All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It’s Live! A Socially Distant Group Hug: “Godspell” by Philip

“Not to put any pressure on you, but the entire American theater is depending on you to be smart.” Thus spoke Kate Shindle, president of Actors Equity, to the cast of “Godspell,” the…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:33PM
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Zoomed “Blues” Still Sweet by Philip

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine” premiered at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2016. The cast (with one replacement) re-assembled last week for …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 09:08PM
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Zooming Across The Pond: “Lungs” at The Old Vic by Philip

How’s this for minimalism: Playwright Duncan Macmillan’s instructions for the staging of “Lungs” specifies a bare stage with no scenery, no furniture, no props, no mime and no costum…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 01:42PM
Friday, June 19, 2020

Quality Time Spent With Willy Loman by Philip

Since its premiere in 1949, when it won all six of its Tony Award nominations (and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” has had four Broadway revivals, …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:22PM
Sunday, May 31, 2020

What Would You Do? by Philip

A column by Ginia Bellafante in the Metropolitan Section of  the  Sunday May 31 New York Times about last week’s Central Park incident between bird-watcher Christian Cooper, who is black…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 10:06PM
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

“It’s Better Than the Movie”: Memories That Linger by Philip

With no Theatre to cover due to this nasty fellow… …I’ll share a few excerpts from “It’s Better Than The Movie,” my work-in-progress anecdotal memoir: July 1956: I was an apprent…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:26PM
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

All that Chat

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