All stories by Joseph Pisano on BroadwayStars

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Swing State by Joseph Pisano

Gilman's triteness and predictability combine to poorly serve a talented acting quartet, all of whom originated their roles in a 2022 production of "Swing State" at the Goodman Theatre under…

SOURCE: at 05:55PM
Thursday, August 17, 2023

The Shark Is Broken by Joseph Pisano

As for what's in a name, yes, Ian Shaw is Robert's son, returning the life-giving favor not just through his words but also bodily, portraying his father in "The Shark Is Broken" with a cand…

SOURCE: at 12:26PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Alex Edelman: Just For Us by Joseph Pisano

Alex Edelman in a scene from his one-man show “Just for Us” at the Hudson Theatre (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy) Early in his stand-up show Just for Us Alex Edelman pays tribute to Robin…

SOURCE: at 03:43PM
Thursday, June 15, 2023

Singfeld! A Musical Parody About Nothing! by Joseph Pisano

Picking the easiest possible creative path, a decision the effort-averse George would no doubt admire, the McSmiths forgo imaginative risk-taking in favor of simply copying their source mate…

SOURCE: at 01:09PM
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

This Land Was Made by Joseph Pisano

In its earliest scenes--as a Marvin Gaye record spins on the turntable, Adam Honoré's lighting design pairs naturalistically with Wilson Chin's meticulous set, and Dominique Fawn Hill and D…

SOURCE: at 12:01PM
Monday, May 1, 2023

Prima Facie by Joseph Pisano

The mesmerizing Jodie Comer, making her Broadway debut in the Olivier Award-winning best new play after starring in the genre-subverting BBC show Killing Eve, portrays Tessa (for which Comer…

SOURCE: at 02:50PM
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Fat Ham by Joseph Pisano

When it comes to modern adaptations of Shakespeare plays, many theatergoers tend to treat them like a test, mentally annotating plot and character correlations as if their high school Englis…

SOURCE: at 07:48PM
Monday, April 17, 2023

Shucked by Joseph Pisano

In addition to a surfeit of approximate rhymes, the score for Shucked includes a paean to corn and a reprise of the following ready-for-Hallmark advice: "maybe love is like a seed/a little s…

SOURCE: at 12:15AM
Monday, March 27, 2023

Parade by Joseph Pisano

While Brown's tunefully varied score strives to historically situate the bigoted nightmare we're witnessing within the cultural context of the South's fabricated sense of nobility and victim…

SOURCE: at 03:17PM
Monday, March 20, 2023

The Coast Starlight by Joseph Pisano

When it comes to plot, characters, or often both, even the best theater tends to require a suspension of disbelief. Given that it's hardly a sucker's bet for indolent playwrights to pin thei…

SOURCE: at 01:09PM
Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Fall River Fishing by Joseph Pisano

Absurdist to an increasingly ho-hum degree, Szadkowski and Knox let their imaginations run amok with silly speculations about pre-double-homicide life in the Borden household that are punctu…

SOURCE: at 05:21PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Lucy by Joseph Pisano

Writer/director Erica Schmidt's "Lucy" is a play struggling to find a point of view, or perhaps a point of view struggling to find a play. If the latter is true, then that narrative position…

SOURCE: at 11:25AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Between Riverside and Crazy by Joseph Pisano

Living in his "palatial" rent-controlled apartment on one of Manhattan's most stunning architectural stretches, Walter "Pops'' Washington (Stephen McKinley Henderson) is an aging man of agin…

SOURCE: at 04:07PM
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Without You by Joseph Pisano

And that's the agonizing tension in "Without You;" in his lyrical responses to Larson, Rapp is well aware that it's not a back-and-forth, that Larson can't say anything more than he has alre…

SOURCE: at 10:24AM
Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Far Country by Joseph Pisano

All of the above occurs prior to the intermission and, if "The Far Country" has a shortcoming, it's that the second half feels like a sequel to what came before rather than a continuation of…

SOURCE: at 12:18PM
Monday, December 5, 2022

KPOP by Joseph Pisano

Adopting the hokey framing device of a concert documentary, Kim turns the impending U.S. debut of a South Korean entertainment company's three hottest acts into a triptych of rigorously gend…

SOURCE: at 10:41PM
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & The Pool by Joseph Pisano

Still, rest assured, most of what Birbiglia says is funny, even for any fans well aware that Birbiglia is leading us somewhere that is not. Given the eponymous Hemingway allusion, the show's…

SOURCE: at 06:51PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

You Will Get Sick by Joseph Pisano

Ostensibly a comedy, or a tragi-comedy, or a dystopic mashup of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Field of Dreams," Diaz's play could possibly be enjoyed as a befuddling trifle if not for its serious …

SOURCE: at 01:14PM
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Walking with Ghosts by Joseph Pisano

"Walking with Ghosts" is a decidedly intimate experience, one that seems tailor-made for an off-Broadway theater like the Irish Rep. Price and his production team try to expand the show to B…

SOURCE: at 06:03PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Death of a Salesman by Joseph Pisano

To be clear, the casting isn't colorblind; it's just casting, with director Miranda Cromwell delicately drawing out a different set of lived experiences from Miller's almost untouched words.…

SOURCE: at 06:46PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Cost of Living by Joseph Pisano

Perhaps because of its prestigious accolade, or just undeniable merit, "Cost of Living" is the first of Majok's heartfelt efforts to make the journey from off-Broadway to on-Broadway in the …

SOURCE: at 10:47AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Jasper by Joseph Pisano

Most poignantly, when Drew starts to wonder if maybe their son's survival has been the opposite of a blessing, Andrea expresses horror for a thought that, thanks to Pimentel's touchingly sub…

SOURCE: at 01:18PM
Thursday, September 1, 2022

Kinky Boots by Joseph Pisano

Several years after vacating its Broadway home, "Kinky Boots" has settled in to a cozier off-Broadway venue, Stage 42, at a presumed discount for theatergoers, albeit with a much smaller orc…

SOURCE: at 12:50PM
Sunday, June 26, 2022

Lessons in Survival: 1971 by Joseph Pisano

Originally broadcast on "Soul!," an early PBS program dedicated to showcasing Black arts and politics, Baldwin and Giovanni's one-on-one echoes contemporary concerns while also remaining dec…

SOURCE: at 12:35PM
Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Islander: A New Musical by Joseph Pisano

An import from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, "Islander" embraces that renowned international jamboree's artistry and experimentalism, most notably by forgoing musicians for sound looping ma…

SOURCE: at 02:41PM
Sunday, May 8, 2022

American Buffalo by Joseph Pisano

The 1975 play "American Buffalo," now onstage at the Circle in the Square Theatre in a crackling revival, remains the quintessential Mamet experience, the one that should be seen to fully ap…

SOURCE: at 11:01PM
Saturday, April 30, 2022

Suffs by Joseph Pisano

Unfortunately, while Wells (Nikki M. James) and Mary Church Terrell (Cassondra James), another renowned Black suffragist, occasionally pop up to offer intersectional insights, they mostly c…

SOURCE: at 12:09PM
Monday, April 18, 2022

The Little Prince by Joseph Pisano

Essentially, Mouron boils the story down to a couple lines about love and beauty, while eliding any sense of the loss, isolation, and dread that the novella also poetically conveys. Her litt…

SOURCE: at 11:27PM
Saturday, March 26, 2022

Alex Edelman: Just for Us by Joseph Pisano

Despite the familiar visual trappings--mic stand, performer-blinding stage lights, and a dull curtain backdrop--Edelman's deceptively free-flowing talents hew more towards the monologist Spa…

SOURCE: at 07:51PM
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

A Touch of the Poet by Joseph Pisano

Director Ciarán O'Reilly confidently lets the clever cast explore their characters' profound complexities, which means forcing the audience to simply accept a few psychological contradictio…

SOURCE: at 08:13PM
Sunday, February 27, 2022

Space Dogs by Joseph Pisano

Heyman and the rest of the production team quickly turn "Space Dogs" into an exercise of quantity over quality. More lights. More noise. More projections. More props. It's theater as sensory…

SOURCE: at 09:48PM