All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

What’s Old Is New Again: Mint Theater Revives “The Daughter-in-Law” by Philip

In years past I have seen several plays performed in foreign (to me) languages. “Death of a Salesman” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” both familiar works, were perfectly clear in Yiddish,…

SOURCE: at 09:39PM
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Fiction Meets Fact in “Wit” off-Broadway by Philip

Vivian Bearing, PhD, a college professor of 17th-Century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne, is undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer. Fifty ye…

SOURCE: at 04:23PM
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Understudy: Not a Job for the Weak of Heart by Philip

Theater lore abounds with tales of understudies who have gone on to a degree of stardom, some as a direct result of having filled in for an indisposed performer. Shirley Maclaine, who subbed…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Monday, December 20, 2021

“Company” Trades Bobby, Bobby Baby for Bobbie, Bobbie Baby by Philip

Several terrific performances in the current Broadway revival of “Company” owe their provenance to its gender-switched casting. Originally about NYC bachelor Robert/Bobby being feted on …

SOURCE: at 06:02PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“Kimberly Akimbo” + Music: Perfect Together by Philip

How do you improve on perfection? Well, you can’t – by definition. But you can approach it from a different direction, which is what David Lindsay-Abaire has done in adapting his marvelo…

SOURCE: at 05:06PM
Thursday, December 2, 2021

You’ll Seem to Find the Happiness You Seek, When You’re Out Together Seeing “Cheek to Cheek” by Philip

All eleven outstanding onstage performers (six singer-dancers and five musicians) are at the top of their game, but the biggest stars of “Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood” are …

SOURCE: at 11:06PM
Monday, November 15, 2021

“Morning’s at Seven” revived: The Play and Its Players Have Aged Well by Philip

At the intermission of “Morning’s at Seven,” directed by Dan Wackerman in revival at the Theatre of St. Clement’s, I mentioned to my companion that Paul Osborne’s 1940 comedy, whic…

SOURCE: at 08:39PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

“A Bronx Tale” Well Told at Axelrod PAC by Philip

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park, New Jersey has emerged from Covid lockdown with a stylish and engaging production of “A Bronx Tale,” the full-scale musical version of Ch…

SOURCE: at 12:05PM
Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Couple Thousand Miles (And a War) Between Friends: “Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise” in New Jersey by Philip

It is no knock on A. R. Gurney’s much-admired “Love Letters” to note that “Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise” takes Gurney’s premise and runs with it…literally. Gurney has …

SOURCE: at 02:17PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Four Actors Play Multiple Characters in Two Broadway Plays by Philip

In his very fine book “A Lifetime with Shakespeare” (McFarland),  about having directed all of Shakespeare’s plays, the late Paul Barry postulated that casting is eighty-five percent …

SOURCE: at 09:06PM
Friday, October 8, 2021

The Dazzling Half-Dozen: “Six The Musical” on Broadway by Philip

Henry VIII wasted no time embarking on his multiple-marriage mission. Just weeks after assuming the English throne at age 19 in 1509, he wed number one of six, Catherine of Aragon, his older…

SOURCE: at 04:30PM
Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Brave Title, Generic Show: “The Book of Moron” by Philip

When’s the last time you heard a Dumb Blond joke? Me neither, until Robert Dubac pulled one early in “The Book of Moron,” his solo comedic commentary in a limited engagement through Oc…

SOURCE: at 05:22PM
Monday, August 9, 2021

“Merry Wives” in Harlem, via Central Park by Philip

Tradition holds that Queen Elizabeth I, enamored of Sir John Falstaff from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, asked the playwright to depict that character in love, and that he complied, writin…

SOURCE: at 07:17PM
Monday, July 26, 2021

Long Live the King! (Lear, that is…and Cordelia too) by Philip

In calendar year 2014 I saw four different productions of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” In all of them, and six or eight others over the years, Lear and his daughter Cordelia [spoiler ale…

SOURCE: at 04:20PM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Gershwins and Oscar Wilde Live On Stage! What’s not to like… by Philip

As ‘S Wonderful as “Who Could Ask for Anything More? The Songs of George Gershwin” is as it stands, and it truly is, I would suggest one change: adding George’s principal lyricist, h…

SOURCE: at 08:43PM
Monday, May 17, 2021

Dream Along With En Garde Arts by Philip

Considering, as Rehena Mirza’s disembodied voice intones in her segment of “A Dozen Dreams,” that nothing is more boring than hearing about someone else’s dream, you would think a ga…

SOURCE: at 11:36AM
Monday, April 12, 2021

John Cullum at Ninety-one…and Counting. by Philip

What might you be doing one month past your ninety-first birthday? For John Cullum, who achieved that milestone in March, the answer was a sort of fallback plan: Two years earlier, the vener…

SOURCE: at 02:43PM
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

When “Damn Yankees” became Dumb Yankees by Philip

The 1955 Broadway musical “Damn Yankees” was based on Douglass Wallop’s novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” (to the lowly Washington Senators). A Broadway revival of “D…

SOURCE: at 12:21PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Short Attention Span? Barrington Stage Has Your Back by Philip

Anyone interested in learning how to turn a negative into a positive might want to contact the folks at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For the past nine years, BSC’…

SOURCE: at 05:23PM
Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Seeing Place Theater Works Up a Virtual “Sweat” by Philip

A play-writing recipe: Stir together equal parts racial tension, economic uncertainty, labor-management unrest, and class distinction. Fold in a smattering of unprovoked violence. Bake under…

SOURCE: at 02:37PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

If it’s worth saying, it’s worth singing: “The Right Girl” by Philip

In the recent months that restrictions have eased in some relatively low-affected areas, I have tracked down three theatrical attractions (all with COVID-19 protocols in place). In August it…

SOURCE: at 02:29PM
Monday, October 26, 2020

“A Five Mile Radius” Hits Its Marks by Philip

I have long been aware of the existence of Hudson Guild Theatre Company, but until I was encouraged to watch their virtual world-premiere production of “A Five Mile Radius,” I had never …

SOURCE: at 07:26PM
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Two Musicals: Theater Is Live And Well In New Hampshire by Philip

Having performed years ago in theaters tucked away in tourism towns across the country, my very first sighting of Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, New Hampshire inspired a déjà vu rush. …

SOURCE: at 03:55PM
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It’s Live! A Socially Distant Group Hug: “Godspell” by Philip

“Not to put any pressure on you, but the entire American theater is depending on you to be smart.” Thus spoke Kate Shindle, president of Actors Equity, to the cast of “Godspell,” the…

SOURCE: at 03:33PM
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Zoomed “Blues” Still Sweet by Philip

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine” premiered at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2016. The cast (with one replacement) re-assembled last week for …

SOURCE: at 09:08PM
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Zooming Across The Pond: “Lungs” at The Old Vic by Philip

How’s this for minimalism: Playwright Duncan Macmillan’s instructions for the staging of “Lungs” specifies a bare stage with no scenery, no furniture, no props, no mime and no costum…

SOURCE: at 01:42PM
Friday, June 19, 2020

Quality Time Spent With Willy Loman by Philip

Since its premiere in 1949, when it won all six of its Tony Award nominations (and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” has had four Broadway revivals, …

SOURCE: at 04:22PM
Sunday, May 31, 2020

What Would You Do? by Philip

A column by Ginia Bellafante in the Metropolitan Section of  the  Sunday May 31 New York Times about last week’s Central Park incident between bird-watcher Christian Cooper, who is black…

SOURCE: at 10:06PM
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

“It’s Better Than the Movie”: Memories That Linger by Philip

With no Theatre to cover due to this nasty fellow… …I’ll share a few excerpts from “It’s Better Than The Movie,” my work-in-progress anecdotal memoir: July 1956: I was an apprent…

SOURCE: at 04:26PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Politics As Usual? Not in “Radio Golf” by Philip

All ten of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle plays are not created equal, but just as the non-star players on a championship team are essential to its success, so are all the plays in…

SOURCE: at 02:45PM
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Buoyant Performance Re-floats “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by Philip

Composer-lyricist Meredith Willson’s 1960 musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” was inspired by an exaggerated tale about the exploits of real-life Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown…

SOURCE: at 01:42PM

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