All stories by Joel Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Monday, February 6, 2023

On Set with Theda Bara by Joel Benjamin

David Greenspan, the shape-shifting thespian, has taken on yet another multi-character play, as if his one-man "Strange Interlude" and his more recent "Four Saints in Three Acts" whet his ap…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:58AM
Thursday, February 2, 2023

Cullberg: “Horse, the Solos” by Joel Benjamin

Though only an hour long, Deborah Hay’s Horse, the Solos (2021), set on the dancers of Cullberg (founded in 1967 as the Cullberg Ballet by the late, eminent Swedish choreographer Birgit Cu…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 04:56PM
Saturday, January 28, 2023

tanzmainz: “Soul Chain” by Joel Benjamin

Three solos were stunning in their display of physical endurance.  One woman moved forward, repeatedly kicking one leg behind her nearly touching her head with her foot.  Another, tall and…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:29PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Natalia Osipova: Force of Nature by Joel Benjamin

The ballerina Natalia Osipova easily transformed herself from spectral to sensuous to eerie in just the first half of her 'Force of Nature" program at the New York City Center. The show—pr…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 04:11PM
Saturday, January 21, 2023

A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical by Joel Benjamin

When the older Diamond reaches an existential breaking point, he finally stands up, stage center and takes command of his memories, experiences and his life with an intensely concentrated re…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 09:26PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Hong Kong Ballet: “Romeo + Juliet” by Joel Benjamin

Webre went for acrobatics and precision rather than passion.  Perhaps, the Chinese Communist regime frowns upon openly sexual expression in dance.  Perhaps Webre can’t summon anything bu…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 02:35PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Darkness After Night: Ukraine by Joel Benjamin

"Darkness: unfolds in many very short scenes with some confusing transitions.  Dubashin, the traitor to Russia, finally gets to confront Number One in a knock-down personal battle.  The on…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 01:18PM
Monday, December 19, 2022

Some Like It Hot by Joel Benjamin

Matthew López & Amber Ruffin (book) and Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (music and lyrics) have transformed the written-for-laughs film into a joyous musical, keeping much of the sharp…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:51PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx by Joel Benjamin

Under the permissive direction of Garfield-Szita—who also designed the costumes—the cast comes across more as members of a sitcom than a serious drama, not helped by Morgenstein’s depe…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 02:46PM
Monday, November 28, 2022

Eleanor and Alice: Conversations Between Two Remarkable Roosevelts by Joel Benjamin

Ellen Abrams’ new play "Eleanor and Alice – Conversations Between Two Remarkable Roosevelts" explores their superficial courtesies in a series of conversations spanning 1904 until 1962, …

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:57AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Kimberly Akimbo by Joel Benjamin

"Kimberly Akimbo," David Lindsay-Abaire’s oddball take on the title character’s dishearteningly sad disease, began life as a play back in 2001, reaching New York via the Manhattan Theatr…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 01:35PM
Saturday, November 19, 2022

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by Joel Benjamin

A touching portrait of a father and his alienated son unfolds in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s "Where the Mountain Meets the Sea" by Jeff Augustin, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. ... "When…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 09:20PM
Monday, November 14, 2022

The Piano Lesson by Joel Benjamin

LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Samuel L. Jackson’s wife) has directed in a desultory fashion.  Long, revealing monologues, the backbone of this particular play, are delivered directly to the…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:12AM
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Catch as Catch Can by Joel Benjamin

Chung has the six characters played by three actors, each playing a parent/child duo switching from one to the other in confusing frequency. In addition, each actor plays a parent of the opp…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 03:02PM
Monday, November 7, 2022

Parade by Joel Benjamin

World events have inadvertently raised the significance of the New York City Center’s Annual Gala presentation of the brilliant new staging of the Jason Robert Brown/Alfred Uhry musical Pa…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 03:53PM
Sunday, November 6, 2022

Vatican Falls by Joel Benjamin

You won’t find Vatican Falls on any map about picturesque raging waters.  No, Frank J. Avella’s new play, "Vatican Falls," is, instead, a passionate, sometimes humorous, indictment of t…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:44AM
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Our Voices, Our Time: One-Act Play Festival by Joel Benjamin

The venerable, historic Negro Ensemble Company is presenting an intriguing program at the equally venerable, historic Cherry Lane Theatre: "Our Voices, Our Time: One-Act Play Festival." The …

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 05:19PM
Saturday, October 29, 2022

Twlya Tharp: “In the Upper Room” & “Nine Sinatra Songs” by Joel Benjamin

A scene from Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room” at New York City Center (Photo credit: Benjamin Miller) Joel Benjamin, Critic When Twyla Tharp’s ballets are good, they are great: wor…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:00PM
Monday, October 24, 2022

Chushingura – 47 Ronin by Joel Benjamin

It’s not clear what Amaterasu Za’s mission is.  If, as Dachs’ program comments indicate, it is to bring Japanese culture to modern audiences, the company needs to be less stodgy and m…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:35PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2022

1776 by Joel Benjamin

Directed by Jeffrey L. Page (who also did the simplistic choreography) and Diane Paulus, this production’s well-meaning gimmick is to have all the historic characters played by a “cast t…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:37AM
Monday, October 10, 2022

Our Town…but Wilder by Joel Benjamin

Krevolin is a clever writer, turning Wilder’s American folk tale into a modern comedy/drama with relevance to today’s audiences.  Although he often makes his points a bit too obviously …

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 04:51PM
Monday, October 3, 2022

New York City Center Fall for Dance 2022: Program 4 by Joel Benjamin

"Men of Kyiv," choreographed to high-spirited traditional folk music by Pavlo Virsky, pitted two groups of men—one wearing blue T-shirts, the other yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian nati…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 12:57PM
Monday, September 26, 2022

Fall for Dance Festival 2022: Program 1 by Joel Benjamin

Perhaps the supreme dance festival in New York City, maybe even in the world, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance 2022 is celebrating its 19th year of presenting a panoply of domestic an…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:50PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Four Saints in Three Acts by Joel Benjamin

Greenspan isn’t always totally clear when switching points of view, but made up for this by turning the entire, long script into a wonderland of gestures, vocalizations, postures and movem…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 02:45PM
Sunday, September 18, 2022

Love, Sex and Real Estate by Joel Benjamin

"Love, Sex & Real Estate" moves swiftly, thanks to John D. McNally’s direction.  He skillfully manages the quick shifts between romantic liaisons, real estate discussions, Ugo’s you…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 09:30PM
Monday, September 12, 2022

Strings Attached by Joel Benjamin

From the clever double entendre title to its fantastical involvement of three famous long dead physicists, Carole Buggé’s "Strings Attached" tries very hard to rise out of the morass what…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 05:50PM
Monday, August 29, 2022

Two Jews, Talking by Joel Benjamin

If Samuel Beckett had been a Jew, his "Waiting for Godot"’s Estragon and Vladimir could have emerged as the equally quirky "Two Jews, Talking," in the appealing new two-hander by Ed. Weinb…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 08:17PM
Friday, August 26, 2022

Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle by Joel Benjamin

Part of Ramón’s game plan to increase attendance is to create a Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle mascot.  In a move that changes his life, Arlo is drafted to don a hilarious, smelly rat co…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 10:45PM
Friday, August 19, 2022

The Sarasota Ballet 2022 by Joel Benjamin

The second Ashton ballet was "Varii Capricci," his clever take on Bronislava Nijinska’s "Les Biches" from 1924.  Her ballet was a tongue-in-cheek comment on the sexually liberated, chic y…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 04:45PM
Friday, August 12, 2022

BAAND Together Dance Festival 2022 at Lincoln Center by Joel Benjamin

The dancers were attired in puffy white tutus and black tights, the men bare-chested—chic costumes by the choreographer.  They pranced, undulated their torsos, tossed each other around an…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 11:56PM
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Adventures in Vegas by Joel Benjamin

A tiny dynamo, Bell Wolff, early in her career, found the perfect role as Ermengarde in several productions of "Hello, Dolly!". She yearned to perform the bigger part of Minnie Faye and near…

SOURCE: www.theaterscene.net at 09:22PM

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