Dan Cody’s Yacht ***

Rick Holmes, Jordan Lage, Meredith Forlenza, Kristen Bush, Laura Kai Chen

By: Isa Goldberg

June 15, 2018:  Anthony Giardina’s new drama, Dan Cody’s Yacht at The Manhattan Theater Club, City Center Stage I, plays with the simplicity of boulevard comedy, while addressing complex issues of education and class, in America today. But it’s not just the divide between the wealthy and the poor that is being addressed here. More importantly, it’s about the divide between being real and genuine, versus getting away with easy answers.

Read more >

Half Time ***1/2

Georgia Engel, André De Shields, Lillias White, and Donna McKechnie in Half Time East Coast Premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse

By: Ellis Nassour

June 14, 2018 – There’re enough Tony winners among the creative team in the East Coast premiere of Jerry Mitchell’s production of the musical Half Time for you to expect a championship game.

Read more >

The Boys in the Band ***

Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons

By: David Sheward

June  13, 2018:  When The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking play focusing on the gay experience, opened Off-Broadway in 1968, critics praised it as a sympathetic portrait of a persecuted sexual minority. But many reviewers tellingly revealed their bias. One expressed disgust at having to watch men dance together while another described the work as an accurate depiction of those suffering from a disease. The current revival at the Booth of this devastating artifact—the first one for Broadway after two major Off-Broadway stagings—shows how far we have come as far as gay acceptance goes. The director Joe Mantello, all of the producers,  and the entire nine-man cast are all openly gay and have not suffered any career damage.

Read more >

Dan Cody’s Yacht **1/2

Rick Holmes, Jordan Lage, Meredith Forlenza, Kristen Bush, Laura Kai Chen

By: David Sheward

June 8, 2018:  A wealthy parent confronts his son’s economically strapped teacher over a failing grade for an essay on The Great Gatsby. As the scene progresses, the dad sits at the instructor’s desk, questions her qualifications, her teaching methods, and finally slaps a handful of bills down. The teacher is appalled at the blatant bribe, but she hesitates for a split second, giving the obnoxious parent his opening.

Read more >

Secret Life of Humans ***1/2

Richard Delaney, Olivia Hirst

“The Descent of Man”

By: Samuel L. Leiter

June 7, 2018:  Forty-five years ago, shortly after viewing “The Ascent of Man,” scientist and mathematician
Jacob Bronowski’s 13-part, groundbreaking BBC documentary series, broadcast on PBS in 1973, I purchased the substantial tome accompanying it. Although I’ve never had the time to read it, I have on many occasions leafed through its wonderfully illustrated pages, looking at its fascinating pictures.

Read more >

Fellow Travelers at Bay Street ****

Wayne Alan Wilcox, Rachel Spencer Hewitt

World premiere of Fellow Travels, a provocative new drama by Jack Canfora, opens the 2018 Mainstage Season at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

By: Patrick Christiano

June 3, 2018:  Jack Canfora’s compelling tale set during Hollywood’s infamous Blacklist period, when the United States government was targeting artists suspected of being Communist, focuses on the little-known details of the complicated friendship and working relationship of two theater icons, the esteemed playwright Arthur Miller and the renowned film and stage director Elia Kazan. Film legend Marilyn Monroe, who was intimately involved with Kazan and ultimately became Miller’s second wife, figures prominently in Canfora’s shrewd new play that unfolds in Hollywood, New York, Washington D.C. and Connecticut over a period from 1951, when Miller was first introduced to Monroe, to its final fade out in 1963, two years after the legend’s tragic death.  

Read more >

The Iceman Cometh ****

Denzel Washington

By: Isa Goldberg

June 2, 2018:  The booze-soaked Eugene O’Neill drama, The Iceman Cometh, with Denzel Washington stoking the madness, is an experience. Running nearly four hours, it takes more than just the gift of gab to hold our attention. And this bar full of weirdos, with their all of their crazy delusions, make for a fascinating bunch. Not to mention Washington, a robust energetic Hickey, a salesman, who ultimately trades in disappointment, and failure.

Read more >

Peace For Mary Frances ***

Natalie Gold, Lois Smith, Heather Burns

By: Isa Goldberg

June 2, 2018:  In the final days of life, Mary Frances, (Lois Smith), gets to watch her children vie for her love, and the family inheritance. Set in the home where she raised her three children, the staging (scenic design by Dane Laffrey) feels very slice of life, a literal – or as close to literal – reflection of a family home as one could find. Peering through the fourth wall, we observe their behaviors, so dysfunctional that it makes our own look “normal” by comparison.

Read more >

Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart ***

Joey Slotnick in the title role in a scene from Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart

THE MUSIC LOVERS: TCHAIKOVSKY: NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART

By: Samuel L. Leiter

June 1, 2018:  Eva Wolf’s Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart is the latest contribution from the Ensemble for the Romantic Century, a company Wolf, a pianist, founded in 2001 with, what the program says was “the intention of creating an engaging and innovative approach to chamber music concerts.” It continues: “ERC’s theatrical concerts interweave letters, memoirs, diaries, poems, and other literature with chamber and vocal music; the music’s historical context is reinforced through its connections with history, politics, philosophy, psychology, and the other arts to create a compelling new performance experience.”

Read more >

My Fair Lady **** – Dance Nation **** – Summer: The Donna Summer Musical *1/2

Lauren Ambrose, Diana Rigg “My Fair Lady”

By: David Sheward

May 30, 2018:  Alan Jay Lerner, the librettist and lyricist of My Fair Lady, once joked to Rex Harrison, the original Henry Higgins of that classic musical, that they both should have been gay because of their terrible history with women. Lerner had eight wives and Harrison six. Lerner’s misogyny permeates Lady and Barlett Sher’s new production for Lincoln Center attempts to counter it. This new version with its steely heroine is the latest in a trend of reshaping Golden Age tuners to address the Me Too movement (Jack O’Brien’s Carousel is another example.)

Read more >

So In Love with Cole ***1/2

By: Paulanne Simmons

May 28, 2018:  Susan Hodgdon is in love with Cole Porter. And after listening to her new album, “So in Love with Cole,” many people will fall in love with Ms. Hodgdon.

Read more >

The Hollower **

Ryan Wesley Stinnett, Patrena Murray, ToniAnne DiFilippo

SIXTEEN GOING ON SEVENTEEN: THE HOLLOWER

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 25, 2018:  Question: What unusual historical background do Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton, and Madonna have in common? Answer: All are descended from les filles du roi, known in English as the King’s Daughters  a group of nearly 800 French women who were sent to New France (Canada) from 1663 to 1673 by Louis XIV to marry and procreate with French settlers.

Read more >

Bump ****

Luciy DeVito, Jenny O’Hara

By: Paulanne Simmons

May 24, 2018:  Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the eponymous Foundation, according to its website, is a “not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports high quality, impartial scientific research; fosters a robust, diverse scientific workforce; strengthens public understanding and engagement with science; and promotes the health of the institutions of scientific endeavor.”

Read more >

The Beast In The Jungle **

Irina Dvorovenko, Tony Yazbeck

DANCE, BALLERINA, DANCE: THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 23, 2018:  Recently, a playwright/director friend who often accompanies me to the theatre as my plus-one expressed an interest in seeing The Beast in the Jungle, the new “dance play” adaptation by David Thompson, with music by John Kander, of Henry James’s classic 1903 short story of that title.

Read more >

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two *****, Travesties ****, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire **

Poppy Miller, Jamie Parker “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One & Two

By: David Sheward

May 22, 2018:  The 2017-18 Broadway season ended with the usual rush of productions racing to qualify for the Tony Awards. There was no unifying theme amid the final plethora of shows, but two of them did share a common element—their producers banking on American theatergoers’ love affair with all things British. Two imports featured feats of English legerdemain—a theatrical sequel to JK Rowling’s beloved series of book on the boy wizard Harry Potter, and Travesties, a revival of one of Tom Stoppard’s early works of intellectual sleight of hand.

Read more >