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.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' may have served as the initial inspiration for Suzan-Lori Parks' ferocious 2000 drama, FUCKING A, but, especially in director Jo Bonney's chilling Signature Theatre production, her sardonically abstract portrait of human cruelty may remind playgoers of another writer, Bertolt Brecht.BWW Review: The Spotlight Shines On Everyone in Public Works' AS YOU LIKE IT September 8, 2017
'All the world's a stage / And everybody's in the show. / Nobody's a pro.' Those words, sung at the opening of Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery's thoroughly enchanting musical adaptation of Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT, were especially poignant at the Delacorte Theater this past weekend, where, since 2013, every Labor Day holiday has been celebrated with a production by the Public Theater's gloriously inclusive Public Works program.BWW Review: Melissa Gilbert and Mark Kenneth Smaltz Ponder Forbidden Romance in IF ONLY September 6, 2017
Harold Prince, who has been honored with 21 Tony Awards for his seven decades of achievements as a Broadway producer and director, did not write one word nor compose one note of the 17 musicals represented in the enrapturing new revue that bears his name.BWW Review: CURVY WIDOW is a Fun and Frisky Showcase For Nancy Opel August 22, 2017
It was fifty years ago that The Summer of Love attracted throngs of lunatics, lovers and poets to New York's Central Park in a free-spirited embrace of life's passions and pleasures. That same spirit is now joyously celebrated in the park's Delacorte Theater, where director Lear deBessonet's luscious, lusty and laugh-out-loud funny production of Shakespeare's fantasy comedy, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM offers an evening of ravishing enchantment.BWW Review: Kirsten Childs' THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN Tackles Racial Identity Issues July 31, 2017
Connoisseurs of American musical theatre wishing to make a point about the genre's ability to dramatize even the most unlikely of subjects often cite examples like SWEENEY TODD's vengeful barber on a killing spree or THE PAJAMA GAME's labor/management dispute, but bookwriter/lyricist/composer Kirsten Childs may have topped them all in 2000 when Playwrights Horizons premiered THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN.BWW Review: Andrea Frierson's ME & ELLA Pays Tribute To Her Legendary Influence July 23, 2017
Even if you've never heard a note sung by Ella Fitzgerald (and if that's the case, you should stop reading this review immediately and look up some of her recordings on YouTube) Andrea Frierson's duo-bio solo show, ME & ELLA, can be related to by anyone whose life was influenced by a popular artist they've never met.BWW Review: Oscar Isaac Stars in Sam Gold's Jaunty Rendering of HAMLET July 20, 2017
A folk-singing black man with an optimistic view of America looks back at our nation's history of angry white people finding no better way to cope with their grievances than by firing a gun at the president.