Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 review: Broadway welcomes Josh Groban and immersive theater

An opera with an unwieldy title based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace seemed an unlikely crowd-pleaser, but I was thrilled when I saw it Off-Broadway, first at Ars Nova in 2012, and again in a circus tent in 2013. When they announced a Broadway run, however, I wondered how they could possibly pull it off.

Fugard’s “Master Harold”….and the boys Review: The effects of trickle-down racism

Had I seen Signature Theatre’s fine revival of Athol Fugard’s most popular play just a few days earlier, I might have appreciated it primarily as a well-wrought work of theater, relegating its depiction of the brutal effects of state-approved racism to a safely distant time and place.  Now the play feels more like an urgent […]

Women of a Certain Age review: An Election Day Without Trump

The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, a trilogy of plays by Richard Nelson presented in real time at the Public Theater, ends the way it began eight months ago – with the Gabriel family talking little about the election and nothing about Donald Trump. This time around, the omission is exasperating. […]

Sweat Review:  Lynn Nottage’s Grapes of Wrath for Our Time

Like Grapes of Wrath, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat offers a devastating look at social and economic breakdown, told not with rants or statistics, but through a riveting tale about good people in a bad situation.  The characters in Sweat live in Reading, Pennsylvania, which 2010 U.S. Census data identified as the poorest city in America.

The Front Page Review: Nathan Lane leads all-star newspaper comedy revival

The best way to sum up the fourth Broadway revival of The Front Page, the 1928 play about Chicago newspapermen, is the way their ads do: Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Holland Taylor….Robert Morse. The show’s appeal, in other words, rests largely in its star turns, which often feel like cameos.

Plenty Review: Rachel Weisz as a self-destructive World War II veteran

Of all the crazed, destructive, female characters that the stage has given us, Susan Traherne may be among the least interesting, at least as performed by Rachel Weisz in the Public Theater revival of Plenty, David Hare’s 1978 play about a woman who served in World War II and never recovered from it.

The Cherry Orchard Review: Diane Lane in Updated Chekhov

When Diane Lane, returning to Broadway after nearly four decades, enters on stage in the Roundabout’s ambitiously reinterpreted production of The Cherry Orchard, her Lubyov seems an impossibly glamorous lady returning after five years abroad to her cherished estate. But Lubyov’s life, we soon learn, is actually a mess, her past tragic, her future doomed.

Oh, Hello on Broadway Review: Gil and George’s inside jokes and overstuffed tuna sandwich

I was surprised at how little I laughed during Oh, Hello on Broadway, a comedy act by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who have been called “two of the hottest voices in comedy.” They portray Gil Faizon, a “Tony Award viewing” actor, and George St. Geegland, a failed novelist, who have been roommates for 40 […]

The Encounter Review: a mystical, mesmerizing (mostly head) trip

The eerie true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre’s encounter with the elusive Mayoruna tribe while lost in the Amazon rainforest is made stranger still in Simon McBurney’s one-man play The Encounter. The tribal “headman” communicated with McIntyre telepathically; McBurney communicates with the audience aurally, through individual headphones at each seat.

Holiday Inn Review: Corbin Bleu as Fred Astaire

It is possible to enjoy Holiday Inn, subtitled “The New Irving Berlin Musical,” although there is little new about it. The Broadway adaptation of the 1942 Crosby/Astaire movie features a hard-working, elegantly costumed cast in one pleasantly diverting musical number after another. But it’ll help to check your sense and sensibility in the coatroom. More […]

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