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Theater News & Reviews

The latest news in New York City theater. From Broadway to Off-Broadway and beyond, find previews, reviews and commentary here at ZEALnyc.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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 and the Cursed Child has made its presence in New York City known. The exterior of the theater has been festooned with enough ...

The Iceman Cometh

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 ...

The Solve It Squad

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 ...

Jazz Notes Intel: Farmer-Turned-Maestro David Amram’s Wisdom of the ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, November 7, 2018 At age 87, the curious jazz connoisseur, accomplished classical composer and agriculturist at heart, David Amram stands tall in the wisdom of the arts. Largely underappreciated in jazz circles, he firmly and singularly expresses his passion to encourage arts-minded ...

Jazz Notes Intel

Jazz Notes Intel: Overcoming Boundaries Chapter — Guitarist Lionel Loueke Journeys ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 9, 2018 In jazz, there is a plethora of guitarists, each with a voice on the six strings that rocks with fire or soothes with pastel colors or embellishes with strokes that support the surrounding conversations. Then there’s the ...

Art Break

Art Break: Engage in the Thrill of Discovery at Galleries ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 24, 2018 One of the best things about a new season of art shows and exhibitions is that moment when you walk into the room, look around, and say “Wow – this is where I want to be!” If you want ...

New York Philharmonic

Review: New York 'Officially' Meets Jaap with Philharmonic's Season Opening

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 22, 2018 The 2018-2019 season, and a new era for the New York Philharmonic, began with a gala concert at David Geffen Hall on Thursday evening. Entitled "New York, Meet Jaap," Jaap van Zweden made his debut with the orchestra as ...

New York Renaissance Faire

Life In Focus: It's Fairy-Nice at the New York Renaissance ...

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, September 20, 2018   [caption id="attachment_60766" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Consulting a Book of Magic and Spells at the Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_60771" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Villagers of the Renaissance Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [...

PermaDeath

The First Video Game Opera, 'PermaDeath,' Receives Its World ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 19, 2018 At first glance, the title of Cerise Jacobs’s upcoming world’s first video game opera PermaDeath seems to imply another dark take or tale using the commercial success and wide-spread popularity of the multiplayer video game phenomenon. But ...

Judson Dance Theater

Roots of Modern Dance Are Traced through MoMA's Current Exhibit ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2018 The current exhibit at MoMA entitled Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done is an homage to the dance artists who created work at the Judson Church in the 60s and 70s. The dancers and choreographers who created ...

The Power of Art

Art Break: The Power of Art Through the Ages at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 17, 2018 This week, Art Break is looking at a wide variety of art movements as well as their purpose and meaning. The oldest material on our list comes from The Frick’s exhibition of fifteenth century religious and devotional ...

There Will Be Blood

Review: Film Soundtracks Take Center Stage in NY Philharmonic's Art ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 If the New York Philharmonic were to program an evening of music by avant-garde Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, I suspect it would be a tough sell. The audience would be limited, and probably dwindle in number as the night ...

Agnes

Review: 'Agnes' Brings Dramatic and Meteorological Tensions to 59E59 Theater

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 Agnes is a compelling play about family, friendship, and connections. Set in a three-bedroom New York City apartment, Agnes presents five millennials sheltering themselves from a major storm. The talented playwright, Catya McMullen, adeptly sets up the backstory for ...

Henry V

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 ...

Saint Joan

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 ...

My Fair Lady

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, ...

The Metromaniacs

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 ...

Symphonie Fantastique

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 ...

Carousel

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 ...

Children of a Lesser God

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 ...

Mean Girls

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 ...

The Sting

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 ...

This Flat Earth

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 ...

Frozen

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 ...

Three Tall Women

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

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 ...

Lobby Hero

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 ...

Grand Hotel

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 ...

A Walk In The Woods

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 ...

Angels In America

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 ...

Shakespeare's Will

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 ...

Sorin, A Notre Dame Story

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 ...

Later Life

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 ...

Admissions

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 ...

Amy and the Orphans

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 ...

queens

Review: ‘queens’ at LCT, an Immigrant Portrait

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, March 6, 2018 It has nothing to do with royalty. The women who occupy this illegal basement apartment in the borough of Queens are about as far from royal as you can get. They are struggling immigrants from everywhere people leave: Ukraine, Afghanistan, Belarus, ...

Jerry Springer - The Opera

Review: ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera,’ Riotous But Shallow

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, March 2, 2018 As I sat watching Jerry Springer – The Opera unfold, I was struck by how much the content of the show helps to explain how we got to the painful political moment we now find ourselves in. If you think about it, a lot of it really ...

Subways Are for Sleeping

Review: A Tight, Tuneful ‘Subways Are for Sleeping’ at the York Theatre

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, February 27, 2018 Nobody wrote overtures like Jule Styne. I was reminded of that a few weeks back, when the Encores! presentation Hey, Look Me Over! used the overture to Subways Are for Sleeping as an entr’acte. It really whet my appetite for more, ...

Relevance

Review: An Irrelevant Play About ‘Relevance’

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 26, 2018 In Relevance, the deeply underwritten new play by JC Lee, Jayne Houdyshell assays a role usually played by a man: an arrogant, aging lion, obliviously unaware of how he presents himself in public and private. Houdyshell, usually so layered and ...

At Home At the Zoo

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 the audience’s side of ...

Bar Mitzvah Boy

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 modern ...

Hey, Look Me Over!

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 ...

American Songbook

Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Brings the Stars Together For the Songs of Scott Frankel and Michael Korie

ZEALnyc, February 8, 2018 While many people think every concert or event that occurs at Lincoln Center is of a “classical” nature, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Take Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. While many of New York City’s foremost ...

In The Body of The World

Review: Eve Ensler Blasts Onto MTC’s Stage With Her Compelling and Insightful In The Body of The World

By Diana Mott, Contributing Writer, February 7, 2018 Eve Ensler, Tony winning playwright, activist, and performer has blasted onto the Manhattan Theatre Club’s New York City Center Stage with her monologue performance of In The Body of The World. Based on her 2013 memoir, this rant and ...

Hangmen

Review: ‘Hangmen’ at the Atlantic Is Dark, Dangerous, and Damn Good

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 6, 2018 If you’ve ever wondered what a silver-tongued devil looks like, head over to the Linda Gross Theater and check out the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of the latest from playwright Martin McDonagh. In this case, charisma and criminality ...

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