All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tootsie Review: Santino Fontana as Difficult Actor Turned Beloved Actress, Updated by Jonathan Mandell

  Tootsie, the musical adaptation of the 1982 movie comedy about a difficult actor who becomes a beloved actress, begins bravely with an opening number in which bubbly ensemble members sing…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:48PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

Review of Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus with Nathan Lane by Jonathan Mandell

Gary is a mess, deliberately so. Written by the downtown provocateur Taylor Mac making his Broadway debut, it stars three of the best comic stage actors in America as three minor characters …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:54AM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hillary and Clinton Review: Timing’s off for Hnath’s latest with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow by Jonathan Mandell

Hillary and Clinton is exactly the play we do not need right now,  a well-acted but irrelevant middlebrow entertainment starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow as the presidential candidat…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:06PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hadestown, Broadway review. Hot! Hot! Hot! by Jonathan Mandell

On Broadway, as Off, Hadestown is a hell of a musical. But it’s changed. When it opened Off-Broadway three years ago, Anais Mitchell’s  concept album had been turned into an inventively…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:06PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

‘Burn This’ Review: Adam Driver and Keri Russell rant and dance in Lanford Wilson’s 1987 play by Jonathan Mandell

Can a Star Wars villain and a Soviet spy find love, sex and happiness together on Broadway? That’s the question we’re primed to ask in the first Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s 19…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:48PM
Thursday, April 4, 2019

King Lear Review: Glenda Jackson in must-see if imperfect Shakespeare by Jonathan Mandell

As King Lear, Glenda Jackson enters with a casual swagger, giving off a scent of power that’s lasted a lifetime.  But Lear is portrayed by an 82-year-old woman, lean and light and, at 5…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:30PM
Friday, March 22, 2019

Kiss Me Kate Review on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

The most exciting moment in this fourth Broadway production of Cole Porter’s backstage musical riffing on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew comes at the top of Act II, when the cast …

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

White Noise Review: Daveed Diggs as voluntary slave in Suzan-Lori Parks illuminating new play by Jonathan Mandell

Leo (Daveed Diggs) makes an outrageous request of his best friend Ralph (Thomas Sadoski) in Suzan-Lori Parks’ bizarre, disturbing and in some ways brilliant new play, White Noise, at the P…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:24PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Be More Chill on Broadway review. by Jonathan Mandell

Somebody wrote “NYC Loves BMC” in chalk on the sidewalk outside Broadway’s Lyceum Theater, the new home of Be More Chill, the high energy, high decibel pop-rock musical that stars Will…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:06PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

True West Review: Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano fight and switch in Sam Shepard Broadway revival. by Jonathan Mandell

In the first Broadway revival of Sam Shepard’s 1980 play, Ethan Hawke portrays Lee, a drifter, a drinker, and a thief who disrupts the life of his younger brother, Paul Dano’s Austin, an…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:36PM
Monday, January 28, 2019

Rent remembered: The young stars who created the roles, and Allen Ginsberg’s reaction to Rent’s bohemia by Jonathan Mandell

In the month before Rent opened Off-Broadway in January, 1996, Idina Menzel was singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings” at a bar mitzvah at Leonard’s of Great Neck for the thousandth time;…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Choir Boy review. Broadway newcomers in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s powerful, fresh coming-of-age play by Jonathan Mandell

Pharus Jonathan Young is black, gay and gifted, like the playwright who created him, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, best known for the Oscar winning film Moonlight. McCraney is making his Broadway …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Monday, January 7, 2019

4.48 Psychosis review. An operatic version of Sarah Kane’s final play by Jonathan Mandell

Playwright Sarah Kane killed herself at the age of 28 shortly after writing her fifth play, which offers a harrowing taste of what it’s like to live with, and die from, depression.  Now t…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:18PM
Saturday, December 8, 2018

Review: Network, Chayefksy’s prophesy of ‘fake news’ gets a strong performance from Bryan Cranston by Jonathan Mandell

Nobody can do a nervous breakdown like Bryan Cranston. As Howard Beale, long-time network news anchor gone mad, he sits in front of the camera, unable to speak, his face a dramatic repertoir…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:06PM
Friday, December 7, 2018

The Cher Show Review: glitz, hits and highlights by Jonathan Mandell

The Cher Show, the new Broadway jukebox musical that offers a whirlwind tour of the music, life and six-decade career of the entertainer and self-proclaimed  “goddamn Goddess Warrior,” …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:54PM
Friday, November 16, 2018

Thom Pain (based on nothing) review. by Jonathan Mandell

Like a boxer faking out an opponent, Michael C. Hall as Thom Pain plays tricks on the audience: “Now I think would be a good time for the raffle,” he says at one point, then shortly afte…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:42PM
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,…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:06PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:24PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:12PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:04PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:04PM
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 …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:24PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:54PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:04PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 04:48PM

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