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SPRING IS HERE!

 

HERALDED IN BY RADIO CITY ROCKETTES

 

And the fertile new season launches with a breathtaking variety of productions

 

Some impressions include:

the entire audience singing Happy Birthday

to Sutton Foster at her NY Pops concert at Carnegie Hall

 

the impeccable comportment of HRM Helen Mirron as she guides us through history with each minister

 

a few yucks with Larry David

 

Elizabeth Moss’ time travels through the women’s lib movement

 

and even further back for a maniacally marvelous train ride

 

and the look of joyful surprise when the cast of

Encores! Paint Your Wagon learned there will be cast album

 

Plus a myriad of off Broadway openings (including New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Westchester)

 

Join us:


Joel Benjamin, Eugene Paul, Dierdre Donovan, Eric Grunin, Roberta Pikser, Linda Ameil Burns, Michall Jeffers, David Schultz, Stewart Schulman, Dorothy Marci

 

as we fasten out seatbelts for the tumultuous theatrical travelogue to the Tonys

 

Yet to come:

April 2 Skylight April 7 Gigi April 8, Hand to God April 9

Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2 April 12

An American in Paris April 14

 It Shoulda Been You April 15

Finding Neverland April 16 Fun Home April 19

The King and I April 21 Doctor Zhivago April 22

Something Rotten! April 23 Airline Highway April 23, The Visit April 23

New shows covered in this issue:

On the Twentieth Century
Application Pending
The Heidi Chronicles
New York Pops: Sutton Foster “One Night Only”
The Audience
Fish in the Dark
SEMELE
A Happy End
Into The Woods
Kafka’s Quest, A.K.A Kafka/Samsa
Fashions for Men
Rasheeda Speaking
DUTCHMAN
John and Jen
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra - Mozart Mendelssohn
Hamilton
CAMELOT
Lyrics & Lyricists, 92st Y Here’s To the Girls! Hollywood’s Leading Ladies
The Iceman Cometh
Between Riverside and Crazy
Lady Be Good
Churchill
The Bullpen
CAMBUYON
Our Time: Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim 54 Below
Every Brilliant Thing
Texas In Paris
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
Month in the Country

see you in the theater!!!

 

Jeanne Lieberman, Publisher

Columns

Editor's Notes: POP WRITERS ON BROADWAY
By Jeanne Lieberman on Jan. 30

Basically no matter how big the pop composer, its never a guarantee on Broadway.

Editor's Notes: BROADWAY’S FREAK SHOWS
By Jeanne Lieberman on Dec. 31

In the old days matinee idols and chorus girls ruled.
Now? How do you like your freaks; straight, no frills, but served up by a Hollywood movie star or two unknowns in satin and sequins, eye filling production numbers, and glorious music?
Guess who wins!

Editor's Notes: Tributes to Joan Rivers, Marian Seldes, Geoffrey Holder & Mike Nichols
By Jeanne Lieberman on Dec. 29

BROADWAY DIMMED ITS LIGHTS

Editor's Notes: The New Season ’14-‘15
By Jeanne Lieberman on Sept. 18

Star Power on Broadway
Producers have figured out they can recoup their investments quickly and painlessly by casting Hollywood stars in their shows. Actors can also make a quick bundle (and satisfy their acting chops) in limited runs. The result – a celestial jamboree on Broadway for savvy theatergoers who will make sure to get their tickets often and early!

Editor’s Notes: What happened to the Broadway Musical?
by Jeannie Lieberman on Feb. 15

Broadway - Musicals

On the Twentieth Century
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 24

If you like your musicals to give you a non-stop boost of oxygen, this is the booster. Besides, nothing beats Kristin Chenoweth

Honeymoon In Vegas
by joel Benjamin on Jan. 27

A totally delightful escapist old-fashioned musical with a witty book, funny songs and an energetic cast of oddball characters.

Side Show
by Eugene Paul on Nov. 28

You’ll be happy you saw the show and better yet, you’ll be happier you’re you.

On The Town
by Eugene Paul on Oct. 28

Bigger and more beautiful, wiser and wittier, funnier and more affectionately satisfying than ever before. Don’t even hesitate..

‘Phantom of the Opera’
Welcomes Norm Lewis as its First Black Lead on Broadway

by Jeanne Lieberman on June. 18
Lewis brings a sexually intense, almost menacing persona, overpowering in this version and every indication the magic of this opus still works.

Cabaret
by Laura Jo Trexler on May. 8
Though The Newest Revival Is Far From Original Or New, Kander And Ebb’s Cabaret Still Compares To Few.

A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder
By Michall Jeffers on May. 8
Lunacy abounds in a gleeful Gilbert-and-Sullivan-meets-music-hall delight featuring the incomparable Jefferson Mays.

Hedwig And The Angry Inch
By Michall Jeffers on May. 1
Tony presenter Neil Patrick Harris should be up for his own Tony this season. This is not a production for those of delicate sensibilities but definitely has the potential to become another cult musical.

After Midnight!
By Jeanne Lieberman on May. 1
The performances are a series of gems that shine brightly alone but blaze in unison until your heartbeat echoes the music’s rhythm, cardiologists take note! Artistic director Wynton Marsalis, and his Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, launch you on a magical musical carpet ride that will eventually carry you on out to the street

If/Then
by Eugene Paul on Apr. 6
Devotees of Broadway belters are destined to flock to Idina Menzel’s huge sounds in her new show filled with good company.

Aladdin
by Jeannie Lieberman on Mar. 26
A true Disney magic carpet ride of opulent costumes, dazzling sets, creative choreography, savvy showbiz shtick and a Genie for all time.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
by Jeannie Lieberman on Jan. 29
A feel good evening of special delight to her fans and all those who just want a slick, nostalgic, music-packed evening.

Broadway - Plays

The Heidi Chronicles
by David Schultz on Mar. 24

Wendy Wasserstein’s award-winning play still packs a punch, but is more muted and wistful than it needs to be.

The Audience
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 17

Helen Mirren is in residence on Broadway as the Queen. It behooves you to make haste to be in her presence.

Fish in the Dark
by David Schultz on Mar. 17

To hell with the fish. I am in the dark that this undercooked wisp of a play ever made it to Broadway.

A Delicate Balance
by David Schultz on Jan. 27

Darkly humorous classic Albee revival, strangely muted and defanged, hits the boards again in a languorous production.

Constellations
by Joel Benjamin on Jan. 20

The exquisitely detailed performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson cannot hide the dearth of material.

The Elephant Man
by Michall Jeffers on Dec. 17

Bradley Cooper takes Merrick from a grunting, inarticulate “imbecile” to a man of culture and substance.

The River
by David Schultz on Nov. 28

A cabin in the woods, fly-fishing exploits, lost love - an inscrutable, ponderous evening.

DISGRACED
By Eugene Paul on Nov. 12

The hatreds inculcated in childhood poison our present days. The most challenging play in years

THE COUNTRY HOUSE
By David Schultz on Oct. 30

Chekhov Lite in the Berkshires.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
By Eugene Paul on Oct. 21

Be prepared for jolt after jolt in one of the most inventive, immersive, exciting evenings you will spend in the theatre.

It’s Only A Play
by Michall Jeffers on Oct. 16

Both self-referential and self-reverential this smash hit is playing to full houses chocked with appreciative theater goers.

You Can’t Take It With You
by Michall Jeffers on Oct. 10

Director Scott Ellis has taken this old chestnut and used his alchemy to turn it into spun sugar.

Off-Broadway - Musicals

New York City Center Encores!
Paint Your Wagon

by Joel Benjamin on Mar. 25

This Wagon was painted in golden light from beginning to end—a rich, melodic staging of a long neglected classic.

Into The Woods
by David Schultz on Mar. 11

A downsized cast of ten tackles Sondheim, this excessively cute rendition grates on the nerves, yet charms simultaneously. These Woods are showing their age.

Hamilton
by Deirdre Donovan on Feb. 27

Lin-Manuel Miranda creates a trailblazing new musical about one of our founding fathers and steps into the titular lead at the Public Theater.

Lady, Be Good!
New York City Center Encores!
by Joel Benjamin on Feb. 16

Encores! has taken a silly period piece and turned it into an entertaining, if slight, confection. Tommy Tune a plus!

Cambuyon
by R. Pikser on Feb. 16

An hour’s worth of energy can be enough to keep us going for a week, at least.

Texas In Paris
by Ethel Wynn on Feb. 6

Scott Wakefield and Tony-Winner Lillias White sing their way through a touching journey of discovery and growing friendship.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
by R. Pikser on Feb. 3

No electronic device can replicate the visceral excitement generated by this group of peace loving professionals.

Nevermore, The Imaginary Life And Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe
by Eugene Paul on Jan. 27

Charming, whimsical, non-frightening. Bring the children.

H.M.S. Pinafore
by Deirdre Donovan on Jan. 19

The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players splash into the classic and salt it with New York style.

Nutcracker Rouge
by Joel Benjamin on Nov. 17

Filled with erotic dance, sexy acrobatics and music a perfect alternative to the routine family entertainments.

The Band Wagon - New York City Center Encores!
by Joel Benjamin on Nov. 17
Encores! turns a beloved Hollywood musical into a wittily entertaining new musical.

Here Lies Love
by Stewart Schulman on May. 30
An energetic “immersive” theatrical experience with a great cast and a great true story, unfortunately mostly untold.

Off-Broadway - Plays

Kristina
by Deirdre Donovan on Mar. 24

One can’t help but feel this 16th century figure become palpable in the flesh and blood in this rarely staged Strindberg historical drama.

A Happy End
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 12

Playwright Netanyahu has written a work that becomes all too engrossing the closer it comes to its involving end.

Kafka’s Quest, A.K.A Kafka/Samsa
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 10

Endlessly intriguing, how and why Franz Kafka wrote his chilling Metamorphosis is given a new twist.

Fashions for Men
by Joel Benjamin on Mar. 4

A lovingly staged period piece about honor, romance and haberdashery.

Rasheeda Speaking
by David Schultz on Mar. 4

A scintillating cat and mouse treatise combines office politics and race into a frothy mix. Cunningly directed, makes for must see viewing.

Dutchman
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 4

The Latest Revival Of The Obie Award Winning Play That Made Amiri Baraka A Household Name.

John & Jen
by Joel Benjamin on Mar. 3

A small show with big emotions, illuminated through the writing of Lippa and Greenwald and given life by Conor Ryan and Kate Baldwin.

The Iceman Cometh
by Joel Benjamin on Feb. 26

A magnificent and essential production of an American masterpiece.

Between Riverside and Crazy
by Joel Benjamin on Feb. 25

A complex, riveting, if oddly constructed, comedy-drama from a brilliant young playwright.

Churchill
by Dorothy Marcic on Feb. 18

A play brightened by the performance of its writer Ronald Keaton, who confidently inhabits the spirit of the leader who stood alone against the Nazis during the early years of WWII replete with his vibrant oratory.

A Month in the Country
by Dierdre Donovan on Feb. 2

Small-screen stars bring high-voltage to Turgenev’s 19th-Century bitter comedy.

Winners
by Joel Benjamin on Jan. 27

An eccentric but ultimately moving portrait of a financially and emotionally challenged middle class family.

Cedars
by R. Pikser on Jan. 27

These indigenous writers have much to tell us, not only about themselves, but about ourselves.

Invisible Hand
by Joel Benjamin on Dec. 27

Yet another look at the complexities of the relationship of Islam with the West, fascinating and irritating in equal measure.

Father Comes Home from the Wars
By Joel Benjamin on Dec. 23

An ambitious conflating of the plight of slaves with Greek mythology.

Sticks and Bones
By David Schultz on Dec. 10

Ozzie and Harriet seen through the dark refracted eye of playwright David Rabe. A heart wrenching revival, perfectly cast, deeply disturbing.

Major Barbara
By Deirdre Donovan on Nov. 24

The Gingold Theatrical Group collaborates with the Pearl Theatre to stage Shaw’s social satire in a new adaptation.

Off-Broadway - Solo Performance

Application Pending

By Deirdre Donovan on Mar. 24
Christina Bianco impersonates 40 personas in the behind-the-scenes world of kindergarten admissions at a fictive private Manhattan school.

The Bullpen

By Eric Grunin on Feb. 16
Gives you more truths about the justice system in an hour than any cable drama gives you in a whole season.The Central Park Five, the group falsely arrested in 1989, spoke after the performance .

Every Brilliant Thing

By Dorothy Marcic on Feb. 6
You’ll root for this boy, and then man, who kept his Mum alive for many years, and who finally found his own life, inside himself.

The Belle of Amherst

By Deirdre Donovan on Nov. 24
Joely Richardson brings 19th Century poet Emily Dickinson alive in her one-woman performance at the West End Theatre.

Wiesenthal

By Eugene Paul on Nov. 17
Actor/playwright Tom Dugan gives a remarkable performance as remarkable Simon Wiesenthal, unexpectedly warm, uplifting, insightful.

Off-Broadway - Multimedia

A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
By Joel Benjamin on Dec. 18
A gleefully messy version of the Dickens classic, complete with arch comments, music, period costumes and expert puppetry.

The Dancing Fox: Wisdom Tales of the Middle East
By R. Pikser on Sept. 18
Chosen from both Arab and Jewish traditions, these tales illustrate how people behave and about how they might behave better.

Abe Abraham
by R. Pikser on August. 7
A tightly controlled view of Hell – or trying to escape from one’s own Hell.

Amaluna
by Eugene Paul on Mar. 31
Cirque du Soleil’s newest of their many shows, thrilling, eye-popping, exciting, perhaps their most beautiful ever.

FEATURES

Everybody Rise! A celebration of Elaine Stritch

By Jeanne Lieberman on Nov. 24

Not the tender hearted, tear inspiring tribute of most memorials, the event was like its subject: over the top, irreverent and raucous.

John Lahr and Tony Kushner on Tennessee Williams
by Joel Benjamin on Oct. 8

Lahr's biography Mad Pilgrimage focuses on the interdependence of Williams’ mental and emotional health and the quality of his writing.

“FINDING NEVERLAND” PRODUCER HARVEY WEINSTEIN WINS “RIEDEL CHALLENGE” NEW YORK POST COLUMNIST MICHAEL RIEDEL ADMITS DEFEAT AFTER “FINDING NEVERLAND” EARNS THE LOVE OF 96% OF ITS AUDIENCE

“BLACK STARS OF THE GREAT WHITE WAY”
AT CARNEGIE HALL JUNE 23, 2014 8 PM
by Jeanne Lieberman on June. 18
In the wake of his appearance in Phantom, Norm Lewis and co producer Chapman Roberts have created an evening saluting some of the greatest musical heroes in history.

Broadway Up Close Walking Tours
by Deirdre Donovan on May. 30
Actor Tim Dolan invites everybody to get up close to Broadway and learn its history and lore on foot.

THE AWARD GOES TO:
The Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Theater World and the Obies announce their winners!
by Jeannie Lieberman on May. 22
Drama Desk and Tonys to come………………

AND THE NOMINEES ARE…………
by Jeannie Lieberman on May. 1
TIME TO GET SERIOUS AS THEATER ORGANIZATIONS SUMMON THEIR VOTERS TO DECIDE THE WINNERS OF THIS VERY VARIED AND WONDERFUL THEATER SEASON:
TONY AWARDS NOMINEES
DRAMA DESK
DRAMA LEAGUE
OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE
WITH NO OBVIOUS FRONTRUNNERS THE RACE IS WIDE OPEN.

Cabaret/Concerts/Opera's

New York Pops: Sutton Foster “One Night Only”
By Elliot Rush on Mar. 20

The multi-talented star celebrated her 40th Birthday onstage and the 2800 seat theater spontaneously burst into the birthday song as the love over-flowed back and forth.

Semele
By R. Pikser on Mar. 17

An overtly sexy staging offers some brilliant visuals yet lacks some level of fulfillment.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra : Mozart & Mendelssohn
By Deirdre Donovan on Mar. 2

Maestro Johannes Debus breezed into the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with three works from the classical repertoire, and wrapped up with the “Scottish” Symphony.

Lyrics & Lyricists, 92st Y
Here’s To the Girls! Hollywood’s Leading Ladies

By Linda Amile Burns on Feb. 26

Charles Busch hosted a dazzling celebration of The Leading Ladies of Hollywood’s from the great film musicals to open the 2015 season.

Our Time: Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim
54 Below

By Joel Benjamin on Feb. 12

Two cabaret greats at the top of their game.

A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration
Lyrics & Lyricists , 92Y

By Joel Benjamin on Jan. 20

An evening of Sondheim songs, personal memories and great singing…what more do you need?

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival: Lacombe Conducts Romeo and Juliet
By Deirdre Donovan on Jan. 19

The trio of Shakespeare-themed works underscored that the Bard can break out of his literary tradition-- and sound the better for it.

New York Pops – Kelli and Matthew: Home for the Holidays
By Stewart Schulman on Dec. 29

Their reunion made even more perfect by Music Director Steven Reineke and his incredible orchestra.

Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)
By Deirdre Donovan on Dec. 27

A program unlike any other playing in the city this holiday season.

Konstantin Soukhovetski at the Lyric Chamber Music Society
by Deirdre Donovan on Oct. 28

The Rock Star Pianist of the classical music world made old classics sound new.

A Maestro’s Memoirs
by Deirdre Donovan on May. 22
Musician Donald Pippin time-travels back through star-dusted moments in his long-and-winding career.

David Ostwald and his Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland
by Jeanne Lieberman on May. 1
David Ostwald, who sets the pace and chooses the songs as he goes, leads a magic meld of multigenerational music meisters that varies slightly from week to week.

Dance

National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica
By R. Pikser on Mar. 22

The energy of the late Rex Nettleford is still present in the performance of the company he founded.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
By Joel Benjamin on Dec. 30

Three new works expand the techniques and expressive power of this exciting troupe’s dancers.

American Dance Machine for the 21st Century
The Joyce Theater
By Joel Benjamin on Dec. 3

An important living repository of the works of important theater choreography.

Mikhailovsky Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater/Lincoln Center
By Joel Benjamin on Nov. 24

A major ballet company, a contender for world fame, presents four ambitious programs at Lincoln Center.

Regionals

Westchester Broadway Theatre: Camelot
by Edward Lieberman on Feb. 27


Go see this updated production, “a Camelot for the 21st Century!”

South Pacific
by Eugene Paul on Oct. 6


A beloved American classic whose songs are as fresh as ever.