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.
During the first year of his presidency, after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia during a protest involving white supremacists, many of whom were displaying Nazi symbols and slogans, Donald Trump infamously noted that there were 'very fine people' on both sides of the conflict.
One could imagine the president regarding the character created by Neil LaBute for his solo one-act 'The Fourth Reich' to be one of those very fine people.BWW Review: HEAR WORD! NAIJA WOMAN TALK TRUE at The Public's Under The Radar Festival January 12, 2019
If the majority of Broadway ticket-buyers valued great acting as much as they valued celebrity, Marin Ireland would have been an above-the-title, name-in-lights star a long time ago. Certainly New York's reviewing press, as a whole, has been doing its part to advise playgoers of the strength, intelligence and complexity she consistently brings to her contrasting portrayals in works such as THE RUBY SUNRISE, KILL FLOOR and IRONDALE.BWW Review: At The Public's Under The Radar Festival, New Saloon's MINOR CHARACTER Riffs on a Chekhov Classic January 6, 2019
At the commencement of MINOR CHARACTER, New Saloon's offering at the Public Theater's 2019 Under The Radar Festival, actor Madeline Wise stands downstage center, faces the audience and, with barely any body movement or facial expressions, begins rattling off the lines of various characters from the opening scene of Anton Chekhov's classic comedy of life's futility, UNCLE VANYA.Ten Times New York Theatre Tackled Political and Social Issues in 2018 December 31, 2018
Sure, Broadway is traditionally known for its glitz and glamour, but New York audiences have never shied away from socially relevant theatre, either. And while controversial issues are more frequently discussed Off-Broadway, 2018 saw a great many political and social themes brought up throughout Manhattan's stages. So here are ten times New York theatre tackled political and social issues in 2018BWW Review: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players' Rollickingly Fun THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE December 30, 2018
Without knowing any better, one might easily mistake the new stage adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning 1960 novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' for a revival of a classic Golden Age Broadway drama. So earnest in tone and full of plainspoken poetics is Aaron Sorkin's thoroughly engaging text. So old-school honest are the performances given by director Bartlett Sher's 24-member cast, beautifully framed in rural elegance designed by Miriam Buether (set), Ann Roth (costumes) and Jennifer Tipton (lights).BWW Review: Amy Heckerling Pens New Lyrics To 90s Hits To Bring CLUELESS To The Musical Stage December 13, 2018
It was fifteen years ago when over forty million people tuned into the season two finale of 'American Idol' to see Rubin Studdard win the crown over runner-up Clay Aiken. This reviewer wasn't one of them. And aside from Aiken's stint on Broadway as a replacement in SPAMALOT, he'll admit to not having paid much attention to the careers of the two vocalists. But, based on the enjoyable antics now on display at the Imperial titled RUBEN & CLAY'S FIRST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAROL FAMILY FUN PAGEANT SPECTACULAR REUNION SHOW, the fellows have definitely found an interested viewer if they ever hosted a television variety show.BWW Review: Heather Raffo's NOURA Takes An Ibsen-Like Approach To Iraqi Assimilation Into America December 11, 2018
It was over fifty years ago when designer Boris Aronson famously let a large mirror hang from the set of CABARET, forcing audience members to see their own reflections to bring home the point that what was happening in 1930s Germany could very well happen in America. And while that symbolic gesture may have become a bit of a cliche in the ensuing decades as it got used by other artists for other plays and musicals, designer Clint Ramos ads a provocative twist with the fully mirrored upstage wall in his design for Jeremy O. Harris' extremely daring, highly original and undoubtedly thought-provoking satirical drama, SLAVE PLAY.BWW Review: John Kevin Jones Returns To Merchant's House Museum For Warm and Intimate A CHRISTMAS CAROL December 9, 2018
For the past five holiday seasons in a row, savvy New York playgoers have been filling the upstairs parlor of East 4th Street's Merchant's House Museum for a warm and intimate evening of Christmas cheer; Summoners Ensemble Theatre's delightful production of actor John Kevin Jones recreating Charles Dickens' solo readings of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Their 2018 engagement is the third time this reviewer has attended, and Jones' thoroughly engaging performance keeps getting better and better.BWW Review: 1976 Satire Becomes 2018 Reality in Ivo van Hove and Lee Hall's Striking Adaptation of NETWORK December 6, 2018
The audience loudly booed at the end of last Saturday night's preview performance of the new Broadway offering based on Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1976 film classic "Network." Seriously, the great majority of viewers at the Belasco Theatre angrily booed what they were seeing onstage, a good many of them yelling out profanity-laced objections. Undoubtedly, playwright Lee Hall and director Ivo van Hove must have been delighted.BWW Review: Stephanie J. Block Dazzles With Power In Gutsy, Glitzy and Glam THE CHER SHOW December 3, 2018
Since family-friendly entertainments tend to dominate the holiday performing arts scene, it's especially cheery that for the past nineyears that scandalous crew called Company XIV has been offering grownups an option that's decidedly more naughty than nice.