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
Friday, August 11, 2017

Groundhog Day by Elizabeth Wollman

Humorless buzzkill that I am, I've never been a big fan of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, even though just about everybody else on the planet seems to think that it's one of the most bri…

Linked From Show Showdown at 10:33PM
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Barbara Cook: 1927-2017 by Wendy Caster

I was not a huge Barbara Cook fan. It would never occur to me to play a CD of hers. I certainly didn't consider her the premiere cabaret singer ever or the best interpreter ever.Yet every ti…

Linked From Show Showdown at 01:48AM
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Trust the Author! by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times:I walked out on a production of the brilliant comedy Cloud Nine the other night. The problem? The performers were trying too hard to be funny.I r…

Linked From Show Showdown at 11:33PM
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pity in History by Wendy Caster

It is telling that the line from which this play's title comes is "No pity in history." It's the 17th Century, during a civil war in Britain, and of course the war is not remotely civil…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:32PM
Monday, July 24, 2017

Arcadia by Sandra Mardenfeld

Just twice in four decades of theatre have I bought the show's script duringintermission, and Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in 1995 was one of them (Shadowlands byWilliam Nicholson was the other). …

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:06AM
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Arcadia by Wendy Caster

Tom Stoppard always offers scrumptious meals for the head, but not always for the heart. Arcadia, his brilliant play about literature, history, math, science, gardening, and sex, featur…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:48AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"The World of Broadway Musicals" by Elizabeth Wollman

I was recently interviewed by the Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College. Here's the resultant clip. Also, here is a nice picture, which I'd combine with the clip…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:42PM
Saturday, July 15, 2017

New York Blackout: 1977 by Wendy Caster

Forty years ago, on July 13, 1977, I was at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, watching Threepenny Opera starring Ellen Greene, Philip Bosco, Caroline Kava, and Tony Azito. I was st…

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hello, Dolly! by Elizabeth Wollman

Don't tell anyone, but until earlier this month, I'd never seen the stage or film version, or even listened to the score, of Hello, Dolly! This is kind of like a Vermeer specialist…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:12PM
Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cost of Living by Wendy Caster

What is a disability? Does it define a person? What does it mean to care about someone? To care for someone? What is trust? How is it earned?Sullivan, WilliamsPhoto: Joan MarcusThese are jus…

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Marvin's Room by Wendy Caster

Marvin's Room lost me quickly. Perhaps it's because I've been dealing with bunches of doctors recently and they've been wonderful, but I found Marvin's Room's jokey, stupid physici…

Linked From Show Showdown at 04:18PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Shelter by Wendy Caster

In spring of 1973, I saw a sweet new musical called Shelter written by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford, who would later write I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road. I like…

Linked From Show Showdown at 05:42PM
Saturday, June 24, 2017

Art Times: Is Broadway Invulnerable? by Wendy Caster

My latest essay is up at Art Times:The original title of this essay was “Is Broadway Committing Suicide? And Does It Matter?” But the more I thought about it, the more I came to admire B…

Linked From Show Showdown at 09:33PM
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…

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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