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.
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.
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.
Sam Gold’s direction pulls these extraordinary cast together into an ensemble that summons the Spirits of the Small Moments to the table to create a banquet. This is a feast all around. A Doll’s House Part 2 is a reminder of why theatre – or art itself – is, at its best, a life altering experience. It reminds us that Walt Whitman wasn’t kidding when he wrote:
“you are here—that life exists and identity,
… the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
This is the sort of play that makes us remember we are alive.
This is a musical that treads the razor’s edge – is it a romance or is it a veterans’ salute? It is both, and makes no apologies. At times it also makes no sense, but the underpinning, which is the cost of war, carries the day.
Baghdaddy is a great musical trapped inside of a good musical. Based upon the actual events that led the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, the production is sometimes at battle with itself. At its best, it is a touching look at how small, human flaws can escalate toward catastrophe. At its worst, it is sketch comedy, albeit with free donuts and coffee for the audience.
A zebra and a unicorn have a great deal in common but they are not the same. It might be tempting to take the extraordinarily rich and fully staged Groundhog Day currently on Broadway, as a mere remake of the 1993 film. It’s not. The film was a terrific zebra; the Broadway musical, is a kind of unicorn.
Mobile Unit’s TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare and directed by Saheem Ali is devil-may-care production, hysterically funny, rapid fire acting at a neck breaking pace and that is all for free.
Adapting a classic story is a tall order. It requires bold choices to convey Dahl’s eccentric tale of a chocolate dystopia, with its manic Oompa Loompas and colorful child-murdering, candy creations. This adaptation fulfills that goal admirably.
Anastasia, is a perfectly crafted Broadway musical fairy-tale that is going to run forever. Family-friendly, romantic, glittery, great sets and costumes, show-stopping second banana (Caroline O’Connor I’m looking at you), and songs the audience already knows and loves. Wait, what? It’s billed as an original musical with book by noted playwright Terence McNally, and music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, the duo who brought us “Ragtime”, and oh yes, the animated movie musical “Anastasia.”
You may not have seen the original, but you’ve played the game. Now’s your chance to see where it all started. John Guare didn’t make up the concept but his 1990 play Six Degrees of Separation, put the phrase on everyone’s lips and made Kevin Bacon a household name. Not that Bacon had anything to do with the play, mind you. The stunning revival now playing at the Barrymore Theater through July 16th is an uncomfortably funny reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
2017 DRAMA DESK AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED Awards will be presented Sunday, June 4th at The Town Hall www.DramaDeskAwards.com (Thursday, April 27, 2017) – Nominations for the 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced this morning at Feinstein’s/54 Below by Laura Benanti (She Loves Me, Gypsy) and Javier Muñoz(Hamilton, In the Heights). The nominations announcement was streamed live on www.TheaterMania.com. The full...
I wanted to see Bamboo in Bushwick because of the topic – gentrification. I thought it was an interesting idea that Working Theater developed the play out of conversations and workshops with the residents of Bushwick. Unfathomably, Ed Cardona, Jr., the playwright, gets all artsy with it, and Bamboo in Bushwick winds up being a confusing, clichéd mess.
John Pizzarelli is back at the Café Carlyle through May 6, offering New York cabaret fans a lively salute to the music of Johnny Mercer.
Annie Baker picks apart silence like a molecular scientist. One atom at a time. She is fearless in her ability to let a thought hang in the air like a cloud. Even a cloud, however, needs to move on or transform eventually. In Antipodes there is no such movement.
To paraphrase the playwright Lope de Vega, and to offer this riveting production the highest compliment of the theatre, Indecent is pretty much just three boards, two actors, and one magnificent, transcendent passion.
The pursuit of the big idea, however worthy, can get tiresome, if not relieved by credible characters, witty exchanges, deft direction, and fine performances. Oslo offers all of that.
HELLO DOLLY DAY??? Mayor De Blasio is having a slow news day – so it is time for a proclamation. I wonder who will get to the Shubert first, Trump or Hilary?
The intrigue is presented like so many layers of a French pastry. Directed with style and precision by Daniel Sullivan this is a crisp evening of deceit and calculation. Everyone is up to something, and you don’t want to take your eyes off any of them for a second. Each character – and each very fine actor – is on a trajectory of their own making. The result is an ensemble that is having a devilishly good time.
Did you see Hello Dolly? The Front Row Center was not offered press tickets. Seems as though there were a bunch of us Second Night Reviewers that were bumped off the band wagon.
So here is an invitation – if you saw this super-duper-spectacular please send your review to us and we will publish them here. Crowd sourced reviewing!