Reviews

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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Around The Town

“Medea”

Trezana Beverley, Debra Ann Byrd

As part of BLACK HISTORY MONTH, West Harlem Senator Bill Perkins honored Tony Award Winning actress Trezana Beverley, who is appearing in at The National Black Theatre, Fifth Avenue and 125th Street. The new translation of the Euripides classic by Nicholas Rudall, directed by Petronia Paley for Take Wing And Soar Productions features an all black ensemble in a powerful staging of the Greek tragedy through March 2nd. For tickets call www.smarttix.com 212-868-4444.

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Photos

“Cat on A Hot Tin Roof” Opens

James Earl Jones

Tennesse Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, a potent blend of sex and mendacity, severd by an outstanding ensemble of African-American actors headed by the legendary James Earl Jones opened March 6, 2008 at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre to decidedly mixed reviews.
Photography by Rob Rich

 

 

 

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Around The Town

“Unconditional” at the Public

Downtown the LAByrinth Theater Company, now in residence at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street is presenting the world premiere of Brett C. Leonard’s Unconditional   a brutal depiction of nine New York stories charged with themes of race, sex, drugs, love, justice, and betrayal. Director Mark Wing-Davey has explosively staged the violent drama for maximum effect. Under his skillful guidance, the cinematic like-tale told in brief , shocking, overlapping scenes adds up to more than is actually on the page. Wing-Davey’s powerful production unfolds on Mark Wendland’s innovative shifting set, where audience members view from all sides at different heights looking down on the action.

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Around The Town

Jennifer Naimo at The Triad

Jennifer Naimo, Zina Jasper


"Jersey Boys"
Jennifer Naimo wowed them with her distinctive style and delicious voice at The Triad Theater, 158 West 72nd St (between Broadway and Columbus). Her smartly conceived cabaret show "Many the Miles" showcased her supple voice with a tasty choice of eclectic tunes for a true original. Directed by Andy Gale, with Musical Direction by Chris Haberl.

 

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Photos

“Jersey Boys” Christian Hoff

Bebe Neuwirth, Christian Hoff

Tony Award winner Christian Hoff from Jersey Boys performed his new cabaret act, an eclectic mix of songs about love, to a sold out house at the intimate Metropolitan Room in NYC. Christian was backed up two beautiful Broadway babes and an outstanding quartet of piano, bass, guitar and drums. Musical arrangements and direction was by Charles Czarnecki.

 

Barbara Siegel, Jamie deRoy

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Photos

The Drama League Gala

David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Roger Berlind

Theater elite gathered at the Rainbow Room high above Rockefeller Plaza to honor Broadway producer Roger Berlind at The Drama League’s 24th Annual Benefit Gala.. The elegant black-tie event began with a cocktail reception overlooking the manificent Manhattan skyline before guests were ushered into dinner and a marvelous musical celebration hosted by David Hyde Pierce. All proceeds of the gala support the Drama League. For more information check on their website at www.dramaleague.org

 

 

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Reviews

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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Reviews

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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Features

Barbara Cook Celebration

Philharmonic Celebrates Barbara Cook Milestone

by Ellis Nassour
Barbara Cook caricatures by SAM NORKIN

Barbara Cook

The New York Philharmonic will host a belated celebration of and with Barbara Cook to mark her 80th birthday, which was October 25. Miss Cook will reminisce about her storied career and sing from her lengthy repertory of songs by Bernstein and Comden and Green, Lerner and Loewe, Arlen and Mercer, Gershwin and Caesar, Hammerstein and Romberg and, among others, a friend named Stephen. The concerts are Monday and Tuesday, November 19 and 20, Mo at 7:30 at Avery Fisher Hall. An additional concert is also set for Tuesday, January 8. 2008

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Photos

Behind The Scenes

James Morgan, Mimi O'Donnell, James Houghton, Peggy Eisenhauer, David Korins

A special Drama Desk Panel held at BMI turned the spotlight on four leading theater design talents: lighting designer Peggy Eisenhauer, costume designer Mimi O'Donnell, and set designers David Korins and James Morgan. The informative event moderated by James Houghton, the Artistic Director of the Signature Theatre, was produced by Ellis Nassour and Elyse Sommer.

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Photos

“Wanda’s World” Opening Night

Beth Falcone, Eric H. Weinberger
Sandie Rosa

The bright new musical Wanda's World directed and choreographed by Tony Nominee Lynne Taylor- Corbett charmed the opening night audience at The 45 Street Theater Off Broadway at 54 West 45 Street. The musical by Beth Falcone and Eric H. Weinberger is a feel good tale for teens with clever tunes and dynamic choreography enthusiastically performed by the talented ensemble. The limited World Premiere engagement is scheduled to run through February 10th only. The opening night party was at B. Smith's 320 West 46th Street location on restaurant row. For Tickets call 212 352-3101

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Reviews

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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Around The Town

Charles Busch at Bay Street

Charles Busch

Bay Street Theatre, a not-for-profit professional regional theater located in the Hamptons on the magnificent Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, recently announced its 2008 Target Mainstage Season that will include Alec Baldwin, Kate Burton and Charles Busch. The season will run June 3 through August 31 and tickets are on sale now at www.baystreet.org

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