All stories by Tony Frankel on BroadwayStars

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Theater Preview: DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! (Los Angeles Theatre Works at UCLA) by Tony Frankel

SHE’S BA-A-A-CK AND SHE’S FA-A-A-ABULOUS Charles Busch’s play Die, Mommie, Die! is equal parts Greek comic-tragedy and Hollywood kitsch — a melodramatic campy cult classic in the vei…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:53PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

Dance Review: GRIMM TALES (Ballet Austin) by Tony Frankel

BEST WHEN IT’S GRIM GRIMM Born in Austin and now living in New York City, artist Natalie Frank created 75 works based on the stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Using gouache and chalk pas…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:42PM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Theater Review: FALSETTOS (National Tour) by Tony Frankel

NOT ONE FALSE NOTE The musical masterpiece Falsettos follows Marvin, an appealing, brainy, anxious, obsessive, wealthy Jewish gay man who struggles to create a tight-knit family out of his …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:15PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Theater Review: EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED (Ensemble Theatre Company in Santa Barbara) by Tony Frankel

SOME, NOT ALL, IS ILLUMINATED Sadly, not everything is illuminated in British playwright Simon Block’s fascinating but problematic adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 12:50PM
Monday, April 15, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS (Pasadena Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE THEATER Well, there certainly is nothing wrong with good advice. And there’s plenty of that in the structurally unconventional Tiny Beautiful Things, Nia Vardalos’s …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:17PM
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Theater Review: NOTES FROM THE FIELD (ZACH Theatre | Kleberg Stage in Austin, TX) by Tony Frankel

GRACE NOTES Now on the Kleberg Stage in Austin, TX, Anna Deavere Smith’s powerful, engrossing and resonant solo play — Notes from the Field — has been updated for four actors by ZACH…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:13AM
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL (5-Star Theatricals in Thousand Oaks) by Tony Frankel

A VAULTING MATILDA Imagine Annie with psychokinetic powers, Nancy Drew as a mind-reader, or Cinderella acting as her own fairy godmother. Self-empowerment fuels this upbeat, knock-down, pell…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:21AM
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Theater Review: DIANA (LA Jolla Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

photos by Little Fang Up Here La Jolla Playhouse 2910 La Jolla Village Dr in La Jolla ends on September 6, 2015 for tickets, call (858) 550-1010 or visit La Jolla Playhouse

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 12:53AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Theater Review: INCOGNITO (Son of Semele) by Tony Frankel

BRAIN CRAMPS One of the brainiest plays since, well, British playwright Nick Payne’s other brainy play, Constellations, Incognito (2014) contains Payne’s usual assortment of short scenes…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:43PM

Theater Review: THE WOLVES (Echo Theater Company) by Tony Frankel

TEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA I’m not really sure if director Alana Dietze could have done anything more with The Wolves, a dramatically inert slice-of-life one act that follows an …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:37PM
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Theater Review: ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST (The Actors’ Gang in Los Angeles) by Tony Frankel

ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF A PLAY Anarchy is not chaos. The former means “without law” and the latter means “without form.” This is an important distinction to consider in a play that inten…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:55PM
Monday, March 18, 2019

CD Review: RENT (Original Soundtrack of the Live Television Event) by Tony Frankel

TOO BAD THEY DIDN’T RAISE THE RENT Rent has a romantic history: Jonathan Larson, its author and composer, died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm on Jan. 25, 1996, 10 days before his 36th birt…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:29PM
Sunday, March 17, 2019


HARRY POTTER AND THE RECYCLED RECORDING ENGINEER Jack Thorne’s immensely popular two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has taken up residence in London, New York, and Melbourne…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:25PM
Friday, March 15, 2019

Theater Review: NO, NO, NANETTE (Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in Claremont) by Tony Frankel

A YES AND NO NANETTE When the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette was revised and remounted in 1971, it was predicted to be a flop by folks in the Biz, but it was the buzz of the season with nostal…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:58AM
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: ESCAPE FROM GODOT (YARD Theater) by Tony Frankel

WE’RE STILL WAITING You’re watching a play but you have no idea what’s happening. There is no plot, the dialogue is gobbledygook, and characters are filled with despair, yet you are to…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:06PM
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Theater Review: THE JUDAS KISS (Boston Court) by Tony Frankel

LOVE CONQUERS COMMON SENSE My takeaway about Oscar Wilde in David Hare’s intellectually stimulating but overly static play of ideas, The Judas Kiss, now at Boston Court, is this: The liter…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:58AM
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Theater Review: THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Antaeus Theatre) by Tony Frankel

CRIPPLE THE FUN Funny and heartbreaking, Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan is nothing less than a slalom run of emotional ups and downs and plot twists and turns. Antaeus Theatre…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:12AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Theater Review: WITNESS UGANDA (The Wallis) by Tony Frankel

WITNESSING UGANDA IS AMAZING, EVEN THOUGH THE SHOW NEEDS WORK Griffin is a young black New York actor in search of more than a career. When he is kicked out of his church choir because he’…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:36AM
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Theater Review: LIGHTS OUT: NAT “KING” COLE (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood) by Tony Frankel

UNFORGETTABLE AND FORGETTABLE AT THE SAME TIME Well, here’s a show that, while it doesn’t defy description, is nonetheless perplexing. As with Matthew Borne’s Cinderella, now playing a…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:16PM
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Theater Review: MINNIE’S BOYS (Musical Theatre Guild at the Alex Theatre) by Tony Frankel

BOY OH BOYS With a fun and intermittently funny score by Hal Hackady (lyrics) and Larry Grossman (music), perky, adorable, enterprising direction by J. Scott Lapp, and some shining performan…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:12AM
Friday, February 8, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: TWO TRAINS RUNNING (The Matrix Theatre) by Tony Frankel

RUNNING ON FULL After producer Sophina Brown’s celebrated production last year of King Headly II — one of ten dramas of the late August Wilson’s 2oth-century chronicle The Pittsbur…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:37PM
Monday, February 4, 2019

Theater Review: TITANIC (Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in Claremont) by Tony Frankel

A MORE INTIMATE TITANIC MADE EPIC It’s telling that the 1997 musical Titanic won Tony Awards for each nomination — Best Musical, Peter Stone’s book, Maury Yeston’s sc…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:45AM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Theater Review: HELLO, DOLLY! (National Tour) by Tony Frankel

BUCKLEY BUCKLES A BIT, BUT DOLLY DEFINITELY DELIVERS To start with, let’s agree to never say “Goodbye, Dolly.” Thornton Wilder’s genius for the common touch isn’t just a golden leg…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:37PM
Sunday, January 27, 2019

Theater Review: SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (South Coast Rep) by Tony Frankel

IT COULD HAVE BEEN MURDER Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical that never fails to impress, no matter how many times it’s been seen. It te…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:56PM
Friday, January 25, 2019

Concert Review: BERNADETTE PETERS (Disney Hall) by Tony Frankel

SAINT BERNADETTE Now that she’s hung up her late-Victorian hat after taking over for Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway last year, the inimitable Bernadette Peters has embarked …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:57AM
Sunday, January 20, 2019

CD Review: SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS (2018 Studio Recording on PS Classics) by Tony Frankel

SOMETHING SWELL FOR MUSICAL LOVERS A studio recording of Cole Porter’s 1943 boisterously farcical musical Something for the Boys has just been released, and producer and PS Classics …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:15PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Theater Review: 1776 (La Mirada Theatre) by Tony Frankel

YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION? How remarkable to have been a fly on the wall when the creators of 1776, the 1969 musical receiving a terrific La Mirada Theatre/McCoy Rigby revival, were dec…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:29PM
Friday, January 11, 2019

Theater Review: MIDDLE8 (Stella Adler Theatre) by Tony Frankel

GREAT CHORUS, GREAT BRIDGE, GREAT INTRO WONKY SUPERSTRUCTURE A middle 8 is a section in song structure — usually in the middle and consisting of eight bars — that is used to add…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:15PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Theater Preview: AN INSPECTOR CALLS (The Wallis) by Tony Frankel

SOCIETY UNDER CLOSE INSPECTION An Inspector Calls was first performed in 1945 at a time of great change — both World Wars were fresh in the minds of the people, women had become more …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 10:20PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Theater Review: SHE LOVES ME (Actors Co-op) by Tony Frankel

LITTLE SHOP OF HAPPINESS I’ll be the first to admit that it may be impossible to create a bad production of the 1963 jewel-box musical She Loves Me. This perfect show, based on the 1937 pl…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:58PM
Monday, December 3, 2018

Theater Preview: SOUTH PACIFIC (Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura) by Tony Frankel

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING INDEED At about 8 am on December 7, 1941, Japanese planes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Bombs and bullets rained onto the vessels moored below on the Unite…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:42PM

All that Chat

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