All stories by Charles Isherwood on BroadwayStars

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review: ‘Pretty Woman’ is a cardboard cutout of the movie by Charles Isherwood

It’s very sweet that, as in the movie, the two unlikely lovers in the musical “Pretty Woman” end up rescuing one another from their respective lives of streetwalking and soulless money…

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: The same old story at ‘Gettin’ the Band Back Together’ by Charles Isherwood

Before the curtain rises on the new musical “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” at the Belasco Theatre, Ken Davenport, the show’s lead producer, who also co-wrote the book, takes the st…

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review: ‘Head Over Heels’ can’t find the beat by Charles Isherwood

Summer is not officially the silly season on Broadway, but you might be forgiven for assuming so should you wander into the Hudson Theatre, where “Head Over Heels,” a fearlessly loopy ne…

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Review: A lesson in sympathy from ‘Straight White Men’ by Charles Isherwood

In case you have been singing loudly with your fingers stuffed in your ears for, say, a year and a half, you have probably noticed much soul-searching in the media, along with plenty of outr…

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: ‘The Boys in the Band’ still resonates beneath the laughs by Charles Isherwood

“Thanks for the laughs,” says Harold, whose disorderly birthday celebration is the occasion on which the men in “The Boys in the Band” gather for an evening of cutting barbs, bottoml…

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Broadway Choreographer Warren Carlyle on His New Tribute to Jerome Robbins by Charles Isherwood

“Something to Dance About”—a one-act compilation that references Robbins’ greatest work from On the Town to West Side Story—premieres at the New York City Balle…

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: Denzel Washington radiates energy in ‘Iceman Cometh’ by Charles Isherwood

When Denzel Washington, who plays the salesman Hickey in the shatteringly good Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh,” unleashes his dazzling smile, it’s fair to conclude that he coul…

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: Historical exposition weighs down a solidly acted ‘Saint Joan’ by Charles Isherwood

George Bernard Shaw’s plays are performed so rarely on major New York stages that it’s hard not to feel grateful for a chance to see a first-class production of “Saint Joan.” Unfortu…

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: At ‘Summer,’ the disco ball has spun off its axis by Charles Isherwood

Someone really did leave the damn cake out in the rain. That’s my metaphorical summation of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” Fans will recognize the allusion, and I’ll throw in on…

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: ‘My Fair Lady’ is a beautifully polished antique by Charles Isherwood

Impeccable is the first word that springs to mind to describe the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.” But that’s really no surprise. The director, Ba…

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: A layered ‘Carousel’ finds new depth by Charles Isherwood

At the core of “Carousel,” which has been revived with breathtaking emotional intensity at the Imperial Theatre, is a dark fatalism that trails the leading lovers like their own shadows.…

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Review: ‘Mean Girls’ is funny, but not fresh by Charles Isherwood

Does it make me a mean girl if I say that “Mean Girls,” the new Broadway musical based on — well, duh! — is, like, tbh, just OK? Sorry. My mean. But that’s kind of my job. As with …

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Review: ‘Three Tall Women’ looks at life head on by Charles Isherwood

Unless you have a raging fever, an ice bath wouldn’t seem like a particularly pleasurable experience. And yet “Three Tall Women,” Edward Albee’s late-career masterpiece being revived…

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: ‘Rocktopia’ feels like a Vegas act on Broadway by Charles Isherwood

If only what happened in Budapest stayed in Budapest. I have nothing in particular against the city, really. I quite enjoyed my one visit there many years ago. There was a nice castle, I thi…

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Review: ‘Angels in America’ is as resonant and urgent as ever by Charles Isherwood

“The world only spins forward,” says Prior Walter, ravaged with AIDS but still enduring, in the culminating speech of “Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s majestic drama about our c…

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: ‘Frozen’ freezes up on stage by Charles Isherwood

Should hell freeze over — and given global environmental trends, well, who knows? — it’s possible that “Frozen” will not be Disney’s next from-now-until-eternity Broadway blockbu…

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: Bernadette Peters shimmers and delights in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ by Charles Isherwood

All those who declined to take out a second mortgage to buy a pair on the aisle for Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” can stop rending their garments and tearing out their hair. The revere…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review: ‘The Children’ is an exquisite look at human life by Charles Isherwood

The room is a very modestly furnished kitchen: mismatched chairs around a table, a miniature refrigerator, a scruffy but cozy-looking armchair, slightly out of place. But this mundane settin…

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: A heartwarming breeze from ‘Once on This Island’ by Charles Isherwood

Continual waves of radiance, warming the blood and stirring the heart, flow forth from the sand-covered stage of the Circle in the Square Theatre, where an absolutely incandescent revival of…

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: ‘The Parisian Woman’ delves into current politics, but with little effect by Charles Isherwood

Sleepy times, right? No drama emanating from our nation’s capital. Barely enough sensation to fill a single page of a broadsheet. Nary a shocking revelation to warm the cockles of a cynic…

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: ‘Meteor Shower’ misses the mark with its scattered plot by Charles Isherwood

The stars supply most of the fireworks in “Meteor Shower,” a scattershot – and even scatterbrained – comedy of bad manners by Steve Martin at the Booth Theatre. The cast member whose…

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: A Most Opinionated Wedding Guest Returns in ‘Bright Colors’ by Charles Isherwood

Overwhelming? Yes. Self-involved? Absolutely. But Drew Droege still makes for hilarious company in this one-person show.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: ‘Junk’ teaches a lesson in high finance by Charles Isherwood

A business degree is not a prerequisite for an appreciation of “Junk,” a new play by Ayad Akhtar about the heady heights and ethical lows of American finance in the 1980s. But it certain…

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: ‘M. Butterfly’ never takes flight by Charles Isherwood

That silk kimono hides a scandalous secret in “M. Butterfly,” David Henry Hwang’s 1988 Tony Award-winning drama about the romance between a French diplomat and the Chinese opera singer…

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Springsteen connects with his sensitive side in Broadway debut by Charles Isherwood

“I’ll handle this myself,” said Bruce Springsteen with a wry smile on Wednesday night at the Walter Kerr Theatre, as his enraptured audience began to clap along in rhythm t…

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: ‘Time and the Conways’ offers a graceful masterclass in time and failed dreams by Charles Isherwood

The ineluctable force that touches all our lives – the day-to-day, year-to-year process by which the present becomes the past, and the future bears down upon us – is the melancholy subje…

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

‘Prince of Broadway’ review by Charles Isherwood

What’s the last word I thought I’d ever use to describe a show directed by Harold Prince? Bland. And yet, sadly, that’s the overall effect of “Prince of Broadway,” a polished but d…

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

‘The Terms of My Surrender’ review by Charles Isherwood

Michael Moore’s solo show, “The Terms of My Surrender,” comes as close to being a campaign rally as anything you are likely to see on Broadway – or anywhere else, for that matter, sa…

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

‘Marvin’s Room’ review by Charles Isherwood

Calamity comes in Costco-style jumbo packages for the fractured family in “Marvin’s Room,” Scott McPherson’s play about the beleaguering trials and little triumphs collectively known…

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

‘1984’ review by Charles Isherwood

Summer entertainment options do not get more counterintuitive than the Broadway adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” that opened at the Hudson Theatre on Thursday, just as beach season…

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ review by Charles Isherwood

The frenetic Broadway spring comes to a thrilling conclusion with the lightning-bolt opening of Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a new play so endlessly stimulating that it co…

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