Monday, December 25, 2023

Waitress The Musical The Movie

 It's not called that but it should be. Click here for my review of the live capture of Sara Bareilles in her own musical, Waitress.

My favorite sci-fi movie of the year

Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it sneakily smart? Yes. Does it creep up on you? Absolutely. No One Will Save You is my favorite science-fiction movie of the year by far — and I watch a lot of movies in that genre. I wrote about it in my sci-fi column for the Times then again as my year-end pick. Thataway for my blurb and those of the other three genre columnists.

Science-fiction to stream in December

The latest installment of my science-fiction column is out, with five more indie and under-the-radar movies to stream this month. Go get 'em here

Best theater moments of 2023

It's always interesting to look back at the year in theater and see what stuck with me. Others shared some of my favorites (Laura Collins-Hughes on Jessica Chastain's exiting the stage at the end of A Doll's House, for example), and I got to write a few of my own. Head to the compilation, which is over here.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Sleeping Beauty

 ONEOFUS and Abrons are teaming up for another panto! This year they're doing Sleeping Beauty and I wrote a preview for the Times. I could not have been happier at that rehearsal. Thataway for the naughty fun.

Friday, December 01, 2023

Holiday movies of 2023

They're baaaaack! My annual roundup of streaming holiday movies is back. The winner this year: Candy Cane Lane. That one and more are here.

Panto is back at Abrons Arts Center

 It's that time of the year: The Panto Project is back at Abrons! I wrote a preview of Sleeping Beauty for the Times and after watching a rehearsal, I can't wait to see the actual show with a roomful with screaming kids. Click here for the article.

Science fiction for November

Here's a link to my November sci-fi column. They keep coming! 

Interview with Qui Nguyen

I've long been a fan of Qui Nguyen's work so it's always a pleasure to catch up with him. Click here for the goods — and yes, it's a gift link.

Florencia en al Amazonas

I love sitting in at rehearsals and frankly the Met Opera is right up there in terms of sheer delight. I got to watch them run through the entirety of their production of Florencia en el Amazonas for this preview feature. Total treat.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

OK, I have been completely terrible about posting links to my articles! Here's a whole batch to catch up. And I'm going to do my darnedest to remember to include gift links.


First off is my review of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, starring Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott. Mixed, as they say.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Watch Night

Regardless of the content of Watch Night, there's a real problem when it feels as if a creative team did not watch its own show from the audience's perspective. How else to explain the dead spots and how hard it is to read the surtitles and watch the actors at the same time? Click here for my review.

Monday, November 06, 2023

Nosferatu, a 3D Symphony of Horror

Joshua William Gelb and his Theater in Quarantine tackled the classic Murnau movie in 35 minutes and entirely livestreamed from within a small East Village closet. And it worked!!!

Another batch of sci-fi movies

A little late posting this one, but I closed October with more streaming science fiction! Click here for my latest list. 

Graciela Daniele and Priscilla Lopez

For a good time, I highly recommend sitting down for a chat with Graciela Daniele and Priscilla Lopez. They have dedicated their lives to theater, particularly of the musical persuasion, and they have stories to tell. A few of them made it into my preview of their show together, The Gardens of Anuncia. Click here for the article.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Adèle Haenel

I drove up to Chatham (my first time there, and it was great) to see L'Étang and talk to Adèle Haenel and Gisèle Vienne. I highly recommend a chat with these two if you want a bracing conversation, and I have the biggest respect for their commitment. Click here for the story.

My 10 with Tituss Burgess

One of my favorite parts about Zooming with Tituss Burgess was watching one of his dogs clamber all over him. Click here for the list of 10 things he loves.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Stereophonic

Could this show have been hatched just for me? It covers so many of my interests. David Adjmi is finally back with a new play in New York, and what a doozy it promises to be! My preview of Stereophonic for the Times is here.

Solo shows for the fall

I rounded up solo offerings for the New York Times. And there are quite a few of good ones to hit the NYC stages this fall. Click here for the list.

Dicks — The Musical

This movie is what happens when people try way too hard. But hey, we get Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally together, and they looked to be having more fun than in It's Only a Play! My review is here.

Monday, October 02, 2023

October sci-fi

Headlining this month's sci-fi column is No One Will Save You, which I love. See it on Hulu! That movie and more in the new batch here.

Dmitry Krymov at La MaMa

The Russian writer and director Dmitry Krymov is presenting a pair of new shows at La MaMa and I would urge anybody interested in theater to attend. I expand on that notion in a critic's notebook for the Times.

Dracula, a Comedy of Terrors

Based on multiple experiences, I'm going to theorize that vampires do a lot better onstage when they intentionally make us laugh. My review of the new play Dracula, a Comedy of Terrors is up.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Death, Let Me Do My Show

Let's just say that the "Death" in the title of Rachel Bloom show is not metaphorical. Well, it is, but also not, which I obliquely address in my review. Thataway for my take on Bloom's almost-solo show.

Jerry Harrison

Talking music and production with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads (and more) is a sound nerd's dream come true — even if a lot of his techie explanations flew right over my head. My interview for Tidal is here.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Rotting in the Sun

There is something rotten in the state of Mexico, and it might just be an American influencer. Or maybe a Chilean director. Hard to tell in Sebastián Silva's latest, which I reviewed for the Times. 

Enjoy some sci-fi movies in September

My latest batch of science-fiction streaming movies has some doozies, including the latest version of the Ultraman character. So good! Thataway for the list.

Simon Kinberg and Invasion

I'm a sucker for alien-invasion stories so the Apple TV+ series Invasion has been right up my alley. I talked to the co-creator and showrunner Simon Kinberg about the new season, which is unfurling right now. Click here for our chat.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Bottoms

The bottom line on Bottoms: the movie's just not as subversive or funny as it thinks it is. Click here for my review.

Bad Things

If someone invites you to spend a weekend in the snowbound, deserted hotel they just inherited, you might want to think twice before accepting. It was a total treat to chat with the director Stewart Thorndike about her take on horror. Click here for my preview of Bad Things, which is streaming on Shudder. 

A Eulogy for Roman

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of interactive theater but this solo show has a sweet way about it. Click here for my review.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Science fiction for August 2023

It's baaaaaaaack! More science fiction to stream, more nuggets to discover! Click here for the latest installment of my month column.

Paul Reubens and Pee-wee streaming

The late Paul Reubens was more than Pee-wee (though admittedly Pee-wee was a very big part of him), and I was delighted to pick 8 of his finest performances for the Times. Click here and have fun!

The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer is turning out to be a big hit for Netflix, and as a Michael Connelly fan, it was a pleasure to talk to showrunner Ted Humphrey. Thataway

A chat with Liz Kingsman

Liz Kingsman's One Woman Show is one of my favorite shows of the year and Parlement, in which she stars, is one of my favorite series of the year. So obviously I had to talk to her. Enid Blyton came up. Click here for the chat.

Summer Stock

My first trip to the Goodspeed Opera House — for a stage adaptation of the MGM musical Summer Stock — was well worth braving traffic on I-95! My review is here

Orpheus Descending

Tennessee Williams is one of my favorite playwrights so I was really looking forward to this production of Orpheus Descending, especially since it starred Maggie Siff. What a letdown — as you can read in my review.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

RIP Jane Birkin

It was worth rescheduling my matinee of Flex so I could write this tribute to Jane Birkin for the Times.

Gray Matter

The films in Project Greenlight are literally designed by committee. No surprise: My review of the series' latest production, Gray Matter, is not positive. 

Steven Soderbergh and Ed Solomon

There are few directors I admire as much as Steven Soderbergh, and Full Circle grew my love for Ed Solomon, too. Talking to both of them was such a treat. My Q&A can be found here.

Some science-fiction movies for July

The latest installment of my streaming column is out. Bring on the AI! Or not — it never turns out well in sci-fi movies. Click here for the column.

Joy Ride

It usually helps to watch a comedy with a crowd but I saw Joy Ride at a screening with only 5-6 other people and I laughed a lot. Thataway for my review of the movie.

Exit interview with Sarah Benson

Some of my wildest theater memories of the past 15 years are from Soho Rep shows, so obviously I had to talk to Sarah Benson as she leaves the company. Click here for my exit interview with her.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Blackbraid

Blackbraid plays black metal, and here's my story.

Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music

Watching this documentary about Taylor Mac's grand project took a lot less time than attending the 24-hour version — which I did, and I'll never stop gloating! Click here for my review of the new Max doc.

The Gospel According to Heather

The problem with Heather is that she can't decide if she wants to be a normie teenager or if she wants to stand out. Considering that she seems to be a new messiah, she might not have a choice. Click here for my review of this new musical, whose cast includes Katey Sagal in a small but key role.

The Perfect Find

Gabrielle Union is one of the few actresses who can go head to head with Julia Roberts in terms of rom-com charisma. Case in point: this new movie, which I got to review for the Times.

Once Upon a One More Time

Right now there are Britney Spears songs playing key parts in three different Broadway musicals: Moulin Rouge, & Juliet and Once Upon a One More Time — the last being wall-to-wall Britney, and I got to review it! Thataway.

Rock & Roll Man

I'm just not sure why you would want to cast Constantine Maroulis in a rock-themed show and not give him some rock numbers? That's just one of my issues with this new musical. Click here for my review.

Friday, June 16, 2023

A whole bunch of reading links

I have fallen way behind in updating this log of my writing updated, which obviously defies the purpose (or at least the purpose as it has evolved since I switched to full-time writing in 2009). So here's a big dump of links for your enjoyment. 

First off is my review of the rickety Gerard Butler vehicle Kandahar. You know an action movie is going to be dull when one of the most exciting scenes involves the main characters getting a flat tire.

Lorna Courtney is one of my favorites in the new crop of musical-theater performers, and she landed a well-deserved Tony nomination for her performance in & Juliet. She turned out to be a lot of fun to talk to.

I can't say I was the prime demographic for the International Male catalog but the doc about it, All Male, is quite interesting. My review is here.

Of course, June also delivered a science-fiction column so check out the latest installment.

I trekked to the Wild Project — a theater I love but boy, is it far from my subway stop — for Deep Blue Sound, part of Clubbed Thumb Summerworks series. Ensemble of the summer? Possibly.

The Tony Awards were kinda weird this year, but overall the show went well. I have a couple of entries in the New York Times's best/worst list.

I reviewed Catherine Cohen's new show, Come For Me, which is at Joe's Pub. By far the funniest thing I've seen in the past year and beyond.

And hot off the presses as of now, my preview of the musical Good Vibrations at Irish Arts Center!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Simon McBurney's Magic Flute

It took 11 years for Simon McBurney's Magic Flute to arrive at the Met Opera, and I'm glad it finally did. I went behind the scenes and could have stayed there for hours — I mean, even more than I did, which was several hours! Click here for the story.

Grey House

What scares you? I asked that question to some of the people involved with the Broadway show Grey House, including Laurie Metcalf and Joe Mantello. Read on here.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Anne Bogart and La MaMa have brought us the New York premiere of this Liz Swados musical from 1984 and it was well worth the wait! Head over to E. 4th Street stat, especially since the show is going to be there longer than the usual runs at La MaMa. Thataway for my review.

Unfinished Business

A documentary about the WNBA and the Liberty: that's a lot of ground to cover for a single documentary, let alone one that just runs 1h 30. Click here for my review of the new film.

Five sci-fi movies for May 2023

More sci-fi! Will the well ever run dry? Not a chance. Click here for my latest selection of under-the-radar streaming science fiction.

You Can Live Forever

A Canadian lesbian coming-of-age film set in the 1990s? Happy to review! Click here for my take on this indie effort.

A conversation about dance on Broadway

I discussed the state of Broadway choreography with the New York Times' Brian Siebert and Jesse Green — which is a lot, but we managed to cover a fair amount of ground. Click here for our thoughts.

Eurovision 2023 coverage

I was back covering the Eurovision Song Contest live with the New York Times team for the third year. What a day: I was on deck from 1:30pm to almost 8pm! Now you can relive the madness with our live blog. Oh, and there was a prep article, too.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Talking about Polite Society

The series We Are Lady Parts turned me into a huge fan of the writer-director Nida Manzoor, so I was delighted to talk to her (again) for her new movie, Polite Society. I also chatted with stars Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya for the article. I love this movie so much! Go see it! 

Link to my Polite Society feature in the New York Times.

Clock

Weird coincidence: I wrote about two Dianna Agron movies in recent weeks. The first was Acidman, which I included in my April sci-fi column, and the second is this one, which leans toward horror. Unless you're an Agron completist, pick Acidman. Link to my review of Clock.

New York, New York

New York: the city so nice, they named it twice. Except in the case of the new Broadway musical, which is not so nice. I got to review it for the Times so thataway if you're curious.

A Tourist's Guide to Love

Rachael Leigh Cook is rom-com nobility and can do so much more than what this movie wrote up for her. My review for the Times is here.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Pope's Exorcist

I admit I didn't have high expectations going into this movie — a single screening a day before the release is usually not a good sign. Spoiler alert: I was pleasantly surprised. Click here for my review. 

Talking about The Phantom of the Opera

The only thing better than watching The Phantom of the Opera is talking about it, especially with such good company. Click here for our New York Times conversation about Andrew Lloyd Webber's most enduring show. 

Five sci-fi movies for April

The science-fiction column continues at the New York Times, and the April installment leans a little more on the artier side than usual. Well, until we get to The Stratum, of course. Thataway for my selection of streaming obscurities.

Covid Vortex Anxiety Opera Kitty Kaleidoscope Disco

Karen Finley is back and of course I was there, with my reviewer's hat on. Her latest outing, Covid Vortex Anxiety Opera Kitty Kaleidoscope Disco, is very much in her usual vein — which feels entirely refreshing these days. Click here for my review.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies

The origin stories we were waiting for: how did the Pink Ladies from Grease come together? A new series has all the answers, and it was a treat to speak to its creative team and stars about it. Click here for my preview.

Smoking Causes Coughing

Quentin Dupieux's movies tend to be short (this one is 80 minutes) but they pack a lot of insanity. His new one is no different, and features his starriest cast yet — apparently French marquee actors love him, and I can't blame them. My review is here.

According to the Chorus

Like most theater lovers, I have a pretty much unlimited tolerance for backstage stories, and Arlene Hutton's play has some nifty ones. Click here for my review.

Día y Noche

David Anzuelo knows a thing or two about teenagers in love in 1984 Texas: he used to be one. His play about them has some good moments — most thanks to Emma Ramos's terrific performance — but it gets a little shaggy. Thataway for my review.

Up Here

I previewed the new Hulu series Up Here, dreamed up Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Bobby Lopez, Steven Levenson, Thomas Kail and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (who joked she was the only one in the group who wasn't anywhere near either having an EGOT or getting one some day). Click here if you want to know how it all came together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Five sci-fi movies to stream in March

The latest installment of my sci-fi column is all over the place — and that's the whole point! Thataway for the streaming suggestions.

Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu had a blast playing gods

I wish I could have been in the same physical room as these two women, who are very different and thus wonderfully complement each other. Zoom had to do. Click here for our chat.

The Trees

Agnes Borinsky's newest, at Playwrights Horizons, starts with an absurdist premise then proceeds to do little with it. The gap between the extraordinary concept and the timidity of the show is rather deep. Thataway for my review.

Becomes a Woman

Very on brand for the Mint Theater, whose mission is to unearth obscure plays: a premiere by Betty Smith, the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I wish I'd liked the production more. My review is here.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Eva Green and Vincent Cassel in Liaison

I spoke to two of the most internationally minded French actors, who have joined forces for the first time in the Apple TV+ thriller Liaison. Next: Milady and Athos in The Three Musketeers! My story is here.

Alexander Zeldin

The British theatermaker Alexander Zeldin has a lot to say, and he is exploring it in ways that feel both old-fashioned and radical. My story about his new (to NYC, at least) show, LOVE, can be found here.

Christoph Waltz

 What's great about interviewing Christoph Waltz is the way he engages. It's clear he wants to make the conversation interesting for himself so he's testing, challenging. Great fun. Click here for my interview.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Five science-fiction movies to stream in February

My latest column rounds up five under-the-radar sci-fi movies you might want to check out. Yes, I laughed out loud several times during We Are Not Alone. Vicki Pepperdine FTW! Click here for more.

Hari Nef and Parker Posey

Hari Nef plays Sasha (ex-Masha) and Parker Posey plays Irene (ex-Irina Arkadina) in Thomas Bradshaw's adaptation of The Seagull for the New Group. I was invited to watch an hour of rehearsal and ended up staying the afternoon. They are firecrackers who were meant to act together. Click here for their chat.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Without You

I reviewed Anthony Rapp's solo show, Without You, in which he reminisces about two key losses in his life: his mother and Jonathan Larson. Click here for my take on the show. Warning: there's a Rent burn.

Monica Bellucci is Maria Callas

Finally getting enough of a breather to post my last couple of articles. One of them was an interview with Monica Bellucci, who came to New York with her one-woman show about Maria Callas. Thataway for the article — and its great photo.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Some science fiction for January

My latest batch of under-the-radar sci-fi movies is anchored by Jung_E, the latest from the great Yeon Sang-ho. Need I say more? Read on there.

The Immortal Jellyfish Girl

The great puppet company Wakka Wakka is back with a dystopian tale that does not cozy up to its young audiences — and it looks and sounds fantastic. Click here for my review of the show, which is at 59E59 Theaters.

Not About Me

Off to Theater for the New City to review Eduardo Machado's latest play, Not About Me. Because this is from the very autofictional Machado, it is, indeed, about him. Click here for my take.

KLII

Very happy to be part of the Times team covering the Under the Radar festival. My contribution to this particular roundup was Kaneza Schaal's latest, KLII.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

The Witcher: Blood Origin

The Witcher: Blood Origin came out last week but obviously it's not too late to read my feature about it. Thataway for the goods.

December's streaming science-fiction movies

My latest sci-fi column of 2022 came out a couple of weeks ago, and here it is. You know the drill: five streaming under-the-radar movies. Go.

Genre movies of the year

As one of the New York Times's four streaming-genre columnists, I submitted my favorite sci-fi movie of the year — David Cronenberg's "Crimes of the Future." Click here for my and my colleagues' picks.

Off Peak

I have been completely derelict in linking to my stories, so here's to catching up as we enter a new year! First off was a review of Brenda Withers's play, which I caught at 59E59 Theaters.