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
Saturday, April 1, 2023

Swooning—Once Again—For "Sweeney Todd" by Jan Simpson

People always ask people like me—people who've been blessed with the opportunity to see lots and lots of shows—what our favorites are. I tend to hem and haw when it comes to plays (somet…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:12AM
Saturday, March 25, 2023

"A Doll's House" is Chic But Underfurnished by Jan Simpson

Despite the projection of the date 1879 on the brick wall at the back of the Hudson Theatre, the new revival of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House could be taking place i…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:36PM
Saturday, March 18, 2023

How To Defend Yourself" Grapples With Gen-Z Concerns About Intimacy and Consent by Jan Simpson

Thousands of dollars and countless hours have been spent trying to figure out how to get young people into the theater. But I’ve got a hunch that the answer is simple: offer things they wa…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:10AM
Saturday, March 4, 2023

"The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" Is a Sign of Better Things That Never Came by Jan Simpson

Lorraine Hansberry only lived long enough to see two of her plays produced. The first was A Raisin in the Sun, celebrated when it opened in 1959 as the first play by an African-American woma…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 12:44PM
Saturday, February 18, 2023

A Grateful Sixteenth Anniversary Message by Jan Simpson

So here we are celebrating—albeit slightly belatedly—the 16th anniversary of Broadway & Me. My first post went up on Feb. 14, 2007 and in the intervening years, I've seen so many wo…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:07AM
Saturday, February 11, 2023

"Pictures From Home" Lacks A Clear Focus by Jan Simpson

  Around 1982 the photographer Larry Sultan began taking photos of his parents at their home in California’s affluent San Fernando Valley. And he kept at it over the next 10 years, final…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:43AM
Saturday, February 4, 2023

Cozy At-Home Theater for a Cold Weekend by Jan Simpson

A frigid cold front is sweeping across a large part of the country this weekend. And that can be a disincentive to go outside for even the most avid theatergoer. Luckily, there are—thanks …

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:00AM
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Why the OCC (and Me) Made the Switch to More Gender-Inclusive Acting Awards by Jan Simpson

Giving awards can be tricky. We all want to—and should—celebrate extraordinary theatrical talent. But every time one person is ushered into the winner’s circle, a whole lot of other fo…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 10:02AM
Saturday, January 14, 2023

Finally Seduced by "Phantom of the Opera" by Jan Simpson

January can be a quiet time on Broadway. Lots of shows close (click here for a list of some of them). Very few open. Which makes it a good time to catch up with the ones still running that y…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 09:42AM
Sunday, January 1, 2023

High Hopes For a Very Happy New Year by Jan Simpson

  Wishing you a year filled with all of the above, plus, of course, lots of great theater...

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 08:12AM
Saturday, December 31, 2022

My Favorite Theatrical Things in 2022 by Jan Simpson

Theater worked hard this year to come back from the pandemic. As part of those efforts, Broadway dropped its requirement that theatergoers show proof of being vaccinated and made mask wearin…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 05:06PM
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Saturday, December 17, 2022

"The Far Country" Recalls Forgotten History by Jan Simpson

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust announced this week that it is awarding its $100,000 Mimi Award to two mid-career playwrights: James Ijames and Lloyd Suh. I’m pleased for bo…

SOURCE: Broadway & Me at 11:48AM
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

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
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