Author: Donna Herman

Among the Dead

I saw “Among the Dead” by Hansol Jung, a production of the Ma-Yi Theater Company performed at HERE Arts Center last night and it left me frustrated. I admit, my expectations were high. The play is billed as “a dark comedy about a family broken apart by betrayed promises, and finding each other through SPAM, journals, and Jesus. Mostly Jesus.” Which sounds promising, and the company has garnered quite a name for itself developing and presenting works by Asian-American artists.

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Homos, Or Everyone in America

The Labyrinth Theater Company is presenting a new play by Jordan Seavey at The Bank Street Theater “Homos, Or Everyone in America.” As the title suggests, more than a boy meets boy story, it’s a universal love story for our culture and times. Hey, if it’s two humans in a relationship, it’s SSDD.

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Finian’s Rainbow

I understand the Irish Repertory Theatre’s temptation to revive the classic 1947 musical “Finian’s Rainbow.” It has a lovely score with a couple of songs that have become standards like “Look to the Rainbow” and “Old Devil Moon.” And it deals with timely topics like racism and social and economic justice. However, sometimes temptation needs to be resisted. What looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily translate into stage magic, despite the inclusion of leprechauns and pots of gold.

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Kingdom Come

Roundabout Underground supports and cultivates the work of emerging playwrights and directors, and is presenting “Kingdom Come” by Jenny Rachel Weiner as the first production of its tenth season. Unfortunately, I don’t think “Kingdom Come” is going to be her breakout vehicle. What she’s got is a good idea: two women who don’t believe they are ‘enough,’ go online looking for love while pretending to be someone else. They find each other and form a bond. Weiner also has a great tag line: “What happens when the feelings are real but the people are not?” Okay, but see, the playwright has to make the characters real. Or at least behave believably.

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Look! Up on the Manhattan Theatre Club stage! It’s a love story! No, it’s a comedy! No, it’s a rap musical! No, It’s a live graphic novel! NO! It’s the New York premiere of “Vietgone” by playwright Qui Nguyen. Part playful, part dead serious, Qui Nguyen, born in America to two Vietnamese refugee parents, takes dead aim at both Baby Boomers and Millennials alike in his innovative new work and hits both targets.

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