After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring free live theatre to underserved communities, and dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an email, actually) to become BroadwayWorld.com's first Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows Michael can be seen at Citi Field pleading for the Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared celebrities making their stage acting debuts by starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.
It would be nice to be able take in The Wooster Group's intriguing docu-theatre piece, THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR, as a look at the grotesquely blatant brand sexism of nearly 50 years ago that we have since outgrown. Sadly, this glimpse at a carnival-like event disguised as a serious debate on the subject of, as it was known at the time, women's lib, is likely to remind audience members of current headlines.BWW Review: Wallace Shawn's EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE Explores Fascism And The Fall Of Theatre February 21, 2017
After establishing himself as resident doorman, stage manager and sex slave at the Caffe Cino, the historic Cornelia Street birthplace of Off-Off Broadway and America's gay theatre movement, Robert Patrick summoned up the courage to join the ranks of the venue's resident staff of playwrights (Lanford Wilson, Tom Eyen and William Hoffman among them) to begin submitting his own creations to owner Joe Cino. Eventually, the Broadway production of KENNEDY'S CHILDREN would help Patrick gain recognition as one of the significant dramatic voices emerging from New York's downtown scene.BWW Review: A Puerto Rican Singing Legend Symbolizes Better Days In TELL HECTOR I MISS HIM February 6, 2017
The legendary Puerto Rican salsa singer Hector Lavoe, who died of AIDS in 1993 at age 46, has been long gone when Paola Lazaro's humorous drama, Tell Hector I Miss Him, takes place, but his absence has the same symbolic meaning as when Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel asked, 'Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?'BWW Review: Anna Jordan's YEN, An Unsettling, Hard-Edged Drama February 3, 2017
When Jerry Herman was pegged by producer Gerard Oestreicher to write the score for a Broadway musical set in the fledgling State of Israel, he was a 28-year-old composer/lyricist mostly known for writing clever lyrics and snazzy tunes for Greenwich Village topical reviews like NIGHTCAP and PARADE. But now, instead of writing for hip, downtown performers like Charles Nelson Reilly and Dody Goodman, he'd be penning a romantic score for opera stars Mimi Benzell and Robert Weede, with special comic relief material for Yiddish Theatre legend Molly Picon.BWW Review: The Mint's YOURS UNFAITHFULLY, An Intriguing 1930s Look At Open Marriage January 31, 2017
Teetering somewhere between an incisive study of human fidelity and a sexy comedy of manners, Miles Malleson's Yours Unfaithfully is the kind of play that, under different circumstances, might have been made into a classic Hollywood romantic comedy starring Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall.BWW Review: David Ives' Verse Comedy, THE LIAR, Offers Alternative Corneille January 30, 2017
When August Wilson's Jitney had its 1982 world premiere at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Repertory Theatre, there were no plans for it to serve as 1/10th of the greatest achievement in American drama. But by the time a revised version of that script opened Off-Broadway in 2000, six of the plays that would each represent a decade in his American Century Cycle had made it to Broadway and Wilson was firmly established as one the country's great playwrights.BWW Review: Marga Gomez Honors Her Music Icon Father in LATIN STANDARDS January 18, 2017
The 1998 Tony Award ceremony was quite a history-making night, as THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE's Garry Hynes became the first woman to be awarded a Tony for directing a play. Her honor was received mere minutes before THE LION KING's Julie Taymor became the first woman awarded a Tony for directing a musical.BWW Review: Watergate's Deep Throat Sings Again In MARK FELT, SUPERSTAR January 15, 2017
While the title MARK FELT, SUPERSTAR may receive befuddled reactions from those not fully familiar with American political scandals, you can't blame bookwriter/composer/lyricist Joshua Rosenblum for not naming his smart, breezy, informative and extremely enjoyable show 'Deep Throat, the musical.'BWW Review: US Army's BLUEPRINT SPECIALS Enlists Laura Osnes and Will Swenson January 14, 2017
The opening fanfare of one of the most exhilarating overtures ever to hit Broadway signals the joyous return of New York City Opera. After financial woes threatened to pull down the curtain for good in 2013, the company that was christened in 1943 as 'the people's opera' by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia has returned with a new home and an old friend, director Harold Prince's rollicking production of Leonard Bernstein, Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche and Hugh Wheeler's CANDIDE.