Friday, April 30, 2010

Everyday Rapture

Here it is, the 39th and last Broadway review of my first full season at the NY Post!

It's actually for a show I wrote up last year, when it was at Second Stage. Now Sherie Rene Scott's Everyday Rapture has transferred up and weirdly, I liked it a bit less.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Collected Stories

Donald Margulies' Collected Stories opens at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway. Any opportunity to see Linda Lavin on stage should be taken. Sarah Paulson, getting better and better, is a worthy foil.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Trust the Brits to turn a financial scandal into theatrical wizardry. That's exactly what Lucy Prebble and Rupert Goold achieved with Enron, now on Broadway. I never thought I'd understand mark-to-market accounting, let alone find it entertaining.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Denzeeeeeeel! You should see the crowds outside the Cort Theatre when the revival of August Wilson's Fences lets out: unbelievable. They have to have cops to contain them. Not that anybody is rowdy -- it's just the sheer number of people congregating by the stage door to catch a glimpse of Denzel Washington is overwhelming.

I'm not sure if everybody who's there actually was at the show, but they should be: It's a pretty good yarn, and Denzel + Viola Davis rock it. My review's here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Promises, Promises

When I saw the Encores! production of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's 1968 musical Promises, Promises back in 1997, I wept with joy. Then I went back the next day.

The new Broadway revival (my review's here) isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good. And for fans of The Man (ie Burt), it's unmissable.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sondheim on Sondheim

The onslaught of Broadway openings continue. Last night it was the turn of Sondheim on Sondheim, a Roundabout revue that left me cold. The singers are skilled — I mean: Vanessa Williams, Leslie Kritzer, Euan Morton, Barbara Cook! — but there's little even they can do when burdened with some of the worst vocal arrangements I've heard in ages. Truly dispiriting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


In today's Post, a review of August Strindberg's Creditors, directed by Alan Rickman. Yes, this Alan Rickman. I liked the show a lot and keep thinking about it. How could I not, with exchanges such as this one:

- I feel like you're trying to steal my soul.

- There is no soul.

- I know. I know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idiot

The Green Day musical has landed on Broadway! Whoever thought the Berkeley trio would make it on the Great White Way before the dudes from U2? (Yes, someone else just bailed out of Spiderman.) Anyway, for your enjoyment, today's review is American Idiot.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In praise of Harold Wheeler

I recently had the honor and genuine joy to interview Harold Wheeler. Wheeler is the music director and band leader on Dancing with Stars: He's the guy who arranges the songs every week, turning them into paso dobles, quicksteps or waltzes. But as much of a DWTS fan as I am, he means a lot more to me: Wheeler got his breakthrough when he did the dance orchestrations for Burt Bacharach and Hal David's Promises, Promises in 1968, and he went on to orchestrate The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Hairspray and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, among other musicals. And Carrie, let's not forget Carrie!

And that's not all: Over the course of our conversation, it emerged that Wheeler had also co-produced Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye." I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Real fangirl moment right there.

Anyway, you can read the resulting piece here, and Broadway-centered outtakes on my blog at the Post, over there. There's plenty more fun stuff about DWTS and I may get around to posting that a little later.

La Cage aux Folles

They're back! Georges and Albin rock the NY stage again — or at least Albin, played by the fabulous Douglas Hodge, does. Kelsey Grammer plays the straight (so to speak) man. My review of the latest revival of La Cage aux Folles is here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Common Air

Today, I review The Common Air: one man, six characters, 18 hours' worth of flights delays at JFK.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Million Dollar Quartet

The new rockabilly jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet has just opened on Broadway. Sigh.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Anyone Can Whistle

OMG! I really thought I was going to explode from showtune ecstasy at Anyone Can Whistle! I wish I had had 10,000 words to go on and on and on about Donna Murphy's genius, but the review in today's Post will have to do for now. Encores! got it totally right this time.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Addams Family

The Addams Family musical opened last night on Broadway, and my review is in today's paper. I will also talk about the show on Soundcheck later today. You can tune in to WNYC 93.9FM at 2pm if you're in the NYC area, or you can listen online at

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman's bio musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is back at the Public after a run in their Lab series last year. I liked it a lot then, and I like it a lot now (unsurprising: the production is pretty much the same).

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lend Me a Tenor

I had a great time at the revival of Lend Me a Tenor on Broadway (see review). Reason No. 1: Justin Bartha. Yes, the guy from The Hangover and the National Treasure movies. Who would have thought?

Friday, April 02, 2010


Today I have my way with John Logan's Red in the Post. One of my least favorite genres is the pseudo-intellectual exercise where the playwrights takes a Serious Subject and keeps dropping the names of philosophers and artists to show how deep he is. Red is exhibit A: Rothko, art, commerce, Nietzsche, etc. What a smokescreen.