All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kid Victory Review: Kander Musical on Aftermath of a Kidnapping by Jonathan Mandell

There is one song by John Kander in Kid Victory that recalls the composer’s collaboration with Fred Ebb in both Cabaret and Chicago – “What’s the Point?” a jaunty, satiric tap-danc…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:36PM
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House Review: when an actor’s day job can be murder by Jonathan Mandell

“The theatre is gone, but there are new things now,” says Matthew Broderick in Wallace Shawn’s chilling comedy, which imagines a dystopian but familiar society where former theatre peo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:18PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tracy Letts’ Man from Nebraska Review by Jonathan Mandell

There are three great reasons to see the New York stage debut of Man From Nebraska, without even knowing what it’s about: Its author Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), its director David …

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Off-Broadway review: Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges in Yen by Jonathan Mandell

Yen, a bleak British play that opens tonight Off-Broadway, stars Lucas Hedges, Oscar-nominated last week for his role in Manchester by the Sea, and Justice Smith, of the Netflix hip-hop dram…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:36PM
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Michael Kahn’s direction of David Ives’ The Liar opens in New York by Jonathan Mandell

In The Liar, the title character wonders whether, given his disposition, he should become a politician. But, if David Ives’ version of Pierre Corneille’s 1644 verse play may benefit from…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:24PM
Monday, January 23, 2017

Tell Hector I Miss Him: Love Puzzles in Puerto Rico by Jonathan Mandell

Love puzzles, and messes up, the dozen characters in Tell Hector I Miss Him, a play wonderfully acted by a cast that includes veterans of Orange is the New Black. If the play itself sometime…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:24PM
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Made in China Review: bawdy, political puppet musical comedy by Jonathan Mandell

Wakka Wakka, the theater company behind Made in China, says the show is “inspired by true events.” I suspect the true part doesn’t include Mary and her neighbor getting sucked down her…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:24AM
Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review: Cate Blanchett takes first Broadway bow in The Present by Jonathan Mandell

About halfway through The Present, an adaptation of Chekhov’s first play, Cate Blanchett, as a Russian general’s widow celebrating her 40th birthday, shoots off a shotgun, dances atop a …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12PM
Saturday, January 7, 2017

Review: A dazzling Confucius makes its American debut by Jonathan Mandell

The strength of Confucius, a 90-minute dance piece featuring 60 performers from the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, is not found in its efforts to present Confucian philosophy …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:06AM
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Most memorable moments on New York stages in 2016 by Jonathan Mandell

Among the worthwhile moments I saw on stage in 2016, a surprising number became more memorable because of off-stage events. It’s impossible now to remember the Radio City Rockettes perform…

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Natasha, Pierre … leads top 10 favorite 2016 shows from Broadway, Off-Broadway and NY Fringe by Jonathan Mandell

My list of ten favorite shows on New York stages in 2016 reflect two unmistakable trends – the use of the stage to present important current issues facing the country, and shows that innov…

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Othello Review with David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig by Jonathan Mandell

While the Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop can be uncomfortable and even annoying, it is impossible for me to dismiss Sam Gold’s often startlingly effective production, even when D…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:36PM
Monday, December 5, 2016

The Illusionists – Turn of the Century review at Palace Theatre, New York – ‘only likely to appeal to magic addicts’ by Jonathan Mandell

For its third annual holiday appearance on Broadway, The Illusionists, a variety showcase for a rotating group of magicians and stunt performers,

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway (review) by Jonathan Mandell

Dear Evan Hansen has changed now that it’s on Broadway, in ways that make it an even more affecting musical. Ben Platt’s performance, impressive from the get-go, is even better. But what…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:02PM
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sweet Charity Review: Sutton Foster in Escapist Revival by Jonathan Mandell

Leigh Silverman, director of the 50th anniversary Off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity starring Sutton Foster, recently spoke about art being “a tool for education, revolution, and resist…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:42PM
Monday, November 14, 2016

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 review: Broadway welcomes Josh Groban and immersive theater by Jonathan Mandell

An opera with an unwieldy title based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace seemed an unlikely crowd-pleaser, but I was thrilled when I saw it Off-Broadway, first at Ars Nova in 2012, and again in a …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:36PM
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fugard’s “Master Harold”….and the boys Review: The effects of trickle-down racism by Jonathan Mandell

Had I seen Signature Theatre’s fine revival of Athol Fugard’s most popular play just a few days earlier, I might have appreciated it primarily as a well-wrought work of theater, relegati…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:18PM
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Women of a Certain Age review: An Election Day Without Trump by Jonathan Mandell

The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, a trilogy of plays by Richard Nelson presented in real time at the Public Theater, ends the way it began eight months ago – with the …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:06PM
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sweat Review:  Lynn Nottage’s Grapes of Wrath for Our Time by Jonathan Mandell

Like Grapes of Wrath, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat offers a devastating look at social and economic breakdown, told not with rants or statistics, but through a riveting tale about good people in a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48PM
Monday, October 24, 2016

The Front Page Review: Nathan Lane leads all-star newspaper comedy revival by Jonathan Mandell

The best way to sum up the fourth Broadway revival of The Front Page, the 1928 play about Chicago newspapermen, is the way their ads do: Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson M…

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Plenty Review: Rachel Weisz as a self-destructive World War II veteran by Jonathan Mandell

Of all the crazed, destructive, female characters that the stage has given us, Susan Traherne may be among the least interesting, at least as performed by Rachel Weisz in the Public Theater …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:31PM
Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Cherry Orchard Review: Diane Lane in Updated Chekhov by Jonathan Mandell

When Diane Lane, returning to Broadway after nearly four decades, enters on stage in the Roundabout’s ambitiously reinterpreted production of The Cherry Orchard, her Lubyov seems an imposs…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:09PM
Monday, October 10, 2016

Oh, Hello on Broadway Review: Gil and George’s inside jokes and overstuffed tuna sandwich by Jonathan Mandell

I was surprised at how little I laughed during Oh, Hello on Broadway, a comedy act by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who have been called “two of the hottest voices in comedy.” They portra…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:16PM
Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Encounter Review: a mystical, mesmerizing (mostly head) trip by Jonathan Mandell

The eerie true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre’s encounter with the elusive Mayoruna tribe while lost in the Amazon rainforest is made stranger still in Simon McB…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:25PM
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Holiday Day Review: Corbin Bleu as Fred Astaire by Jonathan Mandell

It is possible to enjoy Holiday Inn, subtitled “The New Irving Berlin Musical,” although there is little new about it. The Broadway adaptation of the 1942 Crosby/Astaire movie features a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:07PM
Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Trial of an American President Review: George Bush Accused of War Crimes by Jonathan Mandell

President George W. Bush was convicted of war crimes at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, on the night I attended The Trial of an American President, an earnest, informative and…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:08PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

All The Ways To Say I Love You review: Judith Light in new Neil LaBute monologue by Jonathan Mandell

Those of us who have followed her splendid career since Judith Light returned to the New York stage in 2010 welcomed the news that she would be appearing in a new solo play written by Neil L…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:16PM
Monday, September 26, 2016

Nat Turner in Jerusalem review by Jonathan Mandell

Nat Turner in Jerusalem, a new play by Nathan Alan Davis at New York Theatre Workshop, is yet another retelling of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave insurrection, a story that has been told and reto…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:07PM

Theater at the new National Museum of African-American Culture and History by Jonathan Mandell

The National Museum of African-American Culture and History officially opened this past weekend in Washington D.C. Among the almost 37,000 objects in its permanent collection are photograp…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:36PM
Sunday, September 18, 2016

What Did You Expect? Review: Election year continues for the Gabriel family by Jonathan Mandell

What Did You Expect?, the second installment of Richard Nelson’s trilogy at the Public subtitled The Gabriels: Election Year In The Life Of One Family, is literate (the characters tell a s…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:14PM
Monday, July 18, 2016

Privacy Review: Daniel Radcliffe in playful, interactive look at our surveillance society by Jonathan Mandell

Privacy,a play exploring the death of privacy, is inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations about surveillance. Snowden even appears on stage (via video.) But, for all its alarming info, th…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:02PM

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Mar 26: Sweat - Studio 54