Reviews

Einstein’s Dreams ***1/2

Zal Owen

By: Paulanne Simmons

November 20, 2019: Alan Lightman is an American physicist who has served on the faculties of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research has focused on relativistic gravitation theory. He’s even studied what causes that mystery of mystery, the black hole.

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Around The Town

Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus: Explodes with WOW! Acts and a Latino Beat

By: Ellis Nassour

November 20, 2019: The Big Apple Circus is back with its blue and white Big Top planted in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, playing through February 2. This 42nd edition is also one of the best ever, crammed with acts that will elicit howls, WOWs, and gasps – and one act that will not only have you on the edge of your seat but also gasping in disbelief.  

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Reviews

Everything’s Coming Up Rosie ****

By: Paulanne Simmons

November 18, 2019: Singer and musical theater veteran Rosemary Loar says she was “raised in musical theater.” Her mother would escape New Jersey (and her seven children) for Broadway and return refreshed, with a cast album in hand. It was surely those cast albums that gave Loar her love of musical theater. That affection is on melodious display in Loar’s new cabaret act, Everything’s Coming Up Rosie, which debuted this fall at Don’t Tell Mama.

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HamptonsLife - Theater

Literature Live @ Bay Street

A Raisin in the Sun, a classic play by Lorraine Hansberry, at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor through December 1, 2019.

November 17, 2019: Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor is presenting a searing production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Lydia Fort. Literature live, now in its 11th season at Bay Street Theater, is staging the classic, which is celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the play’s first production on Broadway.  Literature Live brings classic works to middle and high school students for free. Since the program began 11 years ago over 30,000 students have seen live theater at Bay Street, many for the first time.

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Reviews

DruidShakespeare: Richard III ****, Macbeth **, Cyrano **

Aaron Monaghan in DruidShakespeare: Richard 111

By: David Sheward

November 17, 2019: A trio of the most iconic and sought-after male title roles in world theater are currently being tackled Off-Broadway in a variety of productions ranging from wickedly sublime to well-intentioned but wrongheaded. The Irish company DruidShakespeare sets the Bard’s Richard III in a comic abattoir while CSC offers a tepid Macbeth and The New Group musicalizes Cyrano with lukewarm results. 

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Reviews

Taiten: Noh & Kyogen ****

Mikata Shizuka

“Beautiful Harmony at the Japan Society”

By Samuel L. Leiter

By the time this is posted, it will be too late to see the Japan Society’s interesting program, Taiten: Noh and Kyogen, since it was around for only three days (November 14-16). Japan’s classic theatrical forms, noh and kyōgen, may have some interest among Theater Life’s readers, so what follows is for the record. 

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Interviews

Jennie Garth

Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth

Jennie Garth Previews New Tour and Chats All Things 90210

By: Iris Wiener

November 14, 2019: Jennie Garth & Tori Spelling Live: A Night to Remember promises to live up to its title. On November 19th, the ladies of 90210 will make a stop at Long Island’s Theatre at Westbury as part of a multi-city tour to share an evening filled with laughs and memories. Garth spoke with Theaterlife about her latest venture, reflected on the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot, BH90210, and contemplated taking a try at Broadway.

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Reviews

The Great Society ***1/2

Barbara Garrick, Brian Cox

By: Isa Goldberg

November 14, 2019: Given the state of political gridlock, and partisan politics we’re in, Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society – Part II of The LBJ Plays, is a timely production, currently at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beautmont Theater. Set during LBJ’s administration, Schenkkan expounds on Part I of his work, All The Way, which played on Broadway starring Bryan Cranston in 2014. 

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Reviews

Kristin Chenoweth Live on Broadway ****1/2

Broadway dynamo brings For The Girls to Nederlander for 8 performances.

By: Patrick Christiano

November 12, 2019:  The curtain rises on Tony and Emmy Awarding winning dynamo, Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway show For The Girls, to reveal the petite star dressed in only an oversized promotional t-shirt for her show, inside out. It’s a staged moment that Kristin calls the prologue. In hardly a flash she is back and bedazzling, in a bedded mini dress, with her dynamic two co-stars for the, evening, Crystal Monee Hall and Marissa Rosen, who the star shares much of the spotlight with, for a rousing rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman.” For The Girls is a celebration of powerful women and features songs by women, some of which are on Chenoweth’s recently released album of the same name. These three women are superb and form the heart of the evening, backed by five musicians and the renowned Mary-Mitchell Campbell on piano, providing musical direction as well.

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Around The Town

YORK GALA 2019

Honorees André De Shields. Riki Kane Larimer

André De Shields honored with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award and Riki Kane Larimer given the Founders’ Award at the Edison Ballroom.

November 12, 2019:  The York Gala was directed by Michael Unger and included special guest appearances by John Ellison Conlee, Robert Creighton, Darius De Haas, Jeffry Denman, Dawn Driver, Mercedes Ellington, Kylie Kuioka, Teresa Eyring, Ron Lucas, Richard Maltby, Jr., Larry Owens, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose, Melissa Schott, Marc Shaiman, Edward Tolve, Ekele Ukegbu, Ben Vereen, Anita Welch, Freida Williams, Patrick Wilson, David Yazbek, and The Alumni Ensemble of The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem and will feature musical numbers from the hit Broadway musicals The Wiz, Hair, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty and more.

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Reviews

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical ****, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf ****

Adrienne Warren (center) and company in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”

By: David Sheward

November 11, 2019: Nowhere is the contrast between today’s Broadway and Off-Broadway more sharply defined than in the productions of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne and the revival of Ntozake Shange’s 1976 groundbreaking For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf, Off-Broadway at the Public Theater. 

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Reviews

The Michaels *****

Haviland Morris, Brenda Wehle, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders

By: Isa Goldberg

November 13, 2019: Much as I’ve enjoyed many a repast with The Apple Family, and The Gabriels, mealtime at The Michaels is among the most gratifying experiences I’ve had. Home baked bread, local cheeses, and Kate’s crepes are all divine, though by the end of the evening they’ve hardly been touched. Still, it’s a meal befitting a Chekhovian toast.

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Gordin's View

Truffles at the Secret Room

Dinner and mayhem at the Secret Room with the new musical, Truffles: Music! Mushrooms! Murder performed with a talented robust cast. 

November 10, 2019: Would you like to add a little excitement to your dining experience? Truffles: Music! Mushrooms! Murder!!! is returning to New York for a new second “season,” which began performances on Saturday, November 2 and is initially scheduled to run through December 28. The audience-pleasing original ran for four years. The new incarnation will run Saturdays at 6:30 pm at the Secret Room, 707 8th Avenue, between 44th & 45th street. 

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Reviews

An Enchanted April ****

By: Paulanne Simmons

November 8, 2019: The Enchanted April, British writer Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel inspired by a month-long holiday to the Italian Riviera, was a best seller in 1923. Set in a 15th century castle, the novel focuses on four women who, sometime in the 1920s, get out of their ruts and leave the rain in England for the sunny Mediterranean.

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Reviews

Soft Power ****, Is This A Room ***, Bella Bella ****

The company of “Soft Power”

By: David Sheward

November 6, 2019: Soft Power, the gloriously messy but idea-packed new musical from two of our most vital and prolific theater artists, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, is anything but soft. The title refers to countries’ gaining world dominance through cultural influence rather than military hardware and muscle flexing. Hwang’s hilariously satiric and complex book also addresses the 2016 election, ethnic stereotyping, romantic comedies, musical theater conventions, hate crimes, and China’s relationship with the US. Yeah, it’s a lot to take in, but the creators and their inventive director Leigh Silverman, address all of these issues and more in a fast-paced, funny yet deep concoction which, unlike most musicals, actually makes you think while it entertains you.

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