All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Six Years Old by Joel Benjamin

"Six Years Old" is a gem of a play, its facets polished by the director Helen Handelman.  Every emotional revelation, no matter how subtle is illuminated by the acting of its four-member ca…

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Mark Morris Dance Group 2019: “Sport” by Joel Benjamin

The world premiere “Sport,” choreographed to more than twenty bits and pieces by Erik Satie, appropriately named “Sports et divertissements” (played by the brilliant pianist Colin Fo…

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Bourneville Legacy by Joel Benjamin

The second part of the program was a bonanza of Bournonville excerpts, danced to not particularly memorable scores, that worked well even without colorful scenery.  The beautiful, colorful …

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Masquerade by Joel Benjamin

Ukrainian director Rimas Tuminas has led the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia in a massacre of Mikhail Lermontov’s 1845 play "Masquerade."  Presented by the Cherry Orchard Fest…

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Three Musketeers: 1941 by Joel Benjamin

Megan Monaghan Rivas’ gender-bending take on the popular, much-adapted Alexandre Dumas 1844 novel, "The Three Musketeers," moves the action from the 17th century to Paris during World War …

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Friday, June 14, 2019

The Pygmalion Effect by Joel Benjamin

By placing his ballet in the realm of the high-strung ballroom world, Eifman supplied himself plenty of excuses to make dances that bounced about the stage to his score of a parade of waltze…

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Midnight Street by Joel Benjamin

Cohen is clearly an intelligent, well-read man, familiar with the twists and turns of different periods and styles.  "Midnight Street" is chock full of ideas, poetic meanderings and some wo…

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Michael Mao Dance 2019 by Joel Benjamin

Michael Mao Dance is celebrating 26 years of presenting Mao’s work and if his recent program at the Ailey Citigroup Theater is any evidence, there is reason to believe he will continue for…

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Octet by Joel Benjamin

Malloy, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, has taken a novel approach, staging Octet as if it were a 12-step program in which all the members of the group express their inner thoughts thr…

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1965 & 1978 by Joel Benjamin

Several songs were from flop shows and given new life by Streisand:  “He Touched Me” from "Drat! The Cat!" sung with infectious flirtatiousness by Lianne Marie Dobbs; “Why Did I Choos…

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Curse of the Starving Class by Joel Benjamin

The original production of "Curse of the Starving Class" in 1977 was a shocker even for a time when permissiveness prevailed.  Kinney seems to have decided that the play Shepard wrote isn…

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Monday, May 20, 2019

High Button Shoes by Joel Benjamin

But, fear not!  The Encores! creative team—director John Rando, music director, Rob Berman and choreographer Sarah O’Gleby—found a terrific cast led by Michael Urie in the Phil Silver…

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland by Joel Benjamin

"Pepperland," however, will not do anything for Morris’ reputation as a choreographer.  His dearth of choreographic invention—including constant repetition of a few steps, gestures and …

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Monday, May 13, 2019

92Y Lyrics & Lyricists Series: “A Beautiful Dawning: ‘Oklahoma!’ at 75” by Joel Benjamin

Ted Chapin, the writer and host of the 92Y Lyrics & Lyricists Series’ "A Beautiful Dawning: Oklahoma! at 75," did an impeccable job creating one of the best editions of this important …

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tootsie by Joel Benjamin

Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels still has most of his/her friends and professional acquaintances from the movie version with some new twists:  Jeff Slater, his playwright roommate (a wonder…

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Friday, May 3, 2019

The Battles of Richmond Hill by Joel Benjamin

It is a well crafted story of a feisty seventy-something Sheila O’Connor (Nora Chester who does feisty beautifully) whose grandson, physician Brian O’Connor (an earnest Jordan Ahnquist),…

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Socrates by Joel Benjamin

For all you philosophy junkies out there—and you know who you are—Tim Blake Nelson’s world premiere "Socrates" at The Public Theater, the shining light of The Public’s Onassis Festiv…

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain by Joel Benjamin

Likability is in short supply nowadays and the three playwright/performers who created this comedy, based on an actual pamphlet handed to Americans during World War II, have spun the dry, in…

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

17 Border Crossings by Joel Benjamin

"17 Border Crossings" is one of the most technically adroit Off-Broadway shows to be seen thanks to the split second cooperation between Phillips’ spare scenery design, David Todaro’s br…

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Martin Vidnovic: Broadway & Beyond by Joel Benjamin

With the medley of “My Romance” and “My Funny Valentine,” he warmed up and came to a gentle boil with the two songs from "Baby": “At Night She Comes Home to Me” and “With You,…

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Twelfth Night (Duende Productions) by Joel Benjamin

By stripping down the show and performing it in a white box theater space with minimal scenery and costumes, the eight actors, doubling up on parts, have fun interpreting Shakespeare’s lus…

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Charlie’s Waiting by Joel Benjamin

Ludovica Villar-Hauser, the play’s keen eyed and eared director (and artistic director of Parity Productions the company responsible for this presentation), paces the fine actors for the u…

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lori Belilove and The Isadora Duncan Dance Company: “March Madness” by Joel Benjamin

Belilove, who has taught Sara Mearns of the New York City Ballet to perform some of these works, divided the concert into dances to Schubert, Chopin, Brahms and Scriabin, all original Duncan…

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Tilt by Joel Benjamin

The Experimental Theater Space at the Abrons, a not particularly large black box, was turned into a complex construction site by the "Tilt" creative staff, a truly unique interactive set. …

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Smart Blonde by Joel Benjamin

Using the premise of a 1964 recording session that stimulates her many memories, good and bad, the play serves as a moving tribute to Holliday even though it doesn’t shy away from the dark…

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

I Married an Angel by Joel Benjamin

A lot has been made of the parallels between the original 1938 production of "I Married an Angel" for which George Balanchine choreographed the dances for his soon-to-be wife, the glamorous …

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Princess Zhaojun by Joel Benjamin

Produced in New York City by the China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd., "Princess Zhaojun" was performed by the members of the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater.  It was dire…

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Vilna by Joel Benjamin

"Vilna," written by Ira Fuchs, is one of the more successful stage dramas to deal with the Holocaust, a notoriously difficult subject to portray on stage.  That this play succeeds as well a…

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Ballet Contemporáneo de Camagűey by Joel Benjamin

The Camagűey troupe danced Ruiz’s work as if born to his vigorously eclectic style.  His choreography is an amalgam of ballet, modern dance, break-dancing, folk dancing and Latin ballroo…

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

A Jewish Joke by Joel Benjamin

"A Jewish Joke" brings immediacy to not only the personal and professional effects of the Hollywood blacklist, but to the current onslaught of internet finger-pointing and fear-mongering tha…

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Boesman and Lena by Joel Benjamin

The production of "Boesman and Lena" at The Pershing Square Signature Center directed with attention to every detail by Yaël Farber is stark and unforgiving in a way that would have been sh…

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