Features

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s Long-awaited Film Adaptation of West Side Story Finally Arrives.

By: Ellis Nassour

December 9, 2021: As we waited for the COVID-19-delayed adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s vision of West Side Story, with screenplay by Pulitzer and Tony winner Tony Kushner, questions were raised about whether there was a reason to mess with a classic and vastly popular film; and if, indeed, there even needed to be a new WSS.

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Reviews

Mrs. Doubtfire ***

Rob McClure (Daniel Hillard as Euphegenia Doubtfire)

By: Paulanne Simmons

December 13, 2021: Mrs. Doubtfire, the New Musical that opened Dec. 5 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, has something for everyone. There’s rap for the younger set, old-fashioned humor for their parents and even a puppet show for the little kids. It also has direction by Broadway veteran Jerry Zaks and costume design by the formidable Catherine Zuber. But if the score by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick is a bit all over the place, the book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell sticks mostly to the 1993 film (with some attempts to bring the show into the 21st century). And that’s where Mrs Doubtfire gets into trouble.

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Gordin's View

The York Theatre

Curtain Call – Victoria Byrd, Jeremy Benton, Melanie Moore, Phillip Attmore, Kaitlyn Davidson, Joseph Medeiros

Cheek To Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood opens at The York at Theatre at St. Jean’s on 76th Street.

December 3, 2021:  Cheek To Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood, an insightful song and dance celebration featuring the music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin opened at The York Theatre Company’s temporary home at the Theater at St. Jeans on East 76th Street for a limited engagement through January 2, 2022. This world premiere, produced in association with Riki Kane Larimer,  is The York’s first mainstage production since the pandemic began in March 2020 and the flood which forced them from their home of 30 years at St. Peter’s Theater in January 2021.  

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Around The Town

Jamie deRoy & Friends

Jamie deRoy & Friends

Jamie deRoy & Friends returns to Birdland with Donna McKechnie, Stephen Flaherty and more.

December 7, 2021:  Jamie deRoy & Friends is back at Birdland, 344 West 44th Street, with her first show since the pandemic began. This past Monday Jamie took the stage at 7pm and life felt normal again, well almost. We are definitely getting there. Jamie brought her good friends, Donna McKechnie, Stephen Flaherty, Jelani Alladin, Ali Ewolt, Cory Kahaney, and Mauricio Martinez to the  Birdland Jazz Club  The show was directed by Jamie’s longtime collaborator, Barry Kleinbort, and musical direction was by another longtime collaborator, Ron Abel.  Ritt Henn was on the bass and Ray Marchica was on the drums. Proceeds from the evening benefitted The Actors Fund: Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative. BRAVO Jamie

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Hamptons Life

ARF

Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons Holiday Celebration, MERRY MADOO AND ARF, TOO @ Madoo Conservancy Saturday, December 11th 10am to 4pm.

December 9 2021: The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Inc. (ARF) and Madoo Conservancy will be hosting their joint community-wide holiday celebration, “Merry Madoo and ARF, Too,” on Saturday, December 11 from 10am-4pm for a day of local shopping and holiday cheer.

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Reviews

Clydes ***1/2

By: David Sheward

December 4, 2021: Though it’s called Clyde’s and a photo of a devilishly grinning Uzo Aduba (Emmy winner for Orange Is the New Black) in the title role is on the Playbill cover, she is not the focus of Lynn Nottage’s funny and moving new play. Clyde is the tyrannical proprietor of a truck-stop sandwich shop in rural Pennsylvania and though she sizzles and scalds the stage whenever Aduba explodes into Takeshi Kata’s superbly detailed kitchen set, costumed by Jennifer Moeller in an outrageously flashy wardrobe, the center of the play is Clyde’s staff of four ex-cons.

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Reviews

The Visitor ***1/2

David Hyde Pierce, Ahmad Maksoud

By: Paulanne Simmons

December 6, 2021: The Visitor, The Public Theater’s new musical by Kwame Kwei-Armah (book), Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics) and Tom Kitt (music), based on Thomas McCarthy’s 2008 film, has been roundly dismissed by theater critics. Reviewers have found fault with “the clunkiest exposition” or “Tom Kitt’s middling score” or even the direction of a veteran favorite, Daniel Sullivan. 

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Around The Town

BroadwayHD

Classic movie musicals including The Phantom of the Opera & The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and more come to BroadwayHD in December.

December 4, 2021:  Tis the season for great theater! BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming service for theater fans, is welcoming an exciting new lineup of classic movie musicals this month that every theater fan will love.  Starting December 1, the 2004 movie The Phantom of the Opera, starring Gerard Butler in the title role, and Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae will make its way to the library.  Cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which follows a group of drag queens as they journey across the Australian Outback, starring Terance Stamp and Guy Pearce, will join the platform on December 9.  Then on December 28, William Shatner Gonzo Ballet, a unique production by award winning choreographer Margo Sappington set to the music of William Shatner and Ben Folds from their album, Has Been, joins the platform.  Theater lovers can get their fix of Broadway royalty Liza Minnelli on New Year’s Eve, as two filmed concerts Liza with a Z and Liza in New Orleans make their debut on December 31.  

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Reviews

Cullud Wattah ***1/2

The Company of Cullud Wattah

By: David Sheward

November 28, 2021: Though it takes place five years ago on the brink of the incoming Trump administration, few plays are as of the present moment as Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s Cullud Wattah, now at the Public Theater. The poetic and political play depicts the devastating impact of the Flint, Michigan water crisis on a three-generation family of African-American women. The crisis continues right up until the final curtain when the actresses directly address the audience to inform us that as of the date of the performance attended, Flint has not had potable water for 2,769 days. The lights come up, the cast exits without a curtain call and we are left with the staggering truth. 

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Around The Town

Thoughts and Memories of Stephen Sondheim, 1930-2021

Stephen Sondheim Credit: Erika Kapin Photography

By: David Sheward

November 27, 2021: On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I were driving back from Philadelphia  after a visit to my mother. For some unknown reason, I got the urge to listen to Sondheim. We had not been listening to the radio news, so I didn’t know about his death. I punched his name into the Spotify search engine we heard “A Little Priest,” “Another Hundred People,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “The Miller’s Son,” “Hello, Little Girl,” and “Now You Know.” A loving and unexpected tribute to the greatest musical theater writer of the 20th century. Then we got home, I opened my computer and got the shocking news.

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Around The Town

ACA Galleries

GRACE HARITGAN & LARRY RIVERS: The Poetry of Painting on view through January 29, 2022.

November 27, 2021: ACA Galleries, 529 West 20th Street, in the Gallery District announced a two–person exhibition featuring artworks by Larry Rivers and Grace Hartigan. The exhibition, The Poetry of Painting, is on view at ACA Galleries through January 29, 2022. Widely regarded as two of the most important members of the New York School, the friendship and artistic parallels between Grace Hartigan and Larry Rivers are often overlooked.

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Reviews

The Alchemist ***1/2

Reg Rogers (Subtle), Jennifer Sanchez (Dol), Manoel Felciano (Face)

By: Alix Cohen

November 25, 2021: Ben Jonson wrote The Alchemist in 1610 when London theaters were closed for two years during the plague. Sound familiar? Samuel Coleridge called it “one of the three most perfect plots ever planned.” (The other two were Oedipus and Tom Jones) Its freewheeling comic nature finds the play repeatedly revived. Who doesn’t enjoy the cleverness and comeuppance of resourceful con men?

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Reviews

Trouble In Mind ***

Brandon Micheal Hall, LaChanze, ChuckCooper

By: Samuel L. Leiter

November 24, 2021: When Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind was produced at Off Broadway’s Greenwich Mews Theatre in November 1955, it received a brief but positive review in the New York Times. The critic (a stringer signed A.G.) noted that it was “A fresh, lively and cutting satire” about “the foibles and crotches, the humor and pathos of backstage life in the type of Broadway production that utilizes a predominantly Negro cast.” 

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Reviews

Man Of La Mancha *****

Bruce Rebold and Tony Castellanos as Quiixote and Sancho.

By: Samuel L. Leiter

November 22, 2021: Before I say another word, let me spill out my gut reaction to the revival of Man of La Mancha that just opened at Plaza Broadway Long Island’s theatre in Elmont, Nassau County’s only Equity company. I have a few quibbles, as expected, but cumulatively, it’s a great show that entertains you, moves you, and makes you think about how to be a better person. The music remains marvelous, and the actor playing Cervantes/Don Quixote, Bruce Rebold, is superb. 

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Reviews

Morning’s At Seven ***1/2

Alley Mills, Lindsay Crouse, Patty McCormack, Alma Cuervo 

By:  Isa Goldberg 

November 21, 2021: Reviving “Morning’s at Seven”, Paul Osborn’s old chestnut of a comedy, is the stuff we reserve for Olympians, such as this impressive cast from The Peccadillo Theater Company. While it is rife with clichés about family life and maturing, Dan Wackerman’s revival highlights the contemporary nature of these dysfunctional families as well as their sexual values. In a certain sense, these Midwestern folks are more contemporary than we would imagine of people in the 1920s, the period in which the play is set.  

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