Author: Donna Herman

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

The takeaway from the original Paul Mazursky film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” could be simply that what seems like a good idea at the time, may not be something to be acted upon. It’s a lesson that The New Group might have taken to heart before presenting the world premiere musical “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” based on the film with book by Jonathan Marc Sherman, Music by Duncan Sheik and Lyrics by Duncan Sheik and Amanda Green. It’s not that the musical is bad, although the first few scenes are lackluster, but I’m just wondering why anybody felt the burning need to revive this particular piece of work at this particular point in time.

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Sarah-Jane Scott’s “Appropriate” is one of the offerings in the 2020 juried 1st Irish Festival which has been bringing the best of Irish writing for the stage to New York for the last 12 years.  Ms. Scott not only penned the play; she performs the one-woman comedy about a panicking bride at her wedding reception.  “Appropriate” received accolades at both the Dublin Fringe in 2018 and the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 where it won the Summerhall Lustrum Award for Excellence.

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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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