Monday, December 29, 2014

Cafe Society Swing

59E59's holiday revue, Cafe Society Swing, has its ups and downs, but I was quite taken with Cyrille Aimée. Click here for the deets.

The Last Ship redux

Sting joined the cast of his own Broadway musical, The Last Ship, so of course I had to go. And guess what: the other guy was better! Click here for my re-review.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Samuel D. Hunter's Pocatello is very good, but I'm still waiting for his great play. Click here for my review.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Soul Doctor redux

Where will Soul Doctor pop up next if this new version still tanks? My review's here.

Every Brilliant Thing

The premise of Every Brilliant Thing isn't all that original -- it's the staging that makes the difference with this show. My review's here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Interview with Tricia Helfer

I have fond memories of the winter when we watched all of Battlestar Galactica, after the series had just concluded. So it was particularly fun to interview Cylon Number 6, aka Tricia Helfer, about her new project, Syfy's Ascension. Click here for the chat.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas with the Crawfords

This holiday drag extravaganza is still a little stiff, but this kind of show improves with every performance as the cast gets into the groove. My review's here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Invisible Hand

Ayad Akhtar's latest has more traditional action (a kidnapping, an escape attempt, etc.) than his previous efforts but once again characters and drama take a backseat to Big Issues. My review's here.

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper tackles The Elephant Man, the go-to play with handsome men with something to prove. He's good, too. Click here for my review.

A Christmas Memory

Based on a Truman Capote short story, A Christmas Memory is both too small and too big -- padding, people, padding! My review is here.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Illusionists

Based on its poster, you could be forgiven for thinking The Illusionists is a remake of the magic-heist movie Now You See Me. But no: it's an actual magic show. My review's here.

Peter Pan

I can't believe last night's live telecast of Peter Pan made me think back fondly about the production I saw at the Theatre at MSG a few years ago. My review's here.

Cabaret redux

I loved what Emma Stone is doing in Cabaret. Her Sally Bowles is a manic, coked-up, often scary opportunist, and it's a very coherent portrayal. My re-review of the re-revival is here.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Interview with Annaleigh Ashford

I just can't get enough of Annaleigh Ashford, so I'm pleased as punch she's doing a cabaret show at 54 Below this month. Here we talked about some of the tunes she'll perform.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Interview with John "Lypsinka" Epperson

It was an absolute delight to talk to John Epperson about Lypsinka, working as a rehearsal pianist at ABT and the evolution of gay humor. Click here for my interview.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our Lady of Kibeho

Katori Hall fulfills all her early promises with Our Lady of Kibeho at Signature. My review's here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good Wife mid-season recap

As The Good Wife wrapped up its mid-season (yes, it's a thing now), I looked at the interim finale and asked some questions.

Women in drag

Thank you Allison Williams and Peter Pan to give me an excuse to do this gallery of women playing men, or women playing women pretending to be men, or Mariah Carey with glued-on goatee.

Tristan & Yseult

OMFG how good is Kneehigh's Tristan & Yseult?!? Click here for my rave.

Me, My Mouth & I

Joy Behar's solo show is exactly how you think it'd be, which isn't a bad thing per se. My review's here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Delicate Balance

I was lucky enough to see the previous revival of Albee's A Delicate Balance -- yeah, the one with Elaine Stritch -- but even without comparing the two, this new production doesn't look all that great. My review's here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I very much enjoyed John Doyle's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro at CSC -- his MO of having the cast play their own instruments works really well in this case. My review's here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Straight White Men

Young Jean Lee's latest is another though-provoking, unexpectedly entertaining ride. My review's here.

Punk Rock

Not a teen cliché is left unturned in Simon Stephens' Punk Rock, but something tells me we haven't seen the last of this cast. My review's here.

Side Show

Side Show has attracted quite a cult following over the past 17 years, and I can't say I was a part of it. But I kinda liked the revisal that just opened on Broadway. My review's here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The River

I love Hugh Jackman but I deeply, disliked The River, a pretentious piece of dreck that inexplicably got good reviews in London (with Dominic West instead, but the play's problems would be the same). Click here for my review.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview with Jill Flint

I chatted with Jill Flint about the history between her character, Lana Delaney, and Kalinda on The Good Wife. Very happy when she handed me the perfect closing line.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

It's that time of the year again! Can I just say how bummed I was that the Christmas Spectacular dropped the "Shine a Light" number? Seriously! My review of the 2014 production is here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grand Concourse

I liked the quiet way in which Heidi Schreck's Grand Concourse deals with faith and forgiveness. My review is here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lost Lake

Tracie Thoms and John Hawkes give their all but there's not that much to David Auburn's Lost Lake. My review's here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Band Wagon

Tracey Ullman needs to do more musicals, stat! My review of the Encores! Band Wagon is here.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Sticks and Bones

Not gonna lie: There were times when I was bored senseless at the revival of David Rabe's Sticks and Bones. But there were also times when I was like, Holy crap this is amazing theater and I could watch Bill Pullman and Holly Hunter forever! My review's here.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Show Boat

The New York Philharmonic goes Broadway again, this time with Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat. A few quibbles but overall it was a treat to listen to that score in those conditions. My review's here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Oldest Boy

I loved Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss but this new one…not as much. It sure looks great though. My review of the new reincarnation tale is here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Real Thing

Cynthia Nixon the realest thing in The Real Thing, a revival whose pulse I wished speeded up sometimes. My review's here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Not a season goes by without at least one, often two, sometimes three pieces by Terrence McNally. Hot on the heels of It's Only a Play comes the Second Stage revival of Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Which I mostly like despite problems having to do with the casting. My review's here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)

Suzan-Lori Parks' latest is just the beginning of her nine-part Father Comes Home from the Wars epic. It sure made me want to see more. My review's here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Last Ship

Can't say I loved Sting's Broadway debut as a composer, The Last Ship, but I found enough to enjoy — especially the love story. My review's here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Disgraced redux

It's not until I saw Hari Dhillon in Disgraced that I fully realized just how good Aasif Mandvi had been in the same role. The new production's a bummer. And not in a good way. My review's here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


James Dickey's Deliverance doesn't look like it could be turned into a play, but the ingenious production now playing 59E59 proves otherwise. My review.

The Fortress of Solitude

The new musical based on Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude is a valiant effort, but some key structural problems get in the way. My review's here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Billy & Ray

Billy & Ray, about Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler's collaboration on the screenplay for Double Indemnity, pretty much gets everything wrong. Click here for my review.

4:48 Psychosis

One must tread with caution when dealing with Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis -- a play about a suicidal woman written shortly before Kane killed herself. My review of the Polish production at St. Ann's Warehouse is here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This week's Good Wife posts

First, I chatted with costume designer Dan Lawson about Alicia's evolution from politician's wife to politician. Then I welcomed the return of FBI Agent Lana Delaney (Jill Flint) back to The Good Wife.

The Belle of Amherst

I was pleasantly surprised by The Belle of Amherst, a well-made bioplay starring Joely Richardson. And give me a break about Julie Harris owning the role: I didn't see her, and it was 30 years ago. My review's here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

On the Town

Best thing about the new revival of On the Town: Megan Fairchild as Ivy Smith -- a role that, for some reason, is usually boring. (Second best thing: no Lea DeLaria.) My review's here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Another satisfying off-Broadway musical! Found is completely different from Ghost Quartet yet it also satisfies -- this is a show that does what it sets out to do really well. My review's here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ghost Quartet

Dave Malloy's new song cycle, Ghost Quartet, doesn't have the satisfying narrative drive of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, but it's still a wondrous night at the theater. My review's here. At this point, just go see whatever this guy's doing on trust.

Monday, October 13, 2014


First stumble in years for Soho Rep, one of my favorite companies. Ah well, the law of averages... Click here for my review of Generations.

More Good Wife articles

I talked to costume designer Dan Lawson about how he makes Lemond Bishop look so darn good on The Good Wife. And for good measure I chatted with Mike Colter, who plays said sexy kingpin.

While I Yet Live

Billy Porter's play-as-therapy-as-play effort is well-meaning but a bit of a mess. My review's here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's Only a Play

After I genuflect to Nathan Lane, let me correct the title to Terrence McNally's comedy: It's Barely a Play. Details in my review, which is here.

The Walking Dead

My review of The Walking Dead's season 5 premiere is here. Some people think there are spoilers; I don't. In any case, you've been warned.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Shakespeare's Sonnets

I started by adoring Robert Wilson. Then he bored me to death in the 1990s and '00s (those Lou Reed and Tom Waits shows? Yikes!) Now I've come full circle and love him again. My review of Shakespeare's Sonnets at BAM is here.

Interview with Rob Halford

Ah, Rob Halford, Metal God™ and consummate gentleman. Click here for my interview with Judas Priest's frontman.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Almost predictably, I quite loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway. Formally inventive, smart, heartfelt. Now my question is: Why do American productions have such a hard time pulling off this mix? My review's here.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Country House

Mild entertainment — very, very mild — at Donald Margulies' latest, The Country House. A textbook example of an MTC production at the Friedman, I'm afraid. Click here for my review.

Cinderella redux

I revisited Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella on Wednesday, now with Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd. Those expecting a Rosie-type crash will be disappointed. My re-review is here.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Tail! Spin!

Mario Correa's bright idea: to use only the public record for his play about political sex scandals, Tail! Spin! We went through it all before -- Anthony Weiner, Larry Craig, etc. -- but hearing those words resonate is just mind-blowing. My review's here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

Kathleen Chalfant is predictably good in gender-bending revival of A Walk in the Woods, but that play doesn't really go anywhere now does it? Click here for my review.

Indian Ink

My issue with Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink is the same I have with most of his plays: very smart but paper-thin characterization. In this case it's especially frustrating because the cast includes the awesome Rosemary Harris and Romola Garai. My review's here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

You Can't Take It With You

Kaufman and Hart's 1936 chestnut gets an appropriately funny revival on Broadway. I feel lucky to have been able to see comic snipers Kristine Nielsen, Julie Halson, Annaleigh Ashford, Crystal Dickinson and Rose Byrne on one stage. My review's here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Interview with Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh is one of the spunkiest (including in the Australian sense of the word — look it up) actors around, and it was a lot of fun talking to her about her new series, Bad Judge. My feature's here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scenes from a Marriage

As much as I value the work of directors, especially Ivo van Hove's, I think his concept for the new Scenes from a Marriage at NYTW kind of stifles the show. My review's here.

The Money Shot

Neil LaBute's new play is a bit of a red herring: While set in Hollywood, it's not about Hollywood. Rather, it skewers today's moral and intellectual relativism. My review's here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Valley of Astonishment

Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne's The Valley of Astonishment is beautiful, sensitive, well-crafted … and it leaves you wondering "So what?" My review's here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Love Letters

A. R. Gurney's Love Letters returns to Broadway with a cavalcade of stars. First off the gates were Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow, so that's who I reviewed.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rock Bottom

I've seen Bridget Everett many. many times at this point, but she still surprises me. Her new show, Rock Bottom, is more of the same yet different. Oh heck, just go see it. But first, read my review.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Fatal Weakness

The Mint revives George Kelly's dramedy The Fatal Weakness. (Feels weird to use a word like "dramedy" for a 1947 play but there you go...) My review's here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mighty Real

Mighty Real is the kind of show that's not great but super-fun -- and as you may gather from the title, it is about Sylvester. Wall-to-wall live disco? I never say no. My review's here.

Dry Land

Totally bought Ruby Rae Spiegel's first full-length play, Dry Land, brought to us by the equally vital company Colt Coeur. Seating's limited so act fast! My review's here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

This Is Our Youth

What a beautiful production Kenneth Lonergan's play is gettin at the Cort! My review's here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy is candid and funny and sexy and mean and all kinds of fun. Also too long but hey, that's what happens when playwrights direct themselves. My review's here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Never heard of painter Rudolf Bauer? New drama Bauer tries to fix that. My review's here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Looking back at Ruthless!

Once upon a time, in a faraway galaxy -- ie 1992 New York -- Natalie Portman and Britney Spears were in the same show. As that show, Ruthless!, is being revived, I looked back at its inception. Come and board the hot-tub time machine!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Boys and Girls

Four Irish youths search for love or sex or a combination of the above in the charming but slight Boys and Girls. My review's here.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Wayside Motor Inn

Signature brings back A. R. Gurney's 1977 piece The Wayside Motor Inn, which is based on an Alan Ayckbourn-type conceptual gambit. My review's here.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Red Eye of Love

You know a show's in trouble when it can't tell the difference between charming and creepy in its leading man. And that's only the beginning of the problems here... My review of this new musical is here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Trade Practices

Reaching Trade Practices is a bit of an adventure -- it's on Governors Island -- and the show itself keeps the audience on its toes. Balancing didacticism and satire is tough, tough. My review's here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

And I and Silence

Naomi Wallace's new play at Signature, And I and Silence, left me a little cold, which is weird considering how emotionally heated it's trying to be. My review's here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Poor Behavior

Where's the line between being a jerk and being a psycho? This and more in Theresa Rebeck's new play, Poor Behavior. My review's here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Some TV posts

Who likes TV? I do, I do! So I wrote about it this week. Here are the handy links:

- a roundup of classic romance miniseries

- the Lego trailer for S5 of The Walking Dead

- a quick guide to Prisoners of War, the Israeli series that inspired Homeland (and is so so much better)

Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter

A couple of Icelandic guys are living the dream, putting up their new musical in New York. If only it was good... Click here for my review.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Maids

Yeah Blanchett and Huppert's The Maids is over the top and doesn't work on every level, or not even that many of them. But that berzerk energy! My review of the Lincoln Center Festival production's here.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Sticker shock at The Maids

Theater ticket prices have been ridiculous for a while -- $450 premium for NPH in Hedwig, my friends -- but $375 for a Jean Genet play has an extra layer of bitter irony to it. Click here for my thoughts on the subject.


Is it too much to ask to have Julia Stiles in decent-fitting clothes? Phoenix doesn't even get that right. My review's here.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Opponent

When it comes to theater and sports, there's really only one option and it's boxing. So here we go again with The Opponent, a Chicago import. My review's here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

King Lear

My third King Lear of the year, but it's not the charm. Click here for my review of this Shakespeare in the Park disappointment.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Summer Shorts Series B

Albert Innaurato's been away from the NY stages for almost 25 and he's bottled up a lot of issues -- his jaw-dropping one-act "Doubtless" is the most memorable segment of Summer Shorts Series B. My review's here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Between Riverside and Crazy

Stephen Adly Guirgis' latest puts the great Stephen McKinley Henderson centerstage. My review's here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cirque du Soleil's Varekai

Cirque du Soleil's current arena show actually dates back to 2002, and boasts one of the company's most inane concepts. My review of Varekai's here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mala Hierba

The characters may be archetypes but that doesn't mean they aren't compelling in Tanya Saracho's new play, Mala Hierba. A good bet for the summer. My review's here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with The Honorable Woman's Hugo Blick

It's always a pleasure to interview people who not only have put some thought into what they do, but can also articulate their process. Thataway to my chat with Hugo Blick, the writer-director of The Honorable Woman. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Lightning Thief

Tip of the hat to Theatreworks USA for tackling the first book in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, but, er, maybe that was a big bite? My review's here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Shorts Series A

The annual anthology of one-act plays returns with — what else? — an uneven first batch. Click here for my review.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Drop Dead Perfect

I could watch Everett Quinton all night but Drop Dead Perfect isn't good enough for his talents. My review's here.

Movies that fizzled onstage

Theater producers are looking at movies for inspiration, but a word of warning: Just because something worked on screen doesn't mean it's going to work on stage. Click here for my look at five adaptations that fizzled this past season.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pump Boys and Dinettes

A lack of firepower only underlined the slightness of Pump Boys and Dinettes at City Center. Click here for my review of the last Encores! Off-Center of the season.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Randy Newman's Faust

At long last, I have seen Randy Newman's Faust! It was just as bonkers as I imagined -- even more, actually -- and the songs were heavenly (pun not intended). My review is here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Lion

What a meek roar this big cat has... My review of Benjamin Scheuer's solo musical is here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Muscles in Our Toes

How I wish the characters' actions made more sense in The Muscles in Our Toes, because Anne Kauffman's production is sterling and Jeanine Serralles kicks major butt, as usual. My review's here.

tick, tick...BOOM!

I saw Rent early in its run at New York Theatre Workshop -- it may even have been the first week. I was a volunteer usher and the place was so packed, I had to sit on the stairs to watch the show. I remember thinking, "This is so lame! It'll never go anywhere." Which was as prescient as when I left halfway through an early-days gig (1990 I believe) by Nirvana at Maxwells. I just thought they didn't hold a candle to opening act Jesus Lizard.

But I digress.

Anyway, I saw Rent again after that first encounter, most recently the ill-fated New World Stages revival. And while the show is supposed to strike a chord when you're young, I've found myself enjoying it more as I've gotten older. And I found myself loving Larson's lesser-known tick, tick...BOOM! -- and not just because the show marked the (temporary?) unretirement of Karen Olivo. Click here for my review of the Encores! Off-Center concert.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Old Woman

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe are live-action Itchy and Scratchy in this new Robert Wilson production. My review's here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Holler If Ya Hear Me

There's a way to do gangsta rap on Broadway — the old-school way! Click here for my review of the Tupac Shakur musical, Holler If Ya Hear Me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jane Lynch at 54 Below

As we wait for Jane Lynch to do another play or musical, her cabaret debut at 54 Below will do. My review's of one very entertaining evening is here.

When We Were Young and Unafraid

Sarah Treem's new play isn't perfect, far from it, but it sticks with you. And it's just a delight to hear so much 1970s feminist lingo! My review's here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Who and the What

Ayad Akhtar has so much to write about, but his plays tend to be overwhelmingly didactic and obvious. Once he learns to trust the audience to read between the lines, he'll fulfill his potential. My review of his latest, at LCT3, is here.

Much Ado About Nothing

Having Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater play the lovebirds in Much Ado About Nothing was what we call "une fausse bonne idée" in French, ie something that looks like a good idea but turns out not to be in the end. Click here for my review.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup commercials

Because you can't avoid them anway, here's a sample of some World Cup 2014 commercials. Me, I vote for the Chilean miners...

Our New Girl

Our New Girl is an interesting play whose production should have been a lot better than it is. My review of this new Atlantic Theater show is here.

Fly by Night

Fly by Night is as close as theater gets to a YA musical — in sensibility at least. My review's here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Village Bike

Greta Gerwig makes a convincing stage debut in The Village Bike at MCC. My review's here.

Monday, June 09, 2014

When January Feels Like Summer

The title of Cori Thomas' new comedy at Ensemble Studio Theater is a reference to a global-warming subplot, and it doesn't do justice to the show's shaggy-dog charm. My review's here.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Greta Gerwig's favorite NY places

A real treat: talking to Greta Gerwig about some of her favorite New York places. Click here to see what made the cut.

How three Tony nominees got into their real-life roles

Click here to see the little tricks that helped Mary Bridget Davies, Audra McDonald and Jessie Mueller get into the real-life-inspired roles that earned them Tony nominations.

Friday, June 06, 2014


Kenneth Branagh brings over a Macbeth full of sound and fury signifying very little — but fun! My review's here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The best show tunes of the season

Listening to a whole bunch of cast albums to find the season's catchiest tunes: There are worse assignments. Thataway to my selection of show tunes.

Just Jim Dale

Jim Dale's solo is genial but oddly unrevealing. Click here for my review of this fans-only outing.

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Killer

Theater for a New Audience resurrects Ionesco's semi-obscure The Killer (aka Tueur sans gages). This is the type of play that demands daring European-type staging, which alas isn't what we get. My review's here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Anthem

I can now say I've seen two radically different stage adaptations of Ayn Rand's 1938 novella, Anthem: a straightforward play and an '80s-flavored musical featuring the cowboy from Village People. My review of the latter -- which is even worse than you can imagine -- is here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

American Hero

Modest of scope and big of heart, Bess Wohl's new play at Second Stage Uptown gets a topnotch production and excellent cast. My review's here.

battle of the songs at World Cup 2014

It's 2014, which means World Cup, which means Official Song. This year, it turns out the unofficial one is better than the FIFA-sanctioned one. Of course I had to compare them.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Is it miscasting when the age difference is too small?

People always gripe about the age difference between men and women in some movies -- as in, what's that old dude doing with that young chick? But what about a movie in which a parent (usually a mother) must have had her child (usually a son) when she was, like, 12? Click here for a gallery I had fun working on.

Preview of Early Shaker Spirituals

Totally psyched about the Wooster Group's latest project, Early Shaker Spirituals! My preview of this "record album interpretation" is here.

More Shakespeare this summer

Non-newsflash: Shakespeare dominates our outdoor stages. I have no idea on how it started but that's just the way it is. Click here for my piece on what's coming up this summer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Few

Samuel D. Hunter's latest, The Few, doesn't go anywhere, which is ironic for a show using trucking as a background. My review's here.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Rosemary's Baby

What's worse, snooty French people or Satanists? What if they're both?!? My review of the Rosemary's Baby remake is here.

Irma la Douce

At long last Encores! does a non-American musical — and a French one to boot! — and it's a disappointment. At last I got to hear Marguerite Monnot's score live. Click here for my review.

The Lovesong of Alfred J. Hitchcock

I could hear about Hitchcock for hours but this play is an unconvincing Freudian omelette. My review's here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The City of Conversation

Some are wondering if The City of Conversation could transfer to Broadway. The show's quite involving but needs the antagonist, a raging Republican named Anna, to be better written. My review of the current Lincoln Center production is here.

Monday, May 05, 2014

An Octoroon

Loved Branden Jabobs-Jenkins' riff on the old chestnut The Octoroon — even if I'm not entirely sure what he's trying to say. Soho Rep delivers yet another good one. My review's here.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Red-Eye to Havre de Grace

Sadly this show about Edgar Allan Poe's last days isn't as good as its title. My review's here.


Full disclosure: I've never been able to watch an entire Harry Potter movie. Still, I do know Harry Melling was in some of them. And now he's in a tight little solo show he's written himself, called Peddling. My review's here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Surprises and snubs at the Tony nominations

It was action-packed this morning! Click here for my insta-take following the announcement of this year's Tony nominations.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Substance of Fire

Second Stage revives Jon Robin Baitz's 1991 drama. After the unconvincing return of The Film Society, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Baitz hasn't been a late bloomer -- his best work is more recent. Thataway for my review.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Great Immensity

For the first time I've felt let down by a Civilians show. Click here for my review of The Great Immensity at the Public Theater.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My dream Tony nominations

Why wait until Tuesday for the real Tony nominations when you can discover my fantasy list now? Thataway to the fun stuff.


There were worse ways for the Roundabout to make a buck than to bring back its 1998 production of Cabaret — and the company was lucky Alan Cumming was still willing and able to return as the emcee. My review of this re-revival is here.

Casa Valentina

The first act of Casa Valentina hits all its marks. Things get trickier in the second, but then ending a play is often the biggest challence. Still, what a pleasure to see Reed Birney as a villain! My review of Harvey Fierstein's latest is here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

People will eat up Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch but you know who I'd love to see play Hedwig? Vintage Kiki. Rock & roll, man! My review's here.

The Velocity of Autumn

The Velocity of Autumn may have found an audience in a smaller theater but opening at the end of a busy Broadway season is a bad move -- the play just isn't strong enough. My review's here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Violet redux

The Roundabout had the great idea to bring back last summer's Encores! production of Violet, once again led by Sutton Foster. Everybody wins. Click here for my review.

The Cripple of Inishmaan

Daniel Radcliffe is the big draw in The Cripple of Inishmaan, but that's my least favorite of his three Broadway appearances. In any case the Atlantic production a few years ago was much superior. My review's here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mystery of Irma Vep

Charles Ludlam's camp classic returns to New York. Thataway for my review of the Red Bull revival.

Act One

I'm not among the legions of people obsessed with Act One, but I did enjoy the book, especially the first half. The new adaptation from James Lapine, on the other hand… My review is here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Of Mice and Men

I do like Anna D. Shapiro's production of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, even with James Franco letting her -- and us -- down. My review's here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Library

Steven Soderbergh has long been one of my favorite film directors but I was mightily impressed by his NY stage debut, The Library. Now that's a show that works as theater, not a stage version of TV. I loved the clinical tone as well. My review's here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Does great mimicry a Broadway show make? Thataway for my review of this new production with Audra McDonald.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bullets Over Broadway

Woody Allen and Susan Stroman's musical adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway hit the sweet spot for me. My review's here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Heir Apparent

I quite like David Ives' work, especially when the comic engine gets in high gear, but he trips with his latest, The Heir Apparent. My review's here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Threepenny Opera

How can you stage The Threepenny Opera without anger or humor? Answer at the Atlantic. Thataway for my review.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Realistic Joneses

Will Eno finally makes it to Broadway and the least I can say is that he didn't do it by compromising. For better or for worse, The Realistic Joneses is pure Eno. Thataway for my review.

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Raisin in the Sun

A terrific production of a terrific play: Latest revival of A Raisin in the Sun is commercial, mainstream Broadway at its finest — and no, that is not an underhanded compliment because that stuff is devilishly hard to pull off. My review's here.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Most Happy Fella

New Encores! production makes unimpeachable case for Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella. Utterly glorious. Too bad I didn't have more space for my review, but hey, it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Nashville stars hit the road

That would be stars of the TV show Nashville, not the actual city. And I for one am excited! Click here for my little guide as to who's going to turn up onstage.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Heathers: The Musical

The musical adaptation of Heathers sanded out the nihilistic edges but it's still a very fun show. My review's here.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Idina Menzel's new vehicle If/Then is ambitious but flawed. Still, I liked seeing a female lead character on Broadway who's not a hysterical mom or a plucky heroine. My review's here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Before the Walking Dead S4 finale

In anticipation of The Walking Dead's season 4 finale this Sunday, I look at the so-called back-eight episodes. I came around on Carl: That's the power of Michonne! Click here for some zombaction.

Mountain-climbing gallery

Who doesn't like a climbing movie, in which men (usually men) hang from fraying ropes or fall into crevasses? Even better if there's gunfight, too! Thataway for my selection.

King Lear

Another King Lear rolls down the pike, this time at Theatre for a New Audience. And it really, really annoyed me. Wanna know why? Head over there.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hellman v. McCarthy

Maybe because I identify with cranks, maybe because Roberta Maxwell is so good in the part, but I was kinda rooting for Lillian Hellman in the new play Hellman v. McCarthy. Thataway for my review.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beyond Therapy

I'm not sure Christopher Durang's 1982 farce Beyond Therapy hasn't gone past its expiration date, and the TACT company's new revival certainly doesn't make a good case for it. My review's here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mothers and Sons

I didn't care much for Terrence McNally's latest, Mothers and Sons. And that's an understatement. Thataway to my pan.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Les Misérables

You can't keep those French urchins away! I for one won't complain at having to see Les Misérables one time more -- I love me some bombast. Click here for my review of the latest version to hit Broadway.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Disney is often accused of making soulless corportate entertainment, which is a simply ridiculous accusation. Well, except in the case of its latest musical, Aladdin, which does feel designed by committee. My review's here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tales from Red Vienna

I think David Grimm's latest is going to be the subject of much derision — unfairly so. It's a failure, yes, but an interesting, ambitious one. And I suspect a lot of the mocking will be similar to the mocking of 1940s women's pictures, when Bette Davis or Joan Crawford sailed into the sunset alone but stronger. My review's here.

Preview of the xx at the Armory

Back to my first love with a music preview! Click here to read about the xx's forthcoming shows at the Park Avenue Armory.

Monday, March 17, 2014


What Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Appropriate lacks in originality, it makes up for in sheer entertainment. Because really, who doesn't want to watch a family go up in flames at the theater? Click here for my review.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Word to the wise: My review of the new Rocky musical is a lot more ambivalent than the headline suggests. Read for yourself here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hand to God

I'd missed Hand to God on its first two go-rounds at EST but hey, better late than never. My review of this formidably demented show is here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Character Man

Jim Brochu's new "musical memoir" pays tribute to the character men (aka character actors) of yore. Thataway for my review.

Friday, March 07, 2014

All the Way

"All the Way with LBJ!" That was LBJ's campaign slogan in 1964, but it also applies to Bryan Cranston in his Broadway debut: The guy is fully committed. My review's here.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Open House

The first of the two Will Eno plays of the spring is The Open House, at Signature. OMG, I kinda liked it! My review's here.

Sweeney Todd

The New York Philharmonic tackles Sweeney Todd again, this time with Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. My review's here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Happiest Song Plays Last

So much potential, so little of it actually happening on stage: that is The Happiest Song Plays Last, which I reviewed here.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Middle of the Night

Middle of the Night is worth a look for a couple of reasons: it's a rare Paddy Chayefsky play and Jonathan Hadary gives a terrific performance. Thataway for my review.

Stage Kiss

I can't remember the last time I laughed so much as during the first act of Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss. A comic triumph. Click here for my review.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Doll's House

I'd never have thought A Doll's House could be suspenseful but Carrie Cracknell's production is almost Hitchcockian -- without losing an ounce of emotional power. My admiring review's here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

London Wall

The Mint dug up a good one with John van Druten's London Wall, and gives it a worthy production. My review's here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kung Fu

David Henry Hwang's Bruce Lee bioplay Kung Fu misses the mark. Thataway for my review.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Mother Has Four Noses

People were sniffling at Bridges of Madison County, but tears were really pouring at My Mother Has Four Noses, a new musical in which Jonatha Brooke talks/sings about her relationship with her dementia-afflicted mom. My review's here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Bridges of Madison County

I chose to see the Bridges of Madison County glass as half-full — click here for my review of the new musical.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love and Information

New York Theatre Workshop delivers a really, really good production of Caryl Churchill's latest -- and it wasn't easy to stage. My review's here.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Thomas Keneally and Larry Kirwan's meh musical Transport opens at Irish Rep and my review's here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

After Midnight redux

It was a pleasure to return to After Midnight to check out new featured singer k.d. lang. The show still delivers, and so does she. Thataway for my review.

The Correspondent

Once in a while comes a play so bad, you have to pinch yourself. This time it's The Correspondent at the Rattlestick. Click here for the gory details.

Dinner with Friends

Donald Margulies' Pulitzer-winning Dinner with Friends returns in a Roundabout production. Click here for my review.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Bronx Bombers

I liked Bronx Bombers well enough off-Broadway, or at least I tolerated it. But the transfer to a bigger house didn't do the show any favors. Click here for my review of this unabashed paean to the Yankees.

Almost, Maine

Why sniff at Almost, Maine? Because it's popular in high schools? That's not a very good reason, and I for one had a nifty time at the Transport Group's revival. My review's here.

I Call My Brothers

Catching up with the cross-posting of reviews from this week (this is what happens when you go off the grid in Utah). I'd liked Jonas Hassen Khemiri's Invasion! but I was underwhelmed by his new one, I Call My Brothers. My lukewarm review's here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Man's a Man

On the one hand I like that Classic Stage is putting on so many Brecht plays, like Galileo, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and now A Man's a Man. On the other hand, the productions have all been mediocre. My review of A Man's a Man is here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stop Hitting Yourself

I have the same issue with Stop Hitting Yourself that I had with the other Rude Mechs productions I've seen: It comes up short of its stated ambitions. My review's thataway.


Thomas Bradshaw strikes again with Intimacy, possibly the most sexplicit play I've ever seen. Click here for my stunned review.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In praise of Episodes

Showtime's sitcom Episodes doesn't reinvent the wheel -- it's only very, very good. Plus, you know, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig! Click here for my paean to this unjustly neglected series.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Row After Row

Civil War re-enactors: a fascinating subject, to be sure. But it's only half-cooked in the new play Row After Row, reviewed here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Outside Mullingar

Someone's Irish whimsy is someone else's...well, let's just say Outside Mullingar wasn't my cup of tea. Click here for my review of John Patrick Shanley's latest.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Moving Alan Sillitoe's story from 1950s northern England to 2012 London isn't a bad idea, and neither is changing the hero's race from white to black. It's the execution that's lacking in the new Atlantic 2 production. My review's here.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Has any modern playwright aged as badly as Joe Orton? Exhibit A: Loot, currently in a middling revival by Red Bull. Click here for my review.

Interview with Walton Goggins

I love talking to character actors, and Walton Goggins delivered. Click here for my interview with Justified's one and only Boyd Crowder.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Green Porno

Isabella Rossellini adapts her Sundance series, Green Porno, for the stage, and it's comically droll. Thataway for my review.

Friday, January 17, 2014

King Lear

Here we go again with yet another King Lear. This time Frank Langella steps into the kingly role at BAM. My review's here.


After The Winslow Boy the Roundabout is two for two with a revival of Machinal that's even better. This counts as a streak! Click here for my review.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Surrender

Good timing: The nominations for this year's Razzies are coming out at the same time as my review of The Surrender — a play that would have scored a nom if it were a movie. Click here for my review.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Year of the Rooster

Thanks to Ensemble Studio Theatre for bringing back Year of the Rooster, which I'd missed on its first go-round. As much as cockfighting revolts me, this is one heck of a good show. Click here for my review.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical

Yes, Beautiful is boomer-bait. So what? Does anybody think Broadway producers don't target specific audiences? Also it's a bit rich of AARP-age critics to make fun of the AARP-age audience. My review's here.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Tyson vs Ali

Theater's totally infatuated with boxing. Example No. umpteenth is Reid Farrington's Tyson vs Ali. Click here for my review.