Just announced: Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama. When I saw it last June at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway, I wrote: A Strange Loop is a musical about a big, gay black guy who is struggling to write a musical about a big, gay black guy who is struggling….. Michael […]
Review: What Do We Need to Talk About? Richard Nelson’s Apple family play, made for our screens.
After spending an hour on Zoom with the Apple family in Richard Nelson’s latest low-key play, I was surprised by my reaction, which I could sum up as: Hallelujah! What Do We Need to Talk About? is splendid. Streamed live on April 29 but available on YouTube at least through May 3rd, this fifth play […]
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s Viral Monologues: “Charting my journey through the pandemic” and the emerging online theaters
Rachel Dratch portrays FrannyCakes, a makeup vlogger who fights with an old lady over a bottle of Purell in a Costco. Marylouise Burke is Penny, a lovely suburban matron who wonders where her husband went and why her dog is dead. T.R. Knight is an angel who behaves like a helpful social worker explaining to […]
Theater’s going on(line). Streaming services let you stay home, relax and watch. Most of it’s free!
The threat of COVID-19 is shutting down theaters across the world, but it’s not killing theater – which is increasingly going online. There are two types of online theater now – the ongoing online sites that offer video-capture recordings of shows that were on stage, many on Broadway, but also Off-Broadway, and international performances. The […]
Bob Dylan on Broadway: Girl from the North Country Review
The odd pairing of old Bob Dylan songs with Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s new script about desperate lives during the Great Depression worked well enough when I saw it Off-Broadway in 2018, and I suppose the draw of the Dylan name makes a Broadway transfer no surprise. But it was not inevitable. After all, the […]
Cambodian Rock Band Review: Genocide and Rock and Roll
How do you put genocide on stage? Lauren Yee starts with a rock band, which is playing so loudly when we enter that the theater management offers ear plugs for any who request it. A rock concert may seem an odd, even inappropriate, way for a play about genocide to begin, but what comes next […]
The Unsinkable Molly Brown Review: Titanic Survivor as Singing Elizabeth Warren
Molly Brown, a socialite, social activist and survivor of the Titanic disaster in real life — turned into a Tony-winning Tammy Grimes on stage and Debbie Reynolds at her pluckiest on screen — has been meticulously transformed once again, into…Elizabeth Warren. That’s clear from the very first scene of this new Off-Broadway version of The […]
West Side Story on Broadway: Ivo van Hove’s thrilling, homoerotic, incoherent Broadway music video
What’s most remarkable about Ivo van Hove’s shake-up of West Side Story is, for all the Belgian director’s ruinous choices – chief among them, an overabundance of distracting video projections – he doesn’t completely ruin what’s most thrilling about this 63-year-old musical updating of Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Bernstein’s music remains a miracle of melody […]
Review: Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die opens Off-Broadway
We’re all in pain – because of loneliness or loss, betrayal or illness – and playwright Young Jean Lee wants to offer us some comfort. This might not be immediately apparent, given the title of her unusual show, and its format: Performer Janelle McDermoth sings a half-dozen tuneful, hard-charging rock songs interspersed with anecdotes of […]
Review: A Soldier’s Play on Broadway at long last.
Charles Fuller’s murder mystery, finally on Broadway in a fine production directed by Kenny Leon some four decades after it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is so good that even if you’ve seen the 1984 movie adaptation A Soldier’s Story (which marked Denzel Washington’s major movie debut) and remember who done it, the play […]
Broadway review: Grand Horizons. A starry cast for a hip, old-fashioned comedy.
“I think I would like a divorce,” Jane Alexander as Nancy French says to her husband of 50 years, played by James Cromwell. “All right,” Bill replies. Blackout. More production photos at NewYorkTheater.me That’s all the dialogue in the first scene of Grand Horizons, which has the rhythms of an old-fashioned comedy in the remaining […]
Broadway Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton, starring Laura Linney
“Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.” That’s what Laura Linney as Lucy Barton tells us from her New York hospital bed in this one-woman stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s novel. It’s an awfully high-falutin’ literary sentence […]