Features

Phantom of the Opera Celebration

As Theatrical Phenomenon Phantom of the Opera Celebrates 30 Year Reign on Broadway Andrew Lloyd Webber Looks Back

By: Ellis Nassour

A gala performance on Wednesday [January 24] will celebrate Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart’s The Phantom of the Opera hitting 30 years [actually on January 26, with 12,500 performances – which includes 16 previews] and continuing as Broadway’s longest-running show.

Tony Awards – Michael Crawford sings Music of the Night – 1991 

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Reviews

Marcus Lovett, Moonlighting ****

Marcus Lovett

By: Paulanne Simmons

Fans who know Marcus Lovett best as the star of musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Carousel, had a very pleasant surprise at Feinstein’s/54 Below on January 19 and 20. Supported by a six-piece combo, Lovett sang a repertoire that included songs by Lyle Lovett, Billy Joel and Jim Croce, not exactly Broadway fare.

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Reviews

John Lithgow: Stories by Heart ****

John Lithgow

By: David Sheward 

The funniest moment on Broadway so far this season is not provided by a witticism from a beloved comic or a pointed political observation by an astute social commentator. It’s the incredibly accurate recreation of a parrot’s expression as it asks a roomful of stuffy British types if they would like to share a nut. The priceless simulation of avian inquiry is provided by the incomparable John Lithgow in his solo show Stories By Heart, presented now by the Roundabout Theater Company at the American Airlines Theater after previous versions had a short run at Lincoln Center and a national tour. Lithgow’s eloquent mouth twists and curves into an elongated bill, his eyes bulge and twitch, and he emits a sound between a bark and a squawk.

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Reviews

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom ***1/2

Damaras Obi

By: Paulanne Simmons

Hamilton may be offering Broadway audiences a history lesson about the formation of our country. But further uptown Sanctuary Theater at the Center at West Park is presenting a lesson much closer to our own times. This one-woman show is called Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, and it tells the true story of Lynda Blackman, one of the youngest participants in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.

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Features

Ahrens & Flaherty Once On This Island

Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Composers, Once On This Island: 35 Years and Counting

By: Ellis Nassour

Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics), one half of the Tony-winning Broadway composing team with Stephen Flaherty (music), who are celebrating their 35th year of collaboration, delights in reminiscing about the origin of their 1990 musical Once On This Island, now back on Broadway at Circle in the Square in a jawdroppingly sumptuous staging that pumps new life – and magic – into an already exhilarating work.

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Reviews

Shadowlands ***1/2

Dan Kremer, Sean Gormley, Daryll Heysham, John C. Vennema “Shadowlands.”

For some reason English scholars seem to have a predilection for writing novels for young people. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician and Anglican deacon best known as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist immortalized by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And his friend, C.S. Lewis, was a medievalist and theologian beloved by children for The Chronicles of Narnia.

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Features

Golden Globe Awards

Seth Myers Hosts Sunday’s Golden Globes with Tightest Competition in Years

By: Ellis Nassour

With betting odds too close to call in the Picture and Acting categories, Sunday’s 2018/75th Anniversary Golden Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and telecast live on NBC at 8 Eastern from the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom, should be one of the most exciting in years.

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HamptonsLife - Photos

New Year’s @ Gurneys

Gloria Ryann

2018 on the Edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Montauk 

Revelers at Scarpetta Beach at Gurney’s Resort on Old Montauk Highway rang in
the New Year dancing and partying in style at a casino night themed event with rollicking live music by The  Rakiem Walker Project. DJ Vikas Sapra added to the festivities where many were dressed in sequin adorned outfits for the glittering evening.

Photography: Barry Gordin

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Reviews

The Children **** Farinelli and the King ***

Ron Cook, Francesca Annis, Deborah Findlay “The Children”

By: David Sheward

The year ends with two emblematic productions for Broadway—The Children presented by Manhattan Theater Club as part of its subscriber season and Farinelli and the King in a commercial limited run at the Belasco. Both are transfers from London complete with British casts. We Yanks are supposed to salivate over these shows because of their snob-appeal pedigree. Both feature exquisite acting, but only The Children connects to its audience on a level deeper than stagecraft. Farinelli stars one of the finest actors in the English-speaking world, Mark Rylance, but his breath-takingly realistic technique is in service of an overly familiar, underwritten play.

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Features

London’s Hamilton opens

Hamilton Is Set to Take London’s West End by Storm

By: Ellis Nassour

After a problem-plagued delay, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning phenomenon Hamilton, opened December 21 on London’s West End at the historic Victoria Palace Theatre (Victoria Street, London SW1E 5EA) in Westminster in the shadow of the newly-renovated Victoria Station. Lead producer is Broadway’s Tony-winning Jeffrey Seller, with original director Thomas Kail helming. The musical has been in previews since December 6, a slight rescheduling because of ongoing exterior construction. Performances have been met with pandemonium response from audiences. The musical is shaping up to be a bloody triumph, no doubt with a Royal Command Performance in its future.

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Reviews

Farinelli and the King ***1/2

Mark Rylance

By: Paulanne Simmons

King Philippe V of Spain has gone mad. Neither his wife, Isabella, nor his doctors can help him. Then Isabella, brings Farinelli, the famed Italian castrato, to the court, and the sound of his divine voice brings the king back to sanity. Such is the slender plot on which musician and academic Claire Van Kampen bases her  first play, Farinelli and the King.

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Reviews

The Children **1/2 Once on this Island ***

Ron Cook, Deborah Findlay, Francesca Annis “The Children”

By: Isa Goldberg

It seems so quotidian –  the conversation that is – at least as it starts out, in Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children. Having been out of touch for decades, Rose (Francesca Annis) arrives unexpectedly at Hazel (Deborah Findlay) and her husband Robin’s (Ron Cook’s) cottage by the sea. Alone for now, the two women discuss the inevitable – children, grandchildren, aging, and “women looking like stretched eggs – trying to hide it when all it’s doing is shouting it out loud isn’t it, “I’m old and I’m frightened of it!” Hazel insists.

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Features

Broadway Update

Jim Parsons will star in a revival of “The Boys in the Band”which will be eligible for 2018-19 Tonys

B’way Update: Logjam in Spring 2018: Early 2018-19 Announcements

By: David Sheward

So many Broadway theaters are booked and so few shows are closing there is a logjam of venues this spring. Therefore many shows have announced their openings for the next fall.

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Around The Town

Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

It’s Ten O’clock, and Your Children Are Not in the Theater

The numbers are out and they’re not good. According to the latest number-crunchers, less than 10 percent of Americans goes to the theater. And some people want to get to the root of these appalling statistics.

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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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