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Loney's Show Notes

By Glenn Loney, April 2011.
About Glenn Loney

Glenn Loney
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.


•Descent into Dementia: The Other Place
•Watch Your Language! Motherfucker with Two ** on a Broadway Marquee!
WarHorse: Passion for a Puppet Horse: Bring Joey Back Home!
HIGH: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, High, High in the Sky, Bye & Bye…
Jerusalem Trivia Answer: William Blake Wrote Jerusalem!
•David Greenspan Brings Ancient Greece to Montauk: Go Back To Where You Are…
•Michael Frayn's Benefactors: Next Door Neighbors Can Devour You!
•John Guare's Absurdist Black Comedy House of Blue Leaves: Edie Falco Goes Bananas!
Born Yesterday: Yesterday's Play Still Potent for Today's Electorate!
•Still Beats The Normal Heart: 35 Million Deaths from AIDS & Counting…
•Another Motion Picture Becomes Another Broadway Musical! Catch Me If You Can!
•Grimm Fairytales Made Hilarious by Roald Dahl & Elizabeth Swados: Revolting Rhymes!
•We Wistfully Wonder Why Wonderland Got the Green Light?
•Disney Gives Broadway Yet Another Musical: Sister Act--with Alan Menken Music!
•Warner Brothers Gets into the Act with Baby It's You!
•Donna Murphy Escapes the Holocaust! The People in the Picture Make Yiddish Films!
Tomorrow Morning: Young Lovers, Young Marrieds, Older Break Ups, with Healing!
•Mary Poppins! Eat Your Heart Out! HARRY POTTER FLIES!
•Trees Still Grow in Brooklyn, But Better in Park Slope Than in Williamsburg.
Anything Goes: Sutton Foster Brings Back Art Deco America & Atlantic Crossings!
•Opera at the Juilliard School: Ravel's Spanish Hour & Puccini's Gianni Schichi!
•Opera at the Manhattan School of Music: Manuel de Falla's Amor Brujo & Vida Breve.
•Opera at the David H. Koch Memorial Theatre: Séance on a Wet Afternoon…
•Monodramatics! John Leguizamo Once Again Makes Real Life Funny!
•Bad Day in the Classroom! Alcoholic Scots School Teacher Strikes Out!
•Holocaust Inspired Czech Puppetry Animates Mr. M, Based on Ladislav Fuchs' Novel.
Boom Town: Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills! Cirque Mechanics Set Off Dynamite!

End of Month Summary:

Few recent Seasons have seen such a Last Minute Flurry of Openings of New Productions: both of Musicals & so called "Straight" Plays. That these shows got in just Under the Wire for consideration for the Tony Nominations is no Accident.

They were also well timed for the annual Awards Nominations of the Outer Critics Circle & the Drama Desk. Your Roving Arts Reporter is now one of the very few Oldest Surviving Members of both organizations, so I've posted both sets of Nominations at the close of this month's Report.

It's a bit Ironic that Drama Desk now gives so many Awards in so many Categories.

Initially, it was not a Critics' Club, but a group of Newspaper & Magazine Drama Desk Editors, Performing Arts Reporters & Interviewers, & even Press Agents who met once a week at Sardi's for lunch & Panels of Theatre People who briefed them on what was Current on Stage.

Those Critics who were then members were, for the most part, also Theatre Journalists. We gave only One Award: the Vernon Rice Award!

But who now remembers who Vernon Rice was & what he did & wrote?

The same might be said for my Mentor & Friend, the late John Gassner, in whose name the OCC annually honors a new, emerging Young American Playwright.

Both Steve Martin & Anne Meara have won this award, though they were hardly Young American Playwrights…

John Gassner--along with John Mason Brown--was once regarded as one of the Deans of American Theatre Criticism.

Together, they made the Nominations for the Pulitzer Award for Drama each year.

But Nominations for both Edward Albee & Lillian Hellman failed to pass the Final Hurdle of the Trustees of Columbia University, who are still the Ultimate Arbiters of Genius & Decency on the American Stage.

Both Hellman & Albee had the misfortune to write plays that annoyed or shocked Columbia's Trustees. So Gassner & Brown finally resigned, in Protest.

If you would like to know more about John Gassner & sample some of his best Critical Essays & Reviews, check out Dramatic Soundings. I have provided an Introduction which is also a Brief Biography. I also did the final editing on this collection of the thoughtful Theatre Observations of a dear old friend…

Next To Last Thoughts on the Season 2010-2011:

Who would have thought we would see Motherfucker on a Broadway Marquee?

Substituting two ** for the missing UC fooled no one. The Gray Lady NY Times softened the Bad Language to Mother with a Hat.

But then, they used to Air Brush Navels off photos of Models in Bikinis!

Have there ever been so many shows that have Actors Flying? Even over at Lincoln Center, in the David H. Koch Memorial Theatre, the NY City Opera had the Ghost of a Murdered Girl high up in the air!

Shouldn't there now be a Special Award for Best Airborne Performance?

How about a new Awards Category: for Best Use of Puppetry in Performance?

War Horse--also over at Lincoln Center--should win that one, Hands Down.

Most Outstanding Design Use of Videos could also be a New Category…

The May Show Notes will be the last Manhattan Report in this season, as June will find Your Reporter in San Francisco--with the Music Critics of North America--to savor the San Francisco Opera's new RING.

This will be a Treat, as the Metropolitan Opera Press Office has refused me tickets to its new Robert Lepage RING's first two installments: Das Rheingold & Die Walküre

Then, it's off to Ashland & the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, with the American Theatre Critics Association!

The remainder of the Summer will find me at the Festivals in Bayreuth, Bregenz, Edinburgh, Munich, & Salzburg

New Plays:
Sharr White's THE OTHER PLACE [ ***** ]
Stephen Adley Guirgis' THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT [ ** ]
Michael Morpugo's Novel, Adapted by Nick Stafford: WARHORSE
[ ***** ]
Matthew Lombardo's HIGH
[ ** ]
Jez Butterworth's JERUSALEM
[ ** ]
David Greenspan's GO BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE [ *** ]
Old Plays in Revival:
Michael Frayn's BENEFACTORS [ **** ]
John Guare's THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES [ **** ]
Garson Kanin's BORN YESTERDAY [ **** ]
Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART [ ***** ]
New Musicals:
[ *** ]
Elizabeth Swados & Roald Dahl's REVOLTING RHYMES [ *** ]
Frank Wildhorn's WONDERLAND [ ** ]
[ *** ]
[ ** ]
[ ** ]
[ **** ]
Old Musicals in Revival:
[ **** ]
[ *** ]
[ **** ]
Other Entertainments/Other Venues:
Nights at the Opera Schools:
The Juilliard Opera Theatre Presents:
[ *** ]
The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre Presents:
Manuel de Falla's EL AMOR BRUJO & LA VIDA BREVE [ **** ]
New York City Opera at the David H. Koch Memorial Theatre:
Stephen Schwartz's SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON [ ** ]
Monologic Monodramas:
John Leguizamo's GHETTO KLOWN [ **** ]
Douglas Maxwell's THE PROMISE [ *** ]
At the Theatre for the New City:
[ *** ]
At the New Vic:
Cirque Mechanics' BOOM TOWN [ *** ]


The Other Place Isn't Really There Anymore, When Dementia Takes Hold…

Laurie Metcalf is both Amazing & Terrifying as Juliana, a Self Possessed Professional who is descending into Dementia, but not quite realizing that something is terribly wrong with her Synapses.

Her Family has a History of Brain Cancer--but that's not Her Problem.

Her Immediate Family also has Problems, which are not helped by her almost hysteric desperation to, somehow, Hold Everything Together.

Sharr White's outstanding new drama will surely be a Contender come Awards Time! Possibly the John Gassner Award for Best New Play by an Emerging American Playwright?

Joe Mantello has tautly, sensitively staged a cast that includes Dennis Bousikaris as Julianna's loving but desperately helpless husband. What can he do?

The stage environment--by the ingenious genius Eugene Lee--is a semi circular high wall of Window Frames, laid & overlaid on each other: Blind Windows, through which Juliana can no longer See


X Rated for Children, But Also for Discriminating Adults: Motherf**ker Time on Broadway!

There's a Motherf**ker of a Show over at the Motherf**kin' Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre!

This is the Motherf**kin' work of Playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis.

Can this be the New Naturalism?

Tiring of effete, if witty, Drawing Room Comedies & tear jerking Tragic Romances--think Camille--some Major 19th Century Playwrights thought it was time to expose well heeled Continental Audiences to the Stark Realities of Modern Life among the Lower Classes.

This Naturalism naturally shocked Paris & London Audiences, just as it was meant to do. What could be Lower than The Lower Depths?

How dreadful were the Living Conditions! How appalling were the Factories in which these Lower Class Losers toiled!

Nonetheless, No One--not even the Most Exploited Victim of Upper Class Cruelties & Machinations--ever said SHIT or FUCK on stage. Not even Bitch or Cunt

Even in shockingly realistic World War II Movies, no one ever talked about his Fuckin' Rifle mis firing. In the Mess Hall, no one asked to pass the Fuckin' Butter

[When I was in Basic Training at Fort Ord--during the Korean "Police Action"--I though that Fuckin' was somehow an attribute of US Army Issue Butter

[But we didn't hear that kind of Language in films shown in Quonset Huts on Base: Movies like Gidget Goes To Hawaii!]

Even during the Remainder of the 20th Century, both Hollywood--20th Century Fox--& Broadway avoided Bad, Rude, Language. No matter how Willy Loman suffered, Arthur Miller didn't let him say Shit once!

Shocking Language could always get a nervous laugh from Blue Haired Matinée Ladies, but Neil Simon never had Jimmy Coco--in Last of the Red Hot Lovers--say Motherf**ker. Not once!

But here's The Motherfucker with the Hat on Broadway.

True, to avoid offending Devout Christians & corrupting Small Children, the Mother Word has been Edited, with the removal of UC & its replacement with Two **.

On stage, however, it's impossible for Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock, & Yul Vásquez to pronounce **, so they have to let fly the un edited version: MOTHERFUCKER

Even Ellzabeth Rodriguez & Annabella Sciorra--in the Good Old Days--would have had their mouths washed out with SOAP!

Scott Rudin & The Public Theatre are among the Host of Producers, so they must believe Ordinary People Need to Know how things are among the Drug Addicted Denizens of New York's own Lower Depths.

While Chris Rock acts like he just wandered into this production by accident, Bobby Cannavale is a Force of Nature: Frustrated, Fucked Up, Foul Mouthed, Defeated, Depleted, Desperate, & Horny…

Many years ago, a very young & unknown actor named Al Pacino debuted on Broadway in Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?

[If you've seen Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo, you will know why such niceties as Neckties are not needed.]

Al Pacino didn't need to say Shit or Fuck to express his furious Frustration & Anger. Instead, he kicked a Metal Desk savagely

Anna D. Shapiro staged The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Two Stars!


World War I No Man's Land: No Place for a WarHorse--Cavalry Charges Repelled by Tanks!

The Wonder of It All!

A Life Sized Horse Puppet wins the Love--not only of an abused Devonshire Lad--but also of Lincoln Center Audiences!

When the young foal, Joey, first takes the stage, the amazement of how his Handlers make him move--he's almost Human--may momentarily distract from what's at stake.

A drunken & abusive Father outbids everyone else to possess this potential Hunter. He squanders the Mortgage Money, partly to show off.

His Son falls in love with this fledgling horse, winning his love also & making Joey his Own.

Necessity requires that the spirited young horse be broken to harness for Plowing. This will Save His Life on the Killing Fields of France…

Joey is sold as an English Officer's Mount for The Great War. But his admiring Officer Owner--who many times sketched him as he was growing--is killed. Almost all the Men from Devon are destroyed…

Under aged, Joey's Spiritual Owner enlists for France, determined to find him & bring him home.

As a War Horse, Joey would have been Shot Dead on the Battlefield. But, because he can also pull an Ambulance Cart, in harness, he is saved. Temporarily

Trapped on the Battlefield by razor sharp Concertina Barbed Wire, Joey is freed by Huns & Brits, working together under White Flags of Truce. A Flip of Coin gives him back to the Brits…

The stark black & white Battlefield Scenes are Horrific, but the Entire Production is Visually & Emotionally Arresting & Engaging.

Rae Smith is responsible for the evocative Period Sets, Costumes, & Drawings.

Adrian Kohler, with Basil Jones, takes credit for the Puppet Design, Fabrication, & Direction, for the Handspring Puppet Company.

Joey is by no means the Only Horse in Show! At one point, there are some Six Cavalry Steeds stamping impatiently on stage!

The Horse Puppet Drawings are currently on view in Ralph Lauren's Mansion Windows on Madison Avenue: Ralph Loves Horses & Marketing Horsey Outfits

Marianne Elliott & Tom Morris are credited with Overall Direction, but many Talents were involved in making this Dynamic Production come to life.

Only a handsomely State Subsidized organization such as The National Theatre of Britain could have afforded to produce such an amazing Theatre Experience as WarHorse.

But it is one of the few major European State Theatres with such a remarkable Ensemble, such visionary Artistic Leaders [Nicholas Hytner & Nick Starr], & such an ingenious Technical Staff.

Eight Million Horses died during The War To End Wars. Joey Came Home!

WAR IS STILL HELL. But it was much worse for the Horses in the Good Old Days!

Think of the futile & suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade


Saying Rosaries Won't Save Brutalized Teen Aged Dope Addicted Male Hustler/Prostitute…

Kathleen Turner plays a Nun who is also a Recovering Alcoholic in High.

She once dreamed of being really High in this world, but now she hopes to be High Up in the Sky when she dies. Right Up There with God & Co.

When I was a Lad, Nuns wore Habits. They didn't have Drink & Drug Habits.

Times seem to have Changed, except for the Church's firm opposition to Abortion.

Anyway, Sister Jamison is now trying to help kids in some kind of Catholic Shelter.

Father Michael Delpapp [Stephen Kunken] is in charge.

But they are both having difficulties with his Drug Addicted, Diseased, Street Hustler Nephew, Cody Randall [the remarkable Evan Jonigkeit].

Audiences are treated to Cody's Full Frontal Nudity so that they can better understand What Is Here At Issue.

Despite all the Rosaries & Our Fathers, Cody doesn't make it…

Neither did High, which closed soon after it opened…


Woodstock in Wiltshire? What's with All Those Drugs in the Woods? Jerusalem Trivia…

The Curtain goes up at the Music Box Theater to reveal a Steamy Orgiastic Celebration in the woods which at first suggests Woodstock.

But No. This is Provincial English Wiltshire & there is no muddy farmer's field on which to romp & Get High.

You'd really have to be an English Provincial to appreciate all the Local Color in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem.

How much do Long Islanders know about Morris Dancing anyway?

The Real Reason to see this show--imported from London to Broadway--is to study the Super Charged Performance of Mark Rylance as the drunken, drug sodden roisterer, Johnny "Rooster" Byron.

Rylance already has astonished Broadway with his work in La Bête & Boing Boing.

Rooster--his Cock apparently Crows!--is no Relation to Lord Byron. Nor to Rooster Cogburn of True Grit.

Living in a Silver Stream House Trailer in a patch of woods in Wiltshire, Rooster is a Layabout who surrounds himself with like minded Young Losers & some Teen Age Girls who should be back at home.

He has Booze & Drugs & is generous in Sharing

The Community is apparently celebrating May Day with an Off Stage Village Fair.

A singing Fairy Sprite has gone lost. Her Father is furious. She eventually emerges from Rooster's Trailer.

The Central Dramatic Question seems to be what will become of Rooster when the Woods are cleared for a new Housing Estate?

The Woods have to go; the Trailer has to go, & Rooster also has to go…

This may well be a Misfortune for Wiltshire, as a number of Influential British Critics have compared Rooster--at least as performed by Rylance--as a Lord of Misrule, or an Avatar of the Green Man!

The Drama's Title--Jerusalem--refers to a Hymn. Rooster is an expert on Trivia Questions, but he blocks when asked the Name of the Man who wrote Jerusalem.

It was the Poet Mystic William Blake!

They don't write Three Act Plays anymore. But Butterworth has done & done it!

It is Two Acts Too Long


David Greenspan's Antic Fantasy: Ancient Greek Chorus Boy Transported to Montauk!

Watching David Greenspan on stage is always a Treat, but seldom a Surprise.

Whether he is William Blake--naked in his garden--or Queen Elizabeth, in an elaborate costume in Orlando, he is everywhere & always the irrepressible David.

Now, at Playwrights Horizons, he is raised by God from Hades to return to Earth--or at least that part of it which is known as Montauk--to intervene on behalf of an Unseen Carolyn, who needs to get free of the Dominion of her Celebrated Actress Mother, charmingly played by Lisa Banes.

As in Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude, Greenspan's Characters tell the Audience exactly what they are Really Thinking.

But the Catty Asides are Vintage Greenspan, not Gene O'Neill--who later gave us Lazarus Laughed, a really Surreal Exploration of What Lies Beyond the Grave: "There is only Light & Laughter!"

Some 2,500 Years Ago, Greenspan's Passalus was a lad in a Dionysian Greek Chorus. He played Epididarus!

Now, on the beach in Montauk, he's Fallen in Love with an Unsuccessful Playwright [Brian Hutchinson], who teaches Playwriting for a Living. As Bernard Shaw once said: "Those who cannot Do, Teach!"


Benefactors: "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself" Is Not Always Good Advice--Lock the Front Door!

Michael Frayn's Benefactors is a Long Way Off from his Laff Riot, Noises Off. It's also nothing like Copenhagen either…

No Physicists

Jane [Vivienne Benesch] is a Super Mom. Across the way, Shiela [Deanne Lorette] just cannot Cope.

But Jane is always there. Always ready with a cup of coffee, a lunch, a dinner, snacks for their kids. Whatever. You name It…

Jane's ambitious but idealistic husband, David [Daniel Jenkins], is an Architect. He dreams of clearing a London Suburban Slum, replacing it with Attractive Flats for the kind of people who tend to end up in Slums.

Shiela's Former Journalist husband, Colin [Stephen Barker Turner], is a Malcontent & Trouble Maker, who envies both David & Jane.

The Process for winning approval of David's Plans drags on & on. Then he gets the Brilliant Idea of building two Skyscrapers instead of Low Level Flats.

Despite having endlessly mooched off David & Jane, Colin goes into action to Protest the Project!

Headlines! TV Appearances! Momentary Fame!

If you want to know how all this Ends, rush off to the Clurman Theatre down on Theatre Row!

Carl Forsman directed for the Keen Company, whose Keen Revivals since AD 2000 have included excellent stagings of such Arcane Fare as Thornton Wilder's The Pullman Car Hiawatha, Sutton Vane's Outward Bound, & Gertrude Tonkonogy's Three Cornered Moon.

The latter drama was the first Broadway producing venture of my late friend, Alfred de Liagre, jr, whose Tenant I once was--for AIDART: The Advanced Institute for American Repertory Theatre--in the Attic of the ANTA Theatre--now the August Wilson Theatre…


Forget Nurse Jackie! Go Bananas over Edie Falco as "Bananas" in The House of Blue Leaves!

There are a Number of Reasons to see John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves. Two of them are Edie Falco & Ben Stiller!

But there are also Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Beth Hurt, & Alison Pill, among others in the good cast, madly staged by the deft David Cromer.

Stiller--as Artie Shaughnessy--dreams of Making It Big as a Songwriter in Hollywood. His Old School Buddy, the Big Hollywood Producer Director, Billy Einhorn [Thomas Sadowski], could Make It Happen.

But there's the Problem of Bananas Shaughnessy [Falco]: she's Crazy & driving Artie Crazy. So he's decided to park her in a Facility--surrounded with Trees with Blue Leaves.

Son Ronnie Shaughnessy has gone AWOL from Fort Dix, entering the apartment secretly to Construct a Bomb with which to Blow Up the Pope, who is to speak in Yankee Stadium.

Then there are All Those Nuns who push their way into the cramped apartment, eager to see the Pope on TV…

[But these are not the Nuns who sing & dance in Sister Act, which also occurs when one of those Popes was on the East Coast, spreading Blessings Right & Left.]

This is an Absurdist Black Comedy Laff Riot--a Blast from the Past--when John Guare's own craziness still worked well for him. Not Marco Polo Sings a Solo. Nor A Free Man of Color


Dumb Blonde Throws Monkey Wrench in Senatorial Bribery Scheme: Born Yesterday

The Year is 1946. The Scene is a Lavish Suite in a Posh Hotel in Washington, DC.

But the Year could just as well be 2011. The Suite--which cost the Outrageous Sum of $250 way back in 1946--would now probably cost $2,500 per night, if not more. It would surely have been redecorated several times over the years…

The Junk Magnate, Harry Brock [a blustery, bullying Jim Belushi], has come to DC to bribe a Senator [Terry Beaver] to help him win Government Approval for an International Cartel dealing in Post War Scrap Metal.

All the Legal Documents are in the name of Brock's much abused Dumb Blonde Mistress, Billie Dawn [the wonderful Nina Arianda].

But Billie is so dumb, with no Social Skills, that Brock hires a Journalist, Paul Verrall [Robert Sean Leonard], who's interviewing him, to give her a Short Course, so she won't embarrass him around DC.

Billie is a Fast Learner, so she soon realizes that Brock is Not Couth.

Her Mentor--who is falling in love with her & her Ditziness--also helps her to discover what Brock is up to!

That this more than sixty year old Garson Kanin Comedy now seems Topical & Timely is almost a reproach to current Young American Playwrights, who should be writing both Comedies & Tragedies about the Disastrous Financial & Social Mess we are in, thanks to the Harry Brocks of Today.

Where are the Neil LaBute or David Mamet Satires on the Demise of Lehman Brothers & the Rise of Goldman Sachs?

In 1946, what Harry Brock was doing was offering a US Senator an Illegal Bribe! [What other kind of Bribe is there? A Legal Bribe?]

The Joke used to be: We have the Best Senators Money Can Buy!

Today, that's a Fact. Not a Joke

Bribes have become Legal "Campaign Contributions."

Thanks to the US Supreme Court, no less, Multi National Corporations can now lavish money on their Bought & Paid For Senators & Congressmen. Not to overlook their State Governors

But Magnate Enabler David H. Koch is nothing like the Uncouth Harry Brock.

No! He has put his name on the New York State Theatre & on the Dinosaur Wing of the American Museum of Natural History!

Talk about Dinosaurs! The Brothers Koch seem like Living Fossils from the time of the Robber Barons

Go see Born Yesterday! Refresh your disgust with the way Our Government is being Bought & Undermined!

Not only will you see great Ensemble Playing--elicited by director Doug Hughes, but you can revel in the Post Art Deco Splendors of John Lee Beatty's Lavish Setting, along with the Ladies' Fashions of Catherine Zuber. The men wear pokey Period Suits…


They Just Named a Bridge for the NYC Mayor Who Did Nothing To Battle AIDS: The Normal Heart.

With Infections [at least 75 Million] & Deaths [at least 35 Million] Worldwide from AIDS still mounting exponentially--with No Cure in Sight!--the current revival of Larry Kramer's 1985 drama of The Normal Heart could not be more Timely.

Actually, it should Play in Repertory in both New York & Washington--until our Elected Lawmakers finally decide to Heavily Fund Research for AIDS Cures, as well as to provide Universal Health Care for AIDS Victims & everybody else who is suffering from Diseases & Ailments they cannot afford to have treated…

The Power of Kramer's drama has lost none of its Punch over the years.

Seeing it now on Broadway makes it even more horrifying to realize that AIDS has spread Worldwide, but it's still a Taboo Topic for many.

The Dynamo at the [perhaps Abnormal?] Heart of this riveting revival is the Furious, Frenetic Joe Mantello, as Ned Weeks, the Kramer Stand in, who battles everyone in sight to draw attention to what began as a strange, unknown disease & rapidly morphed into a Plague.

Although that Name has not been generally accorded AIDS.

It should be noted that Joel Gray--now starring on Broadway in Anything Goes!--began this revival way out West, so he's credited as Co Director with George C. Wolfe.

The entire cast is excellent, but Ellen Barkin--who makes her Broadway Debut in this searing staging--is especially powerful as Polio Crippled Dr. Linda Laubenstein, the first Physician to recognize the Symptoms of this Killer & desperately try to care for the Sick & Dying & console their Lovers & Families.

The Prison Like White Chamber--designed by David Rockwell--that is the setting is embossed with Quotes from the New York Times & other sources, dealing with the Disease.

Much is made of the Refusal of New York City's Unmarried Mayor to give any consideration--or Public Funding--to fighting this Mysterious Disease, which seemed, initially, only to strike Homosexuals!

Well, they have just Named a Bridge for him! It used to be the 59th Street Bridge--good thing it wasn't the 69th Street Bridge!--but now it bears the name Koch.

This is the same name as that of David H. Koch, who has put his name on the New York State Theatre & the Dinosaur Wing of the American Museum of Natural History.

It's No Surprise that he has not donated some of his Millions or Billions to fight AIDS.

There's not even a David H. Koch AIDS Research Hospital…

Although AIDS rapidly Crossed Genders & began to infect women & children as well, its initial identification with Gay Men made it a topic that Decent God Fearing Christians simply did not discuss.

Unless, of course, a Beloved Son fell ill… But even then, there was Massive Denial: "He died of Pneumonia!"

As soon as it became clear that Homosexuals were at the Storm Center of this Horror, the Nation's Leading Intellectual Catholic Conservative, William F. Buckley, jr, suggested, helpfully, that Homosexuals should be Tattooed with Serial Numbers--just as at Auschwitz--& confined in Special Camps.

[But is there any Catholic Conservative who also can fairly be labeled an Intellectual?]

The Very Reverend [or Never end, but now Late] Jerry Falwell told the Nation that AIDS was God's Punishment on those who refused to Marry & have Children, preferring instead to pursue willfully their damnable Sexual Choices--or "Life Styles."

Can it be that the Republican Tea Baggers & the Pope are so opposed to Gay Marriage out of a Real Concern to Stop the Spread of AIDS?

Not really…

The Republicans, in fact, are even opposed to providing decent affordable Health Care to the entire American People. Some of whom elected their Clueless Leaders to High Public Office!

In a Note accompanying the Program for The Normal Heart, Playwright Larry Kramer charges: "…Pharmaceutical Companies are among the most Evil & Greedy Nightmares ever loosed on Humankind."

Unfortunately--along with David H. Koch--they are among the Chief Patrons of Our Bought & Paid For Senators & Congressmen


New Musical Looks Like a Retro Revival: Catch It If You Can. Otherwise See the Movie on DVD…

There is so much Choreographed Energy onstage in the New/Old Production of Catch Me If You Can: The Musical. You just have to admire all these Hyper Enthusiastic Hoofer/Gypsies & what they are Doing for Art!

But, in a time when we prize Originality above all things, why are Broadway Producers still trying to turn Movies into Musicals. Doesn't anyone have Any New Ideas?

For that matter, why are Hollywood Producers always turning Best Selling Books into Movies? Times List Hit Books are Pre Sold?

Designed by the much admired David Rockwell--he re did FAO Schwartz & designed Hairspray!--the stage looks somewhat like a grand Art Deco Bandstand for one of those 1930s/1940s Big Band Movie Musicals.

Even the show's Book--based on the Movie, which was based on the Original Book--has a distinctly Retro Quality about it. But then it's the work of Terrence McNally

The entire production--staged by Jack O'Brien, with Jerry Mitchell's Retro Choreography--looks Bandbox Fresh & New, but it plays Retro.

Like the Lead in The Book of Mormon, Aaron Tveit--as Anti Hero Frank Abagnale jr--is handsomely fresh faced. He can both sing & dance. He also can Counterfeit & Pass Bad Checks. Everyone should love him…

But this show would have been More Fun had the Producers been able to Sign the Original Star of the Original Movie for the Role: LEONARDO DI CAPRIO!

Ordinarily, I love Norbert Leo Butz on Broadway. He's often the Best Man in the shows. But, this time out--as the FBI Guy in Hot Pursuit of the Imposter/Forger/Con Man--he's working Too Hard. It shows…

The songs--by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman--are OK, but they also sound Retro, like they belong in a Big Broadway Musical before there was Rock & Roll & Hip Hop.

Ten or Twenty Years down the Turnpike, you won't need to give this the Encores Treatment or a Revival. It already looks like one…


Giving Grimm Fairytales a New Twist: How About a Crocodile Made From Empty Plastic Bottles?

That irrepressible Brit, Roald Dahl, tried his hand at revamping--in verse--some Old Favorite Fairytales: Goldilocks, Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood

This Unauthorized--by Mother Goose & the Brothers Grimm--Collection is called Revolting Rhymes.

Now NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Prof. Elizabeth Swados has set them to music.

How about: No Animal is half so vile as Crocky wock the Crocodile?

Or: Goldilocks like many Freaks does not appreciate Antiques?

This charming 45 minute show, also staged by Swados, is now being performed Saturday & Sunday mornings--the real meaning of Matinée!--at the Lucile Lortel Theatre, in the Eugene Lee set for The Other Place.

The lively, attractive young cast are students in the Atlantic [Theatre] Acting School. They have such Energy & Zest, clearly enjoying what they are doing.

An Outstanding Feature of the show are the Puppets, Masks, & Costumes of Molly Deale, with Puppet Specialist Federico Restrepo.

There are two Wolf Masks--both fantastic!--one for Red Riding Hood's Wolf & the other for the Three Little Pigs' Wolf

What a Big Disappointment for Cinderella, looking for a Princely Fella, when an Ugly Stepsister "Grabbed the dainty Shoe & quickly flushed it down the Loo…"


Did Alice in Wonderland Really Need To Return in the Costly Guise of Wonderland?

Reviewing the disastrous Broadway Musical, Kelly, years ago, Walter Kerr called this show about an Irishman who Jumped Off the Brooklyn Bridge: "A Bad Idea Gone Wrong!"

Who now remembers Kelly? Or even Walter Kerr?

Despite all the Thousands--perhaps Millions--of Dollars spent on the Lavish Costumes & ever mutating Video Graphics--some delightfully borrowing from Sir John Tenniell's Original Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass--the newest Alice Adaptation, Wonderland, also seems like a Bad Idea…

Even the White Rabbit suggested as much: every time a Pet Quote from Lewis Carroll's Sacred Text was uttered, he reminded the rest of the Cast that Disney Has the Rights!

So, if Disney has the Rights, why didn't they put this show on Broadway?

Possibly because it has a Score by Frank Wildhorn, not a Disney House Composer.

He gave the Great White Way The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll & Hyde, & The Civil War. At one point, these three shows were all running on Broadway simultaneously!

So Wildhorn must have seemed Bankable to some Investors--who are not apt to recover their Children's College Education Funds.

The absolute Best Thing in this lavish show--for me, at least--was the stunningly inventive Costume of the Queen of Hearts, designed by the remarkable Susan Hilferty!

This Imperious Playing Card Monarch [imperially interpreted by Karen Mason] has a Second Outfit, also Playing Card Inspired--with bulging Panniers.

But it is deliberately gross, where the first Equipage is so Elegant & Striking that it ought to be enshrined at MoMA--when the show closes--as a Work of Modern Art!

When the Audience first encounters Wonderland, both the Men & Women of the Dancing/Singing Chorus are dressed like Little Alice Liddell, whirling & twirling.

There are other Outstanding Costumes, as well: The Red Riding Habit of the Sex Changed Mad Hatter [Kate Shindle] recalls Sissi, Empress, of Austria in one of her Equestrian Portraits!

Neil Patel's settings--inside an elaborate Silver Proscenium Frame--seem largely Gliding Vertical Panels, constantly twittering with the Video Designs of Sven Ortel.

But there are also some Very Big Rolling Set Props, painted Gold!

Paul Gallo's ingenious Lighting Effects help make this show look more Lavish than it really is…

Oh! The Show itself!

Tim Burton's remarkable film ought to have scared off any would be Alice Interpreters for years to come.

But, NO.

There are the obligatory Big Production Numbers, but some of them seem exactly that: Obligatory.

Nonetheless, all the talented performers on stage Give It Their ALL! The pure Energy is infectious.

But: in service of What?

The Idea is that Alice [Janet Dacal] is a would be Author of Children's Books!

Watch Out, Lewis Carroll!

But her First Manuscript has been returned

[Thank You for Thinking of Harpers, but your work is not right for us at this time.]

She has just separated from her husband, leaving her little Loud Singing Daughter, Chloe [Carly Rose Sonenclar], alone in a new apartment with her Paternal Grandmother, who makes Brussels Sprouts Soup.

Alice is teaching in Queens, a neat tie in with Lewis Carroll's Battling Queens

Well, just as you might have guessed--without having to pay all that Money for Two Seats on the Aisle--Everything Turns Out All Right.

The Essential Problem is that Alice's & Chloe's own Problems in the Plot do not really engage one. I really didn't care if Alice ever got back to her Queens Classroom.

Mayor Bloomberg would probably fire her anyway, even if she did return…

This show is not like The Wizard of Oz.

We really wanted Dorothy, The Scarecrow, & The Tin Woodman to reach the Emerald City & Realize Their Dreams!

Bring Back Tim Burton!


Saving the Catholic Church One Parish at a Time with Gospel Rock & Tons of Sequins: Sister Act!

Did His Holiness, The Pope, really witness a Hollywood Style Sequin Studded, Gospel Rocked Mass in a dying Philadelphia Parish Church?

The year of this supposedly Sacred Visitation is said to be 1978, the year in which the new Broadway Musical, Sister Act, is nominally set.

In the new show, The Pope rises from the Orchestra Pit in His Holy Chair--not the Sedia Gestatoria, alas--nodding & beaming with Vatican Approval!

[Curiously, an American Papal Visitation is also invoked in the current revival of John Guare's House of Blue Leaves, in which Three Nuns push their way into a suburban apartment to see the Pope on TV!]

The Venue for all these Dancing Nuns is the Broadway Theatre, with Whoopi Goldberg's name right up there as Producer. Not so long ago, the name on the Marquee was Oprah Winfrey!

No, Sister Act is not a Remake of The Flying Nun. Nor a Sequel to The Sound of Music

Patina Miller shines as the Star, Deloris Van Cartier, a would be Club Singer who has witnessed a Murder, committed by Her Man, Curtis Jackson [Kingsley Leggs].

She is hidden--if that is the Right Word--in a Convent, attached to a dying Phildadelphia Parish Church.

Victoria Clark plays the Very Rigid Mother Superior. The Rule is Very Strict. The Nuns are pathetic as the Church Choir: Words cannot describe…

Deloris changes all that: soon the Church is Rocking, with Nuns in Glittering Costumes, plus Choreography.

It all recalls that Tom Lehrer Ditty: The Vatican Rag. Kick off your Hosiery, doing the Rosary, doing the Rosary, doing the Rosary Rag…

This is clearly an expensively set & costumed show, with Production Numbers Galore!

Klara Zieglerova's Gothic Arches are scooting back & forth across the stage, ultimately revealing remarkable Stained Glass Windows which are restored, thanks to the Dynamic Dancing Nuns!

Somehow--as I watched this frenetic exercise in Remaking Catholicism for Moderns--I kept thinking how different it would have been, had the South Park Guys given it The Book of Mormon Treatment…

Jerry Zaks staged, with his customary Broadway Know How.


Juke Box Musicals Strike Again! Florence Greenberg Discovers The Shirelles in Baby It's You!

The Audience went Wild during Baby It's You--not only at the Final Curtain, but also during the show, every time a Great Hit from the Past was served up with Panache & Great Costumes.

But it's not just the Production Values that make this show: It's the Hits, as performed by the dynamic quartet of Erica Ash, Kyra Da Costa, Crystal Starr Knighton, & Christina Sajous.

The Narrative Frame, however, is not just about The Shirelles' brief time in the National Spotlight, but about the woman who put them there: Florence Greenberg!

Beth Leavel is a Force of Nature as Flo Greenberg.

Fighting her way in the Music Industry--a Man's World--she creates Socko Recordings, discovering more Talent than merely The Shirelles.

She also becomes romantically involved with a Black Songwriter, Luther Dixon [smoothly played by Allan Louis].


The dusty corridors of the Brill Building--Tin Pan Alley, on Broadway in Midtown--must still be echoing with these Great Hits of Yesteryear

How about Dedicated to the One I Love? Tonight's the Night? He's So Fine? Duke of Earl?

Not to overlook Baby It's You!


Wolfgang Amadeus, Eat Your Heart Out!


Klezmer Beat for The People in the Picture: Old Photo Lives--Yiddish Theatre in the Shtetls!

The Narrative Strains of People in the Picture are a bit complicated.

Initially, it looks like a Celebration of a Rag Tag Jewish Theatre Ensemble, playing Shakespeare & Yiddish Classics in the Shtetls of Poland.

They are the People in that old, faded Photograph. They come to life as the Troupe's Star--Donna Murphy--now a Grandmother in New York City, explains who they were & what happened to them when the Nazis Came To Warsaw

So we get a lot of Acting Shtik & Klezmer inflected music & songs, with a score by Mike Stoller & Artie Butler, accompanying the lyrics & book of Iris Rainer Dart.

Sometimes, this curious Post Holocaust Musical seems inflated to make room for songs Stoller couldn't bear to CUT.

But you can never Go Wrong with a Play or Musical about The Holocaust in New York City!

The True Center of this dramma per musica lies in the Tension between Grandma/Bubbie & her Angry Daughter Red [Nicole Parker]. Something the Grand daughter doesn't understand & Bubbie doesn't want to Discuss.

At the Close, we finally Discover All.

Along the way, the Yiddish Ensemble begins to make successful Yiddish Movies. The Handsome Leading Man is invited to Hollywood, but he doesn't take Donna/Raisel along.

That is Unfortunate, as she is Pregnant by him, although Unmarried.

A kindly Ensemble Actor--who apparently has No Sexual Inclinations--marries her to be a Father to her Unborn Child.

When all Warsaw's Jews are rounded up to be confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, Raisel begs a Polish Catholic Woman--who's been caring for the baby--to take her as her own & save her from what will soon become Jewish Genocide.

After World War II is over, Raisel/Bubbie demands her daughter back. The Polish Couple--who have had her baptized a Christian & love her as their own--reluctantly Give Her Up.

Raisel/Bubbie makes the Break Complete.

But Red still remembers her War Time Parents & wonders why she has never heard from them. She also hates being an Outsider Child among Postwar New York Kids.

Well! The grieving Polack Parents have been writing letters all the time. But Bubbie has hidden them, not telling Red!

This is a Long Way Off from that Yiddish Theatre & Movie Troupe…

Not only are they the People in the Picture, but they are also engulfed in Golden Picture Frames, thanks to the Design Inspirations of Riccardo Hernandez. Staging was by Leonard Foglia

Musical Direction is in the capable hands & baton of Paul Gemignani. It's not Nepotism, but Alexander Gemignani plays an important role in the show.

Also on board: Chip Zien, Lewis J. Stadlen, Joyce Van Patten, & Hal Robinson. With Rachel Resheff as the grand daughter, Jenny.


A Foursome of Winsome Young Lovers in Tomorrow Morning: Charming Musical Should Tour!

Two attractive Young Couples occupy the same Space--not always at the same time, but they are inhabiting Different Lives.

This is Laurence Mark Wythe's charming & affecting Tomorrow Morning, of which he is the Compleat Composer, Lyricist, & Book Author.

As brought to Vivid Life by DB Bonds, Autumn Hurlbert, Matthew Hydzik, & Mary Mossberg, the show takes its charmed audiences through Getting Acquainted, First Love, Marriage, & Breaking Up. Followed, fortunately, by Healing

Some of the Songs: Everything Changes, I Remember, Every Day, The Girl in the Mirror, & The Game Show--during which No One Wins…

Tomorrow Morning is set in Los Angeles--Now & Ten Years Ago--but its nominally West Coast Venue should not prevent both Young & Older Lovers who live elsewhere from Enjoying It!


Retro Revival of How To Succeed Succeeds Even Without Robert Morse!

What is it with all this Flying in Broadway Shows?

The Lessons of Spiderman: Bring Back Julie Taymor should have frightened off other Producers.

But No.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert has Three Divas Aloft! Going Up & Going Down

Of course, Mary Poppins has been flying out over the Audience for some seasons now--with no Catastrophes that the Public has heard about thus far.

The Book of Mormon--which has just about every other Production Gimmick--should have had the Angel Moroni fly away with the GOLDEN TABLETS! [Take Two & Translate them!]

Now, in the Magic Moment that every Teenage Girl has been waiting for, they first see Harry Potter front & center suspended in a Window Washer's Harness!

Not only will Teenage Girls be delighted to see Harry/Daniel in the Flesh, but this Dynamic/Historic Show will also be a Joy for those Tea Party Americans who want to go back to a Mythical American Past, Circa 1955.

The Retro Revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying brings back the furious but channeled energy & bright colored cardboard Comic Reality that was the Hallmark of the American Musical, BC: Before [Elitist] Cynicism infected Popular Entertainments…

Before Vietnam

Derek McLane has created a wonderful maze of towering Modernist Panels which scoot in & out, to suggest the Offices of the World Wide Wicket Company. His High Rise/Skyscraper Backdrop is almost as good as that for Spiderman's Manhattan.

Catherine Zuber's colorful fresh off the rack 1950s Period Costumes--well, maybe 1960s, as the Musical opened in 1961--are among the many Retro Delights of this dynamic show, brilliantly re conceived, directed, & choreographed by Rob Ashford.

No one can really Replicate the brash, endearing performance of Robert Morse as J. Pierrepont FINCH--that's F I N C H!--but this doesn't matter for most of the Potential Audience, as they Weren't Born Yet!

Clearly, most of the Audience has come to see Harry Potter on stage.

Daniel Radcliffe doesn't disappoint. He has an innocent, open faced charm: eager to please. But he's also snarky & lets the audience know it--in Spotlit Asides…

His voice isn't that of a Broadway Belter. Rather thin, in fact. But he dances like a Seasoned Hoofer, even very Athletic, especially in the Old Groundhog Football Ballet.

As the innocently Sucking Up Finch, Radcliffe deftly plays off his boss, JB Biggley, [an excellent John Larroquette] so that they make their own Comedy Team.

Rose Hemingway is bright & Jackie ish as Finch's Destined Wife, Rosemary.

Ellen Harvey is properly stern--Dragonish, even--as Mr. Big's Secretary, Miss Jones.

Tammy Blanchard is the All Purpose Dumb Blonde, Hedy LaRue.

I saw the Original Broadway Production, but this time, it was not really Déja Vu. This Revival looked, somehow, brighter & more alive…

Then, there are all those Great Vintage Songs: I Believe in You, A Secretary Is Not a Toy, The Company Way, & The Brotherhood of Man


They Don't Write Musicals Like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Anymore: Time Marches On…

Speaking of Retro Musicals, the Peccadillo Revival of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is almost like digging up Ancient Theatre History.

This show--based by Betty Smith & George Abbott on her Best Selling Book of the Same Title--dates from 1951. How's that for Retro?

As Your Roving Arts Reporter didn't settle in New York until 1960, I couldn't have seen the original production on Broadway. I was in Madison, at the U of Wisconsin at that time…

Yet I have some Race Memory of the show: could it have been a Bus & Truck? Or the National Tour, ending in San Francisco, when I was at Stanford U?

Or maybe it's just the Generic Content of Broadway Musicals of that time?

The hinged & folding settings of the St. Clement's Theatre staging--directed by Dan Wackerman--have a well worn look, rather like fugitives from a well intentioned Community Theatre adventure.

Nonetheless, the talented, ambitious Cast gives its All, in service of Mr. Abbott's efforts to turn Betty Smith's anguished tale of a young girl with a Drunken Irish Father into a Major Hit.

The Basic Problem was that the Narrative was essentially a Sad one: the valiant efforts of a Poverty Stricken, Desperate, & Overworked Mother to raise a Precocious Daughter when her initially attractive Irish Charmer Husband turned out to be just another Irish Loser, playing Piano in a Whorehouse.

Mr. Abbott's Star was Shirley Booth, playing Aunt Cissy, so the show had to be constructed around her libidinous proclivities. This pulled the original story out of shape…

But this show wasn't destined to be another Oklahoma! or even My Sister Eileen, with Music [Wonderful Town]. Still, it has more than enough dance & production numbers.

The songs are by Dorothy Fields [Lyrics] & Arthur Schwartz [Music], well known Broadway Talents of that time. But none of these songs resonates with me, after a lull of some Sixty Years.

I'll Buy You a Star? That sounds like something you might find in Carousel. Wasn't Julie Jordan pining for a Star? But not a Stolen Star!

I would have thought that the Main Reason for reviving a really Vintage Musical would be that we were dying to hear all those wonderful songs again. Surrey with the Fringe on Top, anyone?

The current Cast sang & danced with Vigor & Dedication, nonetheless. But a revival of Carousel or even Oklahoma! might have been more rewarding…

One item about Tree still resonates: John Leguizamo's father sued him for the way he mocked him on stage. Betty Smith's Aunt Cissy sued her: she resented the way Smith implied that Cissy was Always Open for the Men in Red of the local Fire Department…

When I read the Best Seller all those years ago--everyone was reading it--I thought the title implied that There Was Only One Tree in All of Brooklyn. I mean, in far off Grass Valley, how could one know what Brooklyn looked like?


Sutton Foster IS Reno Sweeney & Anything Goes Is an Art Deco Dream!

Hello, Tea Baggers! Hello!

You who are dying to return to the Real America, to the Good Old Days…

You can do that Right Now!

Just get a Ticket--if it's not already Sold Out!--for Anything Goes at the Steve Sondheim Memorial Theatre! Formerly Henry Miller's

Sutton Foster is a radiant, dynamic, lovely Power House as Reno Sweeney. She makes Ethel Merman's role her very own!

In Cole Porter Time, it's once again an Art Deco 1934!

Derek McLane's wonderful three decked & three funneled Trans Atlantic Ocean Liner is off to Britain.

Martin Pakledinaz's Art Deco Styles & US Navy Issue Sailor Suits--animated by an attractive cast--complete the Illusion. They can also be re used for revivals of Dames at Sea & Sail Away

The Catch, of course, is that, way back in 1934--in the Depths of the Great Depression--most Real Americans couldn't even afford Art Deco Automobiles. Much less an Atlantic Crossing

Still, it was just Swell to imagine what such High Life was like for America's Elite

Some of Cole Porter's Passengers have their Own Money Problems--which could be solved by Marriage to Money.

Marriage for Love may not be an Option…

At the close, however, there are not one, but three Marriages on Deck!

Reno Sweeney's wedding to a rich English Lord [Adam Godley] is a Nice Touch, as is the Marriage of John McMartin's Money to the Social Neediness of Jessica Walter, playing an Ambitious Mother.

Although Colin Donnell, as Billy Crocker, does win the Heart of Laura Osnes, as Hope Harcourt, this Nuptial Link seems doomed. There is really no Chemistry visible on stage between the two…

For that matter, despite the energetic efforts of the Chorus of Dancing Boys, they don't seem to be so delighted to be in a Cole Porter Show. For one or two, it looks like Hard Work

The Dancing Girls are Art Deco Delights!

Kathleen Marshall staged & choreographed with Art Deco Panache. Blow, Gabriel, Blow was a Production Number Knockout!

Joel Grey is starred with Sutton Foster, above the title, but his role--even beefed up--isn't a Major One. Nonetheless, it was nice to have him back…

How could you go wrong with a show that has such songs as All Through the Night, Gypsy in Me, Easy To Love, Friendship, It's De lovely, & I Get a Kick Out of You?

Way back in 1934, when someone sang You're the Top, would anyone have dared to ask: "Are You the Bottom, then?"


Questionable Morals in Ravel & Puccini Double Bill at Juilliard Opera Theatre!

In Germany, it's known as Die Spanische Stunde, but Maurice Ravel titled his jeu d'éspirit, L'Heure Espagnole.

It amusingly celebrates the Loose Morals of Spanish Wives, who Cuckold their Husbands by hiding their Lovers in Very Big Clocks.

Cecilia Hall was amusing as the Amorous Wife, Concepción. Andreas Aroditis was a Tower of Strength as the Mule Driver who carried her Clocks Upstairs…

Donald Eastman's three windowed, stair cased setting--with some adjustments--served both productions, with a big Four Poster for Buoso Donati to die in.

But the Gianni Schicchi was a bit squeaky: not quite the High Levels of performance one expects from Juilliard Opera Theatre stagings.

Fortunately, the Young Lovers, Lauretta & Rinuccio [Jung Nan Yoon & Daniel T. Curran], were in excellent voice, as was Alexander Hajek as Gianni.

The Morals of almost everyone on stage are in Question, as they are Greed Driven to profit from the Death of dear old Buoso. Gianni confounds them all, Saving the Day for his daughter, Lauretta, & her Upper Crust Florentine Boyfriend.

In the Historical Period in which this amusing little opera is nominally set, Class Meant a Lot! Scions of Old Families do not marry the daughters of Farmers!

Among the Problems with Updating the current production to Modern Times is that it really doesn't work.

Not only that: Some of the young performers do not wear their make up, their costumes, or their characters well.

The Staging is needlessly Cluttered, making the on going Action seem like animated Chaos, instead of Choreographed Insanity.

For what he did, Dante consigned Gianni Schicchi to one of those lower circles of Hell…

Keri Lynn Wilson conducted with Verve. She won't go to Hell. Hopefully, Onward to the Met?


Sing Out & Dance Along at the Manhattan School of Music: El Amor Brujo & La Vida Breve

At first glance, there might seem little in their Narratives to link El Amor Brujo & La Vida Breve, other than the powerful Gitanes inflected music of Manuel de Falla. It is at times Ravishing, at times Haunting

Nonetheless, at the very Heart of both Tales is a Devastated Woman, Betrayed & Abandoned by the Man She Loved.

In the all too brief Production Lives of Brujo & Breve--three performances only, at the Manhattan School of Music--Stage Director Nic Muni & Choreographer La Meira have magically intertwined these stories of Love, Loss, & Vengeance, both Visually & Emotionally

In Love Bewitched, Rachelle Pike was powerfully compelling as the desperate Candelas, who resorts to Witchcraft to lure Carmelo [Cooper Nolan] back to her.

In A Brief Life, Ashley Bahri was differently compelling--she is a Victim, not an Avenger--as Salud, who dies when she confronts Paco [Nolan, again], who is marrying another, although he Promised Her to Wed.

Also important, both as Characters & as Vocal Talents: Whitney Hughes, Do Jin Jung, & Brian Wahlstrom.

De Falla's Flamenco inflected dancing, chanting, & singing are wonderfully realized by the Manhattan School's Opera Ensemble: Granada's Gypsies are among us!

This was also evident in the Orchestra Pit, where Jose de Eusebio's baton stirred the young musicians.

But Brief Life is made a bit longer with an interesting--but Plot Stopping--Intermedio, intended as a Musical Evocation of the Panorama of Granada. Brief Life also has a kind of Anvil Chorus, but nothing like Trovatore

The Design Team of Andrew Jackness--Stage Environment & Metaphoric Stage Props, Candice Donnelly--Costumes, & Japhy Weideman--Lighting--help immensely in this Visual Integration.

The Program for this production is a "Keeper," for it explores all the travails De Falla experienced as he tried to shape both works into effective stage performance vehicles. This is History, Dramaturgy, & Musical Innovation all rolled into one…

In Spain, the Zarzuela was the dominant popular form of Music Theatre. This was not what De Falla wanted to create, but it took time--as well as re writes--for him to achieve the recognition he desired.


Godspell's Steve Schwartz Creates an Opera: Séance on a Wet Afternoon…

Both Leonard Bernstein & Sir Arthur Sullivan longed to be recognized as Serious Composers, rather than wonderfully talented Creators of marvelous Musicals & Operettas.

That didn't really Work Out

Can it be that the Composer of Pippin & Wicked had the same doomed Longing?

Or was it merely the fear that there were not enough New American Operas being generated for the American Public?

André Previn once felt compelled to set Streetcar Named Desire to music. When was the last time you saw/heard that work on any Opera Stage in America?

Nor is Stephen Schwartz's Séance on a Wet Afternoon soon apt to return to the Repertory of the possibly doomed New York City Opera

Watching this Musicalized Tale of a deluded & possibly insane San Francisco Medium--enlisting her weak & waffling Husband to kidnap a Little Rich Girl--then holding her for Ransom, but killing her instead of returning her unharmed to her Parents, I thought it would make a better Movie than an Opera.

I didn't realize Brian Forbes had already made Mark McShane's novel into a Motion Picture!

Unfortunately for the Future of American Opera--or at least the future of Séance--much of the Score sounds like Background Music for a Major Motion Picture.

There are some Lyrical Passages but they seem often at odds with the Narrative.

Most oppressive, however, were the Lyrics of the Composer. He favors Triple Rhymes--which begin to sound like a Verbal Stunt, to show how Clever he is to find so many words that rhyme. I was transfixed by Sunlit & Unlit

The admirable Lauren Flanigan brought all her considerable Powers--Vocal & Histrionic--to the formidable Task of making the Monster, Myra Foster, believable. If not at all Sympathetic in her Tragic Delusion…

The big bonus of watching this production--staged by Scott Schwartz--was savoring the enchantingly semi transparent mock up of a San Francisco Carpenter Gothic House revolve & retreat. This was designed by Heidi Ettinger!

At least I could believe in Myra's Madness. The Bay Area has more than its share of Mystics & Crazies.

When I was at Stanford, I came to know a sad lady in Palo Alto who had been a High Priestess in Atlantis. Just like Myra Foster, she began to have terrible Headaches before the High Priest Came Through to her…


Occupational Therapy on Broadway! Ghetto Klown John Leguizamo Plays His Family…

Mark Twain almost built his Career upon his wry first hand observations on Life on the Mississippi.

Indeed, he even took his Pen Name from the Riverboat Soundings.

But no one ever sued him for what he wrote about Steaming up & down the Big Muddy

Nor did Edwina Williams ever sue her son, Tom/Tennessee, for his Portrait of her as Amanda Wingfield, in The Glass Menagerie.

Nonetheless, John Leguizamo's own Dad did sue him for the bitter/hilarious Portrait he created on stage.

After that Legal Action, his Mother asked him if she could also sue?

John Leguizamo--aside from his film & TV work--has essentially Built His Career on Memories of Family & Friends, both In & Out of the Latino Ghetto.

How about Spic O Rama, Mambo Mouth, Freak, & Sexaholic…a Love Story?

There is a bizarre quality of Hate/Love for his Mom & Dad. When he mimes & mimics them, they are Totally Believable: funny for us--unless you also had Unforgiving Parents--but still painful for Leguizamo to contemplate.

Nonetheless, this wonderfully Fluid & Athletic Performer--watch him dance his way around the stage at the Lyceum Theatre!--is both Exorcising His Demons & Practicing Personal Therapy in Full View of Capacity Audiences.

Despite the breath takingly High Ticket Prices, some Big Leguizamo Fans have found their various ways to Broadway from Queens, the Bronx, & Brooklyn.

Ghetto Klown is a Picaresque Journey--with film clips--but not like that undertaken by Don Quixote.

Leguizamo, over time, has learned at which Windmills he can shaft his Lance!

He writes his Own Stuff: This is not a Staged Reading of the Poems of Emily Dickinson. Although he can riotously portray Hot & Confused Women, he is No Belle of Amherst

In his Author's Note, he notes: "I had to change some names at the behest of my lawyer for litigious reasons."

So there are still some people Lurking in the Wings, ready to sue…

But, hey! Lee Strasberg is Dead. He can't sue & Leguizamo has him spot on.

Lee's Absent Mentor, Konstantin Stanislavski, was Very Big on Five Sense Reality & Emotion Memory.

Klown John Leguizamo has Lots of Memories, with Passions to Match…

He even refers to his Dynamic Monodrama as "an act of Self Hate & Self Adulation." [Italics added…]


Scotland's The Promise Is Definitely NOT The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie!

Just in case you didn't notice, Scotland Week is Over. It occurs every April--this year from 3 10 April.

Tartan Day was on 6 April, but we already had plenty of Tartans on St. Paddy's Day, 17 March!

Nonetheless, The Scottish Government sent us a new play, The Promise, to celebrate. But no Free Tartans…

Muriel Spark once wrote a terrifying account of a Scots School Teacher, which she called The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: "Young Girls! I am in my Prime!"

Miss Jean Brodie was a Fascist Sympathizer, infecting some of her students with this Virus. Things did not turn out well…

Now Douglas Maxwell has written a Monodrama about another Scots School Teacher--also named Brodie: Miss Maggie Brody.

Things also do not turn out well on her one day back in school--as a Substitute.

Miss Maggie--powerfully embodied by Joanna Tope--is not only an Alcoholic, but she has Dark Childhood Memories.

On this Fatal Day, she feels she has bonded with a little Somalian Girl, who does not speak. Apparently, School Authorities believe the girl is Possessed

Maggie wants to protect her, but, instead, stabs an Authority Figure.

Not a Good Solution. Even in Scotland

It is amazing that Joanna Tope can hold her Concentration & generate tremendous Energy throughout this 90 minute Monologue. Because it is so fractured with Memories & Fantasies, at times I found it difficult to follow.


Avoiding the Holocaust with Puppets, the Versatile Mr. M Is Killed by a Truck…

Although Rod & Finger Puppets were sparingly used in the Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre's production of Vít Horejs' Mr. M, the actors of the Ensemble were, instead, themselves Human Puppets in the Dark Drama that was the Nazi's Persecution & Extermination of European Jewry.

Although brief & small scaled, this Sad Tale was somehow more effective than the Broadway Musical, The People in the Picture

As the ingenious Mr. M--who manages to survive Transports to the Death Camps--Ronny Wasserstrom was a frenetic delight in performance.

But Adrienne Cooper--for me, at least--was the True Marvel of this interesting Theatre Creation. Her invocation of Traditional Yiddish Songs was transformative, adding both Joy & infinite Sadness to the adventures of Mr. M! Almost like a Flamenco Shouter


Things Really Do Go Boom in Cirque Mechanics' Boom Town: Two Saloons Blown Up!

The talented Cirque Mechanics Acrobatics Ensemble takes us back to those exciting Gold Rush Days of Yesteryear when Gold Was Where You Find It!

Some find Flakes of Gold by panning for it. Some find it by digging deep in Rocky Mountains.

But that Method often requires Blasting Out Tunnels in the Rock.

In this primarily Acrobatics Inflected Show, two competing Saloon Owners use Dynamite Charges to blow up the other's Establishment.

This all starts when one Barkeep lures Wild Western Customers with Beer at 15 cents. His Rival counters with 10 cents. Then 15 cents drops to 5 cents.

Then Free Beer for All at Tex's!

In the meantime--even deep down in the Goldmine!--the Acrobats Do Their Remarkable Stuff.

This is not Cirque du Soleil--the Narrative is a bit thin--but Cirque Mechanics have all those Canadian Skills


Performing Arts News & Notes:

Thinking About Re Naming Historic Theatres…

Time was when New Theatres were named for Fabulous Performers. Or for the Theatre Impresarios who built them.

But who now remembers Maxine Elliott or Nora Bayes?

The memory of Flo Ziegfeld is rapidly receding, although David Belasco still holds his own over on West 44th Street.

But what about George Broadhurst: who was he that he should still have a theatre named for him?

We all should know--without having to ask Mr. Answer Man--that the Booth Theatre was not named for John Wilkes Booth

As for the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, who was this guy?

At least the David H. Koch Memorial Theatre in Lincoln Center is named for a VIP in Tea Party Politics, Union Busting, Corporations as People with Rights, & Major Domination of Precious National Natural Resources!

It's Understandable that Theatre Lovers would love to have Playhouses named after such beloved Players as Helen Hayes & Ethel Barrymore.

But--even twenty years ago, when I was still teaching Theatre Majors at Brooklyn College--none of my students had the foggiest idea who Lunt Fontanne may have been.

Ethel Barrymore? Who was she? Was she related to Lionel & John Barrymore, by any chance?

Helen Hayes? Was she the grand daughter of President Rutherford B. Hayes?

At least most of the students knew why theatres had been named for Neil Simon, Richard Rogers, & George Gershwin--formerly the Uris Theatre, not a very evocative name, rather like the un poetic Minskoff Theatre

It was Understandable that no one recognized the name of Martin Beck--as in the Martin Beck Theatre--but almost everyone now knows who his Replacement Name was: Al Hirschfeld, who included his daughter NINA's name in his Sunday Times Theatre Caricatures.

Al who?

The name of Eugene O'Neill should still be safe for a while on a Broadway Theatre.

There's always the possibility that some Attention Seeking Actor will want to do a Revival of Hughie.

Or The Iceman Cometh on a Long Day's Journey into Mourning Becomes Electra during a very Strange Interlude?

The name of Henry Miller--as in Henry Miller's Theatre--was once "a Name to Conjure with," both on Broadway & across the Nation, as he toured with Margaret Anglin in Shakespeare & other Classics…

For a while, his Theatre was the trendy Xenon. Now it bears the name of Stephen Sondheim, not to be confused with Stephen Spielberg

Somehow, John Golden has been able to hold on to his Theatre.

But who now remembers this Producer/Owner, who liked to play Golf in Florida, leaving the management to the almost now forgotten Playwright Rachel Crothers? [Read the Bronze Plaque near the Box Office!]

As for naming theatres after Famed Drama Critics, is the name of Brooks Atkinson or Walter Kerr sunk deep into the Cortex of Our Theatre Memories?

Brooks who?

Brooks Brothers we know… Even if we cannot afford their handsomely Conservative Stylings.

Does anyone want to name a theatre after Drama Critic John Simon?

How long will it take for the August Wilson Theatre to be re named once again?

This handsome house began life as the Guild Theatre, constructed by The Theatre Guild.

Then it was renamed the ANTA Theatre, for the American National Theatre & Academy. This Anagram was something of a curiosity, as we did not then & do not now have a real National Theatre

Your Roving Arts Reporter remembers it well in this Phase, as he had Virtual Command of its Attic, where I presided over AIDART, or the Advanced Institute for Development of American Repertory Theatre.

In the rear of the Attic were Noah Greenberg & his Pro Musica Antigua Authentic Instruments, as well as the USITT, or the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, for whose Theatre Design & Technology I regularly wrote.

Thanks to the late Rosamond Gilder--former Editor of the long lost Theatre Arts, for which I also wrote in its Dying Days--AIDART had been installed in the Attic at her behest, in the wake of a Major Manhattan Conference of the International Theatre Institute, which she had co founded in Paris, under UNESCO.

Ros' Office was just downstairs: the American Section of the ITI…

Also on that floor was the office of Alfred de Liagre, a noted Broadway Producer, now responsible for the fortunes of the ANTA Theatre. "Delly," as he was called, loved to tell me about the Good Old Days on Broadway.

Some of this Info found its way into my TWENTIETH CENTURY THEATRE, a day by day Chronology of British & American Theatre. [Facts on File, 2 vols. Out of Print, but soon to be On Line!]

But the time came when the ANTA had to be sold. The New Owner named it after his wife, so it became the Virginia Theatre.

After which it was renamed the August Wilson Theatre

As for Foxwoods--formerly the Hilton Theatre--who wants to Take a Chance on the Fortunes of a Playhouse named after a Native American Pay Back Casino?

We're sorry now about the Trail of Tears, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, General George Custer, & Wounded Knee, so why don't you guys open a Gambling Hell?

But you'll still get your Sack of Flour & Bolt of Cloth every year from the Bureau of Indian Affairs!

We never promised you Forty Acres & a Mule

Is American Airlines right up there with Gene O'Neill, Stephen Sondheim, & Neil Simon as a Great Name for a Broadway Theatre?

Just asking…

If you can have a Ford Motor Company Lobby, there's No Limit. How about the Edsel Memorial Toilet?

Speaking of Theatrical Names: Did you know that the President of the Shubert Organization is named Robert E. Wankel?

[There once was a Revolutionary Auto Engine named the Wankel. What finally happened to that?]

Now that Wankel's Predecessors--Bernie Jacobs & Gerry Schoenfeld--are publicly remembered on Broadway with the Theatres named after them, will we eventually have a Wankel Theatre?

But it would have to come from the Shubert Stock of Theatres. Jujamcyn & the Nederlanders certainly won't cede one of their Marquees to the Shuberts.

After Bernard Jacobs' death, Gerry renamed the Historic Royale in his honor. Before his own demise, Schoenfeld christened--if that is the right word?--the Historic Plymouth Theatre in his own Honor.

How about The Wankel Palace?

No no no no! That absolutely will not Do. The Palace belongs in the Nederlander Stable.

How about the Cort? That's a Shubert House & no one remembers Cort…

Outer Critics Circle:
2010 2011 Award Nominations


Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Good People
The Motherf**ker With the Hat
War Horse

The Book of Mormon
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Blood From a Stone
Other Desert Cities
The Other Place

Freckleface Strawberry
In Transit
The Kid
Tomorrow Morning
OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE: Broadway or Off Broadway:

The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY: Broadway or Off Broadway:

Born Yesterday
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Hello Again
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Marianne Elliott & Tom Morris for War Horse
Emma Rice for Brief Encounter
Anna D. Shapiro for The Motherf**cker With the Hat
Daniel Sullivan for Good People

Rob Ashford for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw & Trey Parker for The Book of Mormon
Jerry Zaks for Sister Act

Rob Ashford for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Ross Coleman for Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw for The Book of Mormon

Desmond Heeley for The Importance of Being Earnest
Derek McLane for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Neil Murray for Brief Encounter
Todd Rosenthal for The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Lez Brotherston for Sister Act
Tim Chappel & Lizzie Gardiner for Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Desmond Heeley for The Importance of Being Earnest
Lizz Wolf for Baby It's You!

Paule Constable for War Horse
Natasha Katz for Sister Act
David Lander for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Malcolm Rippeth for Brief Encounter

Reed Birney in The Dream of the Burning Boy
Bobby Cannavale in The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Joe Mantello in The Normal Heart
Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance in Jerusalem

Nina Arianda in Born Yesterday
Edie Falco in The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light in Lombardi
Frances McDormand in Good People
Laurie Metcalf in The Other Place

Norbert Leo Butz in Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad in The Book of Mormon
Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Tony Sheldon in Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can

Victoria Clark in Sister Act
Sutton Foster in Anything Goes
Beth Leavel in Baby It's You!
Patina Miller in Sister Act
Donna Murphy in The People in the Picture

Brian Bedford in The Importance of Being Earnest
Evan Jonigkeit in High
Stacy Keach in Other Desert Cities
Seth Numrich in War Horse
Yul Vázquez in The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Renée Elise Goldsberry in Good People
Linda Lavin in Other Desert Cities
Estelle Parsons in Good People
Alison Pill in The House of Blue Leaves
Elizabeth Rodriguez in The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Colin Donnell in Anything Goes
Adam Godley in Anything Goes
Chester Gregory in Sister Act
John Larroquette in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
John McMartin in Anything Goes

Laura Benanti in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Nikki M. James in The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Marla Mindelle in Sister Act
Laura Osnes in Anything Goes

Daniel Beaty in Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia in My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
John Leguizamo in Ghetto Klown
Michael Shannon in Mistakes Were Made
JOHN GASSNER AWARD: Presented for an American Play, preferably by a New Playwright

Amy Herzog for After the Revolution
Matthew Lopez for The Whipping Man
David West Read for The Dream of the Burning Boy
Kim Rosenstock for Tigers Be Still

Ellen Barkin for her Outstanding Broadway Debut in The Normal Heart
Adrian Kohler, with Basil Jones, for Handspring Puppet Company:
Puppet Design, Fabrication & Direction for War Horse

2010 11 Outer Critics Circle Executive Board & Nominating Committee:

Simon Saltzman
Mario Fratti
(Vice President)
Patrick Hoffman
(Corresponding Secretary)
Stanley L. Cohen
Glenn Loney
(Historian & Member at Large)
Rosalind Friedman
(Recording Secretary)
Aubrey Reuben, Thomás Gentile,
& Harry Haun (Members at Large)

Outstanding Play:

Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock, A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter, A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay Abaire, Good People
Nick Stafford, War Horse

Outstanding Musical:

In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Book of Mormon
The Kid

Outstanding Revival of a Play:

Born Yesterday
The House of Blue Leaves
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart
Three Sisters

Outstanding Revival of a Musical:

Anything Goes
Hello Again
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Outstanding Actor in a Play:

Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell

Outstanding Actress in a Play:

Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand, Good People
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Michele Pawk, A Small Fire
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actor in a Musical:

Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me if You Can
Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
Daniel Radcliffe, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Christopher Sieber, The Kid

Outstanding Actress in a Musical:

Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It's You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:

Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Christian Borle, Peter & the Starcatcher
Boyd Gaines, The Grand Manner
Logan Marshall Green, The Hallway Trilogy
Zachary Quinto, Angels in America
Tom Riley, Arcadia
Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play:

Lisa Emery, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Julie Halston, The Divine Sister
Sarah Nina Hayon, A Bright New Boise
Celia Keenan Bolger, Peter & the Starcatcher
Linda Lavin, Other Desert Cities
Judith Light, Lombardi

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:

Adam Godley, Anything Goes
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O'Malley, The Book of Mormon
Bob Stillman, Hello Again
Tom Wopat, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:

Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Kerry Butler, Catch Me if You Can
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Jill Eikenberry, The Kid
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes, Anything Goes

Outstanding Director of a Play:

Trip Cullman, A Small Fire
Joel Grey & George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Moisés Kaufman, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Davis McCallum, A Bright New Boise
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice
Kirjan Waage & Gwendolyn Warnock, Baby Universe

Outstanding Director of a Musical:

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco, In Transit
Jack Cummings III, Hello Again
Jack Cummings III, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw & Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon

Outstanding Choreography:

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, Beautiful Burnout
Steven Hoggett, Peter & the Starcatcher
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Siudy, Between Worlds

Outstanding Music:

Brad Alexander, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Alan Menken, Sister Act
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, & Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can
Mike Stoller & Artie Butler, The People in the Picture
David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Lyrics:

Rick Crom, Newsical The Musical--Full Spin Ahead
Jack Lechner, The Kid
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, & Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Glenn Slater, Sister Act
Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Book of a Musical:

Kristen Anderson Lopez, James Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan, & Sara Wordsworth, In Transit
Iris Rainer Dart, The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott & Allan Scott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, & Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam, The Kid

Outstanding Orchestrations:

Mary Mitchell Campbell, Hello Again
Bruce Coughlin, The Burnt Part Boys
Simon Hale, Jim Abbott, & David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank, Catch Me if You Can
Lynne Shankel, The Extraordinary Ordinary

Outstanding Music in a Play:

Wayne Barker, Peter & the Starcatcher
Kathryn Bostic, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Lars Petter Hagen, Baby Universe
Alan John, The Diary of a Madman
Tom Kitt, The Winter's Tale
Dan Moses Schreier, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Revue:

Fyvush Finkel Live!
Newsical The Musical--Full Spin Ahead
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway

Outstanding Set Design:

Rachel Hauck, Orange, Hat, & Grace
David Korins & Zachary Borovay [projection design], Lombardi
Derek McLane, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Tony Straiges, Treasure Island
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Costume Design:

Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Ann Hould Ward, A Free Man of Color
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Paloma Young, Peter & the Starcatcher

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Jean Kalman, John Gabriel Borkman
R. Lee Kennedy, See Rock City & Other Destinations
David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Laura Mroczkowski, Spy Garbo
Ben Stanton, The Whipping Man
David Weiner, A Small Fire

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical:

Lindsay Jones, The Burnt Part Boys
Michael Rasbury, Hello Again
Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon
Jon Weston, In Transit

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play:

Acme Sound Partners, The Merchant of Venice
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Ian Dickinson, John Gabriel Borkman
Brett Jarvis, Baby Universe
Bray Poor, Wings
Eric Shimelonis, The Hallway Trilogy

Outstanding Solo Performance:

Daniel Beaty, Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia, Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Juliette Jeffers, Batman & Robin in the Boogie Down
John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
Colin Quinn, Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Joanna Tope, The Promise

Unique Theatrical Experience:

Being Harold Pinter
Circus Incognitus
Play Dead
Room 17B
Sleep No More


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