Author: Sarah Downs

Wish You Were Here

Sanaz Toossi is fast becoming one of my favorite playwrights. She has an uncanny gift with language, painting a whole world in simple conversation, layering laughter on vulnerability to build narative structure with delicate subtlety.  It echoes in your mind after the final curtain.

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In her extraordinary musical play Suffs, Shaina Taub displays a sweeping virtuosity that is as satisfying as it is exciting.  Satisfying in that a piece of history that has been largely glossed over, the story of the fight for women’s right to vote, is finally getting the attention it is due, and exciting because Taub has created a dazzling piece of theater through which to tell that story. 

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Songs by an Immigrant, the Music of Jaime Lozano

With his natural charm, authentic voice and prodigious talent, Jaime Lozano has it all as the composer of the future — and the now. In Songs by an Immigrant he has gathered a musical ‘familia’ to sing of the shared experience of all Latin American dreamers, in exciting, melodic, heartfelt music that demands a larger stage.

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Harmony, the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, a close harmony singing sensation which gained international success in Germany in the 1920s and 30s, only to be all but fully erased from the history books by Nazi oppression, could not be more timely. The show has so much to offer – great music, gorgeous orchestrations, beautiful singing and a deeply moving story, all the more emotional because we all know what’s coming as the Nazis come to power. This is kind of a “hold my beer” moment for Barry Manilow the pop music icon, as he has returned to his first love and composed a score that could rival that of any new musical on Broadway.

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The Pleasing Recollection

The Pleasing Recollection, a musical reminiscence of one young performer’s life in 1970’s New York City, is terrific. Musically it has a style all its own, weaving everything from art song to musical theater to cabaret to create something entirely new.

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