All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Thursday, November 8, 2018

American Son Review: Kerry Washington in Racial Nightmare on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

While anxiously waiting in a Miami police station for word of what happened to her son Jamal, an educated African-American woman named Kendra (Kerry Washington) talks with her estranged whit…

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Torch Song on Broadway Review: Harvey Fierstein’s Landmark Gay Play starring Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl by Jonathan Mandell

When Torch Song opened Off-Broadway a year ago, I noted that the issues affecting gay people that it explored remained unfortunately relevant 35 years after the play had debuted on Broadway,…

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: The Waverly Gallery. Elaine May thrills in her return to Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

Elaine May is back on a Broadway stage after more than 50 years, and making the most of it in The Waverly Gallery, Kenneth Lonergan’s meticulously observed, funny and sad play about a woma…

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Review: The Lifespan of a Fact, Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale by Jonathan Mandell

The first fact that fact-checker Jim (Daniel Radcliffe) argues about in the essay by  magazine writer John (Bobby Cannavale) is how many strip clubs there are in Las Vegas. Adult Industry N…

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Gloria A Life Review: Stories from Gloria Steinem’s life and the women’s movement as support group in trying times by Jonathan Mandell

  Gloria Steinem herself came out in the last twenty minutes of Gloria: A Life to lead the “talking circle,” an unscripted conversation with the audience. This was the officially de…

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mother of the Maid Review: Glenn Close as Joan of Arc’s mother by Jonathan Mandell

Genghis Khan had a mother; so did Amelia Earhart and Dwight Eisenhower.  Perhaps Mother of the Maid, starring Glenn Close as the woman whom Joan of Arc called Ma, will start a trend of offe…

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Apologia Review: Stockard Channing as Great Idealist, Bad Mother by Jonathan Mandell

In Apologia, the well-acted, finely directed Off-Broadway production of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s 2009 play,  Stockard Channing portrays Kristin Miller, a long-time activist, American expatri…

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Girl From the North Country Review: Dylan’s Music Set In His Hometown by Jonathan Mandell

Using 20 songs that Bob Dylan composed over half a century, playwright Conor McPherson has fashioned a slow, sad, elliptical and occasionally exquisite theater piece set in a run-down boardi…

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Nap Review. Some Laughs, A Big Twist, A Lot of Snooker. by Jonathan Mandell

How, one wondered, would British playwright Richard Bean, whose hilarious farce One Man, Two Guvnors made a star out of James Corden, create something as funny for Americans out of the Briti…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:18PM

Bernhardt/Hamlet Review: Janet McTeer as Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet by Jonathan Mandell

At the very end of Bernhardt/Hamlet, a new play on Broadway by Theresa Rebeck, we see an actual 1899 film clip of the renowned 19th century actress Sarah Bernhardt on stage, in the role of H…

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: The True. Edie Falco as Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s foul-mouthed political grandmother by Jonathan Mandell

The devotion that Dorothea “Polly” Noonan (Edie Falco,) a foul-mouthed political operative, shows to  Erastus Corning 2nd (Michael McKean,) the long-time mayor of Albany, is so intense …

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Gettin’ The Band Back Together Review: Tacky but Fun Musical About Middle Aged Rockers by Jonathan Mandell

From its first moments, Gettin’ The Band Back Together feels like the tackiest show on Broadway, an impression advanced by its lazy plot, uninspired garage rock score, dopey jokes, and cli…

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review: Pretty Woman on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

Vivian (Samantha Banks) is a hooker, Edward (Andy Karl) is a killer corporate raider who meets her on Hollywood Boulevard, and if the ensuing romance is no less a fable than it was in the hi…

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Be More Chill Review: Sci-Fi Fantasy of Teen Angst Makes it to Off-Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

To outsiders, Be More Chill is a hyper-energetic pop-rock musical opening tonight Off-Broadway, starring Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen) as a high school student named Jeremy Heere who sees h…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:33PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The best of the New York Musical Festival. Producers take note. by Jonathan Mandell

Alzheimer’s, homophobia, transphobia, immigration, the 1960s, and emojis: These were some of the subjects in the 15th annual New York Musical Festival,  or NYMF, which presented 30 musica…

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review: Head Over Heels, Elizabethan silliness to 80’s Go Go’s songs by Jonathan Mandell

Head Over Heels is a mash-up that sounds weird and unworkable: It’s a jukebox musical using 18 songs by the 1980s all-female L.A. punk band The Go-Go’s. But it’s also a loose adaptatio…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48PM

Straight White Men Review: Armie Hammer and Josh Charles Dance Together, Debate, Mansplain, Provoke by Jonathan Mandell

Straight White Men, a thought-provoking play by Young Jean Lee with a terrifically entertaining cast of Broadway newcomers including Armie Hammer, Josh Charles and Paul Schneider as rowdy br…

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Carmen Jones review: a sultry, seductive Anika Noni Rose by Jonathan Mandell

When Carmen Jones opened on Broadway in 1943, one critic hailed it as “something more than a major theatrical event.”  Seventy-five years later, the Classic Stage Company is presenting …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:42PM
Monday, June 25, 2018

Log Cabin Review: Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Play About LGBT Rights and Wrongs by Jonathan Mandell

Near the beginning of Log Cabin, four old LGBT friends are so struck by their sudden societal acceptance that one of them jokes “It’s here, the gay takeover we’ve been plotting all thi…

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Who SHOULD win The Tony Awards Sunday night and why by Jonathan Mandell

The 2018 Tony Awards will be presented Sunday, June 10 at 8pm (ET) on CBS. Despite the Broadway League’s crowing about the 2017-2018 season being “the highest-grossing and highest-attend…

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Boys in the Band Review: All gay A-list cast brings landmark play to Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

The boys are on Broadway, and they are fabulous. Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and the rest of the nine-member cast of The Boys in the Band look like they are enjoying themselves …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:36PM
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Long Days Journey Into Night Review: Jeremy Irons at BAM by Jonathan Mandell

By the end of the Broadway revival of Long Days Journey Into Night two years ago, when Jessica Lange as mother Mary Tyrone rejoins her family, she is an ethereal ghost, her mind and body num…

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Dance Nation Review: Funny, Sharp, Graphic Play about 13-Year-Old Girls by Jonathan Mandell

Dance Nation is a surprise, and a shock, and a delight. Although the characters are a team of 13-year-old competitive dancers from Liverpool, Ohio aiming to win the Boogie Down Grand Prix in…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:42PM
Monday, May 7, 2018

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire Review: Caryl Churchill’s Early Political Play May Meet Some Resistance by Jonathan Mandell

  To director Rachel Chavkin, her revival of Caryl Churchill’s early play about the English Civil War is a well-timed political work about a failed revolution, whose characters may in…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:42PM
Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Iceman Cometh Review: Denzel Washington Disappoints the Drunks by Jonathan Mandell

Yes, Denzel Washington is the reason audiences are drawn to the fifth Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, just as the hopeless drunks who inhabit Harry Hope’s sa…

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review:  A spectacle that even muggles can love by Jonathan Mandell

What if Harry Potter hadn’t existed until now? What if Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the five and a half hour play now on Broadway about two generations of Potters and their friends a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:42PM
Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical by Jonathan Mandell

Summer features 23 of Donna Summer’s songs, including such dance hits as “Hot Stuff” and “Last Dance,” that a talented cast performs in glitzy disco drag. That may be all some fans…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:32PM
Monday, April 16, 2018

Carousel Busting Out on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

The new “Carousel” has the most glorious singing on Broadway, as well as thrilling choreography and picturesque sets and costumes that seem lifted from great American paintings by Thomas…

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: Royal Shakespeare Company’s King Lear by Jonathan Mandell

King Lear begins with a foolish ruler swayed by flattery, and ends with what Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Greg Doran calls “a strange, profound unease.” Shakespeare’s tr…

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Three Tall Women Review: Glenda Jackson and Albee on Broadway, Triumphant by Jonathan Mandell

“I was tall and I was strong,”  recalls the oldest woman in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, and you believe it, because it is Glenda Jackson, who commands even as she winces in pain …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:21PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Bedlam Theatre’s Pygmalion: My Fair Lady, minus the music, plus commentary on class, gender and race by Jonathan Mandell

Has My Fair Lady turned its source material, Pygmalion, into an outdated curiosity? Bedlam dares you to compare, deliberately mounting its production of George Bernard Shaw’s century-old p…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:00PM

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