Reviews

Leopoldstadt *****

Faye Castelow and David Krumholtz.

By: David Sheward

January 8, 2023: The cast list to Tom Stoppard’s latest work, Leopoldstadt, is certainly intimidating. Multiple generations of a Jewish Viennese family, played by a small army of actors, sprawl across two pages. “How will I ever keep all these characters straight,?” I mused as scanned the program. Yes, the relationships and plotlines are incredibly intricate and difficult to follow, but that doesn’t matter. Stoppard, one of the greatest playwrights of the English-speaking theater, creates a narrative so powerful, intimate and touching that it’s okay if you don’t remember who is related or married to whom. In two intermissionless hours, Stoppard and director Patrick Marber take us on a harrowing journey from 1899 to 1955, paralleling the author’s own history of fleeing Hitler as a child, having the good fortune of his widowed mother marrying an Englishman, and then growing up in Great Britain. Stoppard, who was born in the Czech Republic, became more British than the Brits and had little connection with his Jewish heritage

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Around The Town

Jesus Christ Superstar

Ted Neeley, Cast Members, Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Film Adaptation of Rice and Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar ~ January 14

By: Ellis Nassour

January 7, 2023 – Co-star Ted Neeley and members of the cast of Norman Jewison’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film January 14 at the beautiful state-of-the art theatre of Trenton, NJ’s Villa Victoria Academy Performing Arts Center (376 W Upper Ferry Road, Ewing Township, NJ).

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Reviews

H.M.S. Pinafore *****

Finale Act II.

By: Paulanne Simmons

January 9, 2023: Tired of the busy, complicated life of the 21st century? Step into the colorful, Victorian world of Gilbert and Sullivan, where men are true, women are beautiful and virtuous, and love triumphs. This season The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players are presenting one of G&S’s most beloved operas, H.M.S. Pinafore, and the production is pure delight.

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Around The Town

Broadway Babe

Sondheim Old Friends

Broadway Babe’s Viewing finds include a BBC Stephen Sondheim concert from 2022 featuring a dazzling cast of stars from both sides of the pond.

January 8, 2023: Broadway Babe Randie Levine-Miller has unearthed some fun viewing finds….Broadway’s “42nd Street”; a recent BBC Stephen Sondheim concert; the press reel of the Tony Award winning, “City of Angels”; and an old “This Is Your Life” TV show, honoring Dinah Shore.

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Reviews

Between Riverside and Crazy ****

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, and Common.

By: Samuel L. Leiter

January 4, 2023: Sometimes there is an unplanned, serendipitous confluence between real-life events and a play, usually having nothing to do with a playwright’s intentions. I’m thinking of the relationship between Stephen Adly Guirgis’s passionate yet humorous Between Riverside and Crazy, about an intransigent man who refuses to compromise, and a passage in today’s Times describing the current political spectacle in which an ornery band of rightwing Republican Party congressmen and women is blocking the election of a Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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Reviews

Merrily We Roll Along ***1/2

Lindsay Mendez, Katie Rose Clarke, Jonathan Groff and Daniel Radcliffe.

By: Samuel L. Leiter

January 1, 2023: No song has ever captured the feeling of sheer, outrageous, ebullient joy at having created a successful Broadway show as vividly as the late Stephen Sondheim’s “It’s a Hit!,” from Merrily We Roll Along, his 1981 musical, which, for years, was itself anything but. With a book based by George Furth on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, which garnered only a modest 155 performances, the musical has long been a cult favorite of Sondheimaniacs.

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Around The Town

Patti LuPone @ 54 Below

Patti LuPone

Streaming tonight! Patti LuPone: Songs From a Hat LIVE from 54 Below

January 1, 2023: 54 Below will LIVE stream Patti LuPone’s New Year’s Day show at 8pm from the supper club on 54th Street. This is a chance to see Patti up close and unscripted. Her appearances at the intimate supper club have become legendary. The three-time Tony Award winning Icon will pull songs from a hat. There are some 45 songs or more in the hat, but there is no telling what will come out. The evening promises to be inspired improvisational artistry and much more. Tune in live from 54 Below for a never to be forgotten experience.

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Reviews

Downstate *****

Francis Guinan, Glenn Davis, Susanna Guzmán, Eddie Torres, and K. Todd Freeman.

By: David Sheward

December 31, 2022: Bruce Norris has already won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Clybourne Park, his clever contemporary twist on race derived from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. He is in line for more accolades for his latest searing and insightful play, Downstate, now at Playwrights Horizons after runs at London’s National Theater and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company. The subject matter is off-putting and challenging to say the least. But this skilled dramatist finds displays incredible compassion for his deeply troubled characters.

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Reviews

Death Of A Salesman *****

Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke.

By: David Sheward

December 30, 2022: In its last Broadway incarnation in 2012, Death of a Salesman was so close to the 1949 original that director Mike Nichols employed the same skeletal set design by Jo Mielziner. Willy Loman’s middle-class tragedy was as powerful as ever, proving the steely endurability of Arthur Miller’s timeless rendering of the hollow American Dream. Willy has nothing but illusions of fame and wealth as he ends his selling career with no savings and an uncrossable emotional gulf between him and his alienated sons Biff and Happy. At the time it seemed as if nothing more could be added to or wrung from Miller’s classic. But Miranda Cromwell’s vital staging led by a mostly African-American cast and now playing at the Hudson after a smash London run, finds new shocks and depths in a familiar favorite, highlighted by powerhouse performances by the stunning Wendell Pierce and the intense Sharon D Clarke.

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Around The Town

Park West Galleries

Park West Galleries opens in Soho with a 4,000 square foot space at 411 West Broadway.

December 22, 2022: Park West Galleries, one of the world’s largest art dealer, celebrated the opening of its new 4,000 square foot flagship gallery in SoHo at 411 West Broadway! Park West Gallery – Soho, the “art gallery for the people” opened with an eclectic cast of attendees, including artist Walter Robinson, art historian Carlo McCormick, and indie pop-star Madeline Follin from Cults. City Councilperson Eric Bottcher was there too!

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Gordin's View

Vanessa Williams @ 54 Below

Vanessa Williams

“54 Below “Diamond Series” featured Vanessa Williams in December.

December 16, 2022: The one and only Vanessa William, a recording artist with numerous hit songs and albums, was a luminous star at 54 Below as part of their “Diamond Series, December 13th-18th. The performer, who has also worked extensively in film, tv and even on Broadway frequently through her four-decade career took the stage, looking fit and glamorous, in an aquamarine sequined and feathered gown that matched her stunning eyes perfectly. The slit in her evening gown revealed sparkling spiked heels and a touch of leg. She was in excellent voice and her show, a robust mash of Holiday hits, with her dance hits, and songs from her albums and Broadway outings, was a constant delight. The songs are terrific, and her stories enhance her connection with the audience as she recreated memorable highlights from her illustrious four-decade career. She closed out the evening with one of her big hits, “Save the Best for Last.”

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Showstopper Divas Benefits Urban Stages

L-R: Teresa Fischer, Leslee Warren, Alice Levine, Robin Lyon, Randie Levine-Miller, Robin Gerson Wong, Susan Vardy

Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller, hosted Showstopper Divas, an Urban Stages Benefit, featuring “Tomatoes Got Talent” winners.

December 24, 2022:  On Saturday, December 17 Urban Stages Winter Rhythms Annual Series presented Randie Levine-Miller’s Showstopper Divas, a benefit for Urban States Outreach Program. The show, produced and hosted by Levine- Miller, featured winners and competitors from the annual “Tomatoes Got Talent” contest for women past 40. These women, once in show business, are over 40 and have transitioned to successful careers in other areas. However, their talents and desire to perform have not diminished as they demonstrated last Saturday. Paul Chamlin was musical director.

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Reviews

The Far Country **1/2

Whit K. Lee (Yip), Eric Yang (Moon Gyet), Ben Chase (Inspector) and Jinn S. Kim (Gee).

By: Samuel L. Leiter

December 21, 2022: California’s mid-19th-century gold rush sucked thousands of needy but adventurous foreign fortune seekers—Mexicans and Chileans, Australians, Frenchmen, and Chinese—into its gold mining maw, most of them welcomed at first. But the Americans soon turned xenophobic, denying the outsiders equal rights, with especially harsh reactions being visited upon the Chinese. They had to turn to other ways of survival, including laundry, cooking, and railroad labor, the latter especially evident in the great feat of joining the Central Pacific to the Union Pacific.

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Around The Town

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Matt De Rogatis as Brick

Maverick theatre group, Ruth Stage, announced the return engagement of their hit Cat On A Hot Tin Roof with TV star Courtney Henggler making her NYC stage debut as “Maggie the Cat” in the Williams classic starting February 24, 2023.

December 17, 2022:  Ruth Stage announced their provocative and controversial modern staging of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will return to New York City in early 2023, with TV star Courtney Henggler as “Maggie the Cat in the Tennessee Williams classic. The restaging with Henggeler will be the actress’ Off-Broadway and New York City stage debut.

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