Friday, December 27, 2019

One Cut of the Dead

My first review of a movie streaming on Shudder! Expanding my palette every day. Actually, maybe not all that much: One Cut of the Dead is a comedy masking as a zombie movie.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Anything Can Happen in the Theater

I'm happy to report that this Maury Yeston revue does feature "Home," one of my favorite musical-theater songs of the past 30 years. Read more about the show in my Times review here.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sleeping Car Porters

Sleeping Car Porters is well worth the trip to Williamsburg — if you're not already there, that is — and the price is absolutely right: $20 well spent. My Times review is up and can be found here.

The L Word: Generation Q

In some way, my review of The L Word: Generation Q has been 15 years in the making. Was it worth the wait?

Harry Townsend's Last Stand

Len Cariou is in fine form as a cantankerous Vermonter in this comedy about serious matters. The review is here.

My contribution to the New York Times' theater best

It was such a pleasure to write about three terrific comic performances I saw this year. Thataway, then scroll down for the funny business.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Netflix's original holiday movies

Netflix is dropping a lot of original holiday movies this season, and I watched them all (except for the straggler dropping after my deadline, that is). Who made it to the top? Click here and find out.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Going on a ski road trip

Now that many of us skiers have a multi-resort pass, how can we make the most of them? I hit the road for the Times' travel section in February and lived the dream: ate breakfast burritos, skied bumps and powder, locked myself out of the car… Oh, now you want to read the article?

Musicals need to go bigger

I wrote in praise of big, broad, possibly nonsensical musicals for the Times — and why Moulin Rouge! doesn't cut it, unlike We Will Rock You and Bat Out of Hell. Thataway for the fun.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Half-Life of Marie Curie

Lauren Gunderson's latest opens in NYC with a great cast: Francesca Faridany and Kate Mulgrew. My NY Times review is here.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Inheritance

I reviewed Matthew Lopez's very long play for Newsday and in short: just see the first part. Click here for the full review.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lady and the Tramp

I wrote about the live-action remake of this 1955 movie for the Times. Come for the CGI-enhanced dogs, stay for the Margaret Keane joke. Thataway for the review.

Saturday, November 09, 2019


It was a great pleasure to be able to walk from my house to the Billie Holiday Theater in Bed-Stuy (even if Google Maps underestimated how long it would take and I barely made it) for this review.

Interview with Jeanine Basinger

It was great fun talking to Jeanine Basinger about her new book on the American musical for Kirkus. She made such a convincing case for Coppola's One from the Heart that I went out and watched. Er…the jury's still out on that one. Anyway, click here for our chat.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Many people assume critics enjoy writing pans, perhaps because they can be fun to read (case in point: Pete Wells' recent review of Peter Luger). I can guarantee I did not take any special pleasure in writing about Fear, but I hope you'll enjoy the review anyway.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I checked out Theresa Rebeck's latest, Seared, which is now at MCC in a fancy production that allows for cooking onstage. Thataway for the Times review.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Two takes on Judy Garland

Two takes on Judy Garland impersonation, that is. I talked to Peter Mac and Sasha Velour about Garland's enduring appeal, what she means to them and how they perform her onstage. So much fun! Their respective shows couldn't be any more different but I love how they represent a certain continuum of queer culture. Click here for my Times feature.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Profile of Constanza Macras

It was a pleasure to talk to Constanza Macras, who's part of the Arts at MIT program this semester. Click here to discover someone who's pretty well known on the European dance-theater scene, yet still under the radar in the US.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Alia Shawkat's exit interview

Alia Shawkat's New York stage debut opened one day and closed the next. But it wasn't a flop destined to the wall of shame at Sardi's — The Second Woman was a 24-hour-long performance piece. I was lucky to talk to Shawkat immediately after the marathon ended. Click here for the amazing photos (and some words, too).

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Chasing Rainbows

This musical at Paper Mill Playhouse looks at the little girl who would go on to become Judy Garland — yes, it's an origin story. I went to New Jersey and brought back the deets for the Times, so step on the Yellow Brick Road right here.

Swan Lake

No, not that Swan Lake, precisely, but Michael Keegan-Dolan's very loose take on it. The show opened the Next Wave season at BAM, and it's pretty obvious that read as a statement of intent, it means we have flummoxing, genre-hybrid days ahead of us — which is good! Click here for my review.

Notes on My Mother's Decline

Uploading a link to this review from last week. I know, I know, I'm late, but life happened. Andy Bragen's play didn't entirely work for me, but I did like its dry, unsentimental — yet affectionate — tone. Thataway for the review.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Little Monsters

You'd think an Australian zombie comedy would be just right for me but unfortunately Little Monsters just isn't very good. Except for Lupita Nyong'o, that is. My review for the Times is here.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Dublin Carol

I reviewed Irish Rep's revival of Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol for the Times. Thataway please!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Why'd Ya Do It

Tammy Faye Starlite pays tribute to Marianne Faithfull's masterpiece, Broken English, with an erudite and often very funny show at Pangea. Click here for my review.

jazz singer

How do you deal with The Jazz Singer in 2019? A new play with music attempts an answer at, serendipitously, the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side. My review is here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tall Girl

I reviewed Netflix's Tall Girl for the Times and I was less than impressed. Aside from the movie itself, I was bugged by the production notes where the creative team crowed about how they had the guts to cast an actual tall girl in the title role. As opposed to casting a name and digitally elongate her? It's a low bar for artistic bravery. Anyway, my review is here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Opening Nights

This fall, New York is getting not one but two stage adaptations — very loose adaptations — of John Cassavetes's Opening Night. I talked to the shows' principals so you know what to expect. Although frankly I think the only way to get an idea will be to attend. My preview is here.


Milly Thomas's Dust is harrowing. Read my review for the Times then go buy a ticket.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Interview with Anna Torv

Oops, forget to link to this one. How could I!?! I talked to Anna Torv about Mindhunter, and also a little bit about Secret City. By the way, it took me a while to realize that Damon Herriman, who plays Manson in Mindhunter, also plays Torv's transgender ex-husband in Secret City! (She doesn't have scenes with Manson so I didn't bring it up.) Click here for the Q&A.

Monday, August 26, 2019


I admire Theater Mitu's ambition but its shows keep coming short. You can do a lot of background research but it needs to translate into something palpable on stage. My review of House (or how to lose an orchard in 90 minutes or less) for the Times is here.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On tour with the Benny Anderssons Orkester

I tagged along to four shows by the Benny Anderssons Orkester and lived to tell the tale in the New York Times. Click here for the feature — with its great photos by David B. Torch.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Little Gem

A little late posting this review but I have a good excuse for the delay: I was traveling for a story due to be published next week. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here's the link to Little Gem.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Point Blank

Let's see, which Point Blank should you watch today? Just make sure it's not the one I just reviewed for the Times!

Havel: The Passion of Thought

The Potomac Theater Project has unearthed a trio of Havel plays for its annual summer residency at the Atlantic 2. Was it worth it? Check out my Times review to find out.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Interview with Michael R. Jackson

What fun it was to write this feature about Michael R. Jackson — starting with seeing Liz Phair in Prospect Park with him. The concert himself was great but watching it next to him added a whole extra layer of entertainment. Click here for the piece.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Lesbians on Broadway (or not)

I wrote a critic's notebook for the Times about the fact that lesbian theater isn't doing too badly Off and Off Off Broadway, but once it's time to make it into the big, lucrative league known as Broadway — well, that's another matter.

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages is back, smaller (it's now at New World Stages) but also bigger (the show finally has songs by Def Leppard). My Times review is here.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

EST one-act plays marathon

I dropped by EST to check out Series C of their annual one-act festival and I have to say, that wasn't the strongest batch. Check out my Times review for more info.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

9 films and opera that defined Franco Zeffirelli

It was fun to dig into the Zeffirelli stash on YouTube for this Times piece. Click here for the article and then follow the links — you won't be able to unsee and unhear what lurks behind them.

Friday, June 14, 2019


Crystal Skillman's Open isn't the most uplifting play for Pride month but hey, it's really good! Besides, you owe it to yourself to see whatever Megan Hill's doing. Click here for my review.

Murder Mystery

Look, it's an Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston caper, and I got to review it for the Times! I was hoping for some kind of National Lampoon's European Vacation but alas, it went in another direction. Click here for the review.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Oscar at the Crown

Oscar Wilde, The O.C., The Real Housewives of Orange County, the apocalypse —it's all in Oscar at the Crown. Does it work? Weeeellllll… Click here for my review of this new musical for the Times.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Exit interview with Donna Marie Asbury

Donna Marie Asbury just left Chicago after 22 years with the show — first in the tour and then in the Broadway company. It was a treat to speak with her a couple of hours before she stepped on the Ambassador stage for the last time. Click here for the goods.

The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda

I reviewed Ishmael Reed's new play about what's missing from Hamilton: click here for the review.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I've been a fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead since seeing her in Death Proof, in which she wore a yellow cheerleader uniform (but did not play a cheerleader) and was in that car facing off crazy Kurt Russell.
And earlier this month, I talked to her about doing her first play in New York (Dying City at Second Stage) and a bunch of other stuff. Click here to see if Nikki Swango came up.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Pink Unicorn

Fans of Alice Ripley may want to check out this show to see her in very close quarters. Others may not be in a rush. My Times review is here.

The Plough and the Stars

I reviewed one third of Irish Rep's O'Casey cycle for the Times — and it was an excellent third. My review is here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Original Sound

A play about how modern pop music is cooked up? Sign me up! My Times review is here.

Nancy And Beth

I tagged along to Bay Shore with Stephanie Hunt and Megan Mullally's Nancy And Beth. My article in the Times barely scratches the surface of what transpired.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Black Summer

When it comes to the undead, I've always preferred zombies to vampires. And I can watch a lot of that stuff. The Netflix algorithm knows this and recommended Black Summer, which turned out to be amazing. So much so that I wrote about it for the Times. My critic's notebook is here.


Cirque du Soleil is back in great, great form with Luzia, which is well worth the trip to Citi Field (the circus is under a big top in the parking lot, a short walk from the 7 subway stop). It was a total pleasure to review the show for the Times.

Friday, May 03, 2019

A listening guide to riot grrrl

What a thrill it was to work on this piece about 25 essential riot grrrl tracks! Wow, that brought me back. As much of a fan of print as I am, the online version moves so right there... Anyway, here's the link. Dig in.

Playing Hot

I reviewed this rambunctious play about jazz musician Buddy Bolden for the Times, and there it is.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jack & with The Cotillion

Yikes, I'm a bit late posting this one. I reviewed Kaneza Schaal's latest show, at New York Live Arts, for the Times, and it's here.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Marjana and the Forty Thieves

Went down to Sunset Park to catch this Target Margin show for the New York Times — the review is here. Of course I stopped at the Colombian joint ParisCien for a pan de bono on the way.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Katrina Lenk's exit interview

I talked to Katrina Lenk in September 2017, as The Band's Visit was to about to start again on Broadway. It was a pleasure to meet again a few days before the show closed. Click here for the exit interview.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Life Sucks.

Aaron Posner's new one (well, new to us in NYC) is a super-smart adaptation of Uncle Vanya. My review is here.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Legend of Cocaine Island

I reviewed this colorful documentary for the Times (find my piece here). It's on Netflix, if you want a dose of Florida silliness this weekend.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Smart Blonde

I was really happy to see Andréa Burns in a starring role, even if she's a lot better than her vehicle. My review of Smart Blonde is here.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Southern Promises

A revival of Thomas Bradshaw's Southern Promises, from 2008, comes at time when playwrights look at slavery with renewed urgency (and often with breathtaking artistic inventiveness). My review is here.

Thursday, March 14, 2019


The Little Lord company harnessed its wild imagination in its most streamlined show yet — which doesn't make it the tamest. It was a lot of fun to review it for the Times.

Imagining Madoff

Deb Margolin uses Bernie Madoff and a scholar who looks a lot like Elie Wiesel to look at faith, conscience and guilt in her new show at 59E59. My review for the Times is here.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Which ski pass is best for you

Epic, IKON and the Mountain Collective have just gone on sale for next season, and I just wrote about them for the Times' travel section. If you're a skier, chances are good you need one of them. Some people I know get two.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Tribute to André Previn

Very excited to be part of the New York Times' collective tribute to André Previn. My contribution is about Valley of the Dolls and you can find it here.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

The Price of Thomas Scott

The Mint kicks off its Elizabeth Baker project rather inauspiciously with a play that hasn't been produced since its 1913 premiere — for a reason. Click here for my Times review.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Europe in the off season

There is one way to lower the price of a European vacation: it's to go in the off season. I wrote up a few tips for Newsday.

We Are the Tigers

Cheerleaders, horror and show tunes? What could go wrong? Well…read my review for the answer to that pressing question.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Merrily We Roll Along

I reviewed the Fiasco company's revival of this 1981 Sondheim musical for The Hollywood Reporter. I think my ideal production of this show is still to come. Thataway for the words.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

My Very Own British Invasion

Another jukebox musical rolls down the pike and…it's not a prime example of the genre. My review for the Times can be found here.

And let it be said that "Born to Be Wild" was part of the Canadian invasion!

Interview with Isabelle Huppert

Isabelle Huppert is in NY to do a French play — in English — and I talked to her about the project. Click here for the piece.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Master of the Crossroads

What the actor Obi Abili does in Master of the Crossroads is beyond committed. Too bad the play itself just doesn't work. My review is here.

Friday, January 25, 2019


My latest for the New York Times is not for a theatrical project. It's not in movie theaters, either, but rather streaming on Netflix: my review of Soni is here.


Check out my review of the omnibus Awake in the New York Times. Yes, Trey Santiago-Hudson appears to be Ruben's son.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

LaBute New Theater Festival

Click here for my review of the omnibus LaBute New Theater Festival for the New York Times. Three one-act plays in a minor key.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


I spent two action-packed days at BroadwayCon last week, and you can read all (well, almost all) about it in my Times report.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ivo van Hove: Is he all that?

It was great fun to participate in a conversation about Ivo van Hove with Ben Brantley and Jason Zinoman. Click here for the Times article. We also drew up a list of seven other innovative directors,which you can find here.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

January festivals

For the Times I previewed a couple of shows from a couple of the festivals hitting NYC in January. First there's "Cowboy," a new short by Gracie Gardner at the Exponential Festival. Then there's [50/50] old school animation at Under the Radar — which I saw on Friday and highly recommend (what a way to start off the year!).