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.