All stories by John Simon on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Canadians and Others by John Simon

I have nothing against Canadians save that their export in shows is always questionable, whether it is “To Grandmother’s House We Go,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” or now “Come From A…

Linked From John Simon at 08:54PM

Marriage, Good, Bad and Indifferent by John Simon

Marriage, what a glorious and godawful, tremendous and terrible thing it is! Of all inventions one of the few rightfully enduring ones, but surely an invention. Not something born into one a…

Linked From John Simon at 08:54PM
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

STYLE by John Simon

In his “Books for Living,” Will Schwalbe refers to a friend as having an enjoyable style in his writing. He does not elaborate on what made it enjoyable. But whatever it was, it had to b…

Linked From John Simon at 05:12PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

Barbara Hugo by John Simon

Her name was Barbara Hugo, and she was beautiful, and perhaps a touch otherworldly in her delicate loveliness. But let me make clear, she was no fragile, pretty-pretty China doll. Perhaps mo…

Linked From John Simon at 11:54AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Contra Trump by John Simon

One morning, Lord Byron woke up and found himself famous. One more recent morning, we awoke and found ourselves infamous: Donald J. Trump had been elected President. Only an atom bomb would …

Linked From John Simon at 12:03AM
Monday, February 6, 2017

FASHION by John Simon

What a bizarre, paradoxical, self-contradictory and ephemeral thing is fashion! On the one hand, it challenges haute couture to come up with ever more unique, far out, incomparable women’s…

Linked From John Simon at 12:06PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

TEACHERS by John Simon

My fans sometimes ask me whether I have learned from other writers, and if so, what and from whom. This does not elicit easy answers for more reasons than one. The first probable influence i…

Linked From John Simon at 01:48PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bittersweet by John Simon

“Sweet Charity” is as good a musical as can lap at the heels of top tier, and can even, in the right production, make it there. It does, after all, have a book by Neil Simon, music by Cy…

Linked From John Simon at 03:42PM
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Etcetera by John Simon

So now we have “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1912,” transferred after a hiatus to Broadway and ensconced at the Imperial Theater, in a grandiose setting it does not really de…

Linked From John Simon at 06:48PM

More Second Opinions by John Simon

“Dear Evan Hansen” was, in my view, an undeserved hit Off Broadway, and is so again on Broadway, once more harvesting critical raves as numerous and useless as fallen autumn leaves. In…

Linked From John Simon at 06:48PM

Nicky Silver, Perky and Pointed by John Simon

All writers in general and playwrights in particular are uneven. Perfection is not a widely recognized human attribute. As the poet Horace cannily observed, “Sometimes even good old Homer …

Linked From John Simon at 06:48PM
Monday, November 14, 2016

THEATRE: SECOND OPINIONS by John Simon

The Westchester Guardian is gone, and once again I have had the horse shot out from under me. True, it may not have been much of a mount—more like Don Quixote’s spavined nag Rosinante—…

Linked From John Simon at 03:42PM
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CHARMING MISTAKES by John Simon

Some few mistakes are actually charming. A bunch of us Harvard undergraduates were fans of the delightful French soprano Lily Pons. So we sent her an ardent fan letter, naively hoping for a …

Linked From John Simon at 05:06PM
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Immortality by John Simon

Ever since the year one, and probably even before, people have speculated about death and what could be done to defeat it, as in John Donne’s famous sonnet. But live forever not in Donne…

Linked From John Simon at 07:50PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Noses by John Simon

Probably the most famous reference to the nose is the phrase “Cleopatra’s nose,”  derived from Pascal’s celebrated pensee, “If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter, the whol…

Linked From John Simon at 12:26AM
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Morality by John Simon

Clearly, justice must be the same for all, but is this not true also of morality? Yet for some people, under certain circumstances, this is hardly the case. There exist certain persons by wh…

Linked From John Simon at 08:46PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beginnings by John Simon

Like first impressions in life, and rather more so, first impressions, i.e., beginnings in fiction matter. They may not be quite all important, but they do invite and influence readership.Ta…

Linked From John Simon at 01:09AM
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fetish, Anyone? by John Simon

Fetishes are called kinks or perversions and refer to any deviance from the accepted “normal” sexual practice. But is there not a certain flexibility allowed for them? Homosexuality, for…

Linked From John Simon at 09:08PM
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

POLITICS by John Simon

Politics is a mug’s game, and by mug I don’t mean Donald Trump’s countenance that television would have me contemplate with scant respite. Mrs. Clinton looks more presentable, by which…

Linked From John Simon at 02:26PM
Monday, May 16, 2016

ESSAY by John Simon

This was a brief introductory comment to a prize-giving dinner for student essayists at Hunter College.I would imagine that all of you have heard of the Pen Club, the premier international o…

Linked From John Simon at 04:01PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

FRANCE by John Simon

I have always been a Francophile, hugely fond of France. There has been only one thing that I didn’t like about it: the French. To be exact, not all the French, only the petit bourgeois va…

Linked From John Simon at 02:40PM
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rhyme by John Simon

What does the expression “without rhyme or reason” tell us about rhyme? It seems to me to mean that, along with reason, it is one of two valid alternative modes of expression, at least i…

Linked From John Simon at 02:14PM
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mistakes, Minor and Major by John Simon

Let me start with a postscript to a previous blog entry about obesity. There is a plea on ABC television for locating missing children, which provides a picture and description of them, and,…

Linked From John Simon at 10:42AM
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Obesity by John Simon

Any discussion of obesity comes down to the not particularly friendly contest between thick and thin, with the body as the chief battleground. Mostly the female nude, because that has been t…

Linked From John Simon at 06:58PM
Friday, January 1, 2016

Memory by John Simon

Memory is one of our most interesting possessions; its failure, our possibly most grievous loss. What enhances its importance is its mystery, its surprises, its ultimate inscrutability.Its c…

Linked From John Simon at 04:19PM
Sunday, December 6, 2015

Naomi Wallace by John Simon

Naomi Wallace’s “Night Is a Room” was recently playing at the Signature Center, the third part of a trilogy from their playwright in residence. Wallace has received every conceivable a…

Linked From John Simon at 03:57AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UGLINESS by John Simon

A letter in the November 23rd New York Times from Bonnie Berry, the author of “Discrimination and Social Power,” expresses her approval of Julia Baird’s November 9th Op-Ed essay “Bei…

Linked From John Simon at 12:00AM
Friday, October 9, 2015

What’s in a Name? by John Simon

This one really works only in German, but I’ll render it into English. “What’s the dog’s name?” the new maid asks. “Herkules,” says the mistress. “Herr Kules?” responds the…

Linked From John Simon at 06:28PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Absurd by John Simon

A time when puny Roberta Vinci—bless her!—derails the elephantine Serena on her route to the Grand Slam, the moment is rife for a discussion of the Absurd, which I deliberately capitaliz…

Linked From John Simon at 04:56AM
Monday, August 17, 2015

Ljiljana by John Simon

Her name was Ljiljana, Serbian for Lilian, and she was my first love. To be sure, in kindergarten I was smitten with Milica, who did not reciprocate, but that doesn’t count anyway. One had…

Linked From John Simon at 03:34PM
Thursday, July 23, 2015

THE WORLD OF SPORT by John Simon

What is being a sports fan really about? Is it just like an addiction to chess or light beer or mashed potatoes? Well, no; it’s more than that. It makes you a citizen of a parallel world.A…

Linked From John Simon at 05:02PM

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