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Showtime! features reviews, commentary and assorted theatrical musings from Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld.com's Chief Theatre Critic. To submit amusing backstage banter, absurd audience observations or noteworthy links to Showtime!, click here. Anonymity's guaranteed. My not taking credit for your clever remark isn't. Subscribe to RSS Feed



Pearl S. Buck Dances

 

Director/choreographer Daniel Ezralow's sumptuously realized PEARL, inspired by the life of Pulitzer Prize winning author Pearl S. Buck, is a theatre/dance piece with a heavy emphasis on theatre.

 

Click here for my full review of PEARL.

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:43 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Prison Drama

 

Though Sherie Rene Scott and Dick Scanlan are billed as co-authors of the intriguing new drama,WHORL INSIDE A LOOP, some of the play's most gripping moments were penned by a quintet of writers credited with supplying "additional material": Andre Kelley, Marvin Lewis, Felix Machado, Richard Norat and Jeffrey Rivera.

 

Click here for my full review of WHORL INSIDE A LOOP.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:43 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Five Fiddler Facts

 

Since taking its initial Broadway bow in 1964, there has not been a decade when a new production of Fiddler on the Roof has not opened on Broadway. Based on short stories by Yiddish humorist Sholom AleichemJerry Bock (music), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) andJoseph Stein's (book) poignant tale of a younger generation's rebellion against the marriage traditions of their parents originally ran for 3,242 performances; Broadway's longest run until it was surpassed by GREASE.

 

Click here for Five Facts You May Not Know About FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:43 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Anderman's a Charmer

 

If the plot of A.R. Gurney's newest, LOVE AND MONEY, seems more than vaguely familiar, that point is eventually fully acknowledged by the playwright, when a character refers to the exact story that most audience members must have thinking of throughout director Mark Lamos' agreeable production.

 

Click here for my full review of LOVE & MONEY.

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Sweetly Subversive

 

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KENYON PHILLIPS may be Tony-winning actress Cady Huffman's directorial debut, but having made her first Broadway bow as one of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES' notorious Cagelles and following-up with a trio of memorable showgirl performances in THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES. THE PRODUCERS and THE NANCE, she's a natural choice to mount this glam-rock, burlesque, circus cavalcade that, at its heart, is pure show-biz.

 

Click here for my full review of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KENYON PHILLIP

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Butterflies Aren't Free

 

Off-Broadway's The New Group is known for selecting plays that lean towards being edgy and controversial. Director Scott Elliot's sharp and tense production of Philip Ridley's 2005 post-apocalyptic drama MERCURY FUR sure has the look and feel of something edgy and controversial, but the text would be more aptly described as vague and tedious.

 

Click here for my full review of MERCURY FUR.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Science Vs. Religion

 

"Race is a fiction. It's a myth," explains the excitable genetic anthropologist at the center of Deborah Zoe Laufer's compelling morality drama, INFORMED CONSENT. "All of the things we see as race are about migratory patterns!"

 

Click here for my full review of INFORMED CONSENT.

 

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Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Who Was Marie and What Was The Crisis?

 

The legendary Greenwich Village piano bar, Marie's Crisis, will be hosting a sing-a-long beer garden at Elsie Fest, New York City's first outdoor music festival celebrating tunes from the stage and screen.

 

But while musical theatre lovers know the name Marie's Crisis, many are baffled by its origin. And why does the sign outside say Marie's Crisis Café when they don't serve food? Here's a quick rundown of things you may not know about Marie's Crisis.

 

Click here for Who Was Marie and What Was The Crisis?

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

Posted on: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 01:42 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


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.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

 

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.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

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.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

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.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

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.

 

Click here to follow Michael Dale on Twitter.

 

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


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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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