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It's In The Cards

 

I'm not asking for immortality, but it would be nice to live long enough to see Sydney Lucas and Adam Riegler starring in The Gin Game.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 @ 09:37 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Don't Bet On a Happy End

 

I've started reading Pamela Katz's book about the partnership between Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. It's pretty good so far. I'm only on page 14 and I feel alienated already.

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 01:54 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You...

 

 

 

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Posted on: Friday, August 14, 2015 @ 12:03 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Endearing and Creepy

 

Like Neil Simon and David Mamet before her, there are enough recognizable components established so that theatregoers and satirists alike can now quickly define an Annie Baker play.

 

Click here for my full review of John.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 02:47 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Freewheeling Fun

 

"Don't be like four-time Tony Award nominee Raul Esparza," says an actor to the audience while giving the pre-show spiel as the Broadway star openly snaps a photo of the cast.

 

Thus begins director Daniel Sullivan's freewheeling production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline.

 

Click here for my full review of Cymbeline.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 08:36 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Taking A Shot At Broadway

 

Any concerns about the state of 21st Century Broadway musicals can be swiftly addressed by having The Public Theater transfer a show to Times Square once every season. The non-profit Off-Broadway multiplex that sent Hair and A Chorus Line uptown has, in recent years, been continually mounting some of the best musicals in town.

 

Click here for my full review of Hamilton.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:41 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Amplifying The Music Of The Night

 

Having been sung on Broadway eight times a week for over 27 years, even longer on the West End and in multiple productions world-wide, Scott Siegel wasn't kidding when he called Phantom of The Opera's "Music of The Night," "the most amplified and electronically enhanced song of all time," before introducing Christopher Johnstone's beautiful unmiked rendition.

 

Click here for my full review of Broadway Unplugged.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:41 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Sports Agent Drama

 

Apparently, the title character of Fernanda Coppel's snazzy new drama King Liz begins every work day by rapping a full-out performance of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy," ending with a mic drop that her assistant catches inches from the floor.

 

Click here for my full review of King Liz.

 

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Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Helen Keller's Writings

 

Why did Helen Keller always have wax on her fingers?

 

Why did Helen Keller's dog kill himself?

 

Why does Helen Keller masturbate with one hand?

 

 

Director/conceiver Jack Cummings III begins Transport Group's Three Days To See, taken from the writings of Helen Keller, with his seven member ensemble bombarding the audience with a quickly paced barrage of jokes about the famous deafblind woman who became a role model for overcoming physical challenges.

 

Click here for my full review of Three Days To See.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Going Out With A Flourish

 

If the current PTP/NYC revival of Howard Barker's Scenes From An Execution is indeed, as announced, Jan Maxwell's stage acting swan song, she is certainly going out spectacularly.

 

Click here for my full review of Scenes From An Execution.

 

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Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Ghostly Rock Opera

 

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera, now receiving a handsomely designed mounting at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, began life as a rock concert with a plot, created by three fellows in the music industry with, according to their bios, little or no experience in musical theatre. As a concert, their two-act show is a spirited display of hard-driving goth rock, but as musical theatre, the generic lyrics and muddy storytelling leave much to be desired.

 

Click here for my full review of Deep Love.

 

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Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Deconstructing the City's Personality

 

Jerry Seinfeld recently ruffled some feathers by expressing on a radio interview how many stand-up comics these days avoid playing colleges for fear of a politically correct backlash from younger audiences who may find their material racially insensitive.

 

 

Perhaps that viewpoint gave him extra incentive to participate as director of Colin Quinn's latest theatre monologue, The New York Story, a show that explores the rich diversified heritage of New York City one ethnic joke at a time.

 

Click here for my full review of The New York Story.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Friday, August 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Can You Hum The Direction?

 

If it were possible to leave a theatre humming the direction, Gabriel Barre's exemplary work in Amazing Grace would send audiences off with a melody as sweet and memorable as the beloved hymn that gives the new musical its title.

 

Click here for my full review of Amazing Grace.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 01:13 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Foster Raises The Roof

 

Nothing saps the tension out of the life or death final moments of a musical drama like giving away the ending in the opening scene. While Andrew Lippa's substantially revised version of his 2000 musical The Wild Party, mounted this week via Encores! Off-Center, doesn't spill every bean right from the start, audience members can be forgiven for mentally waving their hands in a "get on with it" gesture once the drawn out gunplay commences late in the second act.

 

Click here for my full review of The Wild Party.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 01:12 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Singing Marios

 

Having never played a Nintendo game and possessing only a passing knowledge of the existence of Super Mario Brothers, I'm certain there are plenty of jokes and references in Drew Fornarol and Marshall Pailet's musical comedy, Claudio Quest, that whisked right by me.

 

Click here for my full review of Claudio Quest.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 01:56 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Magic Without The Mystery

 

There's an unexpectedly touching moment near the finish of Penn & Teller on Broadway, after the needles are swallowed, the nail gun is fired at someone's head and the cow dressed as an elephant disappears. Penn Jillette, the large hucksterish spokesman of the duo, tells of being a 17-year-old fascinated with the 10-in-1 sideshows he'd see at county fairs.

 

Click here for my full review of Penn & Teller on Broadway.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Monday, July 13, 2015 @ 08:00 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


It Really Is Illegal

 

In February of 2003 the New York City Council overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of a bill that would ban the use of cell phones in any “indoor theater, library, museum, gallery, motion picture theater, concert hall or building in which theatrical, musical, dance, motion picture, lecture or other similar performances are exhibited."  The law carries a $50 fine.

 

Bloomberg’s opposition to the law has always been that it’s “unenforceable” and certainly any theatre-goer in the past dozen years will tell you that, despite the efforts of house staff, it’s difficult to control cell phone use during a performance without further disturbing people’s enjoyment of the show.

 

Anybody have any brilliant ideas on how to make the existing law more enforceable?

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Thursday, July 09, 2015 @ 12:30 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Winnie Loves Willie

 

If Samuel Beckett hadn’t written Happy Days, which premiered Off-Broadway in 1961, some smartass trying to satirize existentialist theatre probably would have.

 

Click here for my full review of Happy Days.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 @ 01:09 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Looking More Like A Hell Of a Town

 

Sono Osato originated the role of Ivy Smith in On The Town in 1944. Her Japanese-American father couldn't attend opening night because he was was being held in an internment camp. In its day that production was noted for being far more racially integrated than the usual Broadway musical, with non-white actors playing roles that weren't scripted as token representations of their race. That tradition continues with Misty Copeland playing Ivy for a 2-week run in August.  Wishing her a hell of a run.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Monday, July 06, 2015 @ 10:35 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Cranky Old Showtune Fan

 

Me twenty years from now: "You kids today with your 4th of July screenings of the movie version of Hamilton. In my day we had 4th of July screenings of the movie version of 1776 and we liked it!"

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Sunday, July 05, 2015 @ 06:31 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


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About Michael: 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 Shea Stadium 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.





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