Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best theater of 2016

With just a few hours left to 2016, here's a list of my favorite shows of the year. Some new names, some older ones still doing great work; some Off Broadway, some on, and some Off that will be On soon enough. It was a good year, at least when it comes to the stage.

And so, in alphabetical order:

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
The Crucible
Dear Evan Hansen
Julius Caesar. Spared Parts.
Miles for Mary
Ride the Cyclone
Underground Railroad Game
The Wolves

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Edward Gorey's eccentric life matched his eccentric output, and this new show pays him lovely homage. My review for the Times can be found here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Favorite theater moments of 2016

I'm very excited to be part of the New York Times' roundup of theatrical moments that marked 2016. And how could I not mention Isabelle Huppert? It's her year! Click here for the fun.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Private Manning Goes to Washington

What would happen if Chelsea Manning chatted with Obama? What would happen if the late hacktivist Aaron Swartz wrote a play about it? My review of this show (not written by Swartz!) is here.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Where to ski in the West

Well hellooooo, Long Island! So pleased to be in Newsday, especially writing about one of my favorite topics: skiing! Click here for my short-and-sweet guide to some western resorts.

Theatre for One

The last time I went to Theatre for One, its mobile booth was in Times Square. Now it's in the Signature's lobby, but the experience remains daunting in its own way. My review is here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Interview with Deke Sharon

Never mind being an a cappella practitioner: If you've seen Pitch Perfect or The Sing-Off, you've heard Deke Sharon's work. It was a treat to talk to him for the Times. Read on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A French Village

It's a great treat to be back in The Village Voice after too long an absence. Especially since I got to review the stellar series A French Village. Click here for my take.

Furry!/La Furia!

If, for whatever reason, you've ever felt uneasy at the sight of the Times Square costumed characters, this show is for you. My review's here.

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

I got to review one of my favorite New York traditions for the Times. And here we go.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Star Has Burnt My Eye

Howard Fishman explores the mysterious life and luminous work of Connie Converse in his play with music at BAM. My review for the NY Times can be found here.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Q&A with Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald is back on stage, as Aurora — that's the mother — in Terms of Endearment at 59E59. We chatted while she prepared to put on her show wig, and here's the result.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Request Concert

Another Polish production at BAM — after Songs of Lear and Phaedra(s) (well, that last one was Franco-Polish) — and my favorite of the bunch. Tough to watch but rewarding, and my review is here.

Public Enemy

David Harrower took his editing scissors to Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and ta-da: Five acts down to 100 minutes! He tweaked the title too, while he was at it. My review of the Pearl production is here.

Now Is the Time

Little Lord's new show at Abrons has quite the cumbersome title — Now Is the Time. Now Is the Best Time. Now Is the Best Time of Your Life. — and the production is just as unwieldy. Yet I enjoyed its ramshackle fun. Click here for my review.

Feature on the Mad Ones

I profiled the company the Mad Ones for the New York Times. I highly encourage everybody reading this to check out their latest show, Miles for Mary, which is still playing at the Bushwick Starr. Make sure you hit Queen of Falafel while you're at it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Some thoughts on Taylor Mac and judy's audience

If you happened upon my Twitter feed, you saw my episodic reports on Taylor Mac's epic show, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, under the #Macathon hashtag. There's a lot to unpack about that event, from the song choices to the costumes to the selection of themes for the various acts, but here I want to focus on the audience participation.

Taylor (I don't know him but writing just "Mac" feels a bit weird) has always had an amazing command over audiences, but what he did over the weekend was something else: He fully made us part of the show. Sometimes he picked individual volunteers, and believe me there was no turning him down. (Being the timid kind, I moved around the house to spots that felt safe, ie unlikely to draw attention from our roaming MC.) My personal favorites were the man who played Yum-Yum in The Marskado segment (Taylor's dinner-theater version of The Mikado, but set on Mars to deflect Gilbert and Sullivan's now-uncomfortable take on Japan), and his melancholy, electronically altered wailing of "Tit-Willow"; the man who played Stephen Foster in a match-up against Taylor's Walt Whitman; and the 80-year-old gentleman who was so good that he was invited onstage twice, and turned out to be the father of guitarist Viva DeConcini. Taylor had a sixth sense to pick people who were a little awkward, a little shy — he mostly steered clear from the many performers or would-be performers in the audience. He is not afraid to create discomfort but he doesn't make people feel under attack; audience terror this is not. The awkwardness enriches the performance.

But the ways in which Taylor used the entire room of 600+ people were even better. One tactic was to create subgroups, as when he asked all the bearded men to stand on their chairs, when he split drinkers and non-drinkers during the temperance era (leading to a gigantic game of beer pong, or rather root beer pong), or when he summoned the straight men to the stage. Another was to divide the room in sections, which he would then pit against each other. This was a fantastic way to illustrate one of the leading ideas in the show, which he expressed at least a couple of times: "Every decade is about a community that's building itself as a result of being torn apart," he said by way of explaining both his show and his show's take on American history.

And so he created theatrical antagonisms among audience members, pitting them against each other.

He had one side of the room playing Confederates to the other side's Union.

He divided the floor into groups that loudly made the cacophonous noises one would hear in a crowded tenement as he sang Irving Berlin's "All Alone."

Later the pro-war half of the room was set up against the pacifist side, the two camps hectoring each other — the pacifist one kept shrinking, though, until it was down to a couple of people drowned by the vociferous bellicose yahoos (ie the majority).

A tribute to Tiny Tim became a battle between 12 ukulele players and 12 Ulysses.

In the 1950s, he made the middle section vacate their seats and crowd over to the side to emulate the white flight from the cities to the suburbs. (Black audience members could stay in the middle, and since there weren't many of them at the show — something Taylor acknowledged — they had plenty of chairs to themselves.)

In the late 1960s (I think, it was a bit of blur by then), Taylor was the lone Queer of America and the audience was homophobes pelting him with ping-pong balls.

So: America, built on conflict, pillage, murder, oppression of the other and the weak. But also built on communities brought together by those very scourges and, at best, making art out of it. How to make this come to life over the course of a show? By forcing the audience to reenact that theater of conflict and appropriation — we were performing the making of Americans, to borrow from Gertrude Stein.

Each member of the audience brought their own baggage, their own history to St Ann's Warehouse. Me, I couldn't help grinning when Taylor wondered why America was still infatuated with its former colonial masters, the British, while it was the French who came to their aid during the revolution (I'm paraphrasing). I watched the show as someone who became a U.S. citizen ten years ago, enamored of the country's spirit but not blind to its shortcomings. What we experienced this weekend reminded us, through extraordinary artistry, that America is deeply, deeply troubled, to put it mildly, but we're all in it together. Or at least some of us are in it together. And maybe that's good enough.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Songs of Lear

I'm always up for a company taking a drastic approach to Shakespeare, but I wish Songs of Lear had a bit more diversity in tone and style. Still, the score was co-written by a Corsican so props to the homeland! My NYT review can be found here.


A little goes a long way in Helder Guimaraes' new show, Verso. My review for the New York Times is here.

Interview with Romeo Castellucci

It's safe to say that nobody does what director Romeo Castellucci does. Nobody. And now New Yorkers won't have to go to Montclair or Philadelphia to see one of this shows — at long last! I chatted with him a few days ago, and here is some of what transpired.

Interview with Peter Brook

For my first piece in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed director Peter Brook. What a thrill and honor! Click here for the Q&A.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Empathitrax and Lewis Black

Big news on the Dilettante front: I've started contributing to the New Yorker's Goings On About Town section. Can you spot the theater capsules I wrote? OK, so I'm not quite pulling a reverse Janet Flanner in scope (ie, a French woman writing from the US as opposed to an American reporting from France) but still, I'm counting this as a win for ESL!

And there's more -- that is, more reviews for the New York Times! Earlier this week there was the new Colt Coeur production, Empathitrax, then I checked out Lewis Black's latest show, Black to the Future. Click on those links, why don't you?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Jamb

I liked The Jamb, warts and all. At least it didn't feel overpasteurized by a lengthy workshop process. My NYT review is here.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fringe roundup

I saw a few shows at this year's Fringe (including four on Wednesday alone, which isn't even competitive compared to what hardcore Fringe goers can do) and lived to tell the tale in the NYT. Click here for the lowdown.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Quiet, Comfort

Alec Duffy and the Hoi Polloi company gave Toshiki Okada's Quiet, Comfort a gem of a production at Jack. My review for the NYT is here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Karen Finley's Unicorn Gratitude Mystery

By golly, Karen Finley still has it! My review of her new triptych, at the Laurie Beechman every Sunday, is here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Alice in Black and White

Staten Island's homegrown hero, the pioneering photojournalist Alice Austen, gets an affectionate biographical play, Alice in Black and White. My NYT review is here.

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida is described as a problem play. It looks like someone solved it. My NYT review of this Shakespeare in the Park production is here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Roundup of three shows from the New York Musical Festival

I checked out NYMF's Nickel Mines, The Last Word and Tink! Read on to know which one was fabulous and which ones, not so much.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer Shorts, Series A

Summer wouldn't be summer without this anthology of one-act plays. And Summer Shorts wouldn't be Summer Shorts without a piece by Neil LaBute. My review is here.

The Iron Heel

I traveled to Fort Greene's South Oxford Space (which is awesome, by the way) for The Iron Heel, a stage adaptation of a fairly obscure Jack London novel. Click here for the review.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

It was a pleasure to catch Denis Podalydès' staging of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme at Lincoln Center Festival. Here's my review for The New York Times.

Fun fact: Podalydès' old pal Emmanuel Bourdieu is listed for "artistic collaboration," whatever that is. His father was famed sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who came up with (among many others things) the concept of cultural capital — which of course is was the play is partly about.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Execution of Mrs. Cotton

Good serendipity for my first New York Times theater review: a show with a marked guignol streak. Too bad it was petit rather than Grand. Click here for the full review.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kayak polo at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Oops, there was one last NY Post piece due to run: an account of my kayak-polo adventure at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Click here to discover this addictive water sports.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

My last NY Post pieces

Here are handy links to my last pieces for the NY Post. Not latest: last.

First off, click here for the deets on what happened in the spring of 1923, when the vice squad raided The God of Vengeance and put the kibosh on the show — that's what you get for bringing lesbians and religious sacrilege to Broadway.

I had serious problems with last year's Spring Spectacular but Radio City turned the show around this year, and now it's deserving of its name. There's still work to do but I do think they're over the hump now, and have something they can build on.

The hottest tour of the summer — nay, the year? It's a 400-year-old book. The Folger Library is putting some of its Shakespeare First Folios on the road.

Finally, meet Mexrissey, which puts a fabulous Mexican spin on Morrissey songs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What to do and not to do when you exercise in the heat

Another outdoorsy piece, this time about precautions to take when you exercise outdoors and the temperature is climbing. I wish I'd known some of these things when I almost passed out after playing tennis in 100 degrees last summer...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Helen Mirren's deep catalogue

The only people who should be surprised to see Helen Mirren in the next Fast and Furious movie are the ones who haven't paid any attention to her long and wildly diverse career.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Taming of the Shrew

Does this play work better with a single-sex cast? My favorite production remains Propeller's all-male one at BAM, but then I did like the mixed one with Maggie Siff a few years back. Phyllida Lloyd chose to go broad — in every sense of the term. My review's here.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Paddleboarding in the Rockaways

I just love exploring the nooks and crannies of New York, especially when I also get to try a new sport — in this case standup paddleboarding. I didn't do too much of the pilates session, though! More details on what I found out here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Baloneys are back

It was a lot of fun to award the Baloneys for the second year. As the Tonys celebrate Broadway's best, my little awards revel in Broadway's worst. The list of shame is here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Beyoncé at Citi Field

As much as I admire Beyoncé's determination and just how cool her show looked, I found it hard to feel anything in this military-precision spectacle. My review's here.

Friday, June 03, 2016

The Bechdel test should not be a litmus test

Can you use a checklist to gauge a movie's quality? My take on how the Bechdel test is being used and abused is here.

Tegan and Sara

I was so primed to love Tegan and Sara's new album — for the past three years they've been doing all the right things, saying all the right things, wearing all the right things. And then I just liked it well enough. My review's here.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hatsune Miku: the ultimate geek icon

Can it get any better for a geek than an artificial pop star whose shows consist of high-tech hologram projections backed by a live band? Meet Hatsune Miku, in town to turn the nerd nation into a glowstick frenzy!

Cirque du Soleil tries again in New York

And Cirque du Soleil fails again. I don't understand why they can't leave well enough (in Vegas) alone. My take on Paramour is here.

Stew writes great musicals, doesn't give a f--k about theater

I was a big fan of Passing Strange and was enchanted by Stew and Heidi Rodewald's new one, The Total Bent. It was a treat chatting with Stew, who's articulate, informed and opinionated -- it's so rare to see those three qualities at once! Click here for the chat.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Picks of the week: Turn Me Loose, Daphne's Dive, Skeleton Crew

Lots of good stuff happening off-Broadway right now. In addition to the exquisite Indecent, I recommend Turn Me Loose, Daphne's Dive and Skeleton Crew.

Gays on trial: Indecent and The Judas Kiss

Coincidentally two plays just opened in which homosexuality is put on trial, directly (Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss) and indirectly (the 1923 Broadway show God of Vengeance in Indecent). Check out which one you should see.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tina Charles' weekend

I chatted with the Liberty's center Tina Charles (check here). Clearly it brought them good luck because the team's won its first two games!

Please let this hilarious nun perform at the Tonys

As anybody who follows Broadway (and off) knows, Jennifer Simard killed as a gambling-addicted nun in Disaster! So much so that she nabbed a Tony nomination -- the only one for the show. Now a movement's brewing to get her on the Tonys telecast. More here.

Interview with Gerald Marzorati

It was a delight chatting with Gerald Marzorati about his new book, Late to the Ball. And not just because we appear to have the exact same game (though he plays at a higher level). The convo is here.

Ukraine won Eurovision

For most of the voting it looked as if Australia was going to win the "Euro"vision Song Contest. But then Ukraine lapped Oz and the old continent prevailed. Oh the stares of the Russian delegation! Click here for my insta-review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Interview with Daniel Dae Kim

Meet the new King in "The King and I"!

May means it's Eurovision time again!

If it's May, it must be Eurovision time! This year the contest is on a U.S. channel for the first time (why didn't they ask me to comment it?) and Justin Timberlake is the pre-vote entertainment. Neither of these things changes the ESC's fundamentally, defiantly European (as in non-American) nature. More here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pick of the week: Do I Hear a Waltz?

There were a few great flubs at last night's Encores! but that's par for the course considering how little rehearsal time they have. Overall Do I Hear a Waltz? is exactly the kind of show that the City Center series was invented for. More here.

The unexpected resurgence of Grey's Anatomy

One of the hottest dramas on TV is ... Grey's Anatomy? Yes, that 12-year-old war horse is enjoying a ratings resurgence. Pound for pound, it's a lot more satisfying to watch than most critical darlings of the moment. Click here for my take on the phenomenon.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Goodbye to The Good Wife

I freely admit it: I cried when The Good Wife ended last night. More thoughs on the series finale are here.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Picks of the week: Dear Evan Hansen and Kiki & Herb

What a beautiful surprise Dear Evan Hansen was! And there's a good chance it's going to transfer, so I'm looking forward to seeing it again. As for Kiki and Herb, the only surprise was how well those old cranks have aged. More details here.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Gillian Anderson's Streetcar

Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster star in A Streetcar Named Desire at St. Ann's Warehouse. I was a little underwhelmed. My review's here.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Interview with Stephen Mangan

Broadway fans know Stephen Mangan from his playing the title role in The Norman Conquests, but for everybody else (and that's still not that many people!) he's Sean Lincoln on Showtime's Episodes. I talked to Mangan about his new series, Houdini & Doyle.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Shuffle Along

I'd always admired more than loved Audra McDonald, but after seeing Shuffle Along I'm fully converted. My review's here.

Interview with Patti LuPone

Patti LuPone rocker her guest spot on Penny Dreadful last year, and now she's back for a full season — in a different role! Naturally I talked to the feisty star about skinning rabbits with Eva Green. Click here for more.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Long Day's Journey Into Night

Jessica Lange, Michael Shannon and Gabriel Byrne star in the latest revival of O'Neill's drama -- and I liked it a lot more than I expected. My review's here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tuck Everlasting

This is a sad state of affair when I, who can't be accused of anglophilia, keep wishing that Brits would handle all family shows. The Brits seem to be repelled by sugary sentimentality, and the new Tuck Everlasting could have used a touch of dakrness. My review's here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fully Committed

Bland and underseasoned, Jesse Tyler Ferguson's solo show lands flat. My review's here.

Monday, April 25, 2016


Much to my surprise (because I'm not all that crazy about the movie), I absolutely loved Waitress as a Broadway musical. My review's here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

American Psycho

American Psycho: The Musical went the only way it could -- satire. There's just no way the violence could have made it to the stage. At least not the Broadway stage. My review's here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rihanna's "Needed Me"

My take on how Rihanna boldly goes where she's gone many times before in her new video for "Needed Me."

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Night Manager

This new Le Carré adaptation is seriously good. If you prefer your espionage with less explosions and more brains than a Bourne/Bond/Mission: Impossible franchise, get onto this pronto. My review's here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Father

His performance in The Americans has made me fall in love with Frank Langella all over again. Too bad The Father is such a slick vehicle, trying so hard to impress. My review's here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This week's picks are Les Fetes Venitiennes and Exit Strategy

Go see Les Arts Florissants' Les Fêtes Vénitiennes at BAM and Primary Stage's Exit Strategy at the Cherry Lane. But don't feel like you have to rush over to Nathan the Wise at Classic Stage Company. This week's critic's picks are here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dancing with the Stars is watchable again

Season 22 (how time flies!) is a lot of fun, and I listed the reasons why here. Hint: good contestants and no Houghs.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Why hasn't anybody on Fear the Walking Dead heard of zombies?

Answer: They live in a world where nobody has ever seen a George Romero movie. At least that's was showrunner Dave Erickson's theory when I talked to him. More here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Colman Domingo talks Fear the Walking Dead

I've seen Colman Domingo in many shows, from musicals to Fugard, so it was quite a shock when he turned up in Fear the Walking Dead last year. I chatted with him about getting a gig with a popular TV franchise.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Theater's biggest stars don't have any lines

Just look at those hardworking couches! This one was a hoot to research.

Pick of the week: Richard II

I was very impressed by David Tennant in Richard II (like everybody else, it seems). I only saw one of the other shows in the Lancaster cycle at BAM, Henry IV Pt. 1, but it left me cold. Antony Sher's Falstaff, in particular, felt by-the-numbers -- Sophie Stanton's portrayal in the Phyllida Lloyd staging at St. Ann's was a million times more inventive, and not just because she was a woman playing a man.

Fun facts you didn't know about Hamilton

Despite the media onslaught accompanying a certain musical, a new companion book managed to uncover new tidbits. I picked a few of them.

Andrew Dice Clay

Yes, I interviewed Andrew Dice Clay -- and it was awesome! Click here to see why it's clear this guy hasn't had media training.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Monday, April 04, 2016

Interview with Jeffrey Dean Morgan

I have issues with the way the Walking Dead season finale was handled, but none with the way Jeffrey Dean Morgan portrayed Negan. My interview with him is here.

P.S. Denny Duquette is still dead!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Interview with Lukas Graham

The Danish popster answered some questions. I really want to visit Christiania now! The chat is here.

Picks of the week: 1776 and Head of Passes

I'd never seen 1776 and thoroughly enjoyed the Encores! production that's running until Sunday. My other recommendation this week is Head of Passes at the Public Theater. More here.

The Crucible

Ivo van Hove is usually very good at drawing out a play's deepest meaning but his reading of The Crucible is a little perplexing. Still, I enjoyed the show.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It doesn't really matter who dies on The Walking Dead

If you see The Walking Dead as an exercise in hopeless nihilism, it really doesn't matter who dies on Sunday's season finale. Click here and see if you agree with my reasoning.

Monday, March 28, 2016

One of the most boring Walking Dead episodes ever

I have a very high tolerance for detours on The Walking Dead, but last night's episode was a time-killing dud. My review's here.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bright Star

I found Bright Star charming but a couple of tonal hiccups really surprised me. As when news of infanticide is greeted with a mellow little ditty. If there ever was an opportunity for a murder ballad -- especially considering that the score is country/bluegrass -- this was it. My review's here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dry Powder

Dry Powder scored a deluxe cast: Claire Danes, John Krasinski, Hank Azaria. Too bad the play itself isn't as sharp as it thinks it is. My review's here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How Mark Ballas stopped smoking

I can't believe Mark Ballas lasted that long on DWTS with a pack-a-day habit. Click here for more.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Denise bites the dust on The Walking Dead

I won't lie: I'm cheesed off that Carl got shot in the eye and got a cool patch, while Denise got shot in the eye and got a fresh grave. As for Carol, can we have any character coherence? Is that too much to ask? My take on last night's episode of The Walking Dead is here.

Friday, March 18, 2016

This week's picks: She Loves Me and The Robber Bridegroom

It was a great week for revivals as I saw She Loves Me and The Robber Bridegroom back to back. Completely different shows, and both incredibly pleasurable. My joint review's here.

Interview with Timothy Olyphant

I've been an Olyfan (sorry!) since 1996, when I saw him in Santaland Diaries. I finally got to talk to him in conjunction with his return to the Atlantic, in Kenneth Lonergan's lovely Hold On to Me Darling. Click here for the interview.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A crowd of morons riled up Whoopi Goldberg

Rarely have I been as pissed off by an audience as I was last night, when a horde of cretins mistook White Rabbit Red Rabbit for an amusement-park ride. Read on for what happened.

Monday, March 14, 2016

This week's Walking Dead

We all thought Carol had fully embraced her blood-thirsty ruthlessness but maybe it's not been that easy on her after all. More thoughts on this week's episode here.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Eclipsed and Blackbird

I saw Eclipsed and Blackbird on consecutive nights, and as bleak as those plays are, it's amazing to see these women's stories on Broadway. My joint take is here.

This week's pick: Disaster!

Disaster! suffers a bit in its move to Broadway — this is the kind of show that belongs in a smaller space — but I still had a very fun time. Not so much at The Royale. Click here for more.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Interview with Julie Delpy

it was a real treat to chat with Julie Delpy, who's smart and opinionated. My feature is here.

This week's picks are Familiar and Red Speedo

This week's picks are Danai Gurira's Familiar and Lucas Hnath's Red Speedo. On the other hand, don't feel like you have to go to Pericles or Dot. Click here for the low-down.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Son of a Backstreet Boy

Baylee Littrell, the son of Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, is making his Broadway debut in Disaster! How could I not chat with him? Click here for more.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Negan's getting nearer on The Walking Dead

The Negan buzz is getting deafening on The Walking Dead but what I really want to know is why they can find an ultrasound machine but not radios. Seriously? My review of episode 6.11 is here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Walking Dead has been ignoring the comics for years

The Walking Dead has been ignoring the comics for years, so why cry now that Rick's hooking up with Michonne instead of Andrea? Really, does anybody miss Andrea? My case for sticking with the show is here.

A chat with Eddie the Eagle

As much as I love skiing, ski jumping freaks me out. Peering down from the top of Lake Placid's Olympic jump in summer was terrifying so I can't even imagine going down that thing. All the more credit, then, to Michael "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards for competing at the Calgary Winter Games -- even if he finished last. Our chat is here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Weekend with Alan Cumming

Well, not literally -- we just chatted about what he likes to do on a perfect weekend. Sexual relations, swimming and cocktail o'clock: it's a charmed life! Click here for more.

Friday, February 19, 2016

This week's picks: Buried Child and Old Hats

This week's picks are both at the Signature Center, and they couldn't be any more different: the New Group's revival of Sam Shepard's Buried Child and an encore presentation of Bill Irwin and David Shiner's vaudevillian clown show Old Hats. More here.

The Humans is now the Tony frontrunner

Stephen Karam's Broadway debut, The Humans, is the frontrunner in the Best Play race. Let's see how the battle with Eclipsed will shape up! My re-review of the transfer is here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

More Walking Dead!

This time, I reflect on Rick's evolution in the winter premiere. Who would have thought this guy could ever say "I was wrong"?!? Click here for the post-mortem (no pun intended).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Walking Dead's sixth season returns

Glenn fiasco aside, I've been enjoying the sixth season of The Walking Dead tremendously. The winter premiere didn't let me down. My preview's here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thank God for Jokes

As a punctual person living with someone blessed with a rubbery conception of time, I really felt for Mike Birbiglia's riff on the difference between people who are on time and people who are late. He belongs to the first category, and about the second, he has this to say: "We hate you." Gently, of course -- this is Mike Birbiglia, not Triumph. Anyway, his new solo, Thank God for Jokes, is one of my picks this week. Click here to discover my skips.

Does the producer behind the feminist tweets live up to his message?

I looked him up, and the result is a half empty/half full type thing.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Interview with Giacomo Gianniotti

The interns keep rolling at Grey's Anatomy, and the latest one is Dr. Andrew DeLuca. I had a chat with Giacomo Gianniotti, the Canadian-Italian actor who portrays him. Click here for more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Frozen comes to Broadway

Will Frozen be the new Hamilton? Or the new Wicked? Or the new Little Mermaid? More guesswork here.

Monday, February 01, 2016

The return of The X-Files

OK, so that came out a little while ago but I was away on a ski trip and thoughts of work went out the window. The takeaway: Gillian Anderson makes David Duchovny's acting look worse than ever. More here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Skeleton Crew is my pick of the week

Skeleton Crew leads my picks this week, with a more reserved endorsement of Erin Markey's A Ride on the Irish Cream. You can skip Our Mother's Brief Affair, though. The low-down is here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cats is a musical that can end friendships

Cats is back and I'm happy about it! Read my take on why this show is so divisive here.

London Spy

Spying is almost an afterthought in London Spy, an excellent new miniseries on BBC America. Rather, the show looks at the construction of identity, and how said identity helps us construct our lives -- or contributes to ruin our lives. My review's here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TV characters and their tragic flaws

Of course characters must be multi-faceted, but does one of those facets must include a drug addiction? Some examples and more in my piece here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mercy Street

PBS tries its hand at original drama, with unsteady results. Did we really need the brilliant surgeon to have a morphine addiction?!? My review's here.

Noises Off

One of the best things about the new Noises Off is the playbill for Nothing On, the show-within-the-show. As for the rest, this is a textbook example of a production being less than the sum of its sterling parts. My review's here.

Gillian Anderson talks X-Files

I talked with Gillian Anderson again (be still, my heart!), and this time it was about the return of The X-Files. I admit it: I got emotional when I heard that theme music again. Click here for the chat.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Looking back at MADtv with Nicole Parker

I've long been a Nicole Parker fan so it was a pleasure to chat with her about MADtv. Click here for our convo, as well as some choice YouTube clips.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

January's theater festivals

What CMJ is to music fans, January is to theater lovers — especially if they go for experimental fare, because Broadway this ain't. I picked five shows that looked promising, at least to me, because in the end the one requirement is: What would I go see? Click here for more deets.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

My weekend with Cristin Milioti

Cristin Milioti's in Lazarus until the end of the month, and just finished a stint in Fargo's second season. Busy! Fortunately she still goes out on weekend. See you at Bareburger!