All stories by John Simon on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Critics and the (Un)criticized by John Simon

One person’s critic is another person’s crackpot. That they are not united in their opinions is ascribable to the Latin saying: quot homines, tot sententiae. I myself prefer being consid…

SOURCE: John Simon at 12:48PM
Monday, September 16, 2019

Betrayal by John Simon

We have here Robert, a publisher; his best friend, Jerry, a literary agent; Emma, Robert’s sassy wife, a gallerist, for seven years Jerry’s clandestine mistress, but no longer so for two…

SOURCE: John Simon at 03:42AM
Thursday, August 29, 2019

by John Simon

MUSICALS ENDANGEREDWhat Is happening to America's greatest contribution to the theater, musical comedy? Why so many jukebox musicals? Why so many paltry shows?  Why haven't you even tried…

SOURCE: John Simon at 10:24AM


MUSICALS ENDANGEREDWhat Is happening to America's greatest contribution to the theater, musical comedy? Why so many jukebox musicals? Why so many paltry shows?  Why haven't you even tried…

SOURCE: John Simon at 03:48AM
Monday, August 12, 2019

Moulin Rouge! by John Simon

If you like splash, “Moulin Rouge!” is the show for you. Even more than the Baz Luhrmann movie, on which the musical is loosely based, it can hold your wonderment without abate from star…

SOURCE: John Simon at 09:48AM

Road Show by John Simon

It was clever of Encores! to revive Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical “Road Show,” a musical with some gorgeous music both for individuals and choral. The orchestra under Jam…

SOURCE: John Simon at 09:48AM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

In Praise of Slow by John Simon

Americans are almost always in a hurry, though rush is all too often rash. Even cars are often sold on speed disallowed by law, and so essentially useless. Emblematic is horse racing, , with…

SOURCE: John Simon at 09:36PM

Broadway’s Rising Stars by John Simon

Every year we get a “Broadway’s Rising Stars” show produced by Scott Siegel at Town Hall, a revue of songs performed by recent college graduates aspiring to careers in musical theater …

SOURCE: John Simon at 09:36PM
Sunday, July 7, 2019

Betty Buckley & Donald Margulies by John Simon

There are two ways to be an actor—either to disappear into the role, or to let the role come to you. In other words, to be a modest interpreter or an overwhelming personality. In still oth…

SOURCE: John Simon at 01:36AM
Monday, June 17, 2019

Gozzoli! by John Simon

I’ve always been fond of tiny triumphs that seem to come out of nowhere to score surprise effects. Let me evoke three such incidents. One long ago day some of us were cruising the labyrin…

SOURCE: John Simon at 12:48PM
Monday, May 20, 2019

Name Fudging by John Simon

I can’t help it but I am an entrenched traditionalist—or, if you prefer, conventional soul—about names. I have no serious quarrel with those who invent names for themselves, but if you…

SOURCE: John Simon at 01:36PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Old by John Simon

The British novelist L. P. Hartley is remembered chiefly for the novel and movie version of “The Go-Between,” beginning with “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently …

SOURCE: John Simon at 05:14PM
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Fashion by John Simon

Fashion matters. Consider haute couture designer Karl Lagerfeld’s recent obituaries, extensive enough to be worthy of a prince or president. To be sure, Lagerfeld was, in uniqueness and in…

SOURCE: John Simon at 03:40PM
Sunday, February 17, 2019

Great Performances by John Simon

What exactly is a great performance by an actor or actress on stage or screen? Or if not exactly, because it involves something words seem unable to express fully, at least approximately.It …

SOURCE: John Simon at 11:12PM
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Curse Words by John Simon

Persons of extreme sensitivity or puritanical leanings might as well stop reading right here; others might find, as I do, each language ‘s choice of curse words and  purported profani…

SOURCE: John Simon at 11:48AM
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Apologia by John Simon

“Through more than thirty years of writing and behavior, Simon has shown us how easy it is to be a snake.” So ends an attack on me of a good many years ago on Salon by Charles Taylor, sh…

SOURCE: John Simon at 12:48AM
Friday, January 4, 2019

Of Love and Food by John Simon

In a recent blog post I enumerated poems or parts of poems that have been amiably haunting me all my life. Yet there is one of tem that, though frequently recurrent, I did not mention. It ru…

SOURCE: John Simon at 04:36PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Death by John Simon

Herewith a number of lyric verse quotations about death or dying from books in my collection. Where the source is formal, rhyming verse, I tend to include the original; where it is prose or …

SOURCE: John Simon at 12:04PM
Saturday, November 10, 2018

Favorite Quotations by John Simon

Some of what follows may be repetition, but a good thing bears repeating, especially in an age when so much bad stuff is prevailing. So what I am discussing and explicating are touchstones a…

SOURCE: John Simon at 11:42PM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Foot Fetishism by John Simon

A fetish is, according to one definition, an object or body part, that elicits adoration or sexual arousal, and may in extreme cases be needed for complete sexual gratification. It is usuall…

SOURCE: John Simon at 12:36AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

IRONY by John Simon

The text today is irony, from the Greek for dissimulation, as I learn from J. R. Cuddon’s marvelous book (more about that anon), from which I quote the following, enough for an initial def…

SOURCE: John Simon at 02:06AM
Saturday, September 1, 2018

Questions by John Simon

Some questions may be hard to answer, yet they must be asked. And answering is not enough: they must , when answered, also be acted upon. They are like potholes on the roads, so numerous tha…

SOURCE: John Simon at 08:36PM
Monday, August 20, 2018

Lapses by John Simon

Under the rubric “Lapses, let me start with two flagrantly poor specimens of usage, which I find particularly painful. Both are exemplars of redundancy, excess verbiage that can and should…

SOURCE: John Simon at 03:42PM
Monday, July 16, 2018

Cultured Person by John Simon

This is about what qualifies an individual as a cultured person. It is perforce so from my particular point of view; from someone else’s, it may well differ. According to Bryan Garner’s&…

SOURCE: John Simon at 06:54PM
Monday, June 25, 2018

Abortion by John Simon

This little essay was composed before the wonderful news from Roman Catholic Ireland: a thunderous yes to legitimizing abortion. Now if only other Catholic countries would share the pluck of…

SOURCE: John Simon at 01:06AM
Friday, May 25, 2018

Titles by John Simon

Titles do matter, at the very least in garnering desirable tables in restaurants, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. By this I mean titles both of people and of literary works, amon…

SOURCE: John Simon at 05:33PM
Saturday, April 21, 2018


My time as a graduate student in Comparative Literature was as good as can be, and a pleasure to recall. Who would have thought that it would be this enjoyable?Since I could no longer stay i…

SOURCE: John Simon at 04:36PM
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Names, Again by John Simon

Here I am again with a blog post on names, names that I find variously interesting. Take, for example, Dove. It is the name of a very good chocolate and a very good soap, and a worthy but no…

SOURCE: John Simon at 10:12PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

by John Simon

Eeminism etc.The American Heritage Dictionary defines feminism as "Belief  in or advocacy of women's  social political, and economic rights, especially with regard to equality of t…

SOURCE: John Simon at 03:25PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jokes Etc. by John Simon

Jokes are our friends that accompany us through life—at least he good ones are. They made us laugh when we first heard or read them, and they make us smile as we summon them up from our me…

SOURCE: John Simon at 06:44AM
Monday, January 22, 2018

Critics and Criticism by John Simon

“Are critics necessary?” a good many people ask, not a few of them the butts of some kind of criticism. Certainly if dray horses, victims of he whip, could speak, the answer would be No.…

SOURCE: John Simon at 09:18PM

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