Here are my preferences – not predictions – for the 2017 Tony Awards, in keeping with a tradition I’ve been maintaining for a decade. I am a critic, not a seer or a bookie. We’ll learn the choices of the Tony voters soon enough.
Current and past winners of the Theatre World Awards, given to exceptional performers making their Broadway or New York stage debuts, offer their take on the season just past, sometimes in a single word.
Zainab Jah, who made an impressive Broadway debut as a sex slave turned soldier in Eclipsed, is back on a New York stage with another vivid portrayal of an exploited but strong African woman in Venus. Her performance is the best thing about director Lear deBessonet’s highly stylized, colorfully designed revival of this 1996 play […]
“Another happy day,” Dianne Wiest exclaims as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s bleak, comic and compassionate play, written decades before Groundhog Day, but similarly focused on somebody who is trapped in an endlessly repeated day. But Winnie is also buried up to her waist in a mound of dirt. And then, in Act 2, it gets […]
Laurie Metcalf is the fifteenth actress since 1889 to portray Nora Helmer on Broadway, the character in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House who slams the door on her husband and three children. But she is the first Nora to knock on that door 15 years later, in Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, […]
Near the end of Six Degrees of Separation, Allison Janney, portraying the first rich white victim of a young black con man, tells her husband that she doesn’t want to turn the experience into an anecdote, “with no teeth and a punch line you’ll mouth over and over for years to come.” But it was […]
Pity Terrence McNally, Tony-winning playwright, charged with fashioning the book of a Broadway musical out of a 1997 cartoon, which turned the Russian Revolution into a fairytale, grinding actual history into mush by featuring Rasputin as the anti-monarchy villain, an undead Vampire-like figure with evil ghostly green minions and an albino bat sidekick.
There are many reasons to find deep satisfaction in the arrival on Broadway of the play Indecent, a fascinating tale wondrously staged about a century-old Jewish drama that featured a scandalizing kiss between two women, whose Broadway cast was prosecuted for obscenity.
After a decade’s absence from Broadway, Kevin Kline returns as the aging matinee idol in Present Laughter. Kline, the swashbuckler of Pirates of Penzance and the hunk of On The Twentieth Century, would be welcome back in almost any theatrical vehicle. Yet this sixth Broadway production of Noël Coward’s 1939 comedy doesn’t add up to […]
Before the play-within-the-play begins, its director apologizes for “the box office mix-up,” expressing hope that “the 617 of you affected will enjoy our little murder mystery just as much as you would have enjoyed Hamilton.” That’s the most sophisticated joke – indeed one of the few verbal ones — in this silly slapstick backstage farce […]