All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Chase Brock Experience: “The Four Seasons” by Joel Benjamin

His more abstract ballets for The Chase Brock Experience, such as its current presentation at Theatre Row, "The Four Seasons" to the Vivaldi score (a revival from 2006), did not fare quite a…

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical by Joel Benjamin

Do we really need another Jukebox Musical on Broadway—another hum-along, sing-along, déjà vu, vaguely autobiographical songfest? When the subject is as charged up as Tina Turner, the ans…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company: Bittersweet, Tormenta, Tabernacle and Las Desenarmoradas by Joel Benjamin

Artistic director Enrique Cruz DeJesus presented a performance of Alpha Omega in preparation for the troupe’s fiftieth anniversary season next year.  This concert featured two works by th…

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Tiffany Mills Company: “Not then, not yet” by Joel Benjamin

Tiffany Mills’ "Not then, not yet," a world premiere dance/theater work at The Flea proposed a dark, slightly chaotic view of relationships and alienation choreographed on her own troupe, …

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

BrandoCapote by Joel Benjamin

In 1957 Truman Capote disingenuously misled the legendary actor Marlon Brando into opening up to him under the guise of helping to publicize the soppy melodrama, Sayonara which Brando was th…

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Little Shop of Horrors by Joel Benjamin

In a counterintuitive casting coup, handsome Jonathan Groff stars as the nebbish Seymour Krelborn who works at Mushnik’s (a funny, kvetchy Tom Alan Robbins) failing flower shop on Skid Row…

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Sound Inside by Joel Benjamin

On Broadway every once in a while writing, acting, directing and the technical production come together to profound, memorable effect.  Adam Rapp’s "The Sound Inside" at Studio 54 is a su…

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Games by Joel Benjamin

"Games" shines a light on the long forgotten stories of two Jewish athletes in post-World War I Germany, a Germany that slid into National Socialism by the 1930’s, effecting the lives of H…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall for Dance 2019: Program 5 by Joel Benjamin

Monica Bill Barnes totally changed the mood with her thoroughly delightful “The Running Show” which used physical contests as a metaphor for dance.  Barnes stood in the midst of sixteen…

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Fall for Dance 2019: Program 4 by Joel Benjamin

The final work, “Unveiling” by Sonya Tayeh, director of Tayeh Dance, known now as the choreographer of the Broadway hit 'Moulin Rouge!," used a trio which appeared to be about a female (…

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Glass Menagerie by Joel Benjamin

It is Ginger Grace as Amanda that is the crowning glory of this production.  Though slender and frail looking, she is still a powerful, if bothersome figure, memories of a golden southern b…

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

BalletX: The Little Prince by Joel Benjamin

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s "The Little Prince" (1943) has been studied, analyzed, and staged as any number of plays, ballets, musicals and an unsuccessful film.  So, it was with great in…

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The Green Room by Joel Benjamin

These four characters are, unfortunately, not interesting enough to fill a 90-minute musical, especially one that covers territory better served by other shows like "A Chorus Line," "Fame" a…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Rubberband: “Ever So Slightly” by Joel Benjamin

Quite simply, Rubberband, the Montreal-based dance troupe’s season at The Joyce Theater was a spectacular success.  Directed by Victor Quijada, Rubberband performed his "Ever So Slightly,…

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

I Never Sang for My Father by Joel Benjamin

The trouble is Lee’s almost catatonic approach to Gene.  He speaks in a toneless monotone and adapts a monolithic physical approach, his hands constantly held stiffly at his sides.  When…

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Ringdove by Joel Benjamin

What raised "The Ringdove" above mere creative story-time theater was the exquisite artwork and detailed performances.  The perfect, colorful costumes (by Casey Compton) that evoked everyth…

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Guangzhou Ballet of China: “Carmina Burana” & “Goddess of the Luo River” by Joel Benjamin

Presented at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater by the China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd., the company used its impressive resource of dancers in two large-scale ballets:  "Godde…

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Under Siege (Yang Liping Contemporary Dance Company of China) by Joel Benjamin

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival 2019 presented the lavish, yet somehow intimate, "Under Siege," a stunning production of the Yang Liping Contemporary Dance Company of China.Its chi…

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Ballet Festival 2019: Program A by Joel Benjamin

The Joyce Theater is presenting a two-week Ballet Festival, four programs under the artistic direction of Kevin O’Hare, director of The Royal Ballet.  Each program is curated by a differe…

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Ballet Festival: Program A by Joel Benjamin

Joseph Sissens in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits,” in The Joyce Theater’s Ballet Festival (Program A) (Photo credit: Maria Baranova)The Joyce Theater is present…

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Blak Whyte Gray (Boy Blue) by Joel Benjamin

Co-conceived by Asante and Kenrik “H2O” Sandy who choreographed and directed the production, "Blak Whyte Gray" was constructed in two parts and three sections.  Part I began with “Why…

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Monica: This Play is Not About Monica Lewinsky by Joel Benjamin

The title of playwright Dianne Nora’s fascinating new work, "Monica: This Play is Not About Monica Lewinsky," is disingenuous.  Is it about you-know-who?  Well, yes and no.  There were …

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Freddie Falls in Love by Joel Benjamin

How Freddie resolves his amorous adventures is cleverly handled by Blackstone using an imaginative combination of ballet, modern dance, mime and popular dance forms.  The score is made up o…

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Maria Kochetkova: Catch Her If You Can by Joel Benjamin

Russian-born Maria Kochetkova, the petite ballerina who spent the major portion of her career with the San Francisco Ballet, has turned herself into a small-scale Diaghilev.  Her Maria Koch…

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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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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue