Author: Donna Herman

Socrates

It’s a biological imperative that parents love their children.  Which is why, when a toddler asks a series of unending questions, a parent will roll their eyes, tear out their hair, smile, and answer the question as best they can.  When an “arrogantly rude” dirty, unkempt, unemployed adult goes around and does the same thing, other adults tend to get testy.  The world premiere of Tim Blake Nelson’s “Socrates” explores how and why the father of ethical philosophy, in ancient Athens, the cradle of civilization where democracy was first practiced, was sentenced to death for doing the same  For a full review of “Socrates,” now playing at The Public Theater, go here.

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The Cradle Will Rock

If I say “The Cradle Will Rock,” some of you will be thinking lullaby and some of you might even be thinking Van Halen. But most of you probably wouldn’t be thinking that “The Cradle Will Rock” was the first banned musical on Broadway and the first ever musical to have an original cast album recorded. It’s the most famous musical you’ve probably never seen. And its opening night on Broadway in 1937 was cancelled due to a conservative congress being nervous that it’s left-leaning pro-union politics would cause a riot. So, they threatened to pull it’s WPA funding and locked down the theater. But the intrepid director, a very young Orson Welles, found another theater at the last minute, and the audience and actors marched over there and listened to a single piano and the actors singing from their audience seats perform the show. CSC is reviving this history-making show.

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Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations

One temptation you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in this spring is “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations.”  The only lingering results will be the urge to break into song – perhaps at inappropriate times.  Whether or not you grew up listening to their music, it is impossible not to be engaged and happy hearing the music and story of The Temptations currently at The Imperial Theatre. 

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The Mar Vista

The press release bills “The Mar Vista” as a romantic and comical piece about a Russian-Jewish woman with a colorful and mysterious past, her war-time adventures, and the unbreakable bonds between a gay American son and his immigrant parents.  Quite a set up for a piece that is all incident and no insight. “The Mar Vista’s” saving grace is its visual appeal. 

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Be More Chill

Although it’s a musical about teenagers trying to be cool, “Be More Chill” has been heating up the internet with a popularity only out-clicked by Hamilton in 2017according to Tumblr.  That’s how this little show that could got it’s spot on Broadway after a lukewarm 2015 review of it’s premiere in a little theater in New Jersey.  Fan frenzy has forced the theater establishment to sit up and take notice.  Marrying familiar tropes of teenaged angst with a sci-fi flair and some high energy pop music with witty lyrics, the arrival of “Be More Chill” at the Lyceum Theater has been creating quite a buzz. 

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