Reviews

Ink ****, All My Sons ****, Curse of the Starving Class ****

Jonny Lee Miller (left) and Bertie Carvel in “Ink”

By: David Sheward

May 19, 2019: When profit becomes the prime motive of conduct, bad things happens. That’s the message of a new English play and two American revivals. These plays were written over the course of 80 years and an ocean apart, but all three are powerful and relevant to our lives today. James Graham’s INK, now at the Samuel J. Friedman in a production for Manhattan Theater Club after a hit run in London, focuses on the degradation of British journalism in the late 1960s. All My Sons, revived by Roundabout Theater Company, was Arthur Miller’s first dramatic hit and blasted the complacent post-WWII America of 1947. Sam Shepard’s The Curse of the Starving Class premiered in London in 1977 and Off-Broadway in 1978 and offers an even bleaker view of the US, with its nuclear family exploding on a blighted landscape. Media, war profiteering, and land speculation are the symbols these playwrights employ to explore their themes of exploitation and devastation. 

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Gordin's View

The Drama League Awards

Bryan Cranston

Brian Cranston Awarded Distinguished Performance of the year and Hadestown named Outstanding Musical.

May 18, 2019:  The Drama League announced the winners of the 85th Annual Drama League Awards at a star-studded luncheon ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Bryan Cranston was awarded the Distinguished Performance of the Year, an honor that can only be received once in a lifetime.  The other winners announced at the ceremony were: Outstanding Production of a Musical, Hadestown; Outstanding Production of a Play, The Ferryman; Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Kiss Me, Kate; and Outstanding Revival of a Play, The Waverly Gallery.

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Around The Town

The York Theatre Company

Entertaining Revival of Enter Laughing: The Musical opens 50th Anniversary Season at The York.

May 17, 2019: A loving revival of Enter Laughing: The Musical, The York Theatre Company’s 2009 hit Off-Broadway show with music and lyrics by Stan Daniels, opened Thursday evening. The pitch-perfect staging by York veteran, Stuart Ross features top-notch musical direction and choreography by Phil Reno and  Jennifer Paulson-Lee, respectively.

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Reviews

The Plough and the Stars *****

John Keating, Adam Petherbridge and Clare O’Malley

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 176, 2019: Having been thrilled by the first two offerings in the Irish Repertory Company’s three-play Sean O’Casey Season, Juno and the Paycock and The Shadow of a Gunman, I anticipated The Plough and the Stars, the final play in O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy, with nearly the same level of intensity as I did this final season of Game of Thrones. I’m happy to report that the conclusion to this exceptional series, in which many of the same actors reappeared as different characters, is as impressive as anything on the current New York stage.

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Interviews

Jack DiFalco

The Ferryman/Torch Song: Young Actor on the Rise, Jack DiFalco

By: Ellis Nassour

May 15, 2019: Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman is one of the most acclaimed plays of this or any season. In its London West End debut, the sprawling family drama won numerous awards, including the coveted Olivier for Best Play and director Sam Mendes.

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Interviews

Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Lives On

By: Iris Wiener

May 14, 2019: There is no stopping Rachel Bloom, the co-creator, writer and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; the energizer bunny of the entertainment business, Bloom is currently touring with the cast of her CW musical comedy, in which they perform the hysterically poignant numbers that made the show a cult-hit for four seasons.

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Around The Town

2019 OCC Winners

Hadestown wins 6 Awards including Outstanding Musical and The Ferryman named Outstanding Play.

May 13, 2019: Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators for media covering New York theatre, announced today its award winners for the 2018-19 season in 27 categories.

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Around The Town

Lorna Luft

Lorna Luft

By: Magda Katz

May 13, 2019: Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, Lorna Luft made her performing debut singing on “The Judy Garland Show.”

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Features

Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Discerning Diversity

May 12, 2019: As theater attempts to become more and more inclusive, audiences have become used to seeing women in traditionally male roles, African-Americans in traditionally white roles and people with various disabilities in roles that give no indication the character has any such condition.

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Hamptons Life

Janet Lehr Fine Arts

Haim Mizrahi, Janet Lehr

Special on-site demonstration by Hiam Mizrahi

May 12, 2019:  Janet Lehr Fine Arts in East Hampton hosted a celebration of Haim Mizrahi on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Haim Mizrahi – The New in Dynamic Abstraction conducted a special on-site demonstration explaining some of his techniques.

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Reviews

Tootsie ****, Beetlejuice ***, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus **

Julie Halston, James Moye, Santino Fontana, Lilli Cooper and John Behlmann in “Tootsie”

By: David Sheward

May 11, 2019: Musicals based on hit movies have become a staple on Broadway. The creative teams of most of these shows such as Pretty Woman, School of Rock and Kinky Boots, take the established screenplay and insert some songs, and call it a day. But Tootsie, derived from the 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman as struggling actor Michael Dorsey who disguises himself as a woman to land a role, actually updates and improves the material. Robert Horn’s book is a sharp and funny update on Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal’s original script. 

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Features

Off Broadway Shines

5 Reasons Why Off-Broadway Shone in 2018-2019

By: Iris Wiener

May 12, 2019: The Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations have been announced, and as with any nominations list, plenty of deserving productions and performers have been left off. Here is our short list of those that didn’t make the cut (but should have):

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Gordin's View

Drama Desk: A Conversation with Celia Keenan-Bolger

Celia Keenan-Bolger, Michael Portantiere

May 11, 2019: The Drama Desk presented an informal conversation and Q&A session with Celia Keenan-Bolger on Friday, May 10, from 5:30 to 6:45 pm, at Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 8th Avenue,Studio 16FG. Keenan-Bolger, who plays Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, conversed with Drama Desk member Michael Portantiere.Photography: Barry Gordin For a Complete List of the 2019 Drama Desk Nominees Click Here

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Reviews

All My Sons ****

Tracy Letts, Annette Bening

By: Isa Goldberg

May 11, 2019: Directed by the luminous Jack O’Brien, this current revival by the Roundabout Theatre is true to Arthur Miller’s realistic style. After all, a great American drama deserves its rich roots. 

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