Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Bruce Willis now

 Over the past few years, but especially since 2015, Bruce Willis has been making a lot of movies. I watched 12 of them and lived to tell the tale. The story is here.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

A look at British panto

What a treat to team up with my colleague Alexis Soloski on a panto article! And what a treat to be able to watch panto to begin with, since we are in the U.S., where this particular theatrical genre does not thrive. Click here for our conversation.

Jared Mezzocchi

 Many people stepped into the arts breach in 2020, and it was my pleasure to write about Jared Mezzocchi for the Times.

Be an Arts Hero

 I wrote about the advocacy group Be an #ArtsHero for the New York Times. Another thing I wish we didn't need, but there we are. The article is here.

Last streaming column of 2020

 What a year it's been for streaming theater. For starters: that's when streaming theater began. We could have done without that invention but there you go: lemons, lemonade. In my last streaming column of 2020, I suggest some productions that show that we've come a long way since the hesitant Zoom days of March. Click here for more.

Friday, December 04, 2020

What's happening on the Dallas stages?

 In real life, I've never stepped outside of the Dallas-Forth Worth airports — yes, there are two. In virtual life, I watched a lot of Dallas theater this fall. Click here for my story about it.

Streaming theater: holiday edition

 My column about streaming theater comes with a theme this week. You have one guess.

The 2020 Christmas movies on Netflix

 I did it last year and here I am again this year: I watched the new batch of Netflix original Christmas movies, and lived to tell the tale — and rank them! Thataway for the list, which everybody will disagree with.

Best of 2020

 I contributed to the Times' Best of 2020 list. Naturally, I highlighted some viral projects.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Split Britches' Last Gasp

One of the best art pieces of the pandemic has come from a 40-year-old company, Split Britches. I checked in on Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, back from their eventful London sojourn, where they created Last Gasp WFH. 

A chat with HBO's Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller

 Another threeway conversation! Ah, the vagaries of scheduling. Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller are some of the most powerful women in television, yet chances are you haven't heard of them. Let's change that, shall we? Click here for our chat.

A chat with Bryan Cranston and Peter Moffat

Fun fact: 20 minutes after Joe Biden was declared President Elect, I got on a Zoom call with Peter Moffat and Bryan Cranston to talk about their new miniseries, Your Honor. Listening to the recording later on, I could clearly hear honking and yelling in the background. Thataway for the chat, which is rather entertaining.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Skiing in the time of Covid-19

Planning to ski this season? I gathered some tips to help you navigate the new landscape. The takeaway: plan ahead! Head over to my Times article for more.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Readymade Cabaret 2.0

Erin B. Mee brings Dada to the world of online theater with this streaming interactive show. My review is here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Rogue City

 I don't mind Olivier Marchal movies at all, and enjoyed his TV series Braquo, but his latest cop thriller, Rogue City, is just plain bad. Click here for my review.

Monday, October 26, 2020

What the Constitution Means to Me

I reviewed Marielle Heller's capture of the Heidi Schreck play for the Times.


 Aaron Posner is back with JQA, a meta-historical — or is that meta-fictional? — play about John Quincy Adams. I liked its civic mind very much so click here for the review.

Streaming theater: alt-cabaret and zombies

This edition of the biweekly theater column covered Halloween, and the streaming gang rose to the occasion. Click here for leads to many shows.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Circle Jerk

 Give it up for the Fake Friends company, which named its new show something that will lead to some interesting Google results. For my review, however, click here.

Streaming theater: Halloween and alt-cabaret

Downtown clubs aren't open anymore but that doesn't mean we can't have alt-cabaret. Click here for places to find it, and more streaming theater.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

That Kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words

 V, formerly known as Eve Ensler, talked to nurses and then made a play. It's amazing, and not surprising at all, to hear the anger rise over the course of the show. My review for the Times is here.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Profile of Aaron Pedersen

 What a treat to interview Aaron Pedersen for the Times — and it was published on Indigenous People's Day, too. He could not have been gracious, a true mensch in life and on screen. Click here for the story.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Streaming theater — Scotland and nurses edition

Broadway may be closed until March 21, but theater is expanding its footprint online. My latest column gives an idea of the wealth of stuff out there. Click here for the details.

Interview with Dylan Wissing

Dylan Wissing is a drummer with both sleuthing and musical chops, as well as a fine collection of things that make a noise when you hit them. Read all about him and the fascinating process known as sample replay in my profile.

American Dreams

 In the play American Dreams, three men compete in a game show to win American citizenship. My review of the interactive production is here.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Elephant Room — Dust From the Stars

 Geoff Sobelle, Trey Lyford and Steve Cuiffo's sequel to Elephant Room is so, so good! I hope they bring it back for a longer run because this is the first Zoom show I've seen with a genuine theatricality. My review is here.

Streaming theater: catty birthdays and lessons in survival

 I am in the middle of putting together a music-article with some complicated moving parts so I forgot to link to my latest streaming-theater column, which came out last week. Lots of stuff is still available so check it out.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Interview with Róisín Murphy

 Drop everything and read my profile of Róisín Murphy, the Irish maverick who's been blazing her own path for 25 years now!

Interview with Kara Young

I talked to Kara Young, one of New York's most vital actresses, a little before the airing of Bulrusher, the Eisa Davis play in which she takes on the title role. If you go to the theater on a semi-regular basis, perhaps you saw Young in Syncing Ink, The New Englanders, All the Natalie Portmans or Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven. And in that case, you remember her. Thataway for the article.

Monday, September 14, 2020


Aside from Black Summer, my favorite zombie offerings of the past couple of years have been from South Korea, namely Train to Busan and Kingdom. While #Alive does not quite reach those heights, it's still a very good addition — and I loved the bit about bleeding eyes being a symptom of infection, a nice visual touch. My review is here.

Streaming theater after six months

On the six-month anniversary of Broadway shutting down, I did another roundup of streaming theater. (Not that Broadway is all American theater but for my purposes it's a good enough symbol.) Click here — quite a few of the shows I mention are still viewable.

How to change theater

 What a joy to join the Times' hive mind as we cooked up ways to save theater. "Pie in the sky," they said — so I went for it. Lots of food for thought here.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Streaming theater is here to stay

 In my latest streaming column, I look at the fact that for many theater companies and festivals, streaming is here to stay. The Sydney Fringe, for example, will likely keep its online Global Fringe initiative even when physical performances resume. This and more here.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 I've never been to the Edinburgh Fringe but this year I got to review a couple of its shows — thank you, streaming! It was a pleasure to team up with Jesse Green and Alexis Soloski for this little adventure.

The best places to stream horror

 I checked out the major streaming platforms' strengths and weaknesses when it comes to horror. Thrills and chills thataway!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Chad Deity returns on Zoom

 Of all plays to do on Zoom, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is among the unlikeliest choices. If anything, the format allowed the full focus to be on the words, which remain punchy as ever. I discussed the reading with Maya Phillips so check out our conversation.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Finish the fight, and other adventures in streaming theater

 Time for another column about streaming theater, and there was a lot this time around. Click here, then click on all the links!

Ice Factory festival

 Undaunted by Covid-19, the Ice Factory festival took place this year — online, obviously. I wrote about it for the Times, and you will see why Zoom can be so gosh-darned confusing. Click here for my Critic's Notebook.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

La Cinetek

We can't watch the movies on the French streaming platform La Cinetek from the US but most are available here and the main point is the directors' lists, and those we can check out. Hours of fun! Click here for my article for the Times.

Another roundup of streaming theater

Who would have thought back in March that we'd still be talking about streaming theater? And yet here were, and likely here we will be for the next several months. Here's my latest streaming column for the Times.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Persians

You had to be there. No, really, you had to watch The Persians on Saturday at 2pm ET because the show, while livestreaming, is gone from the web. And it truly was fantastic, as I say in my review for the Times.

The enduring greatness of Columbo

What a treat to be able to write about Columbo, a show I started watching literally decades ago. I was happy to see it has actually aged well. Click here for my love letter to the sneakiest detective of them all.

Theater keeps on streaming

Belatedly posting my latest streaming column just as I'm working on the next installment! A lot of it is still available to get going.

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Copper Children

Oregon Shakespeare Festival is now streaming its production of The Copper Children, which I watched for the Times. Click here for the review.

The Beach House

Don't touch that gelatinous thing that washed up on the beach! Seriously, why did you have to touch it? My review of the vacation-horror movie The Beach House is up.

The She Kills Monsters phenomenon

Nobody could have predicted that Qui Nguyen's Off Off Broadway show would turn into a megahit on campuses across the country. I looked at the little show that could, and why so many theater students and teachers love it.

Why there aren't more Broadway shows online

Hamilton, yeah, sure: You can now stream it. But why are there so relatively few Broadway shows available online? And what's up with the performing arts library's collection of recordings? I answered those pressing questions and more in this primer for the NY Times.

More streaming theater

I can't believe I forgot to link to this roundup of streaming theater! But hey, better late than never, especially since quite a few selections are still available. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The new David Adjmi memoir

If you need a bracing chat, I highly recommend the playwright David Adjmi, whom I interviewed about his memoir, Lot Six. My Q&A is here.

Lost Bullet

French directors are doing to action movies what an earlier generation did to horror: they're brushing up the genre cobwebs. As American actioners have grown bloated and ridiculous, the French ones stick to 90 lean minutes. And the new Lost Bullet is a nifty example of the new school. Read my review then head to Netflix. Or vice versa.

Liz Garbus, true crime and women

Before talking to Liz Garbus for the Times, I did a deep dive into her career. It was often tough going — she tends to go for dark subjects — but never less than compelling. Click here for our chat, pegged to the new HBO series I'll Be Gone in the Dark.

Why you need to watch The Bureau

S5 of the French series The Bureau has just started streaming on Sundance Now. I talked to some members of its team — including Eric Rochant, Jacques Audiard and Mathieu Kassovitz — about what makes the show, and this season in particular, so special. Click here for the spy goods.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Gay films that are not about coming out

The great arc of gay (in the widest sense of the word) characters over decades roughly goes like this: villain or pathetic characters, then coming of age/self-discovery, then the world is your oyster. I wrote about 9 films in the last category for the Times — and they're all from this decade. Click here, then stream away.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Tony's greatest moments

A few of the Times' finest theater mavens got together for this list of favorite moments from the Tony Awards. Prepare to click on a lot of YouTube links!

Streaming theater: underground and foreign edition

One of the very few upsides of lockdown is the opportunity to see shows that would have been difficult or even impossible for us to see — because they happened in Europe or because they had short, under-publicized runs in tiny spaces. I found some really good ones for my latest roundup so head thataway.

How to sing duets online

In good times and bum times, people like to sing together — but it's not so easy on Zoom. I wrote up a few tips for the Times' At Home section (first piece there!). Click here and sing out, Louise!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Seacoast Rep Theater goes live

The Seacoast Repertory Theater, in Portsmouth, N.H., almost went under five years ago so when the pandemic rolled around, these guys weren't going to go without a fight. I talked to them about what it means to put on a full production in a state of emergency. Click here for an uplifting story.

You'll Never Walk Alone

You'll never sing alone with "You'll Never Walk Alone": I tracked the stunning popularity of this Rodgers and Hammerstein song from Carousel all the way to its current status as a coronavirus anthem of sorts. Click here for a lot of videos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Streaming French movies

There's a recent French movie for every taste, and I unearthed some under-the-radar gems in addition to higher-profile entries like Portrait of a Lady on Fire (which very much deserves its hype, by the way). Click here and then get streaming.

Streaming roundup 4

As we settle into a weird new normal, some businesses talk about reopening. Theaters, on the other hand, are still months away from welcoming audiences back into physical venues, so for now we have to do with streaming. Fortunately, there is more and more of it, and the quality keeps improving. My latest roundup for the Times has quite the range.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Streaming roundup, part 3

The virus is not going away, and neither is streaming theater. I gathered some of what's available out there for the Times. Click here then follow the yellow link roads.

Acting classes go online

A lot of things have gone online in the past months, including acting classes. I dropped by several Zoom sessions at HB Studio and Carnegie Mellon to see how that works. Click here for my piece.

Blood Quantum

I reviewed the zombie movie Blood Quantum for the Times. I'm always game for twists on the undead formula, so read on here to see what this Canadian flick pulls out.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

My favorite cast album is Hair

I've loved the Hair cast album since I was a teenager. Needless to say, I listened to it on repeat while writing this article.

Docs that rock

There are music docs and then there are rock docs. I've put together a list of my favorites in the second camp, and they're all streaming. Read and watch!

Why I continue watching Grey's Anatomy

There are hot TV shows and there are long-running workhorses, still at it after many years. My go-to is Grey's Anatomy and I can't see myself ever dropping it. Why should I: the show has done everything to make me stop, including getting rid of some of my favorite characters, and I'm still there. Thataway for the good.

The Plagues of Breslau

Serial killers and body horror go together like blade and flesh. I reviewed this gory Polish thriller — which sports a degree of murderous imagination that's downright Scandinavian — that's now streaming on Netflix for the Times. Click here for the article.

Monday, April 13, 2020

More streaming theater

Another roundup of streaming theater for your stay-at-home pleasure. Click here for the goods.

What to watch on Quibi

I updated my iOS just so I could watch Quibi. Was it a mistake? Time will tell. In the meantime, here are the shows I deemed Quibi-good.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kathy Valentine's Top 10 cultural picks

Trust the Go-Go's bassist to come up with some left-field answers for the Times' weekly "My Ten" column. Head thataway for the fun.

A tribute to Terrence McNally

Frankly, approaching these people to ask for their memories of Terrence McNally wasn't easy. And it must have been exponentially harder for them to answer. I'm grateful they did, and now you can read their testimonies here.

12 subtitled TV series you can stream right now

Best thing about subtitles: they force you to look away from the phone and focus! Here's my selection, and believe me, it was hard to pick just 12.

My tribute to Slings & Arrows

Delighted to write this short tribute to the Canadian series Slings & Arrows, as part of a weekly roundup of cultural offerings. It hasn't aged one bit. Click here.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show

The Rosie O'Donnell Show came back for a one-night-only telethon to raise money for the Actors Fund. I watched it all then wrote about it.

Theater enters the age of streaming

I'm so derelict in posting my links here! And now this piece, from the early days of the NY lockdown feels like a letter from long ago. And it was just about 2 weeks ago.

Anyway, theater has been dabbling with streaming for a while but now the situation has changed. A lot. So, what to do? Here's what some people are experimenting with.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

A roundtable about movie streaming

It was a pleasure to participate in this roundtable about the quality of streaming originals. I think we're cautiously optimistic? Click here for the goods.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The 2020-21 ski passes are out

I broke down what's new for Epic, Ikon and the Mountain Collective for next year. The news that Grand Targhee is finally joining a pass definitely made my day. Click here for the details.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Spenser Confidential

Mark Wahlberg headlines his new collaboration with Peter Berg, but the movie's real draw is Winston Duke. As long as he's on board, they can turn this into a franchise. My Times review of Spenser Confidential is here.

Coal Country

Not going to lie: I cried a lot at Coal Country at the Public. Another critic's pick — hey, it's just a really good time of the year! — and you can find it here.


Ethan Lipton's Tumacho is back for another round, which is great since I'd missed it at Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks a few years ago. My critic's pick review for the Times is here.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Celine Dion at Barclays Center

I've now seen Celine Dion live three times: at her first NYC show, which was at Town Hall in 1994; at Madison Square Garden in 2008; and last night at Barclays Center. So pretty much every dozen years or so. My account of the Town Hall concert was for the now-defunct New York Newsday and is not online, but the Times just put my review of the Barclays gig online.

Please, meet Bob Dylan

I asked members of the cast and creative team of the Girl From the North Country musical about the first time they heard Dylan. Needless to say, there was a drastic breakdown by generations: You could tell people's ages from their answers. Click here for the feature, which is the Times' Spring Preview.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

There is such a thing as too much upbeat, even in a musical — as evidenced by Dick Scanlan and Kathleen Marshall's revisal of this Meredith Willson show, which left me completely drained. My review is here.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Sabbath Girl

I have to admit I initially misread playwright Cary Gitter's name as Gary Gitter, and thought he must be getting a lot of redirects from a certain glam rocker on Google. What a difference a C makes. Anyway, my review of his play The Sabbath Girl can be found here.

Friday, February 21, 2020

How Killington makes snow

I love teaming up with a photographer for a story, and it was a pleasure to work with Caleb Kenna for this visually driven piece about Killington's snowmaking and grooming operation. Click here for the white stuff.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Happy Birthday Doug

Drew Droege set a high bar for wicked social satire in Bright Colors and Bold Patterns. His new one, Happy Birthday Doug, comes up a little short but it's still a good night out. My review is here.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Day streaming

I'm glad to have been invited to join a team of elite New York Times snipers assigned to choose some streaming movies (or episodes) for Valentine's Day. Va day may have come and gone, but romance is evergreen, right? Click here for our selections.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Ski instructions for adults

My latest for the Wall Street Journal: ski school — it's not just for kids. In which I praise the benefits of ski instruction for adults of all ages and all skill level. Click here for the article.

Brats and burritos at Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley has one of the most idiosyncratic backgrounds of any North American hills, and it was so much fun to research this article — my first for Condé Nast Traveler.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Interview with Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino is back on the NY stage for the first time in six years and I talked to her for the Times. As the headline says, she has range. The article is here.


I reviewed Zora Howard's new drama (dark comedy?) for the Times so head thataway for the goods.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Q&A with Harlan Coben

Unlike most of his thriller peers, Harlan Coben gets TV. It was a pleasure to talk to him for this Q&A.

The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker

The East Village's theatrical freak flag still flies at La MaMa! Thataway for my review.

Oscar Wao at Repertorio Español

A thorough adaptation of Junot Díaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao would take hours. The one at Repertorio Español is much more compact, meaning there are shortcuts, but the first act is pretty rocking. My review is here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Miss America's Ugly Daughter

I reviewed Barra Grant's exorcism of a solo show for the Times. New Yorkers of a certain age will remember Bess Myerson well. Click along here.

Monday, January 13, 2020


It's always a pleasure to go to the New Victory Theater, one of my favorite New York institutions. This time, it was to review Christopher Myers and Kaneza Schaal's Cartography. How was it? Click here and find out.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Interview with Charles Busch

After years of fandom, I finally got to write about Charles Busch. What a treat! I'll say no more, just head over to the article.