All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jericho by Joel Benjamin

"Jericho" has a great deal going for it.  It is directed by Marsha Mason and features Jill Eikenberry.  These two formidable theater artists’ participation promises quality which is evid…

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company: “Solo Suites” by Joel Benjamin

Now directed by the energetic and warm Enrique Cruz DeJesus, Alpha Omega provided welcome relief from months of quarantine and angst with “Solo Suites,” a breezy—in every sense of the …

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble: “Rooms2020” by Joel Benjamin

“Rooms2020” was to have been presented in a live season which was aborted by the current Covid crisis. Instead, the troupe has presented the work artfully streamed in a version that is m…

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Monday, March 16, 2020

West Side Story by Joel Benjamin

Van Hove's energetic cast is too often lost among the video images which is sad because they are a wonderfully scrappy group of actor/dancer/singers who give their all.  (I’m told that th…

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Nederlands Dans Theater 2020 by Joel Benjamin

If one were to come to conclusions about the Netherlands after seeing the three ballets presented by the Nederlands Dans Theater at the New York City Center, the Netherlands would clearly co…

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Friday, March 6, 2020

Suicide Forest by Joel Benjamin

This illustrates the biggest problem with "Suicide Forest":  it takes on too many issues, jumping from social to sexual to mythological to intimate family subjects.  Making the play even m…

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

92Y Lyrics & Lyricists Series: Jerry Herman: You I Like by Joel Benjamin

Music director Andy Einhorn who conceived the show was a genial, informed host.  Having worked as the music supervisor and music director for the most recent revival of "Hello, Dolly!,"  h…

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Commons by Joel Benjamin

Could there be five more self-involved, selfish, self-deceptive characters than those who populate Lily Akerman’s "The Commons" at the 59E59 Theaters?  No, these five roommates aren’t e…

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Ashley Blaker: Goy Friendly by Joel Benjamin

"Goy Friendly" is clearly meant as a light entertainment with lecture-demonstration components and succeeds as such.  It’s delightful spending time with this superb raconteur, even if he …

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

CunningGraham Technique Comparison by Joel Benjamin

Hosted by the Graham Company’s elegant director Janet Eilber, the program began with some historical comments after which two groups of dancers, one representing the Graham technique from …

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake by Joel Benjamin

“The legend returns” claimed the fliers and posters for "Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake"’s short season at the New York City Center.  That proclamation wasn’t far from the truth.  "S…

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A Soldier’s Play by Joel Benjamin

David Alan Grier, Blair Underwood and Billy Eugene Jones in a scene from Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” at the American Airlines Theatre (Photo credit: Joan Marcus) Joel Benjami…

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

92Y Lyrics & Lyricists Series: E.Y. “Yip” Harburg: Follow the Fellow Who Follows a Dream by Joel Benjamin

The 92nd St. Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists, one of New York’s leading propagators of the Great American Songbook, featured the witty and sardonic songs of E.Y. “Yip” Harburg in its most…

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona & Brooklyn by Joel Benjamin

"Romeo & Bernadette," a fresh take on Shakespeare’s oft-adapted tale of love, is an unabashed valentine to inter-era romance.  Shakespeare’s Romeo (cutie-pie Nikita Burshteyn, perfe…

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Unknown Dancer in the Neighborhood by Joel Benjamin

Wataru Kitao in Suguru Yamamoto’s “The Unknown Dancer in the Neighborhood” at The Japan Society (Photo credit” Ayumi Sakamoto) Joel Benjamin, Critic Suguru Yamamoto’s solo dance/th…

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Sing Street by Joel Benjamin

By stripping the story of local color—even the projections show little but an anonymous seascape—the creative team does ill by "Sing Street. " Take away the Irish accents, the 1980’s …

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

ZviDance: MAIM (“Water” in Hebrew) by Joel Benjamin

Israeli-born choreographer Zvi Gotheiner created "Maim ('Water' in Hebrew)," a somber meditation on water, drought, misery, community and survival for seven members of ZviDance, all brillian…

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Friday, December 13, 2019

Peter & the Wolf by Joel Benjamin

Ensemble Signal, Marjorie Folkman, Daniel Pettrow and Kristen Foote in a scene from “Peter & the Wolf,” costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, choreography by John Heginbotham (Photo credit: Dan…

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Gospel of John by Joel Benjamin

After marveling at Ken Jennings’ power of memorization, one has to admire his ability to deliver the entire text of "The Gospel of John" with unwavering clarity and devotion to its meaning…

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Monday, December 9, 2019

The Sorceress (Di Kishefmakherin) by Joel Benjamin

Goldfaden’s escapist musical fantasy combines bits and pieces from many sources: the Cinderella fairy tale; Gilbert-and-Sullivan-esque rapid-fire, tongue twister songs; old-fashioned (even…

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Chase Brock Experience: “The Four Seasons” by Joel Benjamin

His more abstract ballets for The Chase Brock Experience, such as its current presentation at Theatre Row, "The Four Seasons" to the Vivaldi score (a revival from 2006), did not fare quite a…

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical by Joel Benjamin

Do we really need another Jukebox Musical on Broadway—another hum-along, sing-along, déjà vu, vaguely autobiographical songfest? When the subject is as charged up as Tina Turner, the ans…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company: Bittersweet, Tormenta, Tabernacle and Las Desenarmoradas by Joel Benjamin

Artistic director Enrique Cruz DeJesus presented a performance of Alpha Omega in preparation for the troupe’s fiftieth anniversary season next year.  This concert featured two works by th…

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Tiffany Mills Company: “Not then, not yet” by Joel Benjamin

Tiffany Mills’ "Not then, not yet," a world premiere dance/theater work at The Flea proposed a dark, slightly chaotic view of relationships and alienation choreographed on her own troupe, …

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

BrandoCapote by Joel Benjamin

In 1957 Truman Capote disingenuously misled the legendary actor Marlon Brando into opening up to him under the guise of helping to publicize the soppy melodrama, Sayonara which Brando was th…

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Little Shop of Horrors by Joel Benjamin

In a counterintuitive casting coup, handsome Jonathan Groff stars as the nebbish Seymour Krelborn who works at Mushnik’s (a funny, kvetchy Tom Alan Robbins) failing flower shop on Skid Row…

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Sound Inside by Joel Benjamin

On Broadway every once in a while writing, acting, directing and the technical production come together to profound, memorable effect.  Adam Rapp’s "The Sound Inside" at Studio 54 is a su…

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Games by Joel Benjamin

"Games" shines a light on the long forgotten stories of two Jewish athletes in post-World War I Germany, a Germany that slid into National Socialism by the 1930’s, effecting the lives of H…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall for Dance 2019: Program 5 by Joel Benjamin

Monica Bill Barnes totally changed the mood with her thoroughly delightful “The Running Show” which used physical contests as a metaphor for dance.  Barnes stood in the midst of sixteen…

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Fall for Dance 2019: Program 4 by Joel Benjamin

The final work, “Unveiling” by Sonya Tayeh, director of Tayeh Dance, known now as the choreographer of the Broadway hit 'Moulin Rouge!," used a trio which appeared to be about a female (…

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Glass Menagerie by Joel Benjamin

It is Ginger Grace as Amanda that is the crowning glory of this production.  Though slender and frail looking, she is still a powerful, if bothersome figure, memories of a golden southern b…

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All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre