All stories by Charles Isherwood on BroadwayStars

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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New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet Look to the Future With New Leadership by Charles Isherwood

Former NYCB dancers Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan discuss their plans for the future as the new season kicks off April 23.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Review: Skimming the surface of semi-fiction in ‘Hillary and Clinton’ by Charles Isherwood

Hillary: Likable or not? Likable enough? And if not, why not? Those much-discussed questions, asked and answered ad nauseam over the course of her two terms as a presidential wife, and her t…

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: An exhilarating ‘Hadestown’ revitalizes a classic love story by Charles Isherwood

The road to hell is paved with heavenly music in “Hadestown,” the exuberant, exhilarating new musical that stands tall among a season of mostly (so far) lackluster Broadway competition. …

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: A blazing Adam Driver commands the stage in ‘Burn This’ by Charles Isherwood

Winter storms may be in the rearview mirror, but idle storm chasers should know that there’s a tempest being whipped up nightly at the Hudson Theatre, where a ferociously good Adam Driver …

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Review: A distracted ‘Oklahoma!’ skims the emotional surface by Charles Isherwood

The new Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” could be compared to a surrey with a little too much fringe on top, to swipe the nearest metaphor. It may get you wh…

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Review: A scorching Glenda Jackson leads the way for the women of ‘King Lear’ by Charles Isherwood

Women are in firm control of the kingdom in Broadway’s Cort Theatre, where a new revival of “King Lear,” starring Glenda Jackson in the title role, opened Thursday. Jackson’s Lear is…

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review: ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ hits the steps, but not the story by Charles Isherwood

Broadway’s proudest moments of the past couple of decades have rarely – er, make that never – included any of the long parade of jukebox musicals that flooded the zone. (Perhaps it’s…

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Review: Kelli O’Hara soars in a revised ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ by Charles Isherwood

Spring was tardy this year, so if you are still suffering from seasonal affective disorder, you might try some therapeutic theater courtesy of the radiant revival of “Kiss Me, Kate,” whi…

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Review: A classic sibling battle gains new depth in ‘True West’ by Charles Isherwood

Toxic masculinity may be a growing blight on society, but for spectacular proof that onstage, at least, it can also be vital entertainment, look no further than the sizzling Broadway revival…

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Review: Christmas gone wrong at ‘Ruben & Clay’ by Charles Isherwood

Toward the merciful end of “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Show,” or as it is also called, “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacula…

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review: A slick ‘Network’ showcases Bryan Cranston’s talent by Charles Isherwood

If satire is what closes on Saturday night, as George S. Kaufman famously said, how can one explain the roaring success of Broadway’s “Network,” smashing box office records at the Bela…

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Review: ‘The Cher Show’ offers a bumpy ride through an icon’s career by Charles Isherwood

Fame may be a “fleeting bitch,” according to the title character in “The Cher Show” — and who would know better? Temperamental she may be, as the musical illustrates while churnin…

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: ‘King Kong’ is a lackluster vehicle for a star gorilla by Charles Isherwood

He can’t sing a note. They definitely don’t make tap shoes in his size. And, aside from some extremely expressive growls and roars, he doesn’t exactly sizzle at delivering dialogue. An…

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Review: ‘American Son’ takes a piercing look at our country by Charles Isherwood

“Everything’s coming apart,” cries Kendra, a distraught mother who’s awaiting news of her missing boy, in “American Son,” an arrestingly topical drama by Christopher Demos-Brown …

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: An exquisite blend of humor and sorrow in ‘The Waverly Gallery’ by Charles Isherwood

To laugh or to cry? That mostly theoretical cliché becomes a matter of actual, uncomfortable urgency as you watch the superlative Broadway revival of “The Waverly Gallery,” Kenneth Lone…

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Review: ‘The Ferryman’ brims with life as a threat looms by Charles Isherwood

A man’s death casts a seemingly endless shadow over a family’s life in “The Ferryman,” the breathtakingly good, devastating drama by Jez Butterworth that instantly kicks the Broadway…

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ loses drama to the truth by Charles Isherwood

Fact: I began my career in journalism as a fact-checker at a magazine in Los Angeles. Opinion: My experience with this oft-tedious task unfortunately did little to enhance my affection for …

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Review: Colorful characters punch up ‘The Nap’ by Charles Isherwood

Snooker, anyone? Anyone? British plays may be as abundant on Broadway as mushrooms in a rain-soaked forest, but “The Nap,” by Richard Bean, may seem exotic even to the most obsessive the…

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Neil Simon, a Master of Comedy on Broadway and Beyond, Is Dead at 91 by Charles Isherwood

Mr. Simon started out writing for television and later wrote for the movies, but his plays were his biggest successes, among them “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park.”

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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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All that Chat

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