Dr. Sex/Musicals in Trailer-Parks?/River Dolphins Become Human in Miracle Bros./Two Gents in Central Park Should Be Back on Broadway/Words or Music: Capricious Capriccio at City Opera/NYCO Tries Patience at Lincoln Center/Heartbreaking Butterfly at NY State Theatre/Tall Horse: Puppet-Giraffe Strides Off To Paris!/Post-Modernist Lessing-Lesson at BAM: Emilia Galotti/Fantastic Athleticism of Black Grace. By Glenn Loney.

Dorothy Chansky reviews Steppenwolf
Frank Galati directed and wrote "after the quake," a spare tale of a disaffected young Japanese writer and the little girl whose nightmares set him free. The play is based on Haruki Murakami’s collection of short stories written in the aftermath of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe and focuses on five people and a human-size frog. The animals in the shy writer’s stories reveal hidden aspects of himself and finally allow him to make the commitment he should have made a decade earlier. "Last of the Boys," Steven Dietz’s slice of the lives of four present-day Americans still struggling with the after effects of the Vietnam War, is part boozy confessional, part macho posturing, and part ghost story. Rick Snyder’s direction sends bottles and bodies careening through the remnants of the trailer park where one shattered vet is nursing his wounds and looking for peace.

 

Ms. Wasserstein's latest play
There are very few scenes in "Third," Wendy Wasserstein's latest play, where Dianne Wiest -- as Professor Laurie Jameson -- does not smile, glance benevolently, look maternal And her course on new interpretations of Shakespeare is lively and provocative. Even Woodson Bull, III, nicknamed Third, a new student and a jock – he's on the wrestling team and plans to become a real-life Jerry McGuire – is excited. But surprise of surprises, Prof. Jameson is as close to a feminist villain as contemporary drama and her creator, Wendy Wasserstein, permits. By Glenda Frank.

Cambodia Agonistes
“Cambodia Agonistes,” which Pan Asian Repertory Theater is currently remounting at the West End Theatre, uses dance, music and speech to tell the story of a traditional Cambodian dancer (Lydia Gaston) who suffers through the atrocities of the Cambodian Dictator (Ron Nakahara) and is eventually found wondering the streets of NYC, blinded by the memories of what she has seen. By Paulanne Simmons.

One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
If the seventies, Nixon, Vietnam, the Chicago Seven, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert MacNamara, L.B.J, Bella Abzug and Spiro Agnew still resonate for you with some meaning, "One Bright Shining Moment" will help you relive your youth when politics were still tinged with hope, and you still felt that you could make a change.

Candida
In Jean Cocteaua Rep's production of "Candida," directed by Michael Halberstam, the central conflict of this play is not about how Candida puts both her men in their places, but about which of the two she will chose. That's where it goes wrong. By Paulanne Simmons.

Funny Brothers
In the spirit of Lewis and Martin, Abbot and Costello and especially The Smothers Brothers, Josh and Danny Bacher have arrived at Theater for the New City with "The Funniest Show in the World About the History of Comedy Performed by Two Brothers in Less Than Two Hours for Under Twenty Dollars." And Paulanne Simmons loved 'em.

Mrs. Warren's Profession
When George Bernard Shaw's "Mrs. Warren's Profession" was first produced in New York, its unorthodox subject matter caused such a public outcry it was soon closed. And, although the play was written in 1898, it was not produced in England until 1925. Now revived at the Irish Repertory Theatre, it's not likely the play will scandalize many, but it will certainly entertain and provoke. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Seascape"
In Edward Albee's famous "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" the playwright presents two married couples--the embattled George and Martha and the naïve Nick and Honey. In the lesser known "Seascape," now at the Booth Theatre, directed by Mark Lamos, Albee also presents two couples--the loving Nancy and Charlie, and the equally loving Leslie and Sarah. But in this case, the main difference between the two couples is that Leslie and Sarah are lizards. By Paulanne Simmons.

A Touch of the Poet
These days so much theater is devoted to the inarticulate that when one sees a play filled with eloquent, even poetic characters, it comes a something of a surprise. O'Neill's "A Touch of the Poet" is now revived at the Roundabout Theatre Company under the direction of Doug Hughes. As the name implies, there is much poetry here--from the pen of both O'Neill and the oft-quoted Lord Byron. No American playwright could better strip his characters of their pretenses and defenses than O'Neill. This stellar cast is obviously comfortable and capable in its handling of the playwright's complex characters. The combination is luminous. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Souvenir" is memorable
There's nothing new about comic teams made up of a ditsy woman and a long-suffering, perplexed man. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and George Burns and Gracie Allen immediately come to mind. But it's doubtful that any such couple has ever been as touchingly and lovingly portrayed as in Stephen Temperley's "Souvenir," first presented at the York Theater last December, now at The Lyceum.

Victor Attar in "Einstein" and "Golgotha"
Israeli actor Victor Attar pulls off an acting tour de force in two magnificent solo plays at La MaMa. “Golgotha” by Shmuel Refael, playing through Dec. 22, is a revelatory piece in which Albert Salvado, a Greek, Ladino-speaking Jew and Holocaust survivor, bares his soul. "Einstein" by Gabriel Emanuel, which premiered in Canada over twenty years ago, goes a long way towards bringing the man closer to those of us today who are badly in need of his wisdom. By Paulanne Simmons.

Paulsen's Lonely Banquet
Seattle performance artist John Paulsen can be best described as a dark, existentialist clown with the goofy physical gestures and lyrical storytelling of the late Red Skelton.

It's not exactly Howdy Doody
It's only been during the last twenty or so years that puppetry in the United States has come into its own as an adult art form with a mature message. But although "Avenue Q" managed to steal the Tony away from "Wicked" in 2004, most people still see puppet theater as mostly suitable for light themes and simple stories. The Second Annual Voice 4 Puppetry Festival at Theater for the New City this December gives the lie to such beliefs. The ten-day festival celebrates the work of innovative and experimental puppeteers whose offerings may not be easily understood by children or adults

In My Life
Why does humanity suffer? Why do people hurt themselves? Why do they hurt others? For the characters in Joseph Brooks' new musical "In My Life," the answer seems to be that God is a good-natured jingle writer and bungler named Al (the talented Michael J. Farina), and he has left their fate in the hands of a heavenly helper, Winston (the hammy but hilarious David Turner), a self-involved wannabe impresario who is trying to create an operatic masterpiece that derives its power and passion from human tragedy. By Paulanne Simmons.

Cambodia Agonistes
“Cambodia Agonistes,” which Pan Asian Repertory Theater is currently remounting at the West End Theatre, uses dance, music and speech to tell the story of a traditional Cambodian dancer (Lydia Gaston) who suffers through the atrocities of the Cambodian Dictator (Ron Nakahara) and is eventually found wondering the streets of NYC, blinded by the memories of what she has seen. By Paulanne Simmons.

A Mystery with a Message
“A Soldier’s Play” is a brilliant and complex drama. It is told through narration, flashbacks and flashbacks within flashbacks. But unlike many plays of the 21st century, its characters are ambivalent and complicated but never incomprehensible. Originally staged in 1981, Charles Fuller’s play is every bit as riveting and relevant today in its Second Stage revival directed by Jo Bonney as it was almost a quarter of a century ago. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Five Course Love" is delicious
The remarkable thing about “Five Course Love,” Gregg Coffin’s new musical comedy, which opened at the Minetta Lane Theatre on Oct. 16, is that no one ever eats. Instead the three-member cast – Heather Ayers as the femmes fatales, John Bolton as the male lovers and Jeff Gurner as the waiters – sing, dance, and fall in and out of love. They do all of the above in five different ways – according to the type of restaurant in which they meet. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Force is with Charles Ross
For the two people in New York City who may not be acquainted with the original films, Charles Ross’s “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” at Lambs Theatre until Dec. 31, is somewhat amusing. But for the vast numbers of young and old who have seen the movies several times, the hour-long journey through the galaxies is double-over-with-laughter funny. By Paulanne Simmons.

Almost, Maine
John Cariani's "Almost, Maine," probably won't win any major awards, but it may prompt more than a few people to visit small towns in that New England state. All of the play's action takes place at nine o'clock on a Friday night in the middle of winter at various locales in a remote section of Maine. All of them, in one way or the other, warm the heart. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Bass Saxophone

Eamonn Walker: From Oz to Duma, "Prisoner" Makes Good
The Brit, Eamonn Walker, moseys into the suite at the Parker Meridian and sits himself down with a gracious smile and handshake. The man who played the steely Kareem Said on HBO's cult convict drama Oz and the maniacal African leader, Andre Baptiste Sr., in Lord of War--an extremely gutsy yet underrated antiwar film--is anything but the characters he is noted for. In fact, the gent's sort of a hunk, an impression you don't actually get when his image is flattened out on TV or on the movie screen.

Innocent Voices--interview with Luis Mandoki
Innocent Voices
is the true story of screenwriter Oscar Torres, who at age eleven lived in a small, impoverished El Salvodorian village with his mother and two siblings. Their home a makeshift, bullet-ridden shack. Yes, indigence aside, life was fun except when the army and the guerilla bands were gunning up the neighborhood. Additionally, there was the forced recruitment of boys into the militia when they reached the age of twelve. By the way, this army was trained and financed by the CIA. Luis Mandoki, best known for his direction of When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Gaby: A True Story (1987), and Angel Eyes (2001) with Jennifer Lopez, has devised a startling entertainment that both stirs and educates about such a childhood. The film ends potently with a note stating that over 300,000 children around the world are currently forced into being soldiers.

 

Via Appia--I remember that from Latin class!
"A Naked Girl on the Appian Way" loses its way. Richard Greenberg sought to write a farce about a multicultural Hamptons family, but instead produced a sitcom that lacks wit and intellect. By Lucy Komisar.

 

How's about: Absurd People Plural?
"Absurd Person Singular" is an unsatisfying dark farce. The best part of it is British playwright Alan Aykbourn's dissection of relations between the classes and the sexes, but the farce, a slapstick with splinters, is rarely funny. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Who's Camus Anyway?
"Who's Camus Anyway?" is Japanese writer/director Shuji Kashiwabara's paean to the obsessive compulsion of those involved in the industry. Setting his comic venture in a film department at a university, his dozens of frantic post-pubescent personalities scurry here and there, having only five days before they start shooting their own film about a young man who kills an old lady for sport.

 

"Ushpizin": A Fabulous Fable Comes to Life
As the holiday Succoth nears, the impoverished Hassidim, Moshe Bellanga (Shuli Rand) and his wife Mali (Michal Bat Sheva Rand), don't have much to celebrate. The loving couple has no children. No food except cabbage to nosh on. And, as noted, no Geld, not even enough Shekels to purchase a lemon or the supplies to build a Succah. What the couple does have in spades is faith, and in this delicious, lovingly comic look at ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, that is more than enough. In Moshe and Mali's world, God will reward those who are true to his teachings. (Out on DVD April 4.)

 

They went Down, Down, Down in a Burnin' Ring of Fahr
"Ring of Fire," coming so swiftly after the film "I Walk the Line," had to do something that was neither didactic nor emotional. In this case, that meant a show that is just as much about Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black" as it is about those who inhabit his songs--farmers, lovers, losers, murderers, prisoners, wanderers, men who battle floods or work on chain gangs, and most of all, men and women who, despite adversity, can still sing and dance. The creators refer to their creation as "a book musical without a book." With "Ring of Fire," they've shown that a book musical without a book can also convey a message. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Dark Night, An Israeli Student Film Par Excellence
A highlight of the 21st Israel Film Festival (Feb. 23- March 9; http://www.israelfilmfestival.com) and an Oscar nominee for the 2005 Honorary Foreign Film Award in the Student Academy Awards competition, Leon (Leonid) Prudovsky's "Dark Night" is a potent, thoroughly professional take on the current Israeli/ Palestinian quagmire.

Klezmer Conservatory Band
It's been said that klezmer's audience is growing because of identity politics. So what? The simpler explanation is, the music is just plain thrilling. Our Larry Litt was lured to the City of Brotherly Love to appease his feelings of displacement and "balance out the festivities of the holiday season." He found himself dancing in the aisles of Philadelphia's remarkable new Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, along with about 2,400 others.


by Glenn Loney
Musicals Old & New, Other Musical Entertainments, Opera, Choral, Orchestral CD Albums, The Hänssler Treasure Chest.

Old Jews Telling Jokes
Forget about Next Year in Jerusalem and get your butt tokhes if you are Jewish over to the Westside Theatre to see "Old Jews Telling Jokes." Whatever your persuasion, religious or otherwise, unless you are made of stone and in that case stay home you will leave the theatre laughing. By Ed Rubin.

"Annie" Teaches Us How to Be Happy in Hard Times
America's favorite orphan is back. And so is her little dog Sandy. Many theater critics often decry the lack of depth in what Broadway offers audiences every season. This may be true. But there are times when a sweet and sentimental fantasy that tells us "the sun will come out tomorrow" is just what we need in difficult times. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two views of "All in the Timing" at 59E59:

"All in the Timing" Highlights David Ives' Very Witty Spoofs - By Lucy Komisar
David Ives is a master of subtle intellectual comedy. We saw that most recently in "Venus in Fur," a feminist reimagining/twisting of the Sacher-Masoch classic, and a few years back in "Is He Dead?," adapted from a Mark Twain story about an artist who fakes death to elevate the price of his paintings. But earlier, he had written a series of one-acts that were presented twenty years ago and that we are lucky to see again. John Rando’s direction is spot-on, letting no grass grow between the laughs. The actors are an ensemble and connect as if they were used to finishing each other’s sentences. By Lucy Komisar.

Madcap Love and Other Misadventures - By Glenda Frank
I have been teaching David Ives’ short play “Sure Thing”  for over  five years as a reward,  a second wind for when my students are bleary eyed with studying and  the semester can’t end soon enough. It’s  a perennial  favorite. I have been disappointed before by lackluster stagings of plays that seem so alive in the classroom. But  the production of “All in the Timing,” six one-act comedies that open with “Sure Thing,”  produced by Primary Stages at  59E59 Theatres, is the best ticket in town. By Glenda Frank

The Nance
By the late 1930s, when Douglas Carter Beane’s “The Nance,” takes place, vaudeville was pretty much dead, and its naughty cousin, burlesque, was on life support. Yet vaudeville and burlesque were for many years the principal forms of entertainment for many Americans. It is a period of time that deserves to be remembered and celebrated. And so it is in this entertaining and thought-provoking drama. By Paulanne Simmons.

Tom Hanks as Mike McAlary, Peter Gerety as John Cotter, Richard Masur as Jerry Nachman and Dustin Gulledge as Dino Tortorici. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The imaginery Cursing Woman in Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy"
"Lucky Guy," playing at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, comes back to Ephron's journalistic roots in a new play about the scandal- and graffiti-ridden New York of the 1980s, as told through the story of controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. For Lucy Komisar, the play is "realistic, sometimes hokey, occasionally inaccurate, often riveting and always entertaining."

Another Show about Those Russians!
“Nikolai and the Others,” a new play by Richard Nelson, has over a dozen characters and clocks in at two and a half hours (with one intermission). It often seems like a soap opera. One difference between this play and what daytime television offers is that these characters happen to be based on Russian émigrés well-known in the arts: Igor Stravinsky, George Balanchine, and a host of lesser knowns. The other is that it is directed by David Cromer (“Tribes,” “Our Town”). By Paulanne Simmons.

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE -- Alex Hurt as a soldier, Christopher Lloyd as Azdak, Deb Radloff as a soldier. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Three views of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”
Lucy Komisar writes, "Bertolt Brecht’s 1944 play with music – almost a chamber opera – is a satiric parody about selflessness and greed. Classic Stage director Brian Kulick helms a strong production laced with Brecht’s irony, colored by caricatures and driven by strong performances." Paulanne Simmons adds, "Bertolt Brecht created some of the most moving drama in the Western canon. This beautiful failure is spectacularly illustrated in Classic Stage Company’s new production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle." Finally, Edward Rubin comments, "Serving up a dish of rotten folk, with one or two good ones thrown in for good measure, is the Classic Stage Theatre’s production of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle nicely directed by CSC’s artistic director Brian Kulick."

"I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers," Bette Midler's Smart, bitter-sweet take on Hollywood
Sue Mengers (Bette Midler) was the kind of person who sucked up to those above her and had contempt for those below. A perfect fit for Hollywood, where the title, "I'll Eat You Last" refers to an affectionate comment by a cannibal, in, as she describes it, "a cannibal love story." Think about it. By Lucy Komisar.

"The Little Mermaid" swims into New Jersey
“The Little Mermaid” is a full-bodied musical fantasy with a large cast. It’s filled with humor, pathos, dance and song-- in short, it’s lots of fun for everyone. By Paulanne Simons.

"A Picture of Autumn" is a very human tale of aging
“A Picture of Autumn” is a heart-warming story of very real people faced with difficult choices, performed by a cast of seasoned actors. And it is wonderful. By Paulanne Simmons.

Monica Bauer recounts the year she was "Gifted"
“The Year I Was Gifted” is largely autobiographical and recounts how Bauer, a girl from a working-class family in Nebraska, managed to get herself accepted to a camp form artistically gifted children, even though she had neither a special talent or the money for tuition. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Cradle Will Rock" shakes the house
Despite the fact that this is a concert performance, The Cradle Will Rock abounds with energy, irony and anger. It would be great to see it expanded into a full-scale production. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two Views of "The Explorers Club"
Paulanne Simmons states,"The Explorers Club" is a hilarious send up of Victorian England, filled with sight gags, word play and outlandish situations. From the first scene in the the first act to the last scene in the final act, the laughter never ceases. Lucy Komisar adds, "I haven’t seen such a clever, funny, outrageous satirical play in years as this work by Nell Benjamin!"

 

Jim Brochu salutes the "Character Man"
What makes “Character Man” truly wonderful is that it is not merely the story of Brochu’s life and career, which begins when he is a boy growing up in Brooklyn, deeply influenced by a bon vivant father who he never realized was always drunk until he saw him sober. It is also a tribute to those men who make us laugh and cry in a very special way. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Gepetto"-- The Puppeteer vs. The Superhero
Inspired by both “Pinocchio” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” "Gepetto" is an hour-long journey into loss, creativity, and the lessons learned from the sagas of old. Masterly written and directed by Renee Philippi, plus heart-rendingly performed by Carlo Adinolfi, who also designed the production, we catch up with Geppetto as he’s preparing for the next performance of his puppet show. By Brandon Judell.

"Lesbian Love Octagon" delivers frank humor and fun music
For the most compelling bang for your buck, look no further than The Kraine Theater where currently the all-dancin’, all-singin’, all-dykin’ musical bonanza, “Lesbian Love Octagon,” is playing to standing ovations, immeasurable laughter, and the head-shaking contemplation of “Why hasn’t this been done before?” By Brandon Judell.

The Case for Clarence Darrow
In Gary L. Anderson’s incarnation of famed attorney and activist Clarence Darrow, entitled “Naked Darrow,” currently being presented by River District Theatre and The Drilling Company, no aspect of his complicated life is shied away from; both his most notable successes and his more problematic life choices are brought to light. By Kelly Aliano.

"I Forgive You, Ronald Reagan" reopens old wounds
On Aug. 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers after a two-day strike. No doubt this hurt many people and perhaps ruined the lives of a few. John S. Anastasi’s new play, “I forgive you, Ronald Reagan,” focuses on two families and how Reagan’s actions ruined their lives and their friendship. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Glory of Living
Rebecca Gilman’s “The Glory of Living” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2002. It’s a Southern love story. He rapes them. She shoots them. His mother babysits their children. By Glenda Frank.

“Summer Shorts 2013, Series A” at 59E59 St.
The Three one-act plays premiers are auditions, some more bizarre than others.The Pultizer Prize and Obie and Tony awards winner Tina Howe and Neil Labute (playwright of “In the Company of Men”) are at a summer off time.However, some of the performances and directions stand out.

"Under the Greenwood Tree"
“Under the Greenwood Tree” makes no pretense of being true to Shakespeare’s original (“As You Like It”), as indicated by the change of title. But Phillips has gotten the essential, and the additions are appropriate enhancements. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Soul Doctor" follows the beat of a liberation theology called rock
The story takes Carlebach from Nazi-occupied Vienna, from which he escaped with his chief rabbi father, but not before the young Shlomo saw people he knew murdered or sent to concentration camps. Although a little corny, the play about rabbi-rock singer Shlomo Carlebach (Eric Anders) and the jazz singer Nina Simone (Amber Iman) are rather charming. By Lucy Kmisar.

 

Sacred Elephant
Heathcote Williams' poetic text, "Sacred Elephant," evokes the wondrous lives of Indian and African elephants amid incredible struggles and travails. As if poaching on preserves isn’t enough, capture for enslavement in zoos and circuses is as degrading top these beasts as it would be to humans. Why? We learn as Jeremy Crutchley explains the similarities of feelings shared by humans and elephants. If you’re interested in how theater can be a force for educating audiences about  wildlife protection then Heathcote Williams poetics are a must.By Larry Litt.

 

“Harbor” Moves Quickly
One thing that can be said about Chad Beguelin’s “Harbor” is that it moves quickly. That's both a description and a verdict. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

“Forever Tango” turns a bordello dance into stylized Broadway
The defining moment of “Forever Tango” is the opening production number that takes place in a bordello. The men wear pin stripes, black cravats, Borsalino hats and menacing looks, and the women, in slinky gowns, move among them, sometimes passing bills to the pimp.The language is tango, as the men and women interact with the circles and twists and back kicks that define this dance.By Lucy Komisar.

Summer Fun “Under the Greenwood Tree”
“Under the Greenwood Tree” makes no pretense of being true to Shakespeare’s original (“As You Like It”), as indicated by the change of title. But Phillips has gotten the essential, and the additions are appropriate enhancements. By Paulanne Simmons.

Tennessee Williams’ “The Two-Character Play” is a deliciously surreal Southern Gothic drama
Delicious surreal theatrical games are featured in Tennessee Williams’ Southern Gothic drama of brother and sister actors of a failed theater company where the characters in a play-within-a-play mirror the duo’s real-life desperation. New World Stages has the piece through September 1. By Lucy Komisar.

Musical “Annie” is Thomas Meehan’s assault on the cartoonist’s rightwing polemics.
“Annie,” is a political play based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip created by Harold Gray in 1924. Gray attacked income taxes, labor unions and welfare programs by portraying Oliver Walbucks as a hero in the 1930's when Franklin D.Roosevelt was president. By Lucy Komisar.

“The Glass Menagerie”
John Tiffany’s production is as shattering as the miniature glass unicorn we expect will break. Characters don’t just say their lines, they express them physically.Cherry Jones dominates this play in a portrayal of a character who she makes at once sympathetic, annoying and absurd. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Two views of "Hamlet Hallucinations"
Italy's Dario D'Ambrosi, originator of the theatrical movement called teatro patologico (pathological theater), has finally confronted "Hamlet" in a new production at La MaMa. Larry Litt writes, "If you love that whacko Danish bad boy Hamlet, you must be there to believe it. This darkly macabre and comic graveyard is extended into one of the most important acting circus rings in the long history of Shakespearean adaptations. Why? Because the question 'To be or not to be?' is finally, fatefully answered." Kelly Aliano writes that in this production, "to be or not to be" is more a study in psychosis than a story.

 

 

“Lady Day” with Dee Dee Bridgewater as Billie Holiday is terrific cabaret, but not so memorable theater.
Dee Dee Bridgewater is an accomplished jazz singer who recreates Billie Holiday so expertly you’d swear she had channeled her. Musically. But the play written and directed by Stephen Stahl is so hokey and histrionic that it gets in the way of the artistry. By Lucy Komisar.

“Arguendo,” a riveting dramatization of a Supreme Court argument over nude dancing
This production at the Public Theater is not only a fascinating look into how the Supremes (the justices) interrogate lawyers, but how brilliant a director and actors can be in interpreting just about anything. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

There’s little affection between “The Old Friends” in Horton Foote’s biting family drama
Horton Foote’s “The Old Friends” reminds one of a Tennessee Williams play or a Faulkner novel. Wilson directs Foote’s dysfunctional Southern family yarn making it engrossing and keeping it from descending into soap opera. By Lucy Komisar.

 

The Mint “Goes Forth” with Phillip
At a time when "Glee", a musical comedy-drama television series about a bunch of stagestruck highschoolers, is in its fifth season and "A Chorus Line" has iconic status, it’s nice to see a production that takes a less buoyant view of the future of would-be thespians. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

“Breakfast with Mugabe”
This play written by a British writer Fraser Grace, who was inspired by newspaper accounts that Mugabe, is a gripping, disturbing, unsettling picture of Robert Mugabe, the despotic president of Zimbabwe, depicted a psychopath who is haunted by the spirit of a man he killed, a fellow fighter in the armed movement of the 1970s to oust the white minority that ruled Rhodesia. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

Two views of "You Never Can Tell" at Pearl Theater .
Bernard Shaw is known for trenchant political criticism of the economic and social systems of the London in his time. This is the final work in director David Staller’s marathon staging of every Shaw play. Paulanne Simmons writes, " His thorough understanding of GBS is evident throughout." This comedy does not have the gravitas of many of Shaw's plays. However, Lucy Komisar writes, "even lesser Shaw can be diverting if it is given a good production, as it is here by the Pearl."

 

 

Don Juan in Hell
Larry Litt attended Phoenix Theatre's exceptional "Don Juan in Hell." The play is drawn from Shaw's "Man and Superman" and is sometimes presented on its own, as a one-act drama. This time, it was worth it. Litt writes, "This is intelligent English theater. It's what a play for adults should be."

"Shakespeare and Elizabeth I" by Phoebe Legere
Phoebe Legere is as strong a performer as her heroine, Queen Elizabeth I, the grand dame of England’s 17th century era of superior theater, science and writing. Phoebe’s new play “Shakespeare and Elizabeth I” isn’t so much about proving that The Virgin Queen wrote William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets as it is proving that a woman at the helm of an empire will always find ways to bring out the best in her artistic creators. By Larry Litt.

 

 

Maria Schneider Orchestra
Jazz Standard, New York’s venerable night club, was turned into a majestic forest of sound images when the Maria Schneider Orchestra created whole realms of verdant myth and magic onstage. By Larry Litt.

Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter
Stevie Holland, a notable jazz and cabaret performer, has the looks and stature to be a convincing Linda Porter, the sophisticated, rich divorcee who captured Porter’s heart. She also has the right mood, style and phrasing to sing Porter’s sultry melodies and ironic lyrics.By Paulanne Simmons.

Juno and the Paycock
When we think of the misfortunes that have befallen Ireland, what first comes to mind is the centuries-long conflict with Great Britain. But in Sean O’Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock,” the playwright is more concerned with how the irish, like everyone else, undermine each other. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Nutcracker Rouge
Larry Litt says, "Go see "Nutcracker Rouge" if you can. It’s the best entertainment in NYC right now. Just remember: it’s adult entertainment. Go with someone yo
u’re going to love. Both body and soul."

 

"Fun Home" at The Public
In recent years there have been many gay coming-of-age plays, but "Fun Home," adapted by playwright and lyricist Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechel’s graphic memoir is different. By Paulanne Simmons.

Beckett’s “All That Fall” is tough poetic metaphor of passage to old age
Think of the fall as the prelude to the end of life, the difficult bumbling interval preceding finality and death. It’s a time that presents more misery than joy in Samuel Beckett’s “All That Fall,” a 1957 BBC radio play being staged with exquisite tenderness by Trevor Nunn at 59E59 Theaters. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Life on the Mississippi is good!
Going down the Mississippi with young Sam "In Life on the Mississippi" at teh WorkShop Theatre may be one of the nicest theatrical trips audiences can take this season. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

The Winslow Boy
Terrence Rattigan’s "The Winslow Boy" is a British period piece that is still eminently satisfying. Written in 1946 and set in 1912 to 14, it is based on a true story. This Old Vic production, directed by Lindsay Posner at The Roundabout, is smart and gripping and not at all creaky. By Lucy Komisar.

Julie Taymor's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" throws fairy dust over its audience's eyes.
In Theater for a New Audience's production of "Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by Julie Taymor, Shakespeare's British classic is transported to the U.S. and it's a transporting experience for audiences. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Monstrous Dynasty
Aeschylus had the house of Atreus. Shakespeare had the house of Lancaster. Playwright Joanna Chan's terrain is the house of Soong in her historical drama, "The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed." Hong Kong Rep presented the piece in January, 2014. By Dorothy Chansky.

Handle With Care
Just on time for the holidays comes a charming romantic comedy by Jason Odell Williams, “Handle With Care,” directed by Karen Carpenter. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two Reviews of Golden Boy
It’s certainly gratifying, and no big surprise, that the major struggles portrayed in “Golden Boy” have lost none of their interest or intensity so many years later. This is amply proven by Lincoln Center Theater’s current production, directed by Bartlett Sher. By Paulanne Simmons.

Clifford Odets’ stylized naturalism combined with sometimes faux poetics often edges close to melodrama in his 1937 play about the conflict between art and money. The dialogue doesn’t wear well with time and might seem almost ridiculous on stage today. But director Bartlett Sher makes it all believable with a strong and respectful staging. This Lincoln Center Theater production is still a powerful moment, and one of the best plays by an historically significant American playwright. And the politics of the play still matters. By Lucy Komisar.

The Music of Love
“Do you believe in love?” These were the first words I heard upon entering the First Floor Theater at LaMaMa. From just this short query, two things immediately became clear: one, the audience would somehow be an active part of the world of this play; and two, that matters of the heart would likely be the central theme. On both of these counts, the play did not disappoint. “Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart,” Hand2Mouth’s current creation at LaMaMa, charmingly engages its audience on the theme of love. By Kelly Aliano.

Resonance Ensemble Explores the Future
Both “R.U.R.” and “The Truth Quotient,” with their dystopian views of the future, have many of the elements dear to the hearts of sci-fi enthusiasts: artificial intelligence, teleology, the relationship between man and machine. By Paulanne Simmons.

Picnic Offers a Peek into the Fifties
In lesser hands, a production of William Inge's “Picnic” could easily become a parody, but director Sam Gold makes sure that doesn’t happen. By Paulanne Simmons.

Brotherly Hate and Love
How is our lineage, our ancestral past, to blame for our current predicament of pain and suffering? This question seems to be at the heart of “Kane and Habil at the Pizza Parlor,” written and directed by Serge Ernandez and currently playing at La MaMa. In this work, the original sibling rivalry is put on stage. Cain and Abel, now known as Kane and Habil, are once again at odds with one another, though this time with a few twists. The concept behind this play—a modern take on the classic Bible tale—is brilliant and relevant. By Kelly Aliano.


Wars and More Wars in "The Steadfast"

In Mat Smart’s new play “The Steadfast,” the author gives himself the formidable goal of documenting most of the major wars the United States has been involved in. This includes the war in Afghanistan, the war in Vietnam, the war in Korea, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, and the Revolutionary War. By Paulanne Simmons.

Carole J. Bufford at the Metropolitan Room. Photo by Paulanne Simmons.

Carole J. Bufford Sings About "Body & Soul"
In her new show at The Metropolitan Room, “”Body & Soul,” Carole J. Bufford walks onto the stage in a slinky, sexy and sparkling sheath. But that’s not all that sparkles. With her powerful and at times deeply emotional delivery, Bufford is like fireworks on the fourth of July. By Paulanne Simmons

Women's Theater Project's "Bethany"
Laura Marks’s new play, “Bethany,” takes place at the intersections of these two forms of fear and desperation.Bethany, who never appears in the play, is the five-year-old daughter whose mom, Crystal, is the centerpiece of this play. Crystal, played by America Ferrera, is fighting to regain custody of her child after the loss of their home. By Dorothy Chansky.

Sentimental "Manilow on Broadway" Sets Fans Screaming
Attending Barry Manilow’s new show is a nostalgic visit to the 1960s and 70s. The overwhelming mood is sentimentality. But it’s hard to criticize this when Manilow engages in such marvelous self-parody, viz a video of foaming waves crashing on boulders. By Lucy Komisar.

"Happy Birthday" is Anita Loos' Fluffy Ode to Love
A charmer and good fun, albeit dated, Anita Loos ‘ 1946 play tracks the lives of the denizens of a bar in Newark, NJ. It centers around the transformation of Addie Bemis (a very charming Mary Bacon), who starts out as a rather tight prudish young woman, and ends up singing on the bar. The magic ingredient, of course, is love. By Lucy Komisar.

"Honky" is a Black Comedy
Despite its provocative title, “Honky,” a new play by Greg Kalleres has a very gentle bite. The play, well directed by Luke Harlan, is a tale of advertising gone awry. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Shaheed – The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto" is Penetrating Political Theater
I met Benazir Bhutto in 1987 when she was leading the Pakistan People’s Party in a national parliamentary campaign. I traveled with her on a political procession in Sailkot, in the Punjab, northern Pakistan, where she was mobbed by supporters. From the top of the reporters’ minivan in front of hers, I could see crowds along the way shouting, chanting, some holding photos of her, young men dancing to loud piped music in front of the crawling vehicles, flags waving. Women were watching from atop one and two-story buildings along the route. It took hours instead of 20 minutes to get to a stadium where she addressed a mass rally. By Lucy Komisar.

"Katie Roche" at the Mint Theatre
It’s rural Ireland in 1936. The house is comfortably lower middle class, with a lace-covered table and a fireplace mantle topped with old photos. It’s a picture of the times. And so are the personal relations. This feminist work by Teresa Deevy, an Irish playwright who wrote in the 1930s, is about a spunky young woman whose only way out was to marry an older man. Director Jonathan Bank stages it as if it were an old movie, with no modern lens. By Lucy Komisar.

A New Look at an Ancient Tragedy with "Electra" at the Wild Project
If this “Electra” seems to be too thought-out in some ways and not enough in others, ii does have moving scenes between the various characters that emphasize the horrible breakdown in family relations. And that, after all, is at the heart of this tragedy. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Flick" at Playwrights Horizons
When I read that "The Flick," Annie Baker's new play at Playwrights Horizons is three hours long I reckoned anxiously I'd miss dinner. That would put me in a pretty bad mood to see a play. I have to admit I was wrong. Ms Baker kept me amused, entertained and attuned to her three central characters much longer than I would have thought. She's done a masterful job of creating conflicts between ordinary young people living banal lives in a dead end fantasy world. By Larry Litt.

The Pearl's "Henry IV, Part 1" Recounts History, But Doesn't Try to Make It
There are no new insights here, just a solid production. But by the end, when the swords are flying and the bodies falling, most of the audience is fully engaged in the action, pleased with the triumph of Henry and his young son, as must have once been Shakespeare’s royal patrons. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Old Boy" at Theatre Row
A.R.Gurney wrote this play in 1991, when the issue of AIDS was a hot button. The story takes off when Sam (Peter Rini), a State Department undersecretary of state for political affairs, returns to his prep-school to give a commencement address. Now in his early 40s, he had been the "old boy" of a younger student named Perry, charged with showing the new boy the rounds. By Lucy Komisar.

"The Wild Bride" at St Ann's Warehouse
This is a children’s story that cuts to the quick and speaks to the heart, that fascinates and shocks with its creativity and is definitely for adults. Besides that, it’s a musical, with country and blues sounds and songs about woe, jazz and modern dancing, punning wit and horrific metaphors. There’s even a classical painting that comes alive. By Lucy Komisar..

"Belleville" Sometimes Seems Like Bellevue
For those who believe a play, any play, that deals with the antics and agony of very disturbed people, “Belleville” is a must-see. But for those who ask for real motivation and a plot that makes sense, “Belleville” poses several problems. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" shines a beacon on Southern misogyny half a century ago
Interesting how misogynistic this 1955 melodrama feels in 2013. In Tennessee Williams’ view, the men are victims and the women are perpetrators. That fits into Williams’ theme about Brick (Benjamin Walker), the former school football star, being a victim of homophobia. By Lucy Komisar.

What's Love Got To Do With It
Clive is an old-school rock star -- as badass as they come. Women. Drugs. Liquor. Artistic tantrums. His are legend. As portrayed by Ethan Hawke, who also directs "Clive" at the Acorn Theater, even at his worst, he’s charismatic. By Glenda Frank.

"The Mystery of Edwin Drood" is Best Musical Revival of the Season
I loved this hokey, funny, vaudeville-style parody of a British mystery melodrama. My mouth stretched into a wide grin at the lampooning of British imperialism. My feet tapped at the high-stepping, high-kicking choreography. A combination of operetta and English music hall, "Drood" gives clichés a bad name and this production – book, music and lyrics by Rupert Holmes – a very good one. Directed with great élan by Scott Ellis, the musical is based on the unfinished Charles Dickens novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." By Lucy Komisar.


"The Other Place," a Fascinating Medical Mystery Features a Powerful Laurie Metcalf
Sharr White’s play is a wrenching psychological mystery where the audience is kept in the dark until slowly clues emerge. Joe Mantello directs coolly and subtly so you see everything through the eyes of the protagonist until you don’t. By Lucy Komisar.

A Haunting on the Lower East Side
Walking out of “Big Flower Eater,” conceived and directed by Victoria Linchong, and currently playing at Theater for the New City, I could not help but wonder how I would feel if my grandmother decided to haunt in me in my bathroom, of all places. This situation, the central plotline of the play, questions how one might react if her familial, ancestral, and religious past came back to contact her. Most significantly, this play explores the idea of the “other”: the other world, the Asian other in American, the other woman who never married or had children, and so on. By Kelly Aliano.

"The Man Who Laughs" at Urban Stages Theater
This may be the most original play of the season. It’s a Chaplinesque melodrama in the style of a silent film, done in black and white, with titles and live piano music. There’s even a sense of the flicker of the old silents. By Lucy Komisar.

There's no play like "Home"
Even with the best of intentions, socially conscious theater is not always good theater. Not so with Red Fern Theatre Company, whose current show, “Home,” an evening of one-acts exploring how the place we live affects our life, is riveting and poignant. By Paulanne Simmons.

Thoroughly Modern Millie at Paper Mill Playhouse
"Thoroughly Modern Millie," a musical based on the 1967 film of the same name, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan and a book by Richard Morris, opened on Broadway in April 2002. It won six Tony awards, including Best Musical. After seeing the revival at Paper Mill Playhouse, directed by Mark S. Hoebee, it's easy to see why. By Paulanne Simmons.

iMusical
"American Star!!!," the musical, both mocks and revels in contemporary popular culture. At its best moments, it is a cutting satire of our obsession with celebrity culture. By Kelly Aliano.

"Jollification | Mortification" at La MaMa
In "Jollification | Mortification," Ildiko Nemeth has invited characters from previous New Stage productions to join in a playful night that continues conversation that New Stage has established with its audience over the past ten years. For Larry Litt, who hasn't missed any of Nemeth's New York shows, it is the "perpetuation of a unique theatrical vision that creates wonder for mature sophisticated audiences." But it also is a must see for those who want to get to know Ildiko Nemeth's New Stage Theatre Company.

"Donnybrook!" is Rowdy Irish Romance
If Ireland makes you think of romance, songs and carousing with friends in a pub, you won't be disappointed with the Irish Rep's production of "Donnybrook!" By Paulanne Simmons.

A Vision of Heaven as Hell
"Passing Through," currently playing at Theater for the New City, raises philosophical questions and tackles the issue of human loneliness in a play that could remind us of Beckett's Absurdist work. By Kelly Aliano.

“Bullet Catch” Presents Magic and More
Glasgow-based playwright, and performer Bob Drummond’s “Bullet Catch,” part of Scotland Week at 59E59 Theaters, combines physical prowess and magical stunts with a dash of theatrical storytelling. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Talley's Folly" is Charming, Subtly Sentimental Tale of Love
Lanford Wilson’s play is a sharp, funny, charming look at romance, with a bitter-sweet sauce. Its hero leaps over barriers of religion, age, and economic and social status. Just what New York theater-goers want. It’s one of the best revivals of the season, directed by Michael Wilson with the right mix of humor and nostalgia. By Lucy Komisar.

Two Views of "The Revisionist"

By Edward Rubin: Vanessa Redgrave at the Top of Her Game
The Revisionist which opened at the intimate Cherry Lane Theatre on February 28 for a limited run has been extended, with great good cause, a couple of times. In this case, the great good cause is 76 year old Vanessa Redgrave at her incandescent best, a plateau, she, or any great actor for the matter, fails to reach on every outing. I am particularly thinking of her two most recent Broadway appearances. By Edward Rubin.

By Lucy Komisar: In "The Revisionist," Masterful Vanessa Redgrave is Polish Holocaust Survivor Visited by Clueless American
Jesse Eisenberg’s play about the importance of family to which a holocaust survivor clings takes life through the fine, transformative acting of Vanessa Redgrave. The story itself is a pas de deux, or better, a psychological duel between Maria (Redgrave), who was 4 years old when the holocaust in Poland took her parents and siblings, and David (Eisenberg), a not terribly successful New York writer who comes to visit his second cousin in a Polish town near the north coast. Director Kip Fagan makes us believe that the most unlikely events we see really happened. By Lucy Komisar.

All Lifetime in a Day
If a play about my life is ever commissioned--which will never happen, of course--I want it to be written by Charles L. Mee, if for no other reason than I believe his style of theatermaking would indulge this selfish fantasy. This is not because he would create a realistic portrait of my existence on this planet: quite the contrary. I would want him to write of my life because he has the unique talent of creating art from the utterly mundane and evoking laughter about even the most serious of topics. Such is the case in Witness Relocation's brilliant "Eterniday," a new Mee play currently being presented at La MaMa. The play is, at turns, thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud funny, bizarre, and awe-inspiring. This theatrical experience is one-of-a-kind and certainly not-to-be-missed. By Kelly Aliano.

Kathryn Hunter Gives Memorable Performance as "Kafka's Monkey"
To be brilliant at playing a human is one thing, but to pull off a tour de force portraying a speaking animal is quite another feat. Kathryn Hunter is an extraordinary actress, and her performance in Kafka’s Monkey will be remembered as one of the best of this and many seasons. By Lucy Komisar.

“Southern Discomfort” Explores the Land that Gave Birth to the Blues
Gray, a southerner by birth, clearly knows the people she is portraying, or at least people very much like them. Even better she takes them very seriously. By Paulanne Simmons.

Life of a Puppet
"King Executioner," written and directed by Vit Horejš, asks its audiences to take a journey through life that is riddled with death. It does so by creating a world in which a character is both a live human and an inanimate puppet. Like our protagonist, Piotr, we must face a cruel world, filled with war and suicide and guilt. And yet, on the other side of all of that suffering, there is also love and friendship and, ultimately, life. . This tale, told by non-living puppets and live puppeteers simultaneously at Theater fohe New City, reminds its audiences the simple beauty of being alive. In so doing, it is a unique and rewarding theatergoing experience.By Kelly Aliano.

"Blondie of Arabia"
This quirky comedy chronicles the true story of Monica Hunken's solo desert odyssey when she flew into the heart of the Persian Gulf and ended up biking across three countries in the Middle East, from Qatar to Egypt. For Larry Litt, "Monica's enormous energy and storytelling stage presence" makes this show worth seeing.

Top Drawer
“The Drawer Boy” is a treasure. It is one of the best plays of the season, on Broadway or off. Those who miss it do so to their own misfortune. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Richard III: Born with Teeth"
In "Richard III," William Shakespeare chronicles the evil deeds of the murderous king on his way to the throne. The second longest of Shakespeare's plays ("Hamlet" is the longest), "Richard III" is rarely performed unedited. In "Richard III: Born with Teeth," Epic Ensemble also considerably alters the play, but in a way that renders it almost unrecognizable. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Julius Caesar" at BAM
It’s uncanny how Shakespeare could describe coup politics in modern-day Africa. Of course, what director Gregory Doran shows in this brilliant Royal Shakespeare Company production is that ambition, demagoguery, the manipulation of masses and betrayal of ones comrades haven’t changed much since the era of Julius Caesar 2000 years ago or the treachery of kings and rivals closer to the Bard’s time. By Lucy Komisar.

"Finks" at the Ensemble Studio Theatre
It was the worst of times. Lillian Hellman aptly called it “Scoundrel Time.” It was the early 1950s. Joe Gilford’s play dramatizes the attack on free thought and free speech orchestrated by ruthless politicians who built careers by destroying the lives of actors, writers, directors and their families. It’s based on what happened to his parents, Jack and Madeleine Lee Gilford, victimized by the House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC). By Lucy Komisar.

“Old Hats” is a Charming Funny Take On Life by Two Sophisticatet Clowns
Old time clowns are modern again. At least when they are as sophisticated and clever as Bill Irwin and David Shiner. There’s a lot about “Old Hats” that seems pretty new. The techno projections, for example. Top-hatted Irwin and Shiner appear confused as they wander in a tunnel, smoke swirling around them. We see it on video. It’s telling us that technology will be a theme of their very witty performance– sometimes technology gone wrong. Or misunderstood. By Lucy Komisar.

Nice Jazz Festival celebrates 65 years through the generations
The Nice Jazz Festival in France celebrated its 65th anniversary this year. It occurred over the course of one week, and featured authentic jazz as well as rock, funk and more contemporary genres. Over 38,000 visitors came for the five days of performances with the ages ranging from children to their grandparents. By Lucy Komisar.


Love and Superheroes
Centuries ago, the eccentric Greek playwright Euripides wrote about a wife, Alcestis, who makes the ultimate sacrifice for her sniveling, self-pitying mate. Euripides was keen on flavoring his feminism with a touch of the demonic (witness “Medea”) and his more sentimental side with parody and sometimes even broad comedy. Seth Panitch has transformed this less known classic into a powerful love story set to a rock-infused score. By Glenda Frank.

"Mary T. and Lizzy K." exposes fragility of relationships
Tazewell Thompson's new play continues the latest trend of all things Lincoln, this time focusing on his wife Mary Todd (Naomi Jacobson) and her seamstress and confidant Elizabeth Keckley (Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris). The excellent play floats back and forth in time from the day of Abraham Lincoln's assassination to Mary's subsequent mental breakdown. By Edward Rubin.


"The Last Cyclist" presents absurdism, satire

“The Last Cyclist” is a true absurdist play presented by intimates of Nazi concentration camp.
By Lucy Komisar.

Ghosts Take Over at the Irish Rep!
Like many plays by Irish writers, “The Weir” takes place in a pub. The one Charlie Corcoran has created for The Irish Repertory Theatre’s current production certainly does much to reinforce the feeling of ghostly isolation the play evokes. By Paulanne Simmons.


A Closer Look at "Core Values"
In Steven Levenson’s new play, “Core Values,” Richard (Reed Birney), who owns a small, struggling travel agency, attempts to strengthen company moral through a weekend retreat held in the company’s office. By Paulann Simmons.

"Chemistry of Love" at La MaMa E.T.C.
In "Chemistry of Love," on view at La MaMa E.T.C. through May 19, 2013, conceptual artist Lara is nominated for a half-million dollar grant and she must present a brilliant new work to an anonymous committee in order to collect. Her friends and colleagues are thrilled for her, but resentment boils just under the surface, and when her best friend Karen tries to co-opt her project, Lara discovers that making art among friends has higher stakes then she could have imagined. A play that "feels and sounds right," by Larry Litt.

Two Views of "Quidam"
Though Glenda Frank contends that Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam" is "breathtaking and surreal," Edward Rubin disagrees, feeling that "the evening, with many empty seats, too few oohs and aahs, and numerous late arrivers’ trekking down the aisles, was riddled with disappointment."

"A Time To Kill"
Those who are addicted to reality and unable to suspend disbelief, and those who have already read Grisham’s novel may find Rupert Homes’ stage adaptation of "A Time to Kill" somewhat lacking. But for people like me who have a special love for courtroom dramas and have never read the novel, this fast-paced, well-acted drama, equally well directed by Ethan McSweeny, will do just fine. By Paulanne Simmons.

Ramón Valle at Berlin’s A-Trane: “The Other Face of Cuban Jazz”
Jazz Pianist Ramón Valle and his trio performed "The Other Face of Cuban Jazz" at the A-Trane in Berlin. He and the members of his trio are Cubans, but they don’t play with the Latin rhythm we might expect. This “Cuban jazz” is modern jazz played by Cubans. By Lucy Komisar.


Botanical Night is Berlin’s best music party of the year

On a Saturday night in mid-July, Berlin’s Botanical Gardens hosts the Botanische Nacht (Botanical Night), the city’s biggest party of the year. With pianos in the bushes, baritones in row boats and patrons enjoying the music by the water's edge or at picnic tables, the event was truly delightful. By Lucy Komisar.


Avignon Festival's avant garde and traditional dance-theater pieces tell haunting stories of life and politics
Avignon Theatre Festival is 65 years old. This time it brought up a series of plays in which the political mood was echoed. The three-week Festival, supported by the national culture ministry and other French government agencies, gets as many as 40,000 paying customers and thousands more to free events.

"Children of Paradise" Takes Us Back in Time through Mime
" Children of Paradise" is truly exceptional. With a cast of 14 mimes, actors and gymnasts, and the musical direction of Harrison Wade, Richmond Shepard takes the audience into the seedy world of French popular theater. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Remembering Jerzy Grotowski
by Margaret Croyden
On January 14, 1999 one of the most important and influential theater persons, Jerzy Grotowski died. On March 21, 1999, friends and admirers of this master of the theater gathered together at the St. Marks Church in the East Village to memorialize him. Our own Margaret Croyden, who covered the career of the master director and theoretician in the New York Times, serves up her own remembrances taken from the event, plus those of Harvey Lichtenstein, Judith Malina, Bill Reichblum and Andre Gregory.

Promising Theater in the Promised Land
by Margaret Croyden
A trip to Israel brings Margaret home curiously refreshed, with a notebook full of observations on how the theaters there have an admirable sense of direction compared to their American counterparts.

Shakespeare á la mode
Is there a dumbing down of Shakespeare in order to make it contemporary?
The practice of modernizing Shakespeare has been sacrosanct for a long time. But what does it say about us? by Margaret Croyden.

 

Love and Courage at Theater for the New City
The scruffy but indomitable Theater for the New City, which helped launch such notables as Tim Robbins, Moises Kaufman, Sam Shepard and Charles Busch, got all decked out in pre-Valentine's Day hearts and flowers for its aptly named benefit "Love 'N Courage" on Feb. 13.By Paulanne Simmons.

Who Won What Last Spring?

Our "Top 10" Critics' Poll
By Philippa Wehle
The New York Theatre Wire has once more asked its reviewers to choose their top ten shows seen between May 1, 2004 and May 1, 2005, on, Off and Off-off Broadway and to list them in order of importance. Their choices are based on artistic merit alone. This year's"Top Ten" represents a fascinating spread of shows, from new plays to revivals, from musicals to serious drama. Of interest, however, is the fact that two of the shows in the top ten are "downtown" shows, one of which is by an important, emerging theater group, the International WOW Company, which is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The Tony Awards
2005 Tony Award® winners list
Here is the complete list of the winners for the American Theatre Wing's 59th Annual Tony Awards.

The Drama Desk Awards
by Glenda Frank
Review the acceptance speeches at an awards ceremony? Why not? Since many of them never see the light of day, except to those present, they really ought to be reported. Write Glenda Frank, our newest columnist, "I have a fondness for the Drama Desk Awards Ceremony that's over and above my delight in being one of the voters. The acceptance speeches seem more off-the-cuff, more revealing and personal than for that other prize. Although the 2005 ceremony has come and gone, the words of the female winners deserve a second hearing."

The Obies
Off-Broadway's 50th annual awards
Meeting at Webster Hall in the Village on May 16, the Village Voice and scores of past recipients, Off-Broadway performers and producers met for another year to acnowledge deserving artists in yearly tradition begin in 1956 at the instigation of Jerry Tallmer, who was then on the founding staff of the Voice. Click for the results

TRANSAMERICA: What's Your Daddy's Bra Size?
The Tribeca Film Festival has a small gem on its hands.Yes, you can argue Duncan Tucker's feature debut's plotline certainly has been done. A parent is thrown together with the child he or she has never seen before, and after an hour or so of angst, followed by recriminations, the two realize they love each other and form a new sort of family.The twist here is that daddy is an uptight pre-op transsexual and sonny is a street hustler.

Mysterious Skin
According to The Hours's Michael Cunningham, Scott Heim "is a serious writer who's unafraid to swim in the darkest waters." The same could be argued for director Gregg Araki. From The Living End (1992) to Totally F****ed Up (1993) to The Doom Generation (1995), Araki has always embraced subject matter that was outré.

Our "Top 10" Critics' Poll
By Philippa Wehle
The New York Theatre Wire has once more asked its reviewers to choose their top ten shows seen between May 1, 2005 and May 1, 2006, on, Off and Off-off Broadway and to list them in order of importance. Their choices are based on artistic merit alone. This "Top Ten" is the original vote of its type on the Internet, since The New York Theatre Wire, founded in 1996, was the first place for drama criticism on the World Wide Web. Unusual for this contest, a British import tops the list this year.

2006 Tony Award Winners
This year's Tony Award winners were lead by a group of talented "boys," young and old. "History Boys" swept the Tonys, earning six awards including Best Play. Surprise hit "Jersey Boys" took home the much coveted award for Best Musical as well as awards for Best Featured Actor and Best Leading Actor in a Musical. "The Drowsy Chaperone" fared well, winning five awards during the night. For a full list of winners, see article.

51st Annual Village Voice Obie Awards
The 51st Annual Village Voice Obie Awards were presented on May 15, 2005 at the NYU Skirball Center in Manhattan.

 

Croyden's Corner

Three Days of Rain--and a slippery experience for Julia Roberts
Our Margaret Croyden feels sorry for this vibrant Hollywood beauty, whose Broadway debut was a play made up almost entirely of exposition.

Two cents on the Threepenny Opera
Memories of the original "Threepenny Opera" make Margaret Croyden bristle at the current overproduction, which is directed by Scott Elliott and translated by Wallach Shawn.

What Pryce for Lithgow?
A tantalyzing cast replacement in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" causes Margaret Croyden to assess the effect of changing a leading actor in a running show, and begs comparison of the Broadway version with the sophisticated, elegant, fun film that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

Trip to Bountiful: a small play
For years, the Signature Theater has been devoted to their playwrights-in residence project which produces the works of contemporary American playwrights. Now they have inaugurated a two year anniversary celebration of their playwrights in residence program, and they have chosen Horton Foote's acclaimed play "The Trip to Bountiful" to launch it.

Chita Rivera, The Dancer's Life
There is a built-in problem in retrospective shows for mature stars that galls some crtics. But it never seems to affect our New York audiences, which never disappoint. At the end, they always stand up. By Margaret Croyden.

Lloyd Weber's "Perils of Pauline," Dressed in White
The story of "The Woman in White" is about two sisters, one beautiful; the other, homely; one innocent, the other jealous; one abused; the other; a fixer. And their "perils" -- mistaken identity, family secrets, abused women, illegitimate children, and a dastardly, violent villain, who marries the innocent beauty only to abuse and rob her. With that kind of a dramatic situation, what could make our Margaret Croyden sigh throughout this "so-called musical"?

Ellen Stewart, La Mama, The Mother to Us All
On December 5, 2005, at the meeting of The League of Professional Theater Women gave its Lifetime Achievement Award to Ellen Stewart, LaMaMa herself. Margaret Croyden introduced Ms. Stewart and recounts her address here.

On Second Avenue-- A Heavy Dose of Nostalgia.
If you love the past and you're Jewish you will love this show. On the other hand, you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this cleverly put together remembrance of a great time in the theater. "On Second Avenue" is full of history, romance, and love. The "old" second avenue, the Broadway of the Yiddish theater, began at 14th Street and stretched the entire length of the avenue, to produce a renaissance of Yiddish theater: comedies, vaudeville, cabaret, melodramas, and serious dramas--even Shakespeare. By Margaret Croyden.

"Third"-- A Playwright's Mistake
Wendy Wasserstein, one of the premiere playwrights who broke the ice with her feminist play "The Heidi Chronicles" (1989), has been celebrated as a liberal feminist with a comic talent for projecting social and political issues in her work. She has won numerous awards, sponsored monitoring programs, sits on important boards, and is known as a do-gooder. Absent from the scene for a while, she has now come up with a new play "Third" a confused mish-mash that seems to satirize, and/or attack liberals and political correctness. By Margaret Croyden.

Thoughts in the Night
What's keeping our Margaret Croyden up at night? If there is any single throughline in the current Broadway season, it is the abundance of talented actors in parts which are beneath them, to wit: "A Naked Girl On the Appian Way" with Jill Clayburgh, "A Mother, A Daughter And a Gun" with Olympia Dukakis and "The Odd Couople" with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Is it all just a case of good ol' American "take the money and run?"

Topics in the Spotlight

Mrs. O'Neill's Illness
A prominent biographer of Eugene O'Neill reconsiders the legacy of the playwright's mother after reading the script of an upcoming New York play: "Miles to Babylon" by Ann Harson, to be presented October 12 to 29 at American Theater of Actors. The play dramatizes the fight to overcome morphine addiction that was waged by Ella O'Neill, the model for Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey into Night." This article is contributed by Stephen A. Black, author of "Eugene O'Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy," published by Yale University Press.

 

The White Plains Performing Arts Center announces Jack W. Batman as Executive Producer
Jack W. Batman returned to the professional theatre in 2003 after a brief hiatus as one of a small team that founded and developed New York City's sports and entertainment playground, Chelsea Piers, and now comes to White Plains to reinvigorate this City's premier theatrical venue. His Broadway producing debut came with the romantic comedy Enchanted April, starring Elizabeth Ashley and Molly Ringwald, which received twoTony Nominations including Best Play and was the recipient of two Outer Critics Circle Awards. For Off-Broadway, he then produced the widely acclaimed Brian Dykstra: Cornered & Alone and the highly regarded environmental comedy Clean Alternatives, which also played the Edinburgh Festival (Scotland) this past summer and won the top prize, the Fringe First Award. By the New York Theatre Wire staff.

 

 

Edinburgh Festival 2006

The Bayreuth Festival 2006

Mozart Jahr 2006 is All Around Vienna

 

''The Rules of Charity'' at The Lion Theater on Theater Row

''The Prodigal Son'' at Mint Theatre Company

 

Photography Exhibit on Filipino American History Debuts Off-Broadway in SoHo

''Broadway Bares XVII-Myth Behavior.''

Updating Classics: When? Why? by Jack Anderson after a visit to Denmark

Josephine Baker: Image and Icon at National Portrait Gallery Washington, D.C.

"The People vs. Mona"

"The Street" at Workshop Theatre "Mainstage"

"Surface to Air" at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

"The Quick-Change Room" at The York Shakespeare Company

"Whoop Up" at the Duplex

"The Brig" at the Living Theatre

 

 

"Frost-Nixon"
At last we have the best play of the season, the best performances, the best director, and best of all--Frank Langella in the role of Nixon. And what a performance. Actually I hesitated going to see this play. I lived through the Nixon period and was not anxious to have it in front of me again. Furthermore I thought it would be a straight docu-drama with question and answers and that's all. But much to my surprise it turned out to be a most fascinating psychological examination of one of our worst presidents. By Margaret Croyden.

''The Pirate Queen''
''The Pirate Queen,'' the long-awaited musical commissioned by ''Riverdream'' producers Moya Doherty and John MColgan and created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, the duo behind ''Les Miserables'' and ''Miss Saigon,'' has arrived. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Talk Radio'' starring Liev Schreiber
Everyone knows that Liev Schreiber is a good actor. He appeared in numerous movies, won Tonys and other acting awards, and is much in demand. Everyone in theater knows that Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio" was produced by the Public Theater in 1987 when the great Joe Papp was running the place. Margareth Croyden ascertains how the two forces match in teh current revival at the Longacre Theater.

The Vertical Hour
David Hare is one of England's most produced playwrights. Not only has his plays appeared regularly in London, but ten of them have been performed on Broadway, including his solo performance about his experience in Israel. Besides "The Vertical Hour" at the Music Box, his play "Stuff Happens" premiered earlier at the Public Theater. Later this season he is to direct Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" starring Vanessa Redgrave. With a resume like this, his plays cannot be missed. By Margaret Croyden.

I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II
"I’ll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II." by Andrea Marcovicci will include the songs of Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer and Jule Styne, the songs "people are yearning for." By Paulanne Simmons.

Translations
The Manhattan Theater Club's revival of Brian Friel's 1980 play ''Translations'' is a stunning and moody production that examines the use of language to bond and to divide in both a personal and a political sense. It also becomes a symbol of patriotism and conscience as it plays into the conflicts and connections among the occupied and the occupiers in Ireland in 1833. The play is beautifully staged by Irish director Garry Hynes with a sympathy that extends to people on all sides in that quarrel. By Lucy Komisar and Margareth Croyden.

Hattie McDaniel Tells Her Story
"(mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story," part of Emerging Artists Theatre’s second annual Triple Threat, is a one-woman show written by Joan Ross Sorkin and performed by Broadway star Capathia Jenkins. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Adrift in Macao''
Theatergoers used to Christopher Durang's dark comedies will see another side of the playwright in his new venture, a collaboration with composer Peter Melnick in a highly enjoyable parody of film noir, ''Adrift in Macao.'' By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"The Wedding Singer" strikes the right note.
Based on the 1998 film set in Ridgefield, NJ, "The Wedding Singer" is a delicious romp through those times that brought us CD players, mobile phones, the end of disco and the beginning of rap, and Ronald Reagan. By Paulanne Simmons.

Shining City
"Shining City" stars Brian O'Byrne as Ian, a therapist whose relationship with Neasa (Martha Plimpton) is falling apart as a result of her infidelity and his conflicted sexuality; and Oliver Platt as his patient, Jon, who seeks help after seeing the ghost of his recently deceased wife. Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons.

"The History Boys" Teaches Broadway a Lesson
From "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" to "Dead Poets Society," there's no shortage of dramatizations about teachers and their students. But few are as ironic and blasphemous as Alan Bennett's "The History Boys," which opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on April 23 with its original London cast. By Paulanne Simmons.

Three Days of Rain--and a slippery experience for Julia Roberts
Our Margaret Croyden feels sorry for this vibrant Hollywood beauty, whose Broadway debut was a play made up almost entirely of exposition.

Two cents on the Threepenny Opera
Memories of the original "Threepenny Opera" make Margaret Croyden bristle at the current overproduction, which is directed by Scott Elliott and translated by Wallace Shawn.

What Pryce for Lithgow?
A tantalyzing cast replacement in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" causes Margaret Croyden to assess the effect of changing a leading actor in a running show, and begs comparison of the Broadway version with the sophisticated, elegant, fun film that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

"The Light in the Piazza"
"The Light in the Piazza" is charming operatic fable about romance. A fanciful Florence and thrilling voices provide the magical setting. The fifties of the novel onwhich this musical play is based was the era of "Three Coins in The Fountain" and "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," a time when Americans mused about finding sensitive lovers and romance in Italy. Playwright Craig Lucas has kept that sense of fifties fantasy which fits perfectly with Adam Guettel's operatic score and lyrics. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

"Treason" Mixes Treachery with Infidelity
Sallie Bingham, in her new play "Treason," The Perry Street Theatre Company's final show at 31 Perry Street, tries to find some answers to the questions that surrounded poet Ezra Pound throughout much of his life. By Paulanne Simmons.

Dolly Is Back, and She's Tovah Feldshuh

This June, Tovah Feldshuh takes the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in Paper Mill Playhouse's revival of "Hello, Dolly!" directed by Mark S. Hoebee. Unlike other interpreters, Feldshuh doesnot play Dolly as a Jewish widow, but rather emphasizes Dolly's Irish Catholic roots. If the interpretation is surprising, it is certainly inspired. By Paulanne Simmons.

Field of Broken Dreams
Back in the 1960s and throughout much of Irish history human beings starved when they had no land. This accounts for how fiercely many people fought to acquire and retain whatever holdings they needed to survive. But there's much more than mere acquisitiveness, or even greed, behind John B. Keane's "The Field," now in revival at The Irish Repertory Theatre. By Paulanne Simmons.

Barb Jungr Performs a Tender Tribute to the King
In "Love Me Tender," chanteuse Barb Jungr gives her own brilliant interpretations, not only to Elvis favorites like "In the Ghetto" and "Love Me Tender," but also lesser known songs like "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," written for him by Bob Dylan. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

2006 Festival-Time North & West: Shakespeare & Shaw!
Shakespeare Festivals North by Northwest: Stratford-Canada & Ashland-Oregon, Bernard Shaw Celebrated in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto Lord of the Rings Sings!, Arms & the Man: Chocolate-Time!, Colm Feore's Curious Coriolanus, Nightmare-Gothic Duchess of Malfi, Bryan Bedford's Foppish London Assurance, Colm Feore's Creepy Fagin in Oliver!, Much Ado Benedick Old Enough To Be Beatrice's Dad, Marvelous Marco as Oregon Cyrano, OSF's Bus Stop: Greyhound Doesn't Stop in Ashland Anymore, Merry Wives Reduced To Broad Buffoonery, Betrayals in Milan: Two-Timer in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Arthur Miller's Crucible Witch-hunts Still Resonate, High Society: Cole Porter & Philip Barry No Blend, Magic Fire in Peronista Argentina, Ashland Earnest Better than BAM Redgrave Import, Anne Frank in Ashland, Portland: New Theatre, New Season, Back in NYC: LaBute's Some Girl(s) at the Lortel Is Some Play, Kotis' Pig Farm More Bloody Fun than Inishmore!, Greenberg's House in Town Set on Millionaire's Row, Frank Wedekind Sings at the Atlantic, Central Park Woods Come To Dunsinane in Delacorte Macbeth. By Glenn Loney.

 

 

"Pig Farm" Goes Hog Wild on Some Sacred Sows

Greg Kotis and John Rando, the creative team behind "Urinetown," have switched from one kind of bathroom activity to another with "Pig Farm," an uproarious farce about the perils of fecal sludge. By Paulanne Simmons.

There's a Lot Going on in "Nothing"
Set in the years following World War II when wealthy Brits had lost much of their money but none of their manners, "Nothing" stars Sophie Ward as the pampered and acidic Jane Wetherby and Simon Dutton as her ex-lover, John Pomeret. By Paulanne Simmons.

Susan Gets Religion and the Mint Gets It Right

Although "Susan and God" is almost seventy years old, the Mint Theater's revival under the lively direction of the company's artistic director, Jonathan Bank, is as fresh and pertinent as if it had been written yesterday. By Paulanne Simmons.

Zoe's Dream: Cirque du Soleil
Like other Cirque du Soleil productions, "Quidam" [pronounced Key Dam] -- which is playing through Aug. 13 in downtown Philadelphia, an easy daytrip from New York -- is a gravity-defying treat. It overflows with acrobatic wonders and surrealistic images that feel more like a journey through a dream than a visit to the circus. By Glenda Frank.

 

"Manhattan Madcaps of 1924" Is a Delicious Bite of The Big Apple
Summer Stock on Broadway begins its first season at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space with the least known work of one of America's best known musical teams: Rodgers and Hart's "Manhattan Madcaps of 1924." By Paulanne Simmons.

Fields of Dreams
God has been a hot topic on Broadway, and now in this slow July, off-Broadway brings us two remarkable plays about religion, love and survival. At Playwrights Horizons, Keith Bunin in "The Busy World is Hushed" goes where few playwrights dare to tread, and at the Irish Repertory Theatre, "The Field," by John B. Keane, whose first hit dates back to 1959, is enjoying posthumous success. You don't have to have faith to find these dramas good theatre. In fact, these productions may work even better if you don't.

 

Talking and Singing About Tina
Tina Turner's life has been filled with music and dance, and Gabrielle Lansner's tribute to the R&B icon, "River Deep," is gloriously filled with both. By Paulanne Simmons.

It's a Grimy Business
If writing good and somewhat clever lines were all it took to create a biting and entertaining satire, Roger Kirby's "Burleigh Grime$" would be right up there. But good satires also require intelligent thinking, a plot that makes some sense and characters who elicit at least a modicum of interest. "Burleigh Grime$,"unfortunately, is lacking in these essentials. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Charge of the Guilt Brigade
"The Unmentionables," Bruce Norris's new play now in its world premiere at Steppenwolf, stages a confrontation between well-meaning, educated American citizens and a fictional African government fueled by torture, nepotism, and the systematic maintenance of a permanent underclass. By Dorothy Chansky.

Norway Meets New York
"deathvariatons" and "Rosmersholm," the two plays that comprise the "Norway Meets New York" double bill now at 59E59 Theaters, have several things in common. They are both translations of work written by Norwegian playwrights (Henrik Ibsen, who is considered Norway's greatest playwright and the father of modern drama, wrote "Rosmersholm," and Jon Fosse, Norway's pre-eminent contemporary playwright, wrote "deathvariations"). They are both presented by Oslo Elsewhere in new translations ("deathvariations"is translated by Sarah Cameron Sunde and "Rosmersholm" is translated by Anna Guttormsgaard). They both ask the question, is fate inescapable, or do we create our own? But the similarity ends here. By Paulanne Simmons.

One Life with too Much Talk
In "Anais Nin-One of her Lives," Henry is married to June but is in love with Anais. Anais is married to Hugo but is in love with Henry, as well as his wife, June. June is, well, she's bad news for everyone. By Paulanne Simmons.

There's a Lot to Like in "As You Like It"
ThedrillingCompaNY's latest Shakespeare in the Parking Lot presentation, "As You Like It," may not have the costumes, lighting and setting seen in Central Park and the Brooklyn Academy of Music not too long ago, but it may be one of the most original and at the same time faithful interpretations of the Bard you'll ever see.By Paulanne Simmons.

"Everything Turning Into Beautiful Goes Nowhere"
"Everythings Turning Into Beautiful" is about two lonely songwriting partners, Brenda (Daphne Rubin-Vega) and Sam (Malik Yoba). They both have had limited success in their careers and almost no success in their love life. By Paulanne Simmons.

"A Stove Carver" Has Good Material but Doesn't Cut Deep Enough
Although Mastrosimone could easily have turned "A Stone Carver" into a political statement, he is far more interested in the relationship, past and present, of father and son than in the plight of individuals who get in the way of the government. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"Four Plays" Gender Identity Issues of the 21st Century
Diversity can mean many things. For Diverse City Theatre Company's Equality Playwright's Festival, it means "gender identity issues of the 21st century." The festival at Theatre Row presents four commissioned one-act plays about sexual orientations that conflict with the dominant culture. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Marco Millions (based on lies)"
It's hard to associate the brilliant but dour Eugene O'Neill with the high jinks and soft-shoe routines in "Marco Millions (based on lies)," now at the Lion Theatre, but the clever, laugh-out-loud production by the new Waterwell theatre company is surprisingly true to the text of one of the playwright's rarely staged satires. By Glenda Frank.

"Barbara's Blue Kitchen"Is Bitter-Sweet and Delicious
Ever wonder what's behind those long-suffering lyrics in country songs? The answer to that question and much more is revealed in Lori Fischer's "Barbara's Blue Kitchen," at the Lamb's until Sept. 30. By Paulanne Simmons.

Topless Dancer seeking Love and Fame
Carmen Barika's "XXXOTIKA"at the Daryl Roth Theatre is a mix of her current New Orleans refugee autobiography and the world of cabaret artists seeking fame and fortune on the silver screen.. Her new offering for this year's NY Fringe Fest is unique, exotic and tantilizingly sexy. By Larry Litt.

There's New Blood in a Tender Theme
"Indian Blood" by A.R. Gurney at 59E59 Theaters is a quiet play, written with overwhelming tenderness. It is superbly acted and masterfully directed. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"Just a sing sing Song" August/September musicals, part 2: "Shout!"
For those who want to take a short walk down memory lane to revisit the music and the changing lives of women in the 1960s, the unpretentious "Shout!" is a pleasure. By Glenda Frank.

"Just a singsing Song" August musicals, part 1: "[title of show]"
"[title of show]" falls into the genre of backstage musical, and is most similar to "A Chorus Line." Two very appealing guys with different approaches to work are ambling toward a collaborative musical -- until word of a fringe festival comes along. By Glenda Frank.

America /Seen Through Irish Eyes
Like so many plays by and about the Irish, "Mr. Dooley's America," in revival at The Irish Repertory Theatre, is set in a bar. Only this time the bar and the bartender were not created by playwrights Philip Dunne and Martin Blaine. They were the brainchild of the Chicago newspaperman Finely Peter Dunne. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Gutenberg! The Musical!" Is a New Take on an Old Type
How wonderful! As the summer theater festivals wind down and Broadway gets into gear, along comes a musical that makes a perfectly marvelous bridge between seasons. "Gutenberg! The Musical!" By Paulanne Simmons.

Matthew Burnett Channels Thornton Wilder in "Theophilus North"
Thornton Wilder was one of the few writers equally at home in drama and narrative fiction. His final, semi-autobiographical novel, "Theophilus North" is currently bridging both genres in Matthew Burnett's similarly titled stage adaptation presented by Keen Company and directed by the estimable Carl Forsman. By Paulanne Simmons.

A Tale of Two Sisters
In two brilliant monologues, Anna Manahan lays out the case for each of the sisters, Martha and Mary, who like their biblical counterparts, represent bitter resentment and uncomplaining generosity of spirit. By Paulanne Simmons.

"John Ferguson" Is Not Worth the Mint
John Ferguson (Robertson Carricart) is a poor farmer whose ill health has forced him to entrust the running of the farm to his young son, Andrew (Justin Schultz). Despite his bad luck, however, his faith in God remains unshaken. He is convinced "Joy cometh in the morning." By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Persians" A Nation In Defeat
The National Theatre of Greece has brought American audiences a rare treat: six performances of the neglected "The Persians" by Aeschylus in (modern) Greek. The production is stunning, but, like opera, it makes demands on the viewer. Watching it, it is difficult not to hear criticism of the American presence in the Middle East. Iran, not Iraq of course, is the contemporary name for Persia, but there is a decided spill-over effect. By Glenda Frank.

Camping Out With Camille
Camille O'Sullivan performs with remarkable gusto, throwing herself into each song emotionally and physically. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Miles to Babylon" Is a Moving, Sometimes Amusing, Journey
"Miles to Babylon" is Ann Harson's imagined account of what happened to Ella O'Neill, mother of playwright Eugene O'Neill, at the convent where, in fact, she did rid herself of her habit. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"The Wild Duck" Lands in Brooklyn
In the United States, Henrik Ibsen is best known for "A Doll's House," "An Enemy of the People" and "Hedda Gabler." But in his own country, Norway, "The Wild Duck" is one of the playwright's most cherished plays. In fact, it was the challenge of rediscovering the play and upsetting many people's preconceived ideas about it that led Eirik Stubø, artistic director of the National Theatre of Norway, to stage his own production of the play. This production will be coming to BAM's Harvey Theater October 25. By Paulanne Simmons.

Bush Bashing at It Best
Nancy Holson and Jay Falzone's "Bush Wars: Musical Revenge," is clever, engaging and often to the point. By Paulanne Simmons.

Jay Johnson's Puppets Will Make You Laugh and Touch Your Heart
"Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!" is much more than a razzle-dazzle display of virtuoso voice throwing and puppet manipulation. Johnson's puppets are so human they put Pinocchio to shame. By Paulanne Simmons.

They'll be Coming to the Cabaret… Again
Last year Town Hall produced its first Broadway Cabaret Festival, written and hosted by Scott Siegel, the creator of Town Hall's long-running series, Broadway by the Year. This year they're doing it again. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Bush Is Bad"-Impeachment Edition
We went to the opening of "Bush Is Bad"—Impeachment Edition on Oct 28th. Seeing this updated version of Joshua Rosenblum's political cabaret at the Triad Theater on West 72nd Street convinces me that not every political idealist should or could be a progressive blogger. By Larry Litt.

 

"Post Mortem" Dies in Second Act
A. R. Gurney wrote "Post Mortem," the fourth world premiere of a Gurney play at The Flea, with the premise that neither the political right nor left has the answer to the problems that plague America today. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Woyzeck" -- Two Views
Paulanne Simmons and Philippa Wehle agree that "Woyzeck," from London's Gate Theatre, combines irony and sincerity, comedy and tragedy, ambiguity and clarity. Adapted and directed by 29 year-old American Daniel Kramer and brilliantly performed by an outstanding cast, it is not to be missed, our mavens say.

 

 

The Doctors Are In, The Patients Are Way Out: Two Plays, One Ailment
French medical practices and patients expose themselves on New York stages in Novemeber and December with Resonance Ensemble's all-female revival of Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" and a new multi-media examination of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot's treatment of women's hysteria, "Some Historic/Some Hysteric," from the New Stage Theatre Company. If you think American health care is in a major crisis just wait till you see these plays. By Larry Litt.

Girl Gone Mild
After a tempest in a teapot over whether this play could or would open in the United States in light of its pro-Palestinian sympathies, "My Name is Rachel Corrie" emerges as an engaging one-woman show most remarkable for the brave idealist whose life it presents. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Miss Brodie" Is Still in Its Prime
The influence of good teachers has been celebrated in books and movies many times. The darker side of pedagogy is less frequently explored. But when it is, the result can be powerful. Witness "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." By Paulanne Simmons.

"Twelfth Night"… the Russian Way
Declan Donnellan's "Twelfth Night" is performed in Russian and bursts with Russian emotion and exuberance. Yet, this "Twelfth Night" seems to get at the heart of Shakespeare infinitely better than many more traditional productions. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Mimi le Duck" Needs Less Splashing Around
"Mimi le Duck" is a transatlantic fantasy starring the Broadway veteran and veteran seductress Eartha Kitt. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Confessions of an Irish Rebel" Is Not for the Irish Only
"Confessions of a Rebel" shows playwright, songwriter, novelist and IRA terrorist Brendan Behan working as a pimp in Harry's Bar in Paris while he writes pornography, holding forth in pubs, enduring life in prison and defying the British police. By Paulanne Simmons.

Recapturing the Past in a Family Portrait
"Portrait of a Stolen Spring" follows Chaja Zimmerman and Moses Kalter's lifetime journey, a journey filled with disappointment, tragedy, faith and love. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Yohen" Finds Beauty in Imperfection
In Japanese, the word "yohen" is a pottery term for an accident in the kiln producing a flaw in the coloration that may be ugly or beautiful, depending on how the viewer looks at it. In Philip Kan Gotanda's "Yohen," making its East Coast premiere at Pan Asian Repertory, the damaged object seems to the marriage of James (David Fonteno), an African American ex-GI and his Japanese wife, Sumi (Dian Kobayashi). By Paulanne Simmons.

Mrs. Gold's Daughter Tells All
Although "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" is based on interviews with over fifty Jewish women of different ages, religious affiliations and occupations, the show seems mostly autobiographical. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Irish Rep Revives an O'Neill Classic
The Irish Repertory Theatre's fresh and compelling revival of Eugene O'Neill's "The Hairy Ape" is directed by Ciaran O'Reilly (Irish Rep's "The Field") and stars Greg Derelian as the ill-fated coal stoker, Yank, whose search for a place where he can belong leads to his destruction. Two views by Paulanne Simmons and Glenda Frank.

"Post Mortem" Dies in Second Act
A. R. Gurney wrote "Post Mortem," the fourth world premiere of a Gurney play at The Flea, with the premise that neither the political right nor left has the answer to the problems that plague America today. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Woyzeck" -- Two Views
Paulanne Simmons and Philippa Wehle agree that "Woyzeck," from London's Gate Theatre, combines irony and sincerity, comedy and tragedy, ambiguity and clarity. Adapted and directed by 29 year-old American Daniel Kramer and brilliantly performed by an outstanding cast, it is not to be missed, our mavens say.

 

The Doctors Are In, The Patients Are Way Out: Two Plays, One Ailment
French medical practices and patients expose themselves on New York stages in Novemeber and December with Resonance Ensemble's all-female revival of Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" and a new multi-media examination of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot's treatment of women's hysteria, "Some Historic/Some Hysteric," from the New Stage Theatre Company. If you think American health care is in a major crisis just wait till you see these plays. By Larry Litt.

Girl Gone Mild
After a tempest in a teapot over whether this play could or would open in the United States in light of its pro-Palestinian sympathies, "My Name is Rachel Corrie" emerges as an engaging one-woman show most remarkable for the brave idealist whose life it presents. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Miss Brodie" Is Still in Its Prime
The influence of good teachers has been celebrated in books and movies many times. The darker side of pedagogy is less frequently explored. But when it is, the result can be powerful. Witness "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." By Paulanne Simmons.
"Twelfth Night." Photo by Richard Termine.

"Twelfth Night"… the Russian Way
Declan Donnellan's "Twelfth Night" is performed in Russian and bursts with Russian emotion and exuberance. Yet, this "Twelfth Night" seems to get at the heart of Shakespeare infinitely better than many more traditional productions. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Mimi le Duck" Needs Less Splashing Around
"Mimi le Duck" is a transatlantic fantasy starring the Broadway veteran and veteran seductress Eartha Kitt. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Confessions of an Irish Rebel" Is Not for the Irish Only
"Confessions of a Rebel" shows playwright, songwriter, novelist and IRA terrorist Brendan Behan working as a pimp in Harry's Bar in Paris while he writes pornography, holding forth in pubs, enduring life in prison and defying the British police. By Paulanne Simmons.

Recapturing the Past in a Family Portrait
"Portrait of a Stolen Spring" follows Chaja Zimmerman and Moses Kalter's lifetime journey, a journey filled with disappointment, tragedy, faith and love. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Yohen" Finds Beauty in Imperfection
In Japanese, the word "yohen" is a pottery term for an accident in the kiln producing a flaw in the coloration that may be ugly or beautiful, depending on how the viewer looks at it. In Philip Kan Gotanda's "Yohen," making its East Coast premiere at Pan Asian Repertory, the damaged object seems to the marriage of James (David Fonteno), an African American ex-GI and his Japanese wife, Sumi (Dian Kobayashi). By Paulanne Simmons.

Mrs. Gold's Daughter Tells All
Although "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" is based on interviews with over fifty Jewish women of different ages, religious affiliations and occupations, the show seems mostly autobiographical. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Irish Rep Revives an O'Neill Classic
The Irish Repertory Theatre's fresh and compelling revival of Eugene O'Neill's "The Hairy Ape" is directed by Ciaran O'Reilly (Irish Rep's "The Field") and stars Greg Derelian as the ill-fated coal stoker, Yank, whose search for a place where he can belong leads to his destruction. Two views by Paulanne Simmons and Glenda Frank.

Sweet Music
"Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky" is about a has-been alcoholic country and western singer who is living in his dilapidated car when he meets a talented and eager young lady who wants to make it big. By Paulanne Simmons.

Barb Jungr Come Back to 59E59 Theaters
British songstress Barb Jungr, last seen at 59E59 Theaters this past summer in the Brits Off-Broadway festival, will kick off the theaters' jazz cabaret series on Dec. 5 with a selection of songs she calls "inspired" from all five of her Linn CDs. By Paulanne Simmons.

It Takes One to Know One: Attorney Henry Miller on Clarence Darrow
We've all heard about actors who moonlight as bartenders and waiters. Henry Miller is an actor who moonlights as a lawyer, or perhaps a lawyer who moonlights as an actor. Previous work includes "James Joyce Comes Home" and "Alger: a Story." But it is in his current one-man show, "All Too Human: An Evening with Clarence Darrow," that Miller makes use of both his acting and trial skills. By Paulanne Simmons.

"School for Wives" Gets and A
Moliere's "School for Wives" was written only a few months after the playwright married Armande Bejart, a young actress who was nearly twenty-five years his junior. By all accounts, the marriage was not a happy one. Many believe it was the hard-earned lessons Moliere learned living with Bejart which formed the basis of the 1662 comedy. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Regrets Only"
Even before the play begins, the seven entrances in the elegant penthouse set by Michael Yeargan at Manhattan Theatre Club announce that "Regrets Only," the latest comedy by Paul Rudnick ("Jeffrey"), is likely to be a farce. And sure enough, as the doorbell rings, Myra Kesselman (Jackie Hoffman) enters, a proper enough maid in a black and white uniform. She greets Hank Hadley (George Grizzard) , THE famous designer and old friend of the McCullough family, with a monologue in brogue, packed with a dozen Irish clichés. By Glenda Frank.

Evil Laughter
I have to admit, I would most likely never have seen "Evil Dead the Musical" if my husband and son had not insisted on it. I thought that, like the movie, the musical based on it would probably be gross, infantile and crude. In fact it was. But "Evil Dead the Musical" was also clever, quick and often extremely entertaining. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Death in Vacant Lot!"
"Death in Vacant Lot!," an intriguing new performance piece combining choreography, tanka poetry, live and pre-recorded electric and acoustic music and performance, was presented recently at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Space by The South Wing, an international theater company, founded by Kameron Steele and Ivana Catanese in 2003. Co-produced with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the work was a musical stage translation and adaptation of Terayama Shugi's landmark 1974 film, Death in the Field. This young, very promising theater company showed excellent ensemble work and the fine direction, writes Philippa Wehle.

Sweet Music
"Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky" is about a has-been alcoholic country and western singer who is living in his dilapidated car when he meets a talented and eager young lady who wants to make it big. By Paulanne Simmons.

Barb Jungr Come Back to 59E59 Theaters
British songstress Barb Jungr, last seen at 59E59 Theaters this past summer in the Brits Off-Broadway festival, will kick off the theaters' jazz cabaret series on Dec. 5 with a selection of songs she calls "inspired" from all five of her Linn CDs. By Paulanne Simmons.

It Takes One to Know One: Attorney Henry Miller on Clarence Darrow
We've all heard about actors who moonlight as bartenders and waiters. Henry Miller is an actor who moonlights as a lawyer, or perhaps a lawyer who moonlights as an actor. Previous work includes "James Joyce Comes Home" and "Alger: a Story." But it is in his current one-man show, "All Too Human: An Evening with Clarence Darrow," that Miller makes use of both his acting and trial skills. By Paulanne Simmons.

"School for Wives" Gets and A
Moliere's "School for Wives" was written only a few months after the playwright married Armande Bejart, a young actress who was nearly twenty-five years his junior. By all accounts, the marriage was not a happy one. Many believe it was the hard-earned lessons Moliere learned living with Bejart which formed the basis of the 1662 comedy. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Regrets Only"
Even before the play begins, the seven entrances in the elegant penthouse set by Michael Yeargan at Manhattan Theatre Club announce that "Regrets Only," the latest comedy by Paul Rudnick ("Jeffrey"), is likely to be a farce. And sure enough, as the doorbell rings, Myra Kesselman (Jackie Hoffman) enters, a proper enough maid in a black and white uniform. She greets Hank Hadley (George Grizzard) , THE famous designer and old friend of the McCullough family, with a monologue in brogue, packed with a dozen Irish clichés. By Glenda Frank.

Evil Laughter
I have to admit, I would most likely never have seen "Evil Dead the Musical" if my husband and son had not insisted on it. I thought that, like the movie, the musical based on it would probably be gross, infantile and crude. In fact it was. But "Evil Dead the Musical" was also clever, quick and often extremely entertaining. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Death in Vacant Lot!"
"Death in Vacant Lot!," an intriguing new performance piece combining choreography, tanka poetry, live and pre-recorded electric and acoustic music and performance, was presented recently at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Space by The South Wing, an international theater company, founded by Kameron Steele and Ivana Catanese in 2003. Co-produced with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the work was a musical stage translation and adaptation of Terayama Shugi's landmark 1974 film, Death in the Field. This young, very promising theater company showed excellent ensemble work and the fine direction, writes Philippa Wehle.

My Children! My Africa!
Athol Fugard's cri de coeur from the midst of the 1980s South African student protests against apartheid rings loud and clear in Blanka Zizka's spare, intense production of "My Children! My Africa!". Much of the text is undisguised didacticism, but Glynn Turman's performance as the joyous and upright schoolmaster who fights sexism and racism with a love of youth, books, and words, is as good as acting gets. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Becoming Adele" Comes Close But No Cigar
"Becoming Adele," takes place on the rooftop of Adele Scabaglio's Manhattan apartment. The roof is her refuge and her stage. It is here that she comes to share her anxieties and dreams with the audience. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Meet Me in St. Louis"
"Meet Me in St. Louis," directed by The Irish Rep's artistic director, Charlotte Moore, is a love story times four. By Paulanne Simmons.

Five Playwrights take on a Famous Poem
In celebration of the Christmas Season, The Flea Theater commissioned five playwrights, Christopher Durang, Roger Rosenblatt, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkin and Elizabeth Swados, to create short works based on Clement Clark Moore's famous poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." By Paulanne Simmons.

This "Oak Tree" Is Hollow
As a reviewer I see many shows, Broadway, off-Broadway and off off-Broadway. But I have seldom had as unpleasant an evening as I did on December 16 when I saw "An Oak Tree" at the Barrow Street Theatre. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Home"
In, "Home," a gem of a play about class in England, the story is played out by inhabitants of a mental asylum. Two different views by Lucy Komisar and Paulanne Simmons.

"Argonautika: The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts"
Greek myths always offer food for thought. In auteur Mary Zimmerman's hands they are also feasts for the eye and monuments to the imagination. Lookingglass Theatre's "Argonautika" stages Jason's quest for the golden fleece complete with hiphop, puppets, acrobatic skills, a mylar lake, flying and floating goddesses, and irresistible group storytelling. It begins with whimsy, ends with heartache, and frankly makes one wonder why all theatre can't be this inventive. Part of Zimmerman's genius is to make it look easy. By Dorothy Chansky.

Kids Show Their Strength in "Power of Ten: Plays that Count"
Now in its 25th year, the 52nd Street Project brings together kids from Hell's Kitchen with theater professionals to create original work. Youngsters write plays by themselves and with their mentors in after-school programs and during the summer. The fruits of this labor can be seen at The Public Theater, where the fall 2006 show, "Power of Ten: Plays that Count" will be presented Dec. 8, 9 and 10. By Paulanne Simmons.

"High Fidelity" Scores High
In a Broadway season that's offering more than the usual number of revivals of varying quality, "High Fidelity" may be the big winner and the musical to see this year. The reasons are many: the music, the lyrics, the direction, the acting. By Paulanne Simmons.

My Children! My Africa!
Athol Fugard's cri de coeur from the midst of the 1980s South African student protests against apartheid rings loud and clear in Blanka Zizka's spare, intense production of "My Children! My Africa!". Much of the text is undisguised didacticism, but Glynn Turman's performance as the joyous and upright schoolmaster who fights sexism and racism with a love of youth, books, and words, is as good as acting gets. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Becoming Adele" Comes Close But No Cigar
"Becoming Adele," takes place on the rooftop of Adele Scabaglio's Manhattan apartment. The roof is her refuge and her stage. It is here that she comes to share her anxieties and dreams with the audience. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Meet Me in St. Louis"
"Meet Me in St. Louis," directed by The Irish Rep's artistic director, Charlotte Moore, is a love story times four. By Paulanne Simmons.

Five Playwrights take on a Famous Poem
In celebration of the Christmas Season, The Flea Theater commissioned five playwrights, Christopher Durang, Roger Rosenblatt, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkin and Elizabeth Swados, to create short works based on Clement Clark Moore's famous poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." By Paulanne Simmons.

This "Oak Tree" Is Hollow
As a reviewer I see many shows, Broadway, off-Broadway and off off-Broadway. But I have seldom had as unpleasant an evening as I did on December 16 when I saw "An Oak Tree" at the Barrow Street Theatre. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Home"
In, "Home," a gem of a play about class in England, the story is played out by inhabitants of a mental asylum. Two different views by Lucy Komisar and Paulanne Simmons.

"Argonautika: The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts"
Greek myths always offer food for thought. In auteur Mary Zimmerman's hands they are also feasts for the eye and monuments to the imagination. Lookingglass Theatre's "Argonautika" stages Jason's quest for the golden fleece complete with hiphop, puppets, acrobatic skills, a mylar lake, flying and floating goddesses, and irresistible group storytelling. It begins with whimsy, ends with heartache, and frankly makes one wonder why all theatre can't be this inventive. Part of Zimmerman's genius is to make it look easy. By Dorothy Chansky.

Kids Show Their Strength in "Power of Ten: Plays that Count"
Now in its 25th year, the 52nd Street Project brings together kids from Hell's Kitchen with theater professionals to create original work. Youngsters write plays by themselves and with their mentors in after-school programs and during the summer. The fruits of this labor can be seen at The Public Theater, where the fall 2006 show, "Power of Ten: Plays that Count" will be presented Dec. 8, 9 and 10. By Paulanne Simmons.

"High Fidelity" Scores High
In a Broadway season that's offering more than the usual number of revivals of varying quality, "High Fidelity" may be the big winner and the musical to see this year. The reasons are many: the music, the lyrics, the direction, the acting. By Paulanne Simmons. My Children! My Africa!
Athol Fugard's cri de coeur from the midst of the 1980s South African student protests against apartheid rings loud and clear in Blanka Zizka's spare, intense production of "My Children! My Africa!". Much of the text is undisguised didacticism, but Glynn Turman's performance as the joyous and upright schoolmaster who fights sexism and racism with a love of youth, books, and words, is as good as acting gets. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Becoming Adele" Comes Close But No Cigar
"Becoming Adele," takes place on the rooftop of Adele Scabaglio's Manhattan apartment. The roof is her refuge and her stage. It is here that she comes to share her anxieties and dreams with the audience. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Meet Me in St. Louis"
"Meet Me in St. Louis," directed by The Irish Rep's artistic director, Charlotte Moore, is a love story times four. By Paulanne Simmons.

Five Playwrights take on a Famous Poem
In celebration of the Christmas Season, The Flea Theater commissioned five playwrights, Christopher Durang, Roger Rosenblatt, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkin and Elizabeth Swados, to create short works based on Clement Clark Moore's famous poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." By Paulanne Simmons.

This "Oak Tree" Is Hollow
As a reviewer I see many shows, Broadway, off-Broadway and off off-Broadway. But I have seldom had as unpleasant an evening as I did on December 16 when I saw "An Oak Tree" at the Barrow Street Theatre. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Home"
In, "Home," a gem of a play about class in England, the story is played out by inhabitants of a mental asylum. Two different views by Lucy Komisar and Paulanne Simmons.

"Argonautika: The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts"
Greek myths always offer food for thought. In auteur Mary Zimmerman's hands they are also feasts for the eye and monuments to the imagination. Lookingglass Theatre's "Argonautika" stages Jason's quest for the golden fleece complete with hiphop, puppets, acrobatic skills, a mylar lake, flying and floating goddesses, and irresistible group storytelling. It begins with whimsy, ends with heartache, and frankly makes one wonder why all theatre can't be this inventive. Part of Zimmerman's genius is to make it look easy. By Dorothy Chansky.

Kids Show Their Strength in "Power of Ten: Plays that Count"
Now in its 25th year, the 52nd Street Project brings together kids from Hell's Kitchen with theater professionals to create original work. Youngsters write plays by themselves and with their mentors in after-school programs and during the summer. The fruits of this labor can be seen at The Public Theater, where the fall 2006 show, "Power of Ten: Plays that Count" will be presented Dec. 8, 9 and 10. By Paulanne Simmons.

"High Fidelity" Scores High
In a Broadway season that's offering more than the usual number of revivals of varying quality, "High Fidelity" may be the big winner and the musical to see this year. The reasons are many: the music, the lyrics, the direction, the acting. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Burial at Thebes
The La MaMa production of "Burial at Thebes" by Seamus Heaney, directed by Alexander Harrington, attracted both Ellen W. Lytle and Paulanne Simmons to review. Lytle praised the production, writing "Alexander Harrington and poet/playwright Seamus Heaney make a marvelous match." Simmons called Heaney's version of Sophocles' message "every bit as up-to-date and pertinent as if it had been written yesterday." By Paulanne Simmons & Ellen W. Lytle.

A Spanish Play
For a decade, teams of exceptional American actors have been assembled to bring French-writer Yasmina Reza's New York audiences. "Art" (1998), starring Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina, received Tony and Drama Desk awards for best play and ran for almost two years. John Turturro, Linda Emond, Helen Hunt and Brent Spiner starred in "Life (x) 3." "A Spanish Play," now at CSC, is another role call of talent. Under the adept direction of John Turturro, Zoe Caldwell (four-time Tony winner). Katherine Borowitz ("Illuminata"), Linda Emond ("Homebody/Kabul"), Denis O'Hare ("Take Me Out"), and Larry Pine ("Stuff Happens") realize some of their finest performances. By Glenda Frank.

Reconsidering Shortnin' Bread
Michelle Matlock deconstructs Aunt Jemima in this smart, surprising, funny, and informative look at the stereotype that won't die. Aided by film clips, songs, knickknacks, and a commanding voice, Matlock is an assured but humble guide. And if you knew that the prototype for Aunt Jemima was a white man in drag (blacked up as part of a minstrel show circa 1890), go to the head of the class. By Dorothy Chansky.

"Must Don't Whip 'Um" Is an Edgy Triumph
"Must Don't Whip 'Um," now at St. Ann's Warehouse, is part documentary, part concert, part memoir. In the show, Mary Fern, the narrator, revisits the last concert her mother, singer Cameron Seymour, gave before she disappeared. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Alfred Jarry Meets William Shakespeare in "The Polish Play"
With the help of puppets ranging from miniature marionettes to grotesque Grand Guignol, and the clever and comic sound effects Bart Fasbender creates onstage, "The Polish Play" tells the story of the idiot tyrant Pere Ubu. By Paulanne Simmons.


 

"Toys in the Attic" Is Masterful But Mild
" Toys in the Attic" presents 24 hours in the life of a New Orleans family, the proud and poor Berniers. Anna (Robin Leslie Brown) is the older, wiser and more cynical sister. Carrie (Rachel Botchan) is younger and seemingly more innocent, until it becomes apparent that she harbors a not very sisterly longing for her brother Julian (Sean McNall). By Paulanne Simmons.

The Magic Flute
Julie Taymor's staging and direction of "The Magic Flute" ("Die Zauberflote") is exquisitely beautiful -- as if she had discovered how to translate Mozart's phrases into movement, shape and lighting. Following the lead of innovators like Peter Sellars in his contemporary staging of Mozart's Da Ponte trio, Taymor insists that opera too is theatre. In her hands, the collaborative arts – costumes, set, choreography, acting – interpret and enhance the power of score and libretto. By Glenda Frank.

The Country Wife
The deviousness of Harry Horner, a womanizing seducer extraordinaire, is the basis for all romantic sex comedies since The Country Wife's fIrst performance in 1675. Watching and laughing at HonKBarK!'s brilliantly energetic full dress production, I was reminded of why romantic comedies from Hollywood almost never make me laugh. Sighs of recognition and frustration yes. Side splitting guffaws, no. By Larry Litt.

Todd Conner Channels Ovid
Todd Conner's "Metamorphoses" starts with the creation, goes on to the deluge and the recreation of the world, and concludes with the myths of Phoebus and Daphne, Actaeon, Ceres and Persephone, and Orpheus and Eurydice. By Paulanne Simmons.

Puppets with a Purpose
"The Rapture Project" is an ironic look at fundamentalism as it is practiced by Muslims, Christians and Jews in the United States today. The show takes audiences from a Creationist tour of the Grand Canyon to the Hassidim in Brooklyn, and from Muslim squatter punks in Buffalo to an oil rig in Houston. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II
''I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II.'' by Andrea Marcovicci will include the songs of Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer and Jule Styne, the songs ''people are yearning for.'' By Paulanne Simmons.

Translations
The Manhattan Theater Club's revival of Brian Friel's 1980 play ''Translations'' is a stunning and moody production that examines the use of language to bond and to divide in both a personal and a political sense. It also becomes a symbol of patriotism and conscience as it plays into the conflicts and connections among the occupied and the occupiers in Ireland in 1833. The play is beautifully staged by Irish director Garry Hynes with a sympathy that extends to people on all sides in that quarrel. By Lucy Komisar and Margareth Croyden.

Hattie McDaniel Tells Her Story
''(mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story,'' part of Emerging Artists Theatre's second annual Triple Threat, is a one-woman show written by Joan Ross Sorkin and performed by Broadway star Capathia Jenkins. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Adrift in Macao''
Theatergoers used to Christopher Durang's dark comedies will see another side of the playwright in his new venture, a collaboration with composer Peter Melnick in a highly enjoyable parody of film noir, ''Adrift in Macao.'' By Paulanne Simmons.

''The Frugal Repast''
Ron Hirsen's ''The Frugal Repast'' is a debate about art and society, and as such it is a play of ideas. But seldom is such a play as light, lively and interesting as Hirsen's. By Paulanne Simmons.

''The Vagina Monologues''
Growing up I never liked the word 'vagina' , none of us did! In fact it wasn't until I saw the original Vagina Monologues (with Audra McDonald) that I was even slightly comfortable with the term. That was about eight years ago. Still, not particularly liking the play, but afterwards hurrying down 42nd street towards a subway on a frigid evening in 1999, I suddenly recognized what a ground breaking piece of work Eve Ensler had created. The Vagina Monologues eight years later, directed by Larry Waxman and produced by Nicole Cicerani and Ushma Pandya. A review by Ellen W. Lytle.

''The Cave Dwellers''
''The Cave Dwellers'' features Carol Schultz as ''The Queen,'' a washed-up actress who sleeps away what's left of her life; Robert Hock as ''The King,'' a former clown in a sad state; and Marcus Naylor as ''The Duke,'' a prizefighter who was defeated in the ring because he was afraid of hurting his opponent. The dilapidated theater they live in (set design is by Harry Feiner) evokes the worn-out, hopeless state of the people who have made it their home. By Paulanne Simmons.

When Bill Met Bob
A play about the two hopeless drunks who founded Alcoholics Anonymous is an intriguing idea and it could have been quirky, moving or hilarious. ''Bill W. and Dr. Bob,'' is having its off-Broadway premiere at New World Stages. Paulanne Simmons assesses the realisation by Rick Lombardo.

''Journey's End''
R.C. Sherriff claimed ''Journey's End'' was inspired by the men who had served with him in the 9th East Surrey Regiment on the Western Front during World War I. He insisted it was not an anti-war play. London audiences who saw ''Journey's End'' first at the Apollo Theatre in Nov. 1928 and a few weeks later at the Savoy Theatre, thought differently, and so it will be with this latest production, which comes to New York City from London, just when we need it most. By Paulanne Simmons

 

Sealed for Freshnes
Doug Stone's ''Sealed for Freshness'' is dedicated to all those desperate housewives of the sixties whose emotional and sexual energy was funneled into that gala social event of the season, the Tupperware party. Stone, who also directs, presents five women in his over-the-top comedy of female frustration. By Paulanne Simmons.

La Vie Noir
This is a play about adults, for adults, and surprisingly in this age of youth worship by an adult mind. It's wit and word play, lack of youthful angst and multilayered characterizations create an evening of mature delight. Neu subtly asks existential questions such as: are there lessons we can actually use from our love affair with Hollywood? Are some of us physically and psychically trapped in dialogues with characters from our favorites movies. By Larry Litt. ''The Vagina Monologues''
Growing up I never liked the word 'vagina' , none of us did! In fact it wasn't until I saw the original Vagina Monologues (with Audra McDonald) that I was even slightly comfortable with the term. That was about eight years ago. Still, not particularly liking the play, but afterwards hurrying down 42nd street towards a subway on a frigid evening in 1999, I suddenly recognized what a ground breaking piece of work Eve Ensler had created. The Vagina Monologues eight years later, directed by Larry Waxman and produced by Nicole Cicerani and Ushma Pandya. A review by Ellen W. Lytle.

''The Cave Dwellers''
''The Cave Dwellers'' features Carol Schultz as ''The Queen,'' a washed-up actress who sleeps away what's left of her life; Robert Hock as ''The King,'' a former clown in a sad state; and Marcus Naylor as ''The Duke,'' a prizefighter who was defeated in the ring because he was afraid of hurting his opponent. The dilapidated theater they live in (set design is by Harry Feiner) evokes the worn-out, hopeless state of the people who have made it their home. By Paulanne Simmons.

When Bill Met Bob
A play about the two hopeless drunks who founded Alcoholics Anonymous is an intriguing idea and it could have been quirky, moving or hilarious. ''Bill W. and Dr. Bob,'' is having its off-Broadway premiere at New World Stages. Paulanne Simmons assesses the realisation by Rick Lombardo.

''Journey's End''
R.C. Sherriff claimed ''Journey's End'' was inspired by the men who had served with him in the 9th East Surrey Regiment on the Western Front during World War I. He insisted it was not an anti-war play. London audiences who saw ''Journey's End'' first at the Apollo Theatre in Nov. 1928 and a few weeks later at the Savoy Theatre, thought differently, and so it will be with this latest production, which comes to New York City from London, just when we need it most. By Paulanne Simmons

 

Sealed for Freshnes
Doug Stone's ''Sealed for Freshness'' is dedicated to all those desperate housewives of the sixties whose emotional and sexual energy was funneled into that gala social event of the season, the Tupperware party. Stone, who also directs, presents five women in his over-the-top comedy of female frustration. By Paulanne Simmons.

La Vie Noir
This is a play about adults, for adults, and surprisingly in this age of youth worship by an adult mind. It's wit and word play, lack of youthful angst and multilayered characterizations create an evening of mature delight. Neu subtly asks existential questions such as: are there lessons we can actually use from our love affair with Hollywood? Are some of us physically and psychically trapped in dialogues with characters from our favorites movies. By Larry Litt.

 

''Bouffon Glass Menajoree''
When commedia dell' arte walks arm-in-arm to mate with grand guignol then comes calling on that pathetic warhorse of a southern American white trash tragedy, "The Glass Menagerie," I need to see this perfect theatrical storm. In this version of The Glass Menagerie the cast of three actors have chosen to mega-supersize their characters' personnas. They succeed. By Larry Litt.

 

''Tea and Sympathy''
When Robert Anderson's ''Tea and Sympathy'' was first performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1953, its explosive subject matter catapulted the playwright onto immediate fame. At that time, no one could have imagined how dated his play about coming of age and adolescent sexuality would become little over half a century later. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Ruff Love or What You Will"
Kings County Shakespeare Company's ''Taming of The Shrew,'' retitled ''Ruff Love,'' dilutes the anti-feminist message by turning Baptista, the girls' father, into the girls mother (ably played by Mary Lou Kylis), but otherwise leaving Shakespeare's comedy for the most part intact. There are no bells and whistles here, but with little else besides a wood-paneled stage and elegant Elizabethan attire, director Deborah Wright Houston creates the intimate atmosphere of a luxurious residence in Padua. At the end of this season, Houston will be retiring as artistic director of Kings County Shakespeare. She is certainly leaving in a theatrical blaze of glory. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Taming of the Shrew''
Modern directors can either present Shakespear's ''the Taming of the Shrew'' at face value and risk the wrath of modern audiences or employ a variety of techniques to mitigate the message. Edward Hall, whose all-male company, Propeller, has brought its version to BAM's Harvey Theater, turns the comedy into a fantastical burlesque that stresses the comedy but takes the punch out of the more problematic elements. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Five By Tenn''
The Tennessee Williams in ''Five By Tenn'' is not the same playwright made famous by Marlon Brando yelling ''Stella'' or the tender and tragic gentleman caller scene. It is a Williams he never seems to have wanted on stage. Perhaps it was a Williams he himself wanted to forget. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''Defender of the Faith''
Ciaran O'Reilly directs this ''Defender of the Fait'' with passion and compassion. The play begins with the two brothers, Danny (Matt Ball) and Thomas (Luke Kirby) playing an innocent game of make believe. Then their father (Anto Nolan) walks into the house, and with him comes the tension that builds and never lets up until the explosive ending. By Paulanne Simmons

''The Further Adventures of Uncle Wiggily: Windblown Visitors''
Crystal Field directs with her usually combination of puppets, masks and a multigenerational, multiracial cast as 35 men, women and children take the audience from hurricane devastated New Orleans to New York City and back again. Theater for the New City's street theater goes indoors for the winter with its staging of ''The Further Adventures of Uncle Wiggily: Windblown Visitors.'' Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons.

 

''Katrina: Voices of the Lost''
A few days ago composer Michael Sahl and librettist/ poet Margaret Yard enjoyed a one- night- stand of their joint effort, ''Katrina: Voices of the Lost'' at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street, in Tribeca. The musical composition played by a ten piece orchestra with strains of discordant, a few disconnected, and many long threads of excitingly melodic brass and strings along with a very cool percussionist, was gorgeously conducted by the delicate force of Mary Rowell. By Ellen W. Lytle.

''The Pirate Queen''
''The Pirate Queen,'' the long-awaited musical commissioned by ''Riverdream'' producers Moya Doherty and John MColgan and created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, the duo behind ''Les Miserables'' and ''Miss Saigon,'' has arrived. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''Persephone''
Noah Haidle's ''Persephone'' considers what it is to be a timeless beauty as well as a reluctant witness. Mythical Demeter is a classically elegant statue who can talk. She travels from the sixteenth century studio where she was created to present-day New York. Divas and dealers meet vino and vermin as the words and moods ricochet and reverberate. Is there a dues ex machina in the house? By Dorothy Chansky.

''Blood and Rum''
The Nazis are back. And this time they're filled with rum and blood. Ian L. Gordon's new play, named for those same two evocative liquids, has a bit of ''Key Largo,'' some of ''African Quee'' and lots of ''Casablanca.'' By Paulanne Simmons.

''Rearviewmirror''
The theme of ''Rearviewmirror'' is the search for spiritual fulfillment. Penn is a wannabe screenwriter and film fanatic. He has a thing for orthodox Jewish girls. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''1918: A House Divided''
''1918: A House Divided,'' with book and lyrics and direction by Barbara Kahn and score by Allison Tartalia, has treasures to be discovered: beautiful music, an excellent cast and a story that we can all understand and identify with in some way. By Paulanne Simmons.


''Talk Radio'' starring Liev Schreiber
Everyone knows that Liev Schreiber is a good actor. He appeared in numerous movies, won Tonys and other acting awards, and is much in demand. Everyone in theater knows that Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio" was produced by the Public Theater in 1987 when the great Joe Papp was running the place. Margareth Croyden ascertains how the two forces match in the current revival at the Longacre Theater.

 

''Face the Music''
In 1933, Irving Berlin and Moss Hart's ''Face the Music'' closed and was lost to the American public for 75 years. This season it has been revised in a ''concert version'' for NY City Center's Encore! series under the light-stepping direction of John Rando. It is a stunning theatrical experience that gives a glimpse of the glory that was once Broadway. By Paulanne Simmons. ''Katrina: Voices of the Lost''
A few days ago composer Michael Sahl and librettist/ poet Margaret Yard enjoyed a one- night- stand of their joint effort, ''Katrina: Voices of the Lost'' at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street, in Tribeca. The musical composition played by a ten piece orchestra with strains of discordant, a few disconnected, and many long threads of excitingly melodic brass and strings along with a very cool percussionist, was gorgeously conducted by the delicate force of Mary Rowell. By Ellen W. Lytle.

''The Pirate Queen''
''The Pirate Queen,'' the long-awaited musical commissioned by ''Riverdream'' producers Moya Doherty and John MColgan and created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, the duo behind ''Les Miserables'' and ''Miss Saigon,'' has arrived. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''Persephone''
Noah Haidle's ''Persephone'' considers what it is to be a timeless beauty as well as a reluctant witness. Mythical Demeter is a classically elegant statue who can talk. She travels from the sixteenth century studio where she was created to present-day New York. Divas and dealers meet vino and vermin as the words and moods ricochet and reverberate. Is there a dues ex machina in the house? By Dorothy Chansky.

''Blood and Rum''
The Nazis are back. And this time they're filled with rum and blood. Ian L. Gordon's new play, named for those same two evocative liquids, has a bit of ''Key Largo,'' some of ''African Quee'' and lots of ''Casablanca.'' By Paulanne Simmons.

''Rearviewmirror''
The theme of ''Rearviewmirror'' is the search for spiritual fulfillment. Penn is a wannabe screenwriter and film fanatic. He has a thing for orthodox Jewish girls. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''1918: A House Divided''
''1918: A House Divided,'' with book and lyrics and direction by Barbara Kahn and score by Allison Tartalia, has treasures to be discovered: beautiful music, an excellent cast and a story that we can all understand and identify with in some way. By Paulanne Simmons.


''Talk Radio'' starring Liev Schreiber
Everyone knows that Liev Schreiber is a good actor. He appeared in numerous movies, won Tonys and other acting awards, and is much in demand. Everyone in theater knows that Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio" was produced by the Public Theater in 1987 when the great Joe Papp was running the place. Margareth Croyden ascertains how the two forces match in the current revival at the Longacre Theater.

 

''Face the Music''
In 1933, Irving Berlin and Moss Hart's ''Face the Music'' closed and was lost to the American public for 75 years. This season it has been revised in a ''concert version'' for NY City Center's Encore! series under the light-stepping direction of John Rando. It is a stunning theatrical experience that gives a glimpse of the glory that was once Broadway. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Radio"
"Radio" is the story of a young man, Charlie Fairbanks, who was born on June 30, 1950, in the exact middle of the century, in the "forgotten little town of Lebanon, Kansas," the geographic center of the United States. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Elvis People"
Behind every legend there is the person, but there is also all those people who made that person into the legend. Doug Grissom's new play, "Elvis People," explores the motives and emotions of the many people whose lives were in some way touched by "The King." By Paulanne Simmons.

 

''Penetrator"
With "Penetrator" at The American Place Theatre, Working Man's Clothes Productions presents an engulfing, discomforting, and delicious encounter that touches upon not only war and its effect on soldiers, but other pertinent themes of our lives today. Is "Penetrator" really about war at all? Could it be about homophobia? Or sexual betrayal? Or bullyism? How about everyday male rivalry? Or modern man's emotional numbness? By Brandon Judell.

"Pirates"
With Benjamin's additional book and lyrics, McDaniel's arrangements and orchestration, and Greenberg's direction, "Pirates!" takes Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta from a rocky seashore on the coast of Cornwall to the Caribbean, where the fastidious English pirates become rowdy and raucous churls. By Paulanne Simmons.

''The Rules of Charity''
''The Rules of Charity'' is filled with parallel couples who have love/hate relationships. L. H. loves Monty but has no intention of living the life of a ''faggot.'' Loretta is devoted to Monty. She refuses to put him in a nursing home, but is overwhelmed by his needs and angry at the limitations they put on her life. Horace loves Loretta, but he is not capable of getting his life together to give their relationship a future. By Paulanne Simmons.

''The Prodigal Son''
''The Prodigal Son,'' the ne'er-do-well younger son, Eustace (think useless) Jackson (Roderick Hill, in a role he effortlessly slinks into) appears, ragged and apparently unconscious, on the doorstep of his parents' home just when ''the governor,'' Samuel Jackson (Richard Kline), is standing for parliament and Eustace's older brother, Henry (Bradford Cover), is about to ask for the hand of Stella Faringford (Margot White), the daughter of the aristocratic but impoverished Sir John and Lady Faringford (Lee Moore and the imperial and impressive Kate Levy). By Paulanne Simmons.

''Beyond Therapy''
''Beyond Therapy,'' Christopher Durang's satire on blind dating and way-out psychotherapy, has a right to feel a little creaky in the joints. It premiered in 1980 to resounding applause and two years later moved to Broadway for a disappointing 21 performances. It's hard to know what went wrong. Durang revivals have been surfacing here and there this season – ''The Vietnamization of New Jersey,'' ''Adrift in Macao,'' ''Laughing Wild'' – but few have emerged with their dark humor fully burnished and ready to take on all comers. The production by the New York Deaf Theatre is the exception - an over-the-top delight, and some of that has to do with the signing. By Glenda Frank.

Giving Up the Ghost with Nazis
Turtle Shell Production's new musical,''Fritz and Froyim,'' opens with a ventriloquist (Fritz) trying to deal with his renegade, loud-mouth dummy (Froyim). It soon turns out, however, that Froyim is not a wise guy dummy but a wise guy ghost who was once a comedian that Fritz, a Nazi officer in charge of a concentration camp, had killed during the Holocaust. By Paulane Simmons.

''The Scarlet Letter''
The myriad students who have ploughed through The Scarlet Letter might be surprised to learn that the high school perennial has dramatic possibilities. But Stuart Vaughan has created a dramatic version of Hawthorne's novel that can hold its own not only with the venerable classic, but also with the finest of theatrical pieces. By Paulanne Simmons.

''Gaslight''
The formidable Charlotte Moore is at her best in ''Gaslight.'' She directs with a firm and steady hand, never losing track or letting up on the mood of genteel terror that pervades this script. By Paulanne Simmons.

''God's Ear''
Banality is risky business in the theatre. Brand names, bickering, and brattiness rarely add up to the memorable. But in the right playwright's hands, the everyday can take on depth and luster. Jenny Schwartz is the right playwright. Her new play, ''God's Ear,'' finds poetry in the trite tried and true by which we shield ourselves from pain and sometimes recognize others in theirs. The New Georges production finds a compelling visual analogue for the playwright's zingy language. By Dorothy Chansky.

 

 

"10 Million Miles"
"10 Million Miles," a new musical premiering at Atlantic Theater Company, features a pair of losers at loose ends who pack up their few belongings and leave their hometown in a red pickup truck. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Old Acquaintance"
Like any good writer of drawing room comedy, John Druten supplies the plot of "Old Acquaintance" with a good deal of unexpected twists, many precipitated by the romantic exploits of Mildred's ex-husband, Preston (Stephen Bogardus). But for the most part what makes this comedy work is the excellent repartee between the two (mostly feuding) friends, Kit (Margaret Colin) and Mildred (Harriet Harris). By Paulanne Simmons.

"Evolution of Me"
Van Slyke has broadened his repertoire to include light as well as more soulful music. He sings a medley of sentimental, serious and funny songs that show off his considerable versatility. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Brig"
What's first impressive about the current revival of Kenneth H. Brown's antiwar play -- in the new (heralded or notorious, depending on your perspective) Living Theatre -- is how fresh it feels. Much of that has to do with the precision and delicate touch of Judith Malina, who directed it at its premiere in 1963 as protest against the Viet Nam war. This production is a must-see not only for its frighteningly timeless political statement but also for its perverse beauty and clarity -- a high aesthetic that transcends and enhances the political. By Glenda Frank.

 

"Surface to Air"
"Surface to Air"' is the poignant story of a Long Island family finally coming to terms with the death of their brother and son. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Quick-Change Room"
Subtitled "Scenes from a Revolution," Nagle Jackson's "The Quick-Change Room" is the fictional account of what happens to one St. Petersburg theater, the Kuzlov, during the Gorbachev era. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"Whoop-Up"
"Whoop Up" is about Glenda, a tough and savvy woman who runs a saloon half-on and half-off the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, and how she gets her man, the sexy, over-confident Joe Champlain, son of the French Canadian half-breed, Louis Champlain and Mama Champlain. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The People vs. Mona"
Every once in a while a musical comes along that has everything – a score that mines all the most successful musical genres, lyrics that are funny and appropriate, quick and clever dialogue, and a director and cast that know how to make the most of the marvelous material with which they have been entrusted. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Street"
Powerful women in business have been the subject of many books, plays and films. Most of theses creative efforts end with the same message: even the most ambitious and successful women are best off with a good man. "The Street," a new musical at Workshop Theatre "Mainstage," is no different. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Following the Yellow Brick Road…Down the Rabbit Hole"
"Following the Yellow Brick Road…Down the Rabbit Hole" may mix its metaphors, but there is no confusion in its message. It captures most of the pain and uncertainty of growing up, the deliberate, disingenuous and sometimes unintended cruelty of adults, and the hope that springs eternal in young breasts. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

The Lincoln Center Festival
Attending the Lincoln Center Festival each year is always a pleasure. The productions presented are unavailable on Broadway or any other venue and always begin when the Broadway season closes, so we can enjoy another month of theater going. This year the Festival director, Nigel Redden, concentrated mostly on international productions--a welcome gift. Not many people travel to Japan, China, or Russia to catch the theater, which are countries well represented in this festival. By Margaret Croyden.

Luca Veggetti and the Cincinnati Ballet at Works & Process, the Guggenheim Museum.

''The Black Dahlia'' -- The Bloom is Off

Glenn Loney at the 2007 Humana Festival

''Broadway Bares XVII-Myth Behavior.''
Imagine Bacchus with a bunch of juicy grapes lowly hanging in front of the navel. Or a horned Neptune with two percent body fat. Or a leggy dancer dressed up as a fiery Medusa sporting shiny tassles. The naked gods of Broadway are poised to descend Mount Olympus for this year's Greek-themed edition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual event Broadway Bares. Staged for the second year in a row by choreographer Denis Jones, the popular benefit-strip event, in which dancers strip for two performances June 17, assumes a new kitschy theme, ''Broadway Bares XVII-Myth Behavior.'' By Randy Gener.

Photography Exhibit on Filipino American History Debuts Off-Broadway in SoHo
A new exhibit,''Positively No Filipinos Allowe'': The Lives and Loves of Filipino Migrant Workers in the U.S., offers visitors and playgoers an informed and aesthetic look at life in the Pinoy (Filipino American) community in California in the 1920s and 1930s. The display is curated by Randy Gener, senior editor of American Theatre magazine in New York City, and designed by Eric Ting, artistic associate of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.

Other Awards This Season (2006-7)

"Whoop Up" at the Duplex

"Surface to Air" at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

"The Quick-Change Room" at The York Shakespeare Company

"Deuce," "Crazy Mary" and more
Over the Net with Lansbury & Seldes, Prodigal Returns to Mint on West 43rd, Reinhold Niebuhr & Rinde Eckert on the Horizon, Playwrights Horizon Frees Crazy Mary, An Inspector Calls: Brian Murray in Angel Street, Memory at 59E59: Do Arabs vs Israelis Compute with the Holocaust? Rosebud: Orson Welles Lives Again!/Neil LaBute’s Psychotics In a Dark Dark House, Country & Western at the Atlantic: 10 Million Miles.

 

The Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball
There is no better place to spend Halloween than at The Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball at Theater for the New City. Professional sculptors, painters and scenic designers transform the whole building into a series of Halloween environments while performances of every theatrical kind are held throughout the night. By Yvonne Hespos.

 

John Zorn and favorites jam their hearts out at 'The Stone'
I never know what to expect when my husband Mike Lytle has a gig. But playing with his long time colleagues John Zorn and Eugene Chadbourne and four others, had him pulling me along in case it turned out great- And, It did. It seemed the standing-room only audience thought so too. By Ellen Lytle.

"Snapshots"
The women in Diverse City Theater Company's evening of one-acts, "Snapshots," are in their 50s, 60s and 70s. In other words they're of an age when our society is not much interested in them. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"La Vie"
There is a new breed of circuses in town, designed to appeal to the imagination and for adults (only). Not that it doesn’t have its share of aerial daring, breath-taking gymnastics, clowning around, and center-ring bravado, but it assumes most of us, although we are bored with the kid stuff, still harbor an appetite for the big top. A little X-rating and banter go a long way. This year a new “Absinthe” (covered in another review) has been joined by “La Vie,” The Seven Fingers premiere, at the Spiegeltent on Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. By Glenda Frank.
Douglas Rees, Richard Topol, David Beach, and Michael Laurence in "Opus" by at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. The cast also features Mahira Kakkar. Photo by James Leynse.

"Opus"
Michael Hollinger, who majored in viola at Oberlin Conservatory, has drawn extensively on his musical knowledge, but he is also a sensitive playwright who knows that drama is all about relationships. And under Terrence J. Nolen’s capable direction "Opus" becomes an exploration of how people work, live and love together. By Paulanne Simmons.

Awards of the Season
Now that the 2006-7 season is ending, the New York Theatre Wire is carrying an awards page with listings of many of the honors that were bestowed, including our own "Top Ten."

"Accomplice: The Village"
"Accomplice: The Village" begins like any other tour of Greenwich Village…well, sort of. Yes, the tour guide is a bit unusual and she does make some atypical requests. But, even so, when the tour takes a strange twist, the participants are taken by surprise. By Paulanne Simmons.

''A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Comic Jewish Satire''
For most of us, upon hearing ''A Midsummer Night's Dream,'' our next thought isn't, ''Oh, a comic Jewish satire.'' According to a new theory of the provenance of the Shakespeare plays offered by British polymath John Hudson, however, that association should be automatic and, trumping the strategies of most who advance arguments in what Bardolators know as the ''Authorship Controversy,'' they're putting on a show to prove it. By George Stevenson.

 

Simon Lovell Has the Magic Touch
"Simon Lovell's Strange & Unusual Hobbies" at the Soho Playhouse combines a steady flow of ribald banter, card tricks, audience interaction and feats of daring. By Paulanne Simmons.
Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Jacques Brel Is [Still] Alive and Well and Living in Paris
When "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" was first performed at The Village Gate in the late 60s, M. Brel was still alive and well, although not necessarily living in Paris, as he was often on tour. Now, as the show opens at The Zipper Theatre, the Grand Jacques has been dead for 27 years, but he left behind a rich musical oeuvre consisting of ballads, tangos, waltzes and many songs that defy definition. By Paulanne Simmons.

 


Rebooting & Getting-Started for the NYC Season 2007-2008
Red-Necks & Trailer-Trash on Parade/Sibling-Squabbles in Horton Footes Dividing the Estate/Three Dramas of Desperate Irish Lives/Cherry-trees in Russia, Coffee-trees in Guatemala/Sir Ian McKellens Mad Lear at BAM/Cell-Phones & Plasma TV-Panels for Molires Misanthrope!/Roller-skates on Broadway: Xanadu!/Sam Waltons Severed-Head: No Wal-Mart Endorsement for Walmartopia!/Toni Morrisons Beloved Becomes an Opera/Remembering Beverly Sills/LaMaMa Celebrates 46 Off-Broadway Seasons/90th Anniversary for Manhattan School of Music.

Cyrano with Kevin Kline

Pygmaleon in the Roundabout

John Jesurun's Philoktetes

Night Over Taos

"Electra" from National Theatre of Greece at City Center

"All The Help You Need"

"Sive"at Irish Rep

Wheeldon's Morphoses

Pamina Devi: A Cambodian Magic Flute and Zélindor, Roi des Sylphes

Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White M's World -- Dance on Camera Festival, Walter Reade Theatre

Gorgeous (Comme T'y Es Belle!)

Dominique Swain: Lolita Has a Tattoo

 

"Fielday," choreographed by Naomi Goldberg Haas

Three European Contemporaries

"The Round of Pleasure" by Werner Schwab

her at the Vineyard The Piano Teacher at the Vineyard

The Constant Couple at the Pearl

Richard III at CSC

''A Voice Without a Face'' by Assaf Basson at NY Sephardic Film Festival

Spoleto/Charleston: Performing-Arts from Both Home & Abroad!

"Opus" at 59E59 Theater

"Accomplice: The Village"

"The Street" at Workshop Theatre "Mainstage"

''Eiko and Koma: Cambodian Stories Revisited" at the Danspace Project

''Portuguese Thunderstorms'' at Joyce Theater

"Is He Dead" by Michael Blakemore

Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad

"Rock 'N' Roll" by Tom Stoppard

''Rome Rather Than You'' :
A Film to Recommend Highly to Your Enemies

"The Seafarer" by Conor McPherson

"The Tempest" at Wings Theater

"The Devil's Disciple" at Irish Rep

Pele Bauch's "-ism"

Michael Helland Dresses Up for the Theater

Through Modern American Ballet History with American Ballet Theatre

''The Bubble," directed by Eytan Fox

''Waitress'' written and directed by Adrienne Shelly

Hot Fuzz: The Good, The Bad, and the Inane

John Neumeier's Hamburg Ballet Festival!

Sin City Revealed

A Tale of Two Shakespeare Cities

Four Days of "Applause"

"Glimpses of the Moon" Is Jazzy and Juicy

"Apartment 3A" opens doors of hope

"Maudie and Jane" at the Living Theatre

"The Maddening Truth" makes words count

Godlight illuminates "Slaughterhouse-Five"

Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," adapted by Patrick Barlow

"Happy Days" at BAM

Barb Jungr is Smokin' at The Metropolitan Room

"Spoken Word Extravaganza" at Bowery Poetry Club

"Grace" at the Lortel

Four Days of "Applause"

"Glimpses of the Moon" Is Jazzy and Juicy

"Apartment 3A" opens doors of hope

"Maudie and Jane" at the Living Theatre

"The Maddening Truth" makes words count

Godlight illuminates "Slaughterhouse-Five"

Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," adapted by Patrick Barlow

"Happy Days" at BAM

Barb Jungr is Smokin' at The Metropolitan Room

"Spoken Word Extravaganza" at Bowery Poetry Club

Melissa Fenley: " Strength and Sensibility"

Hiroshi Koike: "Ship in a View"

Tero Saarinen's Communal Austerity

The New York Butoh Festival Rides Again

Summers, Solomons, Soto, and Chuma Show Their "60s Snapshots"

 

The Little Flower of East Orange

On Naked Soil - Imagining Anna Akhmatova

"Gypsy" is back

"Juno" Is Well-Worth a Second Look

"Betrayed" by George Packer

"The Conscientious Objector" - the Man Behind the King Myth

"Parlor Song, " a familiar tune

 

A High Note From Paulanne Simmons

Symphony Space Celebrates 30th Birthday
Something special happened at Symphony Space on January 10. And for those of us present, the evening was unforgettable. On that Thursday night, Symphony Space celebrated its 30th birthday with a display of talent that was truly remarkable: actors, singers, musicians, essayists, humorists and writers, all paying tribute to an institution they love and value.The event had something for everyone: from the traditional Gershwin standard "Our Love Is Here to Stay, " sung by Andrea Marcovicci to Isaiah Berlin's rewrite of Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse's classic "Bill" now titled "It's My Turn Bill, " and sung by Ivy Austin as Hillary Clinton.The evening concluded with the entire cast onstage fervently singing "There's a Space for Us, " Isaiah Berlin's version of Bernstein's "West Side Story" classic "Somewhere." Happy Birthday Symphony Space. May you live and be well forever.

 

 

"Endgame"at BAM

"The Importance of Being Earnest"

"A Catered Affair"

"How Theatre Failed America" by Mike Daisey

"The Brain" - Einstein with puppets

Attorney for the Damned: Rock Musical

"The Day The Whores Came Out To Play Tennis" by Arthur Kopit

"Chamber Music" by Arthur Kopit

"Candide" at City Opera

Another Vermeer

 

"Around the World in 80 Days" in Two Delightful Hours

Bette and Boo walk down memory lane at the Roundabout

"Little Shop of Horrors" at the Paper Mill Playhouse

"EST: MARATHON 2008, SERIES B"
at the Ensemble Studio Theatre

"Top Girls" by Caryl Churchill

"Reasons to be pretty"

"STRETCH (a fantasia)"

"The Great American All Star Traveling War Machine"

"Prisoner of the Crown"

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses"

"Cherry Docs"

"Boeing-Boeing"

"The Devil and Tom Walker"

"Cry-Baby"

"Kiss Me Kate"

William Forsythe's "Impressing the Czar" at Lincoln Center

SummerDANZ at Dance Theatre Workshop

"Sunday, Again," by the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

"Vanishing Point"
Tom Pearson and Zach Morris

"Ballet Biarritz" at the Joyce Theater

"Appearance – A Suspense in Being"

"La Voix"

Scapino Ballet Rotterdam

NY Theatre Ballet: Antony Tudor Centennial Celebration

King Arthur: Amiable, Although Invisible

Dreaming Along With Paul Taylor

Wendy Osserman Dance Company with Iva Bittová

Kansas City Celebrations

Ballet de Monterrey

New York City Ballet: Two Premieres and a Farewell

Trisha Brown: The World Beyond the Wings

"The Clarities of Christopher House" by Jeremy Laing

"Inhabit" by Lingo

"Rite" by Cedar Lake

The Edinburgh Festival 2007

Salzburg Festival 2007: Jürgen Flimm &
The Night-Side of Reason!

The Bayreuth Festival 2007

National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa

Britain and Britten in Bregenz Festival 2007

Festival Season in Munich 2007

Festival TransAmériques in Montreal

"Broken English" -- Parker Posey is Unloved

Sydney White

Splinter: Boyz in the Hood Redux

"Introducing the Dwights" -- True Love vs. Killer Mom

"Surrender" is not surrender!

"A Man for All seasons" at The Roundabout Theater

"The Pumpkin Pie Show" at Under St. Marks

"The Fourposter" at The Clurman Theatre

"Revealed" at Under St. Marks

Diverse City Theater Explores "Passing"

Workdays with Maury

"What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends"

"Buffalo Gal"

"Some Americans Abroad" at Second Stage

"Hillary: a Modern Greek Tragedy With a (Somewhat) Happy Ending"

"The Grand Inquisitor "

"Gang of Seven"

"Pucelandia" Is a Colorful Show for the Whole Family

''Catch 22'' at Lucille Lortel Theatre

"Saturn Returns"

Sin Cha Hong's "Godot"

Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls!

BAM’s 2008 Next Wave Festival

"Blue Bird" Takes Flight

"Shrek The Musical"

"Silent Heroes"

"Women Beware Women"

"Pal Joey"

"Equus"

"Speed the Plow"

New translation of "Uncle Vanya"

"All My Sons"

Brandon Judell
Josh Radin.

Joshua Radin: His "Sundrenched World"
Columbia Records has a new star in the making in Joshua Radin. Yes, watching this striking brunet rehearse at Joe's Pub for his set later that night, you can only wish you were the guitar he was strumming. Afterwards, interviewing him in the intimate Manhattan performance spot's lobby, staring into his piercing brown eyes and watching those gentle lips move, you can only wish to be with him or be him, depending on your persuasion. By Brandon Judell.

 

 

Other Contributors

Whitney Live; Nick Didkovsky
Not since Yoko Ono took a hammer to a Ming vase, shattering it in hundreds of pieces, in order to avenge the cancer that ravaged her college friend, and cellist, Charlotte Moorman, has the Whitney Museum heard such a configuration of sound. But last month composer, guitarist, and band leader /musician Nicholas Didkovsky jumped on the backs of three of his bands and led them to the Whitney's downstairs cave breaking the silence of visual art. By Ellen W. Lytle.

Eric Bentley receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Eric Bentley received a Robert Chesley Foundation 2007 Gay and Lesbian Playwriting Award for Sustained Achievement on May 7th at the New School in Manhattan. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual Publishing Triangle Awards, which honor the best lesbian and gay fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published in 2006. Bentley, born September 14, 1916 in Bolton, Lancashire, England, is renowned for his work as a playwright, translator, editor and teacher. By Koen Machielse.

 

Humor
No rest for this Chaperone.

Re-running Shows
The period between a hit show closing and its return to Broadway has been shrinking over the last decade. Now it will be easier for theater-goers to get tickets to two of Broadway's hottest musicals. Producers of "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "Jersey Boys" are expected to announce this week that revivals of both shows will be up and running by October. While this is the first time that a play will be revived while the original is still running, it is, in fact, the culmination of a long time trend. By guest columnist Curt Schleier.

 

Film, Stage & ShowBiz Expo
ShowBiz Expo 2008. Photo by Steven Rosen

A Taste of Entertainment Featuring Endless Varieties of Flavors
On Sunday, September 21, entertainment professionals gathered at the NY Hilton for the Film, Stage & ShowBiz Expo.The unique event was a conglomeration of passionate filmmakers, creative marketing professionals, aspiring actors, theatrical organizations, and anyone who is, or desires to be involved in the entertainment industry. By Jana Black.

 

Galapagos in Williamsburgh becomes Public Assembly in Dumbo

Is Williamsburgh's loss Dumbo's gain?
The mission statement of Galapagos Art Space reads, "The most basic function of the arts is to be relevant in the advancement of society." It seems like Galapagos' job is done in Williamsburgh. Or more accurately, Williamsburgh's loss is Dumbo's gain. The Galapagos Arts Space has moved to Dumbo (16 Main Street, in Brooklyn). As the organization changed its location, it also changed its name to a more generic-sounding, "Public Assembly." (The name was the product of a "name our space" contest on their website.) Williamsburgh had been its location since its creation in 1995. In Dumbo, the institution formerly known as Galapagos will still be presenting avant gardist work along with innovations in the world of art. By Amelie Fillaudeau.

 

A Talk With The Playwright:

Theresa Rebeck by Glenda Frank
Theresa Rebeck keeps testing the water and growing as an artist. For the past 15 years, her plays have been consistently inventive, provocative, and contemporary. She is a multi-talented writer--of plays, novels, comic essays, scripts for television, and a doctoral dissertation on Victorian melodrama. Her loyal following will tell you about the comedies featuring contemporary women almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown – what with their uncomfortable spike heels, unexpected pregnancies, manipulative roommates, and stalking men.

 

My Youth Envy by Larry Litt

My Youth Envy
In 1970 I was 24 years old, a healthy, draftable, ex-student, arrested, released, anti war protestor, artist, actor, writer, party animal, wild boy. In short I was an idealistic romantic anarchist. I learned how to live in NYC for free from the Yippie Manifesto "Fuck The System" by George Metesky aka The Mad Bomber, or was written by Abbie Hoffman. Abbie the 1960s counter culture trickster, political activist whose words and actions inspired us to, well, fuck the system.

 

Chez Melinda

Annulla: What If Women Governed the World?
Melinda Guttman revisits Emily Mann's "Annulla, " hoping to express how Annulla's language, intricately and artfully edited by Mann contains the enormous intellectual and emotional vocabulary to expand the audience consciousness of the scope of living through the holocaust and its lifelong consequences. By Melinda Given Guttman.

 

 

"Tonight Lola Blau"

"Shekinah"

"The Surprise"

Rory Raven’s Brainstorming

Two Kindred Spirits: Neil Sedaka and Jim Van Slyke

"Guys and Dolls"

"Ruined" brings Mother Courage to Africa

"The Cripple of Inishmaan" seeks love under mean spirited cruelty.

"The American Plan"

"Billy Elliot, The Musical"

"Raised in Captivity" is a big step for a new company.

Loss and Departures : "The Cherry Orchard"

"The Cherry Orchard, " again

"Forbidden Broadway goes to Rehab"

Lynn Redgrave in "Earnest"

"Woolf at the Door"

"Exit the King"

"Joe Turner's Come and Gone"

"All Aboard the Marriage Hearse"

"Kooza"

"Happiness"

"Waiting for Godot"

"33 Variations"

Viva Patshiva (Long Live the Party

"Why Torture is Wrong, and the people who love them"

"The Cody Rivers Show"

"The Liar show"

"Angela's Mixtape"

"Chasing Manet"

"An Oresteia"

"Walking from Rumania: a journey to freedom in 1899"

"God of Carnage"

"Miss Evers' boys"

"She Said, She Said"

The Actors Company in "Incident at Vichy."

“Heroes”, three French WWI veterans imagine their lives

"Love/Stories (or But You Will Get Used to It)"

The Air That I Breathe by Jieho Lee

A Tree Grows in Israel: Joseph Cedar and his Beaufort

"The Brave One, or Why the Nice Vigilante Shot Up the Big Apple"

 

"Zero Hour"

"Search and Destroy"

"Finian's Rainbow"

"The Emperor Jones"

"Circle Mirror Transformation"

"Wishful Drinking"

"The Understudy"

"In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play"

"This" is a witty play about the angst of thirty-somethings.

"Fascinating Aïda - Absolutely Miraculous"

"Ragtime"

"Love's Labour's Lost"

"Santa Claus Is Coming Out"

"Superior Donuts"

"So Help Me God"

"A Streetcar Named Desire"

"Shrek The Musical"

"Memphis"

"The Brother/Sister Plays" by Tarell Alvin McCraney

"Lord Buckley & Marilyn" at The Richmond Shepard Theatre

"On the Town" at Paper Mill Playhouse

"Creature"

"The Age of Iron"

"My Wonderful Day"

"A Quarreling Pair"

"Nightingale"

"The Emperor Jones" at Irish Rep

"God of Carnage"

"Such Things Only Happen in Books"

"The Royal Family"

"A Steady Rain"

"After Miss Julie"

"Broke-ology"

"Hamlet"

Two Views of "Imelda"

Barb Jungr at Metropolitan Room

Burn the Floor

Tin Pan Alley Rag

"Look after You" by Louise Flory

"Viral" by Mac Rogers

"Time's Scream and Hurry"

“Way to Heaven” (“Himmelweg”) by Juan Mayorga

The Irish Rep Presents “Father Knows Best” – Take Two

"Facespace"

"Play it Again, Boys"

“Bartholomew Fair New Jersey: a Comedy in Verse”

“Requiem for a Marriage”

"The Norman Conquests"

"Blithe Spirit"

"Our House"

"Waiting for Godot"

“The Wiz” at City Center is a Wow!

"The Full Monty" at Paper Mill Playhouse

"Preparation Hex"

"Pure Confidence"

"Billy Elliot the Musical"

Richard Alston Dance Company

"A Light Convesation"

"Burn the Floor"

"Sundowning"

"Songs of Ascension"

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: "Orbo Novo"

The Lucidities of Lucinda Childs

New Russian Choreography at the Storefront

Discovering Tulsa Ballet

Gabrielle Lansner's Human Scenery

Paula Mann's Dancing Thoughts

Shen Wei Hits the Silk Road

New Russian Choreography: An Informal Showing

Mark Morris's Shakespeare

Captain Petronio on the High Seas

Goode, with twist

Two Second Companies

Mandance Plus Women Plus Horse

The Pleasures of Isadora Duncan

Berlin 36

Harry Potter Needs a Shave

"Irangeles": Will Romeo Get Circumcized for Love?

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" An Interview with Director Virginia Reticker

"The Caller" You Don't Necessarily Have to Hang Up

Roman de gare by Claude Lelouch

Films of Jacob Burckhardt

Under the Sun of Sarasota

Roundup in the Washington, DC and Arlington Area

"L'Orestie" d'Eschyle in Paris

"Low:Meditations Trilogy Part 1"
at the Adrienne Arsht Center Studio Theatre in Miami

Glenn Loney in Jordan

Twyla Tharp in Miami

"The Emperor Jones"

"Circle Mirror Transformation"

"Wishful Drinking"

"The Understudy"

"In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play"

"Memphis"

"Enemy of the People"

"The Jackie Look"

"Lear"

"Fanny"

"Venus in Fur"

"Il Mondo Della Luna"

"The Garage"

"Woodworm"

"Zero Hour"

"Search and Destroy"

"Present Laughter"

"River"

"Lost in Yonkers"

The Bard, From Scratch, For Laughs.
This January New York plays host to Chicago's hugely entertaining Improvised Shakespeare Company. The title says it all: Shakespeare, sans the script. Sound impossible? We spoke to the group's founder Blaine Swen about the ins and the outs of their hey nonny nonnies. By Georgia Clark.

"Auto Da Fe"
The always-ambitious International WOW kicks off the new year with "Auto Da Fe", a realization of the classic Odysseus story. With a 30-strong cast onstage, the tale is told as if the hero of Homer's epic poem has returned to his homeland but it's been replaced by an industrial wasteland called the Memory Pit, that's being run by the History Processing Operation. The play, originally produced in Kyoto and Tokyo, is a dreamscape of collective amnesia, life during wartime, the self-conscious erasure of history and national identity, and a search for meaning and beauty. We spoke to ensemble member Melissa Chambers about the creation of this adventurous new work. By Georgia Clark.

"Mortal Engine"
Contemporary Australian dance company Chunky Move return to New York this December with a new show, "Mortal Engine". The performance uses movement-and-sound-responsive visual projections to portray an ever-shifting, shimmering world. We chatted with director and choreographer Gideon Obarzanek about the process of creating this compelling new work. By Georgia Clark.

"Highly Evolved Human"
Nick Ross turns his experience with cancer into an underground comedy hit with "Highly Evolved Human" at Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater. By Georgia Clark.

An Ocean of Longing: "Halt!"
"Halt!" is a free dance piece for the Whitehall Ferry Terminal where you might find yourself part of the action. By Georgia Clark.

And Then There Was Light.
A new interdisciplinary work, "She Turned on the Light," finds connections between memory, and different generations. Georgia Clark delves into the inspiration for Wendy Woodsons production in this interview.

Not Your Average Punch and Judy
When is the last time you saw a good puppet show? The characters in "A Quarreling Pair" are far more than your average Punch and Judy. Drawing from boho American writer Jane Bowles' great literary work, this unique show proves that this art form isn't strictly for children. We spoke to Cynthia Troup, writer and a founding member of the always intriguing Aphids Arts Company from Australia, who are bringing the production to La MaMa.

Balaton
There's nothing like good family drama. Throw in multiple generations, death, and a rich culture and you've got "Balaton", the world premiere play by Ashlin Halfnight. Directed by Kristjan Thor, "Balaton" jumpstarts the new season at Electric Pear Productions. We spoke with playwright Ashlin Halfnight for a behind-the-scenes look at this show.

 

A new Web site collects the writings of the late dance journalist Burt Supree.
In honor of this excellent writer, Burt Supree's friends and colleagues created a Web site, www.burtsupree.com, to save his work and pay tribute to Supree. You can find two decades of his wonderful work, his biography, moving pictures of him and his friends, and his unpublished poetry. It is also an opportunity to discover or rediscover more than five hundred reviews written by Supree for the Village Voice. By Suzanne Trouve Feff.

 
Randy Gener. Photo by Nadia Kitirath.

Randy Gener receives the George Jean Nathan Award on an Inspiring Night
Filipino-American playwright, director and critic Randy Gener received the 2007-08 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism March 9, 2009 at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. By Nadia Kitirath.

The voice specialst coached an attendee at Edge Studio & the Voice Design group booth in Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo on March 29, 2009. Photo by Nadia Kitirath.

Dreams overflow at Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo
On a rainy afternoon Sunday, March 29, the weather outside in midtown Manhattan seemed unfriendly. In contrast, the Hilton Hotel in New York seemed sunny with optimistic entertainment industry professionals from film, stage, television, fashion, concerts and live events who waited in long lines to get into Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo. By Nadia Kitirath.

 

 

 

Letters to the Editor

A Dramaturgical Response to the Public Theater's "Twelfth Night"
John Hudson presents a dramaturgical analysis on the allegories of religious foolishness within Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," explaining how this should influence the acting, costumes, and staging of the performance, and asserting that Public Theater's production in Central Park this summer missed the point.

 

Peculiar Works Project in "Can You Hear Their Voices?"

"Sondheim on Sondheim"

"Magus" with Carey Harrison at Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock

"A Little Night Music"

"Peter Pan" at Paper Mill Playhouse

Gordon Edelstein's "Glass Menagerie" at the Roundabout

"Restoration" with Claudia Shear

"The Forest"

"Gabriel"

"Mark Twain's Last Stand"

"Dr. Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine"

"Decades Apart: Reflections of Three Gay Men"

"Sondheim on Sondheim"

"A Behanding in Spokane"

"The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams"

"Ovo"

"Uncle Vanya" at BAM

Krystian Lupa

A Dialogue with the Polish Master Krystian Lupa
In Europe, the Polish stage director Krystian Lupa is considered a theatrical giant. As attested by the 13th Europe Theatre Prize that was bestowed upon him this past April, Lupa is ranked alongside such major world figures as Harold Pinter, Peter Brook, Ariane Mnouchkine and Pina Bausch. A director, stage designer and writer, Lupa has been honored with an Austrian Cross of Merit in 2001 and the French Order of the Fine Arts and Humanities in 2002. As my interview with Lupa below shows (conducted with a Polish translator), Lupa is deeply aware that many gurus are emperors with no clothes—that often actors blindly follow a great artist by simple virtue of their charisma. In his most recent works, particularly Factory 2 and Persona, Lupa seeks to expose the irony of the phenomenon of personality, and he doesn’t mind besmirching the sacred idols to prove his point. By Randy Gener.
The voice specialst coached an attendee at Edge Studio & the Voice Design group booth in Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo on March 29, 2009. Photo by Nadia Kitirath.

Dreams overflow at Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo
On a rainy afternoon Sunday, March 29, the weather outside in midtown Manhattan seemed unfriendly. In contrast, the Hilton Hotel in New York seemed sunny with optimistic entertainment industry professionals from film, stage, television, fashion, concerts and live events who waited in long lines to get into Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo. By Nadia Kitirath.
Burt Supree. Photo by www.burtsupree.com.

 

A new Web site collects the writings of the late dance journalist Burt Supree.
In honor of this excellent writer, Burt Supree's friends and colleagues created a Web site, www.burtsupree.com, to save his work and pay tribute to Supree. You can find two decades of his wonderful work, his biography, moving pictures of him and his friends, and his unpublished poetry. It is also an opportunity to discover or rediscover more than five hundred reviews written by Supree for the Village Voice. By Suzanne Trouve Feff.

 
Randy Gener. Photo by Nadia Kitirath.

Randy Gener receives the George Jean Nathan Award on an Inspiring Night
Filipino-American playwright, director and critic Randy Gener received the 2007-08 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism March 9, 2009 at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. By Nadia Kitirath.

 

Loney's Show Notes

December, 2010 Roundup
Edna O'Brien's HAUNTED, Inspector Sands' IF THAT'S ALL THERE IS, Isabel Allende's LA CASA DE LOS ESPIRITUS, Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN, Craig Wright's MISTAKES WERE MADE, Making Music at New York Theatre Workshop: Burkhardt, Duffy, & Malloy's THREE PIANOS, Giacomo Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, Claude Debussy's PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, Lee Hoiby's SUMMER & SMOKE, Claudio Monteverdi's RITORNO DI ULISSE IN PATRIA; Avant Garde Theatre Lives Again at Ellen Stewart's LaMaMa E.T.C.: John Kelly's PASS THE BLUTWURST, BITTE, Ildiko Nemeth's MAPPING MOBIUS; At the Park Avenue Armory: Peter Greenaway's THE LAST SUPPER, Across the River & into BAM: Gardarsson, Farr, & Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS, Victorious at the New Victory: Mayumana's MOMENTUM.

November, 2010 Roundup
THE RIDE Will Take You for a Ride Around Midtown You Won't Soon Forget!, Vince Lombardi Wants Winners! Big City Reporters, Beware!, John Guare Strikes Again! A Free Man of Color Is a Louisiana Hayride Through Drama Lit!, The Last Castrato Sings Again! Why Aren't the Monks Still Castrating for the Vatican Choir?, G-d Speaks To Those Who Will Listen--But Neil LaBute Warns Us of the Consequences…, Charles Busch Takes the Veil: A Superior Mother Superior at St. Veronica's Convent!, Pee Wee Herman Lives Again--But Only for a Limited Run at the Steve Sondheim Theatre., In The Wake--Not of the Red Witch--But of Recent Political Disasters: Unearned Empathy?, What Do You Mean: Grand dad was a Commie Spy? After the Revolution & Then Some…, What Can Be More Boring Than a Family Reunion Dinner? A Dysfunctional Family Buffet…, Orphaned Welsh Demon Twins Drive Godmother to Distraction & Death: Don't Drink the Punch!, Lingua Franca: Teaching British--not American--English To Italians in Firenze…, Al in a Tallis: But Don't Forget That He's the Money Lender, Not the Merchant of Venice!, Watch Out for That White Horse! Trouble Down at the Mill Race for Rosmer in Rosmersholm., That Wasn't Vanessa Redgrave We Saw? Maureen Anderman Played Miss Daisy?, Three Weeks of ReHab in Mt. Siniai's Klingenstein Pavilion: Déjá Vu with Wings., Tony Kushner's "Gay Fantasia" Is Nothing Like Walt Disney's Fantasia…, Get the DVD of Pedro Almodóvar's Women Fully To Appreciate the New Musical Version!, Sing Along with Genocidal Andrew Jackson: Free Up the Frontier for Real Americans!, ELF--Will Ferrell, Where Are You, Now That We Need You?, You Threw the Wrong Baby in the Fire, Azucena! How Could a Mother Make Such a Mistake?, Open Casket for Bernstein's Quiet Place: Sex Angst of Dysfunctional Suburban Family., You Idiot! Why Dress Like Drusilla? Nero's Men Will Kill You: Heroes Never Wear Heels…, That Guy Who Looked Like Charlie Chaplin--Was He Twins or Something? No: He's Raoul!, BAM Books a Show from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Ping Chong's Throne of Blood!, Do Not Squirm at the Squirm Burpee Circus: Do Have a Great Time!, Scott Siegel's Broadway Unplugged: Vintage Songs Uncorked by Experts!

Annual Munich Festival at the Bavarian State Opera, Plus Powerful Productions at the Second Tier Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz
Figaro in a White Box!, Tosca, Fresh from the Metropolitan!, Colorful Watering Cans for L'Elisir d'Amore!, Meanwhile, Across Town at the Gärtnerplatz Theater, Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill's Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Two Wolfgang Wagner Sisters--Eva & Katharina--Give the Bayreuth Festival a New Look & New Directions…
HUGE LAB RATS ENGULF ELSA & LOHENGRIN IN NEW BAYREUTH STAGING! Genetic Engineering Gone Wrong & Plucked Swans? / GERMAN HISTORY: 1870 TO POST WORLD WAR II SOCIO POLITICALLY REPRISED IN BAYREUTH PARSIFAL! Or an Opera about a Big Bed in the Middle of Haus Wahnfried? / A SECOND LOOK AT KATHARINA WAGNER'S DIE MEISTERSINGER From the Show Notes Archives: / What Really Happened in Nuremberg? / Hans Sachs: Painter & Poet Versus Sixtus Beckmesser: Avant garde Artist! / Katharina Wagner's Bayreuth Beckmesser Bombshell! / Theoretic Bases for This Wagner Innovation? / What Looked Different in Meistersinger 2010? / Two Wagner Song Contests--Quasi Comic vs. Religio Tragic: Basic Prize Concept: The Winner Is Supposed To Get the Girl! / Wagnerian Opera for Kids: Find the Pink Flamingo! / WHAT TIME'S THE NEXT SWAN? / AGAIN, ECHOES FROM THE LONEY BAYREUTH ARCHIVES: / BACKGROUND: / The Great Opera Debate: Who Will Be the Artistic Director of the Bayreuth Festival? / Is There a Katharina Campaign? / The Other Wagner Candidates: / Should the Bayreuth Season Be Longer? / Could Bayreuth Become an International Opera Festival City? / The Wagner Family Inheritance & The Gremium: / Is the Bayreuth Festival Sexist? Only Two Women Have Staged Wagner in His Festspielhaus / Is Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger Her Meisterstück? / What's Blowing in the Bayreuth Festival Winds: Is the Wind Vane Beginning To Turn?

Fragments of the Shattered Statue of Liberty Rise Up Out of Lake Constance for Bregenz Aida!
Festive Opening of the Bregenz Festival 2010 / DIE PASSAGIERIN: Honeymoon on an Ocean-Liner Becomes a Horror-Story! / Mieczyslaw Weinberg [1919-1996]: A Great Modern Composer, Virtually Unknown in the West! / STATUE OF LIBERTY SMASHED INTO FRAGMENTS--POSSIBLY BY TERRORISTS--FOR BREGENZ-FESTIVAL AIDA PRODUCTION! / Not Only Performing-Arts in Bregenz: Also Art in Kunsthaus-Bregenz & Antony Gormley's Iron-Men in the Alps! / French-Revolution To Take Center-Stage on Lake-Constance: Giordano's André Chénier To Rise Out of Bodensee-Waves in Festival 2011!

The Obergammau Passion Play 2010
Jesus' Last Week on Earth--the Passion of the Christ--Is Recreated in the Bavarian Alps Every Ten Years! / A New Look for Oberammergau: Passion-Play 2000 With New Sets & Costumes / Robert Wilson's Oberammergau Installation: A New Vision of The Stations of the Cross.

Denver, the Mile High Culture City!
Two World-Premieres for Colorado New Play Summit!, Show Tickets Start at $18, Amazing Versatile Ensemble at Denver Theatre Center, Artistic-Director Kent Thompson Innovates, Young American Playwrights in the Spotlight, Laika & Yuri Gargarin adrift in Outer-Space!, Will Prayer Save a Marriage & a Family When Dad Is a NASA Astronaut?, Can Tang Make a Difference even in a Pie?, Why Did Those Two Old Bachelor Rancher-Brothers Never Marry?, Should Small-Children Be Taken-Away from Dim-Witted Parents?, Do Incompetents Deserve Food-Stamps: Won’t they Squander the Tax-Payers’ Subsidies?, Free-Rides on 16th Street Mall Buses, Denver’s Post-Post-Modernist Art-Museum: the Daniel Libeskind Addition, Allen True’s Art-Deco Murals, Frank Ghery’s Stunning Denver Public-Library, Get High a Mile High: Denver Medical Marijuana!

February Show Notes
David Mamet's Simplistic Race: Oleanna Recycled?, Laura Linney Is Wounded War Zone Photographer in Time Stands Still, Hot Audition for Ives' Venus in Fur, Audience Enters Martin Luther King jr's Motel Room #306 at 59E59, "Minor" Blow Job & Fan with a Mind of Its Own: Sam Shepard's Two Hander from Dublin's Abbey Theatre, Rough Sketch Needs Firmer Hand, Orphan Boy Marries in Horton Foote's Tri Partite Texas Saga, Sweet Marcus at the Public: Brother, Sister Plays, Very Likable As You Like It at BAM, Fabulous Art Deco Apartment for Dynamic Cast in Present Laughter, Offstage Plane Crash in City Center Basement Pearl: Shaw's Misalliance, Chicago's Maureen Watkins' Other Play Mint Fresh, Liev Schreiber IS Eddie Carbone: Miller on the Bridge, Not Much Nutcracker or Klezmer in Klezmer Nutcracker, Twenty Two Years of Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic!, Replaying A Little Night Music Graced by Angela Lansbury, Oscar Wilde Sings! Ernest in Love at Irish Rep, Charming Finian's Rainbow: Sudden Crock of Death on Broadway, Flahooley aka Jollyanna Rains Dolls at Theatre for the New City, Look Where It Comes Again! NY G&S Players Repeat Mikado Pinafore & Ruddigore, Grand Opera & Grand Spectacle at the Met: Boccanegra Stifellio & Turandot, Odysseus Ulysses Returns to Ithaca & Pénélope at Manhattan School, Rossini's Barber in Bleecker Basement with Amato Survivors, "Porn Flakes" for Accidental Pervert Goffman, Belgian Teens Go Wild at Duke, Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever Set in West Hollywood not in Greenwich Village!, Webmaster of NYTheatre Wire.com Shows Acting Skills in Dual Role at New City!

 

Shinn sketch of David Belasco

Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre: From Tiffany treasures to Roman Catholic Confessionals.
The irrepressible Glenn Loney, still recovering from a dangerous fall, scales perilous hights to report on the renovation of Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre history and the dangers of restoring it.

Back to work in October
James Bond & Wolverine Together on Broadway!/Carrie Fisher Tells All & More!/Jude Is a Law Unto Himself!/Iraqui Aftermath: Damaged People & Ruined Lives!/Impressive Irish Drama Revivals: John Millington Synge's Playboy & Lennox Robinson's Is Life Worth Living?/Broadway's Contemporary Aristocrats Multi Star in The Royal Family/Murder the Protestants! Mexico City Troupe Musically Recreates Religious Horrors in Anjou/Robert Lepage's Ex Machina Marathon: Not Liposuction but Lipsynch.

Brain Hemorrhages and Performing Arts Reportage
Photographing Golden-Gate-Bridge w/Trick-Lens/Disastrous-Fall on Historic-Gun-Emplacement/Subdural-Hematomas: Can you have a History of Brain-Hemorrhages: How many of them before you Definitively-Die?/Wonderful Anne Hathaway in Central-Park Twelfth-Night!/Sir James Galway & Hundreds of Flautists Break Guinness-Book-of-Records Mass-Concert-Record!/Music-Critics of North-America: Last-Conference at the OK-Corral: From Print-Reviews to Internet-Blogs?

"San Francisco, Open Your GoldenGates!,"or: "I lost my Balance in San Francisco!"
A Regretful-Report on the Perils of Photographing The Golden-Gate-Bridge From a Cliff on Land’s-End, When One Is Over Eighty-Years-Old, But Still Feels Seventeen Inside…

 
Poster for Broadway's revival of "Hair"

The Season Ends with a Bang, Revivals hit the Broadway Stage and the Outer Critics Circle's Nominations and Awards for 2008-2009 Season
Season's-End Now New Season's-Beginning, Geyser of Vomit in God of Carnage!, Neil LaBute's Now OK with Women in reasons to be pretty, Torture can be Fun in Chris Durang's New Crazy-Family-Drama: Why Torture Is Wrong, Sigmund Freud & Olympia Dukakis in Craig Lucas' Singing Forest at the Public, Jane Fonda Back on Broadway To Pursue Beethoven-Research in Bonn-Archives: 33 Variations, Tovah [Golda Meier] Feldshuh Plays a Righteous-Gentile in Irena's Vow, Lack of Chemistry onstage in Impressionism, White-Haired Jane Alexander Escapes Old-Folks-Home in Chasing Manet, Born-Again-Christian vs. Catholics in Savannah-Disputations, Only a Shadow of Dr. Martin Luther King in The Good Negro, Inked-Baby Needs Focus, Fired Wall-Streeter Joins The Dishwashers, Wordy Play on Words/John Cullum in Heroes, George Orwell's 1984 a Warning for Our Times!, The Cambria: Fugitive-Slave Frederick Douglass Escapes to Ireland!, Baghdadi-Bath at LaMat02053t.htm">indexing tag |
Bette Bourne is back in "A Life In Three Acts"

"Equivocation"

"Clybourne Park" by Alexander Harrington

"A View From the Bridge"

"Time Stands Still"

"Clybourne Park" by Lucy Komisar

The Dybbuk

Old Hickory

"Sam Cooke: Where You Been Baby?"

"All Singin' All Dancin'"

"Manhattan Transfer"

"Searching for Soula"

Diverse City Theater Company's Pearl Project Theater Festival

"FUHGEddABOUDIT"

"The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer"

"The National Diet of Japan" and "L.A. Party"

"Batman & Robin In The Boogie Down"

 

 

"Million Dollar Quartet"

"Love is my sin."

"Looped"

The Miracle Worker

Ching Chong Chinamen

The Orphans' Home Cycle

T.S. Eliot's "The Cocktail Party" by Actors Company

Bring A Weasel And A Pint Of Your Own Blood
Mac Wellman's groundbreaking Brooklyn College MFA Playwrights adapt stories from The Apocrypha. Written and produced by playwrights from Mac Wellman's groundbreaking Brooklyn College MFA program, the Weasel festival is fast becoming an exciting platform for America's rising playwrights to create experimental, irreverent and explosive new work. Each playwright will riff off the stories of The Apocrypha – the infamous religious texts that didn't make the Bible's cut. Not decreed to be divinely inspired, the Apocrypha books are ancient Greek texts that were ripped and pasted back into the Bible throughout history. Filled with luminous stories of prophets, angels, intrigue and heresy, the off-the-record Apocrypha is the perfect inspiration for a festival of peculiar plays by playwrights working outside the canon. We talk to playwright Corina Copp about her play "Waltz". By Georgia Clark.

"The Starship Astrov"
The year is 3047. A diplomatic mission brings a professor, his lovely alien wife and his faithful doctor aboard "The Starship Astrov"… Asking the question, will humanity stay the same, or will the future change us, award-winning playwright Duncan Pflaster ("Prince Trevor Amongst The Elephants") returns to the Midtown International Theatre Festival with another classic-bender fantasy: a mashup of Chekhovian comedy and science fiction! We spoke to the playwright about this mixed genre madness he's bringing to the famed MITF. By Georgia Clark.

Clubbed Thumb's Summerwork series
The Obie-award winning Clubbed Thumb is gearing up to launch their quirky off-Broadway summer series in Soho. It's their 15th annual Summerworks festival, a selection of new work that's known for being, well, a little odd. This year sees "Dot" by Kate E. Ryan, "Five Genocides" by Samuel D. Hunter and "The Small" by Anne Washburn find their feet at the Ohio Theater. We spoke to Artistic Director Maria Striar about this year's plays, imagination as theme, and why the pipeline between the underground and the mainstream is "kind of broken." By Georgia Clark.

"Red Mother"
"Red Mother," featuring the co-founder of Obie-award-winning Spiderwoman Theater collective, Muriel Miguel, is the tale of Belle, an old Native woman who, with her horse Blue Fred, travels across what was once the people's land. Inspired by "Mother Courage," this one-woman show weaves Brechtian themes with Kuna demon tales and traditional stories with a contemporary soundscape. Featuring multimedia projections, fabric hangings, and music, "Red Mother" is a unique expression of the Native American community, told from a woman's perspective. We spoke to the Off-Broadway veteran about what led her to create this bold new work. By Georgia Clark.

"The Irish Curse"
Size matters to the Irish-American guys who meet every Wednesday night in a support group... for men with very small penises. Martin Casella's new comedy "The Irish Curse" at The Soho Playhouse examines the fundamental question on the minds of men since the beginning of time: "How do I measure up to the next guy?" By Georgia Clark.

"Synesthesia 2010"
I have an idea. I show you this idea. That gives you an idea. You show someone your idea, they show someone, they show someone, and so on. Thus forms the basis of Electric Pear Productions unique new show, "Synesthesia 2010." In October 2009, a composer/lyricist team was asked to select a fortune cookie. They created a musical theatre piece based on the fortune. Two weeks later, they presented their work to another artist. This artist then had two weeks to create a piece based on the work shown to him (never having seen the fortune), and then presented his art to the next artist in the series. She then created a piece…and then another artist, and then another artist… eventually, eleven in all. We spoke to a handful of the multi-disciplinary artists involved in this year's production. By Georgia Clark.

"Up in the Air"
For the past year, four experimental artists have been exploring and crafting innovative new work as Artists-in-Residence at BAX/ Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Each resident is awarded 200 hours of prioritised rehearsal space, a $1,000 stipend, and ongoing meetings and open rehearsals with BAX staff. As a result, the four perfromers had the luxury of both time and space to take risks, explore intuitive ideas, and work outside their comfort zones, all within a structured year of ongoing support. Now, over April and May, they present their work to the public in the Air Festival 2010. We spoke to the four artists about this highly supportive program and the new work they ended up creating. By Georgia Clark.

"Bass for Picasso"
In Kate Moira Ryan's new play, a food writer for the NY Times is recreating the recipes of Alice B Toklas for story, and invites over some of her friends for dinner. Comedy ensues. We spoke to Kate about writing for differently abled people, and what it's like working with actresses who threaten to "take their leg off and chase the other characters around the room with it."

"Sojourn at Ararat"
It's been called 'timely and timeless': "Sojourn at Ararat" is the unheard voice of an unknown people and the telling of their unknown story through poetry. Based on the English translations of Armenian poetry spanning 2000 years, the message it conveys is universal: love, human tragedy, the futility of war and violence, but ultimately, hope. "Sojourn at Ararat" finally comes to New York after first coming to life in the late 1980s, so we spoke to co-creator performer Nora Armani about this moving and much acclaimed piece of theater. By Georgia Clark.

Letters to the Editor

The Women’s Initiative
It’s a good time to be a woman in the arts – or rather, it’s a better time. On Sat. Dec. 4, the Women’s Initiative, composed of members of the Dramatists Guild, will hold its first symposium titled “Women in Theater: Achieving Gender Parity” at the Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South (at 20th Street), New York, NY from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Two years ago at a Town Hall meeting of the New Dramatists, playwrights Julia Jordan and Sarah Schulman gave speeches that inspired a new wave of activism. While 46% of the members of the Dramatists Guild of America are women, only 13% of all produced plays are written by women. The Women’s Project and the League of Professional Theatre Women, both founded by Julia Miles, have been fighting for equity since their incorporation in 1978 and 1986. By Glenda Frank.

A Dramaturgical Response to the Public Theater's "Twelfth Night"
John Hudson presents a dramaturgical analysis on the allegories of religious foolishness within Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," explaining how this should influence the acting, costumes, and staging of the performance, and asserting that Public Theater's production in Central Park this summer missed the point.

 

NYTW Email
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By using your NYTW mail account, you'll be telling the world you support the dramatic arts. It's private and efficient. User's tip: you can set up our mail page as your home page, making it easy to check your Email and access all departments of the NYTW from one screen.

"Mrs. Warren's Profession" at Roundabout Theatre

Van Itallie's "America Hurrah" adds new chapter at La MaMa

"Lomardi" at Circle in the Square

"The Little Foxes" by Lillian Hellman at NY Theater Workshop

Albee's "Me, Myself & I"

"Trio" by Mario Fratti

"Orlando" by Sarah Ruhl

Michael Frayn's "Alphabetical Order"

"The Pitmen Painters"

Laurie Anderson's "Delusion"

Ivo van Hove stages "Little Foxes"

Exit/Entrance

"The Revival"

A Cabaret Evening of Brel & Piaf

Phoenicia Festival of the Voice

"Everyday Rapture"

"Fences" in 2010

"Nunsense"

"Red"

Bathing by Moonlight

"Come Fly Away," Twyla Tharp meets Frank Sinatra

Larry Keigwin: City Choreographer

"Xenakis and Japan"

"Armory Show"

Richard Alston Dance Company

"A Light Convesation"

"Burn the Floor"

"Sundowning"

"Songs of Ascension"

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: "Orbo Novo"

The Lucidities of Lucinda Childs

New Russian Choreography at the Storefront

Discovering Tulsa Ballet

Gabrielle Lansner's Human Scenery

Is Open Source good for theaters?
You bet! Many theater organizations are hard pressed for cash to upgrade computer systems. Linux expert cum playwright Jens Porup offers advice to theaters and all arts organizations who wish to extend the life of their ''legacy'' hardware. Learn how to stop paying the ''Microsoft Tax, '' avoid windows viruses, prevent system crashes and gain access to free, smooth running software. By Jens Porup.

"Finian's Rainbow"

"West Side Story"

"Hair"

Three views of "The Scottsboro Boys"

"Spy Garbo" by Sheila Schwartz

"The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore"
by Tennesse Williams

"Kings: The Siege of Troy" at WorkShop Theater

"American Idiot" on Broadway

"The Witch of Edmonton" at Red Bull"The Witch of Edmonton" at Red Bull

Primary Stages' "Black Tie" by A.R. Gurney at 59E59

Three Sisters at Classic Stage

Theodora Skipitares' Lysistrata

Molly Sweeney at the Irish Repertory Theatre

Richard Skipper is Carol Channing In Concert

The Inventor, The Escort, The Photographer, Her Boyfriend and His Girlfriend

Spelling Bee at P-A-P-E-R M-I-L-L P-L-A-Y-H-O-U-S-E

A Fable to Reflect On

"Brief Encounter"

"La Bête"

"With Aaron's Arms around Me" and "The Mire"

"Benefactors" by Michael Frayn

"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"

 

Wehle's World

Shining through the Gloom thanks to BAM’s 2008 Next Wave Festival
BAM’s Next Wave Festival’s 2008 season began with two exciting productions that proved to be great antidotes to the depressed mood that pervades so much of our lives these days.What better way to come out of the doldrums than to take a trip to BAM to discover such treasures as The Reykjavik City Theatre and Vesturport’s adaptation of Buchner’s “Woyzeck” with original music by Australian rocker Nick Cave and Bad Seed’s violinist Warren Ellis? By Philippa Wehle.

"Surrender" is not surrender!
"Surrender" is a masterful achievement on all fronts. Not only have Josh Fox and The International WOW Company succeeded in producing an important piece about the war in Iraq, but the interactive nature of the show allows both soldiers and observers to get a much closer look at what it means to volunteer for duty, to train, kill and be killed, than we ever get from televised reports of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.. How they manage to harness the energies, dedication and enthusiasm of a new group of amateur players each time the show is performed is equally remarkable. Unfortunately, this memorable show only runs for three weeks. I can only hope that it will find other sponsors and another space so that many more people can observe war close up. By Philippa Wehle.

 

 

 
ART AND DANCE AT FLUSHING TOWN HALL -- "Prison," choreographed by David ChienHui Shen, was one of seven dances in Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America's "Traces: Variations in a Foreign Land."

Art and Dance at Flushing Town Hall
David ChienHui Shen is Chinese, Mica Bernas is Filipino and Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen are native-born Americans. They met while dancing together in the New York City community and have collaborated as choreographers in "Traces: Variations In A Foreign Land," presented by Yangtze Repertory Theater." As they all have different choreographic styles, they were eager to collaborate together and dance in each other's pieces to learn about each other's cultures and dance techniques. By Zita Bradley.

 

Finian's Rainbow
Yet another Broadway musical closes even though it recieved high rated reviews. Can a Broadway show continue today without Hollywood or TV Stars? By Margret Croyden.

Brighton Beach Memoirs
This has been a strange season indeed. Shows close unexpectedly, shows are postponed unexpectedly, and actors are thrown out of work without much notice, but how did Neil Simon's production of Brighton Beach Memoirs only manage to last 3 days? By Margret Croyden.

The Royal Family
"The Royal Family" by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, produced by the Manhattan Theater Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, is the latest addition to the spate of revivals that has characterized contemporary theater in the Times Square area. Can Rosemary Harris make this one succeed? By Margaret Croyden.

 

Look Where it Comes Again! Shakespeare & More in Oregonian Ashland!
Not about Harvey Milk: Ghost Light The Aftermath of the Murder of Mayor Moscone; Four Venues in Two Weeks: Tracy Letts' August, Osage County Finds Its Groove!; Julia Caesar Returns to Haunt Brutus: A Great Woman Has Power Beyond the Grave; All Hands on Deck! Cornish Pirates Board the Good Ship Shakespeare!; Deaf Signing in Henry IV, Part 2: Odd Effect When Only Prince Hal & Poins Do It; Get Well Quick Card for Ashland's Ailing Imaginary Invalid?; American Theatre Critics Do Their Thing: How Do I Get My Reviews on the Internet?

San Francisco and Nevada
Wagner's RING West of the Rockies: Leland Stanford as Wotan?; SF Symphony Almost 100: Tilson Thomas, Yuja Wang, & Swan Lake!; Double Bill at UC/Berkeley's Zellerbach: Afghan Music & Dawsn Upshaw in Crumb's Winds; ACT SF Premieres Musical Version of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City; Piper's Opera House in Virginia City: More Preservation Needed Now!

Time was, when May 31 arrived, the Season was at an end. Not now.
Reality Challenged Male Has Affair with Fantasy Girl friend in Love Song!, Angry Old Brooklyn Commie Wants Out of Life: Tony Kushner's Latest…, Alzheimers Is No Fun: A Disoriented Julia at 59E59…, Banned Belarus Free Theatre at La MaMa: State Terror & Harold Pinter., Molière's Misanthrope Transmuted into School for Lies, by David Ives…, The Ex First Lady of New York City--Donna Hanover--Is in Picked at the Vineyard!, The Soul Leaves The Body in Tremendous Farts: Hannoch Levin's Winter Wedding!, Lynn Nottage's Newest: Blacks in the Movies--Do Meet Vera Stark, Down at the Public Theatre: Knickerbocker, in Which Bob Dishy Returns!, Target Tempest Not in a Tea pot, but at HERE, in a Candle lit Victorian Theatre!, Derek Jacobi's Lear at BAM: Every Inch a King!, Irish Villains Foiled Again by Irish Heroes: The Shaughraun, at Irish Rep!, George Bernard Shaw Sings Again! Candida Transmuted into A Minister's Wife., Newsical the Musical Brings You Recycled TV Newscasts & More…, Lucky Guy: This Hilarious Show Is The Book of Mormon for Country & Western!, Improve Your Yiddish with Fiddler on the Roof Sound Alike: Hershele Ostropolyer, Rally Round Herne's Oak! Charming Mannes College Falstaff at the Kaye Theatre., Kurt Weill & Lotte Lenya: Together Again on [Upper] Broadway in September Songs., Boys Made of Cheese May Have Some Survival Problems…, Karen Kandel Deserves a Tony©™ for Her Remarkable Role in Peter & Wendy!, Avant Garde Down in the Vaults at 14 Wall Street: Monk Parrots' Gay Rodeo By Laws, First It Was the Jersey Boys, But Now, It's Jersey Girls: Loose Screws…, Tovah Feldshuh, David Dinkins, & Scott Siegel Help Town Hall Celebrate Ninety Years!, Town Hall Celebrates Broadway Musicals of 1982 with the Mark Stuart Dance Theatre!, Linda Eder Almost Back on Broadway--Two Blocks Away, at Town Hall, in Concert!

Jungr does Dylan

Speaking of Our Mothers...

"The Little Prince" Is a Royal Treat

Temporal Powers

Woody Guthrie and Kaddish

Staging "Astys"

"Benito Cereno" Is a Stage-worthy Tale of the Sea

Dally with the Devil

Dublin by Lamplight

The Invested

Hell's Belles

"The Lapsburgh Layover"

"Dust to Dust"

"The Select ( The Sun Also Rises)"

"Hero: The Musical" at Lincoln Center

Fringe review: "Three Times She Knocked"

"Jerusalem" with Mark Rylance

"Master Class" at Manhattan Theatre Club

"Unnatural Acts" by Classic Stage Company

Cristina's Vision--"Manipulation" at Cherry Lane Theater

"Measure for Measure" at Shakespeare in the Park

Irish Rep Give "Tryst" a Different Twist

"All's Well That Ends Well" at Shakespeare in the Park

Unproduced Tennesse Williams Piece, "One Arm," Performed at Theatre Row

"The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith"

"11 O' Clock Numbers at 11 O' Clock" at Feinstein's in The Regency Hotel

"Born Yesterday" with "According to Jim" star Jim Belushi and Nina Arianda

"The House of Blue Leaves" with an All-Star Cast

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" with Robin Williams

"King Lear" by William Shakespeare

 

The 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theater
The American Theatre Wing's 65th annual Tony Awards ceremony was held on Sunday June 12 at the Beacon Theater in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. Neil Patrick Harris, who hosted the 2009 awards, returned to host this year's ceremony, which honored Nick Stafford's "War Horse" for Best Play, "The Book of Mormon" for Best Musical, "The Normal Heart" for Best Revival of a Play, and "Anything Goes" for Best Revival of a Musical. By Clarissa Marzán.

The 67th Theatre World Awards
A May 10 announcement honored twelve actors for Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway Debut Performances during the 2010-2011 theatrical season and announced the winners of the inaugural award for Lunt-Fontanne Award for Ensemble Excellence as well as the winners of the third annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence. The invitation-only Theatre World Awards presentation took place on Tuesday, June 7 and was hosted by Peter Filichia. The ceremony also presented a tribute to John A. Willis, the founder of the Theatre World Awards, who passed away in June 2010. By Clarissa Marzán.

The 56th Obie Awards
A big crowd from Off and Off-Off Broadway gathered for the Obie Awards Ceremony to celebrate the art of Theater at Webster Hall on Monday May 16 in Greenwich Village. S. Epatha Merkerson and David Hyde Pierce co-hosted the ceremony, accompanied by big stars such as Alec Baldwin and Liev Schreiber introducing the awards and the winners. By Agate Elie.

The 61st Outer Critics Circle Awards
"Anything Goes" and "The Book of Mormon" received the most accolades from the Outer Critics Circle Awards when the results were released on Monday May 16, preceding the celebratory awards dinner to be held on May 26 at Sardi's Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. With both productions winning four awards apiece, "Anything Goes" won Outstanding Revival of a Musical and "The Book of Mormon" received Outstanding New Broadway Musical. By Clarissa Marzán.

The 76th New York Drama Critics Circle Awards
The winners of the 76th annual New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards were honored at the celebratory dinner at Agnus McIndoe in Midtown Manhattan on Monday May 16. The panel of theater critics struggled to choose the winner of Best Play, as they underwent four rounds of voting before finally conferring the award to David Lindsay-Abaire's "Good People." By Clarissa Marzán.

Troubled Humanity On Stage at the Humana Festival
Adam Rapp Is Inspired by Jean Genet’s The Maids for The Edge of Our Bodies, A Devil at Noon Is Not Quite the Same Thing as The Noonday Witch, Bob Is Destined for FAME: He Sees Himself Right-Up-There on Mount-Rushmore!, Store-bought Bright & New: Living Now in the 1950s—Maple & Vine!, Gun-Control for Edith: Do Not Shoot Your Father’s New Squeeze!, Elemeno Pea Is Really L-M-N-O-P! The Rich Are Not Like Us!, The End, the Interns’-Show, Needs a Stronger-Conclusion…, Three Ten-Minute Plays in More Than Ten-Minutes!

 

"Driving Miss Daisy" starring Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones

"The Importance of Being Earnest" with Brian Bedford

"The Addams Family"

"Billy Elliot the Musical"

Two views of "The MotherF**ker with the Hat"

"A Charity Case"

"Sons of the Prophet"

A Splintered Soul

Peter Brook Pares Down Mozart’s Beloved "Magic Flute"

"Baby it's You!" at the Broadhurst Theatre

"Chinglish" Is Very Funny in Any Language

Another look at Madame Bovary

"Golem" and "Deathscape"

New Jersey Has a "White Christmas"

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Private Lives

"Horsedreams" at Rattlestick

"Dancing at Lughnasa" at Irish Rep

"Boeing Boeing"

Mark Nadler Celebrates 1961

"Close Up Space"

"Seminar"

"Say Goodnight Gracie"

"La MaMa Cantata"

"Relatively Speaking"

"Blood and Gifts"

Ayckbourn Channels Orwell in “Neighborhood Watch”

“Macbeth After Shakespeare” from Slovenia

"The Road to Mecca"

"Inadmissible"

"Russian Transport "

"Wit"

Town Hall’s "Broadway By the Year" Reviews 1946

Look Back in Anger

Eve Adams in Paris

And God Created Great Whales

Seminar

"Court-Martial at Fort Devens"

"Damn Yankees" at Paper Mill Playhouse

The Violet Hour

"Give Me Your Hand" at Irish Rep

The Ugly One

"Rutherford &Son"

Marieann Meringolo at Feinstein's

"Pipe Dream"

"No Place To Go"

Roslyn Kind at Brooklyn College

The Storm

“The Morini Strad”

The Broadway Musicals of 1975

Winning The Vote

"Tidal" by Noord Nederlandse Dans

Federico Restrepo's "In Retrospect"

Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake"

Batsheva Twice

John Jasperse Company

"Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre"

"Lady of the Camellias" at ABT

"Necessary Weather"

"A Palo Seco" with Rebeca Tomás

"Gaff Aff"

Joys of Repertory: Thoughts on Two Companies

Petronio's Progress

 

 

Man in the Long Black Coat
Barb Jungr fans who missed the singer's all-Dylan “Man in the Long Black Coat” last October have another opportunity of seeing the show, which will be at the Metropolitan Room from April 10 to 28.

NO PLACE TO GO --Ethan Lipton.
PIPE DREAM-- Laura Osnes. Photo by Ari Mintz

"Pipe Dream" Is Still Sleepy
Perhaps the most interesting thing about “Pipe Dream” is that the musical was not successful.
By Paulanne Simmons.

No Place To Go
One of the more popular performance spaces in Manhattan is Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre. Here the cabaret and theatre goers are offered the very latest hot and happening talent along with food and drink at reasonable cost. While the sightlines, wherever you sit, as well as the room’s acoustics are stellar, the seating arrangements in certain sections of the room – the small, 4-top tables with high stools where I sat at for one – tend to be cramped. But let’s face it, if the talent is engaging, your tablemates exciting, if not desirous, the drinks strong – you may want three – and you do not have a elder hump on your back that keeps you from relaxing, all physical inconveniences tend to be put on the back burner. By Ed Rubin.

Roslyn Kind at Brooklyn College.

Roslyn Kind at Brooklyn College
For some people appearing in concert at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts might be just one more stop on a tour. For Roslyn Kind it means coming home. By Paulanne Simmons.

COURT-MARTIAL AT FORT DEVENS--Nambi E. Kelley, Bill Tatum.Photo by Gerry Goodstei

"Court-Martial at Fort Devens" Brings American History to Life
In "Court-Martial at Fort Devens," playwright Jeffrey Sweet has used transcripts from the trial as well as public comments on the incident to craft a fascinating and moving play that bears testimony to this depressing period in American history. By Paulanne Simmons.

Damn Yankees at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo by Ken Jacques, NancyAnderson (Center) and the Washington Senators.

Another Home Run for "Damn Yankees"
You don’t need to be a baseball fan to enjoy "Damn Yankees" at Paper Mill Playhouse. You only need an appreciation of good musical theater. By Paulanne Simmons.

THE VIOLET HOUR -- Andrew Sellon & John P. Keller. Photo by Angela Benefiel

The Violet Hour
The Violet Hour, in Richard Greenberg’s 2003 eponymous play is that magical moment of a New York City day when the evening turns into night. It’s not perfectly clear why the play is called “The Violet Hour,” other than that it is indeed about time. But this drama certainly has many of its own magical moments. By Paulanne Simmons.

GIVE ME YOUR HAND -- Dermot Crowley and Dearbhla Molloy. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Paintings and Poetry in "Give Me Your Hand"
In "Give Me Your Hand," Dermot Crowley and Dearbhla Molloy take an imaginative stroll through London’s National Gallery via Paul Durcan’s poetic interpretations of some of the Gallery’s most famous works. By Paulanne Simmons.

Two views of "The Ugly One"
Most of us don’t recognize the name Yang Peiyi although she made headlines in 2008 when word leaked out that the beautiful voice of the 7 year old singing “Ode to the Motherland” at the opening of the Beijing Olympics Ceremony did not belong to the beautiful girl who was lip-syncing the anthem on television. Yang Peiyi had failed the cuteness test. That story brings to mind the British singer Susan Boyle’s early life struggles. Sociologists studying American prisoners discovered that inmates who underwent plastic surgery were less likely not to commit another crime but to return to prison. Appearance matters. By Paulanne Simmons and Glenda Frank.

Sara Surrey and Robert Hogan. Photo by Richard Termine.

 

Power and Money in "Rutherford &Son"
Set in the industrial north of England. "Rutherford & Son" tells the story of a family ruled by John Rutherford (Robert Hogan), the powerful and determined patriarch and owner of the family glassworks business he inherited from his father. By Paulanne Simmons.

Marieann Meringolo. Photo by Alina Wilczynski.

Marieann Meringolo brings drama to Legrand songs at Feinstein’s
Marieann Meringolo's rich mellow slightly jazzy alto voice presents Michel Legrand's romantically charged music with almost theatrical intensity. Legrand, famous for music for such films as "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", "The Thomas Crown Affair," and "Yentl," needs someone like Meringolo to provide the necessary drama to his muse. By Lucy Komisar.

Marilyn May in "Broadway by the Year 1946." Photo by Stephen Sorokoff.

Town Hall's "Broadway By the Year" Reviews 1946
Even if 1946 didn’t pro duce many box office hits, it was still a very good year for Broadway. By Paulanne Simmons.

Matthew Rys as Jimmy, Sarah Goldberg as Alison. Photo Joan Marcus.

Look Back in Anger
"Look Back in Anger." I hated this 1956 play by John Osborne, one of the “angry young men” of England’s 1950s. That era was a bad time for women in the U.S. and according to the production directed by Sam Gold for the Roundabout Theatre Company, it was true in spades in England. But then I looked at a review I had written about a Classic Stage Company production in 1999 and thought I must have seen different plays. By Lucy Komisar.

Rudy (Robert Gonzales Jr), Hella (Gusta Johnson) and Eve
Adams (Steph Van Vlack) make plans for escape as World War II begins. Photo by Joe Bly.

Eve Adams in Paris
Barbara Kahn presents an evocative panorama of Europe during the war, complete with Nazi officers, Nazi sympathizers and Nazi victims. At the same time she tells the very personal story of a lesbian who lived at a time when gay marriage would have seemed akin to worshipping Baal. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Two views of "And God Created Great Whales"
In 1997, The Foundry Theatre commissioned Rinde Eckert to create a musical adaptation of Moby Dick. What he came up with is an extraordinary work that incorporates music, song, dance and dialogue. By Paulanne Simmons and Glenda Frank.

SEMINAR -- Hamish Linklater as Martin, Hettienne Park as Izzy, Lily Rabe as Kate, Jerry O'Connell as Douglas. Photo Jeremy Daniel.

"Seminar"
"Seminar" pits an obnoxious writing teacher against four wanna be novelists. Four wanna be novelists fork over $5000 to get ten lessons from Leonard (Alan Rickman), a failed writer turned book editor, who must represent every nasty, self-centered writer or editor that author Theresa Rebeck ever met. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

RUSSIAN TRANSPORT -- Morgan Spector and Raviv Ullman. Photo by Monique Carboni.

"Russian Transport" Is Sinister and Suspenseful
"Russian Transport," a new play by Erika Sheffer, is in some ways the story of a dysfunctional family. It is also a play about crime. And it is a drama about the immigrant experience in the 21st century. By Paulanne Simmons.

Cynthia Nixon as Vivian Bearing, photo Joan Marcus.

"Wit" shows power of intellect to preserve one's humanity in face of death
"Wit." The irony of Vivian Bearing, a profession of John Donne's poetry, fighting a futile battle against Ovarian cancer, is caught in Donne's most famous work, "Death be not proud." It is a challenge that says mortals will cheat death through eternal life. Pulling an IV pole or sitting in a hospital bed, a red baseball cap covering a scalp denuded by chemotherapy, Cynthia Nixon is cynical and acerbic as the 47-year-old professor. She expertly portrays this unflinching woman’s struggle to keep her soul. By Lucy Komisar.

Rosemary Harris as Miss Helen. Photo Joan Marcus.


"The Road to Mecca" explores women's self-fulfillment in conservative culture
"The Road to Mecca." Playwright Athol Fugard is most known for distilling into intimate personal stories the physical and spiritual struggles against apartheid in South Africa. In this engrossing play he plies the same theme, but this time it's not about blacks and coloreds, but about women and non-conformists. A society that keeps the former in thrall will without too much difficulty stomp on the latter. And Fugard asserts that they have to fight back as much as the racial victims. By Lucy Komisar

INADMISSIBLE --Kathryn Kates, Charlene Greene and Richard Hoelher. Photo by Jim Baldessare.

Two views of "Inadmissible"
If you have any shredof a belief left that idealism is alive and well in higher education, it will most certainly be destroyed by D.B. Giles’s new play, "Inadmissible." One review by Paulanne Simmons and one by Glenda Frank.

From left to right: Matt Walton and Beth Leavel.Photo by T.
Charles Erickson,

"Boeing-Boeing" Lands Safely at Paper Mill Playhouse
Call it a farce; call it a burlesque. "Boeing-Boeing" is throughly funny in any language and thoroughly French. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Mark Nadler in Crazy 1961.

Mark Nadler Celebrates 1961
For the extraordinary cabaret performer, Mark Nadler, 1961 was a most interesting year, mostly because it was the year of his birth. But in his show, “Crazy 1961,” he manages to make that year almost equally interesting for everyone in the audience. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Michael Chernus in "Close Up Space". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Close Up Space Explores the Absurd
In printing, "close up space" means eliminate spaces between letters or words. In life it can mean to get closer to those we care about. In Molly Smith Metzler’s new play it means both. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

Joel Rooks as George Burns.
Photo by Scott Myer.

George Burns, Stagestruck and Lovestruck
George Burns, who was born Nathan Birnbaum on January 20, 1896 and died on March 9, 1996 is known not only for his longevity, but also for his ability to sustain a career through vaudeville, radio, television and film. Much of his success was due to the uncanny comic ability of his wife and partner, Gracie Allen. So it is entirely fitting that Joel Rooks’s one-man show about the famed comedian should be called “Say Goodnight Gracie,” the line that always closed their television show and their acts. By Paulanne Simmons.

LA MAMA CANTATA -- (L-R) Charnele Crick, Alicia Olatuja, Grace McLean and Starr Busby. Photo by Peter James Zielinski.

La MaMa Cantata
Paying tribute to a mentor is tricky business. If the testament fails to live up to the legacy, it’s embarrassing. If the honoree was not all the homage cracks her up to be, that can be even worse. Happily, everything works right in Elizabeth Swados’s heartfelt and energetic “La MaMa Cantata,” a biographical valentine to the late, legendary Ellen Stewart (1919-2010), a.k.a La MaMa, the founder of the new iconic off-Off-Broadway institution of the same name. By Dorothy Chansky.

RELATIVELY SPEAKING -- Jason Kravits as the doctor and Danny Hoch as Larry in "Talking Cure," one of three bizarre comedies in "Relatively Speaking." Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Relatively Speaking"
Weird is relative, you might say about the characters in these three rather bizarre comedies which are about relatives as a connecting theme. The self-involvement of a wife at the time of her husband’s death, the family revelations set off by a couple who flee a wedding at which one of them is an intended, the impact of marital conflict on an unborn son, everything turns on the unexpected, which of course is what makes memorable comedy. By Lucy Komisar.

AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A WRITER!
He's the teacher from Hell -- and it is so much fun to watch him strut his nastiness in Theresa Rebeck's fine new play "Seminar" at the Golden Theatre. He's a brother to Gregory House, M.D., without the confusing medical jargon; to Lady Bracknell, but male and sexy; to Iago although we learn he's far more generous than we imagined. And this intriguing is perfect for the intriguing Alan Rickman, who does smart and tough with enough panache to keep audiences buzzing for a long while. But more remarkable about this drama and production is the surprising protagonist, Kate played with idiosyncratic charm by Lily Rabe. It's all in "Seminar"  by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Sam Gold at the Golden Theatre.

BLOOD AND GIFTS -- Photo by Charles Erickson.

"Blood and Gifts"
In the mid-1980, Luch Komisar went to Peshawar on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan to write about the war between the Russians and Afghans going on across the divide. It all came rushing back during J.T. Rogers' theatrical docudrama of what went wrong then (and it was virtually all wrong) with American policy in Afghanistan.

Domen Valic, Marko Mandic, Stipe Kostanic, Jurij Drevenšek, Milena Zupancic in "Macbeth After Shakespeare” | Photo by Miha Frass and SONDA

A Riveting “Macbeth After Shakespeare” from Slovenia Reeks of Danger and Testosterone, Murder and Brilliance
Flashing red police lights streak across the stage’s dark expanse. The air is thick with the smell of danger and testosterone and murder and evil. Seven lean young tough guys, mostly dark-haired and haughty and without shirts on, radiate militant aggression on a wide semicircle of folding chairs. They might be in a Balkan war camp or an underground fight club. The barebones scenography by the visual-art group son:DA (Miha Horvat and Metka Golec) tells us otherwise; it is not ambiguous at all where these glowering bucks are. Taped center-stage on the black ground are huge, white block letters; these coordinates spell out the latitude and longitude location of LaMaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, where this ferociously extreme and brawny "Macbeth After Shakespeare" ran through Dec. 11. By Randy Gemer.

Ayckbourn Channels Orwell in “Neighborhood Watch”
When we first find out that middle-aged siblings Hilda (Alexandra Mathie) and Martin Massie (Matthew Cottle), the principles in Alan Ayckbourn’s new comedy, “Neighborhood Watch,” are moving in together at The Bluebell Hill Development, it seems a bit weird. But nothing can prepare us for the mayhem that follows, not even Hilda’s opening monologue, which makes it clear that Martin has died as the result of some heroic action. By Paulanne Simmons.

Another look at Madame Bovary
The Other Mirror is the kind of theatrical company that is the lifeblood of contemporary theater. It’s young, energetic, creative and fearless, with none of the excesses that make theater irrelevant. By Paulanne S

 

CHINGLISH -- From left to right, Stephen Pucci, Gary Wilmes, Angela Lin, Larry Lei Zhang. Photo by Michael McCabe.

"Chinglish" Is Very Funny in Any Language
The are many misunderstandings in David Henry Hwang’s new play, "Chinglish," about an Ohio businessman trying to cash in on the Chinese capitalist boom...after the audience recovers from fits of laughter, there is much to think about.By Paylanne Simmons.

"Golem" and "Deathscape"
Larry Litt went to La MaMa for Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre's "Golem" and to Theater for the New City for Misha Shulman's "Deathscape." He came out with insights on the inevitable conflict between puppets and the storytelling.

Erickson, From left to right: Jill Paice (Betty Haynes), James Clow (Bob Wallace), Tony Yazbeck (Phil Davis), Meredith Patterson (Judy Haynes) and The Company of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by T. Charles.

New Jersey Has a "White Christmas"
Paper Mill Playhouse’s revival, directed by Marc Bruni, is a tribute not only to the show but also to the entire era that produced the American songbook. By Paulanne Simmons.

Mike Daisey at The Public Theater. Photo by Stan Barouh.

"The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs"
Monologist Mike Daisey’s new show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," directed by his wife and collaborator, Jean-Michelle Gregory, at first seems like a typical story of a nerd and his computer. Sure, there’s a lot about Steve Jobs and how he started his legendary business with high school buddy Steve Wozniak. But there are also all those traditional tales of woe about Daisey’s love/hate relationships with computers, specifically how they work, don’t work and ultimately change our lives. And Daisey, with his large body and demented expressions, is the perfect man to represent the computer geeks of the world.

Private Lives
If you’re in a dark mood and want to travel back in time to the 1930s in a frivolous world of glitz and glam, cocktails, and England’s upper crust, then go see Private Lives by Noël Coward.. In this production, directed by Richard Eyre, glamour is the word. By Margaret Croyden.

"Horsedreams" Tells Us to Just Say No
“Horsedreams” has a story worth telling. But Dael Orlandersmith is so eager to make her point she doesn’t take the time to create three-dimensional characters to illustrate it. By Paulanne Simmons.

DANCING AT LUGHNASA --Michael Countryman and Orlagh Cassidy. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Irish Rep Celebrates "Dancing at Lughnasa"
Thanks to Brian Friel’s evocative language and Charlotte Moore’s fine direction, we are more than willing to watch the inevitable in “Dancing at Lughnasa” come to pass.By Paulanne Simmons.

A CHARITY CASE -- Alysia Reiner, Alison Fraser and Jill Shackner. Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

"A Charity Case" Is Wanting
"A Charity Case" by Australian playwright Wendy Beckett asks some interesting questions. How does a young girl growing up in an adoptive family navigate the dangerous waters between her two mothers? What happens to the mother who gave up her child? Are people really capable of accepting another person’s child as their own? By Paulanne Simmons.

"Sons of the Prophet" Is a Mixed Blessing
Life is filled with pain and suffering Stephen Karam tells us in his new play, "Sons of the Prophet." This is something most of us learn by the time we are twenty. But Karam makes it seem like a revelation, thanks to all the great comedy he infuses into the play, the excellent direction of Peter DuBois and a terrific cast headed by Santino Fantana as Joseph Douaihy. By Paulanne Simmons.

The Year of Magical Thinking
When The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s memoir on death, dying, and grief, hit the bookstores, preceded by a mile-high stack of canonizing reviews, over a million books flew off the shelf like bats leaving a cave. Obviously, the subject of the 2005 National Book Award winner, the sudden death of writer John Gregory Dunne, her husband of forty years, during the ultimately fatal illness of their only daughter, captured the attention of the aging baby boomer generation—all busily watching those around them dropping dead like flies. By Ed Rubin.

A SPLINTERED SOUL--John Michalski and Lisa Bostnar. Photo by Richard Termine.

A Splintered Soul Asks Hard Questions
"A Splintered Soul," by Alan Lester Brooks is not so much about the Holocaust as about what happened to the the survivors. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Portrait of Barb Jungr by Steve Ullathorne

Jungr does Dylan
Barb Jungr’s admiration for Bob Dylan fortunately does not prevent her from interpreting each of his songs in a very unique, sometimes startling way. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Marie Mullen in "Testament" by Landmark Productions and Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival as part of the 2011 Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival. Photo by Patrick Redmond.

Speaking words of Wisdom at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
The incomparable Marie Mullen, alone in a sparsely furnished cottage that could be located anywhere from the west coast of Ireland to the hills outside Ephesus, tells in this one-woman piece a story that unfolds with shocking familiarity even as her version makes us hear it as we never have before. Colm Tóibín's play was commissioned by the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival for a world premiere directed by Garry Hynes. By Dorothy Chansky.

Little Prince puppet, Leila Ghaznavi and Lenny Haas. Photo by Alexsey Photography.

Speaking of Our Mothers...
"Motherhood Out Loud" is for all those who cannot think of their mother or their child without feeling guilty or proud, humiliated or validated, rejected or accepted unconditionally. In other words, it’s for everyone. By Paulanne Simmons.

"The Little Prince" Is a Royal Treat
There’s just enough humor in "The Little Prince" to keep the youngsters giggling (and they get all the jokes). But by the end of the end there are more than a few adult wiping their eyes while the kids are climbing down from their booster seats. By Paulanne Simmons.

Between a rock and a hard place.
Poverty can more dangerous to a marriage than adultery, abuse or absence. Teresa Deevy’s " Temporal Powers," now completing an extended run at the Mint Theatre, is a study of hardship, love, community, and the Irish soul. Deevy, once a welcome playwright at the famed Abbey Theatre in Dublin, fell into oblivion during her lifetime. She probably never imagined that anyone -- like director Jonathan Bank or Mint Theatre audiences -- would rediscover and champion her work half a century after her death. By Glenda Frank.

Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith in "Woody Guthrie Dreams." Photo by Eva Ostrowska.

Woody Guthrie Dreams and Kaddish
Reviews of two plays that are thematically similar but with very different approaches to dramatization. Both deal with proclamations of death as a metaphor to examine exaggerations of lives. Both plays portray life and death in flashbacks. Both give us reasons to despair over examined lives. Maybe there are lessons to be learned. By Larry Litt.

Staging "Atys"
With their strange plots, florid spectacles, and stately declamations, Baroque operas can seem to exist in theatrical worlds totally apart from those to which we are accustomed, and the characters in them may strike us as aliens: not merely foreigners, but beings from other planets. Yet the music for these works is often magnificent. And, of course, audiences in the Baroque era thought such operas not in the least alien: for them, they were the way operas were supposed to be. But how can we make them meaningful in our own time? This now-famous production of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s "Atys" answers that question by eschewing trendy contemporary gimmicks and taking the opera on its own terms, daring to trust Lully, his librettist Philippe Quinault, and the theatrical conventions of their day. By Jack Anderson.

Rafael De Mussa and James Jorsling. Photo by Stephanie Berge.

"Benito Cereno" Is a Stage-worthy Tale of the Sea
Horizon Rep’s production at The Flea Theater, capably directed by Woodie King, Jr., has enthusiastically jumped into both the horror and the ambiguity of the play. The result is a gripping tale that should keep audiences on the edge of the seat. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Dally with the Devil"
In "Dally with the Devil" at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Victor L. Cahn has written a tight drama of three power-brokers locking horns. The twist is that they’re all attractive women, women with secrets to protect. Bit by bit the dirty laundry flaps in the wind and the women reach compromises that protect them and their two candidates. By Glenda Frank.

Jered McLenigan. Photo by Katie Reing.

"Dublin by Lamplight"
"Dublin by Lamplight" by Michael West is a charming, stylized, fantastical imagining of a Dublin theater troop that gets caught up in the Irish independence movement over a hundred years ago. It tells the story of some actors’ efforts to found the Irish National Theatre of Ireland and the conflicts and dangers that arise because some of them are also committed to "the Cause." By Lucy Komisar.

The Invested
Losing money is always a dramatic situation. If it's ours it can signal losing personal power, status and security. We feel weakened by numbers reduction even though there's no direct physical violence to our bodies. However losing money causes mental violence. Risk averse means mental pain averse. However if it's other people's money that one is supposed to protect from loss, it's a whole other kind of mental assault. "The Invested" is a powerful play about how master game players act and react, bait and switch, push and pull each other into mental violence using the power of money gained and lost in Wall Street's major banks. By Larry Litt.

Laura Daniel as Joan Crawford and Kristen Mengelkoch as Bette Davis in "Hell's Belles." Photo by John Shapiro.

Hell's Belles
In Dante’s inferno people are sent to hell because of the sins they have committed. In Bryan D. Leys and Steve Liebman’s "Hell’s Belles," all they need is a good voice. By Paulanne Simmons.

Kate Scelsa as Frances, Lucy Taylor as Brett and Matt Tierney as Robert, photo by Mark Burton

The Select ( The Sun Also Rises.)
"The Select (The Sun Also Rises)" is an often entertaining, often puzzling parody of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel. It was maybe not intended to be the second. But the Elevator Repair Company’s production, which cuts but doesn’t change a word of the book, makes one wonder how anyone could have taken Hemingway seriously. Or maybe that’s a result of this hokey presentation of Hemingway’s lines. By Lucy Komisar.

 

"Hero: The Musical" -- Photo by Kwan-Hee Ryu.

Hero: The Musical
Set in 1909 two years after the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, the musical, led by legendary Korean director Ho Jin Yun whom many consider the father of musical theater in Korea, depicts Ito as a ruthless, imperialist dictator and An as a rebel leader, martyr and great man who overcomes his fear of death in a show of defiant strength and courage to ensure Korean independence and national identity. By Robert Hicks.

Fringe review: "Three Times She Knocked"
If you are hungry for a little mystery and contemporary confrontations, weary of clichéd romances and pedestrian dialogue -- "Three Times She Knocked" by A. D. Penedo will have you standing and cheering -- or at least clapping until your hands hurt. It's a little gem of a play, well-performed and directed by Christopher Windom, and deserving a second life beyond the 15th annual New York International Fringe Festival. By Glenda Frank.

Mark Rylance as Rooster, photo by Joan Marcus.

"Jerusalem" with Mark Rylance
Lucy Komisar writes, "'Jerusalem.' I hated this play by English playwright and film director Jez Butterworth. Yes I know it got plaudits and awards, but I thought it was pretentious drivel. The friend I took also hated it. Lest you think that was just an off night, her friend who attended at another time hated it. Nevertheless it was so powerfully acted by Mark Rylance and so vividly directed by Ian Rickson that we were annoyed and even angry, but never bored."

MASTER CLASS--Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Riveting "Master Class" Shows Maria Callas Dominating Music But Not Her Life
Maria Callas’ brilliance, as articulated by her dazzling stand-in Tyne Daly, was as much about discipline and courage, presence and presentation, as about hitting the right notes. Playwright Terrence McNally shows that through an imagined master class Callas gives late in her career. Working with students, she focuses on what makes a great star rather than a skilled performer. But McNally also creates a feminist parable of a woman who sold her soul for the lifestyle offered by a billionaire. By Lucy Komisar.

UNNATURAL ACTS--Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Unnatural Acts" Uncovers Harvard Scandal
On Sunday, July 31, "Unnatural Acts" will complete an incredible run at Classic Stage Company (CSC) where this show, about a 1920's-era secret investigation and witch hunt of so-called "inverts" and "homosexualists" at Harvard University, has been extended three times. Most Off-Broadway shows in New York City announce a limited run when they open. If it were not for the amazing audience demand and CSC's nimble ability to re-jigger its summer schedule, it would have been quite impossible for the rest of us to still catch this Off-Broadway show. There is still a little time. If you've heard about this excellent play but aren't completely sold on seeing it, don't even bother reading past this paragraph. By Randy Gener.

Cristina's Vision--"Manipulation" at Cherry Lane Theatre
For the Mexican playwright Victoria E. Calderon, as for the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes, the personal is the political. Calderon is also a Mexican journalist, whose writing seems to reference political events in Latin America during the decades of brutal dictatorships. "Manipulation," her current play, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, focuses on Cristina (Marina Squerciati), the beautiful young wife of a ruthless businessman (Robert Bogue). He is proud of his machismo and tells Cristina that it is her duty is to accept him as he is, including his infidelities and neglect. Meanwhile outside their comfortable world (on the upper level of the stage and behind the walls), a revolution is threatening the stability of the country. By Glenda Frank.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE--Lorenzo Pisoni as the Duke. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Measure for Measure" is a Vivid Staging of Shakespeare’s Commentary on Sex and Hypocrisy
In a fascinating and occasionally lurid take on sex and hypocrisy -- as current as it ever was five centuries past -- The Public Theatre's production of Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" opens with horned demons slithering around stage. They will appear again at a bordello and elsewhere. Suddenly, a cover is pulled off a mound on a bed and horrific creatures scamper off, leaving the Duke of Vienna (Lorenzo Pisoni) awake and distraught at his sexual fantasies. By Lucy Komisar.

PARED-DOWN "MAGIC FLUTE" -- Dima Bawab, William Nadylam , Thomas Doli and Abdou Ouologuem in Peter Brook's "A Magic Flute" at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College on July 5, 2011, presented by the Lincoln Center Festival. Photo by Stephanie Berger

Peter Brook Pares Down Mozart’s Beloved "Magic Flute"
In paring down Mozart’s beloved opera to an intimate 100-minute version, director Peter Brook and librettist Marie-Hélène Estienne sought for purity, speed and direct immediacy. The cast has been whittled down to just seven singers. The orchestra is reduced to one onstage pianist. What Mozart’s original opera has lost in frippery, spectacle and silliness, "A Magic Flute" gains in intimacy, simplicity and innocence. This stripped-down fable ruins through July 17 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater of John Jay College as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. By Randy Gener.

TRYST--Andrea Maulella as Adelaide Pinchin. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Irish Rep Give "Tryst" a Different Twist
"Tryst" is a psychological Thriller that Hitchcock would have had great fun with had he only been alive to discover it. The ever-present repressed sexuality and violence seems ready to break out at any moment. It's only a question of when and how. By Paulanne Simmons.

BABY IT'S YOU--Beth Leavel as Florence Greenberg. Photo by Ari Mintz.

"Baby it's You!" is a Fascinating and Entertaining Feminist Juke Box Musical
This is a terrific feminist juke box musical. It is based on the true story of Florence Greenberg (the excellent Beth Leavel), a New Jersey housewife who discovered the Shirelles, four Passaic, NJ, high school coeds, who she would make into a major singing group. She would, in the process, move to Manhattan, shed her traditional husband and take up with a young song writer. This was in 1958, before feminism became a mass movement. Also before Motown, before the Beatles. The visionary Flo and pop music would never be the same. By Lucy Komisar

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL--Annie Parnisse as Helena and Reg Rogers as Parolles. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Shakespeares "All's Well That Ends Well" Shows Women Winning the War of the Sexes
This is a Shakespeare sex play. Didn't know he did those, did you? The playbill has a cover that says, "Shakespeare in Bed." And the comic Reg Rogers, whose signature style of exaggerated and plosive speech makes him recognizable anywhere, delivers a long near-tirade to the play's heroine, Helena (the generally cool and often hot and always excellent Annie Parisse) about the importance of getting rid of one's virginity. By Lucy Komisar.

An Unproduced Tennessee Williams Work Gets Tender Treatment
"One Arm," an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams, is certainly not the best of the famed playwright’s work. But even when Williams is not at his best, he’s much better than most writers. And given Moises’ Kaufman’s skillful adaptation and direction, the play, about Ollie Olsen, a one-armed boxer turned hustler, becomes a moving commentary on life and love. By Paulanne Simmons.

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC-- Miche Braden as Bessie Smith with Keith Loftis on the saxophone. Photo by John Quilty.

"The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith"
Bessie Smith was a woman who could not be contained by limiting factors such as race or birth. She straddled her world as she strode across the stage. It’s a pleasure to see Miche Braden bring her to life "The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith." By Paulanne Simmons.

The Stars Come Out at 11 O'Clock
It's eleven o'clock. You've just seen a Broadway show or perhaps you've been taking in the sights from morning to night, but you're not quite ready to call it a day. What can you do in the city that never sleeps? If it's a Thursday night, you can go to Feinstein's at the Regency for "11 O'Clock Numbers at 11 O'Clock!" where night owls can enjoy one more hour of dazzling New York City entertainment for an extremely affordable and delightful late night show performed by veteran entertainers in an intimate venue. By Paulanne Simmons.

THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT--Bobby Cannavale as Jackie, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Veronica. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"The Motherf**ker with the Hat"
Stephen Adly Guirgis' play is a very funny, ironic, grungy and cautionary tale where four-letter words, sex and betrayal are mixed in equal parts in the down and dirty milieu of New York City drug addicts and their relatives and friends. By Lucy Komisar.

BORN YESTERDAY--Jim Belushi as Harry Brock, Terry Beaver as Senator Hedges, Frank Wood as lawyer Devery. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

"Born Yesterday"
Garson Kanin’s 1946 comedy is a delightfully clever political romp which pits a crooked businessman and a bought U.S. Senator against a supposedly dumb kept woman who gives everyone a civics lesson while taking the bad guys down a few notches. By Lucy Komisar.

 

THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES--Ben Stiller as Artie, Alison Pill as Corrinna. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"The House of Blue Leaves"
John Guare's 1970 dark comedy, in a brilliant revival by David Cromer, shifts between humor and tragedy as it traces the path from illusion to delusion. As one morphs into the other, the differences appear increasingly subtle. By Lucy Komisar.

"I Married Wyatt Earp" (The Gunslinger's Wife)
There are half a dozen good reasons for buying tickets to "I Married Wyatt Earp," a new musical by Sheila Rae, Thomas Edward West and Michele Brourman at 59E59 Theatres. The music is terrific and so are the lyrics and performances. The story -- about love and the wild west -- is full of surprises, both dramatic and historical. (My limited fact-checking indicated solid historical research.) And the perspective is long overdue -- about the independent women who settled the west, struggling to make an honest living and to keep their gun slinging men. By Glenda Frank.

 

A LITTLE JOURNEY-- Samantha Soule as Julie and McCaleb Burnett as Jim West. Photo by Richard Termine.

"A Little Journey"
If ever there ever was a play that deserved the description, "They don’t make them like that anymore," it would be Rachel Crothers' "A Little Journey." Directed by Jackson Gay, the play opens on June 6 at Mint Theater Company, The play's optimistic view that goodness lies deep inside all of us has little favor nowadays but is nevertheless sorely missed by some. Although few people have heard of the playwright today, at the height of her career, during the first three decades of the 20th century, she had almost thirty shows on Broadway. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE--Donna Murphy as Raisel and Christopher Innvar as Chaim Bradovsky. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"The People in the Picture"
It was 1935 Warsaw, and a small traveling troop of Jewish actors were playing the "shtetl circuit," as they half affectionately, half mockingly called it. They did vaudeville, they did Shakespeare, they did the Bible. Raisel (Donna Murphy) as Moses' wife: "You're going to do what? You can't even part your hair!" The times are dark and the troop's responses reach for answers in absurdity: "A pogrom is not an easy act to follow." By Lucy Komisar.

 

A MINISTER'S WIFE--Kate Fry as Candida, Marc Kudisch as Rev. Morrell. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

"A Minister's Wife"
Michael Halberstam’s chamber music version of Shaw’s "Candida" is a charming and exhilarating production about male-female relations in earlier days of the battle for women’s sexual freedom. The story is adapted by Austin Pendleton from Shaw’s 1898 version of the play, which he revised in 1930, when post-flapper era so much in society had changed. At the turn of the century, women were even more psychologically and materially dependent on their husbands. By Lucy Komisar.

BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO--Robin Williams as the Tiger.Photo by Carol Rosegg.

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"
Surreal, sometimes funny, often cruel, Rajiv Joseph's play in a stunning production by Moisés Kaufman looks at killing, in war, and among beasts, and wonders if it is a primordial instinct, something that somehow infects people who think they "don't do that." It is a powerful production, not your typical war story, as the murder victims come back as ghosts. By Lucy Komisar.


ARCADIA-- Bel Powley as Thomasina Covery, Tom Riley as Septimus Hodge. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

"Arcadia"
Tom Stoppard's 1993 "Arcadia" plays with truth and illusion and shows how easy it is to be deceived. It sets true intellectuals devoted to search and discovery against glory-seeking "scholars" who invent convenient truths. Stoppard, as he is good at doing, mixes truth about historical figures with fantasy about their connections with the protagonists in a way that adds to the fascination of the plot. By Lucy Komisar.

 

GOOD PEOPLE-- Becky Ann Baker as Jean, Frances McDormand as Margaret, Estelle Parsons as Dottie. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Good People"
The struggles of the working class are starkly depicted in David Lindsay-Abaire's striking portrait of a handful of friends in Boston's Southie neighborhood. At a time when economic decisions by the government leave millions of workers in the dust, it's a political as well as social commentary. "Good People" directed by Daniel Sullivan plays at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. By Lucy Komisar.


KING LEAR-- Derek Jacobi as King Lear. Photo by Johan Persson.

"King Lear"
Like the wind and rain storm that swirls around him as he wanders lands he once oversaw, Derek Jacobi blows fiercely in fury at his faithless daughters. His face is red almost to bursting in disbelief. His eyes could sear with their gaze. Yet, in Jacobi's powerful, dominating portrayal in the Donmar Warehouse production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this King Lear's howling anger at how his royal state has been eclipsed is the other side of a royal flaw. It is the mistake of the self-absorbed and powerful who believe the ingratiating lies of their courtiers. And relatives. Both Lear and his loyal Earl of Gloucester (Paul Jesson, quietly moving in his misery) are outmaneuvered by evil progeny. By Lucy Komisar.

" The People in the Picture" Takes a Journey into the Past

At a time when the most successful musicals on Broadway are about either a group of Mormons trying to convert Africans who curse God in the most profane terms, three drag queens traveling into the heart of Australia or an aspiring songstress who hides out in a convent after witnessing a murder, it takes a special kind of chutzpah to produce a show about a Jewish grandmother struggling to teach her granddaughter about her life in the Yiddish theater before the Holocaust.The people in the picture is directed by Leonard Foglia and plays at the Roundabout Theatre Company. By Paulanne Simmons.

Good vs. Evil in Shaughraun

The Shaughraun inhabits a territory somewhere between traditionally biting Irish comedy and depressing, if insightful Irish drama. It’s light, breezy, action-packed and silly. And in the hands of Irish Rep it’s done so well others might turn green with envy. The Shaughraun is directed by Charlotte Moore at Irish Repertory Theatre. By Paulanne Simmons.

One of the 8 performers in "Star Alarm", Chris Taylor (aka Cavalier
King) penned all the songs in the production. Photo by Eve Lateiner.

"Star Alarm"
If you want to see the kind of innovative, thoughtful theater that is the backbone of New York culture, get a ticket for Star Alarm which has four more performances, April 28, 29, 30 and May 1.The show, about four artists navigating a "cosmic" struggle, is mostly an ensemble piece presented by Hands Together Collective & Mud/Bone Collective. After a few creative workshops, it was written by Wind Dell Woods. And it is directed by Jordan Dann with energy and intelligence.By Paulanne Simmons.

 


"The MotherF**Cker with the Hat" by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Life is difficult. Love is harder. First he finds the hat. Then he finds the wrong motherf**er with the hat -- and shoots up his apt. By the time he finds the right motherf**er, it's too late for love -- and he's headed back to jail. Guergis's foul mouthed, brilliant, and funny funny 4G comedy is changing our definition of Broadway drama, bringing in new audiences -- some of them to see Chris Rock in his Broadway debut -- and proving that the best playwriting can be about anything."The MotherF**Cker with the Hat" directed by Anna D. Shapiro, is playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. By Glenda Frank.

THE DIVINE SISTER -- Jonathan Walker as Jeremy and Charles Busch as Mother Superior. Photo by David Rodgers.

"The Divine Sister"
Charles Busch's very funny campy satire of Catholic nuns hits all the bases, extending to a stereotypical Jewish philanthropist, a "Da Vinci Code" style mystery with a German faux-nun and a brown-robbed monk, and even a detour back to thirties movies about diligent good-guy reporters. "The Divine Sister" written by Charles Busch and directed by Carl Andress, is playing at Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. By Lucy Komisar.

TRIANGLE-- Joe Garlety and Dennis Wit. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

100 Years Later - "Triangle"
As a history buff with a special interest in the struggles of labor in the United States, "Triangle," Jack Gilhooley and Daniel Czitrom's play about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 1911 held special interest for me."Triangle", playing at 59E59 Theaters, is not so much about the infamous fire as about Big Tim Sullivan (Joe Gately), the charming and corrupt Tammany Hall politician who turned crusader after the devastating fire that killed 146, mostly young Italian and Jewish girls of immigrant backgrounds. By Paulanne Simmons.

BENEFACTORS-- Stephen Barker Turner as Colin and Deanne Lorette as Sheila. Photo by Richard Termine.

"Benefactors"
"Benefactors" begins in 1968, during an era when England was building controversial housing projects. It was written in 1984 by Michael Frayn, who two decades later authored "Democracy," the powerful recreation of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's early 70s dealings with East Germany. In both cases, in overlapping eras, the personal becomes political, and there is a strong ideological message that expresses Frayn's general concern about democracy, writ small and writ large. By Lucy Komisar.

"Kin"

"Kin," Bathsheba Doran's lively play at Playwrights Horizons offers a new take on the six degrees of separation that connect the world. Anna (Kristen Bush), the protagonist, is the center of several disparate universes. She is struggling to climb the academic career ladder, make peace with her emotionally distant dad, keep in touch with her erratic best friend, and find true love with a personal trainer (Patch Darragh) who has deep roots in Ireland. Added to all these interesting elements are playwright Doran's unique imagination and talent for engaging dialogue. By Glenda Frank.

 

DRIVING MISS DAISY -- Vanessa Redgrave as Miss Daisy, James Earl Jones as Hoke. Photo by Annabel Clark.

"Driving Miss Daisy"
Alfred Uhry's charming, moving play "Driving Miss Daisy" directed by David Esbjornson at John Golden Theatre, is part of his Atlanta trilogy about Southern Jews in the middle decades of the last century. Through the conflict and then growing warmth between an elderly middle-class white woman and a middle-aged working-class black man, one gets a sense of how human contact can break or at least crack the barriers of color and class. The production is a tour de force for Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones. By Lucy Komisar

AWAKE IN A WORLD THAT ENCOURAGES SLEEP--Tacey Adams and Joseph Culp. Photo by Lee Wexler.



Awake in a World that Encourages Sleep

Theater for the New City presents "Awake in a World that Encourages", written and directed by Raymond J. Barry. Three adults with intensely committed lives converge on two benches in a public park. They are surrounded by the distant sounds of bombs which awaken them from their sheltered confessional reveries. By Larry Litt.

KIN- Patch Darrah as Sean and Kristen Bush as Ann., Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Kin" by Bathsheba Doran
The play is directed by Sam Gold at Playwrights Horizons. Personal and family connections are fraught with psychological peril, disappointment, sometimes joy. It's the stuff of many, even most, plays, films, novels. Bathsheba Doran weaves those strands into a complex web and network that connects and sometimes sustains lovers, friends, parents and children. By Lucy Komisar.

One Night with Fanny Brice
Fanny Brice has been dead for sixty years. But this season Brice will come alive again for one night, four times a week. This season, One Night with Fanny Brice is making its off-Broadway debut, directed by Deffaa, at St. Luke’s Theatre. The show was originally to feature Farah Alvin, but almost at the last minute Greenberg, who is about to celebrate two years of performing the role of Sylvia Fine in Danny & Sylvia, The Danny Kaye Musical (also at St. Luke’s), stepped in to replace Alvin, who left the show due to scheduling conflicts. By Paulanne Simmons.

BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT-- Kristen Bush as Anna and Matthew Rauch as Simon. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Kin" Is Kind to Families
It isn't until the very last scene that it becomes obvious why Bathsheba Doran called her latest play "Kin." But it all comes together. The play, directed by Sam Gold at Playwrights Horizons, is a poignant and insightful statements about how people, as fragile and imperfect as they may be, come together to form new families. By Paulanne Simmons.

"Beautiful Burnount"
"Beautiful Burnount", co-directed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggettworks, from National Theatre Of Scotland, at St. Ann's Warehouse, works at the intersection of two time-honored dramatic questions. What happens to a dream deferred? And, what price glory? If these are recognizably American references, that's no reason for them not to serve this hot, energized Scottish import. The dream here is to become an acclaimed professional boxer. The title signals that the plan will not come to fruition as envisioned. By Dorothy Chansky.

THIS AIN'T NO TEA PARTY--Jamie Jackson as Lady Margo Barnsely Farnsworth

"This Ain't No Tea Party."
Lucy Komisar writes, "Jamie Jackson's musical satire is the funniest political skit I've heard in years and is a highlight of 'This Ain't No Tea Party!' Jackson, who played one of the multi-characters in the demanding and hilarious 'The 39 Steps' Off-Broadway last year, is a compleat actor." He was one of six performers at the political cabaret staged by the progressive "Laughing Liberally" at Midtown Theater on West 46th Street.

AMERICAN IDIOT

"American Idiot"
This vibrant rock production about youthful rebellion in the face of a fraudulent society is in the tradition of "Hair." But it's not "Hair" with the memorable tunes that we still remember decade later; it's more like MTV. Fast, often driving, and the kind of hard rock of the 28 Green Day tunes that doesn't much distinguish it from anything else of that genre. By Lucy Komisar.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST--David Furr as Worthing and Santino Fontana as Algernon Moncrieff. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"The Importance of Being Earnest"
"The Importance of Being Earnest" directed by Brian Bedford is taking place at American Airlines Theatre. The genius of Oscar Wilde's skewering of the British upper classes circa 1895 is that his satire is rather gentle, even affectionate, but his pointed steel neatly pierces the targets. In his deft and delightful "The Importance of Being Earnest," he manages to get a few licks in at the literary establishment as well. All is done with enormous wit and panache, and not a trace of meanness, owing much to the flawless direction and acting of Brian Bedford. By Lucy Komisar.

 

"Kings: The Siege of Troy"
Larry Litt writes, "At long last I’ve seen contemporary verse theater dynamically emerge as the dramatic storytelling art it was meant to be." Jim Milton's brilliant adaptation and direction of "Kings: The Siege of Troy" is an hour and a quarter of high action lucidly burning language and piercing acting based on the prize winning verse translation of Homer's Iliad by Sir Christopher Logue.

SPYSURROUND--Steven Rattazzi (Francisco Franco). Photo by Jim Baldassare.

Spysurround
You could be forgiven for thinking that a show with the title "Spy Garbo" was about movies or stardom. Sheila Schwartz's play directed by Kevin Cunningham at 3LD Art & Technology Center, instead resuscitates three historic European figures whose reputations were made and broken in the mid twentieth-century battle between communism and fascism.Still, the show business connection is not entirely wrong. Schwartz's conceit is that the three are auditioning for History, in the hope of going in villains and coming out leading men. That they do not entirely fail is a testament to the astounding research—both textual and visual—that Schwartz brings to the table. By Dorothy Chansky.

THE MILK TRAIN DOESN'T STOP HERE ANY MORE -- Maggie Lacey as Blackie and Darren Pettie as Chris. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore"
There's a touch of the Southern Gothic in many of Tennessee Williams' plays, and it is usually seasoning in a pungent stew about human relationships, desires, and failings. But this play, directed by Michael Wilson, is overwhelmed by Southern Gothic till it becomes a potboiler, a parody of a melodrama. This Roundabout Theater production is saved by the extraordinary performance of Olympia Dukakis, whose portrayal of the garish, bullying, self-centered Flora Goforth takes fire and pulls you in till you feel part of the conflagration. By Lucy Komisar.

THE WHIPPING MAN -- Jay Wilkison and Andre Braugher in "The Whipping Man". Photo by Joan Marcus.

God and Ghosts in "The Whipping Man"
In the songs and prayers of African-American slaves one frequently finds references to the manner in which God freed the children of Israel from their Egyptian captors. "The Whipping Man," directed by Doug Hughes, is Matthew Lopez'z imaginative melding of the Jewish and African-American liberation stories, playing at New York City Center-Stage. Lopez has done quite a bit of research for this play. His knowledge of Judaism is admirable. But it is to some extent superficial. He charges in where he should tiptoe. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

OTHER DESERT CITIES -- Elizabeth Marvel as Brooke and Stacey Keach as her father. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Comic left-right conflict of "Other Desert Cities" is exploded by a family secret
"Other Desert Cities" is a very New York play even if it takes place in Palm Springs, California. Playwright Jon Robin Baitz tells what happens when a New York writer who lives in Sag Harbor (where a lot of New York writers go in summer), journeys west to visit her extremely Republican parents. "Extremely" means they were friends of the Reagans. By Lucy Komisar

Getting Married in the 21st Century
In many ways that A.R. Gurney's "Black Tie," produced by Primary Stages at 59E59 under the direction of Mark Lamos, touches on the very same emotions many parents feel as their children become adults: nostalgia for their own youth, confusion over changing values, happiness and relief that the children have finally grown up. "Black Tie" is so well written and performed audiences may not notice that the demands and resentments of the bride-to-be and her overwhelming self-involvement do not predict happy outcomes for this marriage. Perhaps Gurney is planning on a sequel, Black Tie: the Divorce. By Paulanne Simmons.


"The Witch of Edmonton"

Modern audiences forget that Elizabethan and Jacobean dramas were designed to entertain. By law the theatres could only be built outside of London--in Bankside and Shoreditch--to keep the apprentices from playing hooky. The groundlings--the poor people--stood for two hours, yet from all reports, the theatres still were crowded. As for those who had more than two pennies to rub together, most sat on uncomfortable wooden benches. So the playwrights--who were competing with bear baiting--had to keep it lively. The plays, taking place at Theatre at St. Clement's, were meant to move an audience to tears and laughter--and sometimes to scare the living daylights out of them with ghosts and witches. By Glenda Frank.

THREE SISTERS -- Maggie Gyllenhaal, Juliet Rylance, Jessica Hecht in "Three Sisters" at Classic Stage. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Three Sisters
Most of the characters in director August Pendleton's brilliant staging of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" at Classic Stage live in hazes of self-delusion and despair lit by flashes of hope and bitter disappointment. That could represent the unhappiness of individuals, especially women, who have little ability to change lives without joy. It can also stand for the illusions of the burgers and small-time aristocrats who as a group also had no future in the moribund society of pre-revolutionary Russia. By Lucy Komisar.

Lysistrata
A sly, romantic Lysistrata? Yes, finally a break from the contemporary deadly serious anti-war versions of Aristophanes' classic comedy. You should know that the play tells the story of several Greek women, leaders of their society, attempting to put an end to their men's long lasting wars by denying them sex when they return home for temporary rest and retreat. By Larry Litt.

Molly Sweeney at the Irish Repertory Theatre
Brian Friel is certainly a great storyteller, and the premise of "Molly Sweeney" could make for a captivating drama. However, once the dramatist decided to divide his tale into alternating dramatic monologues between the three principal characters, he set down a formidable challenge, which Irish Rep's director Charlotte Moore never manages to overcome. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE--Photo by Mark Garvin, from left to right: The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee at P-A-P-E-R M-I-L-L P-L-A-Y-H-O-U-S-E
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, about six oddball spelling bee competitors (not counting audience members roped into temporarily appearing onstage) trying to out-spell each other and win the glorious title of country champion, entertainingly covers some major issues youngsters face growing up: overbearing parents, unwanted erections, embarrassing last names, and general goofiness. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. By Paulanne Simmons.

A WONDERFULLY FLAT THING


A Fable to Reflect On
With its small scale and congenial audience interaction, "A Wonderfully Flat Thing" at 14th Street Y is a perfect first-time theater experience for very young children and their adult companions. By Paulanne Simmons.

MISS ABIGAILS GUIDE TO DATING, MATING, & MARRIAGE!--Eve Plumb as Miss Abigail. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Take a Peek at the Past with Miss Abigail
"Miss Abigail's guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage!" is the perfect show for a bunch of girls to see while the guys go bowling or watch football on T.V. But it's also a great show to see with a date or mate. By Paulanne Simmons.

LA BÊTE--Mark Rylance as Valere, Joanna Lumley as Princess and David Hyde Pierce as Elomire. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"La Bête" is a devastating satire about the domination of low culture
The corruption of culture is the theme of this searing and wildly funny satire written by David Hirson in 1991 and, alas, ever more appropriate today. Mark Rylance is dazzling in the role of Valere, a gross, foppish, foolish street performer who threatens the high art of the theater troop directed by Elomire (David Hyde Pierce), a stand-in for Molière, who was a court playwright. By Lucy Komisar.

 

BRIEF ENCOUNTER -- Hannah Yelland as Laura and Tirstan Sturrock as Alec, enjoy new love in a rowboat. Photo Joan Marcus.

Brief Encounter
I can't remember when I've seen a play as hokey and charming and full of fun as "Brief Encounter." Okay, I take that back. It was "The 39 Steps." But not surprising, it is also a spoof of an iconic British film, that one by Alfred Hitchcock. This one is by Noël Coward. If you want to have a very good time, go to this production. But notice the deeper meaning underneath it all. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

Theatrical Breezes from The Windy City!
Theatre in Chicago & Milwaukee--American Theatre Critics Conference

June's not bustin' out all over
Simon Gray's THE COMMON PURSUIT, Cirkus Cirkör's WEAR IT LIKE A CROWN, Mayank Keshaviah's RANGOON, Fernanda Coppel's CHIMICHANGAS & ZOLOFT, Will Eno's TITLE & DEED, Mary Chase's HARVEY, Kenneth Lonergan's MEDIEVAL PLAY, Alberto Bassetti's TWO SISTERS--TWO BROTHERS, John Patrick Shanley's STOREFRONT CHURCH, Martha Gellhorn & Virginia Cowles' LOVE GOES TO PRESS, Gina Gionfriddo's RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, Lameece Issaq & Jacob Kader's FOOD & FADWA, Greg Pierce's SLOWGIRL, Chris Marlowe's, or Francis Bacon's, or Will Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT.

Mayday! Mayday!
"Clybourne Park" is Raisin in the Sun territory, with racial problems, Spring Season Double Header at the Jewish Museum and more!

April is the Cruelest Month, Again!
"Newsies" at the Nederlander, Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," Artists from Shanghai at Asia Society, Masterworks at the Frick and more!

The Humana Festival 2012
There are many Sites of Interest in Louisville--Looville, to some Locals--including Churchill Downs, the Speed Art Museum, & the Louisville Slugger Museum, but the Recycled Bank that’s the Architectural Showpiece of Actors Theatre of Louisville is certainly the Center of Interest during the Industry & Critics Weekends of the Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays.

February Arts Rambles
Philippe Entremont Conducts, With Three Outstanding Young Pianists in Mozart Concertos!, Mellon Lecture at the Morgan: Fantastic Photos of Farnese Gallery in French Embassy in Rome, Collegiate Choral Sing Bruckner's Te Deum at Carnegie: Anything But TeDious!, Too Many Unresolved Plot Lines in Instinct on Theatre Row: What's It All About?, Little Known Rossinis at Juilliard: Silken Ladders & Repudiated Marriage Contracts, Renoir's Full Length French Dancers at the Frick!, Charles Ryskamp Lives Again at the Frick!, Demented & Defeated Artist in the Desert at Repertorio…, Take Your Medicine! Primary Stages Prescribes RX at 59E59…, Mile High New Play Interlude in Denver!, Prints, Prints, & More Prints at MoMA: Even Hanging on Wash Lines!, Vistas of Endless Lottery Ticket Mosaic Space: Ghost of a Dream/forever, almost at Davidson!, NY City Opera Lives Again! Jonathan Miller's La Traviata at BAM!, Masterful Kurt Masur Master Class in Conducting at Manhattan School, THE ANNUAL: 2012—At the National Academy! Not To Be Confused with the Whitney Biennial…, Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna Takes a Bow at BAM!, The Steins Collect & Degas Draws at the Met Museum:, What Is It about Those Art Loving Jews? A Genius for Collecting Avant Garde: Cones & Steins!, The Civil War Revisited at the Grolier: Is That the Appomattox Courthouse?, Way Out West on 42nd Street: CQ/CX—The Atlantic at the Peter Norton Space, Crushed Auto Bumpers & Colorful Crumpled Truck Bodies: Chamberlain at the Guggenheim, Learning How To Drive All Over Again: Paula Vogel's Behind the Wheel Play Revived, More Arts Treasures Up for Grabs [or Bids] at Christie's, Freshly Minted Rutherford & Son Revival at the Mint Theatre!, At the New City, "Christopher Marlowe's" Julius Caesar?, The Set Implodes & Explodes—With Some Assistance—in Assistance at Playwrights Horizons, Gingerbread Ahead! Amato Hansel & Gretel at the Manhattan School!

January 2012 Roundup
Digital & Design Wonders at Newly Recreated New York Historical Society!, Our Own Grandma Moses Foremost among Outstanding Outsider Artists at Galerie St. Etienne, Rosemary Harris Lives On The Road To Mecca, But Watch Out for Sudafrikaanse Dominies!, George Washington Crosses the Delware Once Again in Met's New American Wing!, On Auction at Christie's: Fugitive Treasures from the American Wing?, Free Ai Wei Wei in Bregenz Last Summer, But Now He's On Display Near Frank Ghery…, Shuffling Through The Picture Box Yields Nostalgia, But Not Powerful Plot Inspirations, Sparse Pickings in Contemporary Art at Phillips de Pury: Haring, Rauschenberg, etc, At Stanford, Be Careful With Whom You Room: Outside People May Prove a Problem!, Stage Stars' Fashionable Costumes & Hats Excited the Matinée Ladies: Play Pictorial at Bard, Dropping by Bonhams' To Check on Forthcoming Auction Treasures…, Close Up Space: Literary Editor & English Prof from Hell: Bad Dad's Daughter Speaks Russian…, Rembrandt & Friends at the Morgan: Bold Strokes in Vivid Centuries Old Inks!, Weegee Lenses Murder + Historic Magnum Contact Sheets at International Photography Show, Armory's Winter Antiques Show Echoes Met Museum's American Wing Treasures, Kevin Spacey Astonishes in Richard III at BAM: A Bum Back & a Bum Leg Don't Deter Him…, Master Scroll Painter Fu Baoshi Survives Two Revolutions, Outsider Art & Effortful Amateurs at Metropolitan Pavilion: How About Tramp Art?, Outsider Art & Self Taught Artists at the Outsider Art Fair down on West 34!, Roy Arias Sponsors International Theatre Fest, But Match Doesn't Strike a Light…, In Russian Transport, Lad Drives Under Age "Models" from JFK, Working for Russki Mafia Uncle, Cynthia Nixon Shaves Her Head for Wit, But the Brain Is Still Sharp…, Why Didn't Martin Luther King Create Porgy & Bess: Who's This White Guy, Anyway?, From William Christie & Enchanted Island at the Met to Baroque Opera at Juilliard's Tully Hall, Look Back in Anger Revived, But Young Brits Have More Cause for Anger Now Than Then…, Thundering Thunderbirds Take Over New City: Impressive Amer Ind Dances & Rituals, Cultured Pearl of a Play at the Pearl: GBS's The Philanderer: Lessons To Be Learnt!, Phantom of the Opera breaks records.

 

A Closer Look at "Core Values"

"Chemistry of Love" at La MaMa E.T.C.

Two Views of "Ann" at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre

"Old Hats" at the Signature Theatre

"I'm a Stranger Here Myself"

"Blondie of Arabia"

"The Drawer Boy" at SoHo Playhouse

"Richard III: Born with Teeth"

"Julius Caesar" at BAM

"Finks" at the Ensemble Studio Theatre

Witness Relocation in "Eterniday" at La MaMa E.T.C.

Kathryn Hunter Gives Memorable Performance as “Kafka’s Monkey”

“Southern Discomfort” Explores the Land that Gave Birth to the Blues

"King Executioner"

"Happy Birthday" is Anita Loos' Fluffy Ode to Love

"Honky" is a Black Comedy

"Shaheed – The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto"is Penetrating Political Theater

"Katie Roche" at the Mint Theatre

"Electra" at the Wild Project

"The Flick" at Playwrights Horizons

The Pearl's "Henry IV, Part 1"

"The Old Boy" at Theatre Row

"The Wild Bride" at St Ann's Warehouse

"Belleville" at the New York Theatre Workshop

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the Richard Rogers Theatre

"Clive" at the Acorn Theatre

"The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Studio 54"

"The Other Place" at Manhattan Theater Club

"Big Flower Eater" by Victoria Linchong

"The Man Who Laughs" at Urban Stages Theater

"Children of Paradise" at Theater for the New City

"Manilow on Broadway" at St James Theatre

“The Suit” at BAM

"Kane and Habil at the Pizza Parlor" at La MaMa

Wars and More Wars in "The Steadfast"

Carole J. Bufford Sings About "Body & Soul"

Women's Theater Project's "Bethany"

Valentina Fratti directs "R.U.R" at the Harold Clurman

"Picnic" at the Roundabout

"Something's Got Ahold of My Heart" at La MaMa

Two views of "Golden Boy"

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Welcome Back “Forbidden Broadway”

Old Jews Telling Jokes

"Annie" Teaches Us How to Be Happy in Hard Times

Two views of "All in the Timing" at 59E59

The Nance

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle”

"Nikolai and the Others"

"Lucky Guy" at the Broadhurst Theatre

"I'll Eat You Last" with Bette Midler

"I Forgive You, Ronald Reagan" at Beckett Theater

"Alcestis Ascending" at Harold Clurman Theater

"The Year I Was Gifted" at 59E59

"Cradle Will Rock" at City Center

Two Views of "The Explorers Club"

"Gepetto" at the Concrete Temple Theatre

"Lesbian Love Octagon" at The Kraine Theater

"Naked Darrow" at The Drilling Company

"A Picture of Autumn" at the Mint Theatre

"The Little Mermaid" at the Paper Mill Playhouse, NJ

Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter

Juno and the Paycock

Nutcracker Rouge

"Fun Home" at The Public

Beckett’s “All That Fall”

"Life on the Mississippi" at The WorkShop Theatre

"The Winslow Boy" at The Roundabout

The Glass Menagerie

Under the Greenwood Tree

Hamlet Hallucinations

“Lady Day” with Dee Dee Bridgewater as Billie Holiday

“Arguendo” at The Public Theater

“The Old Friends” by Horton Foote at Signature Theater

“Phillip Goes Forth"

“Breakfast with Mugabe”

Phoenix Theatre's "Don Juan in Hell"

Two views of "You Never Can Tell" at the Pearl

Annie

Soul Doctor

Sacred Elephant

Harbor at 59E59 Theaters

Forever Tango

“Under the Greenwood Tree”

Tennessee Williams' "The Two-Character Play"

“Summer Shorts 2013, Series A” at 59E59 St.

The Glory of Living

Handle With Care

"Shakespeare and Elizabeth I" by Phoebe Legere

Maria Schneider Orchestra

Julie Taymor's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

"The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed" in Hong Kong

"Machinal"

"Dr. Dubois and Miss Ovington"

"Wiesenthal"

“Café Society Swing”

“The Invisible Hand” at New York Theatre Workshop

“Winter Rhythms: Salute to Singer/Songwriters of the Seventies” at Urban Stages

“Side Show” at St. James Theatre

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Czech Puppets

"King of Hearts is Off Again" at LaMaMa

"Tail! Spin!" at Lynn Redgrave Theater

"Tamburlaine" at Theatre for a New Audiencey

"Two by Tavel" at Theater for the New City

"The Real Thing" at Roundabout Theatre Company

"Father Comes Home From the Wars" at American Repertory Theater at the Public Theater

"The Oldest Boy" at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater

"Angels in America" at BAM

"Jacuzzi" at Ars Nora

"The Valley of Astonishment" by Peter Brook at the Theatre for a New Audience

"Can Can" at Paper Mill Playhouse

"Indian Ink. " at Roundabout Theatre Company

"Love Letters" at Brooks Atkinson Theatre

"I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, Or, This Is a Mango"

"The Valley of Astonishment" at Theatre for a New Audience

"Rococo Rouge" at Theater-Lounge

"This Lingering Life" by Chiori Miyagawa at Here

"Embers" by Beckett at BAM

"riverrun" at BAM

"Red Eye of Love" at Dicapo Opera Theater

"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Party Politics

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: War

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Repression

Penny Arcade's "Longing Lasts Longer"

"Violet"

"Romeo and Juliet"

"Der Gelbe Stern" (The Yellow Star)

"Dear Mom"

"The Cripple of Inishmaan"

"Much Ado About Nothing"

"The Old Woman"

"Ayckbourn Ensemble"

"Satchmo at the Waldorf"

Two views of "The Killer"

Two views of "The City of Conversation”

"Under My Skin"

"BenDeLaCreme"

"Simons Green: So, This Then Is Life"

"The Few"

"All the Way"

"After Midnight"

"Sotto Voce"

"The Norwegians"

"If/Then"

"Of Mice and Men"

“Disgraced”

"The Last Ship" at Neil Simon Theater

"You Can't Take it With You" at Longacre Theatre

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" at Walter Kerr Theater

"Cabaret" at Studio 54 (again)

"A Delicate Balance"

"Film Chinois"

"Da"

"The Last Ship"

"The Elephant Man"

"Kill Me Like You Mean It"

"The Bullpen"

"Constellation"

"The Skin of Our Teeth"

Three Plays about the Darkness in the Soul

A Plethora of Solo Shows Currently Playing Off Broadway

"Sting*chronicity"

"Abundance"

"Fashions for Men" Looks Good

"Judgment on a Gray Beach"

"An Octoroon"

"Lives of the Saints"

"Apllication Pending"

"All Gone West"

"The Nether"

"Martyrs Street"

"The Heidi Chronicles"

"The Tallest Tree in the Forest."

2017 DELETIONS

Matilda, the Musical

"Life Masks" by Lorinne Vozoff and Eduardo Machado at Theater for the New City

"Empathitrax" at HERE

“Phaedra(s)" at the BAM Harvey Theater

Gregorian at the Walkerspace Theatre

“A Day by the Sea" at The Theatre Row

“Quietly" at the Irish Repertory Theatre

"The Mushroom Cure" at the Cherry Lane Studio Theater

Two views of "Alice in Black and White" at 59E59

“Oslo"

“Winter's Tale " at The New York Classical Theatre

“Hadestown" at the New York Theatre Workshop

“Shuffle Along" at the Music box

“Tarantata"- Spider Dance at the At Cathedral of St. John the Divine

“The Crucible”

"She Loves Me,”directed by Scott Ellis At Studio 54

“Radiant Vermin” at 59E59 Theaters

"Confusions" at the Stephen Joseph Theatre

“Long Day's Journey into Night " at the Roundabout Theatre

"Bright Star" at the Core theatre

“The Father ” at Manhattan Theater Club

“Skeleton Crew ” at Atlantic Theater Company

“Eclipsed” at the Golden Theatre

"The Judas Kiss" at BAM

"West Side Story" at the Paper Mill Playhouse

"Dark Night, Bright Stars" by Yara Arts Group at La Mama

"Blackbird" by David Harrower

"Shuffle Along " at the Music Box Theatre

"The Judas Kiss" at the BAM Harvey Theater

"Toast" at the 59E59 Theaters

“Even Under Bitterness” at the Castillo Theatre

"Echoes" at the 59E59 Theaters

The 2016 Annual Drama Desk Awards

"The Adventures of Sherock Holmes"

"Bright Star" at the Cort Theatre

The 66th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards

"A Night Without a Banket" at Theater for the New City

"Hamlet 10 " at The Flamboyan Theater

"Electronic City " at Theater for the New City

"The Digger " at La Mama

"Widowers Houses, " presented by The Actors Company Theatre

"Hughie" at the Booth Theatre

"L'Amant Anonyme " at the Little OPERA theatre of NY

"Pericles," directed by Trevor Nunn for Theater for a New Audience

"Ruthless" at the St. Luke’s Theatre

"Ideation" at 59E59 Theaters

"Buried child " at the Pershing Square Signature Center

"The Body of an American" at the Cherry Lane Theater

"Women Without Men"

"Prodigal Son" by John Patrick Shaney at City Center

"The Sorcerers" at Theater for the New City

"The Woodsman" at New World Stages

"Pappy on Da Underground Railroad" at Gene Frankel Theater

"Snow White" by Austin McCormick at Minetta Lane Theatre

"China Doll" at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

"The Burial at Thebes" Directed by Charlotte Moore at Irish Repertory Theatre

"YES" by Tim Realbuto at Hudson Guild Theatre

"Fiddler on the Roof" at Broadway Theatre

"Allen Wilder 2.0," written and directed by Matt Morillo

Two views of "Lazarus" by David Bowie and Edna Walsh

Two views of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" at Lyceum Theatre

"Marjorie Prime" at Playwrights Horizons

"The Color Purple"

"Once Upon A Mattress" at Abrons Arts Center/Playhouse Theater

"The Count Meets The Duke: The Andersons Play Basie And Ellington"

"My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy" by Brad Zimmerman

"Allegiance" with George Takei

David Lefkowitz in "The Miracle of Long Johns"

Two reviews of "Sylvia" at the Cort Theatre

“King Charles III.” on Broadway

“Incident at Vichy” by Arthur Miller at Signature Theatre

“Dead and Breathing” at National Black Theatre

"Cuckooed," written and performed by Mark Thomas

"In White America" by Martin Duberman

Pinter's “Old Times”at American Airlines Theatre

"The Bandstand" directed by Andy Blankenbuehler

"Big Apple Circus" at Lincoln Center

“Texts&beheadings/ElizabethR.” by Karin Coonrod.

"Death Of Saleman" in Yiddish

"Cloud Nine" by Caryl Churchill at the Atlantic

“The New Morality” by Harold Chapin at the Mint

“Desire” channels Tennessee Williams’ riffs on sex

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot's "Macbeth"

“The King and I” – gorgeous spectacle of 1860s British governess & Asian despot

“An Act of God” is Jim Parsons’ very witty take on religious hokum

"An American in Paris" is a staircase to dance paradise

"Trail of Tears" by Thomas J. Soto

"Cymbeline" on-the-grass by Boomerang Theatre

"The Tempest" Takes Over Harlem By Storm

"Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity"

"On The 20th Century"

"The Tempest" in Central Park

"Injunction Granted"

"The Roaring Girl"

"New Country"

Love and reflection in "This Is Mary Brown"


"2 by Wolf"

"Gigi"

"Wolf Hall"


"Skylight"

"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" at Fiasco Theater


"Most Dangerous Man in America (W.E.B. Du Bois)"

"Ever After" Is a Musical and Modern Interpretation of Cinderella

"Fences" by August Wilson at Morningside Players

"Old Flame"


"Forever"

"Street Singer"

"Churchill" Triumphs Again

"Night" by Charles L. Mee

"Search: Paul Clayton"

"A Certain Quiet" opera

"Trash Cuisine" by Belarus Free Theatre at La MaMa

"The King and I"

“Clinton - The Musical”

"The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? " and "The Book of Moron"

"The Audience"

"Churchill"

"Into The Woods"

"On The Town"

"Fuerza Bruta: Wayra"

"Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging"

"Tony n' Tina's Wedding"

 

"The Front Page"

 

"A Bronx Tale" at the Longacre Theatre

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses"

"Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn" at Studio 54

"The Encounter"

"Sweet Charity " at The Signature Center

The Negro Ensemble revives "Day of Absence"

"Fiddler on the Roof" at The Broadway Theatre

"The Lion in Winter" at The Two River Theater

One Flea Spare

"Pip's Island" at the Skylight Modern

"Finian’s Rainbow" at the Irish Repertory Theatre

"Plenty" at The Public theatre

"Mad Love" at The NJ Repertory

"Underground Railroad Game" at Ars Nova

"Sense and Sensibility" at The Gym and Judson

"The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui"

"In the Room"

"Zora Neale Hurston"

Cabaret Convention 2016

“Orwell in America" at 59E59

“Ship of Fools" at HERE

“Battlefield" at the BAM Harvey Theater

“Nat Turner in Jerusalem" at New York Theatre Workshop

"Afterplay" at Irish Rep

"Fiorello" Off-Broadway

 

2 Views of "Sunset Boulevard "

"Life According to Saki" at the 4th Street Theatre

"A Comedy of Tenors" at the Papermill Playhouse

"The Big Broadcast on East 53rd" at the TBG Theatre

"Yours Unfaithfully" at theBeckett Theatre

"ADAM," bioplay on Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

"Penny Arcade Longing Last Longer" at St. Anne's Warehouse

"The Big Broadcast on East 53rd" at the TBG Theatre

"Drunkle Vanya "at the Russian Samovar

"Hurricane Diane" at the Two River Theater

Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play" at the New Victory Theatre

"Our Secrets" at the Baryshnikov Arts Center

"Jitney" at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

"Jag"at the New Jersey Rep

"Golgotha"

"La Cantata Dei Pastori" at TNC

"The Fempire Strikes Back !!" at the Actors Fund Arts Center

"Piaf! The Show" at the Carnegie Hall

"Through the Darkness" at The Workshop Theater

"Merry Wives " at the Two River Theater

"The Object Lesson" at New York Theater Workshop

"The Skin of Our Teeth" at Theatre for a New Audience

Ibsen's "The Mountain Bird" at La MaMa

"Calderon's Two Dreams" at La MaMa

"American Son" at the George Street Playhouse

Benghazi Bergen-Belsen

Dead Man's Dinner

"The Women of Padilla"

The Glass Menagerie

"Angel" and "Echoes"

New Stage Theatre Company in "Rules"

"Roof-Top Joy"

"The Little Foxes"

"How to Transcend a Happy Marriage"

2 Views of "Present Laughter"

Two by Tabori: “Mein Kampf” and “Jubilee”

"Peerless"

"Daughters of the Mock"

“Arlington”

"The Lucky one"

"& Juliet at NJ Rep"