Showtime!

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



Crimes of Pedophilic Thought

 

Violent and sexist video games... pornography that provides an underage fantasy without using actual underage children... Some will tell you that such forms of entertainment will offer a safe outlet for those who might otherwise act on their urges in real life. Others will say they normalize such urges and enhance a culture where they're more likely to be acted upon. And then there's the line of reasoning that you can't put people in jail for just their private thoughts.

 

Click here for my full review of The Nether.

 

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Posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ 01:52 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Fifty Brides For Fifty Cousins

 

Charles Mee's Big Love, a modern variation on Aeschylus' The Danaids that premiered in 2000, is loaded with issues of sexual violence (talked about and seen on stage) and the tragic results of gender inequality, and yet, especially as presented in director Tina Landau's rollicking free-for-all production, the fast and funny evening is enormous fun, and optimistically romantic.

 

Click here for my full review of Big Love.

 

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Posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ 01:48 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Not Since Watergate

 

I used to dream of living long enough to find out who Deep Throat was. Then I dreamed of living long enough to find out who BroadwayGirlNYC was. Time to find something new to live for.

 

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Posted on: Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 10:43 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Pay Equality

 

Rush tickets for The Heidi Chronicles will go for $37.  If I were producing the show that would be the price for men and women would pay only $28.49.

 

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Posted on: Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 11:01 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


reasons to be tone-deaf

 

If Marin Ireland can carry a tune she'd make a great Sally Bowles. And if she can't carry a tune she'd make an even better one.

 

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Posted on: Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 08:38 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Where Can I Begin?

 

Ali MacGraw & Ryan O’Neal will be starring in a national tour of Love Letters. I hope their slogan is, "Love means never having to write, 'I'm sorry.'"

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:20 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Public Musicals

 

If you took all the new musicals that opened at The Public Theater in the past 5 years and put them on Broadway, you’d have the greatest season for musicals since the one that included A Chorus Line, Chicago, Pacific Overtures and The Robber Bridegroom.

 

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Giant
Here Lies Love
Fun Home
The Fortress of Solitude
Hamilton

 

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Posted on: Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 01:53 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Painting a Bland Picture

 

What is it about actors who bear some resemblance to famous historical figures that inspires so many of them to write and star in solo plays about them? (Yes, yes, I know.)

 

Click here for my full review of Churchill.

 

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Posted on: Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 01:52 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Like Winning The Lottery

 

Wow, I hear scalper tickets for Hamilton are going for $96,000.

 

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Posted on: Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 02:01 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


A Crowning Achievement

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda may not have invented the concept of having historical characters speak and sing in contemporary pop vernacular, but in the explosively intelligent and pulse-pumping new musical Hamilton he and his collaborators have lifted the idea to rarely achieved levels of musical theatre sophistication.

 

Click here for my full review of Hamilton.

 

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Posted on: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 12:04 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


A Most Captivating Interlude

 

The Richard Wagner of American drama, Eugene O'Neill's theatrical innovations and human insights are sometimes overshadowed by the marathon lengths of achievements like Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra and Long Day's Journey Into Night.

 

 

But as a playwright who so frequently delved into the worlds of lonely people enduring tedious existences, the lengths of his dramas helped convey the realities of their lives.

 

Click here for my full review of The Iceman Cometh.

 

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Posted on: Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 02:13 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Not Each Day Was Valentine's Day

 

Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine" was introduced in the 1937 Broadway musical Babes In Arms by 16-year-old Mitzi Green. She sang it to Ray Heatherton, who played a character named Valentine. It's been said that she didn't care much for the song and once or twice "accidentally" skipped over dialogue so she wouldn't have to sing it.

 

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 14, 2015 @ 04:28 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Roaring Back Into Town

 

When The Lion premiered Off-Broadway last June, it's doubtful many theatre-goers were familiar with the name of its writer/performer, Benjamin Scheuer, but after a slew of great notices and enthusiast word-of-mouth, his one-man autobiographical musical became the first must-see of the season.

 

 

After a stint in London, The Lion is back in town and Scheuer's obscurity is seriously endangered. There have been several outstanding and ambitious Off-Broadway musicals this season and The Lion ranks up there among the very best.

 

Click here for my full review of The Lion.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 14, 2015 @ 04:27 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Person To Person

 

Whatever laughs are to be had in Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg's mild comedyApplication Pending are predominantly to the credit of Christina Bianco, the versatile comic actress at the center of this solo showcase.

 

Click here for my full review of Application Pending.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 14, 2015 @ 04:27 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Worthy of Discussion

 

Playwright Joel Drake Johnson, who is white, was inspired to write Rasheeda Speaking after an unfriendly encounter with a hospital receptionist, a black woman. His letter of complaint led to the woman being fired and Johnson, feeling guilty, wondered if he would have had a different reaction if she were white.

 

He began writing a play from his own white male perspective, but after being reminded of the shortage of American plays with leading roles for black women, decided to change the central character.

 

Click here for my full review of Rasheeda Speaking.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 14, 2015 @ 04:26 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Tune-ing Up a Classic

 

It's rather appropriate that Tommy Tune is the headlining star of the nifty Encores! concert revival of Lady, Be Good! as it was his My One And Only1983's "new" Gershwin musical that began as a revamped version of Funny Face - that started the trend of trying to whip the early George and Ira efforts into something resembling better structured musical comedy with scores padded with more familiar hits.

 

Click here for my full review of Lady, Be Good!

 

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Posted on: Sunday, February 08, 2015 @ 05:35 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


Lots of Style but Not Enough Substance

 

Nearly any sumptuous slice of playwright/composer/director Jonathan Christenson's Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe contains a delectable serving of imaginative theatrics.

 

 

The clever concept of having a troupe of players act out the story of America's most exquisitely grim literary figure as though it were scripted by the writer himself is enhanced by an appropriately languid score, playfully macabre costumes by Bretta Gerecke and a fine company of actor/singers.

 

Click here for my full review of Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.

 

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Posted on: Sunday, February 08, 2015 @ 05:35 PM Posted by: Michael Dale


The Sweetest Sounds

 

The 2015 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater was awarded to Adam Gwon and Sarah Hammond for their musical, String. This is a huge departure for the Richard Rodgers Award, which had previously adhered to a policy of no Strings.

 

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Posted on: Saturday, February 07, 2015 @ 10:06 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


The Super Bowl's a Girl's Best Friend

 

Believe it or not, in 1970 Carol Channing was the first celebrity to perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

 

 

 

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Posted on: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 @ 01:09 AM Posted by: Michael Dale


Advice From Tokyo Rose

 

With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II approaching this year, it's doubtful if there are many, if any, American veterans alive who were "comforted' by the staticky broadcasts of the woman they nicknamed Tokyo Rose.

 

And if they were around, how many would have been aware that the friendly voice that teased about the uselessness of their mission and of the questionable activities of their wives and sweethearts back home was actually several voices, one of them belonging to a Japanese-American prisoner of war who happened to be in the wrong country when war broke out?

 

Click here for my full review of Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose's Last Tape.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, February 03, 2015 @ 02:26 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.