Monday, November 30, 2009

More Christmas action

My review of White Christmas--sorry, Irving Berlin's White Christmas--is in today's Post. Lots of holiday cheer and tap action.

What is it with those proprietary titles anyway? It's a safe bet that what's playing at the Marquis is Irving Berlin's White Christmas, as opposed to, I don't know, Lady Gaga's White Christmas. And did anybody see Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire?

By the way, from now on everybody should refer to this blog as Elisabeth Vincentelli's The Determined Dilettante.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long live the Rockettes

I'm happy to report that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular still kicks butt. And boy, does it kick! If you've never seen the leggy Rockettes, you owe it to yourself to check out these New York icons. I'm dead serious: a greater thrill is hard to find.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The exclamation mark is in the title, and deservedly so: Bill T. Jones' Fela! is that kind of show. The first act is the single most exciting thing on Broadway right now. Too bad the second one devolves into a mess. I also cannot understand why there's zero references to AIDS — not even in the program note about Fela. Weird.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Horton Foote and Dreamgirls, together at last

It's a double whammy of reviews in today's Post. First I caught the initial installment in Horton Foote's Orphans' Home Cycle, currently at the Signature. Subtitled The Story of a Childhood, the evening is made up of three short plays (they feel more line one-acts actually) and it unfolds with the quiet assurance of a country river. The next two parts will open in December and January, making up a total of nine hours.

Then I took the A train to the Apollo for the revival of Dreamgirls. This may be the first one where Jimmy Early steals the show from the women! Chester Gregory (already spotted in Cry-Baby) is phenomenal. As times I felt as if I was watching Purple Rain with one guy playing Prince and Morris Day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Girl Crazy

My review of the Encores! production of Girl Crazy is up on the Post's website -- thank you, Interwebs.

A Gershwin musical in November is just what the doctor ordered. Following it up with Dreamgirls at the Apollo tonight is a musical-theater double whammy!

In the Next Room

I'm not being coy in my subject line -- I'm just afraid to get spam comments if I post the full title of Sarah Ruhl's latest: In the Next Room or the vibrator play. I liked it a whole lot, the most of all the Ruhl works I've seen so far, in fact. And that cast! So awesome. It's the best Lincoln Center show in eons, and proves the company should step out of its comfort zone more often.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Wonderful Day

You've got to admire Alan Ayckbourn's fertile mind: He's written over 70 plays and even when they aren't great, they're at least competent. That's the case with his latest, My Wonderful Day, which he also directed. Luckily for us, we get to see the British cast, which includes the amazing Ayesha Antoine. Review thataway.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Brother/Sister Plays

Wunderkind Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays opened at the Public last night. I was underwhelmed by the poetry of it all, as you can see in my review.

Monday, November 16, 2009


It's baaaaaack! Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens and Terrence McNally's adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime (got all that?) returns to Broadway 11 years after it first opened. Of course I'm there too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Once We Felt

Ann Marie Healy's new play, What Once We Felt, opens at the Duke on 42nd St. in an LCT3 production. Despite my positive bias -- I love dystopian science fiction -- I found it just meh. Review here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Late Christopher Bean

The TACT company revives Sidney Howard's obscure 1932 comedy The Late Christopher Bean. Review in today's Post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quartett (redux)

Followers of this blog may dimly remember that I trashed Robert Wilson's Quartett after seeing it in Paris in November 2006. I actually enjoyed the show a little more when I revisited it at BAM last week (review in today's Post).

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Lily's Revenge

Admittedly Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge is long — about five hours — but I can assure you it's totally worth your time. I'd even venture to say it's a landmark show for the downtown scene. You can catch it at HERE until November 22. In the meantime, my Post review is out today.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Understudy

Theresa Rebeck's latest, The Understudy, is reviewed in today's Post. I never thought I'd say this, but Julie White got on my nerves.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The crock at the end of the rainbow

Linking to my review of Finian's Rainbow a few days late, as I went away for a few days -- as in, off-the-grid away, with no reception of any kind. My, Death Valley really is "a remote and barren blister of land in the American desert.". The biggest thrill: going to Zabriskie Point, immortalized by Antonioni in 1970.