Author: Donna Herman

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

What Summer: The Donna Summer Musical does brilliantly is remind us why LaDonna Adrian Gaines was the Disco Queen. And why, even today, when the DJ plays “Hot Stuff” or “Last Dance” or “She Works Hard for the Money,” everyone gets on the dance floor.    It may not have the most scintillating book, but that’s not why anybody bought tickets.

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Travesties

Don’t be afraid of Tom Stoppard and miss the wonderful revival of Travesties that the Roundabout Theatre has brought over from London. Across the pond, director Patrick Marber’s lauded production at the Chocolate Factory got raves and transferred to the West End. The Roundabout has snagged the production, and its star Tom Hollander, for the first revival of Travesties on Broadway in 42 years.

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The Seafarer

Do not expect a tale of marine life from Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer. The only thing the characters in this play are swimming in is alcohol.  Oceans of it.  Mixed with self-loathing, shame, regret and despair.  It wouldn’t seem to be a fertile field for comedy, but The Seafarer delivers plenty of lighter moments and has been called McPherson’s funniest play.

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Carousel

If you’ve never seen Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” – just go. And frankly, if you have, I don’t have to tell you to go to the current revival, you probably already have your ticket. Good work. Rodgers & Hammerstein are credited with creating the modern musical and this is their sophomore offering. It’s got some of the greatest songs in musical theater, it deals with real issues, not just fluff, and it’s moving without being maudlin.

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The Edge of Our Bodies

I had a unique experience at Adam Rapp’s The Edge of Our Bodies.  The audience, myself included, couldn’t figure out if the play was over.  The actors didn’t come out for a curtain call, and when the polite applause died down, everyone sat quietly.  For several long minutes, until one brave young woman got up and dashed towards the door.  A low rumble of uneasy laughter flitted through the rest of us as we followed suit and began to get up.

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