Author: Donna Herman

The Half-Life of Marie Curie

If you know anything at all about Marie Curie, or nothing at all, go see “The Half-Life of Marie Curie” by Lauren Gunderson now playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre.  It’s charming, riveting, fascinating and eye-opening.  The acting by Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany is superb and the writing is absolutely quotable.  It will make you want to go out and split an atom (or at least a bottle of wine) with your best friend. 

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Dr. Ride’s American Beach House

The new Ars Nova offering at Greenwich House Theater, “Dr. Ride’s American Beach House” by newcomer Liza Berkenmeier, has almost all the elements of a flawless piece of theater.  Interesting and topical subject matter, an American icon, Dr. Sally Ride, as an unseen but pivotal presence, snappy dialog, humor and heart, insightful direction, evocative set and stellar performances by the small but talented cast.  The only thing it’s missing is a couple of unexplored, promising characters and an ending.

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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to open a restaurant of your own, you don’t have to speculate any longer.  Theresa Rebeck’s laugh-out-loud, scarily accurate, kitchen-realism, restaurant comedy “Seared,” currently playing at MCC Theater, will educate you and dissuade you in one enjoyable lesson. 

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For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf

The iconic Ntozake Shange work “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” is being revived at The Public Theater where it had its Off-Broadway debut over 40 years ago.  This is good news for those of you who didn’t see it then because this is the first time it’s been back in NYC since it moved from The Public to The Booth Theater where it was only the 2nd play by a black woman to reach Broadway.  Shange, one of the founders of the Nuyorican Poets Café, coined the term “choreopoem” for this piece which is a vibrant mix of poetry, music and dance.  Performed by seven women it’s both an exploration and a celebration of the what being black and female in this country means.  Read my full review here.

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Mark Arthur Miller “Soul Searching”

Mark Arthur Miller played a set, “Soul Searching,” (also the name of his 2013 album) at the Triad the other night, dedicated to Motown and the soul music he became obsessed with growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960’s.  Not surprising when you consider that he found out his estranged father was the only white songwriter for Motown Records at the time by looking at the credits on a record label.  And by record, I mean a vinyl 45 rpm round black thing with grooves in it – in case you’ve never heard of it.

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