Reviews

Describe the Night **** Twelfth Night **

Danny Burstein, Zach Grenier, Tina Benko “Describe the Night”

By: David Sheward

Mixing myth, urban legend, conspiracy theory, and historical fact, Rajiv Joseph creates a weird tapestry of truth and lies in his new drama Describe the Night at the Atlantic Theater Company. Set in various parts of the former Soviet Union and Europe over nearly a century of political turmoil, this overwhelming saga asks hard questions on the relationships between government and media, regular citizens and dictators, and how people manage to live through decades of upheaval. As in his Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Guards at the Raj, Joseph depicts individuals caught up in the tide of history, swept along by both fanciful and real events.

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Reviews

An Act of God ***1/2

By: Iris Wiener

An Act of God is a rare one-person(ish) play that allows the director and star to redefine a piece through the choice of the lead actor. The Broadway productions of David Javerbaum’s comedy saw Jim Parsons and Sean Hayes take center stage as the Holy One, as they worked to answer many of the deepest (as well as materialistic) questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. With Academy Award and Tony Award nominee, and multiple Golden Globe winner Kathleen Turner embracing the sarcastic spirit of God in George Street Playhouse’s production, Javerbaum’s work takes on a whole new meaning- and a good one, at that.

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Around The Town

Mercedes Ellington

Mercedes Ellington

Mercedes Ellington & The Friars Club celebrate Lifetime Achievement in Dance Award & Surprise film!

Mercedes Ellington is not only Broadway Royalty, but also the ‘carrier of the torch’ for the critically important ‘Duke Ellington legacy’ here in the United States. 

She’ll have much to celebrate on December 20th at New York’s historic Friars Club. 

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Features

Madeline Kahn: Her Life Explored

Madeline Kahn with Mel Brooks, 1974. Courtesy of Jeffrey Kahn

MADELINE KAHN REMEMBERED IN AUDIO DOCUMENTARY: DOWNLOADABLE PROGRAM FEATURES MEL BROOKS, ROBERT KLEIN

Actress Madeline Kahn would have turned 75 on September 29, and to commemorate her jubilee year, award-winning interviewer Valerie Smaldone has produced Madeline Kahn: Her Life Explored.

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Interviews

Robert Creighton @ 54 Below

Robert Creighton Gets Holiday Happy at Feinstein’s/54Below

By: Iris Wiener

No one embodies the New York vibe better than Robert Creighton. The multi-talented performer has leant his powerhouse vocals and stunningly quick dance steps to seven Broadway shows (Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and is gearing up for his eighth, Disney’s behemoth Frozen. Fresh off a run in the West Coast premiere of Off-Broadway’s hit Cagney, a musical love letter to the groundbreaking vaudevillian song-and-dance man (Creighton earned Drama Desk and Fred Astaire awards for his performance, as well as a credit for co-writing the piece), he returns to Feinstein’s/54Below on December 14th at 7pm for his third solo show, Holiday Happy! Before debuting his festive set and stepping into the Duke of Weselton’s snow shoes in Arendelle, Creighton treated Theaterlife.com to a chat about his exciting year and what 2018 has in store for him.

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Gordin's View

Jamie deRoy & friends @ Birdland

Sophia Anne Caruso, Melissa Manchester,Jamie deRoy

Star-studded Holiday Show brings Broadway to Birdland.

December 11, 2017: Show business marvel Jamie DeRoy, an award-winning producer, cabaret, stage, film and TV performer brought her stellar holiday show to New York’s renowned Birdland at 315 W. 44th Street in the theatre district.

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Reviews

Once on This Island **** SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical ***1/2  Meteor Shower ***1/2

Mia Williamson, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore “Once on This Island”

By: David Sheward

Hurricanes, volcanoes, and meteor showers mark a trio of recent Broadway openings with laughter and delight rather than devastation. Theatergoers entering Circle in the Square for Michael Arden’s life-affirming revival of Once on This Island will think it’s been hit by a hurricane. Before the show starts, cast members dressed in cast-off materials are wading through debris, tending to a live goat and chickens, and giving and receiving vaccinations. Reflective of the recent spate of natural disasters afflicting the play’s Caribbean setting, Arden and set design Dane Laffrey have created an incredibly life-like community struggling to come back from disaster. Against this tragic backdrop, the magnificent company tells book-writer-lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty’s joyous story of survival and spirituality. Music supervisor Chris Fenwick makes the score feel like it’s being played by a really top notch beach band.

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Around The Town

A Christmas Carol

Paul Bolger will perform the classic at West Hempstead Public Library Sunday, December 17 at 2pm

In what is becoming a Holiday tradition, stage actor Paul Bolger will perform Charles Dicken’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL playing all the parts in a solo interpretation that he adapted from the Dicken’s classic. This gifted actor is sure to put a smile on your face and send home with renewed joy for the spirit of the season.  Paul has been performing the seasonal favorite for the past 25 years at schools and special needs communities throughout the country.  Sunday, December 17th at 2pm  DOWNSTAIRS @ West Hempstead Public Library 500 Hempstead Avenue.

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Around The Town

Not Another Christmas Letter

Not Another Christmas Letter! Isn’t Your Typical Holiday Musical

By: Ellis Nassour

The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t just a movie. It’s what you get when you open your mailbox and find one of those long, drawn out Christmas letters, sometimes even from someone you like, that go into great detail about what has transpired in their lives – month by month by month by month.

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Gordin's View

Cross That River @ 59E59

Carolyn Leonhart, Jeffrey Lewis, Maya Azucena, Allan Harris

A musical musing on black cowboys of the American West by celebrated jazz artist Allan Harris.

December 6, 2017:  A new musical by Allan Harris and his wife Pat Harris, Cross That River, A Tale of the Black West, opened at 59E59 Theaters.  Mr. Harris and his wife have  fashioned a poignant tale about Blue, a run-away slave who escapes to Texas where he becomes one of America’s first Black Cowboys in the unsettled West circa 1860s. The absorbing story, staged as a concert by Reggie Life, weaves fact and fiction into an affecting evening with the soulful singers playing multiple roles with accomplished ease.  The four marvelous vocalists are Maya Azucena, Carolyn Leonhart, Jeffery Lewis and the silky voiced Allan Harris, who also narrates.

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Reviews

The Parisian Woman ** Junk ** Downtown Race Riot **1/2

Josh Lucas, Uma Thurman “The Parisian Woman”

By: Isa Goldberg

Holding the mirror up to nature – suiting “the word to the action; the action to the word” – as it were, is cause for rather grueling stage imagery of late. In The Parisian Woman, for instance, Beau Willimon (House of Cards) writes dialogue that sounds like the work of an aggressive spear carrier, a hack even, or maybe someone who just writes tweets.

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Reviews

The Briefly Dead @ 59E59 **1/2

World Premiere from Adjusted Realists, Opines That We’re Not Necessarily Gone for Good

By: Ellis Nassour

The world premiere from Adjusted Realists of Stephen Kaliski’s The Briefly Dead is a quirky mix of classic and contemporary meant as a sequel to Euripides’ Alcestis. She was the fairest daughter of Pellas, king of Iolcus, and wife of King Admetos. In a bedazzled moment, to show her great love of him, when Death calls, she sacrifices herself in order for him to live. But, Kaliski poses, what happens with a Superman returns her from the Underworld?

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Around The Town

BC/EFA Gypsy of the Year

BC/EFA Gypsy of the Year Competition Shatters Another Record: Red Bucket Brigade Collects $5,609,211 for Health
and Outreach Services

By: Ellis Nassour

The 29th edition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, held Monday and Tuesday at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre, home of Disney’s Aladdin, shattered even the wildest expectations. A mind-boggling record amount of $5,609,211 — $379,545 more than last December’s record tally. Thanks go to the hundreds of tireless volunteers in the Bucket Brigade and casts of 56 Broadway, Off Broadway, and touring shows  and their amazingly generous audiences during the six –week fundraising period.

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Around The Town

Drama Desk Meeting

Glenn Loney named DD Distinguished Service Member.

December 4, 2017: The Drama Desk honored Glenn Loney, PhD at their annual meeting on Monday naming him the Drama Desk’s Distinguished Service Member in recognition of his career achievements and his contributions to the Drama Desk. His long-time companion Scott Benett read prepared remarks on his behalf.

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Reviews

The Parisian Woman **

Uma Thurman

By: David Sheward

It seemed like the perfect set-up. A political comedy-drama written by the creator of Netflix’s House of Cards starring the elegant Oscar nominee Uma Thurman in her Broadway debut. That’s why it’s a pity that The Parisian Woman, the first major Broadway show to tackle the Trump administration, is such contrived claptrap. Listed in the program as “inspired by” Henri Becque’s 1885 play La Parisienne, Beau Willimon’s uneven script has the creaky feel of a century-old potboiler.

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