All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Politics As Usual? Not in “Radio Golf” by Philip

All ten of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle plays are not created equal, but just as the non-star players on a championship team are essential to its success, so are all the plays in…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:45PM
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Buoyant Performance Re-floats “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by Philip

Composer-lyricist Meredith Willson’s 1960 musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” was inspired by an exaggerated tale about the exploits of real-life Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 01:42PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Sexual Liberation Is So Last Century: “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” off-Broadway by Philip

The first quarter hour of “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” depicts Bob and Carol at The Institute at Big Sur, a  ‘new age-y’ retreat, where the thirty-something couple is converted…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:22PM
Monday, February 3, 2020

Atten-HUT! Snap to for ” A Soldier’s Play” on Broadway by Philip

Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1982. Loosely based on Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd,” it was originally staged by the off-Broad…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:05PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Forsooth? Fuggedaboudit! “Romeo and Bernadette”off-Broadway by Philip

If, as hypothesized, there are only seven basic plots, it is a sure bet that Shakespeare used them all. (I count four in “Hamlet” alone.) It is no wonder, then, that playwrights through …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:12PM
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Star Turn by Laura Linney: “My Name Is Lucy Barton” by Philip

It seems that one-actor stage presentations have increased in number over the past decade or so. And as critical attention to them has grown with that proliferation, the quality level has ri…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 11:15PM
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Married Thirty-five Years and Counting (or maybe not): “Bone on Bone”Premiere by Philip

Many a fine play is waylaid by shoddy acting and/or directing. (Recall your last misbegotten Shakespeare.) Conversely, a lesser theater piece can be enhanced by superior efforts in those cat…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:17PM
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Bye Bye Blackface/Send In The Clowns by Philip

Ken Ludwig’s 1980s farce “Lend Me a Tenor” revolves around two operatic tenors being mistaken for one another in costume and makeup for the same role. The play is funny…or not, depen…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:56PM
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: Doing What They Do Best! by Philip

Want to be like the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players? Just pick a niche-market art form and become a world-class expert at it. Founded in 1974, NYGASP’s performance-ready repertory …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:45PM
Monday, December 16, 2019

‘Swallow it down’ (“Jagged Little Pill”) ‘It feels so good’ by Philip

A conundrum/problem/challenge: How to describe a Broadway musical that pretty much exceeds familiar superlatives in pretty much all its facets. Well, let’s try, by first thanking Alanis Mo…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:30PM
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Dad is getting on in years: “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand” by Philip

If it is true, as often stated, that there are only seven basic plots from which all plays are derived, one of the seven certainly involves conflicted parent-offspring relationships. Think …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:22PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Paper Mill Playhouse is giving a ball! “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in NJ by Philip

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” comes by that official title honestly. Having gone through several revisions since its debut as a TV special in 1957, the show depends for its su…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:23PM
Monday, November 11, 2019

A sure bet: “Guys and Dolls” in Deal, New Jersey by Philip

The overture to “Guys and Dolls” is unique in that it is scripted as well as orchestrated. It is a street scene collage danced – acted-out really – by the ensemble: floozies, society…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:27PM
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Two Nose-less “Cyrano” Adaptations (One Works) by Philip

Two recent adaptations of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” both titled simply “Cyrano,” play fast and loose with the 19th-Century French playwright’s masterpiece. At Two Ri…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 10:16PM
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Revenge is a dish best served cold? Not so in “Lily” by Philip

Two things to know about “Lily,” the world-premiere play at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch. First, Christopher Daftsios’s play is constructed like an orderly three-part fa…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 10:38AM
Friday, October 25, 2019

Tennessee Williams’s Love-Play: “The Rose Tattoo” by Philip

 It is generally conceded that “Period of Adjustment” is Tennessee Williams’s only full-out comedy, but “The Rose Tattoo” could claim a close second, especially as the second half…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 01:48PM
Monday, October 14, 2019

“An American in Paris” Touches Down in Westchester County by Philip

How long after seeing some musicals does it take to get a song out of your head? I’m stuck with “NYC” a full week after every “Annie,” and “Goodbye to blueberry pie” after “G…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:15PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Memorable “Memoirs of a Forgotten Man” in New Jersey by Philip

You needn’t be familiar with 20th Century Russian – Soviet Union, that is – history in order to appreciate D. W. Gregory’s “Memoirs of a Forgotten Man.”  While a sense of that h…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:06PM
Sunday, August 11, 2019

Into Each Life “The Rainmaker” Should Fall: N. Richard Nash’s Play in New Jersey by Philip

The theme of the mysterious stranger who arrives on the scene and changes people’s lives has long been a staple of American fiction, never more than it was in the 1950s. That decade produc…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:54PM
Friday, July 26, 2019

Organs, Oral and Orgasms, Oh My: “Get On Your Knees” by Philip

Let us clarify up front: the title of Jacqueline Novak’s 90-minute theater piece is not an invocation to prayer. Rather, it refers to a position oft identified with the performance of oral…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:55PM
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Music Ten, Book Three: “I Spy a Spy” off-Broadway by Philip

The best element of the musical “I Spy a Spy,” running through September 21 at the Theatre at St. Clements, is its music. Sohee Youn’s diverse score is mostly easy-to-take rock and jaz…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 08:09PM
Monday, July 1, 2019

The Stratford Festival: Geniuses at Work by Philip

The Stratford Festival in Ontario routinely employs the talents of two Theatre geniuses, separated in their endeavors by four centuries. The earlier is, of course, William Shakespeare, aroun…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:09AM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Predicting the Tony Awards by Philip

The Broadway theater season, which ends in late April, culminates with the American Theatre Wing’s Antoinette Perry Awards – the Tonys. For the 2018-19 season 42 nominators considered 34…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:24PM
Thursday, May 30, 2019

A “MAC BETH” for the (Teen) Ages by Philip

A lot of stuff in plays happens offstage. Not just unsavory events, but things that are easier to tell than to show. (The plot of the play reviewed here last week, “Happy Talk,” turns on…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:59PM
Sunday, May 19, 2019

Not All The Talk In “Happy Talk” Is Happy by Philip

There is a limit to how much can be revealed about The New Group production of Jesse Eisenberg’s “Happy Talk,” without crossing into spoiler territory. That there are five characters i…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:09PM
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Identity-check at NJ Rep: “Surfing My DNA” by Philip

Any time someone appears on stage in tap shoes, I’m all in. Jodi Long brings that footwear and more to “Surfing My DNA,” world-premiering through May 26 at New Jersey Repertory Company…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:07PM
Sunday, April 28, 2019

A Visit with “The Belle of Amherst” in Red Bank NJ by Philip

Something special is afoot at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, where Maureen Silliman is embodying Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst,” William Luce’s one-woman play ab…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 06:28PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

“Benny & June” with many a tune in NJ – and a British cellist off-Broadway by Philip

Do you read a newspaper? Watch cable news? Discuss politics and world affairs with co-workers or friends (or former ones)? If you answered yes to any of the above, you could surely use an en…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:57PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Jazz Singer’s Triumph by Philip

[In a departure from my usual content, below is a (lightly edited) re-print of a feature that appeared in The Palm Beach Post on April 1.]                After surgery for brai…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 11:47AM
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The noblest Roman tragedy of them all: “Julius Caesar” in Brooklyn by Philip

If your attention has wandered during the last third of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” you are not alone, but redemption is at hand. Theatre for a New Audience’s portrayal of the aft…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:32PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Kelli and Cole spark “Kiss Me, Kate” revival by Philip

Despite an occasional misfire, tailoring some shows to a performer in a particular role can be a gimme. Dolly Levi and Mama Rose, for example, come with the territory. Lilli Vanessi does not…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 06:13PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue