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.
At the beginning of The Debate Society's premiere production of THE LIGHT YEARS (written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, developed and directed by Oliver Butler) we're told that Arcturus, the star that guided Christopher Columbus to what he thought was India, is precisely forty light years away from Earth.BWW Review: Exhilarating New Musical COME FROM AWAY Celebrates The Helpers March 12, 2017
One of the great things about live theatre is its lack of permanence. In film, the words, directorial choices, performances and other artistic contributions all exist as an unchangeably whole work of art. But with theatre, each production of a play, no matter how many times it has been done before, begins with only the author's text, leaving a new collection of creative souls to decide what to do with it.BWW Review: Ethan Lipton's THE OUTER SPACE Seeks Suburbia Orbiting Mercury March 9, 2017
Straight cisgender teenage boys looking to lose their virginity are generally accepted as a staple of coming-of-age comedies that make movie theatre box offices hum. But when it comes to the matter of young girls being eager to have their first sexual encounter, audiences tend to prefer a bit more delicacy.BWW Review: Demon Barber Moves To Barrow Street In An Intimate SWEENEY TODD March 7, 2017
When Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's classic musical thriller Sweeney Todd: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET opened on Broadway in 1979, Harold Prince's production was of grand operatic proportions. Opera houses frequently produce the show in that manner, but New York's stage revivals seem to be getting increasingly smaller.BWW Review: Janie Dee Makes a Smashing Return To New York as Feminist Fighter LINDA March 4, 2017
It's not exactly a spoiler to note that the closing scene of Penelope Skinner's wonderfully absorbing and issue-oriented dramatic comedy, LINDA, has the title character, a successful marketing executive, addressing a group of colleagues in the year 2007, excited about how the anti-aging cream she promotes has been putting out the message that the beauty in all women of all ages is a cause for celebration.BWW Review: Gideon Glick Yearns For Romance in Joshua Harmon's Enrapturing SIGNIFICANT OTHER March 3, 2017
You can't say that playwright/director Will Eno doesn't go out big with his new piece, WAKEY, WAKEY. Just before curtain calls, an extra-bright video montage, set to The Olivia Tremor Control's Love Athena, wreaks havoc with audience members' pupils. Once eyes are able to adjust, they'll notice bubbles floating through the house, followed by balloons. There's even a large disco ball reflecting lights all over the place.BWW Review: Annaleigh Ashford and Jake Gyllenhaal Star In A Glorious SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE February 24, 2017
Though the brilliant musicals that composer John Kander created with his late lyricist partner Fred Ebb frequently tackled dark and violent issues (CABARET, CHICAGO, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS among them), they did so with a shiny, often cynical veneer of show-biz. Snazzy melodies and joyful lyrics barely hid horrific subtext.BWW Review: 120 Variations of Life and Death in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' EVERYBODY February 23, 2017
'We're dealing with some fairly old and ancient material, so maybe let's trust it to be really wise and meaningful, okay?' asks a character acting as a kind of host at the beginning of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' fun and breezy new play, Everybody.