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Sunday, 01 May 2011 12:22

Broadway Review: SISTER ACT

Sister Act answers the question theatre queens everywhere have been asking for generations, "what if nuns had sequins?" This show has more sequined habits than either Nunsense’s Dan Goggin or The Divine Sister’s Charles Busch could imagine... together.  These nuns sparkled so much that the other nun on Broadway without sequins (Kathleen Turner) went home.
Published in 2010-2011 Season
Saturday, 30 April 2011 12:40

Broadway Review: JERUSALEM

Just before the house lights went to half on Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, I was speaking with a colleague about London transfers and their oft-times hit or miss track record with New York audiences (think Enron). Jerusalem got generally good notices; but I gotta say, I just don't get it. The first act of this three-act, three-hour play is very funny.  The second and third act unravel into a prolonged mess.  The play takes place on St. George's Day, a day for local fairs and celebrating in England.  The title Jerusalem is from a hymn sung in England based on a poem by William Blake.  In it is celebrated the idea of heaven coming to earth.

Published in 2010-2011 Season
Sunday, 24 April 2011 13:15

Broadway Review: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Catch Me If You Can, the new Broadway musical is an extremely well constructed musical with a terrific cast. But the show has a couple of problems with it, for starters its book is humorless and and its songs, bland.  It's based on the real-life con-man turned 30+ year crime consultant, Frank Abagnale, Jr. and the FBI agent who hunts him down.  Leondardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks starred in Stephen Spielberg’s 2002 film of the same title.  

Published in 2010-2011 Season

Substance abuse seems to be of particular interest this season on Broadway. The Motherf**ker with the Hat, High with Kathleen Turner and Jerusalem with Mark Rylance all feature substance abuse in their plots. If you have had any experience with the illness of substance abuse, much of The Motherf**ker with the Hat will feel awfully familiar. You’ll recognize the patterns, the lies, the deceit and the do-anything-it-takes-to-get-high drive of addicts.

Published in 2010-2011 Season

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, the new play by Rajiv Joseph and starring the vastly talented Robin Williams, is a haunting look at Baghdad in 2003. It takes place immediately after the American invasion. The tale is told in part by a Bengal tiger (Williams) who we get to see in both life and death. This play is full of ghosts, the least of which is the ghost of America’s involvement in a costly, elongated war. It's a point that's hard to miss in this gritty, but very funny, play.

Published in 2010-2011 Season
Rob Ashford's 50th anniversary production of How To Success in Business Without Really Trying is crisp and stylish. It stars the former boy wizard of the “Harry Potter” franchise,  Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch, or Ponty, the ambitious young man who goes from window-washer to corporate executive using a few easy steps in his self-help book "How to Succeed in Business" (as read by Anderson Cooper).
Published in 2010-2011 Season
Monday, 04 April 2011 13:21

Broadway Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON

When I first saw the movie-musical “Southpark: Bigger, Longer, Uncut,” the audience around me was laughing so hard you couldn’t hear or understand some of the lyrics.  It seems I can still watch that movie and hear lines I’ve never heard before.  I remember thinking, how can the best musical I’ve seen in years be an animated feature about 10-year old boys in Colorado?  Now its creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have joined Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) to top that with the new musical darling, The Book of Mormon, one of the best new musicals on Broadway in years.

Published in 2010-2011 Season
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 23:36

Broadway Review: GHETTO KLOWN

John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown, like his previous shows, is a ride through the mind of a gifted, creative man told by a master story-teller.  Leguizamo draws on what he knows, his family, his neighborhood, his sex life and now his career and love life.  He's been a role model to the Latino community as he fought to break away from traditional Hollywood thug roles by writing his own material.  This is Leguizamo’s fifth show, his third on Broadway.
Published in 2010-2011 Season
Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is unbelievably gay by both the 1890 Noah Webster definition AND the prevalent 21st century definition.  This musical is absolutely joyous and any concern the producers have tamed the gay element of the production to make it more palatable to a New York audience are soon dispelled.   This show is pure camp and you see exactly what attracted Bette Midler as a co-producer (come to think of it, you don’t get much gayer than Bette Midler, said with all due deference, of course.)
Published in 2010-2011 Season
Saturday, 19 March 2011 13:20

Broadway Review: THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

Jason Miller’s That Championship Season was first produced at the Public Theatre in May of 1972.   That production moved to Broadway and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play.  To give the play some context, President Kennedy was only dead eight years, Roe v. Wade had been argued before the Supreme Court the December before and the House Committee on un-American Activities was still three years away from being disbanded.  This is the backdrop to That Championship Season...
Published in 2010-2011 Season
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