All stories by Hilton Als on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Emotional Malnourishment in “Curse of the Starving Class” by Hilton Als

The playwright Sam Shepard’s matter-of-fact observations about where his characters stand in the world tell us so much about the world they inhabit, Hilton Als writes.

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Monday, May 6, 2019

The Castmates Who Make You Care in “Beetlejuice” and “Tootsie” by Hilton Als

Hilton Als reviews the new musicals “Beetlejuice” and “Tootsie,” which feature performers who help you see the narrative behind all the flash.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

“Ink” and “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” Play with History by Hilton Als

Hilton Als reviews a newsroom drama about Rupert Murdoch and Taylor Mac’s spin on Shakespeare’s first tragedy.

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Sam Gold’s Self-Serving Vision of “King Lear” by Hilton Als

In a new staging, the director uses Shakespeare’s words as a launching pad from which to explore his own theatrical concerns, Hilton Als writes.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

“White Noise” Is a Morality Play Without the Passion by Hilton Als

Hilton Als reviews Suzan-Lori Parks’s new work, “White Noise,” which enters a terrible emotional landscape but doesn’t explore it.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

The Art of Aspiration in “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Be More Chill” by Hilton Als

Hilton Als reviews the new musicals “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Be More Chill,” which explore their protagonists’ longing and belonging.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

The Soullessness of “Straight White Men” by Hilton Als

Young Jean Lee’s first Broadway play not only lacks the humor, recklessness, and passion of her earlier works; it refutes those things, writes Hilton Als.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Broadway’s Original Mansplainer by Hilton Als

Hilton Als looks at class, colonialism, and self-creation in Bartlett Sher’s production of “My Fair Lady,” starring Lauren Ambrose and Harry Hadden-Paton.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

The Dark Fantasies of “Carousel”  by Hilton Als

The new staging of the musical is an intimate extravaganza, packed with ideas about the body, gender roles, and fear of closeness.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Musicals for Turbulent Times by Hilton Als

Hilton Als on “Jerry Springer: The Opera” and “Black Light.”

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Martin McDonagh’s Hangdogs and Hangmen by Hilton Als

Hilton Als writes that in the playwright’s latest work, his slick cynicism threatens to overtake his real gifts. 

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Richard Maxwell’s Essential Theatre by Hilton Als

The director and playwright is back, with “Paradiso,” a work that explores his interest in myth and the mundane.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

The “Mean Girls” of Ghana by Hilton Als

Jocelyn Bioh’s play comments on our fascinating era, in which so much debate centers on the female body.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

“Springsteen on Broadway”: Legends from a Life Story by Hilton Als

As the rock icon sang, it became clear that the show allowed him to understand not only himself but what goes into the making of a self. 

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Bette Midler Brings Her Best to “Hello, Dolly!” by Hilton Als

Bette Midler is such an incredible self-creation—an artist like no other—that finding roles that can harness her enormous energy while allowing room for her wit and her extraordinary ski…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Heaviness of Memory in Arthur Miller’s “The Price” by Hilton Als

Arthur Miller’s “The Price” (in revival at the American Airlines, under the direction of Terry Kinney) premièred on Broadway in 1968, four years after Miller’s other mid-career play…

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

“Hair” Turns Fifty by Hilton Als

When “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” opened on Broadway, in 1968, it featured one of the best young casts ever to appear in an American musical. Diane Keaton, Melba Moore, …

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pop Psychology Onstage in “Dear Evan Hansen”  by Hilton Als

When Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin, and Moss Hart put together the musical “Lady in the Dark,” in 1940, Freud was big. The great man’s thinking had yet to come under wide attack, and psycho…

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

James Baldwin, Onstage by Hilton Als

Throughout his career, James Baldwin had a hankering to work in show business. Like Henry James, one of his early heroes, Baldwin loved the footlights; early on, with his friend and editor S…

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Postscript: Edward Albee, 1928-2016 by Hilton Als

Writing that gets under your skin, in your bones, will play in your head and memory like nothing else. While painting, photography, and movies can come at you with a very particular force—…

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Star Power by Hilton Als

While it’s always a treat to see amazing ensembles working together as they tear a play apart, the better to expose its meaning, it’s thrilling in a different way to watch performers who…

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Legends by Hilton Als

Here we go again, back to that terrible summer house in New England, which is yet another depressed character in Eugene O’Neill’s unsurpassable “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (now…

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Long Journey by Hilton Als

In 1962, Lillian and Helen Ross published “The Player,” a wonderful collection of interviews with actors, ranging from Maureen Stapleton to Sidney Poitier, many of which originated in th…

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Monday, March 14, 2016

My Old Sweetheart by Hilton Als

I have so many complicated responses to David Harrower’s 2005 play, “Blackbird” (at the Belasco), that trying to separate what I feel about the subject tangentially and what Harrower a…

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Betrothed by Hilton Als

All this talk about diversity—in newspapers, on college campuses, at the Oscars—can be hard on a liberal white guy. How’s a sensitive Caucasian man—no Trumpite—supposed to deal wit…

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New Direction by Hilton Als

Directors who have an interest in style are not prevalent in the American theatre. Mostly, directors are there to serve the play and keep the bodies moving in space as clearly, effectively, …

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The Night Crawlers by Hilton Als

I’m always somewhat surprised to discover how many of the writers and thinkers I’ve admired over the years grew up reading Eugene O’Neill with a passion equal to my own. For years, I t…

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Postscript: Liz Swados (1951-2016) by Hilton Als

It was always exciting to see, around town, those lovely posters by Paul Davis announcing a new production at the Public Theatre—“our” theatre, over on Lafayette Street, a place that p…

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Girl Power by Hilton Als

In 2007, the theatre artists and activists Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney founded the Arts Effect All-Girl Theatre Company. There, the directors provided a forum for teen-age girls, where…

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Dreamgirls by Hilton Als

Although the civil-rights movement did a lot to change how black life was dramatized on the American stage in the fifties and sixties, white composers and lyricists often still rely on famil…

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Friday, November 27, 2015

’Tis the Season by Hilton Als

The language around Christmas is usually pretty treacly, as befits the season. But future writers should remember that one of the amazing things about the holiday’s ur-text, Charles Dicken…

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