Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Irish Curse

In an effort not to be pigeonholed, I checked out The Irish Curse, an off-Broadway play about a support group for men whose endowment is lacking. And I'm not talking about their savings account. Review here. (Hint: I actually enjoyed the play!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Come Fly Away

I keep tripping and calling Twyla Tharp's new dancical Come Fly With Me, but it's actually Come Fly Away, and it opened last night at the cavernous Marquis. Review here. As the title indicates, it's all Sinatra, all dancing, all the time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Glass Menagerie

Today I rave about The Glass Menagerie in the Post. I know what you think: not scary Amanda and crazy Laura again! But this production is well worth the trip, and I swear I didn't realize almost three hours had gone by the time it ended.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

North Atlantic

Someone had to come out and say it: The latest Wooster Group production — a revival of their 1982 piece North Atlantic — is really tedious.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy in the Poorhouse

Today I review the Amoralists' new show, Happy in the Poorhouse. It's written and directed by Derek Ahonen, like the company's previous outing, the excellent Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side. This play isn't as technically accomplished as its predecessor, but the production is never less than entertaining. These guys are going at it with such verve that I do wonder how long it's going to be before someone gets hurt.

Friday, March 19, 2010

All About Me

Review of Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein's All About Me in today's Post. It's not a pretty sight, possums. Whoever thought Feinstein (yes, he of the uptown boîte) could hold his own on a Broadway stage — and it might well be Feinstein himself who thought that — is sorely deluded.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Book of Grace

Today, I tackled Suzan-Lori Parks' new play, The Book of Grace. Oh it's a slug. Even the presence of Elizabeth Marvel and John Doman (Commissioner Rawls on The Wire!) can't save it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

French Idol and philosophy

André Manoukian, the longest-serving judge on Nouvelle Star (ie French Idol) has a new book out. It's titled Deleuze, Sheila et moi. The first is the philosopher, the second the yé-yé star. Just this morning, I was listening to Manoukian being interviewed on French public radio and he was talking about what appeals to him in Deleuze's theory of deterritorialization. Note to Simon Cowell: Step up your game and write a book about your relationship with Zizek and Karen Carpenter.

He also said was that the candidates are now displaying a more varied musical knowledge than when he started the show, adding that while the Internet has been devastating for the music industry, it's also helped the French catch up with the Americans and the Brits when it comes to pop savvy.

As for Nouvelle Star, I've written about it here several times in the past (too many posts, so do a search if interested) and the new season has just started. I expect to go over the finalists once we're past the audition stage.


Today's review is Looped, in which Valerie Harper stars as Tallulah Bankhead. It's a tall order and she does fine, actually, but oh that play is bad!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Next Fall

Geoffrey Nauffts' Next Fall reopens after a successful run last year. You may have read that the spring of 2010 was particularly packed with shows about gay men, and this one is exhibit A -- I mean, Elton John and his husband even helped it transfer from Playwrights Horizons to Broadway.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Scottsboro Boys

My review of Kander & Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys is up. It's their latest show, and likely the last one since Ebb died in 2004, leaving the piece to be finished by his old accomplice. I'm usually loathe to use the word, but the production is very close to a masterpiece. I say the production instead of just the show, too because Susan Stroman's staging is an integral piece here. Just go.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

When the Rain Stops Falling

We rarely see Australian plays in New York, so it was especially gratifying to catch Andrew Bovell's When the Rain Stops Falling (review here) at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Gaynor…er, Mitzi Newhouse Theater. And in case you were wondering: Yes, David Cromer is one of the very finest American directors in activity.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The one, the only Jeanne Balibar

I've written about Jeanne Balibar's idiosyncratic ways before (go here for some background) but she just topped herself — and that wasn't easy. At the recent Césars awards ceremony in Paris, she came in to announce the winner for best music. She started by saying "I'm really honored to announce the next César. I'll let you guess what it's for thanks to this short interlude."

And then she proceeded to sing a Baudelaire poem, augmented with pig noises. Make sure you watch the whole thing, as it gets crazier and crazier as it goes along. Hosts Valérie Lemercier and comedian Gad Elmaleh look startled, which of course adds to the scene's surreal tone. (The shots of the audience are choice as well.)

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Friday, March 05, 2010

A Behanding in Spokane

Christopher Walken is back on Broadway! Clearly that is the takeaway from Martin McDonagh's new play, A Behanding in Spokane (my review's here). Apart from that…meh.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Miracle Worker

Move over, Mary Poppins, there's a new governess in town. Actually, Alison Pill's one-note Annie Sullivan won't be any threat to Mary, and the revival of The Miracle Worker that just opened on Broadway last night is middling, despite some nice grace notes. I'm sorry, but if you can't bring in the hair-pulling and the fisticuffs, stay away from that play. As Helen Keller, Abigail Breslin is growing up nicely from Little Miss Sunshine though.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Tempest

I'm late on posting the link to my review of The Tempest (at BAM, in rep with As You Like It until March 13) but I was both really busy + out of town for the past few days. Best thing on the SAS flight back from Stockholm today is that they had cameras in the front of the plane and under it, and you could watch the feed on your individual screen. The landing was particularly exciting.

As for the trip itself, a lot happened and I'll get into details when the time comes — a large chunk was work-related so hush for now. I'll just say that watching the fourth and last heat of Melodifestivalen (the Swedish selection process for Eurovision) live in the Land of Pop, with a plate of traditional boiled cod and potatoes prepared by the Dilettante's Special Stockholm Correspondent, will always be a cherished memory.