Beloved Comedienne Carol Burnett Ornament Joins Broadway Legends Holiday Collection
By: Ellis Nassour
Immediately following CBS’ blockbuster-rated Sunday special celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show came news that the legendary comedienne can have a special spot on your holiday season tree: Christmas or Hanukkah.
“Nobody knows what any of this shit means!,” cries one of the characters in Ayad Akhtar’s gripping play Junk, now at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater after a previous production at the La Jolla Playhouse.The line is spoken by a government agent investigating the monetary tomfoolery of Robert Merkin, a fictional version of junk-bond king Michael Millken. The character is expressing the exasperated view of most of the public who are not in the financial field when the intricacies of big-time investment are discussed. Fortunately, Akhtar, who won the Pulitzer for Disgraced, and his director Doug Hughes makes these complex maneuverings fascinating and exciting, if not entirely understandable.
Back by popular demand,A KIND SHOT, the critically acclaimed one-woman show by former basketball star and model Terri Mateer hits the boards at the TBG Studio Theatre (312 West 36th Street) January 6th, through February 25, 2018.
Annie Revival Makes for a Very Merry and Jolly Tinsel-coated Revival at Paper Mill Playhouse
By: Ellis Nassour
The holiday season has arrived for Paper Mill Playhouse audiences with a gaily-wrapped Christmas present under a tinseled tree. It’s the sumptuous revival of Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan’s Tony-winning Best Musical Annie. Just as they pulled a rabbit out of their collective hat this time last year with the North American premiere of The Bodyguard, producing artistic director Mark Hoebee and managing director Todd Schmidt, have done it again with a sterling production of “the world’s best-loved family musical” – one filled with whopping sentiment, hilarity, and beloved tunes fit for the entire family.
David Park, Natalie Storrs, Michael Viruet, Brian Russell Carey, Michael McCoy Reilly
By: Paulanne Simmons
Deadheads Rejoice. Michael Norman Mann’s Red Roses, Green Gold, featuring the music and lyrics of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter is making its premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre. The musical, directed by Rachel Klein, has all your favorite songs and even a plot … of sorts.
The Big Apple Circus Returns Bigger, Better, More Dazzling, and Thrilling Than Ever
By: Ellis Nassour
After a one year hiatus, New York’s home-grown Big Apple Circus has made a triumphant return, premiering its 40th Anniversary season at its longtime home under the big top in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, with performances through January 7. Rescued by Big Top Works , this New York original and intimate one-ring “circus with a heart” is back bigger, better, and newer than ever.
Sally Matthews as Silvia de Ávila, Iestyn Davies as Francisco de Ávila, Sophie Bevan as Beatriz, David Portillo as Eduardo, Joseph Kaiser as Edmundo de Nobile, Audrey Luna as Leticia Maynar, Amanda Echalaz as Lucia de Nobile, Frédéric Antoun as Raúl Yebenes, and Sir John Tomlinson as Dr. Carlos Conde in Adès’ “The Exterminating Angel.”
By: David Sheward
Existentialist angst is not your usual fodder for the opera stage, but Thomas Ades’s The Exterminating Angel, based on Luis Bunuel’s classic 1962 film, explores the terrifying territory of lost identity and purpose. Now at the Metropolitan Opera after a world premiere last year at Salzburg and a production in London, this disturbing work challenges notions of traditional musical staging.
To put it bluntly, Office Hour, Julia Cho’s new play at The Public Theater, isn’t at all funny. The central character, a withdrawn Chinese American student, evocative of the lone gunmen of recent days.
When playwright Clifford Odets wrote Golden Boy in 1937, he was working as a Hollywood scriptwriter, hoping to make money for the Group Theater, which had produced his previous plays, Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing! But Odets was conflicted. He was keenly aware of his personal struggle between art and materialism. So it should not be surprising that this conflict become the subject of what may be his best-known work, Golden Boy.
When Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy was nominated for a Best Play Tony Award in 1983, presenter Diahann Carroll wasn’t even allowed to accurately describe the tender, hilarious play. While giving a detailed synopsis of each of the other nominees, her copy for Torch merely summarized it as being “about love and the merciless mayhem loves wreaks.” When the play unexpectedly won, producer John Glines sent shockwaves across America by thanking his male lover. (I remember Johnny Carson made a joke about it on The Tonight Show the following evening.) Even the show’s TV commercial covered up its then-controversial content. Producers were afraid if Straight John and Jane Q. Public knew the show was about an unapologetic gay drag performer’s quest for a long-term relationship and an extended family, they’d shy away.