All stories by Hilton Als on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dreamgirls by Hilton Als

Although the civil-rights movement did a lot to change how black life was dramatized on the American stage in the fifties and sixties, white composers and lyricists often still rely on famil…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 07:24AM
Friday, November 27, 2015

’Tis the Season by Hilton Als

The language around Christmas is usually pretty treacly, as befits the season. But future writers should remember that one of the amazing things about the holiday’s ur-text, Charles Dicken…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 09:44AM
Monday, October 19, 2015

Talking Trash by Hilton Als

Robert O’Hara’s new play, “Barbecue” (directed with vigor and understanding by Kent Gash, at the Public), is my idea of an American classic, or the kind of classic we need. Although …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 06:34AM
Friday, August 14, 2015

His Royal Hipness by Hilton Als

I first heard the poet and comedian Lord Buckley’s sui-generis, incredible music-as-talk during a dance performance by Karole Armitage. This was a number of years ago, but sometimes, when …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 11:27AM
Friday, June 26, 2015

A Musical Set in the Mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff by Hilton Als

I want to say a special word about Dave Malloy’s “Preludes,” because it is the work of an artist who is not afraid to try things, or to create worlds that haven’t necessarily been se…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 02:52AM
Monday, March 23, 2015

Showgirls by Hilton Als

The Public Theatre is currently hosting two inspired, cogent artists from different cultures, whose distance from each other is bridged by Josephine Baker’s butt. Upstairs, near the admini…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 9, 2015

Lady and the Tramp by Hilton Als

To watch Larry David make his Broadway début, in his self-penned “Fish in the Dark” (at the Cort), in the same week that Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II, in Peter Morgan’s …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, March 6, 2015

Dynamic Duo by Hilton Als

For fifteen years, the actor Jim Fletcher has worked with the important theatre director and writer Richard Maxwell, whose shows require an uncommon degree of silence from the performers. In…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 2, 2015

Boys in the Band by Hilton Als

There is so much good will and enthusiasm these days among theatregoers who have seen Lin-Manuel Miranda’s complicated, valuable musical “Hamilton” (directed by Thomas Kail, at the Pub…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good Moments by Hilton Als

While most ten-best lists are posted at the end of the year, I prefer to send mine along at the beginning, when the world, culturally at least, is still a bit of a tabula rasa, and one’s m…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 03:10PM
Monday, December 15, 2014

Sideshow by Hilton Als

In the repertory company of my mind, Bernard Pomerance’s 1977 play, “The Elephant Man” (now in its first Broadway revival since 2002, at the Booth), would rotate with a number of other…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Freaks on Broadway by Hilton Als

A black man can’t catch a break, even in a freak show. As Jake in “Side Show” (at the St. James), the mighty actor and singer David St. Louis feels protective of Violet and Daisy Hilto…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 04:15PM
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Musicals by Hilton Als

The director John Rando’s crap sentimentality undermines so much of what should be interesting about “On the Town” (now in revival, at the Lyric) that you spend at least half of your t…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 01:20PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Theatre: Debbie Tucker Green’s “Generations” by Hilton Als

“Generations” (at the SoHo Rep) is not even an hour long, but it is filled with so much warmth and thought that the feeling it imparts lasts for a long time after you’ve left the theat…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:57PM
Monday, June 23, 2014

Hilton Als: “When We Were Young and Unafraid” and “Much Ado About Nothing” reviews. by Hilton Als

I don’t know which casting directors first took notice of the great American actress Cherry Jones, but they must have had an interest in what I call spiritual casting. More often than …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thinking of Ruby Dee by Hilton Als

The performances I loved best had less to do with her righteous indomitability than with the artistic wizardry she could spin.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 08:00PM
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting “Macbeth” Right by Hilton Als

Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh’s new revival of “Macbeth” covers the same old territory.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 02:15PM
Monday, May 26, 2014

Hilton Als: Edgar Oliver’s “In the Park.” by Hilton Als

I’m afraid it was the limited, prejudiced part of my nature that prevented me from acknowledging, before now, the writer and performer Edgar Oliver and his emotionally grand work. Alth…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, May 9, 2014

Hilton Als: Kate Valk, the “Meryl Streep of downtown.” by Hilton Als

Kate Valk is an interesting theatrical figure, one of the greatest the American stage has produced in the last forty or so years. Yet she is largely unknown if you don’t get to see the…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, April 28, 2014

Hilton Als: Michelle Williams and Neil Patrick Harris play performers on Broadway. by Hilton Als

When it comes to technique, actors know what you might call one another’s family secrets. They know what goes into creating a sustained stage illusion, and how to make a scene partner …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, April 21, 2014

The Theatre: An Interview with Richard Maxwell by Hilton Als

Richard Maxwell is one of the more adventurous theatre artists that this country has produced in decades.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 07:30PM

Hilton Als: “The Mystery of Irma Vep” and “Of Mice and Men” reviews. by Hilton Als

Diane Arbus knew from freaks. But the photographer was never derogatory toward her subjects—all those circus performers, overdone drag queens, and angry young men she framed with such …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, April 14, 2014

Hilton Als: Style in three new stagings. by Hilton Als

Style, when it works, can be a startling and pleasurable thing. But the American response to it is often complicated. It’s not unusual for one’s fellow-citizens to resist imagina…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, April 11, 2014

Hilton Als: The timely resurgence of Ed Bullins. by Hilton Als

Long ago, in the late nineteen-seventies, when I treated Manhattan like one big discothèque, or the glittery gritty mirrored universe in “A Chorus Line,” I also went to part…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, April 7, 2014

Hilton Als: “A Raisin in the Sun” returns to Broadway. by Hilton Als

Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” may or may not be a great play, but it’s a profoundly fair one. When it was first produced, in 1959, Amiri Baraka’s r…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hilton Als: “The Library,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, at the Public. by Hilton Als

In a world rife with shifting realities and the vagaries of “truthiness,” some real things still happen, such as this: the playwright and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, round-chest…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 24, 2014

Hilton Als: Alex Timbers takes on “Rocky.” by Hilton Als

The new musical “Rocky” (at the Winter Garden) is an immense spectacle. But it’s a spectacle of waste. Based on the 1976 movie, which starred Sylvester Stallone as the epon…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 10, 2014

Hilton Als: “No Exit” and “All the Way” reviews. by Hilton Als

Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” is a play with a fantastic theme, but, as directed by Linda Ames Key (at the Pearl), it’s not so fantastic to watch. First produced in Pa…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 3, 2014

Hilton Als: A new production of “A Doll’s House.” by Hilton Als

Money is the more binding of the corsets that the female characters have to deal with in Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play, “A Doll’s House” (currently in revival at BAM’…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, February 3, 2014

Hilton Als: “Intimacy” and “Outside Mullingar” reviews. by Hilton Als

A playwright’s voice isn’t everything. Certainly not when it comes to our superficial enjoyment of a show. Watching a straight drama or comedy, we listen less for literary invent…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, January 31, 2014

Hilton Als: David Henry Hwang’s “Kung Fu,” at Pershing Square Signature Center. by Hilton Als

Nancy Kwan was the first. The first movie star my brother and I fell in love with. We met her late at night in the black-and-white universe of our television set. We saw her, initially, in h…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM

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