I and You Review: Teenagers Facing Life and Death Through Walt Whitman

I and You, Lauren Gunderson’s two-character play that now has opened in New York, has been produced in some 20 theaters around the country (including Olney Theatre Center), receiving awards and much publicity, yet nobody has revealed the twist at the end. The twist is not just shocking; it makes the play. The acting and directing […]

BroadwayCon, Day 1: stars turn out to talk with thousands of fans

On Day 1 of Year 1 of BroadwayCon, being held for three days at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, we learned: “It’s like Comic Con but with more jazz hands and green face paint.” “Cosplay” means dressing up as characters, and among the thousands of attendees, there were many who wore costumes. I counted […]

Our Mother’s Brief Affair review: Linda Lavin in Richard Greenberg’s tale of adultery, memory, and the Rosenbergs

Our Mother’s Brief Affair begins with Linda Lavin in a mother’s deathbed confession to her grown gay twin children, but by the end, two hours later, playwright Richard Greenberg has sprung several surprises.  The biggest surprise is how much the play feels like a first draft for a better play…or notes for several other plays.

Mother Courage and Her Children review: Brecht’s anti-war epic set in the Congo

Kecia Lewis is nearly heroic as Mother Courage in the Classic Stage Company’s production of Brecht’s anti-war epic – not the way she’s playing the character, but the actress herself, because she agreed to take over from Tonya Pinkins, who left two days before the show’s planned January 7th opening.

Skeleton Crew Review: Down But Not Out in The Last of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy

Dominique Morisseau was moved to write Skeleton Crew, her compelling play about a group of Detroit auto workers, after the playwright met a woman who was reduced to living in her automobile – especially infuriating and heartbreaking in Motor City, where people are supposed to manufacture cars, not live in them.

Noises Off review: Starry Broadway slapstick in an old backstage farce

Slamming doors and plates of sardines were all I could recall from the last time I saw Noises Off, and that’s a good summary of the third Broadway production of Michael Frayn’s slapstick backstage farce about an inept cast putting on a terrible play. There are just two other essential ingredients.

Jonathan Mandell’s Top 10 NYC shows of 2015

My list of ten favorite shows on New York stages in 2015 tilt towards Broadway musicals – five out of “ten”  – which is in great contrast to my top ten lists last year and the year before. But the musicals of 2015 feel almost…revolutionary (and not just because of “Hamilton.”) Even some of those I […]

The Color Purple Review

Near the end of The Color Purple, Cynthia Erivo, as Celie, sings “I don’t need you to love me….I’m beautiful, yes I’m beautiful, and I’m here” – which provokes the audience to rise up, tear up and cheer. Why we do so helps explain what makes this Broadway revival so wonderful.

Michael C. Hall in Lazarus Review: Bowie’s First Musical

Lazarus, the hottest ticket right now in New York, is a startling new musical, featuring 18 songs written by David Bowie (four of them new), a production directed by auteur-du-jour Ivo van Hove that’s a sensory stimulation chamber, and a plot that might as well be from a different planet.

School of Rock Review: Andrew Lloyd Webber Returns with a class of rock stars

In his first original musical on Broadway in a decade, Andrew Lloyd Webber has chosen to adapt a movie with a plot that could hardly be sillier, and supplies a new score that could hardly be more addictive. School of Rock – The Musical is full of both hard-charging rock n roll and supremely catchy […]

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