Off-Broadway

Off-Broadway Review: “Stuffed” at the Westside Theatre Downstairs

If you are in the mood for insult comedy that claims to take the important topic of women and weight seriously – but does not – then Lisa Lampanelli’s “Stuffed,” currently enjoying a revival at the Westside Theatre Downstairs, might be a show to put on your “must-see” list. However, if you think making jokes about the color of Michael…

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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: “Occupied Territories” at 59E59 Theaters

One of the territories occupied in Nancy Bannon and Mollye Maxner’s “Occupied Territories,” currently running at 59E59 Theaters, is the Jungle of Vietnam in 1967 during what seemed at the time to be an interminable and unpopular war. In the revival of the Theater Alliance’s 2015 play, that war appears as a haunting memory for Jude (Nancy Bannon) and her…

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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: “Desperate Measures” at the York Theatre Company

Although billed as being “loosely based” on the classic Shakespearian comedy, “Desperate Measures,” currently playing at the York Theatre Company, has the “guts” of “Measure for Measure” with the charm and appeal of a traditional Broadway musical. Peter Kellogg and David Friedman are to be commended for achieving this feat and bringing this clever retelling to the stage. Somewhere out…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Lonely Planet” at the Keen Company at the Clurman at Theatre Row

“And this is the thing: they will train you, they will teach you to hit, they will teach you to move – but they never tell you about the fear. Nothing the people in your Corner can tell you will prepare you for the fear.” – Jody to Carl Despite the outstanding performances of Arnie Burton and Matt McGrath, the…

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Off-Broadway Review: “I of the Storm” at The Gym at Judson

What is a successful money manager to do after serving time in prison for the misappropriation of funds and finding he is bereft of family, friends, and home? The Speaker in Def Poet RJ Bartholomew’s “I of the Storm” faces that precise circumstance and chooses to come to terms with his homelessness by embracing it and “letting go.” This Speaker…

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Off-Broadway Review: “Measure for Measure” at the Public’s LuEsther Theater

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 William Shakespeare’s plays have been abridged, modernized, and retold in every conceivable fashion. As the time for curtain approaches for “Measure…

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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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