All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

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
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Fiction Meets Fact in “Wit” off-Broadway by Philip

Vivian Bearing, PhD, a college professor of 17th-Century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne, is undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer. Fifty ye…

SOURCE: at 04:23PM
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Understudy: Not a Job for the Weak of Heart by Philip

Theater lore abounds with tales of understudies who have gone on to a degree of stardom, some as a direct result of having filled in for an indisposed performer. Shirley Maclaine, who subbed…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Monday, December 20, 2021

“Company” Trades Bobby, Bobby Baby for Bobbie, Bobbie Baby by Philip

Several terrific performances in the current Broadway revival of “Company” owe their provenance to its gender-switched casting. Originally about NYC bachelor Robert/Bobby being feted on …

SOURCE: at 06:02PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“Kimberly Akimbo” + Music: Perfect Together by Philip

How do you improve on perfection? Well, you can’t – by definition. But you can approach it from a different direction, which is what David Lindsay-Abaire has done in adapting his marvelo…

SOURCE: at 05:06PM
Thursday, December 2, 2021

You’ll Seem to Find the Happiness You Seek, When You’re Out Together Seeing “Cheek to Cheek” by Philip

All eleven outstanding onstage performers (six singer-dancers and five musicians) are at the top of their game, but the biggest stars of “Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood” are …

SOURCE: at 11:06PM
Monday, November 15, 2021

“Morning’s at Seven” revived: The Play and Its Players Have Aged Well by Philip

At the intermission of “Morning’s at Seven,” directed by Dan Wackerman in revival at the Theatre of St. Clement’s, I mentioned to my companion that Paul Osborne’s 1940 comedy, whic…

SOURCE: at 08:39PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

“A Bronx Tale” Well Told at Axelrod PAC by Philip

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park, New Jersey has emerged from Covid lockdown with a stylish and engaging production of “A Bronx Tale,” the full-scale musical version of Ch…

SOURCE: at 12:05PM
Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Couple Thousand Miles (And a War) Between Friends: “Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise” in New Jersey by Philip

It is no knock on A. R. Gurney’s much-admired “Love Letters” to note that “Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise” takes Gurney’s premise and runs with it…literally. Gurney has …

SOURCE: at 02:17PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Four Actors Play Multiple Characters in Two Broadway Plays by Philip

In his very fine book “A Lifetime with Shakespeare” (McFarland),  about having directed all of Shakespeare’s plays, the late Paul Barry postulated that casting is eighty-five percent …

SOURCE: at 09:06PM
Friday, October 8, 2021

The Dazzling Half-Dozen: “Six The Musical” on Broadway by Philip

Henry VIII wasted no time embarking on his multiple-marriage mission. Just weeks after assuming the English throne at age 19 in 1509, he wed number one of six, Catherine of Aragon, his older…

SOURCE: at 04:30PM
Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Brave Title, Generic Show: “The Book of Moron” by Philip

When’s the last time you heard a Dumb Blond joke? Me neither, until Robert Dubac pulled one early in “The Book of Moron,” his solo comedic commentary in a limited engagement through Oc…

SOURCE: at 05:22PM
Monday, August 9, 2021

“Merry Wives” in Harlem, via Central Park by Philip

Tradition holds that Queen Elizabeth I, enamored of Sir John Falstaff from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, asked the playwright to depict that character in love, and that he complied, writin…

SOURCE: at 07:17PM
Monday, July 26, 2021

Long Live the King! (Lear, that is…and Cordelia too) by Philip

In calendar year 2014 I saw four different productions of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” In all of them, and six or eight others over the years, Lear and his daughter Cordelia [spoiler ale…

SOURCE: at 04:20PM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Gershwins and Oscar Wilde Live On Stage! What’s not to like… by Philip

As ‘S Wonderful as “Who Could Ask for Anything More? The Songs of George Gershwin” is as it stands, and it truly is, I would suggest one change: adding George’s principal lyricist, h…

SOURCE: at 08:43PM
Monday, May 17, 2021

Dream Along With En Garde Arts by Philip

Considering, as Rehena Mirza’s disembodied voice intones in her segment of “A Dozen Dreams,” that nothing is more boring than hearing about someone else’s dream, you would think a ga…

SOURCE: at 11:36AM
Monday, April 12, 2021

John Cullum at Ninety-one…and Counting. by Philip

What might you be doing one month past your ninety-first birthday? For John Cullum, who achieved that milestone in March, the answer was a sort of fallback plan: Two years earlier, the vener…

SOURCE: at 02:43PM

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