Saturday, May 4, 2024

A Few Thoughts on an Awards Season Full of News-Worthy and Prize-Worthy Nominations by Jan Simpson

We’re officially in awards season.  The Outer Critics Circle, on whose nominating committee I sit, announced its choices for the best in the 2023-2024 season last week (click here to see …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 06:18PM
Saturday, April 27, 2024

"Mother Play" is a Work of True Compassion by Jan Simpson

After seeing Mother Play, Paula Vogel’s semi-autobiographical three-hander which opened at the Hayes Theater on the very last day of the 2023-2024 theater season, my friends and I went nex…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:32AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2024


The Bard was born 460 years ago today—and died exactly 52 years later in 1616. But of course his works live on even though debates about whether or not he actually wrote them do too (click…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:12PM
Saturday, April 20, 2024

Their Wobbly Books Cause "Lempicka" and "Suffs" to Stumble More Than They Should by Jan Simpson

What’s the hardest job in show business?  There are obviously lots of contenders but right now as one musical after another is opening on Broadway, I’ve been thinking that the answer to…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:06PM
Saturday, April 13, 2024

An Uplifting Visit to "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Jan Simpson

It’s being an unusually busy theater season this spring with a baker’s dozen of Broadway shows still scheduled to open between now and the end of the month. So it’s no surprise that sm…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:24AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Happy World Theatre Day 2024 by Jan Simpson

Wishing you all the joy and drama and empathy that good theater always brings  

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 04:36PM
Saturday, March 23, 2024

Old Stories—and Old Guys—Get the Spotlight in "The Notebook" and "Water for Elephants" by Jan Simpson

In the journalism business we say that three occurrences of a thing make it a trend and so right now the hottest trend in theater seems to be musicals centered around the memories of old guy…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 03:12PM
Saturday, March 16, 2024

"Dead Outlaw" is the Liveliest Show in Town by Jan Simpson

You can usually tell within the first 10 minutes or so of seeing a show whether you’re in good hands. And I knew right away that I was in very good hands when I saw Dead Outlaw, the first …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:42PM
Saturday, March 2, 2024

"The Hunt" Kind of Misses the Mark by Jan Simpson

  We’re now used to getting musicals based on movies but it’s rarer for a straight play to be adapted from a film. However that’s the case with The Hunt, which opened this week at S…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:42PM
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hailing the High-Camp Virtues of "Oh, Mary!" by Jan Simpson

If I had access to a time machine one stop I’d make would be sometime around 1960 at Caffe Cino in Greenwich Village where young playwrights like John Guare, Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:02AM
Saturday, February 17, 2024

"I Love You So Much I Could Die" is Too Intimate for Its Own Good—Or Anyone's by Jan Simpson

Valentine’s Day was celebrated this past week and the new show I Love You So Much I Could Die, which opened at New York Theatre Workshop on Feb. 14, struck me as an ultimate gesture of lov…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:36PM
Saturday, February 10, 2024

"The Connector" Fails to Connect With Me by Jan Simpson

Journalists love stories about journalism. We even love the stories that cast us in a bad light. And I'll admit that’s part of the reason that The Connector, which was inspired by the stor…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:12AM
Saturday, February 3, 2024

Why "Jonah" Isn't the One For Me by Jan Simpson

Sometimes you just don’t get a show. Maybe its subject triggers you or fails to grab you at all. Maybe the playwright was trying to do too much or the director didn’t do enough. Or maybe…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 03:02PM
Saturday, January 27, 2024

Good and Bad Reminders of the Holocaust Are on Show in "Our Class" and "White Rose" by Jan Simpson

Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day, which was created to commemorate the six million Jews and others who were systematically slaughtered by the Nazis. But New York theater makers …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:24PM
Saturday, January 20, 2024

A Belated—But Upbeat—Spring Preview by Jan Simpson

Previews are all about the promise of what’s to come so I suppose it’s no surprise that the last time I posted a preview list of the shows I was excited about seeing in an upcoming seaso…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 04:02PM
Saturday, December 23, 2023

Not the Best Shows in 2023 But Those That Put A Smile on My Face When I Needed One by Jan Simpson

It’s that time of year when people like me draw up Top 10 lists ranking the cultural experiences they’ve had over the past 12 months but, as some of you know, 2023 hasn’t been a great …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 05:54PM
Saturday, October 7, 2023

Reflections on "Melissa Etheridge: My Window" by Jan Simpson

To truly appreciate Melissa Etheridge: My Window, you may need to be a hardcore fan of the singer-songwriter or a member of Generation X, who was born between 1965 and 1980, grew up with Eth…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 03:43PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Thoughts on a New Era in New York Theater by Jan Simpson

The news came this week that two titans of New York theater will be stepping down from the powerful perches on which they’ve long roosted. André Bishop who has lead Lincoln Center Theater…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 05:55AM
Saturday, September 2, 2023

A Labor Day Salute to Working-Class Actors by Jan Simpson

Somehow the weeks in July and August always seem to fly by more quickly than those during the rest of the year. And so here we are again at the end of the summer and, as I do every Labor Day…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:55AM
Saturday, August 12, 2023

"The Shark is Broken" Makes a Soft Splash by Jan Simpson

Listening to the waves of laughter that greeted the new comedy The Shark is Broken made me wonder if we might be entering the era of jukebox plays that pander to the folks who love particula…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:19PM
Saturday, August 5, 2023

The Dog Emerges as Best in Show in "Toros" by Jan Simpson

Why is Frank Wood, not just a stalwart of New York theater but a Tony winner, lying on the floor and playing a dying dog? That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat watching Toros, …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:04PM
Saturday, July 29, 2023

"Flex" Is One of The Summer Season's MVPs by Jan Simpson

It’s 1998 and the five starting players for the Lady Train, the all-black girls basketball team in a small Arkansas town, aren’t dirt poor or bougie rich. The problems they’re dealing …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:33AM
Saturday, July 8, 2023

It's His Niece Sonya Who Stands Out in this Very Intimate Production of "Uncle Vanya" by Jan Simpson

Like most theater obsessives, I take pride in my collection of experiences that give me bragging rights—I saw Hamilton at the Public before it was a hit! I saw Glory Days, which opened and…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:33PM
Saturday, July 1, 2023

Theater Books for Summer Reading 2023 by Jan Simpson

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!  Time has been so slippery over these past three pandemic years and global warming is now playing such havoc with the weather that on some days just breathing …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:13AM
Saturday, June 10, 2023

How "The Comeuppance" Let Me Down by Jan Simpson

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and I go back a long way. I saw his first New York show down at P.S. 122 right after its director quit during previews and one of the actors published a pie…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:43PM
Saturday, May 27, 2023

Delicious Diversity with "Monsoon Wedding," "Bernarda's Daughters" and "Bees & Honey" by Jan Simpson

Diversity is sometimes thought of as the vegetable of theatrical offerings: something that we theater lovers should include in the diet of things we consume because it’s "good" for us. But…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:42AM
Saturday, May 20, 2023

Celebrating The 50th Anniversary of TOFT by Jan Simpson

No review posting today but I’m thrilled to be able to share the news that Patrick Hoffman, the director and curator of The Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at New York's Library for the P…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:18PM
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

"The Cotillion" Looks at the Very Complex Demands Put on Middle-Class Black Women by Jan Simpson

Regular readers will know that I usually post my reviews on Saturdays but I’m changing things up this week because the show I want to talk about has a short run and the performance I recen…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:12AM
Saturday, May 6, 2023

Reveling in the 2022-23 Awards Season by Jan Simpson

And so it’s begun. The last show of Broadway’s 2022-23 season—a revival of The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,Lorraine Hansberry’s 1964 meditation on white allyship—opened on …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:48AM
Saturday, April 15, 2023

A "Camelot" That's Not the Most Shining Spot by Jan Simpson

O.K., so here’s the dilemma: when you revive a classic show that has problematic elements (and which of them doesn’t?) should you keep it the way it was written or update it for modern s…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:42PM
Saturday, April 8, 2023

"Life of Pi" Ponders the Mysteries of Faith by Jan Simpson

It somehow feels appropriate during this Easter-Passover weekend to note that a lot of shows both on and off Broadway have been wrestling with faith this season (click here to read more abou…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:32AM

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