Off-Broadway Review: “Church & State” at New World Stages

Following the inauguration of the forty-fifth President of the United States, not a day goes by without listening to Members of Congress – from both sides of the aisle – airing their points of view on all things Trump on national television. Among the chorus of regional dialects is the unmistakable Southern drawl with a twang that seems able to…

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Off-Broadway Review: “The Emperor Jones” at Irish Repertory Theatre

“Ain’t a man’s talkin’ big what makes him big-long as he makes folks believe it? [Sure], I talks large when I ain’t got nothin’ to back it up, but I ain’t talkin’ wild just [the] same. I knows I kin fool ’em—I knows it—and [that’s] backin’ enough [for] my game.” – Brutus Jones It is not easy to watch Eugene…

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Broadway Review: “Miss Saigon” at the Broadway Theatre

The 2017 Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon” raises rich and deep enduring questions. Based on Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” the mammoth musical has enjoyed decades of success – as has Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s “Les Miserables.” Success aside, the questions remain: What is the “ultimate sacrifice” one human being can make for another? What are the moral parameters involved…

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Broadway Review: “The Glass Menagerie” at the Belasco Theatre

“The Glass Menagerie,” Tennessee Williams’ 1944 memory play, seems to have just left our stage … or is that my own memory playing games? In fact, Cherry Jones took on the iconic role of Amanda Wingfield – and was nominated for the Tony – in 2014. Three years prior, Judith Ivey delivered a lovely and highly praised performance in a…

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Broadway Review: “Sweat” Evaporates Quickly at Studio 54

“Sweat,” currently running on Broadway at Studio 54, seems to be a play about not what it is assumed to be about. It is not about post-election politics. It is not about the history of factory closings in America’s rust belt or the pandemic of brokenness in American cities. “Sweat” is about human brokenness, the kind of brokenness that results…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Picnic and Come Back, Little Sheba: William Inge in Repertory” at Transport Group Theatre Company at the Gym at Judson

“Picnic and Come Back, Little Sheba: William Inge in Repertory” at Transport Group Theatre Company at the Gym at Judson leaves one longing for more William Inge and more Transport Group – perhaps a trifecta that includes the 1955 “Bus Stop.” Inge’s themes of deep angst, “small ambition,” the search for identity and purpose, lost (or abandoned) youth, choices and…

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Off-Broadway Review: “The View UpStairs” at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project

“Forty years ago this place was a fabulously tacky gay bar with a life-sized cardboard cutout of nude Burt Reynolds hanging from the ceiling. It was a church. There was live music and dancing, hustlers, drag queens, even a mother who came with her son. It was a community of people who were funny, and brave, and full of life.”…

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Off-Broadway Review: Bated Breath Theatre Company’s “Beneath the Gavel” at 59E59 Theaters

When one visits an art museum and stands in front of a painting – let us say Jeff Koons’s “Woman in Tub” – one reacts in one of perhaps three ways: the visitor “likes, just likes it” and snaps a digital image and moves on to another contemporary artist; the visitor pauses for some time and examines the work, deciding…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Sundown, Yellow Moon” at the McGinn/Cazale (WP Theater)

At sundown, when objects lose their precise “black-and-white” identity, the yellow moon begins to assume the role of providing “light.” Moonlight is far more forgiving than sunlight – it is the light of all things Eastern, leaving the bright Western light to its own devices of conditional judgement. It is the salvific murkiness of the yellow moon that draws fraternal…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Chess Match No. 5” at Abingdon Theatre Company’s June Havoc Theatre

Now, we don’t want to say, “Where do we come in?” or, “Where do we go out?” Because we would like, I think not to leave, but to stay here, now that we’re here. – He There is nothing like watching theatre directed by SITI Company’s Anne Bogart. Her attention to detail is unparalleled and her signature staging that includes…

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