All stories by Tony Frankel on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Music: STREAMING CONCERTS (92Y in New York) by Tony Frankel

NEED A REASON TO WATCH GREAT ONLINE CONCERTS? HERE’S Y. Beginning Monday February 1, 2021, NYC’s 92Y is presenting quite the cavalcade of concerts. From Emanuel Ax to Richard Goode and D…

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Preview: FILMS.DANCE (Jacob Jonas Dance Company with The Soraya, The Wallis, Los Angeles, and The Harris, Chicago) by Tony Frankel

CONNECTING ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD Here comes Films.Dance, an extremely ambitious and most promising global project from one of the hottest leaders in dance. This stunningly shot series exi…

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Review: RIDING THE RAILS (American Experience) by Tony Frankel

RAILING AGAINST DEPRESSION Being a lover of railroads, especially railroad travel, I still remember this absorbing documentary from PBS’s American Experience. Back in 1998, I learned of th…

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Theater: COURT THEATRE UNVEILS NEW 2021 SEASON (Chicago) by Tony Frankel

NEW SEASON TAKES CENTER COURT Chicago’s great Court Theatre has sadly had to postpone its production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, but Owen McCafferty’s Titanic (Scenes from t…

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Theater Review: BORDERS AND CROSSINGS (Public Theater’s Under the Radar) by Tony Frankel

PERSONALIZING DIASPORA Perhaps one of the reasons more people aren’t wearing masks in the U.S. to protect themselves and others during the COVID pandemic is that, even with 369,000 deaths …

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Theater Review: RICH KIDS: A HISTORY OF SHOPPING MALLS IN TEHRAN (Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival) by Tony Frankel

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND LAYS AHEAD If you think Carl Sagan’s Cosmos is mind-blowing, or the way Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. could put history into context is dumbfounding, or Thomas Friedman’…

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Theater: RATATOUILLE: THE TIKTOK MUSICAL (A One-Time Streaming Event as a Benefit for The Actors Fund by Tony Frankel

THIS TIME, IT’S A PLAGUE THAT CAUSED THE RAT Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. Notice in the title that there is no mention of Disney. You know, the folks behind the terrific Pixar 2007 fil…

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Theater Review: SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD (SF Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

A WORLD APART FROM TYPICAL VIRTUAL FARE Like a breath of fresh air, Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World far exceeded my expectations of both virtual theater and Brown’s uneven s…

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Theater Review: THE FUTURE (Geffen Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

I HOPE THE FUTURE IS MORE EXCITING THAN THIS The Geffen Playhouse is forging ahead as Geffen Stayhouse, offering another magic show disguised as theater. Following the phenomenal success of …

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Monday, December 14, 2020

NY Theater Preview: I AM SENDING YOU THE SACRED FACE (Theater in Quarantine) by Tony Frankel

HOLY CLOSET! Whereas many theater companies are becoming experimenters with video during the COVID-19 shutdown, Theater in Quarantine has been actually transforming theater into a small spa…

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Theater Review: THE JEWELRY BOX (San Francisco Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

A JEWEL OF A PLAY Forgive me dear reader for the terse review, but I discovered something yesterday that turned out to be the holiday present you never expected but later realized it was som…

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Theater Preview: STORAGE RUN (Rogue Artists Ensemble) by Tony Frankel

STORAGE RUN = VIRTUAL FUN Pee-Wee’s Playhouse meets Choose Your Own Adventure meets classic holiday fare in this new, interactive holiday experience from Rogue Artists Ensemble, one of the…

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Theater Review: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Williamstown Theatre Festival on Audible starring Audra McDonald) by Tony Frankel

THIS STREETCAR ROLLS AND HUMS WITH AUTHENTICITY Since struggle for power among the classes is one of the main themes in Tennessee Williams’ still-shocking A Streetcar Named Desire, it make…

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Theater Review: CITIZEN DETECTIVE (Geffen Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

THE BIG SLEEP No crime is as duplicitous as The Geffen’s latest zoom-as-theater project Citizen Detective. This is the point that I say “spoiler alert” but a) nothing I do can spoil th…

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Theater Preview: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Manual Cinema) by Tony Frankel

A FEAST FOR THE IMAGINATION I have seen three shows from the Chicago-based performance collective Manual Cinema, and the theatricality is truly awesome. You wouldn’t expect this from a sim…

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Theater Feature: DECOMPOSED THEATRE, OR THE HUMAN TRASHCAN (Trap Door Theatre in Chicago) by Tony Frankel

CALLING ALL HUMAN TRASHCANS!! (THAT’S YOU, BY THE WAY) Chicago’s amazing avant-garde company Trap Door Theatre is presenting a series of eight episodes adapted from Matei Vişniec’s De…

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Thursday, November 5, 2020

Theater Review: THE PROJECT(S) (Stage Left Theater, Chicago) by Tony Frankel and Lawrence Bommer

THIS YEAR MORE THAN EVER, THE PROJECT(S) MUST BE SEEN It’s a continuing crisis seen from the inside out, fleshed out with warmth and truth. In The Project(s), the late, great American Thea…

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Theater Review: THE SPIN (Interrobang Theatre Project, Chicago) by Tony Frankel

THE SPIN IS A SPECTACULAR SPARKLING SPUNKY EXPLOIT Satisfying, enriching, entertaining and proof that Chicago contains some of this country’s greatest actors and theater, The Spin is write…

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Theater Review: RUSSIAN TROLL FARM: A WORKPLACE COMEDY (TheaterWorks Hartford, TheatreSquared, The Civilians) by Tony Frankel

TRENCHANT TROLLS TRIUMPH BY TRANSMOGRIFYING TRUTH Somewhere in the bowels of Saint Petersburg, Russia, there is an agency made up of both Americans and Russians that trolls the internet, cre…

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Theater Review: 45 PLAYS FOR AMERICA’S FIRST LADIES (The Neo-Futurists in NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco) by Tony Frankel

WHO’S ON FIRST, LADIES? The program states: “Rather than presenting a purely biographical story, this project uses the “honorary” office of First Lady as a lens to examine the roles …

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Theater Preview: SKELETON CREW / GUARDS AT THE TAJ (Atlantic Theater Reunion Readings) by Tony Frankel

TWO DO-NOT-MISS READINGS FROM ATLANTIC THEATER Atlantic Theater Company in New York is presenting a free virtual reading series of plays that had their World Premieres at Atlantic Theater C…

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Friday, October 9, 2020

Theater Reviews: STILL. and BOB BAKER’S THE CIRCUS (PlayhouseLIVE from Pasadena Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

STILL. WAITING FOR THEATER No one has articulated the black American experience in such a way that I, as a white man, “get it,” as has James Baldwin. His cool, unflappable, authoritative…

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Theater Review: WIESENTHAL (The Wallis) by Tony Frankel

WIESENTHAL ENTHRALLS Writer/performer Tom Dugan’s solo show Wiesenthal capitalizes on the strengths of the famous Nazi hunter – his resilience, tenacity and humor. Dugan has crafted a sh…

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Theater Preview: INSIDE THE BOX (Geffen Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

A CROSSWORD, CODE-BREAKING COLLABORATION WITH KWONG One of my happiest achievements was getting my husband hooked on solving Crossword Puzzles. Here’s your opportunity to find out why puzz…

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020


CHICAGO SHAKES UP ITS SEASON Chicago Shakes’ 35th Anniversary Season offers an amazing array of options, both in‑person performances and virtual streaming. Look for plays written and in…

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Theater Feature: AHMED BEST ANNOUNCED AS ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR (Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles) by Tony Frankel

BEST LEADS THE BEST Los Angeles-based Echo Theater Company, dedicated to creating new work for the theater, has named Ahmed Best (best known as Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars The Phantom Mena…

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Theater Preview: IRISH REP ONLINE (Fall Season 2020) by Tony Frankel

IRISH REP ANNOUNCES NEW FALL SEASON When it comes to online theater, which basically began with the COVID-19 shutdown, no other company in the States has offered more compelling evidence for…

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Theater Review: A WEEKEND WITH PABLO PICASSO (feature-length film adaptation at San Diego Rep) by Tony Frankel

When I first saw Herbert Siguenza’s solo show A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, I knew this tour-de-force triumph would live among the greatest one-person shows I could ever see, including Ja…

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Theater Preview: ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (UK’s Bristol Old Vic, streamed for The Wallis in Beverly Hills) by Tony Frankel

ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS MAKES U.S. DIGITAL PREMIERE LIVE One of the saddest cancellations due to COVID-19 was The Wallis Annenberg Center’s U.S. premiere of writer/director Emma Rice’s produ…

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Music/Theater Preview: KRITZERLAND’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW (Kritzerland — @ Home Again) by Tony Frankel


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Saturday, September 5, 2020

New York Theater Preview: NICK CORDERO MEMORIAL TRIBUTE (Broadway on Demand) by Tony Frankel

NICK CORDERO MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO STREAM ON BROADWAY ON DEMAND One of the last performances I saw before the COVID-19 shutdown was Rock of Ages here in Los Angeles. I had always had issues wi…

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All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre