All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Escape to Margaritaville. Jimmy Buffett songs in a breezy musical by Jonathan Mandell

Escape to Margaritaville, the new Broadway musical with songs by Jimmy Buffett, promises much the same experience as the week long tropical resort vacation that it depicts — fun, relax…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:24PM
Monday, March 5, 2018

queens review: Martyna Majok’s new play crowds a Queens basement with poor immigrant women by Jonathan Mandell

In queens, the latest resonant, heartfelt play by Martyna Majok, a Polish immigrant woman named Renia reigns over a crumby basement in the New York City borough of Queens, but she sees it as…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:33PM
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Review: Relevance by JC Lee. Feminism loses in this generational battle by Jonathan Mandell

It might sound unenlightened to call Relevance a catfight between two feminists. Jayne Houdyshell and Pascale Armand, after all, are portraying characters explicitly identified as “public …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 04:54PM
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jerry Springer the Opera Review by Jonathan Mandell

Jerry Springer the Opera is profane, vulgar, obvious, offensive and irresistibly entertaining – at least in the first act, when it offers a high art version of the TV talk show that has ai…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:54PM
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fire and Air Review: Terrence McNally’s new play about Diaghilev, Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes by Jonathan Mandell

Fire and Air could not have looked more promising –a starry cast performing a new play by Terrence McNally about one of the most celebrated of dance companies, the Ballets Russes. Pic…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:12PM
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Review: John Lithgow: Stories by Heart by Jonathan Mandell

John Lithgow, a Tony winner for his very first Broadway show in 1973,  has decided to devote his 24th to the reading of two old short stories, Ring Lardner’s “Haircut” and “Uncle Fr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:12PM
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Disco Pigs Review: Enda Walsh’s impulsive, inseparable teenagers 20 years later by Jonathan Mandell

Enda Walsh, best known in the U.S. for the Broadway musical Once, first gained fame as the playwright of a furious burst of a play he wrote in five days about two intense and inseparable te…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48PM
Sunday, January 7, 2018

Terrorism, climate change, the subjugation of women. Is theatre equipped to confront any of it? by Jonathan Mandell

“If all theatres were demolished tomorrow, would anybody miss them, and for how long?” Several characters said that at different times throughout A Room in India, a theatre piec…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:12PM
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Most memorable moments on NYC stages in 2017 by Jonathan Mandell

There were so many memorable theater-related moments this year that were not part of any scripted show that they threatened to upstage any moments on stage. Even some of the most encouraging…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:18AM
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Farinelli and the King Review: Mark Rylance as A Mad King Soothed by Music by Jonathan Mandell

Four years after their splendid debut on Broadway, Shakespeare’s Globe returns to the beautiful Belasco Theater with a show that in a few glorious ways resembles their spectacular Twelfth …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:36PM
Friday, December 15, 2017

Twelfth Night Review: Fiasco’s is clear, but not exciting. by Jonathan Mandell

Fiasco Theater offers a Twelfth Night for theatergoers who’ve never seen Twelfth Night or Fiasco Theater before.  For almost a decade, the ensemble company has been praised for its bare-b…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:42AM
Friday, December 8, 2017

Review: Meteor Shower gives off only a few sparks by Jonathan Mandell

Reverting to his early-career wackiness,  Steve Martin enlists four phenomenal performers, including Amy Schumer making her Broadway debut, for a joke-filled, overlong, trickster comedy ske…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:18AM
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Uma Thurman debuts in Beau Willimon’s The Parisian Woman set in DC by Jonathan Mandell

Uma Thurman and Josh Lucas neither kill a dog nor bed an FBI agent in The Parisian Woman, a tame, tidy, talky and only superficially timely play about a D.C. power couple engaged in politica…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:04PM
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Holiday shows 2017 in New York City by Jonathan Mandell

The holiday show tradition in New York ranges way beyond Radio City Music Hall and family entertainment, to include shows that are offbeat and others that are decidedly not for children. Let…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:36AM
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: Latin History for Morons on Broadway: John Leguizamo searches for heroes by Jonathan Mandell

The ushers are wearing “Ghetto Scholar” sweatshirts in Studio 54,  where for his sixth solo show John Leguizamo stands in front of a blackboard and lectures on the history, politics, cu…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:42PM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Band’s Visit on Broadway: Egyptians and Israelis Making Sad, Funny, Beautiful Music by Jonathan Mandell

What happens when a lovely, low-key musical based on an offbeat Israeli film moves from Off-Broadway to a Broadway theater five times its size? You get the same widely acclaimed show – wit…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12PM
Monday, October 30, 2017

Illyria Review: a Scrappy Joe Papp and the Public Theater’s Birth Pains by Jonathan Mandell

Before Hamilton, A Chorus Line, Hair, before Joseph Papp built the Public Theater into an institution, he was faced with a fight for survival of his newfound free Shakespeare in Central Park…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:05PM
Monday, October 23, 2017

Jesus Hopped The A Train Review: Killers Finding God by Jonathan Mandell

Two killers in adjoining prison cages face off about God in this killer revival of one of the earliest plays by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the streetwise New York playwright of such acclaimed rec…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Torch Song Review: Michael Urie in Harvey Fierstein’s Groundbreaking Gay Play by Jonathan Mandell

“It’s crazy”, says Michael Urie as Arnold, that “after all these years I’m still trying to justify my life.” Arnold means his life as a gay man, and though he is talking …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:04PM
Monday, October 16, 2017

The Siege Review: Bethlehem Standoff from the Palestinian Point of View by Jonathan Mandell

The Siege, a play dramatizing the 2002 siege by armed Palestinians of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, is in several ways the exact opposite of Oslo, the last drama about the Palesti…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:33AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Treasurer review: a family’s final drama stars Deanna Dunagan and Peter Friedman by Jonathan Mandell

Max Posner’s play is called The Treasurer because a grown man is forced to take responsibility for the finances of his aged, widowed mother. But the title also suggests that he will take s…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:12PM
Monday, September 25, 2017

A Clockwork Orange Review: Off-Broadway homoerotic dance drama about crime and punishment by Jonathan Mandell

Alex, the sadistic, Beethoven-loving juvenile delinquent at the center of Anthony Burgess’ 1962 dystopian novel and Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film, has returned, this time Off-Broadway, as …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:42PM
Friday, September 22, 2017

KPOP Review: a wildly entertaining trip inside a K-Pop Music Factory by Jonathan Mandell

KPOP, the wildly (and loudly) entertaining immersive theater piece offering the audience a tour of a Korean pop music factory, begins and ends with 15-minute concerts by the Korean boy group…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12PM
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: Prince of Broadway, a highlights reel of a show by Jonathan Mandell

In his new memoir Sense of Occasion, Hal Prince explains that Prince of Broadway, the new Broadway revue celebrating and sampling Prince’s extraordinary 70-year career in the theater, “w…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:48PM
Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Terms of My Surrender Review: Michael Moore’s Broadway Debut, not just a Trump takedown by Jonathan Mandell

“The only hope until we kick him out of office is to discombobulate him,” Michael Moore says near the beginning of his playful, pointed and partisan one-man show, as he stands in front o…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:42PM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The 2017 Tony Awards – here’s who SHOULD win on Sunday night by Jonathan Mandell

Here are my preferences – not predictions – for the 2017 Tony Awards, in keeping with a tradition I’ve been maintaining for a decade. I am a critic, not a seer or a bookie. We’ll lea…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM

Broadway newcomers from the Theatre World Awards sum up the season (video) by Jonathan Mandell

Current and past winners of the Theatre World Awards, given to exceptional performers making their Broadway or New York stage debuts, offer their take on the season just past, sometimes in a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:48AM
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Venus Review: Suzan-Lori Parks Revival about African Woman as Freak Show Wonder by Jonathan Mandell

Zainab Jah, who made an impressive Broadway debut as a sex slave turned soldier in Eclipsed, is back on a New York stage with another vivid portrayal of an exploited but strong African woman…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:48AM
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Days Review: Dianne Wiest, Up To Her Neck in Beckett classic by Jonathan Mandell

“Another happy day,” Dianne Wiest exclaims as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s bleak, comic and compassionate play, written decades before Groundhog Day, but similarly focused on somebody wh…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:33PM
Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Dolls House, Part 2 Review: Laurie Metcalf as Nora returns 15 years later by Jonathan Mandell

Laurie Metcalf is the fifteenth actress since 1889 to portray Nora Helmer on Broadway, the character in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House who slams the door on her husband and three chi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:31PM
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Six Degrees of Separation Review: Conning Rich Parents in the ’80s by Jonathan Mandell

Near the end of Six Degrees of Separation, Allison Janney, portraying the first rich  white victim of a young black con man, tells her husband that she doesn’t want to turn the experience…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:31PM

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