Reviews

Belfast Girls ***

Aida Leventaki and Caroline Strange

By: Samuel L. Leiter

June 3, 2022: History can be a hard taskmaster when it comes to writing plays about it. You have to draw a fine line between the historical facts, even when you have to alter them for dramatic purposes, and the human story you tell within those circumstances. Anachronisms will inevitably crop up, but you must at least make it seem likely that people might have used such language, or done such things. And, of course, the history you’re writing about should have something powerful to say for a modern audience. 

Read more >

Around The Town

BroadwayHD

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert 1994

Celebrate Pride Month With BroadwayHD

June 1, 2022: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert- June 1- The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a 1994 Australian road comedy film written and directed by Stephan Elliott. The plot follows two drag queens and a transgender woman as they journey across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a tour bus that they have named “Priscilla,” encountering various groups and individuals along the way.

Read more >

Around The Town

2022 Theater Awards Roundup

By: David Sheward

May 30, 2022: The past few weeks have been a crazed marathon of theater awards, from the Tony and Drama Desk nominations, to the New York Drama Critics Circle voting to the announcement of the winners of the Outer Critics Circle. COVID has caused delays and postponements for announcement dates, so that many of these events were smashed close together. There were also the winners and nominees for the Lortel Awards (for Off-Broadway), the Theater World honorees (for performers making their on or Off-Broadway debut), and the Chita Rivera nominees (for top dancers).

Read more >

Around The Town

Theatre World Awards

Theatre World Awards, Honoring Broadway/Off Broadway Debuts June 6

By Ellis Nassour

May 31, 2022: The 76th annual Theatre World Awards (TWA) is one of the most anticipated events of theater season’s end – and one of immense joy as actors – young to older – making their Broadway debuts are honored for their standout performances. In what has become an often touching tradition, 12 previous winners serve as presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share tales rarely heard.

Read more >

Photos

Outer Critics Circle Awards 2022

David Gordon, Felicia Pollack

71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, Commemorating the 2021-2022 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. May 26, 2022: Photography: Joseph Marzullo

Read more >

Around The Town

2022 Drama Desk Nominations

May 16, 2022: Nominations for the 66th AnnualDrama Desk Awards were announced today, and the full list of nominees is available below.

In keeping with the Drama Desk‘s mission, the nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway during the 2021-2022 New York theater season, that the Drama Desk determined ended as of May 1, 2022. Only live performances were eligible – if performances were also available for streaming, 21 or more unique live performances were required. 

Read more >

Around The Town

Broadway Update

The Encores! staging of “Into the Woods” will transfer to Broadway. Credit: Joan Marcus

B’way Update: Into the Woods; OCC Ceremony

By: David Sheward

May 30, 2022: When I went to see Golden Shield at Manhattan Theater Club’s City Center Off-Broadway space, I had to stand in line with attendees for the Encores! production of Sondheim and Lapine’s Into the Woods. The line went around the block and I was worried about missing my curtain (I didn’t). Well, that immensely popular staging of the 1987 fairy-tale musical by Lear de Bessonet, Encores’ artistic director, will by transferring to a limited run on Broadway at the St. James Theater, with previews starting June 28 for a July 10 opening. 

Read more >

Around The Town

Outer Critics Circle Award Winners

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE 71ST ANNUAL  OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS COMMEMORATING THE 2021-22  BROADWAY & OFF-BROADWAY SEASON

The Lehman Trilogy Leads with 6 Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play, followed by the Off-Broadway musical Kimberly Akimbo with 4 Wins

May 17, 2022:  The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, is pleased to announce the winners of the 71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2021-2022 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. 

Read more >

Around The Town

A Case for the Existence of God

Will Brill and Kyle Beltran

Five Reasons Why We Make A Case for the Existence of God

By: Iris Wiener

            May 29, 2022: If you can get past the complex title of this astute play, you will experience a powerful piece of theater that speaks so eloquently to the essence of humanity. The show’s run at the Signature Theatre has already been extended a few times with good reason. Sam D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God takes place in a cubicle in Southern Idaho and follows two men who come together in surprising ways. Here are five reasons why you don’t want to miss it before it closes on June 5th:

Read more >

Reviews

Wish You Were Here ***1/2

Marjan Neshat, Roxanna Hope Radja (in white dress), Nazanin Nour (behind her), Artemis Pebdani, Nikki Massoud

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 24, 2022: Remember the postman’s motto?  “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.” These words could be paraphrased for actors, but they already have a classic phrase of their own: “The show must go on.” That concept has been sorely tested in recent months, with the unforgiving onslaught of Covid, although it was the flu that caused Billy Crystal to take a brief break from Mr. Saturday Night. When shows weren’t outright canceled or postponed because of outbreaks, they went on with understudies, some considered even better than those they replaced. But of all my recent encounters with replacement performers, the most unusual was at Sunday’s matinee of Sanaz Toosi’s Wish You Were Here at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Read more >

Around The Town

Tony Awards

Strange Loop tops list with 11 nominations, followed by MJ and Paradise Square with 10 each. The Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 12th

May 9, 2022:  Nominations in 26 competitive categories for the American Theatre Wing’s 75th Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® were announced today by Tony Award-winner Adrienne Warren and three-time Tony Nominee Joshua Henry. The 2022 Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The list of nominations follows below. The Tony Awards mark 75 years of excellence on Broadway and will be hosted by Ariana DeBose, LIVE from the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 12, 2022 (8:00 – 11:00 PM, LIVE ET/5:00 – 8:00 PM, LIVE PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+. The celebration will commence at 7:00-8:00 PM, ET/4:00-5:00 PM, PT with exclusive content streaming only on Paramount+.

Read more >

Around The Town

American Buffalo

Laurence Fishburne, Darren Criss, Sam Rockwell

5 Reasons Why American Buffalo Has Lost its Luster

By: Iris Wiener

            May 23, 2022: David Mamet’s work is notably controversial and quite often meant to rile up liberal audiences. His characters’ dialogue is famously riddled with harsh, quick profanity, and holds its viewers’ attention at every turn. With the Broadway revival of American Buffalo now playing at Circle in the Square Theatre, this reviewer saw very little of either of these traits. In fact, she felt very little of anything. The play concerns three small-time hustlers who want a bigger cut of the American dream. It premiered on Broadway in 1977, receiving the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play, and has since been revived a number of times, yet one can’t help but question its appeal. This is this critic’s first time experiencing American Buffalo, and here are five reasons as to why this will most likely be her last: 

Read more >

Around The Town

Broadway Update

Neil Diamond is the latest pop artist to get the jukebox musical treatment

Broadway Update: Beautiful Noise, Kimberly, Mask Mandates, Etc.

By: David Sheward

May 22, 2022: As the 2021-22 Broadway season comes to a close, 2022-23 is taking shape. A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical joins the handful of shows with firm dates and a theater. The bio musical about the 81-year-old singer-songwriter will play Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theater for a six-week run starting June 21 and then start previews at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater on Nov. 2 prior to a Dec. 4 opening. The score will be composed of Diamond’s hits including “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Song Sung Blues,” and “Cracklin’ Rose.” The book will be by Anthony McCarten, Oscar-nominated screenwriter for The Two Popes and The Theory of Everything. Tony winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) directs. Mayer has also staged such jukebox musicals as Swept Away, Head Over Heels, and American Idiot. Diamond will be played in Boston by Will Swenson, seen most recently in the CSC revival of Assassins. Casting for Broadway will be announced.

Read more >

Around The Town

Paradise Square

Chilina Kennedy as Annie Lewis, Joaquina Kalukango as Nelly O’Brien and Company.

5 Reasons Why Paradise Square is Worth a Visit

By: Iris Wiener

            May 24, 2022: Paradise Square is the important piece that we don’t see often these days: a great, period musical that teaches its audiences about a poignant slice of history. Set during the Civil War in the Five Points district of lower New York, where Irish immigrants shared space with free, but poor, Black citizens in places like gambling houses and bars, the story is centered on Nelly O’Brien (Joaquina Kalukango) who runs her own taproom. Audiences are introduced to her interracial family, which includes her white husband (an Irish police officer), and her fast-talking sister-in-law who is married to a Black reverend. He also shelters runaway slaves in search of freedom via the Underground Railroad. Got all that? Despite its mostly forgettable music, confusing premise and lackluster book by Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan (not to mention an unnecessarily long run time), audiences will get on board quickly, as the story is sweeping. Though the show certainly isn’t perfect, here are our favorite reasons to give Paradise Square a chance:

Read more >