Monday, August 19, 2019

Art Times: Whose Opinion Matters? by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times:The holy grail of New York theater is a rave review in the New York Times. It doesn’t guarantee success (and a pan doesn’t guarantee failure), but a …

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:42PM
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Queen of Hearts by Sandra Mardenfeld

Ian Spring and LEXXE as Alice. Photo: Mark Shelby Perry This burlesque journey down the rabbit hole transforms Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into a circus-tinged, sex…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Havel: The Passion of Thought by Wendy Caster

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I watched certain political plays with a sense of distance, deeply sympathetic to the characters and deeply grateful that those awful things weren't …

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:12PM

Fiddler on the Roof by Liz Wollman

It took me a very long time to see Fidler afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish)--more on that in a minute--but I'm glad I pushed myself to go. In slowing down the musical's often frenet…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:12PM
Monday, July 29, 2019

Summer Shorts: Series A by Wendy Caster

In Series A, the first part of Summer Shorts at 59E59, all three plays circle around death. This is a lot for a 90-minute evening.The first show, Interior, is the most fully realized of t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:12AM
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Broadway Bounty Hunter by Wendy Caster

Ya gotta love Annie Golden. She has a sweetness to her, with a wild voice and a slightly goofy vibe. For a creative team to decide to shape a musical around her--even going so far as to name…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:36PM
Monday, July 22, 2019

Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoots Macbeth by Sandra Mardenfeld

Sometimes the plot in Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoots Macbeth by Tom Stoppard, first produced in 1979, runs too close to home. But some background first:In Dogg's Hamlet, practically everyone speaks…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:48AM
Friday, July 19, 2019

Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth by Wendy Caster

Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth plays with language and slapstick, presents fascinating mini-versions of two of Shakespeare's masterpieces, vividly depicts the importance of …

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:36PM
Monday, July 15, 2019

Ladyship by Wendy Caster

Ladyship, the new show by twins Laura Good and Linda Good, exemplifies how difficult it is to write a good musical. There is so much here to like: some beautiful songs, an original story, an…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:42AM
Saturday, July 13, 2019

Illuminati Lizards From Outer Space by Wendy Caster

It's hard to know what to write about Illuminati Lizards From Outer Space since I was unable to hear ~70% of the lyrics (100% if more than one person was singing). I don't know if it was wh…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Bachelor Girls by Sandra Mardenfeld

Kristen Egenes, Laura Hall, Kathleen Culler, Kelly Berman, Gia Mongell, Timmy Hays, Emma Vielbig, Lucy Anders, Brittany Rodin, Emily Kersey, Mandy McDonell. Photo: Shoshana Medney The Bach…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:54PM
Friday, June 28, 2019

League Of Professional Theatre Women 2019 Leadership Luncheon by Sandra Mardenfeld

Andre De Shields Donna Walker-Kuhn Inspiring others was the theme at the League of Professional Theatre Women 2019 Leadership Luncheon celebrating the inaugural Rachel Crothers Leadership…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:12PM
Monday, June 17, 2019

Much Ado About Nothing by Wendy Caster

This isn't exactly a review because I wasn't able to see the whole show. But here are some thoughts based on what I saw. The rhythms of African-American casual conversation fit beautifully …

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:54PM
Monday, June 10, 2019

How'd We Do? 2019 Tony Predictions by Wendy Caster

Well, two of us did okay: Liz and Sandra each had 17 correct predictions. I had decided to be iconoclastic, which was a bad idea: 11 correct predictions. THE WINNERS Liz Sandra …

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:03AM
Thursday, June 6, 2019

75th Theatre World Awards by Sandra Mardenfeld

Nathan Lane The 75th Theatre World Awards celebrated the debut of promising Broadway and Off-Broadway actors on June 3 in a sweet ceremony full of touching stories, even though it ran more t…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:06PM

Tootsie by Liz Wollman

There are plenty of pleasures to be had at the Marquis Theater, where Tootsie, starring a  is running and probably will be for a while. The show is often quite funny; the cast is solid; Da…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:24AM
Friday, May 31, 2019

Nothing Here Is Real by Sandra Mardenfeld

Mentalist and magician Gary Ferrar Mentalist and magician Gary Ferrar’s open-ended run and residency of Nothing Here is Real at The Cocktail Lounge Below Oxbow Tavern is not glitzy with…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:42PM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Mac Beth by Wendy Caster

I have seen enough mediocre-to-bad high-concept productions of Shakespeare's plays to shudder at the very idea of "high-concept." Then along comes Mac Beth, the amazing Red Bull Production …

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:06PM

Happy Talk by Wendy Caster

I suspect that there is a good play inside Jesse Eisenberg's Happy Talk, currently  at The New Group at the Signature Center. The ideas and the situation are intriguing, and there is humor …

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:04AM
Friday, May 24, 2019

Tony Predictions: 2019 by Wendy Caster

Best MusicalAin’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations Beetlejuice Hadestown The PromTootsie Liz Wollman: Hadestown. Seriously, can we please celebrate a creative team …

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:24PM
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Pink Unicorn by Wendy Caster

Trisha Lee works as a cleaner in a hospital in Sparkton, Texas. She is a church-going Christian. She adored her late husband. The focus of her life is her 14-year-old daughter Jolene. Or is …

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Saturday, May 11, 2019

Caroline, or Change by Wendy Caster

One of the themes of the gorgeous and heart-breaking Caroline, or Change, the story of an African-American maid working for a Jewish family in the 1960s South, is that "change come fast, ch…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:54PM
Monday, April 29, 2019

Lady in the Dark by Wendy Caster

What an odd show is Lady in the Dark. Consisting largely of three dream sequences, it lacks forward propulsion and is frequently overdone and/or pointless and/or flabby, particularly in the …

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:42PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

King Lear by Wendy Caster

As you probably already know, in the old days theatre critics wrote their reviews right after seeing the performances. In fact, as the shows ended, the critics ran up the aisles to maximize …

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:25PM

The Pain of My Belligerence by Wendy Caster

My sister once said that, while the worst men are incredibly sleazy, the worst women are incredibly stupid. In the world premiere of The Pain of My Belligerence at Playwrights Horizons, wri…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:49PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hadestown by Liz Wollman

It's a sad song It's a sad tale, it's a tragedy It's a sad song But we sing it anyway 'Cause here's the thing:  To know how it ends  And still begin to sing it again As if it might turn o…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:58PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Bathsheba's Psalms Or, a Woman of Unusual Beauty Taking a Bath by Sandra Mardenfeld

Tanyamaria. Background - Elizabeth Kenny, Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez, C. Bain.Photo credit: Jody ChristophersonA fresh take on the Old Testament’s tale of King David and Bathsheba, April Ra…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:45PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Cradle Will Rock by Wendy Caster

Marc Blitzstein's 1937 "play in music," The Cradle Will Rock, uses theatre as a political soapbox. Its scathing depictions of the hypocrisies of capitalism, religion, and other societal icon…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:00PM
Sunday, March 31, 2019

The White Devil by Wendy Caster

John Webster wrote The White Devil in the early 1600s, and 400 years later it remains relevant and great fun. Red Bull director Louisa Proske underlines its timeliness with a modern-dress p…

Linked From Show Showdown at 07:30PM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MasterVoices: Night Songs And Love Waltzes by Wendy Caster

MasterVoices (formerly known as the Collegiate Chorale) has a long history of presenting wonderful evenings of song and theatre, and Night Songs and Love Waltzes fit right in. (There's also …

Linked From Show Showdown at 03:09PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka by Wendy Caster

First, behold the title: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, sparkling with energy. Next, the structure: playwright Tori Sampson's dynamic, emotional play riffs on folklore, Afric…

Linked From Show Showdown at 08:58PM

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