Thursday, July 12, 2018

Mary Page Marlowe by Wendy Caster

Six women play Mary Page Marlowe, the titular protagonist of Tracy Letts's 90-minute one act at Second Stage Theater. I imagine that developing the show was a fascinating experience for the …

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:36PM
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Fair Lady by Elizabeth Wollman

The revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center is much like other Bartlett Sher revivals of musical theater chestnuts at Lincoln Center: it is colorful (if, this time around, more dimly lit);…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:12PM
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Log Cabin by Wendy Caster

Jordan Harrison's annoyingly didactic Log Cabin presents characters who come across as op-ed essays rather than humans. There's a gay couple and a lesbian couple who have done well in t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:36PM
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Everyone's Fine With Virginia Woolf by Wendy Caster

The Elevator Repair Service's production of Everyone's Fine With Virginia Woolf, written by Kate Scelsa and directed by John Collins, is a rollicking feminist take down of/tribute to Ed…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:42PM
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Conflict by Wendy Caster

The wonderful people at The Mint have done it yet again. They have gifted us with a beautiful production of a lost gem of a play, complete with smart and clear direction, wonderful performan…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:36PM
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lonesome Blues by Wendy Caster

Akin Babatundé, with the outstanding support of guitarist David Weiss, is giving a heck of a concert in Lonesome Blues at the York Theatre Company. Babatundé's voice travels from…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:42AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Secret Life of Humans by Wendy Caster

Presented as either a lecture nestled in a drama or a drama nestled in a lecture, Secret Life of Humans focuses on whether evolution is an unbroken line of progress, with each living it…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:12AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 Tonys: How'd We Do? by Wendy Caster

Well, we didn't do too badly this year, although we're not going to win any prizes for theatrical prescience. It was very nice to be wrong about Ari’el Stachel and Lindsay Mendez! The…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:06PM
Friday, June 8, 2018

Spring roundup: Mean Girls, Our Lady of 121st Street, Paradise Blue, Dance Nation by Elizabeth Wollman

Mean GirlsMean Girls is cute and funny, well-staged, a little too long for what it is, occasionally miked too loud, and ultimately better than getting a cavity filled. I wish I'd been thrill…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:36PM
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Desperate Measures by Wendy Caster

I love meaningful musical theatre. I adore Sondheim. Caroline, Or Change is one of my favorite shows. But sometimes an old-fashioned, well-done, energetic, deeply silly musical is the perfec…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:06PM
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

This Is Modern Art by Wendy Caster

As a reviewer, I get invited to dozens of shows each month, and it can be difficult to decide which to see. Sometimes the choice is almost random. I picked This Is Modern Art becau…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:36AM
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

the hollower by Wendy Caster

I saw Liza Birkenmeier's the hollower three days ago and I have been avoiding writing a review because I don't know what to say. Well, yes, I know that the cast is excellent. And, yes, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Friday, May 25, 2018

Hello Dolly by Wendy Caster

About 15 minutes into Hello Dolly, I thought, "I love this stupid show." By the end of the first act, I had eliminated "stupid." Hello Dolly has a silly plot, yes, and so…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:32PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Peace for Mary Frances by Wendy Caster

Lily Thorne treads familiar ground in her new play, Peace for Mary Frances. Estranged members of a family gather due to the death of a parent. Old grudges are revisited, old wounds are reope…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:48PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tony Award Predictions 2018 by Wendy Caster

LIZ: Were I to take awards seasons seriously, I’d join with the city’s professional theater critics in wringing my hands over the purported death of Broadway at the end of this weirdly i…

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:04PM
Monday, May 14, 2018

League of Professional Theatre Woman presents Chita Rivera in conversation with Richard Ridge by Sandra Mardenfeld

Richard Ridge and Chita RiveraChita Rivera may be known primarily as an actress and a dancer, but she knows how to choreograph a punchline. She provided plenty of laughs as she spoke about h…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:42AM
Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Sea Concerto by Wendy Caster

Before the Internet, daily-newspaper theater critics would see shows on opening night and write their reviews immediately after. Although these reviews often determined the fate of the show,…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:32PM

Follies (second viewing) by Wendy Caster

When I wrote my first review of  the fabulous APAC production of Follies, I was short on details. Then someone on the often-infuriating but also often-invaluable All That Chat…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:32PM
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Elizabeth Wollman

While the city's theater critics revive the century-old debate about the death of Broadway at the tail end of a reasonably disappointing commercial season, reassurance can be found in a visi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:12PM
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America's Past (book review) by Wendy Caster

After all that's been written about Hamilton, one might think that there's nothing left to say. Turns out there's at least 400 pages' worth, as shown in Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbu…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:48PM
Monday, May 7, 2018

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical by Elizabeth Wollman

Sometimes, it's genuinely unfair when shows on Broadway flop. Countless worthwhile productions close in debt due to poor timing, a few weak links, material that's too dark or sophisticated o…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:04PM

Follies by Wendy Caster

How much did I enjoy the APAC production of Follies? I've already purchased my ticket to see it again.APAC (Astoria Performing Arts Center) has an excellent reputation and many awards, as we…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:04PM
Friday, May 4, 2018

Unexpected Joy by Wendy Caster

No doubt: the York Theatre Company is on a roll. Its last show, Desperate Measures, received a bouquet of nominations for best musical (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, etc.) and will soon o…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:24AM
Friday, April 27, 2018

Chess by Wendy Caster

I have identified the problem with the musical Chess. It's bad.You've got Florence, who loves bad boy chess player Freddie and has probably been his lover in the past. Does the show do …

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:54PM
Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Metromaniacs by Wendy Caster

So, I could rave about the writing (joyfully wonderful and silly rhymes by David Ives) or the acting (from a strong, talented, attractive ensemble) or the design (charming) or the direction …

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:48PM
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Carousel by Elizabeth Wollman

Among the many ways Rodgers and Hammerstein helped innovate the American stage musical was through depth of character. Their musicals, after all, featured some particularly memorable ones, m…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:18PM
Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Wendy Caster

If there is an afterlife, I hope Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., has had the opportunity to look down and watch the Wheelhouse Theater Company's excellent production of his hilarious, incisive farce, Ha…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:54PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Three Tall Women by Wendy Caster

Edward Albee was not exactly fond of his mother. The headmaster of a boarding school Albee attended was quoted in the New Yorker as saying, “[He] dislikes his mother with a cordial an…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:26PM
Monday, April 2, 2018

Jesus Christ Superstar by Elizabeth Wollman

To stage Jesus Christ Superstar, I've long been convinced, is to set yourself up to fail. I'm not just being a crabby cynic here; I love the piece very much. But it was not conceived for the…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:57PM
Monday, March 19, 2018

Art Times: The Thing About Revivals by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times. I would love to hear what you all think about the issues discussed.Periodically, old shows with iffy depictions of women are revived on Broadway. Peo…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:59PM
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Angels in America by Elizabeth Wollman

It's been 25 years since I last saw Angels in America, which remains one of the most powerful theatergoing experiences I've ever had. I was so overwhelmed by the original production that I'v…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:11PM