All stories by Jonathan Mandell on BroadwayStars

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…

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Review: Angels in America. Broadway revival just as compelling, just as timely by Jonathan Mandell

“The great work begins!” Prior Walter, a character with AIDS who stays defiantly alive, proclaimed at the end of Angels in America when it debuted 25 years ago on Broadway. By the time P…

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: Frozen on Broadway by Jonathan Mandell

What most engaged me about Frozen, if I’m honest, is Sven the reindeer. This said more than I initially realized about the Broadway musical adaptation of the highest-grossing animated film…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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 08:45PM
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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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