Reviews

My Very Own British Invasion ***

Paper Mill Playhouse Presents World Premiere of Rick Elice’s My Very Own British Invasion, Based on the Life of Herman Hermit’s Peter Noone

By Ellis Nassour

February 11, 2019: Paper Mill Playhouse(Milburn, NJ) is presenting the world premiere of My Very Own British Invasion, through March 3. Billed as “a musical fable of rock n’ love,” the book is by two-time Tony nominee Rick Elice(Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher), currently represented on Broadway with The Cher Show,  loosely based on the life of Herman Hermits’ vocalist/guitarist Peter Noone. Direction and choreography are by two-time Tony winner (choreography) Jerry Mitchell(Kinky Boots, 2005 La Cage aux Folles), recipient of eight nominations (including one for Hairspray).

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Reviews

To Kill a Mockingbird **1/2

Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

By: Paulanne Simmons

February 11, 2019: Even before its official opening on Dec. 13, To Kill a Mockingbird may have been the most talked about show on Broadway. Not only is the play based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that was the inspiration for the 1962 film starring Gregory Peck; the production was almost derailed by what The New York Times called “a blistering pair of federal lawsuits.” Harper Lee’s estate was concerned over changes playwright Aaron Sorkin made to several of the characters: Atticus Finch; his children Scout and Jem; and the family housekeeper, Calpurnia.

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Around The Town

Westminster Dog Show

The dogs take over Madison Square Garden for two nights.

February 11, 2019: On Monday evening competition at the143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show moved from Pier 92 & Pier 94, where the preliminary breed competition is held, to Madison Square Garden, where the group competition began at 7pm. In total 2800 dogs compete in seven groups. Monday evening was the Hounds, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding groups, which will be followed on Tuesday by Sporting, Working and Terrier groups. On Tuesday the seven group winners will compete for the coveted title of Best in Show at Westminster.

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Reviews

The Light **1/2

Mandi Madsen, McKinley Belcher III

By: Samuel L. Leiter

February 10, 2019: The grand opening of the MCC’s beautiful new, state-of-the art, two-theatre complex—the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space—gives what was once a quiet stretch of Hell’s Kitchen real estate yet another reason to celebrate as a growing theatrical/cultural center. Bunched together on W. 52nd and W. 53rd Streets near Tenth Avenue we now have the MCC, A.R.T./New York Theaters, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, INTAR, and Ars Nova. And just a short distance away, on W. 51st Street, there’s the Irish Arts Center, which sometimes stages plays, and is running a capital campaign for a new building on Eleventh Avenue. 

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Around The Town

Westminster Agility 2019

Border Collie, Verb, takes top prize at Agility Championship.

February 10, 2019: Border Collies dominated on Saturday at the 6th Annual Westminster Agility Championships presented by Purina Pro Plan.  Not only did Verb, a Border Collie, take the top prize, along with winning the 20” category, Pink, another Border Collie, won the 16” category with a narrow victory over Boss. 

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Features

Bye Bye Birdie

on BroadwayHD

February 7, 2019– It’s time to put on a happy face because BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, is bringing the 1995 Star-Studded TV adaptation of the delightful Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie to its platform on February 7.  This Emmy Award nominated musical comedy directed by Tony Award-winner Gene Saks (The Odd Couple) is supported by an all-star cast featuring Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), and Chynna Phillips (Bridesmaids).  

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Reviews

Maestro **1/2

John Noble

By: David Sheward

February 7, 2019: The life of Arturo Toscanini, perhaps the greatest conductor of the 20th century, would make a fascinating drama. In addition to collaborating with all the top names of the music world in his decades-long career, he bravely took a stance against fascism in his native Italy and in Nazi Germany, leaving Europe in the late 1930s to lead the NBC Orchestra and bring the classics into millions of American homes over the radiowaves. Plus a recent discovery of a cache of letters offers a glimpse into his intimate life, particularly a long-term affair with the pianist Ada Colleone Mainardi. Unfortunately, Maestro, a strange combination of solo show and concert presented by Ensemble for the Romantic Century, is not that work. 

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Reviews

True West ****

Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano

By: David Sheward

February 4, 2019: Sam Shepard’s True West is on the long list of American classics stars salivate to be cast in. Like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and A Streetcar Named Desire, this oft-produced slam-bang symbolic brother act affords the opportunity for actors to prove their dramatic chops by thrashing the scenery as well as chewing it. The new Roundabout Theatre Company revival is a blazing hot showcase for a mature, but still dangerous Ethan Hawke and a subtly intense Paul Dano with insightful, soulful direction from James Macdonald. 

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Features

Diana Ross

Diana Ross’ Diamond Jubilee!  Are You Ready?

By: Fred Rimando

February 6, 2019: You Can’t Hurry Love.  Fans have been waiting for this date ever since Diana Ross first announced her February residency last November.  Tonight, Diana Ross takes the stage at the Wynn Encore Theater in Las Vegas for the first of 9 nights; spreaded out over the next three weeks.

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Reviews

Night of the Living Dead! The Musical ***1/2

Jamie Cepero & Meg Lanzarone

By: Paulanne Simmons

February 4, 2019: George A. Romero and John Russo’s classic horror Film, Night of the Living Dead, cost $114,000 to shoot, grossed $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally, led to five subsequent films, and inspired two remakes. The film entered the public domain when the original distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, erroneously removed the copyright statements from the prints.

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Reviews

Nassim ***1/2

Nassim Soleimanpour in “Nassim”

By: Isa Goldberg

February 3, 2019: In Nassim, the actor faces the challenge of performing a play they have not read, and which is written primarily, in Farsi. There are no rehearsals, and the staging is minimal. For the actor this must be like landing on a dangerously deserted island, as in the reality TV series, Survivor.

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Reviews

To Kill A Mockingbird ****

Jeff Daniels

By: Isa Goldberg

February 3, 2019: Black Lives Matter carries its torch in this year’s Oscar nominations with nods to Black Klansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Green Book, among them. On the stage, American Son and To Kill A Mockingbird also bring to light the senseless and wrongful incarceration of African-American men. 

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Reviews

Colin Quinn Red State Blue State ****1/2

Colin Quinn

ALL OVER THE MAP: COLIN QUINN RED STATE BLUE STATE

By: Samuel L. Leiter

January 25, 2019: I have to admit to being a Colin Quinn novice, not having seen this actor-comedian’s previous New York shows, most recently 2015’s well-received Colin Quinn: The New York Story (directed by someone named Jerry Seinfeld). I must have been in a bubble because I don’t believe I caught much of his extensive TV work either, not even his gig on SNL (which I only returned to once Alec Baldwin began doing Donald Trump). I’ve surely seen him on shows like Girls, though, and I know I caught him in the Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck because this YouTube video kickstarted my memory.

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Features

The Sound of Music Live

Broadway HD

January 31, 2019: The more you see it, the more it becomes one of your favorite things! Since making its Broadway debut in 1959, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s perennial classic has been embraced by audiences around the globe.  Now, in celebration of its 60th anniversary, THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE, an ambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc, will be released on BroadwayHD on January 31.  

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