School Of Rock
Dec11

School Of Rock

Fans of the film will enjoy the over-the-top decibel level afforded by the live stage experience, as well as the face-shredding guitar solos, gut-wrenching drum riffs and electric bass and keyboards wizardry that punctuate this joyously unabashed celebration of rock music. What about newcomers to the material? Ditto, though they will probably be astounded to find that these iconic instruments of rock showmanship have been put, quite literally, into the hands of children.

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RUTHLESS!
Jul14

RUTHLESS!

You would have to be a cereal box not to find something to laugh at during this revival of “Ruthless,” with book and lyrics by Joel Paley and music by Marvin Laird, directed by Joel Paley at St. Luke’s Theatre. This shameless musical spoof of backstage Hollywood mother-daughter potboilers (The Bad Seed, Mildred Pierce, Gypsy, All About Eve) is all about getting the laugh.

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Wolf Hall
Apr14

Wolf Hall

…whenever the RSC is in town in this kind of force, there is always good reason to rejoice. The company assembled here is a joy to watch, and the number of riveting performances given in Wolf Hall is off the charts.

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Late With Lance
Mar24

Late With Lance

There are plenty of laughs to be had here, and as I threw in my donation (it’s pay-what-you-can on the way out) I exited the Triple Crown Underground a happier man than I had entered. There is no point, except to entertain people.

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The Brightness Of Heaven
Oct27

The Brightness Of Heaven

The play is a moving, funny and accurate remembrance of these things past, and though the red-hot issues of the 1970’s might seem tame to younger audiences of today, in the capable hands of this excellent cast we are able to feel the real anguish both generations felt, on either side of that great divide.

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Kunstler
Aug21

Kunstler

As much as we Americans may say we understand that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, we don’t really mean it. We may be aware that every man accused of a crime is entitled to have his day in court, before a jury of his peers. But, we don’t really mean that, either. Why? Because nothing seems to piss people off quite so much as when a lawyer steps forward to represent an unpopular defendant. A cop-killer? A war...

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LITTLE DID I KNOW
Jun01

LITTLE DID I KNOW

A Novel by Mitchell Maxwell The Story Plant, $15.95. An accomplished director and producer with a string of recognizable hits to his credit, Mitchell Maxwell has taken the pen in hand for the novel, LITTLE DID I KNOW, a coming of age story set at a summer stock theatre in Plymouth, MA during the bicentennial summer of 1976. While these trappings may suggest a tale of all-American proportions, Mr. Maxwell has centered his narrative...

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Intermission
May10

Intermission

It’s hard to know precisely what to say about “Intermission.” What’s real and what’s not real are difficult to tell apart in this clever, light Pirandellian melodrama by Daniel Libman, now playing at the Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row under the direction of Wayne Maugans. “Intermission” takes place in the Spartan lobby of a theatre on the opening night of “Intromission,” a new play written by “author unknown”. The lobby is dominated...

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THE BAR OF AVON – Three Day Hangover’s Big Boozy Benefit

I responded in person to Three Day Hangover’s press invitation to attend their Big Boozy Benefit at the Rockwood Music Hall because I have read some good things about this intentionally goofy young theatre company, whose productions mingle an unconventional, contemporary musical approach to mounting Shakespeare with fraternity house-style drinking games in a bar-room setting.  I am not kidding.  The favorable NY Times review of their...

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Burlesque To Broadway – Part 2

So here it is, a very rainy, depressing Saturday afternoon in New York, and I am following an audience into the back of a theatre near Times Square in midtown.  I am carrying my wet umbrella, as well as a nagging sense of guilt. We are all going in to see a burlesque show, that’s right, a striptease.  I feel a sense of embarrassment as I realize I am just another man in a raincoat.  But instead of the sad strip club environs that...

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Six By Sondheim

A beautiful piece of theatre happened tonight on television.  SIX BY SONDHEIM, a 90-minute documentary produced by Frank Rich and James Lapine and directed by Mr. Lapine, premiered on HBO tonight and charted its way through Stephen Sondheim’s musical theatre career with a loose focus upon six of his songs.  Naturally, those songs are from different points of Mr. Sondheim’s long and celebrated six-decade career as a composer and...

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Nephew’s Night Out – Lincoln Center, Jack O’Brien and Joe Allen

I took my nephew, now a sophomore at Columbia, to see Ethan Hawke in the Scottish Play at Lincoln Center last night.  My nephew is far from my sister and home, and the Columbia campus is a tad remote from the cultural hub of the city, so I thought we’d make an entire evening of it.  I booked a reservation at Joe Allen after the show.  He has seen a couple of musicals on Broadway, but that’s pretty much the extent of my nephew’s...

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Desperately Seeking The Exit
Oct14

Desperately Seeking The Exit

BY MICHAEL HILLYER   Desperately Seeking The Exit, Peter Michael Marino’s no-frills, one-man show currently playing in the modest performance space in the basement of the Triple Crown on Seventh Avenue (just south of Madison Square Garden), actually started out in life as a $7-million dollar West End musical named Desperately Seeking Susan, based on the 1985 movie with Madonna.  No lie.  With music by Blondie.  A brilliant idea,...

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Broadway Close Up:  Bound For Broadway XII
Oct08

Broadway Close Up: Bound For Broadway XII

BY MICHAEL HILLYER   Of the fourteen seasons the Kaufman Center has been presenting Bound For Broadway at Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Broadway Close Up series on Monday nights, Liz Callaway has hosted the event ten times.  As she confided to the audience last night, she was hoping that maybe there would be a cake waiting for her at the theatre, or even some entrance music – one of her signature songs, perhaps –...

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