All stories by Jason Zinoman on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

‘Small Talk’ Review: The Art of Meaningless Banter by Jason Zinoman

In his brisk, low-maintenance Off Broadway show, the workhorse comic Colin Quinn extols the virtues of idle chitchat.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:54PM
Friday, December 9, 2022

When Jewish Artists Wrestle With Antisemitism by Jason Zinoman

In this unsettling moment, comedians, filmmakers, playwrights and others have been struggling against a long-ingrained American response to look away.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 11:06AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

James Corden and the Dangers of Likability by Jason Zinoman

No one knows what an egg yolk omelet is, but we all know that TV hosts should be relatable. Or should they? That didn’t do Ellen DeGeneres any favors.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:33AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Kate Berlant Can’t Hide Any Longer by Jason Zinoman

The experimental comic is known for freewheeling sets. Then Bo Burnham asked, “What if you actually tried to make something?” The transition has been hard.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:33AM
Monday, August 15, 2022

You Are Getting Sleepy. When You Wake Up, You Will Be an Improv Star. by Jason Zinoman

In “Hyprov,” audience members are hypnotized into performing sketches. The show’s creators argue that the novices make stronger choices than pros would.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 11:48AM
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Is It Funny for the Jews? by Jason Zinoman

For a cultural critic, a sense of humor is integral to his Jewish identity. But these dark times raise existential questions about comedy and its uses.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:37AM
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Philippe Gaulier on the Art of Clowning and Sacha Baron Cohen by Jason Zinoman

The French master teacher Philippe Gaulier has worked with stars like Sacha Baron Cohen. But at 78, are his methods, which include insults, outdated?

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 01:54PM
Monday, May 24, 2021

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan, Our Most Underappreciated Comic by Jason Zinoman

As he turns 80, don’t be fooled by his serious music. From the start, his work has been filled with a cockeyed humor that can range from corny jokes to dark wit.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 09:53AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Is Livestreamed Stand-Up Here to Stay? by Jason Zinoman

Two online business models see a future post-pandemic, but success might depend on cooperating with actual clubs.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:43PM
Monday, March 22, 2021

Can You Love a Stand-Up Special About Loathing? by Jason Zinoman

James Acaster’s “Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999” is an outstanding show about the worst year in his life. (His girlfriend left him for Mr. Bean, and it went downhill from there.)

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:13PM
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I Miss Being Part of an Audience by Jason Zinoman

Crowds can be mindless, even dangerous. But that feeling of losing yourself as you experience art together hasn’t been replicated since live entertainment went online.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 10:03AM
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Inside the Minds of Two Expert Improv Comedians by Jason Zinoman

We asked the scene partners Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews to walk us through their thought processes as they ad-libbed a double date.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:36AM
Saturday, November 16, 2019

Make Way for the Carnal Clowns of Stand-Up by Jason Zinoman

Three rising comics share an aesthetic that marries crass physical humor with disarmingly sexual themes. They’re unsettling and hilarious.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:48PM
Thursday, August 22, 2019

‘Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles’ Review: Inside a Broadway … Tradition! by Jason Zinoman

A fascinating love letter to “Fiddler on the Roof” asks: What makes the quintessentially Jewish musical speak to everyone?

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 07:24AM
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Dave Chappelle on Broadway: The Joke Is Getting Old by Jason Zinoman

The comic hasn’t adjusted his material for the setting: he’s still defending wealthy, famous peers and joking about transgender targets.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 02:06PM
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Her Kind of Comedy: Lewd, Vulnerable and Self-Aware by Jason Zinoman

Jacqueline Novak is poised for a breakout with “Get on Your Knees,” a new one-woman show Off Broadway.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 09:03AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

On Comedy: The Wonderful Weirdness of Netflix’s First Great Sketch Comedy Show by Jason Zinoman

“I Think You Should Leave,” starring Tim Robinson, takes absurd premises to unpredictable places.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 06:35PM
Sunday, March 17, 2019

Jason Zinoman Explains What Michael Riedel Means (Beetlejuice) by Jason Zinoman

The new Michael Riedel column on Beetlejuice is a subtext-rich doozy. Time for a new Reidel translator.

SOURCE: Twitter at 07:12PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

On Comedy: Instead of Killer Punchlines, Killer Choruses by Jason Zinoman

In a loose-knit scene packing audiences into intimate New York spaces, comedians are getting big laughs with original songs.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 02:54PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Demolition Artist: 3 Critics Debate Ivo van Hove by Ben Brantley, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Jason Zinoman

Visionary stylist or one-trick pony? With “Network” on Broadway and “All About Eve” on the horizon, the multimedia-mad stage director is ready for his close-up.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:24AM
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Comedy: The Sociopathic Comedy of Brett Davis by Jason Zinoman

This anarchic, unhinged 30-ish comedian with a demented weekly cable access show also pulls stunts for a podcast, including marrying a Tide bottle.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:45PM
Monday, March 19, 2018

On Comedy: Introducing a Major New Voice in Comedy (Who Also Attacks Comedy) by Jason Zinoman

The Australian stand-up Hannah Gadsby examines a culture that excuses abuse and takes on comedy’s pieties. Laughter is not good medicine, in her view.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 01:10PM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

On Comedy: Kathy Griffin’s Wild Show: Defiant, Shaken, Then Fainting by Jason Zinoman

In a rambling but dramatic and fascinating performance in Dublin, the comic addressed the fallout from her widely condemned Trump photo.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 12:33PM
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Elevator Repair Service Tackles Shakespeare’s Problem Play by Jason Zinoman

The experimental theater company stages the Bard’s enigmatic “Measure for Measure” at the Public Theater.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 08:48AM
Friday, August 18, 2017

Tracy Morgan’s Post-Crash Comedy Comes to Caroline’s by Jason Zinoman

On the wings of his Netflix comedy special, “Staying Alive,” Mr. Morgan closes a stint at the comedy club with more of his near-death experience quipping.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 08:12AM
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tim and Eric Figure Out How to Do the Wrong Thing, Perfectly by Jason Zinoman

These two outsider comedians haven’t exactly gone mainstream, but they’ve had an outsize impact on communications from liquor ads to “Portlandia.”

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:32PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Joe Pera and Julio Torres Help Bring Comedy Back to Union Hall by Jason Zinoman

This Park Slope venue was shut down after a fire in March, but it has a strong slate of stand-up the week it reopens.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 01:19PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Three Daughters and a Fraying Father in ‘Napoli, Brooklyn’ by Jason Zinoman

Meghan Kennedy’s new play focuses on Italian parents and their three daughters growing up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 1960.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:48PM

On Comedy: She Swipes Right on Tinder, and Everyone’s in on the Joke by Jason Zinoman

Lane Moore’s shows involve real men on the dating app, but she works hard to avoid mocking them. The result is a clever show that’s deservedly a hit.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 04:04PM
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dear Evan Hansen, You Are a Creep by Jason Zinoman

The dissembling liar at the center of Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen. The hit Broadway musical is testament to the power of skillfully crafted art to obscure moral concerns.

SOURCE: Slate at 08:44PM
Thursday, May 18, 2017

‘Building the Wall’ Imagines Life After the Terror of 2019 by Jason Zinoman

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan focuses on a near future with New York under martial law.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 01:06PM

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