Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

The historic African-American production of Tennessee Williams’ 1955 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” directed by Debbie Allen, although not the crowning achievement one had hoped, scores as entertainment none the less. Approved by Williams’ estate for Broadway the revival has a star studded cast of charismatic actors, who understand the passions of Williams’ dysfunctional family, allowing the magic of the playwright’s language to overcome Allen’s uninspired direction.

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Passing Strange

Weaving a hypnotic spell the exciting new musical, “Passing Strange, has transferred to Broadway after a well received engagement downtown at the Public last summer. Breaking with tradition the musical is an amalgamation of styles that fuses a variety of distinctive forms from cabaret to gospel into a consistently inventive blend that feels more like a high concept hybrid performance art/ rock concert than a Broadway musical. Whatever you call it, there is no doubt this is beguiling theater, a new form that refuses to be pigeon holed.

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Spamalot

The advance buzz has been overwhelming, and we have been inundated with questions about the new Broadway musical Spamalot. Did you like it? Did they do a good job adapting it for the stage? Is it all that? Did you have to see the movie to follow it? Yes, yes, yes, and no with superlatives all around for the entire team. How could anyone not like this affectionate send up of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, unless of course you are devoid of a sense of humor. The adaptation is amazing and then some with the added satire on Broadway musicals, especially skewing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Yes, indeed, we enthusiastically endorse Spamalot, an outrageously silly show and witty spoof, which will most assuredly entertain young as well as old.

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Spamalot

The advance buzz has been overwhelming, and we have been inundated with questions about the new Broadway musical Spamalot.  Did you like it? Did they do a good job adapting it for the stage? Is it all that? Did you have to see the movie to follow it? Yes, yes, yes, and no with superlatives all around for the entire team. How could anyone not like this affectionate send up of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, unless of course you are devoid of a sense of humor. The adaptation is amazing and then some with the added satire on Broadway musicals, especially skewing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Yes, indeed, we enthusiastically endorse Spamalot, an outrageously silly show and witty spoof, which will most assuredly entertain young as well as old.

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Crimes of the Heart

Roundabout Theatre Company is presenting the film and stage star Kathleen Turner making her New York directing debut with a confident, yet flawed production of Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Crimes of the Heart”. Ms.Turner’s staging bears her broad signature style, and while she has a talented ensemble doing her bidding, little about the evening feels organic. Much is quite funny, even touching, but the over the top approach does little to serve the playwright, turning her poignant character study into a superficial re-telling that accentuates the play’s shortcomings.

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November

Playwright David Mamet tackles American politics in his new satire “November” about an incompetent President running for a second term. Nathan Lane turns in a brilliant comic portrayal as the despicable President Charles Smith (Chuck for short), who’s unnamed political party has deserted him on the eve of the national election. Joe Mantello’s swift paced production whips Mamet’s slight spoof into a hysterical frenzy and the uniformly excellent cast delivers delicious support that keep the evening constantly amusing even as the farce falters.

 

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Come Back Little Sheba

Michael Pressman’s earnest revival of William Inge’s heartbreaking drama “Come Back Little Sheba” for Manhattan Theatre Club has a touching performance by television star S. Epatha Merkerson as the central character Lola. Considered raw and explicit when in debuted on Broadway in1950, “Come Back Little Sheba” feels decidedly tame and dated today, although hauntingly so.

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The Homecoming

Harold Pinter is one of the most acclaimed playwrights in the world. He is the author of over 30 plays and more than two dozen screenplays. His list of awards are too numerous to mention, but he has won just every award imaginable including the 2005 Noble Prize in Literature. His play "The Homecoming," which debuted on Broadway in 1967, is today considered a classic, although when it premiered in London two years earlier it was greeted with a mixed reception by the press and public alike.

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The Seafarer

The fascinating Irish playwright Conor McPherson weaves an engrossing tale in his newest play “The Seafarer,” arriving on our shores direct from its world premiere at London’s National Theater. The haunting story of redemption superbly acted by an ensemble of five immensely gifted actors is magnificently directed by the award winning playwright himself, an astonishing achievement.

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“Is He Dead?”

Photo: Joan Marcus

What a wonderful surprise! “Is He Dead?” the new Broadway comedy by the master American novelist and satirist Mark Twain is destined to be the sleeper of the season. Directed by Michael Blakemore with an over the top comic style the evening in the hands of a troupe of seasoned New York actors headed by the incomparable Norbert Leo Butz is a hysterically fast paced confection that pokes fun at the art world.

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Cymberline At Lincoln Center

The splendid production of “Cymbeline” directed by Mark Lamos, although uneven, boasts superb design elements that emphasize the magical qualities of Shakespeare’s sweeping romantic comedy. And at the center of the complex tale is an exciting performance by Martha Plimpton as Princess Imogen, the playwright’s most mature female heroine, who will undergo many trials before the neat conclusion.

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Karen Finley’s “Wake Up”

Gossip columns. How the news is overcome by “movers and shakers” — Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears! Often as in the case of The New York Post’s Page Six, rife with trumped up reports engineered to trigger a Jerry Falwellish sense of moral outrage. It’s this “state-of-the art” in journalism that Karen Finley turns into her very own ruthless mockery.

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Secret Order

Photo: Carol Rosegg


Secret Order
, a compelling drama by Bob Clyman at 59E59 Theaters is a thriller about the medical industry. The playwright tackles some provocative territory with style and wit while crafting a timely tale about cancer research.

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The Farnsworth Invention

Aaron Sorkin’s new play The Farnsworth Invention is an engrossing tale chronicling the invention of television and the subsequent clash over patent rights. As drama the evening lacks tension, but Des McAnuff’s beautifully acted stylish production moves along with such razor sharp precision that the unfolding events make for a compelling, richly satisfying evening nonetheless.

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The Glorious Ones

As an ode to the theater the new musical The Glorious Ones, stylishly directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, is a sublimely funny treat served with winning wit by a marvelous ensemble of seven headed by the divine Marc Kudisch. These are singers who act having a joyous blast breathing life into the bawdy little one act.

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