All stories by Charles Isherwood on BroadwayStars

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Review: ‘Girl From the North Country’ illuminates lives adrift by Charles Isherwood

You can practically see the tumbleweeds blowing through the hearts of the characters in “Girl From the North Country.” This achingly beautiful musical weds the songs of Bob Dylan to a bo…

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review: Ivo van Hove’s ‘West Side Story’ feels more cinematic than theatrical by Charles Isherwood

With his new production of “West Side Story,” the estimable Belgian director Ivo van Hove has essentially stolen a march on no less a showbiz luminary than Steven Spielberg. How’s that…

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review: A fresh take on a familial tale in ‘Grand Horizons’ by Charles Isherwood

In just the first minutes of Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons,” a supremely funny comedy of marital malaise presented by Second Stage Theater, Jane Alexander and James Cromwell deliver a mi…

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: ‘A Soldier’s Play’ is a captivating whodunit by Charles Isherwood

Shots ring out. A man falls dead at the hands of an unknown killer. Enter an investigator to sort through a hefty pile of suspects and bring the culprit to justice. Charles Fuller’s Pulitz…

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Review: Laura Linney shimmers in ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’ by Charles Isherwood

When the theater goes to the library for inspiration, the results can often be disappointing. Even great books can wither and wilt when they are adapted for the stage. A happy if not entirel…

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Review: Harry Connick Jr. showcases his love for Cole Porter by Charles Isherwood

Love is most certainly for sale at “Harry Connick Jr.: A Celebration of Cole Porter.” Although the composer-lyricist is justifiably renowned for his coruscating wit and insouciant wordpl…

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Review: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ overflows with real-world storylines by Charles Isherwood

In “You Learn,” the song that concludes the new musical “Jagged Little Pill” on a note of hard-won, almost downbeat uplift, a lyric from Alanis Morissette recommends the advantages o…

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Review: An inventive ‘Christmas Carol’ tugs at the heartstrings by Charles Isherwood

If you don’t respond with a moist eye and a swelling heart to “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a miser’s spiritual redemption, I wouldn’t go so far as to cal…

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Review: Generations of love, loss and wisdom gained in ‘The Inheritance’ by Charles Isherwood

Most Broadway seasons feature at least one show that gathers an aura of importance even before it opens. This year it is undoubtedly “The Inheritance,” Matthew Lopez’s two-part, nearly…

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Review: ‘Slava’s Snowshow’ sends in the sad clowns by Charles Isherwood

“Slava’s Snowshow,” which has returned to New York for a limited engagement more than a decade after its first Broadway run, is not your typical holiday fare. While the show’s cast i…

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: A fearless Kristin Chenoweth dazzles in ‘For the Girls’ by Charles Isherwood

To the long list of adjectives we toss around like verbal confetti to describe Kristin Chenoweth – radiant, impish, perky, sunny, funny! – we can now add fearless. In her concert at the …

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: The Tina Turner musical can’t match its sublime star by Charles Isherwood

If a single voice, or a single performance, could send a Broadway musical soaring to greatness, “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” would handily qualify as one of the best musicals to emerg…

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Paul Taylor Dance Company Pays Tribute to Its Namesake by Charles Isherwood

The company returns to Lincoln Center to celebrate its founder, performing many of the late choreographer's masterworks October 29–November 17.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Review: Evoking nostalgia with an eye to the future in ‘American Utopia’ by Charles Isherwood

“We’re on a road to nowhere,” David Byrne sings in the final encore of his Broadway concert, “American Utopia,” at the Hudson Theatre. Can we get an encore of that encore, please?…

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review: A return to gloom in ‘The Sound Inside’ by Charles Isherwood

Pop quiz question: Can you name a single writer darker than Dostoevsky? The options are few, but I hereby nominate Adam Rapp, the playwright and novelist whose vision is so unrelievedly grim…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Review: ‘The Lightning Thief’ inventively reveals the demigods among us by Charles Isherwood

You think your dad (or mom) is a deadbeat? Consider the plight of the young characters in “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical,” a thoroughly endearing family-friendly musical…

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Comedy trumps romanticism in this ‘Rose Tattoo’ by Charles Isherwood

As Serafina Delle Rose, a grieving Italian-American widow struggling to open herself to life again in Tennessee Williams’s “The Rose Tattoo,” Marisa Tomei bares just about all, emotion…

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: In ‘Linda Vista,’ one man’s spiral creates a tornado by Charles Isherwood

A sad romantic comedy sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it’s an apt-enough description of “Linda Vista,” a slight but funny and quietly affecting play from Tracy Letts, which h…

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Review: ‘Slave Play’ questions more than it answers by Charles Isherwood

If there’s anything more boring than hearing about other people’s dreams, it’s hearing about their therapy sessions. And, to my mind, hearing about people’s sexual fantasies — admi…

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Review: ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ expertly treads the tightrope of improv by Charles Isherwood

If “gerund” isn’t the very last word I ever expected to hear uttered on a Broadway stage, it’s probably pretty darn close. Broadway rarely gives grammar lessons, after all.  And yet…

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Review: LBJ receives a lengthy reprise in ‘The Great Society’ by Charles Isherwood

When incendiary current events are leaping from your TV screen into your lap on an almost hourly basis, a play such as “The Great Society” has a tough row to hoe. How to excite audiences…

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review: Tracking a moving center in ‘The Height of the Storm’ by Charles Isherwood

As a literary luminary slowly sinking into senility, thrashing through his failing memory like a man battling the suffocating grip of quicksand, Jonathan Pryce gives a performance of remarka…

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review: Derren Brown brings a sense of wonder to Broadway by Charles Isherwood

Where did that infernal banana go?  This is not the kind of question you expect to be rattling around your brain during an evening of theater. And yet rattle me it did more than once during…

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: A love triangle turns inward in ‘Betrayal’ by Charles Isherwood

There are three principal characters, unfixed points in an adulterous romantic triangle, in Harold Pinter’s 1978 play “Betrayal,” now being revived to thrilling — and chilling — ef…

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review: Life, death and the banalities in between in ‘Sea Wall/A Life’ by Charles Isherwood

Love and marriage. Birth and death. Sorrows and joys. Loss and renewal. Bacon and eggs.  Whoops — sorry! My mind wandered to breakfast plans while I was attempting to think of something i…

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: ‘Moulin Rouge!’ hits Broadway with a panache of pop by Charles Isherwood

The Broadway exclamation point — once a marquee staple, later an overused joke — makes a roaring comeback with “Moulin Rouge!” This new musical, based on the Baz Luhrmann movie set i…

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: A blending of the prosaic and the poetic in ‘Frankie and Johnny’ by Charles Isherwood

It’s only in the final moments of the moving new Broadway revival of Terrence McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” that the consummate musician in Audra McDonald emerg…

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe Makes a Comeback by Charles Isherwood

The groundbreaking classic from the '70s is a featured part of the American Ballet Theatre's Tharp Trio performances beginning May 30.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Review: In ‘Beetlejuice,’ death comes to life by Charles Isherwood

For a musical jubilantly proclaiming that its overriding theme is death, “Beetlejuice” has a surprisingly lively spring in its step. As is well known by now, popular movies never die; th…

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Review: ‘Ink’ takes a multi-paged romp through tabloid journalism by Charles Isherwood

“People like stories,” says Rupert Murdoch — a fictional Rupert Murdoch, that is — just before the lights dim on the last scene of “Ink,” James Graham’s play about the media ma…

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review: ‘Tootsie’ gets the laughs, but not the music by Charles Isherwood

The familiar rap on flawed Broadway musicals usually goes something like this: “Well, the score is great…but the book has problems.” Enter “Tootsie,” red sequins ablaze, a new musi…

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All that Chat

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