Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meteor Shower by Elizabeth Wollman

"Well, now, that was a mess," my daughter mused during the curtain call at Meteor Shower, currently running at the Booth through late January. "Yeah," I agreed. "Didn't really hang…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:36PM
Friday, December 1, 2017

Miss Saigon and M Butterfly by Elizabeth Wollman

What are the odds that I'd see two different takes on Madama Butterfly in rapid succession? Pretty high, it turns out: they're both running in revival here, I have a student writing an honor…

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:12PM
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Meteor Shower by Sandra Mardenfeld

"Meteor Shower" by Steve Martin is perfectly cast and great fun, but it's not much of a play. The nonlinear plot makes little sense, the characters aren't compelling - except in their q…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:33AM
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Disgraced (Toronto) by Maggie

Disgraced was the play of the moment when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. This month it returned to Toronto for its second run by The Hope and Hell Theatre Co. and David Mirvish at the Pa…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:18AM
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Follies (National Theatre Broadcast) by Wendy Caster

You just never know how something is going to hit you. Last night I saw the National Theatre Broadcast of Follies with five friends. Among us, we have easily seen 80 live performances o…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:12PM

The Oldish Woman and the Show (Art Times) by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times:Many years ago, I had the magical experience of being there when my nephew Charlie, who was around six years old at the time, saw his first musical. It was…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:12PM
Monday, November 13, 2017

Nellie McKay: The Big Molinsky--Considering Joan Rivers by Wendy Caster

There are still some seats left for Nellie McKay: The Big Molinsky--Considering Joan Rivers at Joe's Pub on November 17 at 11:30. They're only $15, with a $12 cover (the fries are delis…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:36PM
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Shame of Thrones: The Rock Musical: An Unauthorized Parody by Wendy Caster

There's good news and there's bad news.Good news: Shame of Thrones: The Rock Musical: An Unauthorized Parody (what would be the point of an authorized parody?) largely succeeds in getti…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:18PM

Marine Life (Toronto) by Maggie

After being stuck in bed with a cold, I could not wait to attend the next Extraspace production at my main mid-sized theater in Toronto, the Tarragon: Marine Life by Rosa Labordé.…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:18PM

Introducing Maggie Sulc by Wendy Caster

I am excited to introduce Maggie Sulc as our new Canadian reviewer. As you can see from her bio below, she has a great deal of experience in both theatre and writing. Even better, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:18PM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Don't Feed the Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant by Sandra Mardenfeld

Don't Feed the Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant has inflated its title a bit. The La MaMa world premiere of Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective Projects was created and features an all Nativ…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:48PM
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Illyria by Elizabeth Wollman

Last season, Richard Nelson's Gabriel Family trilogy was a comforting beacon in a traumatic time. Watching the tight-knit Rhinebeck family mourn their dead, contemplate their future, pr…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:18PM
Friday, November 3, 2017

Big Apple Circus by Wendy Caster

There are certain humans who seem to be their own species. In the case of circus performers, it would be homo sapiens amazingus. The Big Apple Circus is full of these wondrous folk, flying t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:04PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cloud by Maggie

As an indie theater supporter and huge fan of plays that stage science fiction, fantasy, and other genre work, I bought my ticket to Scapegoat Collective's Cloud as soon as I could.Cloud ima…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:18AM
Monday, October 23, 2017

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Elizabeth Wollman

What makes a person good or bad, and what's the dividing line between the two? Is religious devotion helpful or harmful in the search for redemption, and can it be both at the same time? How…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:06PM

Lonely Planet by Wendy Caster

In Steven Dietz's two-character play Lonely Planet, Jody (the subtle and smart Arnie Burton) owns a map store. He loves and is comforted by the factual information contained by map…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:24AM
Saturday, October 21, 2017

War Paint by Wendy Caster

I didn't stay for the second act of War Paint, and it's closing in early November, so I'll make this brief.My response to Patti LuPone's first solo: "I wish they had closed captioning."My si…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:12AM
Monday, October 16, 2017

Mary Jane by Elizabeth Wollman

The beautiful, incredibly nuanced Mary Jane, currently at New York Theatre Workshop, does what seems impossible: it burrows deep into a character who practically forces herself to be tw…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:12PM
Saturday, October 14, 2017

AM I DEAD? The Untrue Narrative of Anatomical Lewis, The Slave by Wendy Caster

Anyone who regularly reads Show Showdown knows that I am a huge fan of the Flux Theatre Ensemble. The Lesser Seductions of History, Dog Act, Hearts Like Fists, Jane the Plain, and Sans Merci…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:48PM
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time and the Conways by Wendy Caster

In J.B. Priestley's 1937 play, Time and the Conways, it's 1919 and the Conways are giving a party for daughter Kay's 21st birthday. While the guests enjoy themselves elsewhere, various Conwa…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:33PM
Friday, September 29, 2017

The Show-Off by Wendy Caster

There is a unique satisfaction that comes from watching a solid revival of a well-made play from the early or middle 20th century. This is why I have long been a fan of The Mint Theater Comp…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:12AM
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Treasurer by Wendy Caster

There is a certain gravitas that automatically attaches to a play about dementia starring Deanna Dunagan and Peter Friedman and produced at Playwrights Horizons. Because of this gravitas, it…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:48PM
Monday, September 25, 2017

A Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical by Elizabeth Wollman

Yes, I know, that does sound like the dryest name for the most boring play, ever, but I'm not discussing a show, here: this is the (admittedly fairly dry) title of my latest book, which was …

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:05AM
Thursday, September 21, 2017

As You Like It by Wendy Caster

I saw John Doyle's production of As You Like It at the CSC at an early preview, and this isn't a review per se. It's just some thoughts.Yes, some of the performers do play instruments.I…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:54PM

A Doll's House, Part 2 by Wendy Caster

I'm late to the A Doll's House, Part 2 bandwagon, and I nearly missed it entirely. But a friend saw the show and raved, so I decided to finally check it out.And, yes, it's as good as ev…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:42AM
Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Am Antigone by Wendy Caster

At the very start of I Am Antigone, Antigone says to us,I know what you’re thinking. Not her again. We’ve heard enough out of her. The fact is you’ve heard nothing from me at all. It…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:18PM
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mary Jane by Wendy Caster

The New York Theater Workshop's Mary Jane doesn't open officially until September 25, but I suggest you get your tickets now, before they become unavailable or you have to pay way more …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:48PM
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Girl from the North Country by Elizabeth Wollman

There's a lot going on in Girl from the North Country, Conor McPherson's play with songs by Bob Dylan that's running through the first week of October at the Old Vic in London. Set in a…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:07AM
Monday, August 28, 2017

If Only by Wendy Caster

The press info for Thomas Klingenstein's play, If Only, includes the following description:In 1860 Abraham Lincoln came to New York City where he befriended a well-educated ex-slave, and a y…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:33AM
Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Suitcase Under the Bed by Wendy Caster

Playwright Teresa Deevy lived from 1894 to 1963. The youngest of 13 children, she lost her hearing in her late teens, roughly at the same time that her family's financial situation became mu…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:04AM
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Van Gogh's Ear by Wendy Caster

Waiting for Van Gogh's Ear to start is a pleasure, since it gives you time to really examine Vanessa Jame's open and elegant set. It's all black and white, with dramatic strips of …

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:12PM

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