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Michael Dale - Page 4

Michael Dale 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'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.


BWW Review: Deirdre O'Connell Is Extraordinary in Lucas Hnath's Very Personal Docudrama DANA H.
February 27, 2020

It's been said that movies are made in the editing room. To some extent, the same might be said of Lucas Hnath's unconventional, and very personal docudrama, Dana H.

BWW Review: Alice Birch's ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE, A Verbal Chamber Trio Themed On A Neurological Legacy
February 25, 2020

'The text has been 'scored',' states the script for British playwright Alice Birch's Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning Anatomy of a Suicide, a fascinating, tragic piece about a neurological legacy shared by three generations of women, now receiving a fine American premiere at the Atlantic's Linda Gross Theater.

BWW Review: Encores! MACK & MABEL Boasts Jerry Herman's Best Score and Terrific Turns By Alexandra Socha, Douglas Sills
February 23, 2020

Count this reviewer among those who, contrary to conventional musical theatre wisdom, never thought there was anything horribly wrong with Michael Stewart's original book for MACK & MABEL, the big, splashy 1974 musical about silent movie director Mack Sennett and the star he discovered, Mabel Normand.

BWW Review: Ivo van Hove's Alarmingly Charmless WEST SIDE STORY
February 20, 2020

Dear kindly Ivo van Hove, I often like your work, But when you stage revivals Your concepts go berserk. Your symbolism's clunky, Your edits are too thick. West Side Story doesn't need your schtick.

BWW Review: The Seeing Place Brings Engaging Humanity to George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM
February 22, 2020

'Welcome to our meeting,' greet the actors to those entering the intimate Paradise Factory for The Seeing Place Theater's very engaging production of Brandon Walker's adaptation of George Orwell's allegorical classic, ANIMAL FARM.

BWW Review: Kate Hamill's Clever Take On DRACULA Bites Back At Toxic Masculinity
February 18, 2020

In this version, Count Dracula is not an obvious outlier with fangs and pale skin, but a charming fellow you'd never suspect is spreading the acceptance of patriarchal attitudes and gender roles through his seductive bites.

BWW Review: Stephanie Berry Plays Both Creature and Creator in FRANKENSTEIN
February 18, 2020

The first thing that happens in director Timothy Douglas' Classic Stage Company mounting of Tristan Bernays' adaptation of Mary Shelley's beloved gothic novel, Frankenstein, is that actor/musician Rob Morrison, playing a one-member chorus, comes out on stage and tunes the three string instruments he'll use during the 90-minute production.

BWW Review: J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company Commences Premiere Season With SEESAW
February 16, 2020

Back in the days before multiple workshops and lengthy regional runs, the geniuses of musical theatre often had to work miracles during of-of-town previews to quickly revise and rewrite surefire flops like HELLO, DOLLY! and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM into Broadway hits.

BWW Review: Two Tales By Russian Masters Brought To The Stage in The Mint's CHEKHOV/TOLSTOY: LOVE STORIES
February 13, 2020

'You know, I hate your plays,' the great Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov once recalled the exalted Leo Tolstoy telling him during a friendly visit. 'Shakespeare was a bad writer, and I consider your plays even worse than his.'

BWW Review: Ashley Blaker's GOY FRIENDLY Explains It All For You
February 10, 2020

The internationally-known standup who first brought his Jewish-focus material Off-Broadway in 2018 with STRICTLY UNORTHODOX arrives at the SoHo Playhouse with a show inspired by his friendship and professional collaboration with Muslim standup Imran Yusuf. Having spent a great deal of time traveling together from gig to gig, Yusuf had a lot of questions about Judaism, and their conversations prompted Blaker to examine how to explain his faith to a goy.

BWW Review: Eboni Booth's PARIS, A Tragic Indictment Of Low-Wage Employment At Big Box Retail Stores
February 9, 2020

Sometimes the most truthful answer to the standard job interview question, 'Why do you want to work here?', is 'I'm behind on my rent, I have no health care and I'm desperate for money because I don't make enough at my other job.'

BWW Review: BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE is Funny & Sweet & Sexy & Endearing
February 7, 2020

If the open hardcover copy of Thomas A. Harris, M.D.'s 1967 self-help bible 'I'm OK - You're OK' casually placed upon an ottoman makes you chuckle a bit as you settle down for The New Group's latest endeavor, you're of a proper mindset to enjoy Duncan Sheik (music/lyrics), Amanda Green (lyrics) and Jonathan Marc Sherman's sweet, funny and endearing new easy chamber musical BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE.

BWW Review: Long-Running West End Smash THE WOMAN IN BLACK Now Haunts The McKittrick Hotel
February 3, 2020

a?oeWe'll make an Olivier of you yet,a?? an actor-for-hire says to his nervous client. a?oeI have no wish to be an Olivier,a?? the fellow retorts. a?oeNo, but for the sake of our audience, let us at least try.a??

BWW Review: Charles Busch Sends Up Pre-Code 'Fallen Woman' Flicks With THE CONFESSION OF LILY DARE
January 30, 2020

Nowadays there appears to be an increasing awareness in the theatre about presenting women characters through the aesthetic of male playwrights and directors, much of it involving the movie term 'male gaze' which was coined by Laura Mulvey in the 70s to describe the disproportionately sexualized manner in which women were presented in film.  From that context, it's possible to conclude that this is what playwright/actor Charles Busch has been commenting on all along.

BWW Review: Todd Robbins' SPEAKEASY MAGICK Offers Up-Close Acts of Deception
January 28, 2020

'Magic Speed Dating' is the way the wryly entertaining master of deception Todd Robbins describes the up close and personal showcase he hosts at The McKittrick Hotel, Speakeasy Magick.

BWW Review: Barra Grant Tells of Her Iconic and Infamous Mom in MISS AMERICA'S UGLY DAUGHTER: BESS MYERSON AND ME
January 27, 2020

'Fame was like a tongue sandwich to my mother,' is one way Barra Grant puts it in her autobiographical (almost) solo play, MISS AMERICA'S UGLY DAUGHTER: BESS MYERSON AND ME.

BWW Review: Jane Alexander, James Cromwell On The Rocky Road To Divorce in Bess Wohl's Very Funny GRAND HORIZONS
January 24, 2020

Back in that age we call golden, Broadway marquees were frequently set ablaze by long-running plays that producers looking to turn a profit lovingly referred to as boulevard comedies. These were typically middlebrow laugh machines expertly crafted by the likes of Mary Chase, Neil Simon or Abe Burrows (Think HARVEY, THE ODD COUPLE or CACTUS FLOWER), involving contemporary everyday characters in realistic situations containing just enough sentiment to make you care about what happens next, while maybe even wrapping up with an uncontroversial, heartwarming message.

BWW Review: David Alan Grier, Blair Underwood Lead Excellent Cast of Kenny Leon's Revival of Charles Fuller's A SOLDIER'S PLAY
January 21, 2020

When a soldier in the United States Army, just before the final surge of World War II, is found shot to death in the Louisiana town where he's stationed, the immediate assumption is that one or more of the locals committed the murder.

BWW Review: Gerard Alessandrini's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: THE NEXT GENERATION Moves To The York
January 25, 2020

It's been only three months since the brilliant lyricist/director Gerard Alessandrini opened the latest edition of his Tony-honored satirical creation Forbidden Broadway at The Triad, but after a brief hiatus, the company has moved their antics east for a stint at The York.

BWW Review: New Faces of 2020 Threaten The Status Quo in EMOJILAND
January 20, 2020

Obviously, it would be foolish to expect anything resembling high art from a musical comedy titled Emojiland, which not only attaches bodies to those expressive emotion-summarizing faces from social media and texting but brings them to singing-and-dancing life. But even shows that aspire to little more than silly junk-food fun should be sprinkled with some degree of cleverness.