The Merchant of Venice
May23

The Merchant of Venice

A moving, strongly acted and directed production of Shakespeare’s remarkably timely play about the dangers of prejudice and greed.

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62nd Annual Obie Awards Winners
May23

62nd Annual Obie Awards Winners

See the full list here.

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Sojourners & Her Portmanteau
May23

Sojourners & Her Portmanteau

The most compelling element of this double header is the concept. Mfoniso Udofia is telling the story of a slice of the Nigerian Diaspora as it unfolded, beginning with the late 1970’s. This is a rich territory to mine because it is pretty much untouched.

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BUILDING THE WALL
May23

BUILDING THE WALL

Do we need this caution light to shine on us? No. We got it. But if you want to be reminded of what you are fighting for, marching for, then the play will do exactly that, remind you of the facts of the fight.

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The Whirligig
May22

The Whirligig

Hamish Linklater knows from relationships. In The New Group’s The Whirligig now at Pershing Square Signature Center, he lays them out like a card shark fanning a deck. You can take your pick. Father/Daughter. Mother/Daughter. Father/Mother. Daughter/Friend. Friend/Husband. Husband/Bar Customer. That is enough to get you started.

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VANITY FAIR
May21

VANITY FAIR

Ms. Hamill’s play gives us a vivid, panoramic satire of English men and women striving to rise through marriage or inheritance into that sphere of treasure and therefore imagined happiness.

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Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays Series A
May21

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays Series A

The biggest value in New York City theater right now is Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays. There are three evenings of one-acts, Series A, B & C. See one for $25, two for $40 or all three for $60. I’ve seen Series A which includes Showtime Blues by France-Luce Benson, Blue Handed by David Zellnick, The Fork by Emily Chadwick Weiss, El Grande by Maggie Diaz Bofill, and How My Grandparents Fell In Love by Cary Glitter. And I was so impressed with the consistent level of talent both on stage and behind the scenes, that I want to see Series B & C. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way too.

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Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton “Beautiful Mistake”
May19

Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton “Beautiful Mistake”

Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton are together again at Pangea with a new show Beautiful Mistake.  And are we not the better for it? I don’t know if audiences come to these two for the music (which is out of this world) or just to see these two bask in each other’s company. Who cares?

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The Lucky One
May18

The Lucky One

A. A. Milne has succeeded in blending light drawing room comedy and subtle drama in an examination of family dynamics and identity. What happens when reality intrudes on genteel British family life?

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Derren Brown: Secret
May18

Derren Brown: Secret

If you like your brains scrambled, or over easy, or poached or any way other than the way you usually carry them around, Derren Brown is the fella for you. This one is a Jeeze Louise of the Highest Order.

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Venus
May18

Venus

For those of you looking for a fluffy night out at the theatre, where all you have to do is sit back and bask in the good work bestowed upon you by others – you are directed to swan right past the entrance to Venus at Signature Theatre and go directly to the bar. Suzan-Lori Parks does not write for the passive observer. Venus, her most recent production (written 20 years ago) makes you sit up and pay attention – even if you don’t want to.

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Intimate Apparel
May17

Intimate Apparel

The actors do a stunning job with two-time Pulitzer-winner Lynn Nottage’s early play, Intimate Apparel. The story itself is a bit predictable and manner of telling it strangely low-energy, though the cast sparkles.

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Iphigenia in Splott
May16

Iphigenia in Splott

Don’t worry about knowing the classics, or pronouncing the name. Just go see Iphigenia in Splott by Welsh playwright Gary Owen. It’s currently playing at 59E59 Theatres’ Brits Off Broadway Festival that showcases new British theater. All you need to know is that Splott is a factory community in the town of Cardiff Wales, and Iphigenia’s name in Greek means “strong-born” or “born to strength.” Although you’ll figure out that last bit by yourself quickly enough.

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The Spring Fling: Rebound
May16

The Spring Fling: Rebound

All is Bright by Dan Moyer concluded the series and offered the most nuanced material, allowing its capable cast to flex more complex actorly muscles.

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& Juliet
May16

& Juliet

Casting makes the play. & Juliet – the newest world premiere from New Jersey Repertory Company – is a play about casting, but we’re never entirely sure who’s playing which part. Runs thru June 4th.

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Chita Rivera at Cafe Carlyle
May10

Chita Rivera at Cafe Carlyle

Chita Rivera doesn’t just take the stage at Cafe Carlyle. She hoists it over her shoulder and walks off with it. Rivera is a performer so in love with being on a stage that you wonder what pitiful amount of energy she might have left to devote to other matters.

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A Life Behind Bars
May10

A Life Behind Bars

For Ruth, bars are not bastions of cheery comradery. Having worked and patronized a slew of them in Manhattan and Brooklyn, they are little purgatories where a health inspector can ruin your day and burgeoning hipsters wave for service using their selfie sticks.

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Marry Harry
May05

Marry Harry

There are things to love about The York Theatre Company’s new musical Marry Harry, but I’m not ready to put a ring on it. It needs a little polishing before I’d commit to a lifetime with it in its current form. The music by Dan Martin and lyrics by Michael Biello, longtime collaborators, was outstanding. The Greek chorus of Village Voices (Ben Chavez, Jesse Manocherian & Claire Saunders), while hardly an innovative device, was a delightful and refreshing way to impart information and set the scene. The talented and charismatic trio becomes almost a third character in the piece, and every time they enter you know it means fun. Where Marry Harry needs a little polishing is plot and character development.

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Pacific Overtures
May05

Pacific Overtures

Pacific Overtures, originally mounted on Broadway in 1976 by Harold Prince as a full-blown Kabuki spectacle, opened then to mixed critical reception in the press and closed after about six months, dividing the theatre world at the time forever into those who saw it, and those who didn’t.

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Happy Days
May05

Happy Days

Winnie is optimistic but vanquished, charming and irritating, funny and dejected. Her endless banter is but a mirror of our restless minds, condemned to seek order amidst chaos, and crave respite from the unceasing ebb and flow of our delights and sorrows.

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