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Theater News & Reviews

Anika Noni Rose

‘Carmen Jones’ Is Back — And She’s Still Smokin’ Hot

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2018 ‘Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?’ She’s still the fictional character in a popular series of mystery video games that have been around since 1985. A question for 2018 might be: Where in the world is Carmen Jones? ...

Charles Strouse

TODAY: Composer Charles Strouse Celebrates His 90th Birthday

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, June 7, 2018 The headline could read “Home Town Boy Makes Good.” Ninety years ago today Charles Strouse was born in New York City and would go on to become one of the most iconic musical theater composers of the last half century. If we are to believe ...

John Croft and Casey Whyland in MTC's Dan Cody's Yacht

Review: Dollars and Sense Diverge in ‘Dan Cody’s Yacht’ at MTC

By Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer, June 7, 2018 The Great Gatsby sold so poorly in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lifetime that his last royalty check amounted to a decidedly unlucky $13.13. The author was living anything but large when he died, with crates of his derided Jazz Age chronicle ...

Thomas Bayrle, American Dream, 1970.

Art Break: Must-sees at the New Museum, Eldridge Street and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 18, 2018 This week, Art Break shines the spotlight on the New Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Bowery. Since its founding in 1977, the institution has given New Yorkers a front row seat to the international contemporary art scene, ...

Bill Frisell

Versatility Rules at the Eclectic Alt-Guitar Summit, Starring Bill Frisell ...

By David Rubien, Contributing Writer, June 15, 2018 When a large percentage of jazz guitarists under the age of 50 tell you that their primary influence was Jimi Hendrix, you know something interesting is going on. While the guitar has become as prevalent in jazz as almost any ...

Steve Tibbetts

Steve Tibbetts's 'Life Of' Is Both Endlessly Expansive and Deeply ...

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 14, 2018 Guitarist Steve Tibbetts’ long association with ECM has produced nine albums that span influences from Southeast Asian gamelan to Americana to jazz fusion. His 2018 release, Life of, is a quiet, meditative record that Tibbetts describes as a “sequel” to 2010’...

Anika Noni Rose

'Carmen Jones' Is Back — And She's Still Smokin' Hot

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2018 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?' She’s still the fictional character in a popular series of mystery video games that have been around since 1985. A question for 2018 might be: Where in the world is Carmen Jones? ...

SLK dancer

Life In Focus: Preparing for Performance in Ballet Class

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, June 13, 2018   [caption id="attachment_55885" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A stretch before class begins; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55889" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] At the barre; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55886" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] It's changement ...

Harlequinade at ABT

Review: A Nearly Forgotten 'Harlequinade' Leaps Again at American Ballet ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, June 12, 2018 The choreography of Marius Petipa is practically synonymous with classical ballet. His ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote are part of the repertoire of major and minor ballet companies all over the world and are frequently ...

Ariel DeAndrea: Crane 45

Art Break: Ariel DeAndrea's Photorealism at Louis K. Meisel and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 11, 2018 Art Break has been reflecting on the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ and the ways it can be interpreted. For instance, you could think outside the box if you decided to measure time in images instead of numbers. ...

Russell Malone © Chris Drukker

Jazz Notes Intel: Guitarist Russell Malone Gets Saluted; Dafnis Prieto ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, June 8, 2018 Maestro guitarist Russell Malone thanks six-string elder Kenny Burrell for giving him invaluable advice thirty years ago to advance his career. “Kenny told me to always be consistent,” the 54-year-old Malone said in a phone conversation from his ...

Kariné Poghosyan

Review: Pianist Kariné Poghosyan Finds Unexpected Connections to New York ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, June 8, 2018 You might not expect works by Bartok, Rachmaninoff, and Khachaturian to be included in a recital purporting to celebrate New York, but pianist Kariné Poghosyan would remind you that the first two composers both emigrated to the Big Apple ...

Charles Strouse

TODAY: Composer Charles Strouse Celebrates His 90th Birthday

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, June 7, 2018 The headline could read "Home Town Boy Makes Good." Ninety years ago today Charles Strouse was born in New York City and would go on to become one of the most iconic musical theater composers of the last half ...

students outside Richard Rodgers Theatre for student performance Hamilton.

A Student Day at ‘Hamilton’

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, May 31, 2018 As the mega-hit Hamilton approaches its third year anniversary since opening on Broadway (after its sold-out run at the Public Theater), we took the opportunity of checking in on the production to see yet another side of how its success has been ...

Insider Tips for Getting Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park

Insider Tips for Getting Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park

ZEALnyc, May 29, 2018 The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park is one of the best theater deals in town, because as its title states: it’s FREE! This season will bring a new production of Othello, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and will bring back the 2016 Public Works’ ...

Irina Dvorovenko and Tony Yazbeck in 'The Beast in the Jungle' at Vineyard Theatre; photo: Carol Rosegg.

Review: An Indeterminate ‘Beast in the Jungle’ at the Vineyard Theatre

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, May 29, 2018 The Vineyard Theatre is a small, comfortable Off-Broadway theater with a reputation for encouraging daring, creative experimentation. Among its successes is Avenue Q, which moved to Broadway and after a hiatus is now running again Off-Broadway, ...

Review Jagged Little Pill at A.R.T. American Repertory Theatre

Review: A Roughly Hewn ‘Jagged Little Pill’ at the A.R.T.

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, May 25, 2018 As we face the ineluctable barrage of jukebox musicals, a number of things become clear. They don’t automatically need to be awful, as we’ve seen with Jersey Boys and Beautiful. But they generally are awful, in particular the recent ...

Review Coastal Cohorts

Review: The Coastal Cohorts Bring a Carolina Breeze to the Big Apple

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, May 22, 2018 Many say that New York City is the greatest city in the world, and for some maybe it is. But if you haven’t traveled below the Mason-Dixon line, you may not know what you’re missing. As someone who grew up smack dab in the middle of North ...

Review: ‘Me and My Girl’ Underwhelms at Encores!

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, May 16, 2018 In the 1980s, the landscape for Broadway musicals was bleak. As the decade wore on, American musicals were fewer and fewer in number, to the point where, in a number of seasons, there weren’t enough new musicals to fill out the ...

Review: Stunning Lyricism in CSC’s ‘Summer and Smoke’

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, May 4, 2018 Summer and Smoke is a somewhat lesser-known work by the brilliant Tennessee Williams, but it also deserves nearly as much critical acclaim. The play is now being presented by Classic Stage Company, together with Transport Group. The current ...

Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is Enchanting

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, May 2, 2018 As anyone who’s been near New York City’s Lyric Theatre over the past few weeks can attest, Harry Potter has made his presence in New York City known. The exterior of the theater has been festooned with enough signage and brand identity ...

Review: ‘The Iceman Cometh’ and Denzel Delivers

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, May 1, 2018 Warning: This is not a play for the depressed, the downhearted, the despairing, or the dejected. Even though the current incarnation of Eugene O’Neill’s 1946 masterpiece The Iceman Cometh has a lot more laughs than usual, it still isn’t exactly a ...

Review: ‘The Solve It Squad’ Is Typical Team StarKid Humor — Which Is Hilarious

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, May 1, 2018 When I was in high school, my friends found a Youtube channel called “Team StarKid” which had recently created a musical, A Very Potter Musical, a witty, hilarious parody of the entire Harry Potter series. Needless to say, we were hooked (along ...

Review: The Mobile Unit’s ‘Henry V’ Entertains and Inspires a New Generation

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, April 30, 2018 The Public Theater’s production of Henry V, as directed by Robert O’Hara, truly opened my eyes to the amazing world that Shakespeare and live theater is able to create. To put it bluntly, there’s not just one element that makes ...

Review: ‘Saint Joan’ Simmers, But Doesn’t Sizzle

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, April 26, 2018 Sometimes a little madness goes a long way. Especially on stage. And especially in the story of Saint Joan. But what happens when Joan, the passionate and religion-riddled Maid of Orleans, is sensible and straightforward? The tone of the story ...

Review: A Lumbering ‘My Fair Lady’ at Lincoln Center

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 24, 2018 About a month ago, when I was in New York City to see the spectacular Broadway revival of Angels in America, I also took in a very early preview of the current Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. Because of a predicted Nor’easter, ...

Review: Red Bull Theater Brings Its Madcap ‘The Metromaniacs’ to the Duke

By Diana Mott, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2018 David Ive’s The Metromaniacs is a bawdy yet chaste reworking of the 18th century farce La Metroamanie by Alexis Piron about people who are mad about poetry. It is filled with so many mistaken identities it makes one’s head spin and ...

Review: Basil Twist’s Aquatic ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ Is Visually and Sonically Arresting

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, April 17, 2018 Twenty years ago, third-generation puppeteer, Basil Twist, decided to create a totally abstract work based on the music of Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz. This year, HERE, the Off-Broadway theater, has revived the work as part of their ...

Review: An Expurgated ‘Carousel’ Nonetheless Thrills

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 16, 2018 Each year, when I cover Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel in my musical-theater history course at the Boston Conservatory, we have a lengthy discussion about what I call “The Elephant in the Room.” Carousel barker Billy Bigelow ...

Review: ‘Children of a Lesser God’ Continues To Provoke Discussion of How To Be Heard

By Diana Mott, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 The much anticipated revival of Children of a Lesser God is a testament to the timelessness of a story about the human struggle to connect and to communicate. Mark Medoff’s Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier Award-winning play made its debut on ...

Review: ‘Mean Girls’ Makes Fetch Happen

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, April 12, 2018 If you don’t know what “fetch” means, perhaps this isn’t the show for you. But for those of us who think the 2004 film, written by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Waters, was nothing less than brilliant (isn’t everything Tina Fey ...

Review: A Reanimated Harry Connick, Jr. in ‘The Sting’ at Paper Mill Playhouse

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 Lately, new Broadway musicals have been all about jukebox musicals and film adaptations. Both the current season and the next are chockablock with same. Now, I generally like to take each show as it comes. There have been perfectly ...

Review: ‘This Flat Earth’ Evokes Strong Emotions On Gun Control

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, April 10, 2018 Playwrights Horizons newest production, This Flat Earth, written by Lindsey Ferrentino and directed by Rebecca Taichman, tells the story of Julie (Ella Kennedy Davis) who recently experienced a shooting episode at her middle school, with her ...

Review: Disney’s ‘Frozen’ is a Cryogenic Bore

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 9, 2018 After seeing the new stage version of Disney’s Frozen on Broadway, I posted on Facebook that I had found the show dull, disjointed, and pretty darned dreary. Someone responded, “Probably true. But it will run forever.” Let’s ...

Review: A Towering ‘Three Tall Women’ on Broadway

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, April 3, 2018 The current Broadway season is all about the revivals. The new plays have been middling at best, and the new musicals — apart from the exquisite The Band’s Visit — have been a mixture of lackluster Hollywood tie-ins and desultory ...

‘The Sting’ Is Back — Now As a Musical With Harry Connick, Jr. at Paper Mill Playhouse

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, March 30, 2018 If you remember the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, The Sting; if you loved seeing Paul Newman and Robert Redford together on screen as two lovable con men; if you still tap your toes to the ragtime tunes of Scott Joplin—then you’re in ...

Review: ‘Lobby Hero’ — No Heroes Here, Just Human Beings

Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, March 29, 2018 First, let me report that the just renovated new Broadway home of Second Stage Theater, the Helen Hayes, is just grand. Intimate and grand, which is a hard act to master. And the contrast between the plush crushed velvet seats in the audience and the ...

Review: A Sumptuous But Flawed ‘Grand Hotel’ at Encores!

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, March 27, 2018 In 1989, the musical Grand Hotel held an out-of-town tryout in Boston before heading to Broadway. I saw that production, and can thereby attest that the show at that point was grim and flat, owing to mostly colorless score by Robert ...

Review: Russian-American Relations Are Revisited In a Timely Revival of ‘A Walk In the Woods’ by the Barrow Group

By Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer, March 27, 2018 From Into the Woods on the Great White Way to Great Birnam wood in “The Scottish Play,” theatrical history is thick with forests. To this worthy cannon we can add A Walk in the Woods, Lee Blessing’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony ...

Review: ‘Angels in America’ Soars in Stunning Broadway Revival

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, March 26, 2018 This spring, Broadway will host two different — extremely different, by all accounts — stage productions that will require visitors to attend two separate performances to witness their entire stories. One is the upcoming Harry Potter ...

Review: Anne Hathaway is the Woman Behind the Man in ‘Shakespeare’s Will’ at HERE

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, March 22, 2018 When discussing William Shakespeare, there’s a certain level of mystery surrounding the writer, since there is so much unknown about his personal life. So for the most part, it is left to loyal readers, fans, and scholars to draw ...

Review: ‘Sorin, A Notre Dame Story’ — The Man Behind the Fighting Irish

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, March 19, 2018 Growing up in central North Carolina, we lived and breathed ACC sports. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke were hour and a half away, and Wake Forest University was within walking distance of my house. But in our ...

Review: The Road Not Taken Via Gurney In ‘Later Life’ at Keen Company

By Diana Mott, Contributing Writer, March 15, 2018 In Later Life, we are solidly in A.R. Gurney territory: waspy, and well-heeled. This 80 minute play without intermission takes place somewhere in the 1990s on a tony terrace overlooking Boston Harbor. The set (Steven Kemp) is very appealing, with ...

Review: ‘Admissions’ Tackles the Issue of Diversity Head-On

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, March 13, 2018 Let’s give playwright Joshua Harmon a whole lot of credit for taking on the hot-button issue of diversity without preaching or pulling any punches. The main characters, although underwritten, don’t always say and do what you expect them to, and ...

Review: ‘Amy and the Orphans’ — a Confusing Road Trip

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, March 9, 2018 Sometimes I get stuck on the details. Like how a brother and sister well into their sixties (he says he’s 60 but I don’t buy it) can have a sister who appears to be in her early thirties. Or how said brother and sister were young children in the ...

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