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


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 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.


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.


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.