Aladdin, lavish and opulent

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Before you decide whether or not you want to see Disney’s big new musical Aladdin I’m going to let you in on what it is, and what it isn’t. For starters, it’s playing in the magnificent New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street which Disney brought back to life in  1997, having restored from decay and […]

Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl

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Sarah Ruhl, the playwright, continues to show the range of her writing skills with her latest, Stage Kiss, which Playwrights Horizons is currently presenting at its home base off Broadway. Ms. Ruhl is one of those fortunate American writers who have found a theatrical home in New York, in her case at Playwrights, as has […]

Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist

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Charles Busch is a gifted writer of comedies that have light hearts and he writes them with nimble fingers. By that I mean they are gossamer — lighter than air, they invite you to join him in a world of wacky people, suitable inhabitants of a midsummer-night’s dream.

Emma Thompson in Sweeney Todd – a night to remember

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Stephen Sondheim’s master work has been seen on Broadway in revival several times, and in a movie starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Onstage it has attracted  the likes of Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou, George Hearn, Dorothy Louden, Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris and others. It’s been done “big” (Hal Prince’s original production on Broadway […]

The Bridges of Madison County

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There is an old French proverb that translates into “the more things change the more they stay the same.” The Bridges of Madison County, the romantic musical drama at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway, is proof of it once again. Its book by Pulitzer Prize playwright Marsha Norman is fashioned from the best selling American […]

London Wall

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The Mint Theatre is minting some gold this month, as it brings us the American premiere of a little known John Van Druten play from the early 1930s. LONDON WALL is its name, which is the address of Walker, Windermere & Co.,  a London law firm, and it is populated with a complete staff, from […]

Sheldon Harnick’s Malpractice Makes Perfect

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Molière (real name: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) was the mid-seventeenth century French fellow who liked to poke fun at virtually everyone who lived  in his time. He ridiculed hypochondriacs, misers, braggarts and blowhards, and took particular relish at having a go at the medical profession in Le Médecin Malgré Lui, his hit play of the l665-66 season […]

Here’s to them! – Little Me at Encores

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I’ve not written of the Encores! series before, though it’s been entertaining New Yorkers for twenty consecutive years, since 1994. It was intended to be a series of  staged readings  of musicals, with actors carrying scripts, wearing minimal costuming, playing in merely suggested settings, a larger version of those Musicals in Mufti which I described […]

Sheldon Harnick in mufti at The York

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The York Theatre Company, an attractive beehive producing unit, is buried two levels below the ground in the Citicorp Building on East 54th Street just off Lexington Avenue. In addition to mounting new musicals, doing readings and workshops, it sponsors a program called “Musicals In Mufti” (“mufti” is an army term which means ‘out of […]

Outside Mullingar

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Anthony Reilly and Rosemary Muldoon live on neighboring farms in the Midlands of Ireland. Their story is set in time by author John Patrick Shanley, as “recently”.  As played by the perfectly cast Brían F. O’Byrne and Debra Messing, they look very comfortable in today’s clothes, but their attitudes and their lingo speak of a […]

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