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.
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.BWW Review: Gifted Cate Blanchett Adds Life To THE PRESENT January 9, 2017
Those introspective, philosophical, womanizing man-children who inhabit the oeuvre of Anton Chekhov tend to be annoying bores, so even though the unpublished manuscript discovered after the playwright's death has been posthumously named after, its leading man, Platonov, it's no surprise that it's the leading lady who gets all the juicy material.BWW Review: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Turn THE MIKADO Topsy-Turvey January 4, 2017
While the McKittrick Hotel's ongoing attraction SLEEP NO MORE requires audience members to seek out its immersive entertainment as they venture from floor to floor and room to room, the venue's new co-tenant, the National Theatre of Scotland's delightful production of David Greig's cleverly done THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART, confines the action to The Heath, a cozy pub where patrons can take advantage of a cash bar while the actors handle the trailblazing.BWW Review: David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' THE BAND'S VISIT Is A Captivating Cultural Blend December 17, 2016
Since its first publication in 1843, Charles Dickens' holiday classic, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, has been adapted countless times for various stages, screens and pages, but undoubtedly the most authentic presentations of the story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts who assist in his transformation into a kind and generous soul were the numerous live readings the author gave during the last 18 years of his life.BWW Review: IN TRANSIT Sets New York Stories To Glorious A Cappella Vocals December 11, 2016
As audience members enter the Minetta Lane Theatre's auditorium for producer/director Luke Comer's abstract multi-media theatre piece THE PORTAL, they're greeted by a projected slide summarizing the 90 minute long production's plot, followed by the advisory, 'The show is less literal and more allegorical and dreamy.'BWW Review: Richard Greenberg's THE BABYLON LINE Is a Warm and Funny Excursion December 7, 2016
The Long Island Rail Road doesn't have a station in Levittown, so the central character of Richard Greenberg's clever, sentimental and occasionally steamy drama travels the play's namesake, THE BABYLON LINE, to nearby Wantagh, in order to arrive at his weekly gig teaching creative writing to adults, most of whom are only there because their preferred classes were full.BWW Review: Variety Returns To The Palace With THE ILLUSIONISTS - TURN OF THE CENTURY December 7, 2016
The Twentieth Century was only in its teens when playing Times Square's Palace Theatre was established as the pinnacle of success for vaudeville artists, so it's very appropriate that the latest Broadway offering from THE ILLUSIONISTS, titled TURN OF THE CENTURY, is playing the Palace.BWW Review: Exhilarating and Original DEAR EVAN HANSEN Moves To Broadway December 4, 2016
While FUN HOME and HAMILTON have certainly not been the only high-quality new musicals to hit Broadway in the past two seasons, they've both displayed the kind of originality and relevance in subject matter, expertise in writing and imagination in execution that works wonders in elevating public awareness of the dramatic potential of the art form and smashing the lingering bias that says singing and dancing diffuses the impact of serious theatre.BWW Review: Nick Cordero Leads Robert De Niro/Jerry Zaks-Directed A BRONX TALE To Broadway December 2, 2016
When the new musical based on Chazz Palminteri's autobiographical solo play, A BRONX TALE had its world premiere at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse earlier this year, it boasted a solid first act, a terrific star performance by Nick Cordero, an Alan Menken/Glenn Slater song that every Sinatra-styled saloon singer will want to grab. It also featured some of those traditional second act problems that often plague new musicals looking for a Broadway home.BWW Review: Teen Angels Compete For A Second Chance in RIDE THE CYCLONE December 1, 2016
For a musical about the accidental death of six teenagers and a contest to select just one of them to return to life, Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond's Ride the Cyclone, mounted by MCC after development in Canadian cabarets and a successful Chicago run, is curiously lacking in any kind of emotion or tension.BWW Review: A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME Cooks Up Frothy Musical Fun November 25, 2016
While Debra Barsha and Hollye Levin's A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME isn't the first musical to contrast the accepted female gender roles of the 1950s with the liberated revolution of the 1960s (Off-Broadway's second visit from THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES is still running at the Kirk.) the York's fun and frothy new entry features a dynamite cast and enough tuneful cleverness for a brightly entertaining evening.