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…

Linked From Show Showdown at 12:54AM
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…

Linked From Show Showdown at 02:36AM
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…

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…

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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