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Theater News & Reviews

Review: A ‘Butterfly’ That Blurs

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, October 31, 2017 If you have no idea what M. Butterfly is about and plan to see the play, now on Broadway with Clive Owen and Jin Ha starring, quit reading right now and go back in the cave you’ve been living in since 1988, when the original production starring ...

Review: A Renovated ‘Rags’ at Goodspeed Opera House

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, October 30, 2017 Rags is one of those heartbreaking musical flops that theater fans continually lament as they wistfully imagine what could have been. Such a glorious score. Such a mess of a book. Such a waste of wonderful talent. It was, perhaps, ...

It’s a Family Affair at the Big Apple Circus—and Grandma’s Back!

Don Adkins, Managing Editor, October 27, 2017 Most of us daydreamed in our childhood (or perhaps even more recently) about running away with the circus. And for many in this familial-centric industry, it’s just a matter of continuing to work in the family business—which just happens to be ...

Jazz Notes Intel: Eclectic French Violinist Scott Tixier Soars; Pianist ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 22, 2018  (No. 1) In a Saturday early-afternoon conversation, Scott Tixier stresses that he’s beyond busy. “I get distracted easily,” said the rising-star France-born, Brooklyn-based jazz violinist and composer when asked if he were ramping up for a new recording ...

Review: 'At Home At The Zoo' — Albee At His Best

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 22, 2018 In Edward Albee’s world, people quarrel, threaten, argue, fight, and struggle against each other. They bite, tussle, demean, condemn. His world is a bleak place, and yet it’s so much fun to be there, at least from ...

Review: Anna Caterina Antonacci Captivates and Conquers in a Rare ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2018 New York City Opera brings the celebrated Anna Caterina Antonacci to Carnegie Hall for a rare, intimate recital and audiences should run, not walk. It is a privilege to experience vocalism of this caliber, and this former mezzo turned ...

The 30th Anniversary Edition of The Art Show Can Change ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2018 The Art Show is one of those events that can change how you look at art. This show, now in its thirtieth year, is composed of ADAA (Art Dealers Association of America) members, all with extensive experience in ...

Review: The Met Revives the Rare 'Semiramide' With a Golden ...

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 19, 2018 Offering palace intrigue and plot twists that would make a Trump White House blanch, the Metropolitan Opera tonight revived its beautiful production of Rossini's Semiramide, swathed in blue and gold and filling the house with impressive vocal pyrotechnics. ...

NYC This Week: 2.19.2018

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 19, 2018 This President's Day, take some time to plan a great week of New York City culture. We have some great ideas. Tony Kushner's monumental Angels in America took Broadway by storm in 1993, with its unvarnished examination of AIDS ...

Art Break: LaToya Ruby Frazier Champions the Oppressed Through Photography ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, February 19, 2018 Art Break knows that art and the act of creating it is a powerful thing. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the pieces of LaToya Ruby Frazier, now at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in upper Manhattan. Her ...

Review: Drama Reigns at the New York Philharmonic, and Not ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 16, 2018 Those weren’t boos you heard at Thursday night’s Philharmonic concert at Geffen Hall—they were howls of rage and contempt, and cries of “What an idiot!,” and a shouting-match that might have led to fisticuffs if a ...

Review: The York Theatre's Oy-Vey-Worthy 'Bar Mitzvah Boy'

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, February 15, 2018 First, let’s all acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude to the venerable York Theatre and their commitment both to fostering new musicals, and to unearthing old ones, polishing them off, and giving them a chance to shine in ...

Review: 'Hey, Look Me Over' Surprises at Encores!

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, February 13, 2018 As any musical-theater devotee can tell you, Encores! is the annual series of performances at New York City Center of historical musicals that have somehow fallen through the cracks. Every year, Encores! chooses three musicals to resurrect, and each ...

Review: Ken Urban’s ‘A Guide for the Homesick’ Digs Deep and Packs An Emotional Wallop

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, October 20, 2017 A “rising star” in theater, and HP Fellow, Ken Urban continues his successful momentum in Boston with the current premiere of his latest play, A Guide for the Homesick, which grabs its audience immediately with emotional intensity, a ...

Review: ‘Lonely Planet’ Spins But Never Soars

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, October 20, 2017 There’s something off about Lonely Planet. This play should sear and burn, should leave you choking for air. And maybe it did, when Steven Dietz’s two-hander premiered in 1994 at the height of the AIDS crisis. But this revival by the Keen ...

Review: This ‘Torch Song’ Still Blazes

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, October 20, 2017 A confession: I never saw the original Torch Song Trilogy, or the three separate plays that came before it. So I have nothing to compare it to, no memory of Harvey Fierstein in the lead role, no sense of how surprising and brave this must have ...

Review: Alison Fraser Stars In a ‘Squeamish’ One-Character Play

By Diana Mott, Contributing Writer, October 17, 2017 In Aaron Mark’s psychological horror play Squeamish, Alison Fraser’s character of “Sharon” starts off with a slow burn; she turns up at her psychiatrist’s office in a little black dress in the middle of the night for an ...

Playwright Ken Urban Is ‘Homesick’ at the Huntington Theater And Things Are Looking Bright

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, October 12, 2017 When Science and Engineering majors or minors are mentioned alongside Theater and Performance Arts degrees, it’s not a natural association. Ken Urban, the newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of ...

Review: Time and a Family Are Shaped In ‘Time and the Conways’

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, October 11, 2017 Who knew the Countess of Grantham had it in her? After years of playing the good-hearted American mom on everyone’s favorite British soap opera, Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern finally gets to sink her teeth into someone more shady, and to use ...

Review: A Bloated ‘Honeymooners’ at the Paper Mill Playhouse

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, October 11, 2017 They don’t write ‘em like this any more. For good reason. As any Baby Boomer knows, “The Honeymooners” was a short-lived but nonetheless enduring sitcom from the mid 1950s starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Audrey Meadows. ...

Review: A Breakneck ‘As You Like It’ at CSC Retains Some Charm

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, September 29, 2017 “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Is it just because I have a birthday coming up that I find those words so very despairing? Or is it because they are spoken, in that instantly recognizable crackling voice, by the ...

Review: Ego Knows No Bounds in Peccadillo’s Entertaining ‘The Show-Off’

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, September 29, 2017 A comedy of family and manners set in the mid-1920s, The Show-Off was first produced on Broadway in 1924. The play was the most successful of the many works of the accomplished playwright George Kelly, and also the basis of four movies. Kelly ...

TODAY: ‘West Side Story’ Opens on Broadway 60 Years Ago

Don Adkins, Managing Editor ZEALnyc, September 26, 2017 It’s easy to imagine that a Broadway musical is written and produced in a rather orderly fashion, soon after its initial draft; that couldn’t be any further from reality, especially in the case of West Side Story. It started with ...

Review: It Takes A Village To Bring ‘As You Like It’ To Life At the Delacorte

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, September 7, 2017 The most renowned actors around the world have interpreted countless iterations of Shakespeare’s wildly popular comedy As You Like It. The Public Theater’s Public Works initiative brought its inspiring rendition as a musical ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Theater

ZEALnyc, September 5, 2017 While the theater season in New York doesn’t really stop, we do have an arbitrary ending and beginning of each new season based on when shows open for Tony Award eligibility purposes (shows must have opened by a specific date set each year, usually around the end of ...

Review: ‘Prince of Broadway’ Arrives on Broadway Slightly Less Than Princely

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, August 24, 2017 It’s difficult to argue that Harold Prince is not the Prince of Broadway. For seven decades this legend has been associated with the most important, the most impactful and the most significant musical theater to come to the Great White ...

Review: ‘Heartless Bastard’ Turns Out To Have One (And A Soul, Too)

By Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer, August 24, 2017 With ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ newly nestled at number one on iTunes, this may be as good a time as any to see Heartless Bastard. Jim Shankman’s play, currently at the HERE Arts Center, tells the story of hard-charging ...

Review: A Glimpse Behind the Canvas in ‘Van Gogh’s Ear’

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, August 18, 2017 In the world of art, you often hear about Van Gogh’s style of painting described as revolutionary when compared to his Impressionist counterparts. And at the time it was, and still is. The sad part is the artist never sold a painting during ...

Review: A Well-Cast ‘Company’ at Barrington Stage

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 16, 2017 One of the best places to see top-quality theater outside of New York City has got to be the Berkshires. From the Williamstown Theater Festival to the Berkshire Theatre Group to Shakespeare & Company, Western Massachusetts has plenty ...

Review: ‘Curvy Widow’ Is Creaky and Coarse

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2017 As I stood in the lobby of the Westside Theatre, a diminutive women of a certain age came up to me and my theatergoing companion, shook our hands, and introduced herself as Bobby Goldman, the author and subject of the evening’s ...

Review: ‘Macbeth’ Proves To Be a Moving Experience—Quite Literally

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, August 14, 2017 As someone who frequents the theatre, I’m accustomed to taking my seat and remaining there for two hours, maybe longer. This isn’t exactly how the New York Classical Theatre presents their productions. Under the leadership of Artistic ...

Review: An Intimate and Joyous ‘Jerry’s Girls’ at the York Theatre Company

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, August 9, 2017 If we’ve learned one thing this Broadway theater season, it’s that Jerry Herman’s music retains its crowd-pleasing appeal. The blockbuster revival of Hello, Dolly! certainly has Bette Midler to thank for its phenomenal success, but ...

Two Festivals, Both Alike In Dignity In Fair Canada

By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, August 4, 2017 Attending a theatre festival is often a destination experience, so when considering your options, there are two shining examples just north of the border in Canada; experience live theatre at its finest at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals in ...

Review: ‘Really Rosie’ Is Really Wonderful

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, August 3, 2017 Really Rosie began as a half-hour animated television special in 1975. The script and the lyrics were written by the famous children’s author, Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) with music by Carole King (legendary pop songwriter and ...

A Salute To Broadway Royalty—a ‘Prince’ To Be Exact

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, August 3, 2017 What do Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Candide, Sweeney Todd, Evita and The Phantom of the Opera have in common? They’re all Broadway musicals of course. All have received Tony Awards in various categories, and all have been produced and/or ...

Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Makes For a Magical Night

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, August 1, 2017 Lord, what fools these mortals, and fairies, and royals be! Director Lear deBessonet’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Delacorte is filled with charm and hilarity, beautiful music and magic. It’s so much fun that ...

Review: ‘The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin’ Retains Its Relevancy In Today’s Divisive Times

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, July 27, 2017 Encores! Off-Center’s latest offering is a timely staging of an unfortunately little seen musical that has much to say. Efficiently directed here by Robert O’Hara, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin dates from around 1999 ...

Review: Lincoln Center Festival’s ‘While I Was Waiting’ Explores the Aftermath of Political Upheaval and Hope

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, July 26, 2017 Now in its 22nd year, The Lincoln Center Festival hosts a myriad of performances from around the globe. Making its North American debut at the festival, While I Was Waiting is a play based on a true story by the acclaimed duo of playwright ...

New Tenants In the ‘Doll’s House’ Starting This Week

ZEALnyc, July 25, 2017 When we think of a Broadway show, we often think of a musical. Of course there are dramas and comedies, as well as other special event productions, like Michael Moore’s upcoming one-man play The Terms of My Surrender, which promises to be a major Trump roast. So while ...

Review: The Elusiveness of Peace Brought To the Fore In ‘Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination’ at Lincoln Center Festival

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, July 20, 2017 In this era of dismal, seemingly endless intractability in the Middle East, it’s startling to be reminded that, not too long ago, the prospect of peace between Israel and Palestine was tantalizingly close. That reminder, and the horrible ...

Review: Compagnie XY Proves Its Strength Is Working Together

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, July 20, 2017 Compagnie XY is a French-based circus, but there’s no big top, no trapeze rig, no spangled leotards nor wild animals. Instead, it is a troupe of individuals with extraordinary abilities and exquisite training who develop theatrical programs that ...

Review: ‘Assassins’ Chills and Thrills at Encores! Off-Center

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, July 19, 2017 For years, I’ve been threatening to write a book entitled Everything I Know I Learned from Musical Theater. I have Andrew Lloyd Webber to thank for my religious education. I listened to Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor ...

Review: ‘1984’—More Distasteful Than Intense

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, July 13, 2017 Broadway productions don’t come timelier than 1984. Or, at least, that’s what the creators are hoping you will think. And, to be sure, in this time of “alternative facts” and such ironically named political initiatives as “Right ...

Review: ‘Opening Skinner’s Box’ at Lincoln Center Festival is Absorbing, Stimulating and Refreshing

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, July 12, 2017 The famous American psychologist and father of radical behaviorism B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) is considered to be the most influential psychologist of his time. His work is the springboard for Lauren Slater’s 2004 book Opening Skinner’s ...

Review: Classic Theatre of Harlem Brings a Bit of the Hood To Its ‘Three Musketeers’

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, July 12, 2017 The story of The Three Musketeers was already a “classic” when it was written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844, setting the story two hundred years earlier. I had the pleasure of being reintroduced to the story of Portos, Athos, Aramis, and ...

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