Gordin's View

Authors Night

Bridget Moynahan, Candace Bushnell

East Hampton’s Library 15th Annual Authors Night Benefit

August 11, 2019: On Saturday East Hampton’s Library hosted their 15th annual Authors Night to benefit the Library’s essential programs and services throughout the coming year. Press arrived around 4:30 and the authors started trickling in shorty after for a brief meet and greet with the press, before heading off to their assigned spots and their respective dinners afterwards. Honorary Founding Chair, Alec Baldwin, was one of the first to arrive along with Honorary Co-Chairs, Candace Bushnell, Douglas Brinkley, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Robert A. Caro, Rosanne Cash, and Bridget Moynahan.

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Reviews

Sea Wall/A Life ***, Broadway Bounty Hunter ****

Jake Gyllenhaal in Sea Wall/A Life

By: David Sheward

August 12, 2019: One-person pieces are often the hardest type of theater to bring off. Live stage work depends on conflict and no matter how talented a performer is, convincingly creating character and/or principle clashes while flying solo is a prodigious task few can handle with dexterity. There’s also the heightened economic stakes of theatre these days. Audiences pay into the triple digits and if you’re greeted with a bare stage and only one name in the cast list, expectations are going to be that much higher. The current double bill Sea Wall/A Life now at the Hudson Theater in a limited Broadway run after a hit Off-Broadway engagement at the Public last season, does offer two single acts with top-shelf talent and relatable, heart-wrenching content.  

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Reviews

Moulin Rouge! The Musical ***1/2

Ricky Rojas and Robyn Hurder in Moulin Rouge! The Musical

By: Isa Goldberg

August 9, 2019: It was the time of Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, and Puccini. Paris at the end of the 19th century comes to life through the juke box songs of today’s rock stars in this screen to stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

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Reviews

Little Gem ****

Marsha Mason

By: Isa Goldberg

August 8, 2019: It may be changing, but there aren’t a lot of roles for women actors of a certain age. At least, not interesting ones. Watching Marsha Mason in her portrayal of a 62-year-old wife and mother in Little Gem, however, is a wakeup call. Elaine Murphy’s three-person play makes its American premiere at The Irish Repertory Theatre.

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Reviews

Passageways ****

Amy Oestreicher

In a childlike, whimsical way, Amy Oestreicher tells her story about suffering from PTSD. 

By: Isa Goldberg

But it’s the whimsy that she brings to her trauma, and which sustained her through it that distinguishes Oestreicher’s song cycle. It makes her one-woman, 90-minute show, “Passageways,” at Here Arts Center both harrowing, and uplifting. 

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Reviews

Moulin Rouge **1/2, Mojada ****, Coriolanus ****

Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

 By: David Sheward

August 6, 2019: Combining and repurposing plots, plays, films and songs can provide new insights into old-age cultural themes or they can just be a cheap way drawing in audiences for a comfortable, fun, brainless evening. Moulin Rouge, the new Broadway musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s gorgeous but empty 2001 film, falls into the second category in every respect except one—it ain’t cheap. With ticket prices exceeding $500 for premium seats and the least dear running in the triple digits, Moulin is one of the most expensive shows in recent Broadway history. Is it worth it? For sheer outrageous spectacle, you definitely get your money’s worth. For a storyline with believable characters and truly moving emotions, not so much. But that doesn’t seem to matter to those who will happily fork over the asked-for price.

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Reviews

Coriolanus ****

Jonathan Cake, Teagle F. Bougere, Biko Eisen-Martin

By: Bernard Carragher

August 5, 2019: There is a rather extraordinary production of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” at free Shakespeare in the Park. “Coriolanus” is the is one of the Bard’s plays that is seldom done here, or anywhere. Most Shakespeare companies are afraid of this searing drama about an ancient Roman hero whose name is bears. In the first place, Coriolanus was a colossal snob, a contemptuous reviler of the common people, and it is hard to find an actor rugged enough, and sensitive enough, to make the raging Roman convincing and at the same time sympathetic.

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Gordin's View

Annie Get Your Gun @ Bay Street

Mathew Saldivar, Alexandra Socha

Sarna Lapine’s delightful staging of the Irving Berlin classic, infused with Blue Grass Melodies, lights up the stage at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

August 4, 2019: Sarna Lapine’s delightful staging of Irving Berlin’s beloved musical, Annie Get Your Gun, opened last night at Bay Street Theater, centered by a luminous Alexandra Socha as Annie. Every element of this streamlined production, infused with Blue Grass melodies, shines beautifully, lighting up the intimate stage in Sag Harbor with rollicking good fun. To hear these classics songs like, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything You Can Do,” and “They Say It’s Wonderful,” sung with a Blue Grass Band that sits elevated at the back of the stage is simply wonderful and a unique surprise.

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Interviews

Derek McLane

Moulin Rouge! Set Designer Derek McLane Knows How to Make Theatergoers Gasp

By: Ellis Nassour

August 2, 2019: One thing that the Hirschfeld Theatre ushers can always count on at Moulin Rouge! when they open the orchestra doors a volley of gasps and exclamations as ticketholders first grasp the set. Smart Phones are out as they roam the aisles capturing snaps of the colorful stage with its depth of heart-shaped portals, the 14.6’ replica of the windmill that sits atop the Moulin Rouge in Paris and that’s mounted in the box at the left, and the 18’ high blue elephant in the box at right.

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Around The Town

Harold Prince RIP

BROADWAY THEATERS TO DIM LIGHTS WEDNESDAY, JULY 31, 2019AT 7:45 PM IN MEMORY OF BROADWAY LEGEND HAROLD PRINCE

July 31, 2019: The Broadway community mourns the loss of prolific producer, director, writer, and the individual recipient of the most Tony Awards® in multiple categories in history, Harold Prince, who passed away on July 31, 2019 at age 91. To commemorate his life and work, the Committee of Theater Owners will dim the lights of Broadway theaters in New York for one minute on Wednesday, July 31 at exactly 7:45pm

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Around The Town

2019-20 Broadway/Off-Broadway Updates

Mark Murphey, Jack Willis as LBJ and Peter Frechette in The Great Society at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Credit: Jenny Graham

By: David Sheward

July 28, 2019: Since the last update, new on and Off-Broadway productions for 2019-20 have been announced, plus several Off-Broadway theater companies have revealed their seasons. In the past including these theaters’ rosters has been a challenge since they seldom have booked specific opening dates, only the beginning of previews. In order to give as complete a calendar of the New York theater season as possible, starting preview dates are listed when no opening date has been announced.

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Reviews

Mojada **

Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, Socorro Santiago

“The Wetback Medea”

By: Samuel L. Leiter

July 28,2019: Mojada, at the Public, is the third play I’ve seen this week that deals with a serious topical issue with potentially explosive content. It’s also the third one that disappointingly fails to satisfactorily realize the emotional impact of its subject in theatrical terms. The others are the way she spoke and The Rolling Stone, the first dealing with the feminicides of Juárez, Mexico, the latter with homophobia in Uganda. 

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Reviews

Toni Stone ***1/2

The company of “Toni Stone”

By: Isa Goldberg

July 26, 2019: Soccer sheroes, the likes of Megan Rapinoe, are a loudly assertive presence. They’re defiant, and unafraid to make demands. In their pursuit of gender equality, and equal pay they’ve definitely got balls.

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