All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

Saturday, December 23, 2023

HO! HO! HO! Adventures In the Santa Trade by Philip

Some of what follows appeared here ten years ago. Hoping it stands up to a re-reading and amuses first timers.)   As a struggling actor back in the day, I drove a cab, tended bar…the usua…

SOURCE: at 05:20PM
Monday, November 13, 2023

Father and Daughter DeVito in “I Need That” by Philip

I became an ardent fan of playwright Theresa Rebeck in 2007 with “Mauritius,” her Broadway debut. About a disputed inheritance of that British colony’s rare and extremely valuable 1847…

SOURCE: at 05:00PM
Thursday, October 19, 2023

Patrick Page Mines Shakespeare’s Dark Side: “All the Devils Are Here” by Philip

Most actors will tell you they would rather play the villain than the hero. The bad guys are often more complex, sometimes amusingly so, and they dominate their scenes. The appeal may be inb…

SOURCE: at 04:38PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Letters: Murray Melvin obituary by Jennifer Hawkins Opie and Philippa Buss

In the early 1950s Murray Melvin acted with the Hampstead Drama Group, north London. My parents, Constance and George Hawkins, did too, and George was its “props maker”. A child at the t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:24AM
Sunday, February 5, 2023

Hey, What’s New? “Colin Quinn: Small Talk” by Philip

There is some practical insight in “Colin Quinn: Small Talk,” the actor/comic/writer’s solo standup gig at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village. Who knew, for example, that t…

SOURCE: at 02:46PM
Monday, January 2, 2023

Set Sail Aboard Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” by Philip

Most full-scale musical shows run several weeks of previews before submitting to critical evaluation; some even longer, with mixed results (cue “Spiderman”). The New York Gilbert & S…

SOURCE: at 04:06PM
Friday, December 30, 2022

A Cop Called Coco, an Actor Named Mani, a Quebecer Exploring Quebec by Norimitsu Onishi and Renaud Philippe

When Mani Soleymanlou began acting, he was offered roles as stereotypical outsiders. That he now stars as a cop named Coco is indicative of broader shifts in a changing Quebec.

SOURCE: The New York Times Subscription at 05:24AM
Monday, December 5, 2022

“The Journey of Jazz” Is a Syncopated Pleasure Trip by Philip

It is an unusual opening number for an orchestral jazz concert/revue: a strikingly evocative solo rendition of the legendary Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag.”  Even more unusual, the w…

SOURCE: at 03:42PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

This “& Juliet” Is No Tale of Woe by Philip

You need not be closely familiar with William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or with his personal life to enjoy “& Juliet.” References to both are deployed liberally througho…

SOURCE: at 06:23PM
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sandra’s Quest Comes Up Short by Philip

A “Shaggy Dog” story is one with a high-stakes build-up and much activity that comes to an anti-climactic conclusion, like an elongated joke with an unfunny punchline. A serious shaggy d…

SOURCE: at 08:13PM
Sunday, November 13, 2022

Jump In the Pool with Mike Birbiglia by Philip

My first Mike Birbiglia show was “Sleepwalk with Me” in 2008 at the Bleecker Street Theater, where some of the 199 seats were behind poles. The 80-minute self-written monologue recounted…

SOURCE: at 11:01PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Gabriel Byrne Goes “Walking With Ghosts” Alone by Philip

Most solo shows are one act affairs that run about 90 minutes or less. “Walking With Ghosts” is just Gabriel Byrne, sharing memories and spinning tales for well over two hours in two act…

SOURCE: at 12:09PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Jug of “Wine in the Wilderness” and Thou: Perfect Together by Philip

If you want to know what a stage director does (or can do) for a play, you might want to first read Alice Childress’s “Wine in the Wilderness” and then get yourself to Two River Theate…

SOURCE: at 01:19PM
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Debating the American Dream: “Death of a Salesman” and “Baldwin & Buckley at Cambridge” by Philip

On consecutive evenings last week, I saw what are likely the longest and shortest works, in terms of running time, currently on New York stages. The long one, clocking in at well over three …

SOURCE: at 02:58PM
Friday, October 7, 2022

“I’m Revolting” Is Far From It by Philip

As much as I admire and am entertained by fine classical acting – at Stratford and in Central Park, for instance – and by complete-package musicals (“The Prom” and “Into the Woods�…

SOURCE: at 02:39PM
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Reader’s guide to World Music Festival Chicago 2022 by Philip Montoro, Leslie Allison, Leor Galil, Aaron Cohen, Jamie Ludwig, Sandra Treviño, Catalina Maria Johnson, Monica Kendrick, Joshua Minsoo Kim, James Porter, Hannah Edgar, Steve Krakow, Bill Meyer, Jacob Arnold, Noah Berlatsky, Kelley Tatro and Mark G

The term “world music” has never been adequate to the task we’ve set it—even in its most benign reading, it implies a division between the listener and the rest of […] The post The…

SOURCE: at 09:15PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Odds and Ends on “Death of a Salesman” by Philip

This piece is prompted by the current Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” which I am scheduled to see on October 12. Neither a review nor an analysis, it is just…

SOURCE: at 05:27PM
Friday, September 9, 2022

String Theory, Quarks, and the Big Bang, Oh My: “Strings Attached” Off-Broadway by Philip

“Strings Attached” is about three physicists, an American woman and two British men, on their way by train from Cambridge to London to see Michael Frayn’s science-based play “Copenha…

SOURCE: at 03:23PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

A “Godot” Worth Waiting For at Barrington Stage Company by Philip

An esteemed scholar once wrote about “Waiting for Godot” that “We all bring to Samuel Beckett’s play whatever is uppermost in our minds.” As tidy as that seems, my “Godot” expe…

SOURCE: at 03:58PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Sure and it’s “The Butcher Boy” at Irish Rep by Philip

Mrs. Nugent should have quit while she was ahead. When she went to the Brady home to complain that her son Philip was being bullied by Francie Brady, Francie’s ma was ready to punish him. …

SOURCE: at 03:05PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Fortunately, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Has Eight More Lives by Philip

Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” reportedly his own personal favorite, has weathered so many revivals and revisions since its 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning premiere that all…

SOURCE: at 05:18PM
Thursday, July 21, 2022

The tastes of home by Jt Newman, Philip Montoro, Salem Collo-Julin, Kirk Williamson and Savannah Hugueley

It’s a common refrain in the city: Chicago summer is so worth the wait. Newbies and transplants can feel the buzz of opportunity in the air when the weather starts to turn. Visceral summer…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Monday, July 18, 2022

Perfection in Two Acts: “Into the Woods” on Broadway by Philip

It is fascinating to imagine the processes that went into mounting the Broadway revival of “Into the Woods.” Not only Stephen Sondheim’s exquisite music and lyrics and James Lapine’s…

SOURCE: at 02:31PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Season #70 at Stratford: “Richard III,” “Chicago” and “Hamlet” by Philip

As written for MediaNews Group in Michigan: However you define Power Couple, you will not find a more representative theatrical pair than actor Colm Feore and director-choreographer Donna Fe…

SOURCE: at 08:55AM
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Taped TV to Off-Broadway: “Lessons in Survival: 1971” by Philip

From 1968 to 1973, “SOUL!,” America’s first Black-hosted nighttime TV talk show, celebrated Black literature, poetry, music and politics, largely in interview formats. In 1971, prolifi…

SOURCE: at 10:11PM
Thursday, June 2, 2022

Mr. Seven Times a Week: Billy Crystal by Philip

One of my favorite theater memories is of seeing Phil Silvers in “Do Re Mi” in 1960. In a scene where his character is producing a recording session, Silvers tells the six on-stage music…

SOURCE: at 03:06PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Romeo and…Bernadette? Why Not; What’s In a Name? by Philip

There are many reasons for taking a date to a community theater production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Maybe you are both studying English Lit or are enrolled in acting classe…

SOURCE: at 07:49PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Ontario’s Stratford Festival Emerges from The Pandemic of Its Discontent by Philip

The following article appears in the May edition of the Canadian national Mensa magazine, MC2, and online and in the print editions of MediaNews Group in suburban Detroit.     One hundred…

SOURCE: at 11:10AM
Monday, April 11, 2022

A Starry Couple Revives a Neil Simon Triptych: “Plaza Suite” on Broadway by Philip

Between 1961 and Y2K, Neil Simon was represented on Broadway by thirty plays, winning four Tony Awards (one honorary) and the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (“Lost in Yonkers”). The plays…

SOURCE: at 03:45PM
Thursday, March 3, 2022

This Play Doesn’t Interest You? Just Wait Ten Minutes by Philip

Think about the last ten new plays you saw. Were most of them really well written, with cohesive plots and well-developed characters? Were they thought-provoking and/or amusing? Well, that a…

SOURCE: at 02:51PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

What’s Old Is New Again: Mint Theater Revives “The Daughter-in-Law” by Philip

In years past I have seen several plays performed in foreign (to me) languages. “Death of a Salesman” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” both familiar works, were perfectly clear in Yiddish,…

SOURCE: at 09:39PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards