BWW Review: Isaac Gomez's THE WAY SHE SPOKE Explores a City's History of Violence Against WomenBWW Review: Isaac Gomez's THE WAY SHE SPOKE Explores a City's History of Violence Against Women
by Michael Dale - Jul 19, 2019

Perhaps it would be regarded as exploitative to directly quote the passage here, but the last several minutes of playwright Isaac Gomez's THE WAY SHE SPOKE consists primarily of the names, ages, causes of death and physical states of the corpses of several dozen women who were murdered, in scenarios usually involving rape, in the Mexican border city of Juarez during the horrific rise of femicide that has plagued the city since the 1990s. (more...)

BWW Review: Luis Alfaro's MOJADA Adapts An Ancient Text Into A Contemporary Refugee StoryBWW Review: Luis Alfaro's MOJADA Adapts An Ancient Text Into A Contemporary Refugee Story
by Michael Dale - Jul 18, 2019

In Alfaro's take on Euripides' MEDEA, titled Mojada, the varying attitudes towards assimilation within a family of Mexican refugees who lack documentation lead to a devastating conflict. (more...)

BWW Review: Encores! Off-Center Brings Back Maria Irene Fornes and Rev. Al Carmines' Fresh and Vibrant PROMENADEBWW Review: Encores! Off-Center Brings Back Maria Irene Fornes and Rev. Al Carmines' Fresh and Vibrant PROMENADE
by Michael Dale - Jul 15, 2019

Through the leadership of Reverend Bernard Scott, Greenwich Village's Judson Memorial Church became a center for emerging artists during the 1950s, welcoming the experimental, the avant-garde and the political to have their work seen without fear of censorship. (more...)

BWW Review: Alice Ripley, Tony Yazbeck, Kate Shindle, Betsy Wolfe Star in Cleveland Musical Theatre's INTO THE WOODS ConcertBWW Review: Alice Ripley, Tony Yazbeck, Kate Shindle, Betsy Wolfe Star in Cleveland Musical Theatre's INTO THE WOODS Concert
by Michael Dale - Jul 11, 2019

Despite an oeuvre that includes a questioning of the sanity of American social conventions and an exploration into the motivations of presidential assassins, INTO THE WOODS might be regarded as the most subversive of Stephen Sondheim's musicals. (more...)

BWW Review: Grace McLean's Intriguing Chamber Musical IN THE GREENBWW Review: Grace McLean's Intriguing Chamber Musical IN THE GREEN
by Michael Dale - Jul 8, 2019

Chamber musicals don't get much more chamber than composerlyricistbookwriter Grace McLean's In the Green, an intriguing new piece receiving its premiere at LCT3's Claire Tow Theater. Musically complex, dramatically abstract and, as presented by director Lee Sunday Evans, intensely intimate in style, In the Green may need some sharpening to clarify its storytelling, but as a whole it is an ambitious work that's worthy of the focused attention it demands. (more...)

BWW Review: David Cale's Survival Song, WE'RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIMEBWW Review: David Cale's Survival Song, WE'RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME
by Michael Dale - Jul 2, 2019

The last time a well-known actor not especially noted for singing graced a major New York stage with a one-person autobiographical musical that focused on personal tragedy, it was Suzanne Somer's unmissably jaw-dropping narcissistic spectacle, THE BLONDE IN THE THUNDERBIRD.  But fear not, playgoers, for while David Cale does provide quite a few original ditties to augment his childhood memoir, WE'RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME, his not-quite-Sinatra-level vocals are way more suited for this captivating presentation than a more elegant songbird's trill. (more...)

BWW Review: Encores! Off-Center Turns WORKING Into A Tribute To New York City Center's EmployeesBWW Review: Encores! Off-Center Turns WORKING Into A Tribute To New York City Center's Employees
by Michael Dale - Jun 29, 2019

Unlike the vast majority of musicals granted concert productions by City Center's Encores! Off-Center, the collaborate effort known as WORKING did not play an Off-Broadway run before hitting Times Square. Instead, Chicago's Goodman Theatre production transferred to the 46th Street Theatre in 1978, where it garnered numerous Tony nominations, including best musical. (more...)

BWW Review: Lydia R. Diamond's TONI STONE, Inspired By The Story of a Baseball PioneerBWW Review: Lydia R. Diamond's TONI STONE, Inspired By The Story of a Baseball Pioneer
by Michael Dale - Jun 28, 2019

From the epic poetry of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's 'Casey At The Bat' to the sharp-edged vernacular of Ring Lardner's newspaper columns and the nostalgic innocence of Roger Kahn's 'The Boys of Summer,' baseball has been inspiring great literary flourishes for well over a century. (more...)

BWW Review: Regina Spektor Goes In Residence On BroadwayBWW Review: Regina Spektor Goes In Residence On Broadway
by Michael Dale - Jun 24, 2019

Her fans ate it up, with calls of 'We love you, Regina,' peppering her two-hour concert, the latest entry of the theatre's In Residence On Broadway series, presenting a variety of artists in short runs until TINA, the new Tina Turner musical, starts previewing in October. (more...)

BWW Review: Aaron Posner's LIFE SUCKS. Urges Chekhov and His Characters To Get To The PointBWW Review: Aaron Posner's LIFE SUCKS. Urges Chekhov and His Characters To Get To The Point
by Michael Dale - Jun 23, 2019

'How many of you would just... pretty much like to have sex with me?', a character asks audience members in the middle of a play. (more...)

BWW Review: Stage Treasure Everett Quinton is Classically Ridiculous in Charles Ludlam's Diva Spoof GALASBWW Review: Stage Treasure Everett Quinton is Classically Ridiculous in Charles Ludlam's Diva Spoof GALAS
by Michael Dale - Jun 20, 2019

'Only my dogs will not betray me,' confesses a world-renowned opera diva in Charles Ludlam's 1983 downtown triumph, GALAS. (more...)

Review Roundup: A STRANGE LOOP at Playwrights HorizonsReview Roundup: A STRANGE LOOP at Playwrights Horizons
by Review Roundups - Jun 18, 2019

Playwrights Horizons, in association with Page 73, present the world premiere production of A Strange Loop, with book, music, and lyrics by 2017 Jonathan Larson Award and 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award-winner Michael R. Jackson, directed by Stephen Brackett (Be More Chill, Buyer and Cellar), and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (Playwrights: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka; Ugly (Black Queer Zoo), Fairview). A Strange Loop explores the thoughts of Usher, a black, queer writer working a job he hates while writing his original musical: a piece about a black, queer writer, working a job he hates while writing his original musical. Michael R. Jackson's blistering, momentous new musical (and his professional debut) follows a young artist at war with a host of demons-not least of which are the punishing thoughts in his own head-in an attempt to capture and understand his own strange loop. (more...)

BWW Review: Michael R. Jackson's Clever and Tuneful A STRANGE LOOP Zeros In On The Exclusive Side of InclusivenessBWW Review: Michael R. Jackson's Clever and Tuneful A STRANGE LOOP Zeros In On The Exclusive Side of Inclusiveness
by Michael Dale - Jun 18, 2019

'Don't roll your eyes at me,' a person of influence instructs a promising young musical theatre writer. 'I'm the chair of the Second-Coming-Of-Sondheim Award so I know what the f... I'm talking about!' (more...)

BWW Review:  Captivating Aedín Moloney Portrays James Joyce's Free Spirit in YES! REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOMBWW Review: Captivating Aedín Moloney Portrays James Joyce's Free Spirit in YES! REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOM
by Michael Dale - Jun 17, 2019

There's a rather highbrow gag in the long-ago Broadway musical TOVARICH, where a Gatsby-era gentleman asks an elegant lady if she's read James Joyce's new novel, 'Ulysses.' 'Just the final fifty pages,' she replies with a lustful wink in her voice. (more...)

BWW Review: Lynn Nottage, Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead's Beautiful and Thrilling THE SECRET LIFE OF BEESBWW Review: Lynn Nottage, Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead's Beautiful and Thrilling THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
by Michael Dale - Jun 14, 2019

A young African-American woman living in 1964 rural South Carolina is interrupted on her way to a voter registration rally by a pair of white men who not only rough her up until she's on the ground and bloody, but convince a police officer that it was her fault. (more...)

BWW Review: Kenny Leon Directs MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING With Georgia Politics On His MindBWW Review: Kenny Leon Directs MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING With Georgia Politics On His Mind
by Michael Dale - Jun 12, 2019

If, when the smoke clears on the Democratic Party's selection process, their next nominee for President of the United States turns out to be recent Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, history might point to director Kenny Leon's fun and stylish Shakespeare In The Park production of Much Ado About Nothing as the event that truly kick-started interest. (more...)

BWW Review: Clubbed Thumb Presents Zhu Yi's Chinese Gentrification Story YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRTBWW Review: Clubbed Thumb Presents Zhu Yi's Chinese Gentrification Story YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT
by Michael Dale - Jun 10, 2019

Though Zhu Yi's YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT is set in a large estate on the outskirts of Shanghai, New Yorkers will certainly recognize it as a gentrification story, where the homogeneous conveniences of the modern would come at the expense of a community's history and distinctive character. (more...)

BWW Review: Carla Ching's NOMAD MOTEL Explores Parent/Child Sacrifices and ExpectationsBWW Review: Carla Ching's NOMAD MOTEL Explores Parent/Child Sacrifices and Expectations
by Michael Dale - Jun 7, 2019

When the audience enters Atlantic Theater's Stage 2 for Carla Ching's Nomad Motel, presented as part of their New Play Development program, there's a very familiar type of character already hard at work on stage; a quiet young man, seriously at work composing music with his electric guitar. (more...)

Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of DYING CITY?Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of DYING CITY?
by Review Roundups - Jun 4, 2019

Dying City explores the human fallout of global events, including the Iraq War and the terrorist attacks of 9/11, through the interwoven stories of three unforgettable characters in this 2008 Pulitzer finalist. Let's see what the critics had to say. (more...)

BWW Review: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Colin Woodell in Christopher Shinn's DYING CITYBWW Review: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Colin Woodell in Christopher Shinn's DYING CITY
by Michael Dale - Jun 4, 2019

Playwright Christopher Shinn, who directs Second Stage's new production of his 2008 Pulitzer finalist Dying City, places a large black void at the upstage wall as part of designer Dane Laffrey's otherwise realistic depiction of rather non-descript Manhattan apartment. Don't, like this reviewer did, spend any part of your time at this 90-minute drama waiting for some practical use of this seemingly out-of-place feature. Its purpose, perhaps, is to represent that emptiness that can be felt by both individually and collectively after. (more...)

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