Reviews

Reeve Carney – Killer Queen ****

Reeve Carney

By: Paulanne Simmons

February 29, 2024: The British rock band, Queen, was composed of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) and John Deacon (bass, vocals). So for any one singer to try to reproduce the band’s sound is quite a challenge. Fortunately, Reeve Carney has both the talent and technical skill to meet this challenge quite admirably.

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Reviews

The Ally ****

Josh Radnor, Madeline Weinstein, Cherise Boothe, and Michael Khalid Karadsheh.

By: Samuel L. Leiter

February 27, 2024: The Ally, a new play at the Public Theater by Itamar Moses, a Tony winner for the book of the musical The Band’s Visit (2018), is bitingly relevant and thought-provokingly gripping, but has its flaws. Among other things, it is, at a bit more than two hours and 35 minutes, perhaps 15 minutes longer than need be; its characters stretch credibility with their superior knowledge and articulateness; the dramatic premise sometimes seems more an artificial springboard than a convincing situation; and there’s a philosophically diffuse final scene, reportedly the third in a series of attempts at a suitable conclusion. Also, because its production was delayed by the pandemic, the play’s timeliness—it’s set in September and early October 2023—is notably affected by the absence of what, had it been included, would have forced a thorough rewrite. 

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Reviews

The Seven Year Disappear ***,The Connector ***

Taylor Trensch and Cynthia Nixon in “The Seven Year Disappear”.

By: David Sheward

February 26, 2024: Theatrical productions are like collaborative jigsaw puzzles. When the pieces—script, acting, direction, design, etc.—fit perfectly together, you have a genuine, amazing experience. But sometimes you get some extremely well-done and satisfying pieces, but they don’t quite line up or they are matched with lesser elements and the whole is less than scintillating. You walk out with a sense that something vital is missing, and you can’t put your finger on what was lacking. 

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Gordin's View

ChaShaMa

Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley.

Opening Night “Nothing to Wear,” an interactive art installation by Bonnie Comley, at ChaShaMa, 340 East 64th Street.

February 25, 2024: Bonnie Comley & ChaShaMa celebrated the Opening Night of their latest exhibit, “Nothing to Wear”, with a wine and light bite reception. “Nothing to Wear” is an interactive art installation that takes a provocative look at the fashion industry and its relationship to fast fashion and body image. Your closet is overflowing: Why do you feel you have nothing to wear?

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Around The Town

Awards Update: Lortels, Bistros, Macs Set Dates.

By: David Sheward

February 24, 2024: The 39th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards—honoring excellence in the Off-Broadway theater—will be handed out in the annual ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at 7PM at NYU Skirball. Special Award recipients for 2024 have also been announced. The Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support provided by TDF.

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Reviews

A Sign of the Times ***1/2

Crystal Lucas-Perry plays Tanya, and Chilina Kennedy plays Cindy,

By: Paulanne Simmons

February 23, 2024: The 1960s was a period of great political and social upheaval. It was also a time when some pretty good music was made. A Sign of the Times, with a book by Lindsey Hope Perlman, makes great use of both. 

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Around The Town

Sally Mayes

Sally Mayes

Now and Then/Jazz Standard Time

By: Alix Cohen

February 23, 2024: Sally Mayes erupts on stage in full clarion voice, all cylinders firing. “Cloudburst” (Hendricks/Kirkand/Harris) is gladiatorial in its rhythmic dexterity. The artist enunciates every tongue-twisting phrase while imbuing lyrics with vivid expression. A glass mountain for most vocalists, the song tells us with whom we’re dealing. She’s fearless.

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Around The Town

Broadway Babe

Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke.

Four Notable Nostalgic picks from Broadway Babe include Chita Rivera & Dick Van Dyke, together in 2006.

February 21, 2024:  Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller, has four notable nostalgic finds from yesteryear to share this week including: The original “Bye Bye Birdie” stars, Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke performing songs they did decades earlier; a show stopping event for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS saluting the 50th anniversary of “West Side Story”; the American Film Institute salute to Fred Astaire; and Ethel Merman and Dinah Shore performing together. This is a perfect group of videos to watch while staying indoors during the wintry weather.

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Gordin's View

Five Opens @ Theater 555

Anyae Anasia as Ivana, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez as Marla, Gabi Garcia as Stormy, Hanna Bonnett as Ivanka, Jamie Lyn Beatty as Melania,, and Jasmine Rice Labeija as Hillary Clinton.

FIVE: The Musical Parody, a WICKEDLY FUNNY tale, inspired by the former President opened at Theater 555 on 42nd Street.

February 20, 2024:  FIVE: The Musical Parody, which opened last night at Theater 555,recounts the stories of the women linked to our disgraced 45th President. The musical, directed and choreographed by Jen Wineman, is a wickedly funny romp that spoofs the Tony winning hit Broadway musical Six about the wives of King Henry VIII.  Set on a debate stage in Ronkonkoma, New York, The Donald’s three wives, Ivana, Marla, and Melania, one mistress, Stormy, and his only daughter, Ivanka, fight to be declared the winner of “Who really had it worst” with the fake president.  

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Reviews

I Love You So Much I Could Die **1/2

Mona Pirnot

By: Samuel L. Leiter

February 18, 2024: On Thursday, a day after seeing Corinne Jaber’s Munich Medea: Happy Family at the WP Theatre, I wrote about my disappointment at its being entirely written for three actors who ignore dialogue in favor of delivering expository monologues. However, on Thursday night, I was even more put off by Mona Pirnot’s similarly undramatic use of monologues in I Love You So Much I Could Die, at the New York Theatre Workshop. 

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HamptonsLife - At the Galleries

Southampton Arts Center

LIVE: LOOK AT THE BOOK Opening Reception @ SAC Saturday, February 24/5pm

February 17, 2024:  Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, will host an opening reception for LOOK AT THE BOOK on Saturday, February 24th @5pm.  Curated by Christina M. Strassfield LOOK AT THE BOOK Is a multimedia exhibition that pays homage to “Books.” The exhibition will focus on how contemporary artists have engaged with the book as a surface, structure, found object, philosophical, and literary guide. The works will include various types of books, accordion books, video books and audiobooks, graphic novels, sculpture, photography, and several site-specific installations created with and from books.

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Reviews

Munich Medea: Happy Family ***

Heather Raffo

By: Samuel L. Leiter

February 16, 2024: Like Corinne Jaber, whose first play this is, Alice, the heroine of Munich Medea: Happy Family (at the WP Theatre, coproduced with Playco),is a Syrian-German born in Munich and raised in Canada and Germany. As a girl, Alice (played by Iraqi-American Heather Raffo), whose father hitchhiked from Syria and whose mother came from East Germany, faced identity issues when other Germans had difficulties accepting her as one of them. Once, when her German-language abilities were questioned, she shot back with, “I was born in Germany and went to school here you fucking moron. I’ve probably read more Goethe than you ever will.” 

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Around The Town

Christine Jorgensen

Mark Nadler and Jesse James Keitel.

By: Alix Cohen

Background: Who Was Christine Jorgensen?
“We didn’t start the sexual revolution, but I think we gave it a good kick in the pants!” Christine Jorgensen

February 15, 2024: George W. Jorgensen, Jr., aka Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989), was assigned male at birth, but self identified as a female. In her late 20s, she became aware of medical sex reassignment, began taking estrogen, then followed up with hormone replacement therapy in Denmark. Her parents were Danish. It was easy to mask the trip as a family visit. Operations in Scandinavia and the United States completed transition. “Remember the shy, miserable person who left America? Well, that person is no more,” she wrote friends. “You have lost a son, but gained somebody new,” she told her parents. The Jorgensens were supportive.

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Reviews

Appropriate ****1/2

Sarah Paulson (left) and Elle Fanning.

By: Isa Goldberg

February 14, 2024: Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins deals in the lexicon of racism that speaks to our American heritage.

His earlier, Obie Award-winning Octaroon, is a farcical send off to the slaves of a foreclosed plantation. In that play, their inheritance is their dispossession. It’s just what they’ve always been.

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Around The Town

Broadway Update

Michael Esper, Corey Stoll and Sarah Paulsen in “Appropriate”. Credit: Joan Marcus

Appropriate Moves; News of Kristin Chenoweth, Amy Ryan, etc.

By: David Sheward

February 13, 2024: The Second Stage revival of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate will be moving from the Hayes Theater (to make room for Paula Vogel’s Mother Play) to a limited run at the now-vacant Belasco Theater (after How to Dance in Ohio closed) from March 25 to June 23. The entire company will repeating their roles, except for Elle Fanning who has a scheduling conflict. Her replacement for the role of River will be announced in the coming weeks. The transfer will increase the play’s chances at the Tony Awards. There still has not been a ruling if the production is a revival or a new play since the work was previously seen Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater in 2014 where it won an Obie Award. The Tonys only consider Broadway shows.

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