Joshua Morgan’s got a whole new rule – on Broadway

“I just finished a week of playing Thénardier on Broadway to 1,300 people a night, and it was so beautiful. I feel like my whole persona and world has shifted. I’m in a place of re-discovery: Okay, now I’m here. What does that mean? How do I live my life?”

Old Times review: Clive Owen in a Pinter puzzle

In the lobby of the theater where Clive Owen is making his Broadway debut in a revival of Harold Pinter’s 1971 Old Times, a t-shirt on sale is printed with the single word “pause.”  That’s an inside joke for Pinter fans – which is also a good description for the play itself, although an inside […]

Daddy Long Legs review at the Davenport Theatre

In a program note for Daddy Long Legs, director John Caird wonders why the 1912 novel on which the musical is based isn’t considered a great American classic. I wonder the opposite – why its problematic premise has inspired a 16-character Broadway play, at least seven movies and now a two-character Off-Broadway musical, which has […]

Spring Awakening Review: signing and singing, celebrating sexuality

The Deaf West production of Spring Awakening at the Brooks Atkinson tangibly enhances an acclaimed musical about rebellious and repressed adolescents. By cleverly pairing deaf actors who are signing with hearing actors who are singing, Deaf West has made the show the most accessible on Broadway, but also forged it into something theatrically exceptional.

The Christians Review: Imagine there’s no hell

Do theology and theater mix? Is there an unspoken separation between church and stage?  A day after the announcement that Amazing Grace will close on Broadway after little more than three months, The Christians opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, telling the story of a pastor who shocks his congregation with a single sermon.

Hamilton Broadway Review: Revolutionary!

When Hamilton opened Off-Broadway in February, I called it groundbreaking and breathtaking – and I was trying not to gush.  Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about the life and times of the Founding Father whose face is on the ten dollar bill has drawn exuberant bipartisan praise – from both Obama and Cheney, both Sondheim and […]

Amazing Grace review: A Broadway Musical about the man behind the hymn

To see President Obama break into “Amazing Grace” at the June funeral for Rev. Clementa Pinckney was to witness the continuing force of a hymn written more than two and a half centuries ago. This would lead us to expect a show entitled Amazing Grace about its songwriter John Newton to move us emotionally and […]

Shows for Days Review: Patti LuPone As Community Theatre Tyrant

Shows for Days, starring Patti LuPone as a ruthless regional diva and Michael Urie as a sweet stand-in for playwright Douglas Carter Beane, dramatizes Beane’s memories of his introduction to the world of the theatre, which he tells us changed his life. The play is unlikely to change anybody else’s.

Act of God review: Jim Parsons as the Almighty rewrites the Ten Commandments

Basic questions such as the origin of the universe – Big Bang Theory vs. Divine Creation –  may fiercely divide the world, but on stage at Studio 54, they are a source  of jokes by Jim Parsons as the Almighty in An Act of God,  a play whose own origin is less than cosmic: It began life […]

This year’s Tony Awards – here’s who SHOULD win, and who DID win!

Update:  Tony voters sided with Jonathan Mandell in 17 of the 24 categories.  Compare the winners (in red) with Jonathan’s judgements. – Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming host the 2015 Tony Awards Sunday, June 7 from Radio City Music Hall. If, we asked our New York critic Jonathan Mandell, choosing the winners was completely up to […]

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