Broadway Review: “School of Rock – The Musical” at the Winter Garden Theatre to End Its Run on January 20, 2019

“What I set out to do was make an experimental musical theater. Broadway is a museum that’s not moving forward, and musical theater should reflect what and how we are now — our pop culture, our political situation.” (Elizabeth Swados 1951 – 2016) Broadway is no longer a museum with the recent arrival of “School of Rock – The Musical”…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Cyprus Avenue” at The Public’s LuEsther Hall

David Ireland’s “Cyprus Avenue” currently running at The Public’s LuEsther Hall sneaks up on the audience like a cat burglar armed with an AK-15 assault rifle. What one assumes will be lost is far less than the devastation left behind by the action in Ireland’s disquieting play. The detritus remaining after Eric Miller’s (Stephen Rea) violation of his wife Bernie…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Pedro Pan” at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row

During the Fidel Castro regime, “Operation Pedro Pan” transported children fleeing the growing fears of Communist indoctrination in Cuba to the safety of the United States where some of the children were reunited with family or relatives while others were cared for by the Catholic Welfare Bureau. Based on this historic event, the new musical aptly titled “Pedro Pan” is…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Teenage Dick” at the Public’s Shiva Theater

Playwright Mike Lew characterizes his play “Teenage Dick” as “vaguely from Richard III.” The protagonist of this engaging and quite dark play is high school junior Richard Gloucester (Gregg Mozgala). Richard has CP and likes to speak with a Shakespearean flair and verbiage. His disability and diction have made him the object of verbal and physical harassment. This Roseland High…

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Off-Broadway Review: “The Saintliness of Margery Kempe” at The Duke on 42nd Street

Margery Kempe was an English Christian Mystic during the 14th and 15th centuries who was tried for heresy multiple times but never convicted. During the late Middle Ages, the task of interpreting the Bible and God was restricted to ordained priests but interpretation through the senses and body became the dominion of woman mystics. Kempe’s autobiography is the first written…

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Broadway Review: “The Play That Goes Wrong” at the Lyceum Theatre Extends Through January 6, 2019

During the April 2, 2000 matinee performance of Julie Taymor’s “Green Bird” at the Cort Theatre, a flying wall accidently struck actor Reg. E. Cathey during a set change in the dark. This unexpected interruption resulted in the cancellation of the performance and sent Cathey to the hospital for x-rays. Fortunately, the actor was not seriously hurt and was reported…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Carmen Jones” Pulsates at Classic Stage Company

Because opera enthusiasts would be seduced by the music of Bizet and musical theater aficionados would savor a work that contained the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein ll, it seems only logical to combine the talents of both to create a Broadway show. It was done in 1943 when Mr. Hammerstein adapted Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” moving it from a tobacco plant…

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Off-Broadway Review: “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” at Irish Repertory Theatre on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage

Both upper-east-side resident Daisy Gamble (Melissa Errico) and psychiatrist Dr. Mark Bruckner (Stephen Bogardus) need clarity in their lives. Daisy lives in the Barbizon Hotel for Women and is applying for a job at Latimer and Latimer and has “until the afternoon” to quit smoking to meet the company’s policies. She is down to her “last month’s rent. Daisy does…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Log Cabin” at Playwright’s Horizons (Through Sunday July 15, 2018)

Ezra’s (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) stories about his father’s reaction to the news that Ezra was marrying Chris (Phillip James Brannon) and then, later, that they were going to have a baby serve as bookends for Jordan Harrison’s LGBTQ themed new play about “our origins” and how “denying our origins is not healthy nor is denying our children the right to…

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Concert Review: Kathryn Stein Memorial Concert Featuring Chita Rivera at the 92nd Street Y Theresa L. Kaufmann Hall

To begin by stating that Chita Rivera is a legend in her own time would be a factual compliment, but it would not do justice to all that the musical theater icon has accomplished in her exuberant career. Her talent and drive have always been evident. At fifteen years of age she auditioned for the School of American Ballet, was…

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