Saturday, December 3, 2022

How Broadway's "KPOP" Lost Its Mojo by Jan Simpson

The world of musical theater is divided right now between the people who saw KPOP before it came to Broadway and those who saw it afterward. I sadly fall into the latter group.  The origina…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:54PM
Saturday, November 26, 2022

Digging Deep Into Empathy With "Downstate" by Jan Simpson

Bruce Norris has a knack for making people uncomfortable.  His 2006 play The Pain and the Itch featured a 4-year-old with a genital rash, a metaphor for her family’s dysfunction that call…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 04:06PM

Succumbing to the Charms of "& Juliet" by Jan Simpson

  & Juliet, the exuberant new musical that mashes up Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the songbook of the pop hitmaker Max Martin wasn’t made for me. It was made for the tween g…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 04:06PM
Saturday, November 5, 2022

Life and Death Stories In "Everything's Fine," "Walking With Ghosts," "Where the Mountain Meets the Sea," and "My B by Jan Simpson

The writer Joan Didion once said that “we tell ourselves stories in order to live.” But lately an increasing number of theater makers have not only been telling the stories of their live…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:06PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

In Memoriam: Seymour "Red" Press by Jan Simpson

My friend Seymour "Red" Press died yesterday. Although to call him a friend doesn’t really describe what he meant to my husband K and me. Red was a longtime musical contractor and K, a tru…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 04:13PM
Saturday, October 15, 2022

A Nay for "Baldwin & Buckley at Cambridge" by Jan Simpson

As a recent story in the online magazine TDF Stages noted, James Baldwin is having a theatrical moment (click here to read more about it). The black writer and intellectual, who died in 1987…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 06:03PM
Friday, October 7, 2022

The New "1776" Isn't Revolutionary Enough by Jan Simpson

Revivals used to be fairly simple. A producer would take a beloved title or maybe even an underappreciated one, cast it with a star or two and voilà, a show. But that’s not how it goes no…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:55AM
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Alan Cumming Follows His Passion in "Burn" by Jan Simpson

The very limited six-day run of Burn, Alan Cumming’s solo performance piece at The Joyce Theater, ends this weekend but there is so much joy in it that I can't resist celebrating it.  Cu…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:55AM
Saturday, September 3, 2022

A Labor Day Salute to Stage Managers by Jan Simpson

Monday is Labor Day, which means that it’s time for my annual tribute to some of the people whose labor makes the theater we all love work. I’ve been doing this for 15 years now and I ca…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:43PM
Saturday, August 13, 2022

"The Butcher Boy" and "On that Day in Amsterdam" May Have Arrived Too Soon by Jan Simpson

Everyone who loves serious theater loves the idea of giving talented new writers a chance to show what they can do. The question is the timing. Too many workshops (and the notes that come al…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:48PM
Saturday, August 6, 2022

This Post-Modern "Oresteia" is No Classic by Jan Simpson

Greek tragedies don’t get done a lot. Which is why I really try to see them when I can. So my theatergoing buddy Bill and I bought tickets for the new production of the Oresteia that is pl…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:03AM
Saturday, July 16, 2022

"Between the Lines" Tells a Familiar Story by Jan Simpson

So many musicals nowadays are based on movies or other pop culture IP (by which I mean jukebox musicals of one kind or another) that it’s nicely retro to have one based on a book. That’s…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:33PM
Saturday, July 9, 2022

Women and Politics in "POTUS" and "53% Of" by Jan Simpson

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. At least that’s the approach two recent plays have taken with the current political morass in which we all find ourselves.  Selina Filling…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:03PM
Saturday, July 2, 2022

Theater Books for Summer Reading 2022 by Jan Simpson

Now that Covid has been around for more than two years and vaccines have made contracting the virus a little less scary, a new kind of normal is settling in. The Tony award ceremonies return…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:12AM
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Broadway—Many Kinds of Media—& Me by Jan Simpson

For the second time this month, there will be no regular post here. It’s not because there haven’t been shows to see and talk about: although it will be weeks before anything new opens o…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:24PM
Saturday, June 11, 2022

"Exception to the Rule" and "soft" Offer Laments on the Tragedy of Being, Young, Poor and Black or Brown in Today's America by Jan Simpson

The settings and the circumstances are the same in two new off-Broadway shows that portray the plight of the young Black and Brown people who are so often trapped in systems that view them…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:06PM
Saturday, June 4, 2022

"Dreaming Zenzile" Gets Lost in Its Reveries by Jan Simpson

Dreaming Zenzile, the musical that opened at New York Theatre Workshop this week, began as a tribute concert.  And it probably should have stayed one.   The show, a co-production with the…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:37AM
Saturday, May 21, 2022

"Belfast Girls" Updates the History Play by Jan Simpson

The girls aren’t what they’re expected to be in Belfast Girls, the new show that opened at the Irish Rep this week. They also aren’t what we’ve come to expect to find in historical d…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:12AM
Saturday, May 14, 2022

Celebrating Even Making it to Awards Season by Jan Simpson

It may seem strange for a theater lover—and hip-hop know-nothing—like me to be quoting the rapper Drake but his self-congratulatory lyrics “Started from the bottom, now we're here” s…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:36PM
Saturday, May 7, 2022

In Praise of "A Case for the Existence of God" by Jan Simpson

Samuel D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God has been almost universally adored by the critics. And the play, which has just been extended at Signature Theatre through May 22, deserv…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:07PM
Saturday, April 30, 2022

Four New Shows Try to Answer the Question "What Kind of Show Belongs on Broadway?" by Jan Simpson

Seventeen shows opened or reopened on Broadway this month and as I bounced from one to the other, I found myself asking what exactly is a Broadway show. The simplest answer to that question …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:18AM
Saturday, April 23, 2022

Riding High With "How I Learned to Drive" by Jan Simpson

We’re in the midst of the spring crush when new shows are opening literally every night as they rush in to be considered for the awards that celebrate the end of each theater season.  So …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 06:42AM
Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Missteps of "Paradise Square" and "Suffs" by Jan Simpson

Making a good musical is hard. Now I don’t consider that statement to be a conceptual scoop that no one has ever considered before. But the thought has been much on my mind after seeing an…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:06AM
Saturday, April 9, 2022

"Confederates” Surveys Some Common Ground Bridging the Past and the Present by Jan Simpson

In the opening monologue of Confederates, now running at the Pershing Square Signature Center through April 24, a college professor runs down a list of popular culture centered around slaver…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:33PM
Saturday, April 2, 2022

Some Old-Fashioned Fun with "The Music Man," "MJ The Musical" and "Plaza Suite" by Jan Simpson

Here’s the dilemma: reviews are usually written by people who see anywhere between 200 and 300 shows a year but the people who read those reviews may see only two or three shows a year, of…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:03AM
Saturday, March 26, 2022

Paying Proper Respect to "The Chinese Lady" by Jan Simpson

There are so many things to admire about Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady which is currently running at The Public Theater through April 10.  And here are just a few of them. ADMIRATION #1: T…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 01:33PM
Saturday, March 12, 2022

"This Space Between Us" Needs More Filling by Jan Simpson

There are so many themes—cultural assimilation, filial responsibility, sibling rivalry, climate change, animal cruelty, homophobia—packed into This Space Between Us that this new dramedy…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 02:12PM
Saturday, March 5, 2022

"sandblasted" Lacks True Grit by Jan Simpson

The playwright Charly Evon Simpson had written a bunch of stuff before she got her breakthrough three years ago with Behind the Sheet, a devastating drama about how the father of American gy…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:42AM
Saturday, February 26, 2022

"English" Has Some Valuable Things to Say by Jan Simpson

There have been so many voices absent from the American stage that sometimes we don’t even know what we’ve been missing until we suddenly hear it. English, the deceptively simple play by…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 03:12PM
Saturday, February 19, 2022

"Black No More" is a Little Too Pallid by Jan Simpson

Even before it opened at the Pershing Square Signature Center on Tuesday, some people were calling the musical Black No More “the new Hamilton.” And it’s easy to see why.  The score, …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:36PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A Really Special 15th Anniversary for B&Me by Jan Simpson

I can hardly believe it but I published the first Broadway & Me post 15 years ago on Valentine’s Day. So this post should have gone up yesterday. However I was so busy celebrating V-Da…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:12PM

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2022-2023 BROADWAY SEASON
Nov 27, 2022: KPOP - Circle In The Square