Joan Marcus

Off-Broadway Review: “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train at The Pershing Square Signature Center’s Irene Diamond Stage

The value of enduring questions is that they are not specific to a time or place or event. Theatre should be raising enduring questions and conflicts that playwrights (and their cultures) grappled with hundreds of years ago and remain relevant today. Stephen Adly Guirgis raises several such questions in the revival of his play “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” currently…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Oedipus El Rey” Creates Mythos at The Public’s Shiva Theatre

“No one should be considered fortunate until dead.” – Greek Maxim The fifth century B.C.E. is not the present-day Los Angeles borderlands: although the bones of Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus Rex” engaged the citizenry of Athens, urban America needs a Phoenix-like rebirth and retelling of the ancient tale to affect an authentic catharsis. Luis Alfaro’s “Oedipus El Rey,” currently running at…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Charm” at MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

“A compliment brings the charm to the surface. When we say that a certain color compliments your eyes, we mean it brings them out. You want to bring the other person out, make them feel special.” – Mama At first glance, Philip Dawkins’s “Charm,” currently playing at MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, is a heartfelt play about Mama…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Mary Jane” at New York Theatre Workshop”

In Part One of Amy Herzog’s “Mary Jane,” currently playing at the New York Theatre Workshop, Mary Jane (Carrie Coon) is at home caring for her two-and-a-half-year-old son Alex. She shares that responsibility with several professional caregivers, including Sherry (played with compassionate expediency by Liza Colón-Zayas) and Donna, the incompetent nurse the audience never sees. Alex, born at twenty-five weeks…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Tiny Beautiful Things” at the Public Theater’s Newman Theater

Watching “Tiny Beautiful Things” at The Public’s Newman Theater can be described as experiencing the vicissitudes of the human experience through the kaleidoscopic lens of sheer redemptive grace. The broken hearted, the beaten down, the bereft, and the “just broken” send their questions on coping, overcoming, and raging against all forms of the “dying of the light” to “Sugar” (Nia…

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Off Broadway Review: “The Treasurer” at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Max Posner’s “The Treasurer,” currently running at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, is a play about Ida Armstrong’s (played with a fragile irascibility by Deanna Dunagan) youngest son (played with an equally fragile ego strength by Peter Friedman) whose siblings have placed him in charge of their mother’s bank account, her spending, her assets and her liabilities. This role of…

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Broadway Review: “The Terms of My Surrender” Unshackles Fear at the Belasco Theatre

Michael Moore is without doubt an iconic figure. Mr. Moore’s “The Terms of My Surrender,” currently playing a limited engagement at the Belacso Theatre, dispels any doubt about his archetypal status. Near the end of the lengthy two-hour and twenty-five-minute monologue (with a guest and some needless dancing and questionable – though pleasurable – stripping male “police officers”), Michael Moore…

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Off-Broadway Review: “The End of Longing” at MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

  “The End of Longing,” now playing and extended by popular demand at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, is yet another example of the evermore trending evidence that the use of star power will attract an audience regardless of the merit of the vehicle. In this case it is Matthew Perry starring in his less than interesting playwriting debut, which only…

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Broadway Review: “Six Degrees of Separation” at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre

With dramatic revivals, the question always becomes: is it too soon or is it too dated? Now, John Guare’s 1990 award- winning dark comedy, “Six Degrees of Separation,” has made its first return to Broadway. Fortunately, this proves a perfect time to savor a play about a momentous evening – and its immediate aftermath – when a seemingly desperate but…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Sojourners” and “Her Portmanteau” at New York Theatre Workshop

Playwright Mfoniso Udofia’s “Sojourners” and “Her Portmanteau,” currently running in repertory at New York Theatre Workshop, are exquisitely crafted and skillfully performed explorations into the life of determined matriarch Abasiama Ekpeyoung-Ufot (the younger played by Chinasa Ogbuagu and the older by Jenny Jules), her two husbands Ukpong Ekpeyoung (played with a willful distraction by Hubert Point-Du-Jour) and Disciple Ufot (played…

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