Friday, June 23, 2017

1984 by Elizabeth Wollman

The stage version of George Orwell's 1984, grippingly adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, might not be the masterpiece the book is, but it's pretty damned good just the same. I…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:54AM
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pacific Overtures by Wendy Caster

I am not a fan of John Doyle's, as evidenced in my review of his production of Passion, so I didn't plan to see his production of Pacific Overtures at CSC. But three things changed…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:48AM
Monday, June 12, 2017

How'd We Do? Tony Predictions 2017 by Wendy Caster

Liz wins the Show Showtime “Predicting the Most Tony Wins Award of 2017,” with 15 correct (out of 24 categories). Sandra is first runner up, with 13. And Wendy brings up the rear with 12…

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:48AM
Friday, June 9, 2017

Show Showdown's Tony Picks by Elizabeth Wollman

We're cutting it a little close on the Tony forecast this year, but can you blame us? We've all been super busy reading the news, watching hearings, and calling our representatives all the t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:04AM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Soot and Spit by Sandra Mardenfeld

JW Guido and EnsemblePhoto: Nina WurtzelFive years in the making, Our Voices' world premiere of Soot and Spit at the Ohio Theatre tells the story James Castle, a profoundly deaf man born in …

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:54PM
Monday, June 5, 2017

Animal by Wendy Caster

[spoilers throughout]Watching Clare Lizzimore’s play Animal is an odd experience. You never quite know what’s going on, because Rachel, the main character, is unraveling, and partially b…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:42AM
Saturday, June 3, 2017

In Memory of David Bell by Wendy Caster

Earlier this year we lost David Bell, respected playwright and Show Showdown cofounder, way too young (he was in his early 40s). If you'd like to read reviews of his play, The Play About the…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:06AM
Friday, June 2, 2017

Say Something Bunny! by Elizabeth Wollman

On her website, Alison S.M. Kobayashi describes herself as an identity contortionist. This is, as it turns out, a pretty accurate description for the highly interdisciplinary work she does, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:36PM
Monday, May 29, 2017

Lou by Sandra Mardenfeld

Mieko Gavia as Lou Salome. Photo credit: Jody Christopherson.More than 100 black and white copies of photos and letters, adhered on black stock, suspend from the rafters and hang on the wa…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:48PM
Monday, May 22, 2017

The Lucky One by Wendy Caster

In A.A. Milne's The Lucky One, currently playing at The Mint, we hear it again and again: "Poor old Bob." "Poor old Bob." "Poor old Bob."Bob's problem is simple: for years he has been wither…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:18PM
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Roundup, Part II: Anastasia and A Doll's House Part 2 by Elizabeth Wollman

AnastasiaTime was when a middle-of-the-road, slightly overstuffed show like Anastasia would have sent me into paroxysms of self-righteous outrage, but I'm older, wiser, wearier, and maybe a …

Linked From Show Showdown at 06:54PM
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring roundup, Part I: Sweeney Todd and Come from Away by Elizabeth Wollman

Spring in these parts means fluctuating temperatures, the hectic and drawn-out end of the semester, more theater than I know what to do with, and very little time. What is a theater-loving, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:02PM
Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Glass Menagerie by Elizabeth Wollman

Hi, Show Showdown visitors!My take on the highly unconventional and mildly controversial Sam Gold production of The Glass Menagerie is currently featured on Broken and Woken, the blog a…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:24PM
Friday, March 31, 2017

Hello Dolly by Wendy Caster

Bette Midler and Dolly Levi would seem to be as perfect a match as, oh, Glenn Close and Norma Desmond or Angela Lansbury and Mame. But, rather than giving us Dolly Levi, Bette has chosen to …

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:06PM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sunset Boulevard by Wendy Caster

I won the lottery for Sunset Boulevard last Sunday matinee. The tickets were $55 each. I was thrilled when the box office woman handed me C2 and C4 in the orchestra. While they're arguably "…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:48PM
Monday, March 27, 2017

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened by Wendy Caster

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, Lonnie Price's documentary on the making of Merrily We Roll Along, is jammed with treasures, such as footage of auditions, rehe…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:18PM
Monday, March 20, 2017

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Elizabeth Wollman

Kneehigh's stage adaptation of the 2006 children's novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo is so bubbly, energetic, and wacky that a few times during the perfo…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:42PM
Friday, March 17, 2017

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie by Sandra Mardenfeld

The Sam Gold-helmed version of The Glass Menagerie isn't for everyone (as you can see by reviews  here   and  here  ), but this stripped-down version of Tennessee William…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:36PM
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dear World by Wendy Caster

By the time you read this, the York Theatre Company production of Dear World will be over. Part of the York's Musicals in Mufti series (their version--in many ways better--of Encores!),…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:54PM
Thursday, March 2, 2017

All the Fine Boys by Wendy Caster

From public/political discussions and debates, you might think that sexual boundaries between adults and minors--and sexuality itself--are clear, defined, and unambiguous. They're not, as vi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:32AM
Monday, February 27, 2017

Wakey, Wakey by Elizabeth Wollman

The man in the pajama bottoms, slippers and suit jacket is terribly confused but always polite to the crowd he is somehow suddenly responsible for entertaining. He has snacks and juice stash…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:42PM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Evening at the Talk House by Wendy Caster

Perhaps it wasn't fair to see Wallace Shawn's mildly compelling dystopian play Evening at the Talk House so soon after seeing Caryl Churchill's wildly compelling dystopian play Escaped …

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:03AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Escaped Alone by Wendy Caster

Caryl Churchill's brilliant, bizarre, puzzling, horrifying, and strangely sweet Escaped Alone packs the punch of a major dystopia into its lean 55 minutes. It also allows us to meet, enjoy, …

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:48PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love For Sale: The History of Sex in Musicals by Elizabeth Wollman

Hey, have you wanted nothing other than to listen to me, director John Rando, and producer Jack Viertel talk about sex and musicals in a very nice performance space in lower Manhattan? Well,…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:32PM
Monday, February 20, 2017

Art Times: What Is Good Acting? by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times:Good acting is a matter of opinion. A performance that you perceive as brilliantly emotional, I might perceive as overacting. A performance that strikes me…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:06PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood by Wendy Caster

The Sherwood Forest in the Flux Theatre Ensemble's delightful production of Adam Szymkowicz's Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood has its full complement of merry men--except most of them…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:03PM
Monday, January 30, 2017

Yours Unfaithfully by Wendy Caster

So much depends on where you begin a play. Do you start when character A is behaving well? Or when character B is? Do you start at the foundation of their relationship or in media res? In Yo…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:32PM
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jitney by Wendy Caster

Due to some health issues, it has been two and a half months since I've seen a play--what a gift that the first one back was August Wilson's superb Jitney, beautifully directed by Ruben Sant…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Monday, January 2, 2017

Dear Evan Hansen by Elizabeth Wollman

Dear Evan Hansen is an intimate, well-crafted, well-performed musical, the kind that tidily trashes the generalized dismissal of musical theater as an emotionally overwrought genre filled wi…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:42PM
Friday, December 30, 2016

Debbie Reynolds in Irene by Wendy Caster

It was late summer 1974 and Debbie Reynolds was returning to the musical Irene for a brief stint before taking it on the road. (Jane Powell had been her replacement.) My friend R and I …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:42PM
Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Top Five: Sandra Mardenfeld by Sandra Mardenfeld

Jay and his mentor--from The Royale. Photo by Charles Erickson I marvel at how many shows Wendy and Liz saw last year. I come in under two dozen--and, even then, I am still playing catc…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:06PM