All stories by Gordon Cox on BroadwayStars

Friday, April 12, 2024

‘Player Kings’ Review: Ian McKellen and Toheeb Jimoh Give Star Turns in a Chilly New Take on Shakespeare’s ‘Henry IV’ by Gordon Cox

According to theater lore, it was Elizabeth I who demanded Shakespeare write another play about Falstaff, which, allegedly, is why he wrote “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” The Queen might …

SOURCE: Variety at 01:21PM
Thursday, April 11, 2024

‘The Outsiders’ Review: Broadway Musical Packs Heart and Soul but Little Punch by Gordon Cox

Tough guys with a soft side have long held a firm grip on the American imagination. S.E. Hinton’s novel “The Outsiders,” about a cadre of down-and-out boys, has been read by millions o…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ Review: Patricia Clarkson Illuminates an Uneven West End Production by Gordon Cox

No one, wisely, has turned “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” into an opera — not least because, arguably, Eugene O’Neill’s most famous play already is one. It features extended s…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:53PM
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Bernadette Peters Recalls the Moment She Fell in Love With Stephen Sondheim’s Work: ‘He’s Our Shakespeare’ by Gordon Cox

The Tony-winning Broadway icon Bernadette Peters has long been considered one of the foremost performers of composer Stephen Sondheim’s work. But as Peters revealed in the latest episode o…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:22PM
Thursday, March 28, 2024

‘Tommy’ Review: Broadway Musical Revival is Strictly for the Boomers by Gordon Cox

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those that love bone-shaking, ear-splitting spectacles, like fireworks and arena-sized heavy metal concerts, and those who want nothing more than…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2024

‘Opening Night’ Review: Sheridan Smith’s Turn Cannot Save Ivo Van Hove and Rufus Wainwright’s Monotonous Musical Adaptation by Gordon Cox

At the start of the second half of Ivo Van Hove’s production of his own musical version of John Cassavetes’ ultra-Seventies backstager “Opening Night” — with music and lyrics by Ru…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:00PM
Thursday, March 21, 2024

‘Water for Elephants’ Review: Broadway Musical and Circus Merge for Spellbinding Entertainment by Gordon Cox

Ever feel like running away from home to join a musical? Then “Water for Elephants” would be the show of choice that offers escapism, enchantment and heart — and thrills, too. Based o…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM
Wednesday, March 20, 2024

How Juliana Canfield Went From ‘Succession’ to Broadway’s ‘Stereophonic’ by Gordon Cox

Juliana Canfield didn’t mean to lie when she was auditioning for the play “Stereophonic” — it just accidentally happened. Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” podcast below: Th…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:00AM
Thursday, March 14, 2024

‘The Notebook’ Review: Broadway Musical of the Popular Romance Hits All-Too-Familiar Notes by Gordon Cox

Musical theater can be a sucker for a romantic tale, whether it’s about obsessive devotion, idealized passion, or lost loves. “The Notebook,” based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling, 1…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

How ‘The Notebook’ Broadway Musical Highlights the Universality of the Story’s Enduring Romance by Gordon Cox

Even if you don’t know “The Notebook,” you know there’s a romantic couple at the heart of the story. But in the new Broadway musical adaptation of “The Notebook,” there’s not j…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:31PM
Monday, March 4, 2024

How a new generation of producers is transforming Broadway by Gordon Cox

A cohort of producers, including Ben Holtzman, Thomas Laub, Sammy Lopez, Greg Nobile, Alyah Chanelle Scott, Heather Shields and Rachel Sussman, discuss their vision for Broadway.

SOURCE: Broadway News Subscription at 09:01AM
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

How Two Theater Superfans Became Theater Influencers by Gordon Cox

What’s a theater influencer and how do you become one? On the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety’s theater podcast, Kristin Hopkins and Ashley Hufford, two influencers with stro…

SOURCE: Variety at 05:41PM
Friday, February 16, 2024

‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ Review: Sarah Snook Dazzles in a Flashy Stage-Meets-Screen Retelling by Gordon Cox

Oscar Wilde himself sat in the Royal Box in the West End’s beautifully gilded Theatre Royal Haymarket in the 1890s for the premieres of his comedies “A Woman of No Importance” and “A…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:22PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

‘Just for One Day — The Live Aid Musical’ Review: Musical Performances Make Up for an Earnest Retelling of the Famous 1980s Charity Event by Gordon Cox

Enraged by the British government charging the standard 15% sales tax on tickets for Live Aid, Bob Geldof (Craige Els) bullies his way into a meeting with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (s…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:28PM
Tuesday, February 6, 2024

How ‘Illinoise,’ a Non-Traditional Musical Inspired by the Sufjan Stevens Album, Takes a Few Cues From ‘A Chorus Line’ by Gordon Cox

The creators of “Illinoise,” the new stage show inspired by the 2005 Sufjan Stevens album “Illinois,” are the first to admit that the production isn’t a musical in the most traditi…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:53PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

How the ‘Reservation Dogs’ Writers Brought Signature Humor to Their First Play, ‘Between Two Knees’ by Gordon Cox

When Sterlin Harjo, the co-creator of “Reservation Dogs,” started writing his first play with the other members of The 1491s, the sketch comedy troupe of which he was member, he and the …

SOURCE: Variety at 01:20PM
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

‘Prayer for the French Republic’ Review: A Three-Hour Lesson in Recent History That Never Takes Flight by Gordon Cox

At first blush, the three-hour runtime of “Prayer for the French Republic,” playing at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway, seems appropriate. Though it obviously does not exist s…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM

How Kelli O’Hara Launched the 21-Year Journey of ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ by Gordon Cox

Fresh off an early workshop of “The Light in the Piazza,” the actress Kelli O’Hara had a passing thought: What if there was an ambitious musical adaptation of “Days of Wine and Roses…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:36PM
Thursday, December 14, 2023

‘Stranger Things: The First Shadow’ Review: West End Play Brings Netflix Series Thrillingly to Life by Gordon Cox

“We need something a little theatrical.” Boy, does excited Bob Newby (Christopher Buckley) get his wish. He’s trying to solve a staging problem in “The Dark of the Moon,” the schoo…

SOURCE: Variety at 07:00PM
Tuesday, December 12, 2023

‘Prince of Egypt’ Composer Stephen Schwartz Recalls Sneaking Into an Unauthorized Production and Gives Update on ‘Wicked’ Films by Gordon Cox

For a long time the 1998 animated film “The Prince of Egypt” didn’t have an official stage adaptation. But that didn’t stop fans from putting on live versions of the musical anyway�…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:54PM
Sunday, December 10, 2023

‘How to Dance in Ohio’ Review: Musical About Autistic Young Adults Is a Touching Broadway First by Gordon Cox

Going (or not going) to the big dance has been an irresistible storyline for musicals from “Oklahoma!” to “The Prom.” The set-up inherently inspires social stress, romantic anxiety, …

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM
Tuesday, December 5, 2023

How ‘Waitress’ Changed the Way Sara Bareilles Writes Music, Even for Herself by Gordon Cox

Sara Bareilles has always spoken openly about the fact that her work on the musical “Waitress” changed her life. “My life is in two categories: It’s before and after ‘Waitress,’�…

SOURCE: Variety at 05:16PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Why Broadway’s ‘Spamalot’ Cast Can’t Keep a Straight Face by Gordon Cox

While the cast of the new Broadway production of “Spamalot” is cracking up audiences, they’re all trying their best not to crack up as well. Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” …

SOURCE: Variety at 06:34PM
Thursday, November 16, 2023

‘Spamalot’ Review: An Overdone Broadway Revival Opts for Excess Over Ingenuity by Gordon Cox

It may be appropriate for a musical with “spam” in the title to feel canned. But it’s a shame that the first Broadway revival of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” now playing at the St.…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:00PM

More than just a talkback: why Broadway is embracing post-show programming by Gordon Cox

Kevin McCollum of "SIX," Diana DiMenna of "Here Lies Love," Jonathan McCrory of National Black Theatre and more share their reasoning behind auxiliary programming — and the results.

SOURCE: Broadway News Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

How Sierra Boggess and Warren Carlyle Make Broadway ‘Harmony’ by Gordon Cox

To hear the actress Sierra Boggess tell it, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s Broadway musical “Harmony” couldn’t have a more apt title. Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” po…

SOURCE: Variety at 07:09PM

‘Harmony’ Review: Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s Broadway Musical Is a Glitzy, Superficial Look at a True Story by Gordon Cox

There’s a narrator in “Harmony,” Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow’s musical now playing at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theater—an elderly rabbi, played ably by Chip Zien, who tells…

SOURCE: Variety at 04:28AM
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

‘Rebecca’ Review: Musical’s English-Language Debut Is a Remarkable Debacle by Gordon Cox

“What a terrible tragedy.” Indeed. That’s the lyric cried out as, in theory, the famously magnificent Cornish home at the heart of the story burns to the ground at the climax of the mu…

SOURCE: Variety at 04:00PM

How Rachel Bloom Turned a Standup Show Into a Death-Defying Solo Musical by Gordon Cox

Rachel Bloom remembers the exact moment that she decided her latest stage project, “Death, Let Me Do My Show,” couldn’t be the lightweight standup show she was hoping it would be. It w…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:56PM
Tuesday, September 5, 2023

‘Back to the Future,’ ‘The Shark Is Broken’ and the Secrets of Broadway Video Design by Gordon Cox

Broadway video design is a lot more complicated than it looks. And it already looks pretty complicated. Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” podcast below: On the new episode of “Sta…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:46PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2023

How The Creators of Stray Gods Made a Musical That’s a Video Game by Gordon Cox

Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, the musical “If/Then”: These aren’t the usual conversational touchpoints in a discussion about a video game. But all three of those musical theater…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:25PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards