All stories by Elizabeth Wollman on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Boesman and Lena by Elizabeth Wollman

It often occurs to me, especially lately, just how much the trajectory of any life comes down to dumb luck. Sure, people can work hard to change their lot in life, or screw up enough to piss…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:17PM
Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Cher Show by Elizabeth Wollman

In lots of ways, The Cher Show is remarkably similar to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Both are big, shiny, spectacular jukebox musicals about iconic female superstars, created by overwhe…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 10:32PM
Monday, January 21, 2019

Choir Boy by Elizabeth Wollman

Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy, just extended at the Friedman, is poignant, moving, and lovely. A coming-of-age drama set in an exclusive all-male, all-black boarding school, th…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:48PM
Sunday, December 23, 2018

Liz's Top Ten of 2018 by Elizabeth Wollman

While I can't say I'll miss a whole lot of things that went down in 2018, it's worth acknowledging just how good the theater was, at least in these parts. Whereas past seasons have been pret…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 10:54PM
Monday, December 3, 2018

King Kong by Elizabeth Wollman

While I appreciate it as a landmark in both film making and scoring, I've otherwise never much understood the appeal of King Kong. Sure, there's incredibly cool stop-motion animation an…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:54AM
Monday, November 26, 2018

The Waverly Gallery by Elizabeth Wollman

A friend of mine often uses the expression "pretty little play" to describe a show that's easy to digest, not especially profound or layered, and pretty satisfying nonetheless. The Waverly G…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:18AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oklahoma! by Elizabeth Wollman

Daniel Fish's absolutely stunning Oklahoma, currently at St. Ann's Warehouse where I wish it could somehow live forever, never loses sight of America's gloried past even as it confronts its …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:32AM
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties by Elizabeth Wollman

Don't worry: the five prototypical women in Jen Silverman's absurdist comedy aren't going to yell at you over the course of the 90 swift minutes that they're onstage at the Lortel Theater. T…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:04PM
Friday, July 27, 2018

Head Over Heels by Elizabeth Wollman

Head Over Heels is fun, charming, and a lot more complex than it initially appears. It is, after all, no garden-variety jukebox musical, but one based on Sir Philip Sidney's late-16th-centur…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:18PM
Monday, July 23, 2018

Straight White Men by Elizabeth Wollman

It's weird to say this about a play that premiered only four years ago (at the Public), but the revival (and first Broadway production) of Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men feels outd…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 11:48PM
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Fair Lady by Elizabeth Wollman

The revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center is much like other Bartlett Sher revivals of musical theater chestnuts at Lincoln Center: it is colorful (if, this time around, more dimly lit);…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:12PM
Friday, June 8, 2018

Spring roundup: Mean Girls, Our Lady of 121st Street, Paradise Blue, Dance Nation by Elizabeth Wollman

Mean GirlsMean Girls is cute and funny, well-staged, a little too long for what it is, occasionally miked too loud, and ultimately better than getting a cavity filled. I wish I'd been thrill…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:36PM
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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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 …

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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 …

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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 …

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: 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…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:12PM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre