All stories by Joseph Pisano on BroadwayStars

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Mothers by Joseph Pisano

The first act of Anna Moench's "Mothers" concludes with a genuine shock as the playwright startlingly upends all of our expectations. Visually punctuated by Wilson Chin's suddenly not-so-sta…

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Only Yesterday by Joseph Pisano

As John, Christopher Sears is an enjoyable pill, perfectly offset by Tommy Crawford's Paul whose amiable placidity is almost Buddha-like. More importantly, both actors have impressive musica…

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Moscow Moscow Moscow by Joseph Pisano

Halley Feiffer's new comedy, the obsessively titled "Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow," is an intermittently funny ten-minute parody of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters." Unfortunatel…

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Plough and the Stars by Joseph Pisano

The Irish Repertory Theatre ends its thirtieth season by going back to the beginning, with a sturdy revival of Sean O'Casey's "The Plough and the Stars." An historical prequel to the other t…

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Poor of New York by Joseph Pisano

One of the theater's most skilled 19th-century melodramatists, Boucicault was uninterested in the finer points of history, character development, or narrative objectivity which, of course, i…

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Juno and the Paycock by Joseph Pisano

From this group of familiar faces, O'Reilly and Keating are particularly strong in their second go-around, finding notes in Jack and Joxer's codependent relationship that are both hilarious …

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Shadow of a Gunman by Joseph Pisano

Director Ciarán O’Reilly handles O'Casey's abrupt tonal shifts well, transitioning from laughter to tears to horror with barely a hint of contrivance. A top-notch production team greatly …

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Alone It Stands by Joseph Pisano

Breen's script, a succession of rapid-fire vignettes divided in half by an unnecessary intermission, tries to compensate for its lack of depth with imagined multitudes. According to a promot…

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Emperor’s Nightingale by Joseph Pisano

Although Chua is less interested in beauty for beauty's sake than Andersen, the look and sound of "The Emperor's Nightingale" is still stunning, drawing on a wealth of traditional Chinese ar…

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Thanksgiving Play by Joseph Pisano

Many comic artists have noted that great humor often comes from great tragedy, though, inevitably, sometimes the latter overwhelms the former, and all you’re left with is a lot of indignat…

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Thunderbodies by Joseph Pisano

In Kate Tarker's satiric "Thunderbodies," America is a relentlessly strange place, where people spout nonsense, act without reason, and are led by the narcissistic man-baby they've elected p…

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

On Beckett by Joseph Pisano

Along with excerpts from Godot and a couple of Beckett's novels, Irwin relies heavily on several "arcane" prose pieces from a collection Beckett dubbed "Texts for Nothing." Irwin was first i…

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Wild Abandon by Joseph Pisano

What our mothers owe us - and what we owe them - is at the heart of Leenya Rideout's one-woman autobiographical show, "Wild Abandon." In it, the prodigiously accomplished singer, songwriter,…

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I Was Most Alive with You by Joseph Pisano

In Craig Lucas’s "I Was Most Alive with You," two down-on-their-luck television writers mine recent personal tragedy for their latest project, hoping, with the Book of Job as their inspira…

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Agnes by Joseph Pisano

Unfortunately, Worsham’s efforts just confirm the play’s central problem: only the relationship between June and Charlie has any real depth. As for the rest of the characters, although M…

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Comfort Women: A New Musical by Joseph Pisano

In telling the rest of this shattering story, the creators of Comfort Women, inexplicably, rely heavily on musical theater conventions that result in wrongheaded, if not downright offensive,…

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Brecht on Brecht by Joseph Pisano

But when things slow down a bit, especially during the musical interludes and longer dramatic pieces, Petosa’s eight performers -- four lead (Christine Hamel; Jake Murphy; Harrison Bryan; …

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Desperate Measures by Joseph Pisano

Shakespearean spoofs are almost as old as Shakespeare himself, dating back to at least the Restoration period. Although the vast majority has faded into history, there are still some real st…

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Woman and Scarecrow by Joseph Pisano

Unfortunately, O'Reilly’s heavy reliance on the production team is also indicative of a significant problem: the play is repetitive. Despite finding new, and often lovely, poetic ways to c…

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire by Joseph Pisano

There’s a brilliant play buried somewhere in Caryl Churchill’s "Light Shining in Buckinghamshire," a bottom-up historical epic about the English Civil War that the acclaimed British writ…

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Replay by Joseph Pisano

To be sure, there are examples of talented playwrights who have also been able to tread the boards without tripping over their feet, or tongues. Harold Pinter, Noël Coward, Tracy Letts: the…

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

We Live by the Sea by Joseph Pisano

Devised collaboratively by Patch of Blue, a London-based theater company, the play also benefits from a talented supporting cast. Alexandra Simonet makes Hannah’s caretaker fatigue evident…

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Friday, April 13, 2018

This Flat Earth by Joseph Pisano

But, unfortunately, Ferrentino squanders this intriguing setup, getting lost in existential musings that end up being nowhere near as complicated as her subject matter. The first signs of tr…

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Three Small Irish Masterpieces by Joseph Pisano

It’s impossible to discuss the history of modern Irish drama without reference to William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and John Millington Synge, who, at the beginning of the last century, …

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Three Wise Guys by Joseph Pisano

Just in time for Easter, TACT/The Actors Company Theatre has adapted and combined  two Christmas-themed Damon Runyon short stories into the seasonally inappropriate, but nonetheless very ch…

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Terminus by Joseph Pisano

In the semi-autobiographical "Terminus," part of a seven-play cycle set in the fictional town of Attapulgus, Georgia, playwright Gabriel Jason Dean unleashes this intriguing Southern Gothic …

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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Pill by Joseph Pisano

This comedy/drama/fitful musical also suffers from major tonal challenges, as it strains to push all of our emotional buttons. It’s a shame, because the cast gives it their all. Particular…

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Kind Shot by Joseph Pisano

And that’s essentially the problem with "A Kind Shot." Clocking in at 75 minutes, the “performance” feels more like a motivational speech than a theatrical event. It’s well-meaning a…

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Monday, January 15, 2018

America’s Favorite Newscaster by Joseph Pisano

Another irony is that while Fury is kind of a bore, another character is not. Yeah, you guessed it. Him. When the president (David O. Friedman) appears in Fury’s bedroom like the Ghost of …

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Regular Little Houdini by Joseph Pisano

Daniel LLewelyn-Williams in “A Regular Little Houdini” (Photo credit: Sheri Bankes) In 1905, the chief constable of the Newport, South Wales, police department declaimed the “impenetra…

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cross That River: A Tale of the Black West by Joseph Pisano

Serving as both narrator and protagonist, Harris portrays Blue, a runaway slave who crossed the Sabine River from Louisiana to Texas in search of his elusive freedom. To tell us everything t…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue