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Dance Reviews and Film Reviews are in their own section

 

Summer and Smoke

Aristophanes' The Birds

Kafka's The Trial

Rechnitz

"The Sting" at Paper Mill Playhouse

"Matata and Jesse James: An American Tragedy" at Castillo

Hanoch Levin Squared

Two views of "Admissions"

Good for Otto

Distant Observer: Tokyo/New York Correspondence

Shakespeare's Will

Three Wise Guys

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz

"Three on a Match" at IATI Theater

"Gabriel: A Polemic"

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz

The Morningside Players in "Having Our Say"

"Kings" by Sarah Burgess at the Public

Eve Ensler's "In The Body of The World"

Enda Walsh's "Disco Pigs" at the Irish Rep: Two Feverish Adolescents On The Cusp of Adulthood

The New Group's "Jerry Springer - The Opera"

"This One's for the Girls" is a Terrific Feminist Take on Pop Music

"Pollock" by Fabrice Melquiot

"Junk" Explains Wall Street Corruption Better than Most Newspapers Do

"A Soldier's Play"

"The Parisian Woman" is a Good/Bad Play About Political Corruption

"Returning to Reims"

"Hangman" By Martin McDonagh

John Lithgow: The Showing and Telling of "Stories by Heart"

Stranger in a Strange Land: " Harriet's Return"

We All Bleed Red: "One Drop"

"Hindle Wakes" Steps Gracefully out of the Past

"Twelfth Night" by Fiasco Theater

Romance Meets the Ridiculous in Kate Hamill's "Pride and Prejudice"

"What Elsas Knew in a Peril" at New Stage Theatre Company

Teatro Patologico at LaMaMa and The United Nations

"The Fountainhead" is Van Hove's Misogynistic take on Ayn Rand

"20th Century Blues"

"State of Siege"

"Time and the Conways"

Elevator Repair Service's "Measure for Measure"

"House on Poe Street"

"Lonely Planet"

Cabaret Convention 2017 at Lincoln Center

"As You Like It" at Classic Stage Company

"In the Blood" at Signature Theater

"F**king A." at Signature Theater

"A Soldier's Play"

"The Terms of My Surrender" with Michael Moore

"Guilty" from Iceland

Two views of "Mary Jane"

Two Views of "Prince of Broadway"

"For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday"

"Van Gogh's Ear"

The Public's "Midsummer Night's Dream"

Two views of "1984" on Broadway

"Henry VI Part 3" in a Parking Lot

"Between a Cock and a Hard Place"

Two views of "Amerike - The Golden Land"

"The Enchantment"

"Seeing You"

Theater for a New Audience's "Measure for Measure"

"The Rivals" outdoors

"Refugia" at the Guthrie

"Bandstand"

"War Paint"

"The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?"

"410[GONE]"

"Groundhog Day"

"A Doll’s House, Part 2"

"Indecent"

Two views of "War Paint”

"PUFFS" at The Elektra Theater

"Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812"

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: dance is classical, jazzy, sometimes almost like sculpture

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: the struggle for justice

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: the people the system chews up

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: plays on the system’s corruption

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: plays about war and its fallout

"Viva Las Vegas," Bobby Nesbitt’s celebration of great cabaret performers, presented in Key West

Glenn Loney in Munich and Bregenz, 2015

“Pico and Chown, Back in Town”

"Fiddler on the Roof" at Arena Stage

"Marjorie Prime" at the Mark Taper Forum

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Party Politics

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: War

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Repression

"The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed" in Hong Kong

The Other Face of Cuban Jazz

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

Nice Jazz Festival in Nice, France

"Mary T. and Lizzy K." at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

"The Year of Magical Thinking" in St. Augustine, FL

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Speaking words of Wisdom at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival

 

 

Tartuffe (Brent Harris), left, and Orgon (Patrick Toon)

"Tartuffe" at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Here's a play about a man who lies about pretty much everything. Despite claiming to be a stand-up guy – ardently religious even – he’d con you out of your socks given half a chance, and hit on your wife, groping her inappropriately (there’s another kind?) when your back is turned.Sounds contemporary? No, it's the 350-year old “Tartuffe,” by French playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, aka Molière, and despite its unsavory title character, it is damn funny. Especially as being performed at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

Marin Ireland and Nathan Darrow in "Summer and Smoke"

Two views of "Summer and Smoke"
In this "Summer and Smoke" by Tennessee Williams, directed by Jack Cummings III, artistic director of the co-producing (with Classic Stage Company) Transport Group, the production is stripped down to its essential relationships. By Philip Dorian and Lucy Komisar.

 

Photo by Teddy Wolff

 

 

This Aristophanes is not for the birds
Beate Hein Bennett swoons for Aristophanes' "The Birds" at St. Ann's Warehouse, writing "You will have a fantastic flight of theatrical fancy with some solid political and social underpinnings."

 

 

Will Dagger, Drigan Lee in "Kafka's The Trial." Photo by Joshua Kristal.

Kafka's The Trial
While the novel “The Trial” by Franz Kafka (1883-1924) has inspired numerous dramatic adaptations and performances since its posthumous publication in 1924—Kafka wrote it in 1914/15—Andrew Visnevski’s adaptation is presented as a US premiere and inaugural production by the new NYC company, Sextant Productions. It is a very timely choice, given the strange juridical climate presently prevailing in the United States, especially for DACA and other long-term illegal but working immigrants lingering in judicial limbo. (A side note: In 2013 the New Century Theatre in Seattle produced “The Trial” adapted by Kenneth Albers in a former INS immigration jail which housed deportees!) Kafka has been the pre-eminent literary godfather/prophet for the 20th century and, obviously, the play strikes a chord in our time. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

Danielle Aziza, Brandon Olson, Jeanne Lauren Smith in "Rechnitz." Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation.

Rechnitz
A sea of soliloquies floating on an ocean of collective excuses and denials forcing a memory of horror not to exist. Yet horrors always come back to haunt the dreams and imaginations of the creators of evil. All that is good rarely keeps us awake. We sleep in peace. Others wrestle with their evils while shame grabs their minds like a bear trap leaving them screaming for absolution. Rechnitz is that scream. By Larry Litt.

 

 

 

Harry Connick, Jr., center, and J. Harrison Ghee, right (in tuxes) at "The Sting" horse parlor. Photo: courtesy Paper Mill Playhouse.

"The Sting" at Paper Mill Playhouse
What do you look for in a musical? Songs and singers that make you glad you have ears? Multi-style choreography and dancers adept at every one of them? How ‘bout a plot that freezes your attention through every scene. And finally, a charismatic leading man heading up a cast that seems to be enjoying their work as much as you are enjoying them at it. ‘If only,’ you say? Well “The Sting” is that musical. (And Harry Connick, Jr. is that star.) By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

Photo by Ronald K. Glassman

Matata and Jesse James: An American Tragedy
With this play at Castillo Theatre, author Dan Friedman touches the raw nerve of race relations in American history which has not been fully resolved yet. The Civil War (1861-1865), one of the bloodiest wars was fought over the issue of slavery and related economic priorities. Our present political and social climate has laid bare the profound racial inequities that still prevail due to unresolved racial and socioeconomic factors. American folklore is full of these motifs. However, while Black American folklore has traditionally put a sly humorous spin on living the racial experience of being a non-person, white American folklore celebrates the gun-slinging outlaw as the hero rebel who conquers his place by defying societal norms.

 

 

 

 

Gera Sandler, Eli Rosen and Ronit Asheri in "The Labor of Life"

Hanoch Levin Squared
Hanoch Levin (1943-1999) wrote 56 plays, most of them dark comedies, about his fellow Israelis. He was not always kind, and he loved to shock his audiences. But there is also a poet in the playwright who can transform escapist fantasy into stage poetry, metaphor, and absurdist humor. The New Yiddish Rep is offering two of his plays, “Labor of Life” and the ”Whore from Ohio” in daily double (and sometimes triple) features in alternating languages, Hebrew and Yiddish, with English supertitles. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

ADMISSIONS -- Jessica Hecht as Sherri Rosen-Mason, Andrew Garman as her husband Bill Mason, and Ben Edelman as their son Charlie. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

 

Two views of "Admissions"
Lucy Komisar reports that "Admissions" is clever, funny and challenging, if not totally persuasive. It tells of the family crisis when Charlie (the terrific Ben Edelman), son of parents with top jobs at Hillcrest, an expensive second-tier prep boarding school in rural New Hampshire, doesn’t get into Yale. Paulanne Simmons deems it an issue play that’s almost as good as that kind of drama gets.

 

 

 

Rileigh McDonald, left, and Charlotte Hope, with Ed Harris in bacground. Photo by Monique Carboni.

Two views of "Good for Otto"
Philip Dorian writes that another fourth wall bites the dust in The New Group’s production of “Good for Otto,” at the Pershing Square Signature Center. David Rabe’s play, which premiered in 2015 at Chicago’s Gift Theatre, is not set in Grover’s Corners, but, we are told as the cast files into stage-perimeter seats, in the Berkshires town of Harrington, where our host, Dr. Robert Michaels (Ed Harris), is a counselor and chief administrator at Norwood Mental Health Center. The play that follows takes place in the Center’s offices and treatment rooms and in Dr. Michaels’ haunted memory bank. Glenda Frank adds that it's a star-studded production on a small stage, a rare treat in any theatre season.

 

Kyle Griffiths, Claire Buckingham, Samuel Im. Photo by Paula Court.

Distant Observer: Tokyo/New York Correspondence
The artistry of "Distant Observer: Tokyo/New York Correspondence" by John Jesurun and Takeshi Kawamura at La MaMa lies in depicting and embodying the central concepts of impermanence and mortality that mark our lives, whether in the Japanese or the American context. It is peculiar how a work of art that is filled with human despair gives hope for the survival of the human race through the creative spirit. And it's done through renga. Or is it "exquisite corpse"? By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

Tannis Kowalchuk as Anne Hathaway in "Shakespeare's Will." Photo by EmilyHewitt.

Shakespeare's Will
NACL and HERE presented the New York City premiere of “Shakespeare’s Will” by award winning Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen. This play focuses exclusively on Anne Hathaway and is homage to women who remain the stalwart companions-in-shadow to famous (and infamous) men. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

Yuval Boim, Mariella Haubs, and Adam Green. Photo by James Leynse.

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz
On hearing Yascha Heifetz at his debut performance, Fritz Kreisler, a leading violinist, said "We might as well take our fiddles and break them across our knees." Heifetz was 12 years old. Judged the single most influential player of the last 100 years, Heifetz redefined the art of the violin. He’s a fascinating man! Although Heifetz is one of the three characters (plus the violinist Mariella Haubs) in “A Walk with Mr. Heifetz,” the discussions of art and statehood are filtered through Yehuda Sharett, (Yuval Boim) who is an enthusiast, a kibbutznik and a musician. It is a clever structure that enables playwright James Inverne to ponder some interesting thoughts. Thoughts are the finest aspect of the production. The weakest is the drama. By Glenda Frank.

THREE WISE GUYS -- Joel Jones, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Karl Kenzler, and Ron McClary. Photo by Marielle Solan.

Three Wise Guys
If you love Damon Runyon’s outlandish characters and their eccentric articulations, you’re in for a treat. TACT’s latest offering (and final production) is “Three Wise Guys,” a comedy based on two Damon Runyon stories, “Dancing Dan’s Christmas” and “The Three Wise Guys.” Although the combination, as hammered out by Scott Alan Evans and Jeffrey Couchman, is at times a bit clumsy, the result is a thoroughly entertaining evening. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

THREE ON A MATCH: Angus Hepburn and Sean Phillips.

Three on a Match
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, New York City based IATI Theater Todo Vanguardia, which is devoted to contemporary, cutting-edge Latino works, could not have selected a more compelling and beautifully crafted play than Rhett Martinez' "Three On A Match," which examines state sponsored terrorism in Latin America during the 70s and 80s, and by a short stretch of the imagination, similar horrors currently going on in other parts of the world. Byb Edward Rubin.

 

 

 

GABRIEL: A POLEMIC -- L-R: Elaine Ivy Harris, Jane Bradley, Rachel A. Collins and Brandi Varnell.

"Gabriel: A Polemic"
As the tsunami of #MeToo has hit the news in the past few months, and as women have marched to protest roll-backs in women’s healthcare, reproductive rights, and gender equality issues, C. Denby Swenson’s "Gabriel: A Polemic" is quite timely. The discursive structure and combative argument among four highly individualized women, laced with humor and pathos, allow for a differentiated view of an explosive topic: Religion and a woman’s free will to have control over her own body in terms of sex and childbearing.

 

L: Carol Carter, R: Edythe Jason in "Having Our Say"

The Morningside Players in "Having Our Say" by Emily Mann
With their home theater on Lasalle Street currently under renovations, The Morningside Players moved temporarily to an intimate new space called North of History, located on Columbus Avenue at 81st Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Their production of "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" became the new venue's inaugural production as a theater space. This play by Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah H. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, is a delightful two-character piece about the renowned Delany sisters: Sadie, a retired teacher with a gentle disposition, age 103 at the time, and Bessie, a retired dentist still full of fight, age 101. They were memorably acted by Carol Carter and Edythe Jason. By Paul Berss.

 

 

 

KINGS -- Gillian Jacobs as Kate and Eisa Davis as Rep Sydney Millsap. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Kings"
When Lucy Komisar saw this amazingly timely play by Sarah Burgess about corporate Democrats attacking a progressive Texas candidate, she thought people might think, that really is a stretch. But have you checked the news? Do you know that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has just in recent weeks attacked Laura Moser, a terrific progressive female candidate for Congress from Houston, Texas? Could Burgess have written her play so fast, or is it life imitating art?

 

Eve Ensler. Photo by Joan Marcus

 

A Glorious Second Wind for Eve Ensler
With "In The Body of The World," a theatricalization of her 2013 book by the same name at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s New York City Center currently running through March 25, Ensler returns to the stage with a vengeance with a play about her battle with cancer. By Ed Rubin.

 

 

 

Evanna Lynch in "Dicso Pigs." Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

 

Enda Walsh's "Disco Pigs" at the Irish Rep: Two Feverish Adolescents On The Cusp of Adulthood
Edna Walsh's adrenaline-infused play is a coming of age story happening at supersonice speed, featuring made up languages and dialogue delivere din Gaelic. By Edward Rubin.

 


Cast members of "Jerry Springer - The Opera." Photo courtesy of The New Group.


The New Group's "Jerry Springer - The Opera"
Directed by John Rando, and choreographed by Chris Bailey, this production promises a good time. The show is in operatic form, with majority singing, not dialogue, and is called devilishly funny. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Haley Swindal, Traci Bair, Jana Robbins, Aneesa Folds. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

 


"This One's for the Girls" is a Terrific Feminist Take on Pop Music
This smart musical is semi-autobiographical, and moves through 60s music. There couldn't be a better moment in time for this show. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

Aus Greidanus Jr as Peter Keating (left), Ramsey Nasr as Howard Roark (right). Photo by Richard Termine.

 



"The Fountainhead" is Van Hove's Misogynistic take on Ayn Rand

The set takes place in a very large space allowing for easy scene changes. However, the reveiwer finds this play offensive, and compares it to a "B movie." By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Underground Theatre.

 

 

"Pollock" by Fabrice Melquiot
This play exposes extensive and impressive research on artist Jackson Pollock. The fluid staging takes place in an open space that invites viewers in. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

 

 

Ito Aghayere as the mole working for Erickson but giving info to crooked traders. Photo byT. Charles Erickson.


 

 

"Junk" Explains Wall Street Corruption Better than Most Newspapers Do
"Junk" hits investigative journalism right on the mar. Akhtar gives an excellent play-by-play, even better than the press. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

John Lithgow. Photo Joan Marcus.

 

 

Two Views of John Lithgow in "Stories by Heart"
Reviewed by both Edward Rubin, and Lucy Komisar, "Stories by Heart" is garnering quite an auience. Rubin calls it an educational performance, as Lithgow displays his dominance and control over a demanding role. Komisar calls Lithgow a charmer and a pleasure to watch. By Edward Rubin and Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Gary, Jr. as Pvt. C.J. Memphis.

 

 

They Still Hate You..."A Soldier's Play"
This play has particular poignancy with current gun violence tensions, and uncovers many unspoken resentments. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Uma Thurman as Chloe, Blaire Brown as Jenette. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

 

"The Parisian Woman" is a Good/Bad Play About Political Corruption
Hitting all of the political bases, this "staged TV sitcom" of a play is silly and shows standout roles for some of the actors. Hitting all the buttons, director Pam MacKinnon is fantastic. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

"Returning to Reims." Photo by Teddy Wolff.

 

 

Where to Stand: "Returning to Reims"
A hybrid of performances, "Returning to Reims" is a prominent piece of work featuring a small, but mighty, cast of just 3 actors. Incorporating media into theater, this show stands out. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Mark Addy and Sally Rogers in Martin McDonagh's "Hangman." Photo by Ahron R. Foster.

 

"Hangman" By Martin McDonagh
"Hangman" is described as an "unexpected double run." This dark comedy is intruguing and violent. Written by the same author as the oscar nominated film "3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", this play by Martin McDonagh is attneitve to topics such as guilt and innocence. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

John Lithgow performing "Stories by Heart." Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

John Lithgow: The Showing and Telling of "Stories by Heart"
Greeted with a tsunami of applause each night, John Lithgow walks across the American Airlines Theatre, charming arudiences, and showing off his literary gift. In an educational performance, Lithgow displays his dominance and control over a demanding role. By Edward Rubin.

 

 

Karen Jones Meadows as Harriet Tubman. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.

 

Stranger in a Strange Land: "Harriet's Return"
Karen Jones Meadows has beautifully created a full and fitting portrait of Harriet Tuman in a production by the New Federal Theater. Tubman's heroic story is performed with untiring energy, and Karen Jones Meadows shows us truly how Tubman earned her moniker "Moses." By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Same Crane and Mark Rylance in the Shakespeare's Globe production of "Farinelli and the King." Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway with "Farinelli And The King"
Mark Rylance, winner of three Tony's and an Oscar, returns to Broadway in his wife's play "Farinelli and the King." However, unfortunately no one could rescue Rylance from his wobbly and unsatisfing portrayal of Phillipe V. By Edward Rubin.

 

 

 

 

 

ONE DROP -- DaisyLee H. Sprauve as Edna (left), Denise Fair Grant as Norma Jean Thibodaux (left middle), Alicia Foxworth as LaTessa (right middle), and Illona S. Dixon as Lula Mae (right).

 

We All Bleed Red: "One Drop"
Structured like an epic folktale, "One Drop" has unearthed a part of playwright Andrea J. Fulton's own family history, enriched with live music and a true romantic tale. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

"American Hero" at George Street Playhouse. Photo coutesy of George Street Playhouse.

 

"American Hero" at the George Street Playhouse
Full of clarity and steeped in cynicism, "American Hero," written by christopher Demos-Brown and directed by David Saint, takes on the American military establishment with vividness and herosim. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

"The Outsider" at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo courtesy of the Paper Mill Playhouse.

 

"The Outsider" at the Paper Mill Playhouse
Paul Slade Smith's farcical romp puts a quirky spin on the difference between governing and "politicking." Written, directed and acted by David Esbjornson, "The Outsider" is a climactic mini-lecture that is quite unbelievable. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

The finale of "A Chorus Line" at Westchester Broadway Theater. Photo courtesy of WBT.

 

"A Chorus Line" at the Westchester Broadway Theater
A timeless and classic show has made its way to the stage of the Westchester Broadway Theater. Intended for all audiences alike, this production of "A Chorus Line" dazzles with creativity and originality, while still paying proper ode to the original work of genius. And even years later, this show is a must see for anyone who has ever awaited or desired the approval of others. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

Jeremy Beck and Emma Greer in "Hindle Wakes." Photo by Toddo Cerveris.


"Hindle Wakes" Steps Gracefully out of the Past
At a time when the “Me Too” hashtag is the latest permutation of the Feminist Movement, it’s hard to realize just how scandalous and revolutionary Stanley Houghton’s drama “Hindle Wakes” was in its time. By Paulanne Simmons.

 



 

 

"El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom." Photo courtesy of Two River Theater.

 

"El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom" Presented by Two River Theater
Descirbed as a live action cartoon with periodic reality checks, "El Coquí" illustrates how diversity and acceptance of Latino culture remain a fnatasy. Infused with inference and example of humor, this colorful and action-packed show has a message, but avoids stufiness, and superbly coordinates technical aspects. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

"The Calling." Photo courtesy of New Jersey Repertory Company.

 

"The Calling" Presented by New Jersey Repertory Company
Set in the nave of a Catholic church, Joel Stone's play is full of red herrings and shifting suspicions that show courage an intelligence. The intriguing by-play between the two men prompts philosophical questions challenging the reviewer. The acting and the directing couldn't be better. By Phil Dorian.

 

 




Jessie Austrian as Olivia and Emily Young as Viola-Cesario, photo by Joan Marcus



"Twelfth Night" is a Fine Intimate Musical Production by Fiasco
Theater
Known for its iconic and clever works, the Fiasco Theater Company delights with a production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" that is complex, intimate, and filled with live music performed by the actors themselves. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

Romance Meets the Ridiculous in Kate Hamill's "Pride and Prejudice"
From the start of “Pride and Prejudice,” when the cast sings an enthusiastic “Game of Love,” which hit the charts back in the 60s, we know this is not going to be a sedate interpretation of the marriage plot. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

"What Elsas Knew in a Peril" -- Photograph by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

 

What Elsas Knew in a Peril
In this universal theatrical travesty of Desire vs. Respect, playwright/actor Brandon Olson knows how to mock the sensitive yet easily offended victims of unrequited love and often unexpected betrayal. Olson’s musical masterpiece, "What Elsas Knew in a Peril," is a very gay romp in and out of frustration and madness leading to brilliant emotional pathos. By Larry Litt.

 

 

 

Dario D'Ambrosi and cast of "Follies in Titus" in curtain call at La MaMa.

Teatro Patologico Explores Meanings of Madness at LaMaMa and The United Nations
Two of Western theater history's most brutal dramas, Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" and Euripides' "Medea," plumb the ancient divide between madness and sanity in relation to justice and injustice. Dario D’Ambrosi, creator of the theater movement Teatro Patologico, has brought adaptations of both plays to New York this month. The ensembles of both productions are student-actors of D’Ambrosi’s "La Magia de Teatro" (The Magic of Theater) troupe, who otherwise may never have gotten the chance to perform. Why? They are "differently abled," meaning they are people with mental, physical, or developmental impairments including schizophrenia, manic depression, and Down Syndrome. By Caroline O'Connor.

 

Polly Draper,Kathryn Grody,Franchelle Stewart Dorn, and Ellen Parker in 20th Century Blues. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"20th Century Blues"
We live in the time of 'Baby Boomer' reflections. Looking at today's politics and culture we have come a long way from the Vietnam War and its protests. Playwright Susan Miller has captured these external and internal anxieties in the funny and heart wrenching dramady, "20th Century Blues." We meet four atypical upscale 'baby boomer' women coming to grips with their changing lives. Though it's a play about women it's not only for women. Men are asking the same questions about their futures. "How did I get so old? How did my country get this polarized and deceitful? Where do I go now? How can I keep my momentum going? By Larry Litt.

 

 

 

 

 

Valérie Dashwood as Death, in red, looks over her victims. .

"State of Seige"
Albert Camus' 1948 play, powerfully staged by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, director of the Paris Théâtre de la Ville, seems so prescient, so of the moment, that you could swear it was written yesterday. This production starts with the cabaret music of the 40s; people are dancing. Suddenly there are flashing lights and a siren. Joy turns to horror. People will recognize fake threats and ignore the real ones.
By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Boyer as Ernest Beevers rises to hold his own above the inherited upper class. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

"Time and the Conways"
J.B. Priestley’s absorbing 1937 play about what happened to one family and the people whose lives they touched explains how by the time the Second World War occurred, to be followed by the victory of the Labor Party, the ascendancy of the upper class was not so assured.
At least, money would matter more than class. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

Elevator Repair Service in "Measure for Measure" at the Public. Photo by Richard Termine.

Elevator Repair Service brings "Measure for Measure" to the Public
The Elevator Repair Service (ERS) under the helm of John Collins has garnered a die-hard following, won a Lucille Lortel and several Obie awards, and produced extended runs, especially their adaptations of classical American novels: “Gatz,” adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and “The Sound and the Fury” from the William Faulkner novel. Their current production at the Public Theatre of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” is brilliantly innovative and clever. But it helps to know the play. The production is a gloss on the script. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

 

 

Arnie Burton and Matt McGrath. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

"Lonely Planet"
The Keen Company’s revival of “Lonely Planet” (1992) by Steven Dietz at the John Clurman Theater is a gem -- funny, smart, poignant. It’s an absurdist two-hander about friendship during a time of AIDS. Arnie Burton as Jody and Matt McGrath as Carl offer performances that seem natural and relaxed yet run the gamut from irony to terror, annoyance to wild joy. What Burton can do with a glance and McGrath with his voice are masterful . The exchanges feel easy, right. We enter their world because they have invited us in. And because they are continually interesting and inventive.
By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 


Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano.
Photo by Lucy Komisar.

Cabaret Convention 2017 at Lincoln Center
The Cabaret Convention put on by the Mabel Mercer Foundation has for almost three decades brought together some of the best cabaret performers in the country, each of four days presenting as many as 20 singers, some prominent, some new, some doing standards, others jazz, to keep the tradition alive. One night this year featured the works of George Gershwin, which is why you'll note many singers doing his songs. A nice part about the event is that the performers come out to the lobby at intermission and after the show to chat and schmooz with the audience. Hence these photos. Dozens appeared over four evenings; these are just my highlights of three nights I attended. I notice that most are women. Well, so be it! They had the most pizzazz, the most drama. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Celia and Hannah Cabell
as Rosalind. Photo by Richard Termine.

 

 

"As you like it"
Classic Stage Company offers us a modern trippy jazzy smart take on Shakespeare's couples play ("As You Like It") about males and females going after each other, circling each other in real life before internet dating sites. By Lucy Komisar.

 


Saycon Sengbloh as Hester.
Photo by Joan Marcus.

 


"In the Blood"

From Hester in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, to Hester, La Negrita (the excellent Saycon Sengbloh) today, naïve trusting women with no economic independence are the victims of men, and then the victims of the social managers and critics, the moral cops of society, who blame them for being the victim. Suzan-Lori Parks' "In the Blood," first staged in 1999, has been revived at Signature Theater. Hester had a child out of wedlock with her teenage lover, Chilli (Michael Braun), who promptly split. And then she has more. She is excoriated by a chorus of social betters who yell at the unmarried mother: "She don't got no skills, ‘cept one." She's a "burden to society…. Bad news in her blood." Sarah Benson directs it as a documentary, not a bitingf, sardonic play.
By Lucy Komisar.


Christine Lahti as Hester.Photo by Joan Marcus.

"F**king A."
Suzan-Lori Parks reimagines Hester of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "A Scarlet Letter" in a time when small children are imprisoned for stealing food and their sentences extended for decades, and when bounty hunters go after these escaped prisoners, who they will torture and kill.Think "Les Miz" and the slave-era South. Injustice and cruelty stalk the land. Under Jo Bonney taut direction at Signature Theater, the play is strong, disturbing, surreal, naturalistic. Parks has also done the music and lyrics for the dark original songs. By Lucy Komisar.

 

A SOLDIER'S PLAY -- Chaz Reuben as Capt. Richard Davenport. Photo by Kamoier Williams.

 

"A Soldier's Play"
Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” might be a very standard whodunnit. There’s a murder, lots of suspects, plenty of motivation, and interrogations of suspects by a conflicted investigator. Except that the play is set in a segregated U.S. army base during World War II, the victim is a black sergeant, and the suspects are both white officers and black enlisted men. At a time when the President of the United States can defend the white nationalists protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by saying they included “some very fine people,” we need “A Soldier’s Play” more than ever. By Paulanne Simmons.







Michael Moore with Trump photo
in background. Photo by Joan Marcus

"The Terms of My Surrender" with Michael Moore
Standup comedy, political rally, late night talk TV? It's hard to know what to make of Michael Moore's theater event billed as a play. Donald Trump's black and white photo is the backdrop. A box on the upper right has red, white and blue bunting. It's the presidential box and Trump and family have been invited. Moore is wearing his signature worker's blue shirt and cap. He starts out arguing political issues — that a majority of American agree on equal pay for women, climate change, health care but they don't hold power. This will be Moore's 12-step meeting on how the audience can change that. He jokes, "Everyone gets an arm band and a machete and we take this place by midnight." By Lucy Komisar.

 



Ivette Dumeng as the Wife, Bryan Hamilton as the Farm Hand, in "Guilty"



Guilty in Iceland

Iceland in the 19th Century was not exactly an idyll; it was an island nation of farming and fishing communities, pretty much cut off from the much of the rest of the world. Crime was rare and capital crimes rarer still. So the country's criminal cases have become the stuff of legend, including the child rape case in Rifsaedasel of 1837, which is as infamous to Icelanders as The Manson Family is to Americans. Contemporary Icelandic playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín revisits this infamous case with "Guilty" (2014), a verse play that gracefully and provocatively examines issues of obsession and mercy which cling to it to this day. Reviewed by Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

 

Liza Colón-Zayas as Sherry, a nurse,
and Carrie Coon as Mary Jane. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Mary Jane" is a drama of how mothers cope when kids have incurable illness
Sounds depressing, and it is, but it's also curiously rather uplifting. Because it's about the women's trying to maintain normality, loving their children with a kind of forcefulness and desperation as if that could will a cure. With Anne Kauffman's naturalistic direction, the play never gets near soap opera. Herzog brings you slowly into the story and the life of Mary Jane (the excellent Carrie Coon). Things in her apartment seem normal. The super (Brenda Wehle) is attempting to fix a clogged sink drain. You don't really know the facts until suddenly, subtly, they are apparent, accoring to Lucy Komisar. Glenda Frank adds, "Director Anne Kauffman (2007, 2015 Obie awards) has done an admirable job keeping the pace lively and the tone light. In their double roles Brenda Wehle and Susan Poufar are charismatic and distinct. I look forward to seeing them again on stage."

 

 

Tony Yazbeck and Kaley Ann Voorhees
in "West Side Story." Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Two reviews of "Prince of Broadway"
Lucy Komisar writes, "Harold Prince produced and directed some of Broadway’s brilliant musicals: "Cabaret," "Candide," "Evita," "Kiss of the Spiderwoman," "Fiddler." Those shows were about politics and ideas. I was glad to see a reprise of famous numbers, but I was sorry this production did not deal with Prince’s vision. It was more "and then I directed/produced" rather than this is why I put on this show. David Thompson’s book should have made the point that they were very political shows." Edward Ruben adds, "One might think after winning a record 21 Tony Awards for producing or directing (and sometimes both simultaneously) many of Broadway's most popular and critically acclaimed musicals of the past 70 years, that the return of Hal Prince to The Great White Way with his latest venture, Prince of Broadway, would have been a shoo-in. The show is unabashedly a compendium of popular songs culled from his greatest hits...the last still up and running after 30 years and the longest running musical in history. But a shoo-in? Not so!".

 

Daniel Jenkins, Keith Reddin, Kathleen Chalfant & Lisa Emery. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday"
Playwright Sarah Ruhl has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony nominee. She even got a MacArthur "genius" Award. She has done some fine work, especially the funny feminist "The Clean House" and the "In the Next Room, or the vibrator Play."
But this play doesn't make the cut. Reviewed by Lucy Komisar.


 

 

Carter Hudson as Vincent Van Gogh. Photo by Shirin Tinati

"Van Gogh's Ear"
The dramatic frame is Van Gogh's last years: the loneliness and self-mutilation, the institutionalizations, his brother's support, and Vincent's suicide. But the work is mostly a 100 minute chamber recital with intermission The admirable musicians play about a dozen selections by Claude DeBussy, Gabriel Fauré, Ernest Chausson, and César Franck. Most pieces are instrumental but a few are sung by Renée Tatum -- as a model and as Vincent's sister-in-law -- and Chad Johnson, as Vincent's brother. A stiff Carter Hudson, from FX's "Snowfall," played the artist; Kevin Spirtas plays two supporting roles. Reviewed by Glenda Frank.

 

 

Annaleigh Ashford as Helena and Alex Hernandez as Demetrius. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Public's "Midsummer" wows and pleases with strong performances
Annaleigh Ashford as Helena and Danny Burstein as Bottom shine in Lear deBessonet’s funny, inspired by teen movies, jazzy staging of Shakespeare’s comedy about dueling lovers. But the rest of the cast glitters almost as brightly. Reviewed by Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Wilde, Tom Sturridge and the cast of “1984.” Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Two views of 1984 on Broadway
Glenda Frank writes that the 2013 stage adaptation of Orwell’s “1984” by Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan, arriving on Broadway after a successful London run, offers a surprising lock step vision of our paranoid present. Yes, everyone with an interest in smart theatre should get a ticket but you need to know, this production makes little concession to our conventional assumptions of good theatre. The audience has to do a lot of the work. But it is worth every moment. Lucy Komisar adds, "When British writer George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was published in 1949 it was viewed as a dystopian novel. Now, it seems taken from the news."

 

 

 

HENRY VI PART 3 -- Lee Seymour as Edward, Gracie Winchester as Norfolk, Marcus Antonio Jones as Montague, Kendra Lee Oberhauser as Lady Grey, Alessandro Colla as Richard, Kyle Maxwell as Warwick, Bill Green as The Duke of York. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation.

"Henry VI Part 3" in a Parking Lot
For his trilogy about Henry VI, Shakespeare deals with the most troublesome period of English royal succession, namely the feud between the Lancaster and the Plantagenet/York clans as to which is the rightful dynasty to inherit and wear the English crown. "Henry VI Part 3" is being mounted by Shakespeare in the Parking Lot under the stars on the Lower East Side. Beate Hein Bennett reports she enjoyed this rarely performed, freewheeling Shakespeare, which was presented in modern clothes. But she questions its parallels to contemporary American politics, while conceding that today's prevailing political chaos can certainly be extrapolated in general from the dramatic situation.

 

 

 

"Between a Cock and a Hard Place"
"Between a Cock and a Hard Place," written and directed by Sam Stagg at Dixon Place, satirizes the male compulsion to be aggressive and violent as a means of asserting masculinity. Two overly confident amateur robbers, an unyielding mob boss and a blue collar criminal at the end of his rope collide with an innocent boy who is coerced into making a decision that will undoubtedly affect his life forever. The characters in this play comedically exemplify the toxic ways in which we define and understand masculinity. Leave your heavy clothes at home ‘cause it’s gonna get steamy in here! By Remy.S .

 

AMERIKE - THE GOLDEN LAND -- Alexandra Frohlinger. Photo by Victor Nechay.

Two views of "Amerike - The Golden Land"
Moishe Rosenfeld, the librettist and Zalmen Mlotek, the Artistic Director of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) and the piece's Music Director/Conductor, have created a panoramic tapestry of Jewish immigrant life with its origins in Russia and Eastern Europe where poverty and pogroms drove the young to seek a better fortune in “Amerike, de goldene medine.” This production, directed by Bryne Wasserman, was first performed at Baruch Performing Arts Center in 2012, but has been further developed and adapted for the space at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the present performance home of NYTF. It's the story of immigrants at their lowest ebb, welcomed and offered a fresh start and a safe haven in a new, and golden land. By Beate Hein Bennett and Glenda Frank.

THE ENCHANTMENT - Claire Curtis Ward and Paul Herbig. Photo by Katrin Talbot.

"The Enchantment"
Most theatergoers have heard Nora’s door slam which ends Ibsen’s “The Doll House” and the gunshot that ends Hedda Gabler’s life. We have also puzzled about Miss Julie, the central character of Strindberg’s play, as she careens through her affair with Jan towards her dismal end. Those female characters and their fate were emanations of male playwrights who helped to shape the psychological core of late 19th century drama and its then controversial focus on the sexual relationship between men and women. Both Ibsen and Strindberg crafted dramas with iconoclastic women. However, they saw the female ambition for a life of passion ultimately as socially destructive and personally ruinous. “The Enchantment” was penned by Victoria Benedictsson (1850-1888), a contemporary of Ibsen and Strindberg; presumably she was the real life inspiration for Hedda Gabler and Miss Julie. In her brief life that ended in suicide, Benedictsson was a successful Swedish author who had published two novels under the pen name Ernst Ahlgren before she “outed” herself as a woman author. Benedictsson herself saw very clearly the problem of free love for women from an intimate as well as from a social perspective. "The Enchantment" offers a feminist exploration of liberty and desire in a time of repression and tradition. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

SEEING YOU - Cast, basic training or war, the brutality is endemic. Photo by Steven Truman Gray

 

"Seeing You"
Just before you enter the large open space where this immersive play takes place, you pick up a silver dog tag that says, “Seeing you – heaven, hell or Hoboken.” It’s the fate of some American soldiers who have just been drafted to fight in World War II. In “Seeing You”, follow the experience of young GIs step by step as they live through the horrors of WWII and challenge the myths of American heroism. This show asks that you participate in one of the bleakest conflicts of all time, and no one comes out clean. Immerse yourself in the best and worst of the 1940s at home and at war, and discover if this truly was the Greatest Generation. By Lucy Komisar.

 

MEASURE FOR MEASURE - Thomas Jay Ryan and Cara Ricketts in Theatre for a New Audience's production of "Measure for Measure" by William Shakespeare. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.

 

"Measure for Measure" at Theater for a New Audience
Director Simon Godwin has given “Measure for Measure” an excellent staging, from the flexible and minimalist set by Paul Wills, and songs, with lyrics taken from Shakespeare’s sonnets and music by Jane Shaw and The Lusty Puddings, to the excellent casting. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

The Rivals
THE RIVALS -- Kristen Calgaro and Michael Sweeney Hammond in New York Classical Theatre's production of "The Rivals" by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Photo by Miranda Arden.

"The Rivals," outdoors
If “Julius Caesar” is about deception and treachery that affects the future of an empire, “The Rivals” covers the same issues on a smaller scale.With that in mind, you don’t have to feel guilty if you missed “Julius Caesar” and head uptown (or Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City from July 5 through July 9 or Carl Schurz Park from July 12 through July 16) to catch New York Classical Theatre’s free presentation of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 comedy “The Rivals.” Directed by Stephen Burdman, with lavish costumes selected by Melinda Hare, the production has the gorgeous greenery of the park for a set. And, in fact, that’s all it needs. The wonderful cast is perfectly sufficient to take us back to 18th century England, when the wealthy plotted, gossiped, dissembled and courted, and for the most part, behaved with an insouciance only possible for those who have money.
By Paulanne Simmons.

REFUGIA -- Christina Baldwin, Nathan Keepers. Photo by Dan Norman

"Refugia" at the Guthrie
As millions of refugees live and die throughout the world and political actions cause, confound, and contribute to these tragedies, what can theater possibly accomplish in the face of this world-wide social turmoil? Probably not much in the grand scheme of things but maybe in terms of community awareness, theater can at least raise the issues and foster dialogue, perhaps even social activism. Ancient Greek theater exerted the metaphoric power of live performance to affect the socio-political awareness of the community. And throughout human culture this potency of theater has been recognized by ruling power systems and resulted in censorship or propagandistic co-option. This kind of theater rattles the central nerves of a society because it is capable of bringing us face to face with an uncomfortable truth while it challenges our capacity for empathy. “Refugia” works on that level— gradually and progressively, with every scene, it infiltrates one’s consciousness about one’s place in the world, about the fragility of one’s place. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

Bandstand. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Bandstand
Terrific 40s sound and dancing – choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler – raises the level of a rather corny and predictable musical about a World War II vet who puts together a swing band to compete in a song contest. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

Patti LuPone as Helena Rubenstein and Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden. Photo by Joan Marcus.

In “War Paint,” cosmetics titans Rubenstein and Arden must deal with male execs as well as the market.
This imagining of the lives of two powerful women who founded cosmetics empires has been created by men – book (Doug Wright), music (Scott Frankel), lyrics (Michael Korie), direction (Michael Greif), choreography (Christopher Gattelli). It’s a great production. But think of it as guys’ take on women. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

410{GONE} -- Edgar Eguia as Ox Head, Carolina Do as Twenty-One. Photo by Hunter Canning.

Dead and Gone? "401[GONE]"
Every culture has ancient customs relating to the questions of life and death, the quality of living and dying, and some creative notions about the possibility of a Hereafter. The questions about the Hereafter are the most vexing: Is there a Hereafter? What might it look like? Is it Eternity? Is there a soul separate from the body? Is there a transmigration of the soul? Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig wrote a lively play that compounds different cultural strands as they collide in our contemporary cultural amalgam, more specifically as cultural traditions are experienced by the mixed progeny of Chinese- American youth in a period that increasingly demands cultural self-identification. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

Daniel Light, Eliza Shea, Gadi Rubin, Richarda Abrams.
Photo by Al Foote III.

"The House on Poe Street"
Glenda Frank relates she has been enjoying drafts of "The House on Poe Street," a macabre comedy by Fengar Gael, for quite a while so it is with great pleasure that she watched the world premiere production, directed by Katie McHugh, at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y.
The title, of course, is a give-away. We expect ravens, the wonderfully deep red of the velvet curtain and the upholstery, the spooky lighting, the portrait of Poe and wife Virginia, the many references to "Ligeia," "The Raven," and "The Conqueror Worm," and – of course – a ghost who rattles the walls and interferes with electricity. What we don't expect are the weird sisters, lovely experiments who were gender bent in the womb by their deceased mother.

 

 

 

 

Andy Karl as Phil, center, and cast. Photo by Joan Marcus.

“Groundhog Day”
New York TV weatherman Phil Connors (Andy Karl) is in Punxsutawney, PA, to cover the annual groundhog-comes-out-of-his-burrow-and-sees-or-doesn’t-see-his-shadow day. If he sees it, there will be six more weeks of winter. (But how do they know?) It’s a pretty silly made-for-media fake news story. With a made for TV weatherman. By Lucy Komisar

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Metcalf as Nora. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

 

“A Doll’s House, Part 2”
Fifteen years after she slammed the door, Nora returns to Torvald’s house as the Betty Friedan of 19th-century Norway. As created by Laurie Metcalf from the script by Lucas Hnath, she is smart, witty, sarcastic, tough and likely to make women cheer. Lucy Komisar reports that she did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(l to r) : Katrina Lenk as "Menke", Adina Verson as "Rinkele". Photo by Caroll Rosegg.

“Indecent”
“Hot ‘N’ Throbbing” (about a single mom who scripts porn). “The Oldest Profession” (about prostitutes over 65). “How I Learned to Drive” (about pedophilia). “Desdemona” (a play about a handkerchief). And half a dozen other plays which won Paula Vogel Pulitzer Prize, Obie, and Lily awards. And now her latest, “Indecent” (about a brothel, the Holocaust, and first love). By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

War Paint : Jennifer Rias, Steffanie Leigh, Christine Ebersole, Mary Claire King, Stephanie Jae Park. Photo by Joan Marcus

Two views of “War Paint”
“War Paint” is a study in contrasts. Arden (Ebersole), né Florence Nightingale Graham, was a farm girl from Ontario who dropped out of nursing school. Rubinstein was a European Jew whose father kept a shop in Krakow. Arden reinvented herself as an American blue-blood. Rubinstein turned herself into European royalty. By Paulanne Simmons and Edward Rubin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zac Moon (Far Left) with Julie Ann Earls ,Langston Belton, Andy Miller. Photo by Hunter Canning.

"PUFFS or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic"
During seven books and eight movies, we followed Harry Potter, the most powerful wizard of all time who saved the world from Lord Voldemor. Through seven books and eight movies, we followed a winner. With Puffs, during 90 minutes, you’re going to watch the whole story over again. But this time, you’re going to follow Wayne, the loser of Hogwarts. In the top three of best selling books, we can find the Bible and Harry Potter. The Bible has Monty Python’s "Life of Brian " and now Harry Potter has "Puffs." By Remy.S .

 

 

 

 

Josh Groban as Pierre in a set that seems like a night club. Photo by Chad Batka.

 

“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812"
This immersive, hokey, utterly engaging production is one of the memorable plays to see this season. In fact, it almost feels as if you don’t just see it, you are in it. The audience is dispersed around a gorgeous set, seated at rows and tables, some on the stage, backed by red drapes and paintings, as actors move through the aisles and on risers. Sometimes lighted chandeliers descend or disco lights flash. Everything seems red, white and black.“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” flashes across Broadway. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

Karl Kenzler and Tasha Lawrence in "All My Children." Photo by Maria Baranova.

All Our Children
"All Our Children" by Stephan Unwin is a story of Kindertransport in Nazi Germany. It is familiar and if you know the history, the play has no surprises, but the echoes of current events are chilling. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIN'T NO MO! -- Fedna Jacquet and Ebony Marshall-Oliver as TV show ladies. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Ain't No Mo!" at the Public
This very funny, clever, often campy satire of black life and stereotypes by Jordan Cooper hits every button, starting with a noisy evangelical church service for Brother Righttocomplain who is being interred because he was "murdered by the election of First Negro President of these United States." Director Stevie Walker-Webb expertly plays the camp to its heights, until you are surprised by reality peeking through. By Lucy Komissar.

 

 

Brandon Lee Olson as Tom in "Electronic City"

Electronic City
The absurdity of modern life is so often portrayed that it gets boring to hear that our lives are hell. Yeah we live in hard times. We try to connect and sometimes we do for a while. But then there's the inevitable end game when we know something isn't working. The end is nearing to jobs, friends, relationships, homes and our lives. Pretty awful, no? That's why it's good to see a comedy about our lives that catches the potential laughs that make these lives worth living. Ildiko Nemeth the award winning director puts high energy life into Falk Richter's mad display of lives gone wild under the control of digital forces. By Larry Litt.

 

L-R: Ugo Chukwu, Megan Hill, Justin Long. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

 

 

"Do You Feel Anger?"
"Do You Feel Anger?" by Mara Nelson-Greenberg at the Vineyard Theatre is an inventive, incisive and – yes! – a funny funny absurdist comedy about male privilege in the corporate world. "Do You Feel Anger?" received its world premiere at the 2018 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  It's a very good play, which is rare. It has been extended until April 27. Go see it. By Glenda Frank.


 

L-R: Isabelle Huppert as Anne, Chris Noth as Pierre. Photo by Ahron R Foster.

“The Mother"
"The Mother", played at the Atlantic Theater Company, is a very feminist play about a woman whose life is destroyed because she has no other existence but through her son. It reminded me of the enigmatic cinema of the great French Nouvelle Vague. It is the perfect platform for an actress as subtle, complicated and accomplished as Huppert. And a fine work by Florian Zeller. The story is contemporary, subtle and surreal. Anne (a brilliant Isabelle Huppert), who has done nothing in life except be a mother, plays out scenarios about her husband, her son and his girlfriend. The very inventive Florian Zeller writes this not as a narrative that moves smoothly through time, but as a time-shifting, repeating replay of the same events. Under Trip Cullman's clear, austere direction, that becomes smartly, vividly apparent. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

The Lehman Trilogy

Two views of “The Lehman Trilogy”
Glenda Franbk writes that the production, directed by Sam Mendes ("American Beauty"), is mesmerizing. The trilogy is filled with comical and quirky touches, all intrinsic to the characters. Lucy Komisar addds: it's a quite extraordinary play of how generations of an immigrant family create a major financial institution that starts as a southern cotton farming supply shop and ends as a multinational bank whose crash helps bring on the Great Recession of 2008.

 

 

 

 

L-R: Matthew Amendt, as Cassius and Brandon J. Dirden, as Brutus. Photo by Gerry Goldstein.

The Noblest Roman Tragedy: "Julius Caesar" in Brooklyn
If your attention has wandered during the last third of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," you are not alone, but redemption is at hand. Theatre for a New Audience's portrayal of the aftermath of the assassination of Caesar, running through April 28 at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, is a revelation. Following Cassius's conscription of Brutus, who rationalizes his initial doubts, and the killing and funeral orations, all played out grippingly, the ensuing violent power struggle is must-watch Theatre. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Joan Marcus.

August Strindberg's "The Dance of Death"
As far as the theater arena which where most of the world knows him best, Strindberg wanted his plays to attain what he called "greater Naturalism." He disliked the expository character backgrounds that characterized the work of Henrik Ibsen and rejected the convention of a dramatic "slice of life" because he felt that the resulting plays were mundane and uninteresting. Strindberg felt that true naturalism was a psychological "battle of the brains:" two people who hate each other in the immediate moment and strive to drive the other to doom is the type of mental hostility that Strindberg stove to describe. He intended his plays to be impartial and objective, citing a desire to make literature akin to a science. And a verbally-sparring warring couple, akin to Albee's razor-tongued George and Martha, is what we get in Classic Stage Company's production of Strindberg's "The Dance of Death." By Edward Rubin.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Pavel Antonov.

"Strangers in the World"
Honor is one of the six remaining settlers from the first Puritan colony in Massachusetts in "Strangers in the World," a new play by Randy Sharp. Distance, Coldweather, Killsin and Constance are her companions. Randy Sharp, the Artistic Director of Axis Theatre, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, chose this unlikely bit of American history to create a moving, stylized theatre piece. Even as phrases and gestures crisscross and repeat, something new is added, sparking our attention and adding to the conflicts on stage. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

 

The "Too Darn Hot" number. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Kelli and Cole spark a "Kiss Me, Kate" revival
"Kiss Me, Kate" was the first Cole Porter show with musical numbers that advance the plot, none more clearly than the curtain-raiser, "Another Op'nin', Another Show." Petruchio's description of Katharina, while playful, applies to Kelli O'Hara in full measure. "She is beautiful, witty and affable, he has heard, among other wondrous qualities,” and he has arrived "to make mine eye the witness of that report.” You might consider doing the same. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

Faust and his servant, Wagner, with Vit Horejs (in floor).

"The Devil Made Me Do It…" A Puppet Version of the Infamous Faust Legend
Theater for the New City presents Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in "Johannes Dokchtor Faust, a Petrifying Puppet Comedye," translated and directed by Vit Horejs. In this brief but entertaining production, staged in the intimate cellar space of TNC, two popular items are conjoined--the ancient art of puppetry and the dramatic legend of Dr. Faustus. In modern times, puppetry has regained attention in serious theatre as a means to express perennial topics larger than life, for example, through the art of Theodora Skipitares and Basil Twist and, since the 60s, Peter Schumann has dealt with social ills in his stagings with The Bread and Puppet Theater, a frequent and popular guest at TNC for decades. By Beatre Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

"The Immigrant" settles in George Street Playhouse
Ever wonder what happens to the inhabitants of Anatevka after they are driven from their village at the end of "Fiddler on the Roof?” We know that some of Tevye's family will be staying with Uncle Abram in America (he doesn't know it yet), but there must have been hundreds more than are represented in the "Fiddler"exit tableau. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

L-R: Philip Moore, Eric Berryman, Jasper McGruder. Photo by Bruce Jackson.

"The B-Side: Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons," a record album interpretation
"The B-Side" is a show about doing time. Obviously—we can see simply from the title—that means it's a show about serving a sentence in prison. But in the hands of the charismatic and chameleonic actor/singer Eric Berryman under the subtle direction of the disciplined and imaginative Kate Valk, some other meanings present themselves. Performing music is, among other things, a doing of time. And, here, trenchantly, the performers (Berryman shares the stage with Jasper McGruder and Philip Moore) are doing what so many actors do when they render the lives or words of bygone people. They are "doing” the past to allow its spirit to show up in the present. By Dorothy Chansky.

 

L-R: Conan McCarty, left, Eleanor Handley, Andrew Rein. Photo by SuzAnne Barabas.

Go to "The Source” for Journalistic Intrigue
There is some real good acting on display these days at New Jersey Repertory Company. Not only do the three cast members of "The Source,” Jack Canfora's trippy excursion into the world of news management, toss off their snappy dialogue with wit and precision, they also appear comfortable with the inter-twined plot that might stymie lesser talents. In a scenario that swings non-sequentially among places and dates, that plot hinges on the ethics of gathering the news versus the business of disseminating it. It would seem that in Canfora's view, "journalistic integrity" is an oxymoron. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

"The Life of Galileo"
"He who does not know the truth when he sees it is an idiot. But he who knows the truth and chooses to deny it, he is something much worse. He is a criminal.” This quotation from "The Life of Galileo” by Bertolt Brecht, which is enjoying a fresh, innovative production by Irondale Ensemble, could have been written yesterday instead of 1938. There are other lines that resonate. They create uncomfortable parallels between the Inquisition that eventually forced the astronomer to recant his discoveries; the rise of Hitler in Europe; and contemporary politics. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

 

L-R: Hari Nef and Ronald Peet in Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Monique Carboni.

Two views of "Daddy"
"The play takes on something of a tragic aura that does not exactly fit its flippant beginning." Paulanne Simmons.
"There is nothing like an odd directorial choice to shift the audience out of the play." Glenda Frank. Here are two different point of views about the" Daddy." Even if the two critics had different feelings about the whole play and the director's choices, both of them agree on the great performance of the actors.

 

 

 

 

Kate Wetherhead, Michelle Beck and Danielle Skraastad. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Hurricane Diane" Veers Of Course
At the very beginning of Madeleine George's new play, "Hurricane Diane,” the Greek God Dionysus appears onstage as a butch lesbian named Diane (Becca Blackwell). Dionysus, dispirited by the state of the environment in the 21st century, has come to earth to gain followers in this campaign to save the environment. This gives many in the audience the impression they are going to see a play that tackles many of the issues involving global warming, pollution, habitat destruction, and much more. Alas, this is not the case. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

Brenda Wehle and Zachary Booth.

There's a lot to talk about in “Theo"
Criticizing a play for being too wordy might seem counter-intuitive. Character dialogue, after all, is words. But unlike narrative stories or essays, plays need to balance telling with showing. Martin Moran's “Theo," world-premiering at Two River Theater Company, relies mostly on telling, with what showing there is serving to point up the imbalance. If good intentions were enough, “Theo" would be a masterpiece. As it is, with a boatload of good intentions crammed into one dysfunctional-family drama, the result is diffuse and, at nearly three hours (including intermission), overlong. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

Photo by Marielle L'Hostis

ColorStruck
Theater for the New City presented writer/actor/comedian Donald E. Lacy, Jr. in his one-man show, "ColorStruck." Lacy's winning personality is evident from the outset - he's a natural performer and communicator. It's a seamless ride from hate and injustice to funny and heartwarming, all artfully blended and delivered by a master entertainer who is at once an actor, a comedian, a thinker and an activist. By Paul Berss.

 

 

 

Tracy Sallows (Thomas’ wife), Donald Corren (Thomas) and Emma Geer (Annie, Thomas’ daughter) Photo by Todd Cerveris.

"The Price of Thomas Scott"
One can only imagine the anticipation that must have greeted "The Price of Thomas Scott” when it came to Manchester’s Gaiety Theatre in 1913. Whether out of design or the lack of interest, and in spite of favorable reviews, the play enjoyed only a single showing. That didn’t stifle Jonathan Bank, the Mint Theater’s artistic director, from bringing Baker across the pond, targeting production of no less than three of Baker’s plays. By Eric Uhlfelder.

 

 

 

Laiona Michelle as Nina Simone. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

A Blazing Performance As Nina Simone In "Little Girl Blue”
Laiona Michelle portrays Nina Simone in "Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical" at George Street Playhouse. Her evocation of the iconic vocalist, musician and activist is an amazing piece of work. A creation, to be sure, but equally important, a re-creation of the life, times and persona of Ms. Simone. Not only does she virtually disappear into her subject, but except for the songs, Nina’s own and a dozen others, Michelle also wrote the emotionally stirring show. By Philip Dorian.

 

Ethan Hawke as the drinking brother Lee and Paul Dano as Austin. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"True West” by Sam Shepard is a 1980 too over-the-top satire of movies
A satire about media ought always to be in fashion. The current revival of the film "Network” as a play works brilliantly to skewer corrupt television. This revival of Sam Shepard's satire about the Hollywood movie business doesn't hit that mark. Maybe it worked in 1980 when it premiered, but nearly 40 years later, it's too over-the-top. Interesting as a piece of the times. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

Musical director William Foster McDaniel as Thomas "Fats" Waller

Ain't Misbehavin' at Westchester Broadway Theatre'
To describe a play or musical as ‘dated’ mightindicate that the piece is no longer relevant by virtue of evolved social or moral standards. (You won’t see Neil Simon’s play about the battered alcoholic Gingerbread Lady any time soon.) But the term can also denote a positive, as in evoking an era worth re-visiting despite – oreven because of – some outmoded characteristics. So it is with “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” sub-titled “The Fats Waller Musical Show,” enjoying a spirited revival at Westchester Broadway Theatre (a dinner-and-show venue, with a varied menu of entrees included in the ticket prices). A compilation of his melodies (Fats wrote the music; various collaborators, the lyrics) and some others’ songs that he memorably recorded, the revue is set in a Harlem nightclub in the 1930s, illustrated by the costuming, the arrangements and the presentation. If there is a hint of minstrelsy, it is in the service of that time and place; performed here unabashedly, it is history – not academic, mind you, but a replication, as entertaining as it is authentic. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

THE HARD PROBLEM -- Chris O’Shea as Spike and Adelaide Clemens as Hilary. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

The Hard Problem
Stoppard's "The Hard Problem" turns intellectual inquiry into a soap opera. Throw up issue of moral consciousness, of how science wires the brain, how capitalists (sometime predatory) make fortunes, how young quants or scientific brain analysts figure out how to use or scam the former, and throw in a Pilates instructor. Along with scenes of a Venice canal and the London City [financial district] skyline. This pretentious play does not seriously address or answer the questions it is supposed to pose: where does morality come from, is it hardwired in the brain or developed by culture, and how does this affect how people interact – especially in the world of capitalism. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

Ben Cherry as Lemml and the cast of "Indecent." Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

"Indecent" at Arena Stage
When Paula Vogel’s incandescent “Indecent” opened in New York in 2016 it was the darling of the LGBT theatergoing world. Arena Stage positioned its recent production as a play addressing Jewish themes. Both angles are, of course, correct. As one of the characters in “Indecent” asserts, “the play belongs to the people who labor in it and the audience who put aside the time to see it.” As this play also asserts, however, neither labor nor audience is a permanently fixed thing, and my vote is for this being a play about endurance, perseverance, and principles, although the pressure points here are certainly lesbianism, Jews, intolerance, and hypocrisy.

 

Clueless, The Musical
“Clueless, the Musical” has a book and score by Amy Heckerling, who authored the film, based on Jane Austen’s “Emma.” This means the musical retains much of the tongue-in-cheek zest that made the film so agreeable. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale. Photo: Peter Cunningham.

American Son
First premiered in 2016 in Massachusetts, and then performed at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey a year later, “American Son” dealt with racially-charged encounters between police officers and Black males during years in which that theme was so prevalent. Now open on Broadway, this play tells the story once more of eighteen-year-old Jamal, who tells an emotional tale while his distraught mother reports her son missing. The mother deals with a mixed experience with the law-enforcement officers she encounters, and throughout the ordeal, tension with her separated spouse. The play is directed by Kenny Leon and runs 90 miutes. By Philip Dorian

 

Turna Mete and Carson Elrod in "Panties, The Partner and The Profit." Photo by Carol Rosegg.

The Panties, The Partner and The Profit
Here's a quiz for American drama afficionados. What three-part play features an American family as stand-ins for "all of us"; unfolds over a few eras; shows the widespread effects of ordinary people's greed and aggression, often in the name of being hardworking; has some illicit sex; ends in the ruins of the family's one-time home; brings a large reptile onstage; and concludes with the family soldiering on? If you guessed "The Skin of Our Teeth," good for you, but the play in question is David Ives's "The Panties, The Partner and the Profit," subtitled "Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Class" and now in its debut at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. By Dorothy Chansky

 

Raúl Esparza as Arturo Ui. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Two views of "The Resistable Rise of Arturo U1"
Brecht's "The Resistable Riuse of Arturo Ui" is set in Chicago, which appears in the play to be unable to keep out gangsters. This satire serves as a brilliant allegory of fascism and the rise of Hitler. The play was in fact written by while the playwright was a refugee at the time of Hitler’s takeover of Europe, and as such, it served as a way for Americans to better understand Hitler’s rise to power and the tactics his regime used. Lucy Komisar and Ed Rubin weigh in on CSC's production.

 

 

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT -- Bobby Cannavale and Daniel Radcliffe. Photo Peter Cunningham.

The Lifespan of a Fact
Based on a nonfiction work about a real fact-checker, Jim D’Agata, this play deals with an important problem for journalism, beginning with a rather trivial argument over whether the bricks in a building are red or brown. Perhaps the building blocks represent more than what they seem to. With a strong cast, consisting of Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale, and directed by Leigh Silverman, this play feels very real. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

Tyne Daly and Tim Daly in Primary Stages production of "Downstairs"

Downstairs
Imagine: Stella Dubois has grown old and has no child. Stanley's sex appeal vanished as he aged; he is now simply a bully. They live in an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood. She rescued two dogs, whom she loved, but they disappeared. "Downstairs," Theresa Rebeck's new play at the intimate Cherry Lane Theatre, is a three-hander in which everyone plays with the truth. In this play, Rebeck is deliberately vague, leaving perhaps too much to the imagination. But the emotions are real. By Glenda Frank.

 

Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara
The mind of the playwright can be a most mysterious country. Fengar Gael has taken one line from Shakespeare’s “TheTempest” and woven it into an odd, delicious piece of theatre. “Sycorax: Cyber Queen of Qamara,” stylistically directed by Joan Kane at Here Theatre, combines the ancient Muslim world, black magic and computer science to bring us a story of feminist assertion, complete with a hero and a villain who are the same person. The script is filled with magic and metaphors. The lovely, young Sycorax is the artist who creates worlds. By Glenda Frank.

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Adapted and written by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg, this production of “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” is the ideal comedy for fans of the book. Combining slapstick with subtle English Monty Pythonesque humor, the show under Stromberg’s direction truly embodies high comedy. By Larry Litt.
Sophia Silver and Andrew Dits.

Bi-coastal "Fool for Love"
Theater for the New City presented a fine production of Sam Shepard's 1983 "Fool for Love," a four-character drama that was a finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  The director Kymberly Harris did a fine job with a splendid cast. This Theater for the New City run closes December 2, but then the producing company, Beetlebung Road LLC, will move the production to Los Angeles for performances at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, December 6 to 15. Paul Berss advises that Angel City theatergoers who have not been introduced to this classic of Shepard's repertoire would be well advised to catch it

 

Erin Beirnard, Trevor St. John-Gilbert, Michael Turner. Photo by Vadim Goldenberg.

"Shadow of Heroes" at Metropolitan Playhouse
Robert Ardrey’s play, “Shadow of Heroes” is a documentary drama about the political struggles in Hungary, beginning in the last phase of WWII, 1944-45 and ending with the 1956 abortive revolution. During the fall of 1956 Robert Ardrey (1908-1980) was in Vienna witnessing the brutal Soviet subjugation of the Hungarian uprising. He wrote the play in 1958 using real historical characters and facts as they emerged; the play premiered in London in 1958 and was produced in New York in 1961. The play follows the trajectory and conflicts of a set of historical figures central to the history of Hungarian communist politics, including the “old guard communists” Laszlo and Julia Rajk and Janos Kadar and Ernö Gerö and Matyas Rakosi, the “elite” party emissaries from Moscow who are charged with imposing Stalin’s will on the Hungarians. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

Easter Parade. Photo courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse.

Irving Berlin songs sparkle in "Holiday Inn"
In "Holiday Inn" at Paper Mill Playhouse, there is no denying the appeal of the Irving Berlin favorites, including “Cheek to Cheek,” “Blue Skies” and “Let’s Take an Old Fashioned Walk,” as well as some lesser-knowns like “The Little Things in Life” and “Song of Freedom.” Larry Blank’s orchestrations and music director Shawn Gough’s fine orchestra do them justice. The Paper Mill principals, while comfortable, are outshone (with one exception) by the excellent singing/dancing ensemble and, it should be noted, by designer Alejo Vietti’s fetching costumes. By Philip Dorian.

INESCAPABLE
In "Inescapable" by Martin Dockery, two guys come on stage claiming they’re friends taking a short break from a holiday party in the next room. It’s a big house we’re told owned by one of the guys who is half of a successful couple. Except that his wife is cheating on him. Does this sound like a Twilight Zone plot? Somehow it turns into a fugue state of comedy when Abbot and Costello meet Rod Serling for a fling with a time machine. A fun night of theater because who isn’t amazed at déjà vu in a play about déjà vu? By Larry Littany Litt.

Blake Morris as King Hedley II. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

King Hedley II
A 35-year old African-American woman defends her decision to terminate her pregnancy in an impassioned speech. “I ain’t raising no kid to have somebody shoot him. To have his friends…or the police…shoot him,” Tonya says, before relating the gut-wrenching story of a neighborhood mother whose son was shot and killed even as she had his favorite meal on the table. An angry, socially conscious play written in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, right? Wrong! Written in 1999, set in 1985, it is one of August Wilson’s ten Century Cycle plays that examine “the unique particulars of black American culture” through the twentieth century, decade by decade. It is a masterful work, eerily prescient. By Philip Dorian.

Nazis and Me
David Lawson’s “Nazis and Me” is a sparkling, witty and wise example of personal storytelling mixed with the sad sadistic history of anti-Semitism and outrageous current neo-nazi headlines. By Larry Litttany Litt.

 

Charlotte Wise as Wanda June & Craig Wesley Devino as Col. Looseleaf Harper. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Happy Birthday, Wanda June
Kurt Vonnegut's 1970 surreal satire dissects the extreme alpha male, a 40ish guy who sometime, in his breathing, his grunts and body movement, seems to turn into an ape. It connects machismo to violence to war. It gets a very good production by the Wheelhouse Theater Company, directed by Jeff Wise. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

GLORIA: A LIFE -- Christine Lahti as Gloria Steinem. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Not for Women Only: "Gloria: a Life"
The bumpy road to women’s liberation is dramatically illustrated in “Gloria: A Life,” written by Emily Mann and directed by Diane Paulus. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

Ronnie Marmo as Lenny Bruce. Photo by Doren Sorell

I'm Not a Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce.
You are unlikely to ever see the theatrical title “I’m Not a Comedian…I’m Richard Pryor.” Or George Carlin. Or Chris Rock. Or Sarah Silverman. But appending the name Lenny Bruce is altogether appropriate.The show is recommended for admirers of Lenny Bruce (or his legend), who already know what all the fuss was about. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

 

MOTHER OF THE MAID -- Glen Close as Isabelle Arc, Grace Van Patten as Joan. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Two views of "Mother of the Maid"
Lucy Komisar and Edward Rubin agree that Glenn Close is spellbinding in "Mother of the Maid," a simple storytelling recast of the life of Joan of Arc. Close is a terrific actress. She makes it worth watching, even if you cringe at Jane Anderson's script.

EAR FOR EYE -- Angela Wynter, Hayden McLean, Anita Reynolds, Seroca Davis. Photo by Stephen Cummiskey.

"Ear for Eye" at Royal Court Theatre
Debbie Tucker Green is a poet adept at thinking simultaneously in words and embodiment. "Ear for Eye," Green's new work at London's Royal Court Theatre, shares some aesthetic DNA with the late Ntozake Shange's "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf." But four-plus decades separate these two indices of the black side of the racial divide in the United States (and, in this work, to a smaller extent in Britain). On Green's stage, the gloves are off. By Dorothy Chansky.

 

MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET -- Sam Bolen. Photo by Carol Rosegg.


"Midnight at the Never Get"
If you want a bit of theatrical heaven, along with a smidgen of hell, a mini primer of late 60s gay history – with the obligatory nod to Stonewall included – and a lot of love, all both literally and figuratively, get thee to "Midnight at the Never Get," the York Theater's latest musical production before it closes on Sunday, November 4th. With a 5-piece backup band, two talented leads, and a roster of original songs, about life and love, both found, lost, and found again, well the 90-minute "Midnight at the Never Get," part theater and all cabaret, is the place to be. By Edward Rubin.

 

 

 

MOTHER NIGHT -- Gabriel Grilli as Campbell. Photo by Carol Rosegg.


Vonnegut's "Mother Night" turns American dealing with Nazis into political morality pl
ay
Howard W. Campbell, an American-born Nazi propagandist and double agent, served "evil too well and good too secretly." That is the subtle moral of the Kurt Vonnegut story adapted by Brian Katz in a fascinating albeit not totally successful stage presentation. Still better than most of what you will see in New York theater at the moment. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APOLOGIA -- Stockard Channing. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Stockard Channing Sparks Dysfunctional-Family Drama

Plays about dysfunctional families, with a dinner-party-gone-wrong and servings of acerbic humor, have become an over-examined genre. What elevates "Apologia" above the fray is the presence of Stockard Channing at the head of the table. Also, where many modern plays rely on multiple mobile phone intrusions to move the plot, "Apologia" includes just one brief call. And it's a doozy. By Philip Dorian.

 

RECOVERY -- Jill Shackner, Caitlin Cohn, Lydia Grace Jordan.


Recovery, or the nightmare of battling addiction

For the debut production of her play "Recovery" at Theater for the New City, author Anne Lucas has gathered a fine cast to illuminate her own experience - living through the drug addiction of her own daughter, who is now in recovery. Lucas tackles the subject through three drug-addicted college age women, their distraught mothers, a sincere Reverend who, as a former addict, does her best to help, and a slippery and seductive male character called the Demon, who represents addiction. By Paul Berss.

 

THE WILD ABANDON -- Leenya Rideout. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

 


The Wild Abandon of Leenya Rideout

The Irish Repertory Theatre's production of Wild Abandon, Leenya Rideout's intimate one-woman autobiographical extravaganza – housed in the Rep's second theatre, an intimate 50-seater – is one of a handful of Off Broadway plays that everybody is talking about. Critics are raving, and audiences are returning again and again with friends in tow, as they simply cannot believe that any one person can be that talented and not already household name. By Edward Rubin.




"The Resistible Rise of JR Brinkley"
It's all too easy in the Trump era to unleash barbs at the darned dangerous President and his supporters. Much more difficult to write something new and different as Edward Einhorn has done. Taking an imagined biography of a real con man demagogue who lived in the early 20th century, Einhorn has created a show that gave me a very good conception of where the Trumpster came from and how he managed to stay in power. By Larry Litt.

 

ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE KURSKI STATION -- Rivers Duiggan, Elliott Morse, Rivers Duggan.

Two views of "All Roads Lead to the Kurski Station."
At HERE, Vienya, a poet drunkard endures a nightmare journey, soaked in vodka, from Moscow's Kurski Station to Petushki, a real Moscow suburb and his hoped for paradise "where the jasmine never stops blooming and the birds always sing" and where he hopes to be saved by his love. He never makes it to Petushki because he sleeps in a drunken stupor through the station and ends where he started, in Kurski station. The 70 minute performance takes us on a wild romp through the underbelly of Soviet-Russian life with all its horror and absurdities—the laughter gets stuck in our craw. By Beate Hein Bennett and Larry Litt.

THE NAP -- Ben Schnetzer, Johanna Day. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Two views of “The Nap”

Contrary to its misleading title, “The Nap,” Richard Bean’s newest offering, making its American premiere under the direction of Daniel Sullivan, has nothing to do with sleep. Rather it’s a rowdy and riveting farce. By Paulanne Simmons and Lucy Komisar.


 

 

BERNHARDT/HAMLET -- A backstage dinner party. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Two views on "Bernhardt/Hamlet"
Historical fiction is a tricky genre. Plain history can be academic (read: boring), and inserting identifiable people as principals in pure fiction can be presumptuous, or a copout. "Bernhardt/Hamlet" straddles the extremes brilliantly; the precise inter-action among the actual people may or may not have happened as portrayed, but their involvement in the historical events makes it all plausible. Theresa Rebeck's comedy is period-specific without reinforcing misconceptions about how people related and communicated ‘then'. It is fascinating even just for that. By Philip Dorian and Lucy Komisar.

 

 

DESPERATE MEASURES -- Connor Ryan as Johnny Blood, Lauren Molina as Bella Rose. Photo by Carol Rosegg.



"Desperate Measures," a Shakespeare musical parody, is a hoot

"Desperate Measures," is a supremely clever parody that moves the Bard's story from 17th century Vienna to the American West in the 1800s. While continuing of course the rhyming couplets, where brusque rhymes with dusk. The show, book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by David Friedman, is a hoot. Director and choreographer Bill Castellino is the excellent helmsman of a cast whose dancing and singing match anything on Broadway. By Lucy Komisar.



THE TRUE -- Edie Falco as Polly Noonan and Glenn Fitzgerald as Howard Nolan. Photo by Monique Carboni.


Edie Falco in "The True" sears as tough Albany Democratic machine politician

The dramatic piece is about a possible 1977 primary challenge to Corning, who held power through patronage and favors to voters as a product of the machine. Director Scott Elliott makes it a combination soap opera and political drama. Edie Falco is powerful as the acerbic, in-your-face, sometimes crude-talking Polly Noonan, a real operator in Albany's Democratic Party machine politics for about four decades. White's play suggests that whatever you think of Polly Noonan politics, she is beneficiary of a corrupt political machine. I'm not sure she would like this play. The audience will. By Lucy Kromer.

 

PHANTOM -- Kayleen Seidl as Christine with the cast of "Phantom". Photo by John Vecchiolla.


"Phantom" (not that one) in Westchester County, NY

While some introductory background is required in a review of the "Phantom" musical that does not append "of the Opera" to its title, be advised upfront that the production at Westchester Broadway (Dinner) Theatre in Elmsford, NY is a top-notch staging of the one-word version of Gaston Leroux's serialized 1910 novel. Lavishly staged and costumed and beautifully sung by its leads and ensemble, WBT's "Phantom" stands very well on its own 58 feet. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

 

BITEF -- "Jami District". Photo courtesy of BITEF.

 

Belgrade International Theatre Festival (BITEF) 2018 - Svet Bez Ljudi (World Without Us)
The Belgrade International Theatre Festival (BITEF) was founded in 1967 with the explicit goal of goading audiences to think and, ideally, to act. This year's festival featured productions from ten countries under the rubric "World Without Us," itself an invitation to conversation, as the literal translation would be "world without people." The focus seemed to be—at least in the six productions I was able to see—a world without human kindness or decency. By Dorothy Chansky.

 

 

TEVYE SERVED RAW (GARNISHED WITH JEWS) -- Photo courtesy of the Playroom Theatre.

"TEVYE SERVED RAW (Garnished with Jews)"
"Tevye Served Raw," based on the stories of the incomparable Sholem Aleichem, is, at times, rollickingly hilarious, at times almost heartbreakingly sad. Although the stories date from the turn of the twentieth century, the human conditions they explore are timeless. "Tevye Served Raw" is far from a museum piece. The acting is always spirited, the script and innovated direction are clever. The show has been crafted with love for Yiddish traditions. It not only entertains, but may also motivate you to learn Yiddish so you too can laugh before reading the supertitles. As for the supertitles, much of the 90 minutes is in English because of an instant on-stage translation – and the translation is part of the comic pleasure. By Glenda Frank.

MESHANYE -- Zeleniuch, Knight, Nelson. Photo by Asia Thorpe.

Strange People on Quaking Ground - "Meshanye" by Maxim Gorky
"Meshanye," by Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was his first play written within less than five years of the Russian uprising at the Winter Palace (1905). Owing much to Chekhov, the play takes place in a family living room, within a brief period of time, with a mélange of passionate, frustrated, depressed, cynical, and life embracing scharacters who launch into torrents of feeling. The play is set in the home of Vasily Bessemenov, owner of a house-painting business in a provincial town. The central conflict is between the head of the family and his adult children. "Meshanye" works like chamber music, in that several voices carry the dialogue forward as characters move in and out of the space, often overhearing each other off-stage and, as they enter joining the conversation, they bring a new tonality. To have the opportunity to see an excellent production of a rarely performed play by Maxim Gorky, one of the titans of Russian dramaturgy, in a superb new translation should need no extra incentive. By Beate Hein Bennett.

 

 

 

AGNES -- John Edgar Barker, Mykal Monroe, Hiram Delgado, Laura Ramadai.

An emerging playwright to reckon with: "Agnes" off-Broadway
"I don't think I know the difference between sexual harassment and flirting" might not seem like a ground-breaking admission, but as spoken by Charlie in Catya McMullen's outstanding new play "Agnes," it registers as profoundly moving. In a prime example of Shakespeare's What's past is prologue, each character's past influences the present: what they say and do and how they interact. And all of it – the 'before' revelations as well as what bubbles up in the present – is written and acted with unself-conscious naturalism. Catya McMullen is a playwright to watch, and "Agnes" is a good place to start. By Philip Dorian.

CONFLICT -- Jessie Shelton as Dare and Jeremy Beck as Tom Smit. Photo by Todd Cerveris.

“Conflict” a popular British challenge to predatory capitalism near 100 years ago
Fascinating, writes Lucy Komisar, to see a play written in 1925 that has the politics of a play that could be written today. It was penned by Miles Malleson, a prominent playwright, screenwriter and actor of the time who used his work to promote progressive politics. He was a socialist, pacifist and supporter of women’s suffrage. This is very finely, subtly directed by Jenn Thompson.


ROSA LUXEMBURG KABARETT -- The ensemble.


“Rosa Luxemburg Kabarett” tells stirring story of revolutionary leftist killed by the Germans

“Rosa Luxemburg Karabett” is an historical play with music about the life of the Russian revolutionary who became an activist in German politics, opposed WsWI, was imprisoned and, after the war, was murdered. The production at the Avignon Theater Festival OFF reflects the tradition of the German political cabaret. This excellent play, in French, is worthy of translation to reach a wider audience interested in the development of the world’s anti-war movements. By Lucy Komisar.

BREXIT -- Tom Corradini and Samuel Toye. Photo by Fabio Nedrotti.

“Brexit”: Politics as vaudeville at Avignon
For clarity about politics, “Brexit” at the Avignon Theater Festival does as well as any pundits. It’s a clever mime and vaudeville comic take by a pair as a verbally dueling father and son. Tom Corradini and Samuel Toye, the work’s authors, plays Charles, 47, and Samuel Toye is his son Eric, 25. Corradini is the director. In a pastiche of puppets, mime and vaudevillian soft-show, they argue about the June 2016 vote for the UK to stay or remain in the European Union. By Lucy Komisar.

DAYS TO COME -- Larry Bull as Andrew Rodman and Chris Henry Coffee as worker Thomas Firth. Photo by Todd Cerveris.

Lillian Hellman’s “Days to Come” hints at important plays of workers’ struggle
Lillian Hellman play about a labor conflict in a small town in Ohio in 1936 has some fine moments giving hints of stronger plays such as “The Little Foxes” where she takes on the corrupt, manipulating rich who exploit workers. “Days to Come,” written at a time of labor struggles across America, refers to a better future when workers bested by violent strike-breakers will get the union and rights they are fighting for. Based on the text, those days would be a long time coming. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

BLYTHE SPIRIT -- Ruth (Kate MacCluggage) and Charles (Brent Harris)



"Blithe" Spirit in NJ

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s “Blithe Spirit” comes in at a relatively compact two and three-quarters hours, including intermission. Even at that, Noel Coward’s 1940 play will lift your spirits. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

 

Jill Eikenberry and John Glover

Fern Hill
“Fern Hill” is Michael Tucker’s second full-length play to premiere at NJ Rep, after “The M Spot” in 2015. Like the earlier play, “Fern Hill” explores emotional and physical (read: sexual) relationships, this time among three couples – not as in swingers, I hasten to add, but three pairs with their own histories and hang-ups. The six actors have amassed thirty-five Broadway credits among them, with six Tony Award nominations (and a win) to boot. By Philip Dorian.

 

Eli Gelb and Idina Menzel. Photo by Joan Marcus.

"Skintight" Has Love, Lust, Beauty and Idina Menzel
The star and calling card of "Skintight" which gives the play its commercial legs, is Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked, If/Then) in her first non-singing role. Joshua Harmon’s provocative and wonderfully wordily written wailings about the joy of sex, emotionally delivered by a major character or two, do give us something to mull over, which is more than most playwrights have to offer. By Ed Rubin.

 

HEAD OVER HEELS -- Peppermint (center) as Pythio, The Oracle of Delphi and the ensemble. Photo by Joan Marcus.

“Head Over Heels” Creates a Topsy-Turvy World
Jeff Whitty’s new musical, Head over Heels, is both a parody and a tribute to Sir Phillip Sidney’s “Arcadia.” By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley Allyn Owen (Tarzan) and Leopard. Photo by Cayce Calloway.

Tarzan the Stage Musical
While the popularity of Tarzan films has dwindled over the years, replaced by humongous money-making superhero franchises like Batman and Spider-Man, theatrical productions of Tarzan, The Stage Musical, especially among high schools and community theaters, are still being mounted. A recent example is The Atlanta Lyric Theater’s acclaimed production of Tarzan, The Stage Musical, which Ed Rubin had the good fortune to attend late in the run.

 

Anika Noni Rose as Carmen Jones. Photo by Joan Marcus.

At Classic Stage, splendid “Carmen Jones” places black wartime workers in Bizet’s opera
“Win That War!” sing workers in a parachute factory in a town about 1,000 miles south of Chicago. It’s a striking transformation of Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” about a worker in a Spanish cigar factory in 1820, to wartime US in 1943 with a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The “Carmen” triangle is still a sultry tangle between Carmen and a military guy, now army instead of militia, and a big-time prize fighter replacing the toreador, the word Bizet’s French opera invented to mean torero (bull fighter) because it had the right syllables. Hammerstein reset the story with a black cast, and this is the first major New York revival since its debut on Broadway 75 years ago. Elegantly directed by John Doyle, this is an intimate production in the Classic Stage’s small theater in the square, a chamber opera where you can practically touch the performers. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

"Conflict" at the Beckett Theater
Jessie Shelton and Jeremy Beck. Photo by Todd Cerveris
In “Conflict” (1925), we meet Lady Dare Bellingdon (Jessie Shelton), the spoiled daughter of a powerful, conservative father (a patrician Graeme Malcolm). She lunches, she shops, she gossips, she clubs past 3 AM, and Major Sir Ronald Clive (Henry Clarke), who plans to run for Parliament, her beau, adores her. A homeless man, Tom Smith, (Jeremy Beck), who breaks into her father’s London residence, will change her life. In rags, he has come for a handout although he and Clive were once schoolmates at Cambridge. Bellingdon and Clive condemn him roundly but offer generous alms. Tom Smith’s next visit is even more surprising. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

"The Dog in The Dressing Room" at The Schoolhouse Theater
Who doesn’t love a backstage drama? The revelations behind the scenes are the drama in favorites like “Phantom of the Opera,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Noises Off.” “The Dog in the Dressing Room,” a backstage comedy by Deborah Savadge, is now debuting at The Schoolhouse Theatre, Westchester County’s longest running Equity Theatre, on June 14 and will play through July 1. Games, secrets, old wounds, stalking, champagne, a canine, and love play their parts in this smashing comedy. By Glenda Frank.

 

 

Caption: Felicia Finley and the company of "Songbird"

"Songbird" at Two River Theater
“Songbird” is based, subtly and effectively, on Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” an 1896 play you need not have seen or read (or even heard of) in order to appreciate this multi-faceted hoedown derivative. Coupled with Michael Kimmel’s affecting book (and a nudge from a Century-plus-ago playwright), “Songbird” is a rare blend of foot-stomping rhythms and heart-tugging emotions, that Two River Theater Company is serving up with style. By Philip Dorian.

 

 

 

Corey Stoll as Iago and Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, photo Joan Marcus.

Public Theater’s “Othello” at Delacorte Theater
Shakespeare’s “Othello” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park seemed more about racism to me than it ever had before. Under the clear, commanding direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson and featuring the mesmerizing, almost painfully gut-wrenching acting of Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, you imagine what a lifetime of racial slights has done to his judgment and trust. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

Catherine (Maggie Horan), left, Eddie (Rich O'Brien) and Beatrice (Claire Beckman). Photo courtesy of Brave New World Repertory Theatre.

 

"A View From The Bridge" on a barge in Red Hook
Brave New World specializes in site-specific productions, and mounting “A View from the Bridge” on a barge actually afloat on the Red Hook, Brooklyn waterfront, is inspired. The ‘Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge’ is covered over and cleaned up some from its seafaring days, but its original weathered deck and spars are intact. One can only wish that Miller, who died in 2005, were still around to sneak up the gangplank into a performance. By Philip Dorian.

 


Photo of Tony Yazbeck and Irina Dvorovenko

"The Beast in the Jungle" at Vineyard Theatre
Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, this adaption of Henry James’s 1903 novella “The Beast in the Jungle” is a melancholy treatise on unrealized romance and thwarted passion that unfolds in James’s characteristically elaborate prose. The same-titled theater piece inspired by the story is essentially a ballet, with intermittent narration and some spare-dialogue passages. By Philip Dorian.

 

TRAVESTIES -- Peter McDonald as James Joyce, Tom Hollander as Henry Carr, Scarlett Strallen as Gwendolen and Sara Topham as Cecily. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

 

Stoppard's "Travesties"
“Travesties” is a glorious kaleidoscope of famous people, fiction and events that converge in Zurich during World War I and raise questions about radical politics, the meaning of art, and the validity of memory to link it all. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

J. Alphonse Nicholson and Kristolyn Lloyd. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Paradise Blue
“Paradise Blue” focusses on what happens when a jazz joint in Detroit’s Blackbotton neighborhood is thrown into turmoil thanks to 1940s gentrification; the erratic behavior of Blue (J. Alphonse Nicholson), the club owner; and the arrival of a sexy and dangerous woman named Silver (Simone Missick). By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

Condola Rashad as Saint Joan. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

Saint Joan
Bernard Shaw was a feminist. And a religious skeptic. Who better than to tell the story of Saint Joan? How do you do that when you are a socialist and not a militarist? You focus on the hypocrisy of the religious establishment, that had no problem with war, but only with who keeps power. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

Renee Fleming as Nettie Fowler and company. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

 

 

Carousel
“Carousel” is a gorgeous show with a hokey, simplistic, no-politics story, says Lucy Komisar. The vocals are thrilling, led by opera diva Renée Fleming who presents her solos as if they were arias. And the naturalistic sets by Santo Loquasto, from the top of the merry-go-round to whaling boats in the sea and lobster cages are entrancing. It’s a gorgeous show, if you forget the story.

 

Brian Tree Henry as William, Beth Powley as Dawn, Michael Cera as Jeff, Chris Evans as Bill. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

Two views of "Lobby Hero"
It hardly seems possible that a play about murder, rape and police corruption could be even remotely amusing. Yet, in many ways, Kenneth Lonergan’s “Lobby Hero” might be the funniest show on Broadway this season. Paulanne Simmons and Lucy Komisar weigh in.

 

 

Glenda Jackson, Alison Pill and Laurie Metcalf in "Three Tall Women." Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

Two views of "Three Tall Women," 2018
It’s only a few months before the 26th anniversary of the first American appearance of Edward Albee’s masterpiece, "Three Tall Women," yet we’ve seen surprisingly few revivals. It’s admittedly difficult to perform, but hundreds of our high schools have performed the extremely demanding constant dance numbers of "A Chorus Line" without even one cast member who can really dance. Certainly those who love Albee’s plays can rejoice at this masterful new version. The legendary actress Glenda Jackson—who returned to the stage after 28 years in England’s Parliament and got raves playing King Lear in Shakespeare’s play with The Royal Shakespeare Company—stars with two admired, award-winning American actresses. And it’s gorgeously designed (Miriam Buether) as well as excitingly directed by Joe Mantello, one of Broadway’s most honored directors. Herbert Simpson and Lucy Komisar weigh in ambivalently. Lucy writes she'd love to see a feminist “Three Tall Women, Part 2.”

 

Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

 

"Once on this Island" is a Gorgeous Folk Opera About Color and Class in the Caribbean
Called a charming, surreal, and politically sharp-edged play, Lucy Komisar advises audiences not to arrive late to this production. Full of magical realism created by director Michael Arden, this charming folk opera is about class and race. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Mark Rylance as King Phillippe V in the Shakespeare's Globe production of "Farinelli and the King." Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

 

Two Views of mark Rylance in "Farinelli and the King"
Edward Rubin thought no one could rescue Rylance from his wobbly and unsatisfing portrayal of Phillipe V. However, Lucy Komisar thought this was a thrilling performane. See how the two compare. By Edward Rubin and Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPAMILTON: Putting down Phantom, Aladdin and Cats. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

 

"Spamilton"
The fellow on stage looks familiar. He wears an 18th-century blue coat and gold buttons and is rapping. In Alessandrini's "Spamilton", an affectionate pastiche of Broadway heroes which will ring true with any seasoned audience. Laugh along as Alessandrini spoofs on "The Lion King," "Cats" and of course "Hamilton" itself. If you can't get tickets to that particular constitutional classic, "Spamilton" will keep you smiling for days. By Lucy Komisar.

 

Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi and waiters at the Harmonia Gardens. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

 

Aaah, hmmm, but we'll bette you'll love it too.
“Hello Dolly” with Bette Midler is outdated on feminism and talent. But the audience loved every starpower minute of it. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

Gordon Palagi in "The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?"

 

The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?
Unlike most immersive experiences, “The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?” offers not only sounds and sights but also a delicious meal and craft cocktails. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

 

 

Christy Altomare as Anya, and ghosts of the past. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

“Anastasia”
Complex, fascinating and gorgeous, this fantasy tale of the young woman who might be the surviving daughter of Czar Nicholas of Russia is a colorful musical mystery with elegant singing, marvelous dancing and costumes that light up the stage. With a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, it features the top talents of Broadway. That goes for director Darko Tresnjak and choreographer Peggy Hickey, who have “big Broadway show” written all over them. “Anastasia” a fine colorful big-musical Russian Romanov princess fantasy. By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

 

Nick Cordero as Sonny, Hudson Loverro as Calogero. Photo by Joan Marcus.

“A Bronx Tale"
It’s a knock off of “West Side Story,” here Italians vs blacks, and very hokey, but “A Bronx Tale” has a certain charm and pizazz nonetheless. The place is Bedford Avenue, tenements with fire escapes and pushcarts. And kids singing doo-wop. They are working class Italians, circa 1960.“A Bronx Tale” is musical coming of age with a twist: kid grows up among hoodlums By Lucy Komisar.

 

 

 

"A Bronx Tale"
Since “A Bronx Tale” has already been a solo show and a film, it might have been inevitable that it eventually become a musical. This is not necessarily a terrible thing. In fact, the show currently at the Longacre Theater is not at all bad. By Paulanne Simmons.

 

 

 

"All Our Children" at The Sheen Center

"Ain't No Mo!" at the Public

"Electronic City"

"Do You Feel Anger?"

“The Mother"

Two views of “The Lehman Trilogy”

The Noblest Roman Tragedy: "Julius Caesar" in Brooklyn

August Strindberg's "The Dance of Death"

"Strangers in the World"

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in "Johannes Dokchtor Faust, a Petrifying Puppet Comedye"

"The B-Side: Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons," a record album interpretation

"The Life of Galileo"

Two views of "Daddy"

"Hurricane Diane” Veers Off Course

There's a lot to talk about in “Theo"

ColorStruck

"The Price of Thomas Scott" at the Mint

"True West” by Sam Shepard is a 1980
too over-the-top satire of movies

Clueless, The Musical

"American Son" on Broadway

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui

The Lifespan of a Fact

"Downstairs" by Theresa RebeckSycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Bi-Coastal "Fool for Love"

"Shadow of Heroes" at Metropolitan Playhouse

Inescapable

Nazis and Me

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

Not for Women Only: "Gloria: a Life"

I'm Not a Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce

"Mother of the Maid"

"Midnight at the Never Get"

"Mother Night"

"Apologia"

"Recovery" by Anne Marilyn Lucas

"Wild Abandon"

"The Resistible Rise of JR Brinkley"

"All Roads Lead to the Kurski Station"

“The Nap”

"Bernhardt/Hamlet"

"Desperate Measures," a Shakespeare musical parody

"The True" by Sharr White

"TEVYE SERVED RAW (Garnished with Jews)"

"Meshanye" by Maxim Gorky

"Agnes" by Catya McMullen

Lillian Hellman’s “Days to Come”

“Conflict”

"Skintight"

“Head Over Heels”

“Carmen Jones" at Classic Stage

"Conflict" at the Beckett Theater

Public Theater’s “Othello” at Delacorte Theater

"A View From The Bridge" on a barge in Red Hook

“The Beast in the Jungle” at Vineyard Theatre

Stoppard's "Travesties" at the Roundabout

"Paradise Blue" at Signature Theater

"Saint Joan"

"Tartuffe" at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ

My Fair Lady

Carousel

"Lobby Hero"

Three Tall Women, 2018

"Once on this Island" is a Gorgeous Folk Opera About Color and Class in the Caribbean

Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway with "Farinelli And The King"

"Spamilton"

"Hello, Dolly" with Bette Midler

"A Bronx Tale"