All stories by Hilton Als on BroadwayStars

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, 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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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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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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Monday, October 19, 2015

Talking Trash by Hilton Als

Robert O’Hara’s new play, “Barbecue” (directed with vigor and understanding by Kent Gash, at the Public), is my idea of an American classic, or the kind of classic we need. Although …

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Friday, August 14, 2015

His Royal Hipness by Hilton Als

I first heard the poet and comedian Lord Buckley’s sui-generis, incredible music-as-talk during a dance performance by Karole Armitage. This was a number of years ago, but sometimes, when …

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Friday, June 26, 2015

A Musical Set in the Mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff by Hilton Als

I want to say a special word about Dave Malloy’s “Preludes,” because it is the work of an artist who is not afraid to try things, or to create worlds that haven’t necessarily been se…

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Showgirls by Hilton Als

The Public Theatre is currently hosting two inspired, cogent artists from different cultures, whose distance from each other is bridged by Josephine Baker’s butt. Upstairs, near the admini…

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Lady and the Tramp by Hilton Als

To watch Larry David make his Broadway début, in his self-penned “Fish in the Dark” (at the Cort), in the same week that Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II, in Peter Morgan’s …

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Dynamic Duo by Hilton Als

For fifteen years, the actor Jim Fletcher has worked with the important theatre director and writer Richard Maxwell, whose shows require an uncommon degree of silence from the performers. In…

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Boys in the Band by Hilton Als

There is so much good will and enthusiasm these days among theatregoers who have seen Lin-Manuel Miranda’s complicated, valuable musical “Hamilton” (directed by Thomas Kail, at the Pub…

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good Moments by Hilton Als

While most ten-best lists are posted at the end of the year, I prefer to send mine along at the beginning, when the world, culturally at least, is still a bit of a tabula rasa, and one’s m…

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Sideshow by Hilton Als

In the repertory company of my mind, Bernard Pomerance’s 1977 play, “The Elephant Man” (now in its first Broadway revival since 2002, at the Booth), would rotate with a number of other…

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Freaks on Broadway by Hilton Als

A black man can’t catch a break, even in a freak show. As Jake in “Side Show” (at the St. James), the mighty actor and singer David St. Louis feels protective of Violet and Daisy Hilto…

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Musicals by Hilton Als

The director John Rando’s crap sentimentality undermines so much of what should be interesting about “On the Town” (now in revival, at the Lyric) that you spend at least half of your t…

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Theatre: Debbie Tucker Green’s “Generations” by Hilton Als

“Generations” (at the SoHo Rep) is not even an hour long, but it is filled with so much warmth and thought that the feeling it imparts lasts for a long time after you’ve left the theat…

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