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Off-Broadway Theater Reviews


BWW Review: Saheem Ali Reinvents Shakespeare In The Park With An Audio RICHARD II Tha Photo BWW Review: Saheem Ali Reinvents Shakespeare In The Park With An Audio RICHARD II That Stresses Color Consciousness
by Michael Dale - July 19, 2020

'What does it mean to have a Black man who is deemed unfit to rule and what does it mean to have a Black woman take his place?'...
BWW Review: Richard Nelson Continues His Rhinebeck Panorama with AND SO WE COME FORT Photo BWW Review: Richard Nelson Continues His Rhinebeck Panorama with AND SO WE COME FORTH: THE APPLE FAMILY: A DINNER ON ZOOM
by Michael Dale - July 04, 2020

'I was lying in the bath last night. And it just occurred to me, I all of a sudden realized: I have not touched another human being for over three months.'...
BWW Review: Eden Theater Company's THE ROOM PLAYS Zooms In On Teleconferenced Relatio Photo BWW Review: Eden Theater Company's THE ROOM PLAYS Zooms In On Teleconferenced Relationships
by Michael Dale - June 15, 2020

'I guess I knew that you could miss the things you love; I didn't know you could miss the things you hate,' ponders a New York apartment-dweller who sees little reason to get out of bed as she lives in isolation in this era of COVID-19....
BWW Review: Richard Nelson Zooms In On The Apples in WHAT DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT? Photo BWW Review: Richard Nelson Zooms In On The Apples in WHAT DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT?
by Michael Dale - April 30, 2020

'The first cough in the audience and who's listening to the play?,' wonders a character when contemplating the return of live theatre....
BWW Review: Candle House Collective's Remote Immersive Experiences Bring Participator Photo BWW Review: Candle House Collective's Remote Immersive Experiences Bring Participatory Theatre To Your Phone
by Michael Dale - April 15, 2020

For over two years, the Chicago-based Candle House Collective has been creating non-tradition, immersive theatre for both site-specific locations and virtual enjoyment. But with the current health crisis putting live theatre on hold, their virtual plays can be especially inviting for audience member...
BWW Review: The 24 Hour Plays' VIRAL MONOLOGUES Takes Site-Specific Theatre Further O Photo BWW Review: The 24 Hour Plays' VIRAL MONOLOGUES Takes Site-Specific Theatre Further Outside The Black Box
by Michael Dale - March 23, 2020

When thinking of site-specific theatre, visions of following actors through a forest as they play out A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM or sitting in a musty old playhouse for a performance of FOLLIES may dance through your head, but in these days of government-regulated social distancing necessitating the ...
BWW Review: Company XIV's SEVEN SINS, A Lavish Feast Of Biblical Misbehaviors Photo BWW Review: Company XIV's SEVEN SINS, A Lavish Feast Of Biblical Misbehaviors
by Michael Dale - March 12, 2020

As someone who has indulged in all the creations concocted by the genius director/choreographer Austin McCormick for his spectacular mix of performing artists, Company XIV, since the early years of this century when they displayed their talents in modestly-scaled productions on East 4th Street, this...
BWW Review: A Family Is Separated By Immigration Policies in Hilary Bettis' 72 MILES Photo BWW Review: A Family Is Separated By Immigration Policies in Hilary Bettis' 72 MILES TO GO...
by Michael Dale - March 11, 2020

If it were up to Billy, the sweet-natured Unitarian pastor who opens Hilary Bettis' 72 Miles to Go... speaking to audience members as if they were members of his Tucson, Arizona congregation, the play about his family would be one of those warm domestic comedies where the kids learn valuable life le...
BWW Review: Very Funny Jamaican Situation Comedy TWO CAN PLAY is Revived by the New F Photo BWW Review: Very Funny Jamaican Situation Comedy TWO CAN PLAY is Revived by the New Federal Theatre
by Joe Lombardi - March 10, 2020

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BWW Review: Michael Friedman/Daniel Goldstein's Captivating UNKNOWN SOLDIER Explores Photo BWW Review: Michael Friedman/Daniel Goldstein's Captivating UNKNOWN SOLDIER Explores The Unreliability Of Memory And The Romance Of Imagination
by Michael Dale - March 10, 2020

For BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Michael Friedman whipped up an emo rock score that comically skewered white male privilege. For LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST his music and lyrics embraced the open-hearted awkwardness of lovers testing the waters of adulthood, and in THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, they nostalgic...
BWW Interview: Legendary Japanese Theatre Artist Hideki Noda on ONE GREEN BOTTLE at L Photo BWW Interview: Legendary Japanese Theatre Artist Hideki Noda on ONE GREEN BOTTLE at La MaMa ETC
by Cindy Sibilsky - March 09, 2020

Hideki Noda's powerfully dynamic, physically demanding, utterly engaging and thoroughly entertaining works have been seen across the world's stage and now he returns to one of the most significant homes of the underground theatre movement in NYC -- The Ellen Stewart Theater at La MaMa -- in One Gree...
BWW Review: Christopher Chen's Detective Drama THE HEADLANDS Unravels a Family Myster Photo BWW Review: Christopher Chen's Detective Drama THE HEADLANDS Unravels a Family Mystery
by Michael Dale - March 08, 2020

From the Marin Headlands, a hilly peninsula north of San Francisco that overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge, a father points out to his ten-year-old son the spot across the bay where he first met the boy's mother....
BWW Review: Deidre Goodwin Directs/Choreographs Richard Rodgers' Ambitious And Darin Photo BWW Review: Deidre Goodwin Directs/Choreographs Richard Rodgers' Ambitious And Daring NO STRINGS
by Michael Dale - March 08, 2020

After spending two full careers as a Broadway composer, first writing jazzy smash hits with lyricist Lorenz Hart and then adapting more dramatic and character-driven styles for scores penned for classics with Oscar Hammerstein II, Rodgers, upon his second partner's passing, for the first time suppli...
BWW Review: MR. TOOLE at 59E59 Theaters Depicts a Captivating Backstory of John Kenne Photo BWW Review: MR. TOOLE at 59E59 Theaters Depicts a Captivating Backstory of John Kennedy Toole
by Marina Kennedy - March 06, 2020

59E59 Theaters is now presenting 'Mr. Toole,' a production that will appeal to literature and drama lovers alike. The Off-Broadway premiere of this play is superbly written by Vivian Neuwirth, finely directed by Cat Parker, and features an outstanding cast....
BWW Review: Powerfully Plainspoken COAL COUNTRY Speaks The Truths of Mining Disaster Photo BWW Review: Powerfully Plainspoken COAL COUNTRY Speaks The Truths of Mining Disaster Victims
by Michael Dale - March 05, 2020

It seems every four years, as political primaries come upon us, Americans start thinking more about those far off people in drastically different communities we share this country with. If New Yorkers have had many thoughts about the coal industry recently, they probably had to do with President Tru...
BWW Review: In Lauren Yee's CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, Music Spits In The Face Of Oppressi Photo BWW Review: In Lauren Yee's CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, Music Spits In The Face Of Oppression
by Michael Dale - March 03, 2020

Family secrets, political history, moral dilemmas in the face of genocide and loud, kick-ass rock tunes mix terrifically in Lauren Yee's gripping and (for this reviewer) informative new drama Cambodian Rock Band, an often horrifying, but ultimately exhilarating reminder that if there's one thing tot...
BWW Review: Pearl Cleage's Ravishingly Written Post-Harlem Renaissance Portrait BLUES Photo BWW Review: Pearl Cleage's Ravishingly Written Post-Harlem Renaissance Portrait BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY
by Michael Dale - March 02, 2020

'I'm tired of Negro dreams. All they ever do is break your heart,' contemplates an unemployed nightclub singer after an audition that turned out to be for a mistress rather than for an entertainer in Pearl Cleage's ravishingly written post-Harlem Renaissance portrait, Blues for an Alabama Sky....
BWW Review: Beth Malone Grandly Skippers New Progressive-Minded Musical Vaguely Resem Photo BWW Review: Beth Malone Grandly Skippers New Progressive-Minded Musical Vaguely Resembling THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN
by Michael Dale - March 01, 2020

'Revitalized' is new euphemism for 'about 80% rewritten', or at least it appears that way in regards to the new musical that carries the name The Unsinkable Molly Brown....
BWW Review: Deirdre O'Connell Is Extraordinary in Lucas Hnath's Very Personal Docudra Photo BWW Review: Deirdre O'Connell Is Extraordinary in Lucas Hnath's Very Personal Docudrama DANA H.
by Michael Dale - 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 Neu Photo BWW Review: Alice Birch's ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE, A Verbal Chamber Trio Themed On A Neurological Legacy
by Michael Dale - 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 ...
BWW Review: Encores! MACK & MABEL Boasts Jerry Herman's Best Score and Terrific Turns Photo BWW Review: Encores! MACK & MABEL Boasts Jerry Herman's Best Score and Terrific Turns By Alexandra Socha, Douglas Sills
by Michael Dale - 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 Norman...
BWW Review: The Seeing Place Brings Engaging Humanity to George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM Photo BWW Review: The Seeing Place Brings Engaging Humanity to George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM
by Michael Dale - 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: Stephanie Berry Plays Both Creature and Creator in FRANKENSTEIN Photo BWW Review: Stephanie Berry Plays Both Creature and Creator in FRANKENSTEIN
by Michael Dale - 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...
BWW Review: Kate Hamill's Clever Take On DRACULA Bites Back At Toxic Masculinity Photo BWW Review: Kate Hamill's Clever Take On DRACULA Bites Back At Toxic Masculinity
by Michael Dale - 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: THE SABBATH GIRL at 59E59 Theaters is a Charming and Meaningful Romantic Photo BWW Review: THE SABBATH GIRL at 59E59 Theaters is a Charming and Meaningful Romantic Story
by Marina Kennedy - February 17, 2020

The New York City premiere of 'The Sabbath Girl,' is now delighting audiences at 59E59 Theaters. This modern romantic comedy is written by Cary Gitter, directed by Joe Brancato, and features a marvelous cast of five....