All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Broadway Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton, starring Laura Linney by Jonathan Mandell

“Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.” That’s what Laura Linney as Lucy Barton tells us f…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:54AM
Saturday, December 21, 2019

18 greatest moments on New York stages in 2019 by Jonathan Mandell

In a year that has ended so dramatically off-stage, and during which so many people talked dismissively about “political theater” — when they didn’t mean anything actually happening…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:36PM
Sunday, December 15, 2019

Off-Broadway Review: Steven Adly Guirgis’ Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven by Jonathan Mandell

Wanda Wheels bristles when Mateo calls her “kind” in this sprawling, funny, foul-mouthed, messy, moving ensemble piece, Stephen Adly Guirgis’s first new play in New York since his Puli…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:18PM
Saturday, December 14, 2019

Broadway review: Samuel D. Hunter’s Greater Clements mines rich veins of deep sorrow by Jonathan Mandell

There’s a joke Maggie and her son Joe like to tell on their tours of the local mine in Samuel D. Hunter’s latest play: “Guy falls down into the mine. His boss yells at him, ‘did you …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 04:33PM
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Complete Guide to Holiday shows on and off Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

This holiday season in New York means at least ten Christmas Carols, including one this year on Broadway, and 15 Nutcracker Suites.  Holiday shows in the city range from family fare to offb…

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Inheritance Broadway Review: Gay Life Then and Now by Jonathan Mandell

“The Inheritance,” a long, ambitious play about three generations of gay men in New York, pays homage to two masterpieces, without being one itself. Yet the play by Matthew Lopez, making…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:54PM
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Evita Review at New York City Center: A Feminist Spin with Two Evas by Jonathan Mandell

It’s surely pointless, four decades and two billion dollars after its debut, to rant about Evita, and silly to blame Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatrical canonization of the amoral historica…

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Cyrano Review: Peter Dinklage Sings, Without a Fake Nose or Much Panache by Jonathan Mandell

Peter Dinklage’s singing voice would not normally qualify him for a role in a musical, unless in a Disney animated movie as a singing rhinoceros. But Rex Harrison couldn’t really sing ei…

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Bella Bella Review: Harvey Fierstein As Rep. Bella Abzug, Gutsy and Adorable by Jonathan Mandell

Bella Abzug spoke at my junior high school graduation, until Donna Florio’s mother told her to shut up. “This is my daughter’s graduation, not a political rally.”  Abzug paused, apo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:36PM
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Freestyle Love Supreme Review: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s improv rappers on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

Freestyle Love Supreme is not so much Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway follow-up to Hamilton as it is a subsidiary of Lin-Manuel Inc. The hip-hop improv group that Miranda co-founded 16 years…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:24PM
Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Rose Tattoo Review: Marisa Tomei in Tennessee Williams’ comedy about a love-struck Sicilian widow by Jonathan Mandell

There are many cues to what’s wrong with this overly broad third Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ dated play, starring Marisa Tomei as Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian immigrant se…

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Broadway Review: Slave Play. Interracial Role-playing on the Great White Way by Jonathan Mandell

I first saw Slave Play Off-Broadway, long before Rihanna made headlines for texting during the show (playwright Jeremy O. Harris publicly defended her; he was the one she was texting); and s…

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Broadway review: Tracy Letts is back on Broadway with Linda Vista by Jonathan Mandell

Can an underemployed middle-aged jerk be a babe magnet?   That’s a question theatergoers are likely to ask about Wheeler, the central character in Linda Vista, Tracy Letts’ latest play…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:48PM
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Great Society Review: LBJ Back on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

“I feel strongly that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will …

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Broadway Review: The Height of the Storm. Tricky plotting, or just a trick? by Jonathan Mandell

The same playwright who gave us The Father with a demented Frank Langella and The Mother with a depressed and possibly deranged Isabelle Huppert now offers us…dead Jonathan Pryce and Eil…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:03PM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: It’s all very removed and reserved in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, now back on Broadway. by Jonathan Mandell

There was a huge line to see the fourth Broadway production of Harold Pinter’s 1978 play about an adulterous triangle.  The enthusiasm, I had assumed, was because the cast includes the mo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:03PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Bat Out Of Hell The Musical Review: Loud, Long, Messy…and Sexy. by Jonathan Mandell

Bat Out of Hell is a frequently enjoyable jukebox musical running at New York City Center through September 8, using the muscular rock opera anthems from singer Meat Loaf’s trilogy of bes…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM

Sea Wall/ A Life Review: Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Modestly About Life and Death by Jonathan Mandell

It’s not at all baffling why these two modest monologues by different playwrights were yoked together into a single show at the Public Theater earlier this year. There’s an even simpler …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Broadway dims its lights tonight for Hal Prince, January 30, 1928 – July 31, 2019 by Jonathan Mandell

Harold Prince died this morning at 91 years of age after a brief illness, in Reykjavik, Iceland. There will be no funeral, but a celebration of his life is planned.   The lights of all Bro…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:24PM
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Broadway Bounty Hunter Review: Annie Golden as Actress Turned Badass by Be More Chill’s Joe Iconis. by Jonathan Mandell

The actress Annie Golden (mute Norma in Orange Is the New Black)  stars as the actress Annie Golden, who exchanges the humiliations of auditions for the thrills of a career kick-boxing dan…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Bacchae Review: Euripides Tragedy Becomes Harlem Entertainment by Jonathan Mandell

What would Euripides say about the liberties being taken with his tragedies in New York? Medea, one of his last and most-produced plays, has been turned into the harrowing tale of an undocum…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:18PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Toni Stone Review: The first black woman professional baseball player by Jonathan Mandell

Toni Stone was the first woman to play big-league professional baseball. She succeeded Hank Aaron playing second base for the otherwise all-male Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American Lea…

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Who SHOULD win the 2019 Tony Awards Sunday night and why by Jonathan Mandell

This was an adventurous year for Broadway, with several unconventional works that seemed a more comfortable fit Off-Broadway or even Off-Off Broadway. This is a welcome development, albeit a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:36PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: Revisiting The Ferryman on Broadway now with its American cast by Jonathan Mandell

The Ferryman, a feast of Irish storytelling in a breathtaking mix of genres, opened on Broadway seven months ago, and since then it’s gotten nine Tony nominations, best play awards from th…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:12PM
Friday, May 17, 2019

Enter Laughing The Musical review. ridiculous, terrific – far funnier than it should be. by Jonathan Mandell

Comedian Carl Reiner called his comic novel Enter Laughing, because that is the first stage direction that his 17-year-old main character is given, at his first ever-audition, and he makes a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:48AM
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Happy Talk Review: Susan Sarandon as Marin Ireland’s matchmaker in Jesse Eisenberg’s sour play by Jonathan Mandell

From the moment Susan Sarandon makes her entrance in Happy Talk, Jesse Eisenberg’s latest play, it is clear her character Lorraine is extravagantly self-absorbed to the point of delusion. …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:18PM
Monday, April 29, 2019

All My Sons Review, Tracy Letts and Annette Bening bring star power to Arthur Miller’s tragedy by Jonathan Mandell

Nobody applauds when Annette Bening first appears on stage in All My Sons, the third Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 tragedy, the playwright’s first hit play. This is  because …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:07AM
Friday, April 26, 2019

Ink Review: Rupert Murdoch inside story, another ‘how we got where we are’ lesson by Jonathan Mandell

Ink recounts how Rupert Murdoch, newly arrived in London from Australia in 1969, bought the Sun, “a stuck-up broadsheet that…never once made a profit,” and in a year’s time made it a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:53PM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tootsie Review: Santino Fontana as Difficult Actor Turned Beloved Actress, Updated by Jonathan Mandell

  Tootsie, the musical adaptation of the 1982 movie comedy about a difficult actor who becomes a beloved actress, begins bravely with an opening number in which bubbly ensemble members sing…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:18PM
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review of Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus with Nathan Lane by Jonathan Mandell

Gary is a mess, deliberately so. Written by the downtown provocateur Taylor Mac making his Broadway debut, it stars three of the best comic stage actors in America as three minor characters …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:00PM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hillary and Clinton Review: Timing’s off for Hnath’s latest with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow by Jonathan Mandell

Hillary and Clinton is exactly the play we do not need right now,  a well-acted but irrelevant middlebrow entertainment starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow as the presidential candidat…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:30PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue