All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Monday, March 13, 2023

Digital Theatre Is Here To Stay: Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate by Jonathan Mandell

By Jonathan Mandell. Theatremaker Jonathan Mandell discusses virtual playwriting series Bard at the Gate and looks at the impact and future of digital theatre.

SOURCE: HowlRound at 12:20PM
Monday, August 23, 2021

Puppets Are Immigrants Too by Jonathan Mandell

By Jonathan Mandell. Jonathan Mandell shares his experience at New York City’s first-ever official Puppet Week.

SOURCE: HowlRound at 01:59PM
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Island Hopping in New York City for Theatre: How Live, In-Person Theatre Is Being Reimagined as it Reemerges by Jonathan Mandell

By Jonathan Mandell. Jonathan Mandell reflects on a number of live, in-person productions that have taken place in New York City over the course of summer 2021.

SOURCE: HowlRound at 11:14AM
Monday, March 29, 2021

Stamina and Stardom: Newsies Dancers Work as One to Seize the Day by Jonathan Mandell

How some fancy footwork (and many stairs) made stars of the Newsies newsboys, including Ryan Steele and Ephraim Sykes.

SOURCE: Playbill at 12:00AM
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Memorable New York stage moments I covered for DC Theatre Scene by Jonathan Mandell

Were there magical moments on New York stages in 2020? The question is debatable – just like the definition of “theater” is being debated – since nobody has been performing on any ac…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:32AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Review: From Feinstein’s/54 Below, the return of Sondheim Unplugged by Jonathan Mandell

“Being Alive”and “Losing My Mind” – are there any better Sondheim songs to sing at the close of a year full of loss, unrequited yearning and obsession? That they are sung by perfor…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 05:32PM
Thursday, December 17, 2020

Review: Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce Pandemic! by Jonathan Mandell

What kind of weird holiday show is this?  That was my initial reaction – not my usual reaction to a show by Taylor Mac, which is more  often: Wow ( to Hir, and A 24 Decade History of Po…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:36AM
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Broadway: Happy Hanukkah. The Folksbiene Chanukah Spectacular by Jonathan Mandell

Joel Grey sings “Give My Regards to Broadway” – in Yiddish. And he’s not alone among the 50 performers of the Folksbiene Chanukah Spectacular, a fast-moving, entertaining 80 minutes …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Review: Jefferson Mays’ extraordinary solo performance in filmed Christmas Carol by Jonathan Mandell

The credits at the end of this A Christmas Carol list a cast of 51 characters – 50 of them portrayed by Jefferson Mays. He’s the narrator, as well as Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge’s clerk …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 04:12PM
Monday, November 23, 2020

Review: Howard University featured in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me on HBO by Jonathan Mandell

About 15 minutes into the HBO film adaptation of “Between The World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates best-selling 2015 book framed as a letter to his son about what it means to be Black in Amer…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:42PM
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Review: Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy. Funny and freaking frightening by Jonathan Mandell

“I think what we do is evil but I still want to do a good job at it,” says Nikolai, one of the Russian trolls trying to sway the American Presidential election in Sarah Gancher’s funny…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:06PM
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Review: David Byrne’s American Utopia on HBO has Spike Lee’s unmistakable touch by Jonathan Mandell

Spike Lee filmed David Byrne’s American Utopia on the stage of Broadway’s Hudson Theater earlier this year; it is arriving on HBO on Saturday, October 17,  in a completely different era…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:32PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Political Theater you can watch in the countdown to Election Day by Jonathan Mandell

Political theater is different this year,  and not just because it’s on screens rather than stages.  There is a palpable sense of urgency. The weeks counting down to Election Day may hav…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:24PM
Monday, October 12, 2020

A critic ventures out in NYC to review Voyeur (spectacular!”) and 3 other plays during covid by Jonathan Mandell

“When is the last time you went to live theater like this”? I asked one of the seven other audience members waiting for Voyeur  to begin, an hour-long play that takes place in the stree…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:36PM
Monday, September 14, 2020

Miscast Review. A Dozen Broadway Stars Sing Inappropriately by Jonathan Mandell

Joshua Henry, who is the theater world’s most unlikely Annie, sang “Tomorrow” (“The sun will come out tomorrow…”) at Miscast, followed by Heather Headley singing “Endless Night…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:03PM
Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Best Theater in Six Months of No Theater by Jonathan Mandell

I went to the theater in New York for the last time the day after they shut down Broadway on March 12th, six months ago today. My theatergoing on Friday the 13th Off-Off Broadway (which was …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 05:42PM
Friday, September 11, 2020

Review: Incidental Moments of the Day: The Apple Family Finally Talks About Race by Jonathan Mandell

Things are looking up for the Apple family, but not for me, as the characters talk to one another on a Zoom call yet again. Richard Nelson’s third play in four months about the same set of…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:48PM
Sunday, July 19, 2020

Review: Amadeus. Mozart’s rival is Salieri; the play’s rival is the movie by Jonathan Mandell

Historically, Amadeus is baloney. Theatrically, it’s a feast. Musically, the National Theatre’s 2016 production of Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play — a recording of which is being streamed…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 09:54PM
Sunday, July 12, 2020

Review: The Few. Samuel D. Hunter’s entertaining play about loneliness by Jonathan Mandell

Watching Gideon Glick’s expressive face in The Few– elated one moment, defeated the next, then adoring, angry, hurt, resigned — is one key to unlocking the mystery of how this Play-Per…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:24PM
Friday, July 10, 2020

The Deep Blue Sea Review: Helen McCrory’s stunning performance of a woman racked and trapped by love by Jonathan Mandell

On the surface, The Deep Blue Sea might seem a love triangle, but Helen McCrory’s performance makes it a prism — multifaceted, disorienting, and brilliant – in the National Theatre’s…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 08:18PM
Monday, July 6, 2020

Review: Les Blancs (The Whites), National Theatre stream of Lorraine Hansberry’s last play by Jonathan Mandell

Lorraine Hansberry’s third and final Broadway play, which is being presented online through July 9 in a dark, expressionistic production directed in 2016 by Yael Farber for the National T…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:42PM
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Review: And So We Come Forth. Richard Nelson’s Apple family, still in lockdown, asking questions, hoping to touch by Jonathan Mandell

The Apple family is back again, on another Zoom call. After the triumphant return in April of writer and director Richard Nelson’s Apple Family series with What Do We Need To Talk About, w…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:03PM
Monday, June 8, 2020

Playwright Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop) on self love and self acceptance in these turbulent times by Jonathan Mandell

Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, is, itself, stuck in a strange loop. The smash Off-Broadway hit was scheduled to come to Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Septem…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 04:32PM
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Viral Monologues’ series “COVID AND INCARCERATION” hard truths, powerful telling by Jonathan Mandell

“We have a humanitarian crisis in prison that will blow up in our faces,” says André De Shields, speaking sonorously and looking grave in a clerical collar and a salt-and-pepper beard, …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:32AM
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Review: To Master the Art, Julia Child play makes an awkward transfer to online viewing by Jonathan Mandell

This play about cookbook author Julia Child is a recipe for how not to do online theater. To Master the Art falls flat, despite some great ingredients. This is not how I expected to react. F…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 02:36PM
Monday, May 11, 2020

Latest Shugoll Research survey shows national audiences will be back. Eventually. by Jonathan Mandell

As the shut-down of theaters enters its third month, theater artists vow “we’ll be back” – that this is just intermission. But will audiences be back? A new three-part survey  by Sh…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 05:32PM
Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Homebound Project Review: 10 Starry Monologues in The First Hour by Jonathan Mandell

The pandemic has produced two kinds of theatrical Netathons , which is my name for oversized online theatrical events by established artists in support of a charitable cause. The first are t…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 09:48AM
Monday, May 4, 2020

Michael R. Jackson’s musical A Strange Loop wins 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by Jonathan Mandell

Just announced: Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama. When I saw it last June at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway, I wrote: A Strange Loop is a …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:32PM
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: What Do We Need to Talk About? Richard Nelson’s Apple family play, made for our screens. by Jonathan Mandell

After spending an hour on Zoom with the Apple family in Richard Nelson’s latest low-key play, I was surprised by my reaction, which  I could sum up as: Hallelujah! What Do We Need to Talk…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:18PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic by Jonathan Mandell

By Jonathan Mandell. Jonathan Mandell examines the new theatrical landscape brought on by COVID-19 and discusses the emerging aesthetic—one that is low-tech, low-key, one-on-one, close-up.

SOURCE: HowlRound at 02:00AM
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s Viral Monologues: “Charting my journey through the pandemic” and the emerging online theaters by Jonathan Mandell

Rachel Dratch portrays FrannyCakes, a makeup vlogger who fights with an old lady over a bottle of Purell in a Costco.  Marylouise Burke is Penny, a lovely suburban matron who wonders where …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:42PM

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