All stories by Elizabeth Wollman on BroadwayStars

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Elizabeth Wollman

While the city's theater critics revive the century-old debate about the death of Broadway at the tail end of a reasonably disappointing commercial season, reassurance can be found in a visi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:12PM
Monday, May 7, 2018

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical by Elizabeth Wollman

Sometimes, it's genuinely unfair when shows on Broadway flop. Countless worthwhile productions close in debt due to poor timing, a few weak links, material that's too dark or sophisticated o…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:04PM
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Carousel by Elizabeth Wollman

Among the many ways Rodgers and Hammerstein helped innovate the American stage musical was through depth of character. Their musicals, after all, featured some particularly memorable ones, m…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:18PM
Monday, April 2, 2018

Jesus Christ Superstar by Elizabeth Wollman

To stage Jesus Christ Superstar, I've long been convinced, is to set yourself up to fail. I'm not just being a crabby cynic here; I love the piece very much. But it was not conceived for the…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:57PM
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Angels in America by Elizabeth Wollman

It's been 25 years since I last saw Angels in America, which remains one of the most powerful theatergoing experiences I've ever had. I was so overwhelmed by the original production that I'v…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:11PM
Friday, February 23, 2018

Jerry Springer: The Opera by Elizabeth Wollman

For all its highbrow associations, there's a hell of a lot of lowbrow to opera, what with all the really dumb cases of mistaken identity, lurid psychotic breaks, incestuous couplings, and lo…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:29AM
Monday, January 8, 2018

Mankind by Elizabeth Wollman

In Robert O'Hara's futuristic, dystopian fable Mankind, currently at Playwrights Horizons, women are extinct and men have evolved to reproduce without them. In an opening scene that is …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:11PM
Thursday, January 4, 2018

SpongeBob SquarePants by Elizabeth Wollman

All entertainment, they say, is a reflection of its time, place, and culture. That certainly applies to the cheerfully gaudy, brilliantly staged SpongeBob SquarePants musical. It's an u…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:09PM
Thursday, December 21, 2017

Liz Wollman's Top Ten of 2017 by Elizabeth Wollman

Good golly, Miss Molly, a top-ten list is a hard list to come up with, especially during a year when I found myself escaping to the theater as often as I possibly could. So many choices! So …

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:42PM
Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meteor Shower by Elizabeth Wollman

"Well, now, that was a mess," my daughter mused during the curtain call at Meteor Shower, currently running at the Booth through late January. "Yeah," I agreed. "Didn't really hang…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:36PM
Friday, December 1, 2017

Miss Saigon and M Butterfly by Elizabeth Wollman

What are the odds that I'd see two different takes on Madama Butterfly in rapid succession? Pretty high, it turns out: they're both running in revival here, I have a student writing an honor…

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:12PM
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Illyria by Elizabeth Wollman

Last season, Richard Nelson's Gabriel Family trilogy was a comforting beacon in a traumatic time. Watching the tight-knit Rhinebeck family mourn their dead, contemplate their future, pr…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:18PM
Monday, October 23, 2017

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Elizabeth Wollman

What makes a person good or bad, and what's the dividing line between the two? Is religious devotion helpful or harmful in the search for redemption, and can it be both at the same time? How…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:06PM
Monday, October 16, 2017

Mary Jane by Elizabeth Wollman

The beautiful, incredibly nuanced Mary Jane, currently at New York Theatre Workshop, does what seems impossible: it burrows deep into a character who practically forces herself to be tw…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:12PM
Monday, September 25, 2017

A Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical by Elizabeth Wollman

Yes, I know, that does sound like the dryest name for the most boring play, ever, but I'm not discussing a show, here: this is the (admittedly fairly dry) title of my latest book, which was …

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:05AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Girl from the North Country by Elizabeth Wollman

There's a lot going on in Girl from the North Country, Conor McPherson's play with songs by Bob Dylan that's running through the first week of October at the Old Vic in London. Set in a…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:07AM
Friday, August 11, 2017

Groundhog Day by Elizabeth Wollman

Humorless buzzkill that I am, I've never been a big fan of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, even though just about everybody else on the planet seems to think that it's one of the most bri…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:33PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"The World of Broadway Musicals" by Elizabeth Wollman

I was recently interviewed by the Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College. Here's the resultant clip. Also, here is a nice picture, which I'd combine with the clip…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:42PM
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hello, Dolly! by Elizabeth Wollman

Don't tell anyone, but until earlier this month, I'd never seen the stage or film version, or even listened to the score, of Hello, Dolly! This is kind of like a Vermeer specialist…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:12PM
Friday, June 23, 2017

1984 by Elizabeth Wollman

The stage version of George Orwell's 1984, grippingly adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, might not be the masterpiece the book is, but it's pretty damned good just the same. I…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:54AM
Friday, June 9, 2017

Show Showdown's Tony Picks by Elizabeth Wollman

We're cutting it a little close on the Tony forecast this year, but can you blame us? We've all been super busy reading the news, watching hearings, and calling our representatives all the t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:04AM
Friday, June 2, 2017

Say Something Bunny! by Elizabeth Wollman

On her website, Alison S.M. Kobayashi describes herself as an identity contortionist. This is, as it turns out, a pretty accurate description for the highly interdisciplinary work she does, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:36PM
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Roundup, Part II: Anastasia and A Doll's House Part 2 by Elizabeth Wollman

AnastasiaTime was when a middle-of-the-road, slightly overstuffed show like Anastasia would have sent me into paroxysms of self-righteous outrage, but I'm older, wiser, wearier, and maybe a …

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:54PM
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring roundup, Part I: Sweeney Todd and Come from Away by Elizabeth Wollman

Spring in these parts means fluctuating temperatures, the hectic and drawn-out end of the semester, more theater than I know what to do with, and very little time. What is a theater-loving, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:02PM
Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Glass Menagerie by Elizabeth Wollman

Hi, Show Showdown visitors!My take on the highly unconventional and mildly controversial Sam Gold production of The Glass Menagerie is currently featured on Broken and Woken, the blog a…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:24PM
Monday, March 20, 2017

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Elizabeth Wollman

Kneehigh's stage adaptation of the 2006 children's novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo is so bubbly, energetic, and wacky that a few times during the perfo…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:42PM
Monday, February 27, 2017

Wakey, Wakey by Elizabeth Wollman

The man in the pajama bottoms, slippers and suit jacket is terribly confused but always polite to the crowd he is somehow suddenly responsible for entertaining. He has snacks and juice stash…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:42PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love For Sale: The History of Sex in Musicals by Elizabeth Wollman

Hey, have you wanted nothing other than to listen to me, director John Rando, and producer Jack Viertel talk about sex and musicals in a very nice performance space in lower Manhattan? Well,…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:32PM
Monday, January 2, 2017

Dear Evan Hansen by Elizabeth Wollman

Dear Evan Hansen is an intimate, well-crafted, well-performed musical, the kind that tidily trashes the generalized dismissal of musical theater as an emotionally overwrought genre filled wi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:42PM
Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Top Ten: Liz Wollman by Elizabeth Wollman

In years as rough and depressing as 2016 has been, I am extra-super-duper thankful for the theater. I have no desire, after a year as harsh as this one was, to come up with a "worst" list--e…

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:42PM
Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World and Women of a Certain Age by Elizabeth Wollman

Joan MarcusJoan MarcusIn very dark times, I'm always telling my students, people crave the comfort-food version of mass entertainment: breezy movies, bubbly Broadway shows, silly TV sit-coms…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:31PM

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