All stories by Elizabeth Wollman on BroadwayStars

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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
Friday, November 25, 2016

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 by Elizabeth Wollman

The great comet in question was actually in 1811. Just sayin'. Not like it matters: Broadway musicals are hardly the medium through which accurate historical information gets passed along to…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:31PM
Sunday, November 6, 2016

School of Rock by Elizabeth Wollman

School of Rock is charming and engaging and the kind of big, shiny Broadway musical you could totally bring your kids or your friends from out of town to. It's basically a stage renditi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:36PM
Monday, October 31, 2016

Love, Love, Love by Elizabeth Wollman

Every so often, especially when you don't get too close or take them too seriously, selfish people can be enormously entertaining company. In Love, Love, Love, Mike Bartlett's short, lacerat…

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What Did You Expect? by Elizabeth Wollman

In Richard Nelson's Hungry, which ran at the Public last spring, the Gabriel family of Rhinebeck, New York, had just finished scattering the ashes of their brother / husband / ex-h…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:56PM
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Small Mouth Sounds and Men on Boats by Elizabeth Wollman

Small Mouth Sounds, a play by Bess Wohl currently being restaged at the Signature Theater after an initial run at Ars Nova last year, is sweet and diverting, if not as deft or probing as it …

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:14PM
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hadestown by Elizabeth Wollman

Have you ever not completely connected with a show when you first sat through it, only to fall head over heels in love with it in retrospect? It's happened to me on only a few occasions that…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:30PM
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Aladdin and Long Day's Journey Into Night: A Comparison by Elizabeth Wollman

It's not atypical for me to see more than one play or musical over the course of the week, but it is rare that I see two shows back-to-back that are as different as Long Day's Journey Into N…

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Show Showdown's Tony Picks (Not All of Which Are "Hamilton") by Elizabeth Wollman

If you are a reader of this blog, then we probably don't have to tell you that early June means the annual Tony awards. Even if you are not a reader of this blog, we also probably don't have…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:16AM
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Random roundup: The Father, Turn Me Loose, The Crucible by Elizabeth Wollman

The Father, Florian Zeller's very good play (in very good translation by Christopher Hampton) is worth seeing both for the tricks it plays on the audience and for Frank Langella's rivet…

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shuffle Along by Elizabeth Wollman

The...um....reconception? reconstruction? reconsideration?...of the 1921 hit show Shuffle Along, currently at the Music Box Theater (which, by the way, also opened in 1921), has some of the …

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:38PM
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What I Did Last Summer (And Fall and Winter and Spring) by Elizabeth Wollman

From April 2015 to March 2016, I served as a judge on the Lortel Awards, which recognize excellence in the Off Broadway theater. The term was a little daunting--I was told to expect (and ult…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:48PM
Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring roundup: Head of Passes, Bright Star, The Color Purple, Kvelertak by Elizabeth Wollman

 It's been a hellishly busy couple of weeks, but I've managed to see a few shows nonetheless. In the interest of time, I'll spare you my typically long-winded reviews in favor of terser…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:48PM
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lortel Award Nominations by Elizabeth Wollman

2016 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONSOutstanding PlayThe ChristiansProduced by Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre GroupWritten by Lucas HnathEclipsedProduced by The Public TheaterWritt…

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