All stories by Hilton Als on BroadwayStars

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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Monday, June 23, 2014

Hilton Als: “When We Were Young and Unafraid” and “Much Ado About Nothing” reviews. by Hilton Als

I don’t know which casting directors first took notice of the great American actress Cherry Jones, but they must have had an interest in what I call spiritual casting. More often than …

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thinking of Ruby Dee by Hilton Als

The performances I loved best had less to do with her righteous indomitability than with the artistic wizardry she could spin.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting “Macbeth” Right by Hilton Als

Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh’s new revival of “Macbeth” covers the same old territory.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Hilton Als: Edgar Oliver’s “In the Park.” by Hilton Als

I’m afraid it was the limited, prejudiced part of my nature that prevented me from acknowledging, before now, the writer and performer Edgar Oliver and his emotionally grand work. Alth…

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Hilton Als: Kate Valk, the “Meryl Streep of downtown.” by Hilton Als

Kate Valk is an interesting theatrical figure, one of the greatest the American stage has produced in the last forty or so years. Yet she is largely unknown if you don’t get to see the…

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Hilton Als: Michelle Williams and Neil Patrick Harris play performers on Broadway. by Hilton Als

When it comes to technique, actors know what you might call one another’s family secrets. They know what goes into creating a sustained stage illusion, and how to make a scene partner …

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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Theatre: An Interview with Richard Maxwell by Hilton Als

Richard Maxwell is one of the more adventurous theatre artists that this country has produced in decades.

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Hilton Als: “The Mystery of Irma Vep” and “Of Mice and Men” reviews. by Hilton Als

Diane Arbus knew from freaks. But the photographer was never derogatory toward her subjects—all those circus performers, overdone drag queens, and angry young men she framed with such …

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