"HOW TO SUCCEED" is dated satire
I loved it in 1961 and thought it was ok in 1995, but after 50 years it seems tame and even a little foolish, despite the still fine Frank Loesser score and a lively production. It proves that satire dates quickly and shows like this are very much tied to their time periods. Still, the score is classic, and theshow is fun if you arent to fussy.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Saturday, Jun 11th, 2011
RE:A DELIGHTFUL REVUE
This is a totally delightful overview of Mr. Sondheims work up untill he wrote "Sweeney Todd" and it is wonderfully well performed by three engaging actors and two talented musicians. A wonderfully tuneful and engaging evening.
Side By Side By Sondheim on Tuesday, Jun 7th, 2011
RE:AS POWERFUL AS EVER
I loved it in1985 it is still heartbreakingly powerful in this first Broadway showing. Acted, directed and designed to perfection this play is as timly as ever. This is a whale of an evening. Go see it.
The Normal Heart on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
A RESPECTABLE NEW WORK
While it is slow getting started this is always interesting and very well done. Not a classic perhaps but worth doing.
Séance on a Wet Afternoon on Sunday, Apr 24th, 2011
RE:"JERUSALEM" IS STUNNING
This is the peak of the season. A brillant play with beautiful staging, and a titanic performance by Mark Rylance who joins the ranks of the worlds great actors. His performance will be talked about fheatre.or years. Magnificent t
Jerusalem on Sunday, Apr 24th, 2011
A TOPFLIGHT "ARCADIA"
This is an elegent producion of a brilliant and sometimes masterful play.It does require complete attention from the theatregoer, but for those willing to think, this is a fine production of a masterful play.
Arcadia on Friday, Apr 22nd, 2011
AN UNEVEN "WONDERLAND"
This show has so much that is good in it that its too bad it does not work. The songs if not memorable are melodic and proves that melody on Broadway is still possable. The problem is that yhe books indisision weather to be funny or serious splits the show to such a degree that it winds up being neither. The cast is attractive and the visuals are first rate. The staging is little more than routine but the pluses in the show may be enough to make it worth seeing.
Wonderland on Monday, Apr 18th, 2011
A lively and tuneful revival
This is the feel good show of the season and in it Sutton Foster emerges as a first class ticket selling star. Joel Grey is wonderful and everyone is at the top of their game. Kathleen Marshalls staging is first rate and her choreography is a clean knockout. I had a great time.
Anything Goes on Sunday, Apr 17th, 2011
RE:A charming and tuneful "Charley"
While it was not well reviewed origianally, it was a big hit and became a successful film as well. The book was never very good but the score is charming and filled with excellent songs. First rate singing and dancing and very well staged, and its a joy to hear the score with the original orchestrations which are wonderful. All in all ,a real treat.
Where's Charley on Monday, Mar 21st, 2011
AN ENCHANTING "EARNEST"
This is an absolutly enchanting production that makes this 1895 comedy of manners seem as fresh as a daisy. Wonderfully staged and stunningly designed and beautifully acted, this is a pleasure to see and hear. Very much worth seeing.
The Importance of Being Earnest on Friday, Feb 11th, 2011
RE:AN UNEVEN "STARS"
I saw the original production at a very young age and have fond if distant memories of it. Have seen other productions as well and have always loved it. The Encores production is nothing special but it has some fine moments in it. It was good to hear one of the theatres most beautiful scores played with the original orchestrations. A mixed blessing but but good to see again.
Lost in the Stars on Sunday, Feb 6th, 2011
"MILK TRAIN" ALMOST WORKS
While it is still the prentious bore it was 48 years ago, I overlooked that because the production was wonderful. Director Michael Wilson has delivered a beautifully acted and designed production with Olympia Dukakis beyond great in the marathon sized title role. Static in the extreme, it is still worth seeing because of the productions excellences.
The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore on Saturday, Feb 5th, 2011
A MOST IRRITATING " PLAYGROUND"
This show gave me one of the most irritating theatre evenings I have had in years. It was hard to judge the two actors performances because their characters were so obnoxious. A most difficult and unprofitable play to sit thru.
Gruesome Playground Injuries on Tuesday, Feb 1st, 2011
A DULL, OVERWRITTEN PLAY
This play had a colorful background and alot of potential,but it is so overwritten and overproduced that it winds up drowning in its excesses.In its attempt to be vibrant it winds up being just plain dull.
A Free Man of Color on Monday, Jan 10th, 2011
A FLAT AND UNPROFATABLE "ARCHIVE"
While this comedy about what non-communication can do has a solid story line and a good idea behind it, it never manages to engage its audience and for that reason the play was[for me at any rate] an unfocused and unsatisfying evening.The script was almost totally lacking in humor and together with an uncertain production made for an unfocused and unsatisfying eveninng.
The Language Archive on Wednesday, Dec 15th, 2010
"ENCOUNTER" IS MAGICAL THEATRE
This is truly magical theatre, so brilliantly staged and acted that the total effect is close to genius. I loved it in Brooklyn last year and loved it all over again in it;s Broadway transfer. It still provides one of the best evenings Broadway has to offer. Dont miss it.
Brief Encounter on Friday, Dec 10th, 2010
A SUBLIME "MERCHANT"
This is a splendid production, perfectly directed by Daniel Sullivan and accted by a pitch-perfect cast. Al Pacino is fine and sometimes wonderful as Shylock the moneylender and Lily Rabe is enchanting as Portia. She is capable of lightingup any stage she appears on. This is truly superb theatre, a true oasis in a drab theatre season.
The Merchant of Venice on Friday, Dec 10th, 2010
"THE PITMEN PAINTERS" IS SUPERB
This is as satisfying a theatre evening as you could ask for. Maybe short on action but full of richly drawn characters and situations. Superb acting and direction all around. It is a wonderfully rewarding play. Well worth seeing.
The Pitmen Painters on Sunday, Dec 5th, 2010
Good in a club-unsubstantial fare for Broadway
The very talented Colin Quinn and his solo act are frequently very funny, this type of thing is really better suited to a comedy club then a Broadway theatre.His rapid-fire history lesson is rather unsubstantial in a Broadway theatre at a 98 dollar top ticket price in these hard economic times.
Colin Quinn: Long Story Short on Sunday, Dec 5th, 2010
"WOMEN " MISSES THE MARK
This show has all the externals to be freshly original, but the book is so lacking in the wit and quirky humor of the classic movie that it is almost disasterous and the songs are so devoid of melody or style that no one in the talented cast could possably put them over. It ends up being a low point of a dismal season[so far] on Broadway.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown on Wednesday, Dec 1st, 2010
SPIRIT CONTROL IS A BOTCH
This play has the basis for a good crackling drama, but after an excellent start it goes off in so many directions and becomes so confusing that the total effect is almost disasterous. Add to this stock direction and lower case acting and the whole thing becomes a well meaning but practical botch.
Spirit Control on Sunday, Nov 28th, 2010
"ELLING "IS A CHARMER
It,s too bad that more people wont get to see this sweet, charming and funny play as the closing notice is already up.It is well staged an beautifully acted all around. I had a fine time at it and lonly wish its ultimate Broadway fate could have been happier.
Elling on Sunday, Nov 28th, 2010
"BELLS ARE RINGING" IS DATED BUT TUNEFUL
I saw the original production of this show in the 50s when I was 13 years old and loved every munite of it, so even if the book is dated and the cast cant begin to compare to the original, the score still sounds wonderful, especially in the great original orchestrations. On the whole, worth doing again.
Bells Are Ringing on Sunday, Nov 21st, 2010
RE:"A QUIET PLACE "does not work
Even with an often lovely Bernstein score, this is a heavy and ponderous opera with no emotional pull or connection for an audience. Underdirected and only fairly well sung the whole evening left me as cold as a penguins toes.
A Quiet Place on Wednesday, Nov 17th, 2010
A RATHER ANEMIC "THEATRE"
It must have worked well in a 299 seat theatre in Greenwich Village but in a standard [1000 seat] Broadway house it seems very much out of place. Its seemed more of a skech than a play even with excellent performances by Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight the whole thing seemed underdeveloped and unsatisfying and lost on a big Broadway stage.
A Life in the Theatre on Sunday, Nov 14th, 2010
SCOTTSBORO BOYS IS A FINE SHOW
This is probably the best home grown American musical to arrive in almost two years.Not a masterpeice perhaps,but it is a very brave show that gets its point across with a fine sense of theatre and if the score is not Kander and Ebbs best, it is vastly superior to most peoples best.Masterfully staged and acted, this is worth the attention of any serious fan of musical theatre,and it is a fitting tribute to one of the finest song writing teams of the last 40 years.
The Scottsboro Boys on Sunday, Nov 7th, 2010
A PRETENTIOUS PLAY IS GIVEN A SPARKLING PRODUCTION
As talky as it is it is worth seeing because of some brilliant staging and wonderfully high style acting by Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce, and Joanna Lumley. Maybe not for everyone but for the serious theatregoer it is worth it just to se Mr Rylance give one of the most resoursful comic performances that Broadway has seen in years. Almost makes you forget that the play almost talks its self to death .
La Bete on Sunday, Nov 7th, 2010
"LOMBARDI" IS A WINNER
This is a fine play and it is remarkable how playwright Eric Simonson has managed to catch the spirit of a man who is considered the greatest pro-coach the N.F.L. ever produced and in Dan Laurias remarkably life-like performance Vince Lombardi emerges as a man of great honor and dignity. I think the play would have been more effective in a standard theatre rather than the in the round production it has now with the audience surrounding the stage,but this matters little. This is a solid peice of theatre and you dont have to be a football nut to be affected by it. It is very much worth seeing.
Lombardi on Tuesday, Nov 2nd, 2010
"Jackson" leaves me cold
There is creativity and talent lurking about but they are hard to find in this unatractive and over miked production.Satire is hard to sustain for a whole evening and this show cant do that,but it does try to do that. In short well meaning but unsatisfying.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Wednesday, Oct 20th, 2010
A STILL VITAL MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION
While it was written in 1894 it is still stimulating theatre. I thought that Cherry Jones was superb and Sally Hawkins was fine, though not entirely right for the part. Well staged and designed, it gave me a worthwhile theatre evening.
Mrs. Warren's Profession on Sunday, Oct 10th, 2010
AN ELEGENT "NIGHT MUSIC" REVISITED
Its still an elegent bandbox jewl of a show.Bernadette Peters seemed miscast but she sang beautifully and gave a good account of herself. Elaine Stritch was wonderful and after more than 60 years on stage is still a joy to see.After 10 months the show still is opening night fresh and is still one of the better shows in town.
A Little Night Music on Monday, Sep 13th, 2010
REVISITING "NIGHT MUSIC"
This elegant band box revival is is just as fine now as it was back in December when it first opened, and the new leads make a visit to the Walter Kerr Theatre essential. While Bernadette Peters seemed miscast in some ways she is a fine actress and a wonderful singer and her version of Send I
A Little Night Music on Friday, Sep 10th, 2010
RE:A WINNING "MANNER"
I found A.R.Gurneys latest to be a warm and affectionate valentine to the Broadway of the playwrights youth. Supurbly acted and staged this is as fine a theater evening as you will have on these hot, lazy summer nights. A rich and blissfully satisfying play.
The Grand Manner on Monday, Jul 19th, 2010
A SOLIDLY ENTERTAINING "MEMPHIS"
This is a show with a solid book, a very good score and remarkably fine work from its two leads. The show may be rough around the edges,but the high octaine production and infectious high spirits of theacting company make this the feel good show of the year. If you want a good time, this musical is for you.
Memphis: A New Musical on Saturday, Jun 12th, 2010
TUNEFUL AND PRETENTIOUS
I found this show to be on the pretentious side. The music sounded great and Sinatras voice blended well with the live band.All the same, this would have been a better choice for A.B.T. or the N.Y.C. BALLET. It seems a little out of place as a Broadway entry.
Come Fly Away on Wednesday, Jun 9th, 2010
A FINE PLAY WITH SUPERB PERFORMACES
This is a fine play and in it Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson are giving first rate performances. This play looks at the human condition with humor and insight. This play provides a fine theatre evening. Well worth seeing.
Collected Stories on Wednesday, Jun 2nd, 2010
A FINE PLAY WITH SUPERB PERFORMANCES
This is a fine play which examins the human condition with humor and insight, and in it Linda Lavin and Sara Paulson are giving first rate performances. A truly worthwhile theatre evening, well worth seeing.
Collected Stories on Wednesday, Jun 2nd, 2010
This overview of the great man;s work tries to be different. It combines video interviews and live performances and the show has a stunning visual look to it, but besides the clever scenery and the magnificent Barbara Cook its a rehash of the same old stuff. For this longtime Sondheim fan this show offered nothing new.
Sondheim on Sondheim on Sunday, May 30th, 2010
"RED" IS WONDERFUL
This is a play that no serious theatregoer can afford to miss. Brilliantly written,acted and directed this is one of the seasons high points.It really gets inside the head of a complex man, and makes us see what a genius he was. Teriffic theatre and very much worth seeing. Bravo to all involved.
Red on Monday, May 24th, 2010
ENGAGING "SCOTT" FLIMSY "RAPTURE"
The move from off to on Broadway hasnt altered my feeling that this is a flimsy show built around an engaging personality. Her story isnt sturdy enough to sustain a 90 minute show.
Everyday Rapture on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
AMERICAN IDIOT IS LIVELY AND COLORFUL
I normally dont go for loud rock musicals, but I had a very good time at this one. The beat is lively and the plot is surprisingly moving. The production values are all first rate. This show is brimming with talent and creative know-how. Very much worth seeing.
American Idiot on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
RE:A FINE "WHISTLE" AT ENCORES
This was a fine reading of the 1964 failure that has become a cult classic. I was at the closing night of that first production when I was in college and loved it wartsand all. The score is still wonderful and and the casting of this Encores production was just about perfect . While it didnt erase my memories of the 1964 original, it was very much worth doing again, and it was great to hear the score played with the original orchestrations. Warts and all, this was a memorable occasion and Encores deserves alot of credit for letting us see it again.
Anyone Can Whistle on Thursday, May 13th, 2010
LA CAGE IS BRILLANTLY RE-THOUGHT
This is what a revival should be and seldom is. A bold and entertaining rethinking of one of the best musicals of the 80s. The book is just as timely now as it was then and the score and lyrics are still first rate. The casting is perfect and the more intimate staging shows the strong material off to its best advantage. This is a wonderful revival of a first rate show.
La Cage Aux Folles on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
"TENOR" IS FUNNIER THEN EVER
I was not a great fan of this show 21 years ago, but in director Stanley Tuccis slam-bang staging,this is now a rarity, a truly funny and sometimes uproarious theatre evening performed for all its worth by a wonderful cast. In this joyful production this is now a classic farce. Well worth seeing.
Lend Me a Tenor on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
A DISSAPOINTINGLY WEAK MUSICAL
This had the makings of a sensational show, but but to say it doesnt work is putting it mildly. The book is full of lame jokes,the music is woefully routine and the lyrics are mostly lacking in wit. Not even the best efforts of its two talented stars can make one overlook the sad fact that this is a joyless musical, put together without sparkle or wit, and what should have been a highlight of the season winds up as a well meaning botch.
The Addams Family on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
A MILD"QUARTET" BUT FUN ANYWAY
This show recreates the legendary meeting of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis for a one night stand at the Sun recording studio. While it doesnt teach us much about the characters in general, the songs are choice 50s rock and the performances and musicianship are first rate. Nothing to write home about perhaps, but mighty enjoyable anyway.
Million Dollar Quartet on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
While not quite up to 1964 original, this is a fine production of a worthy drama, and it is blessed with three fine actors under Amy Wrights able staging. The Pearl Theatre again shows itself to be a fine company and they have done some notable work this year. Again, this was a fine theatre evening.
The Subject Was Roses on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
RE:A MISCONCEIVED "ENRON"
This would have worked much better without all the hokey scenic,lighting, and ear-splitting sound effects.Its too bad that a potentally fine play with excellent performances and a sound dramatic base was all but buried in this misconceived and noisy production. It should be revived with more emphsis on the solid story line and less on the needless exesses. Then it would be the fine play it is capable of being.
Enron on Monday, May 10th, 2010
PROMISES SHOWS IT'S AGE
What was refreshingly offbeat and innovative in1968 hasnt aged very well. While the Bacharach/ David score is still plesant, Neil Smons book seems tame now and most of his jokes dont land anymore. Sean Hayes makes a smashing Broadway debut but Kristin Chenoweth is miscast and this talented actress works hard, but she and the part are not a good match. Best of all is Katie Finnernan in a small roll who steals the show. Lively dances and colorful sets, but PROMSES, PROMISES shows its age.
Promises, Promises on Sunday, May 9th, 2010
FENCES REVISITED 23 YEARS LATER
I saw James Earl Jones in1987 and thought he was titinic in it.Denzel Washingtons take was different but just as valid and heroic. Viola Davis was beyond great as his wife The best performance by an actress in a play this year by far. The play is August Wilson at his best. Very much worth seeing again after 23 years.
Fences on Saturday, May 1st, 2010