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A queer, comic version of 'Romeo & Juliet'? ...sort of

What makes a play queer? Is it simply a queer cast? A queer aesthetic? Or something more? Billed as a queer and gender-blind, abridged and I quote “hilarious version of this beloved classic,” Sister Shakes Productions’ Romeo & Juliet (presented b …Read more

Alexander Perez on the world premiere of his "sadistic" comedy 'Randy's Dandy Coaster Castle'

A year ago, I had the opportunity to review Alexander Perez’s dark comedy Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle, which follows a team of overworked, underpaid employees at a rundown amusement park already in its death throes. Then playing at IRT, the producti …Read more

A Fairy Tale Comes Alive

Despite its charms, and there are many, the new musical “BetweenThe Lines” at the Tony Kiser Theater is a show in search of a target audience. Based upon a young adult novel by best-selling author Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer, the …Read more

Intimate storytelling and beautiful language can't save a show about a whiny mammoth-elephant

Scene: the Sakha Republic, Siberia. Some time in the future, a genetically engineered mammelephant (half mammoth, half elephant) has an existential crisis in a man-made park created to solve climate change. That’s more or less the entire plot of Lanx …Read more

In 'Happy Life,' Hello Kitty and tentacle porn are an unlikely recipe for success

Kathy Ng’s Happy Life, directed by Kat Yen at Walkerspace, is not a show for everyone. Nor is it a show for the faint of heart. But if kinky, morbid humor is your thing, well guess what, it’s your lucky day, because this is a kinky, violent, tentacle …Read more

From Best-Seller to Broadway Stage

photo by Joan Marcus Adapting a beloved bestselling book into a Broadway show is not without its challenges. While the show has name recognition and is sure to attract loyal readers, it also creates expectations-sometimes unreasonable. The novel, The …Read more

Hilarious, intimate, and honest, 'The Elephant in the Room' explores the challenges of diversity

Priyanka Shetty’s play The Elephant in the Room (TEITR), playing at 59E59 until July 24, explores the challenges of diversity while rooting them in the shared identity of human experience. Elephant comes highly recommended, having won Broadway World …Read more

Take A Delightful Trip "Into The Woods"

photo by Matt Murphy Sometimes those of us not easily impressed can be impressed. So it is with Into The Woods, now at the St. James Theater. The revival marks a return to the original, following a previous sanitized revival and a fluffy film. This i …Read more

The political genius and violent power of Richard III feel relevant

Photo by Joan Marcus Free Shakespeare in the Park is quintessential New York. If you are lucky enough to score the free tickets and it’s a gorgeous evening, theater doesn’t get any better. This summer the Public Theater is offering two productions, o …Read more

2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama goes to Fat Ham

What? Another show about a moody, overweight, young Black man with family issues? Like “A Strange Loop,” “Fat Ham” hasan endearing young main character. But “Fat Ham” delivers much more. Preparing for a family barbecue celebrating the marriage of his …Read more

Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" with a Robotic Dog

Classics remain classics because they speak to us-no matter when they were written or where they are set. In a newly-imagined version of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” a family remains stuck in the past. Soon their beloved home and cherry orchard wi …Read more

Sarah Silverman's 'The Bedwetter' is a hilarious, heartwarming crowd-pleaser

10-year-old Sarah Silverman has one big, big problem. Well, to be honest, she has more than one problem. Her parents are newly divorced, her mother hasn’t left her bed in weeks, and her older sister won’t even acknowledge her at school. But Sarah, a …Read more

James Bond becomes Macbeth

by Joan Marcus There’s something to be said for star power filling theater seats. Despite some tepid reviews for the latest version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the Longacre Theatre was filled. And why not? It stars Daniel Craig (the most recent James B …Read more

French playwright David Lescot's 'Dough' is a hilarious, piercing probe of life in a capitalist world

I’ve seen some weird stuff lately, but I’m very glad I took a chance on French playwright/director David Lescot’s Dough. A Compagnie du Kairos production presented by Villa Albertine and the New Ohio Theatre (which is where it’s staged), it’s a smart …Read more

Quirky, unhinged theatre at its finest

In the name of liberty, four robbers are hatching a plot to steal everyone’s phones. They’re dressed in gray uniforms that sort of resemble pajamas, and black felt bandit masks that seem to not quite fit over their eyes. One robber has his mask on up …Read more

Billy Crystal is Mr Saturday Night

Mr. Saturday Night I’m a staunch Billy Crystal fan, and judging from the audience’s reaction at the Nederlander Theatre the other night, I’m not alone. I love Crystal’s quick wit, easy laugh and perpetual grin, even as he delivers a barb. Yet, sadly, …Read more

'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' gets its first stage adaptation for young audiences—and it's breathtaking

Maya Angelou’s 1969 memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has already been adapted for both film and stage, but New York City Children’s Theater’s world-premiere production at Theatre Row is the first stage adaptation for young audiences. And it’s p …Read more

'Jews, God, and History' is a clever if convoluted look at the Jewish experience

What does it mean to be a Jew today? That’s the main question asked in Michael Takiff’s clever if convoluted solo show Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order), currently playing The Siggy Theater at The Flea. In a series of dizzyingly …Read more

In MTC's engrossing, thought-provoking 'Golden Shield,' love gets lost in translation

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation,” said Robert Frost. And after watching Anchuli Felicia King’s engrossing and poetic Golden Shield, I’m inclined to add “as is love.” Directed by May Adrales at New York City Center, the Manhattan Theatre Club …Read more

The Five Points

Once upon a time there was a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan called The Five Points. For over 70 years, it was a crowded slum, populated mostly by newly -freed slaves and ethnic Irish. Although there was much tension, historically the area is conside …Read more

The Women Behind The Man

A female press secretary, a female chief of staff, a first lady and several female assistants but even all of them together can’t keep the hapless president from occasionally opening his mouth and putting his foot in it or insulting foreign dignitari …Read more

Kareem M. Lucas' 'iNegro' is disruptive, illuminating theatre

“I want to write something so Black that God can’t ignore me.” Playwright and performer Kareem M. Lucas speaks these words while standing on a huge wooden cross enshrined in a massive gold frame. The play is iNegro, a rhapsody, directed by Zoey Marti …Read more

Gorgeous and quietly powerful, 'André & Dorine' expresses the inexpressible

From time to time, to quote my favorite song from Dear Evan Hansen, “words fail.” At the moment, words fail as I search for a way to describe (and adequately praise) a show whose gentle beauty and emotional force defy description, and which, ironical …Read more

Just Hangin' Around The Pub

Black comedy, or gallows humor, is a style of story telling that makes light of subject matter usually considered somewhat taboo, like death, suicide and disease. Either term applies to Martin McDonagh’s latest play, “Hangmen.” Harry, the main charac …Read more

Adina Taubman's stigma-breaking 'The Road Back' is a lesson in empathy

“Whether on stage in front of an audience, or over the phone to a friend – we need to tell our stories. When we tell our stories, we give others permission to do the same. This is how we break the stigma.” So says Adina Taubman in the program note fo …Read more

Mary Lincoln's identity crisis takes center stage in 'Shooting Celebrities'

Mary Todd Lincoln: misunderstood First Lady, bereft mother, obsessive widow–and now, the unlikely subject of a trippy piece of experimental theatre. In american vicarious’ new work Shooting Celebrities, written by John Ransom Phillips and directed b …Read more

Playwright Adam Kraar discusses the search for family connection and how music unlocks identity in his new play 'The Karpovsky Variations'

Playwright Adam Kraar is interested in cross-cultural, cross-generational stories. His latest work, The Karpovsky Variations, follows one young woman’s search for her scattered, elusive family. Set in airport lounges over two decades, it’s a play abo …Read more

“The Minutes” Playwright Tracy Letts possesses the extraordinary ability to lull an audience into expecting something dry and ordinary but then making it explosive. Teaming up again with Anna D. Shapiro, his director for “August: Osage County,” Letts …Read more

Blow Out The Candles

Food is often the centerpiece of family holidays and celebrations. In “Birthday Candles”, the new play presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre, the special food is a traditional birthday cake. It’s recipe has been …Read more

Manilow Writes the Songs

Photo by Julieta Cervantes When TV’s Murphy Brown was mocking singer Barry Manilow, I was buying his albums and attending his concerts. I was unabashedly a Fanilow. So I looked forward to “Harmony,” the musical that Manilow wrote with Barry Sussman, …Read more

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