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 half of the 20th Century, there was no artist as important to the development of American musical theatre from strictly light entertainment to a legitimate dramatic art form that addressed controversial issues and exposed the country's uglier norms than bookwriter and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.BWW Review: Echoes of G.B. Shaw in Mark Medoff's CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD April 12, 2018
While audiences gather at Lincoln Center to see Lerner and Lowe's musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's classic, there's a different kind of Pygmalion story being played out at Studio 54, where Mark Medoff's 1980 Tony winner for Best Play, Children of a Lesser God is receiving its first Broadway revival. April 11, 2018
The current American president is never mentioned in bookwriter/lyricist Quiara Alegria Hudes and composer/lyricist Erin McKeown's lovely and touching chamber musical MISS YOU LIKE HELL. But even though the piece has been in development well before anyone thought of the former reality TV star as a serious candidate, his presence is well-felt in their story of an undocumented Mexican-American mom who is facing deportation while trying to rebuild her relationship with her citizen daughter.BWW Review: High School Life Gets Un-Cliqued in Tina Fey, Nell Benjamin and Jeff Richmond's MEAN GIRLS April 9, 2018
Magazine ads and television commercials may reach millions more, but perhaps the highest compliment I can pay Havana Club Rum's immersive theatre experience, AMPARO, is that it effectively guides visitors through a brief history of the company's trailblazing founding family, including generous tastes of both Cuban culture and their sugar cane libation, without ever feeling like a sales pitch.April 1 - Stephen Sondheim To Make Guest Appearance, Premiere New Song, On Crazy Ex-Girlfriend April 1, 2018
As with the Broadway season's earlier pop concert extravaganza, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, this theatre critic readily admits to not exactly being an ideal arts journalist to authoritatively review the touring rock anthem/classical music fusion concert called Rocktopia that has made a stop at the Broadway Theatre. Though my knowledge of the highbrow oeuvre is perhaps slightly higher than a layperson's, my experience with classic rock power ballads rarely extends further than the snippets heard at baseball and hockey games or during the occasional car commercial.BWW Review: Kenneth Lonergan's LOBBY HERO Debates Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason March 27, 2018
The best news coming out of 44th Street these days is that the refurbishing of the Helen Hayes Theater has been completed and that Second Stage, while retaining its longtime Off-Broadway home one block down, has set up residency, making the intimate playhouse Broadway's only venue exclusively dedicated to works by living American authors.BWW Review: ANGELS IN AMERICA Revival Flies In The Face of Trump Presidency March 26, 2018
Though the songwriting team of Robert Wright and George Forrest is best remembered by Broadway enthusiasts for adapting the music of Edvard Grieg into SONG OF NORWAY and similarly using the melodies of Alexander Borodin to create their score for KISMET, their greatest success came when director/choreographer Tommy Tune took interest in a musical of theirs that fizzled into obscurity on its way to Broadway, then known as AT THE GRAND.BWW Review: Patti Murin Is A Ray of Sunshine in Disappointingly Perfunctory FROZEN March 23, 2018
Teaser: There is a knockout of a surprise moment, cleverly devised and wonderfully played, contained within Pulitzer-winner Bruce Norris' mini-epic THE LOW ROAD, now getting a rollicking production at The Public, with a terrific ensemble of players guided by the talented hand of director Michael Grief.