More Than Just a Weekend

 

Long before Anton Chekhov made the boredom of country living all the rage in Russian theatres, Ivan Turgenev found humor in this peculiarity of highbrow society with A Month In The Country, a comedy of manners about gentlemen in love who politely do the honorable thing and the women they frustrate to no end.

 

Click here for my full review of A Month In The Country.

 

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Posted on: Friday, January 30, 2015 @ 03:01 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Just a Thought...

 

How about Lea DeLaria starring in the Mrs. Doubtfire musical?

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015 @ 05:09 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Is Chekhov Beyond Therapy?

 

Christopher Durang's funniest play since the days of Sister Mary Ignatius and Beyond Therapy, the 2013 Tony Award winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spikearrives at The Paper Mill Playhouse in a splendid production helmed by Don Stephenson.

 

Click here for my full review of  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

 

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Posted on: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 @ 02:14 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


'It's a nice, cold morning...'

 

Writing a musical about last night's storm. Working title: De Blasio and The Angry Inch.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 09:25 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


A Dynamic Father/Daughter Drama

 

The father/daughter relationship Halley Feiffer presents in her dynamic and heart-gripping new drama, I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard, is the kind audiences are more accustomed to seeing played out by a father and son; the successful dad, maybe a former sports hero, encouraging his boy, trying to follow in his footsteps, to greatness. At first it seems nurturing and supportive, but gradually the destructive nature becomes more and more apparent.

 

Click here for my full review of I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:08 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Neither Forest Nor Trees

 

The most impressive feature of Fiasco Theater's chamber production of Into The Woods, now mounted Off-Broadway by Roundabout Theater, greets the audience upon entering. Derek McLane's intriguing set is a forest of antique gold piano frames with ropes resembling the instrument's strings. There are wooden planks below and an assortment of mismatched chandeliers above.

 

Click here for my full review of Into The Woods.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:08 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Happy 84th Birthday!

 

Anna Chlumsky and Richard Thomas have been added to the top-flight ensemble of director Scott Ellis' sparkling revival of You Can't Take It With You; still one of the most charming and funny evenings Broadway has to offer.

 

Click here for my full review of You Can't Take It With You.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:07 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


What Happened in Jersey is Finally on Broadway

 

Fifteen months ago the news out of Milburn, New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse was that composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown, most known for musicalizing emotional subjects like a Southern lynching or the crumbling of a five-year romance, had, just for the moment, dumped the artsy stuff for a big fat hilarious musical comedy.

 

Click here for my full review of Honeymoon In Vegas.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:07 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


An Ursa Minor

 

Call it If/Then without the music or Sure Thing without the bell, Nick Payne's Constellations is the latest addition to the ever-widening genre of theatre pieces that explore the infinite possibilities that exist in every situation and the concept of parallel universes where they do.

 

Click here for my full review of Constellations.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:07 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Under The Radar

 

A traditional puppet theatre is placed front and center at The Public's Martinson Hall, but half the story of The Cardinals, presented by the United Kingdom's Stan's Café as part of this year's Under The Radar Festival, is what visibly takes place off-stage.

 

Click here for my full review of The Cardinals.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 03:06 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


How Lethargic Was It?

 

Promotional material for the live theatre talk show Ike at Night describes its star Ikechukwu Ufomadu as the son that Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra never had; a baffling claim that, given the show's Brooklyn roots, might be interpreted as a misguided attempt at irony.

 

Click here for my full review of Ike at Night.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 @ 12:50 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Satire Lives On

 

It's by tragic coincidence that the Atlantic Theater Company's newest production opens at a time when the permanent silencing of satirists is so fresh in the minds of its audience members.

 

Click here for my full review of Dying For It.

 

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Posted on: Sunday, January 11, 2015 @ 11:08 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Nutcracker Rouge

 

Since premiering at Company XIV's former Brooklyn home, the brilliant director/choreographer Austin McCormick's Nutcracker Rouge has gone through various incarnations, though its erotic opulence and gasp-worthy displays of muscle and sensual grace have remained consistent.

 

Click here for my full review of Nutcracker Rouge.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:43 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Home For The Holidays

 

They played impulsive lovers in A Light In The Piazza and comrades in a strange new world in South Pacific, but their Broadway appearances only hinted at the extraordinary chemistry Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Morrison joyfully displayed in their two-night Carnegie Hall gig, Kelli and Matthew: Home for The Holidays.

 

Click here for my full review of Kelli and Matthew: Home for The Holidays.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Eric Idle's Newest Testament

 

Thirty-five years ago, filmgoers walked past angry protestors to see the newest Monty Python flick, Life of Brian, about the hapless fellow born in the stable next to Jesus' who gets mistaken for being the Messiah. The film was banned in Ireland and Norway, as well as in many communities of the United Kingdom.

 

Click here for my full review of Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy).

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Misery Hates Company

 

Pocatello, Idaho's major claim to fame as being the place of which Judy Garland sang of being born in a trunk stands little chance of being usurped by providing the title for recent MacArthur grant recipient Samuel D. Hunter's latest drama.

 

Click here for my full review of Pocatello.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


A Mitzvah

 

If only for the fact that there's less of it, the new Off-Broadway production of Soul Doctor, the musical inspired by the early career of Jewish-American recording artist Shlomo Carlebach, the "Rockstar Rabbi," is an improvement over the Broadway production that played Circle In The Square for two months last year.

 

Click here for my full review of Soul Doctor.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:41 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


A Curiosity

 

The name Bernard Pomerance may not be a household one, even among theatre fans, but his only Broadway playwriting credit, The Elephant Man, may be the primary reason why the story of Englishman John Merrick has become such a familiar entry to American popular culture.

 

Click here for my full review of The Elephant Man.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:41 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Not Enough Memories

 

As holiday musicals go, A Christmas Memory is less festive and more introspective then most, but that must be expected when adapting Truman Capote's autobiographical 1956 short story for the stage.

 

Click here for my full review of A Christmas Memory.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:41 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Showbiz Fun

 

When the musical comedy based on the hit movie Elf first came to Broadway for a limited run in November of 2010, many anticipated a slapdash effort just good enough to draw in the crowd that would be attracted to a familiar name for their holiday theatergoing.

 

 

But the creative talents behind Elfhave got some serious musical theatre chops. The funny and quirky book is a collaboration of Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and master craftsman Thomas Meehan (AnnieThe Producers) and the snazzy score is by The Wedding Singer's pairing of lyricist Chad Beguelin and composer Matthew Sklar. Their upbeat, oddball and tuneful concoction has a contemporary attitude that's light on the seasonal sentiment, but heavy on the showbiz fun, and director Eric Ankrim's solid mounting at the Paper Mill Playhouse is bursting with brassy talent.

 

Click here for my ful review of Elf.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 @ 01:41 AM 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.