Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tony Predictions 2024 by Wendy Caster

It's Tony time again. Was this an exciting year on Broadway? Yes! Was it a disappointing year on Broadway? Yes! Same as it ever was. And here we go: (A complete list of nominees is provide…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:12AM
Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Orchestra Now: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Wendy Caster

The fabulous TON (The Orchestra Now), associated with the master's program at Bard, recently gave the final performance of its 2023-2024 season. The orchestra started with Debussy's "Prelude…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:06AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Little Night Music by Wendy Caster

A lovely production of A Little Night Music is running at Theatre 2020 in Brooklyn Heights thru May 12th. I highly recommend it. The show has some excellent acting and much wonderful singing…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:24PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

William Grant Still and the Harlem Renaissance by Wendy Caster

The Orchestra Now (TON) regularly presents concerts keyed into exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The most recent, William Grant Still and the Harlem Renaissance, focuses on Stil…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Saturday, March 30, 2024

To My Arms/Restore (Doug Varone and Dancers and MasterVoices) by Wendy Caster

The recent collaboration between MasterVoices and Doug Varone and Dancers was nothing short of amazing. Brilliant dance, gorgeous singing, thrilling musicians--it was the proverbial feast fo…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:24PM
Friday, March 22, 2024

Orson's Shadow by Wendy Caster

Having thoroughly enjoyed the 2005 production of Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow, I was looking forward with excitement to the current production, directed by Pendleton, at the Theater for…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:02PM
Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Doubt by Wendy Caster

  The current production of John Patrick Shanley's play Doubt (starring Amy Ryan, Liev Shreiber, Zoe Kazan, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine) is not as good as the amazing original production fro…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:04AM
Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bliss Street Releases Cast Album by Sandra Mardenfeld

    While theater is an art form with a shelf life — sometimes a show outlives its closing. Such is the story with Bliss Street, an Off-Broadway show at Theater for the New City th…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:32PM
Saturday, March 2, 2024

This Is Not a Time of Peace by Wendy Caster

  In Deb Margolin's new play, This Is Not a Time of Peace, directed by Jerry Heymann, Alina's father, Hillel, has become unstuck in time. He "travels" in memory (metaphorically? metaphysica…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:48AM
Friday, February 23, 2024

I Love You So Much I Could Die by Wendy Caster

The title I Love You So Much I Could Die hints at a deeply emotional, even fervid, show.  Nope. For reasons that remain obscure to me, I Love You So Much I Could Die extends a great…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:02PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Titanic: The Musical by Wendy Caster

Last weekend, the Program in Vocal Performance at NYU Steinhardt presented a musically gorgeous production of Titanic: The Musical. The NYU Broadway Orchestra, led by Ted Sperling and featur…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 06:48PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Here's to the Ladies Review on Talkin' Broadway by Wendy Caster

I reviewed Here's to the Ladies over at Talkin' Broadway: Eddie Shapiro's three books of long-form interviews with musical theatre performers provide a unique, entertaining look at the r…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:42AM
Friday, December 22, 2023

A Christmas Carol by Sandra Mardenfeld

The redemption tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, and how he discards his miserly ways after a few spectral visitations has enchanted audiences since Charles Dickens published the novella in 1843. Ju…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:02PM
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Three More Reasons to Love New York by Wendy Caster

New York Magazine's annual "Reasons to Love New York" issue came out at just the right time for this review. After three successive evenings experiencing amazing talent and creativity in New…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:48AM
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Broadway Close Up: Party at the Princes' by Wendy Caster

Last night, Broadway Close Up presented yet another lovely night of talented people singing wonderful songs. The evening was devoted to shows that Hal Prince produced and/or directed, which …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:12PM
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The Frogs by Wendy Caster

The time is the present. The place is Ancient Greece. The fabulous lyrics and music are by the one-and-only Sondheim. The hysterical book is based on Aristophanes' The Frogs, as loosely adap…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:02PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Jukebox: The Musical by Wendy Caster

Over the years, the Broadway Close-Up series has featured selections from  musicals-in-development, including discussions with their creators; salutes to established composers and writers o…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:13AM
Friday, October 20, 2023

Partnership by Wendy Caster

The fabulous Mint Theater Company is presenting Partnership, the third in their "Meet Miss [Elizabeth] Baker" series. The first, The Price of Thomas Scott (review here), from 1913, movingly…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:43AM
Monday, October 2, 2023

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch by Wendy Caster

It's difficult to decide where to begin discussing the wonders of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch. The incredibly funny, smart, musical writing; the extrao…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:55PM
Saturday, September 16, 2023

alt-Hamlet by Wendy Caster

What do you get if you stir together abortion rights, cancel culture, and Hamlet, throw in hints of Becket and Brecht, and add sharp writing, excellent acting, and fabulous make-up and cost…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:37PM
Tuesday, August 29, 2023

How to Steal an Election by Wendy Caster

In this sad time of theatres' laying off staff, shortening seasons, and disappearing altogether, there is at least one bright spot: the York Theatre Company's Musicals in Mufti are back!! Mu…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:37AM
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Wendy Caster

If I were forced to name one favorite show, it might well be Sweeney Todd. (Actually, it would be Sweeney-Night Music-Follies, but that's cheating.) Sweeney's size, wit, pathos, beauty, and …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:19PM
Monday, August 14, 2023

Orpheus Descending by Wendy Caster

Tennessee Williams’s play Orpheus Descending (recently at the Theatre for a New Audience) was the first of his works to be produced. While it is not one of his masterpieces, it is still ri…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:43PM
Thursday, August 10, 2023

Once Upon a One More Time by Wendy Caster

Once Upon a One More Time is not a show I would usually see. The only thing I know about Britney Spears is that she's in the news a lot and has had some tough times. And I don't care much a…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:19PM
Saturday, June 3, 2023

Tony Predictions, Because, Why Not? by Sandra Mardenfeld

Well, it is that time of year again. The 76th Tony Awards will recognize theatrical achievements on Broadway for the 2022-23 season. Who will win? Below are Show Showdown's guesses. Clip fr…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:32AM
Thursday, May 18, 2023

Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams's Greatest Creation (book review) by Wendy Caster

I reviewed Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams's Greatest Creation at Talkin' Broadway: Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams's Greatest Creation, by Nancy Schoenb…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:42PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Assassins by Wendy Caster

The Gallery Players production of Assassins is unfortunately not up to its usual standards. I admire the ambition of attempting Assassins, with its non-plot, odd politics, long swaths of sp…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:06PM
Friday, May 5, 2023

Iolanthe by Wendy Caster

Once again, MasterVoices has provided an evening of charm, joy, and fabulous music. In this case, it was Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe, not one of their best, but still great fun. (There a…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:12PM

Some Numerical Thoughts on the Tonys by Wendy Caster

Entertainment awards are silly and they're also endlessly fascinating. Part of the allure is the fashion, pomp, and party atmosphere. A bigger part, for me, is the speeches--at least, those …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:12PM
Friday, April 28, 2023

The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Wendy Caster

The rollicking, deeply silly, remarkably funny production of the The Knight of the Burning Pestle currently at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, brought to us by Red Bull Theater and Fiasco Theat…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:24AM
Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Smart by Wendy Caster

 I review Smart over at Talkin' Broadway:  Elaine is committed to taking care of her mother, but it's far from easy. Ruth had a stroke, and she frequently has difficulty speaking, occasio…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:18PM

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
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
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
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards