Friday, July 29, 2022

Into the Woods by Liz Wollman

Sometime right after the 9/11 bombings, I had a nightmare: I was doubled over with laughter in a comedy club, when a plane crashed through the roof. It was a pretty straightforward dream, bo…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:03PM
Monday, July 18, 2022

Sex, Grift, and Death by Wendy Caster

Caryl Churchill is a remarkable playwright. She's smart and funny and political and personal and humane and moving and very very entertaining. Reading her scripts reveals that she is also a …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:48AM
Sunday, July 17, 2022

Reverse Transcription by Wendy Caster

It is difficult to review Reverse Transcription, an evening of plays covering AIDS and covid, as theatre. The first piece, Robert Chesley's Dog Plays, is a story of despair and death writte…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:37PM
Friday, June 24, 2022

Chains by Wendy Caster

In Elizabeth Baker's play Chains, currently in a strong production at the admirable Mint Theatre Company, Charley recognizes that he has much to be grateful for. He loves his wife Lily. He …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:48AM
Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber by Wendy Caster

You have only a couple of days to catch the delightful and odd musical The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber, running at Dixon Place through Sunday May 29th. It's worth the trip. Eun…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:18PM
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

2021-2022 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations by Wendy Caster

The 2021-2022 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations Outstanding New Broadway MusicalMJ the MusicalMr. Saturday NightMrs. DoubtfireParadise SquareSixOutstanding New Broadway PlayBirthday Can…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:06PM

The Skin of Our Teeth by Wendy Caster

My review of The Skin of Our Teeth is up at Talkin' Broadway:  Thornton Wilder won the Pulitzer Prize three times: for the novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" and for the plays Our Town a…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:06PM
Thursday, April 14, 2022

Penelope, Or How the Odyssey Was Really Written by Wendy Caster

I was excited to see the York Theatre Company's new musical Penelope, Or How the Odyssey Was Really Written (book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg) because I had had sooooo much fun at Desperate…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:36PM
Monday, April 11, 2022

Queens Girl in the World by Wendy Caster

By Linda Drummond Johnson, Guest Reviewer  Queens Girl in the World is an extraordinary one-woman play currently in its New York debut at Theater Row. It stars Felicia Curry, an actor wit…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 09:42PM
Friday, March 11, 2022

Anyone Can Whistle: MasterVoices by Wendy Caster

The MasterVoices' concert of Anyone Can Whistle was a lovely and poignant reminder that although we have lost Stephen Sondheim, we will always have his work. And, oh!, that work! Elizab…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:54PM
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

JANE ANGER or The Lamentable Comedie of JANE ANGER, that Cunning Woman, and also of Willy Shakefpeare and his Peasant Companion, Francis, Yes and Also by Wendy Caster

As I watched the annoyingly written, directed, acted, and titled JANE ANGER,or The Lamentable Comedie JANE ANGER, that Cunning Woman, and also of Willy Shakefpeare and his Peasant Companion,…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:48AM
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Daughter-in-Law by Wendy Caster

The Mint Theater Company's production of D.H. Lawrence's drama, The Daughter-in-Law, so successfully evokes life in the East Midlands of England in 1912 that I was shocked when I glanced at…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:18PM
Friday, December 17, 2021

Diana The Musical (Broadway edition) by Liz Wollman

Sometimes--maybe especially when the whole world is screaming and sad and broken--a not-very-good musical can be the perfect balm. On Broadway at the Longacre for a few more days before it s…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:42PM
Monday, November 22, 2021

The Alchemist by Wendy Caster

Robert Frost once said, "Poetry is what gets lost in translation." To this I add, theatre is what gets lost in streaming. Please don't misunderstand: I am totally grateful for all the theatr…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:12AM
Monday, November 15, 2021

Diana: The Musical (Netflix version) by Liz Wollman

Hi, it's been a while because--well, you know. But I'm back with news of Diana: The Musical, which received mixed to positive reviews during its 2019 La Jolla run, despite what were cited…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:06PM
Friday, August 6, 2021

Standing on the Edge of Time by Wendy Caster

The Potomac Theatre Project's recent streaming play, Standing on the Edge of Time, consists largely of people talking--alone, in pairs, or in groups--about  history, theatre, relationships …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:54AM
Friday, April 9, 2021

The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume 4 (book review) by Wendy Caster

 My latest review is up at Talkin' Broadway. According to their interviews in The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume 4, Ed Dixon has great affection for The Scarlet Pimpernel; Krysta Rodr…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:03AM
Saturday, March 27, 2021

Tom Stoppard: A Life (book review) by Wendy Caster

My review of Tom Stoppard: A Life appears on Talkin' Broadway. Hermione Lee's Tom Stoppard: A Life is a formidable achievement. Not only does Lee cover the story of Stoppard's life in gr…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:42AM
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Myths and Hymns (Chapter 1): Flight by Wendy Caster

I'm going to cut to the chase here. I highly, highly, highly recommend the MasterVoices streaming production of Myths and Hymns, chapter one of which is available right now. The music, by Ad…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 01:12AM
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Singular Sensation (book review) by Wendy Caster

I reviewed Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway by Michael Riedel, on Talkin' Broadway. I had mixed feelings.  To read the review, please click here.

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:42AM
Friday, October 30, 2020

Conflict by Wendy Caster

Great news: It's not too late to watch The Mint's fabulous production of the painfully timely 1925 play Conflict. (Review of the production here.) For free. This is a nicely done video of …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 01:24AM
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Far Away (PTP/NYC) by Wendy Caster

In the past couple of decades, Caryl Churchill has perfected the oblique and concentrated one-act play, somehow providing the intellectual challenge and emotional punch of the best of full-…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:32AM
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Seven Sins by Sandra Mardenfeld

Company XIV cast of Seven Sins. Photo by Mark Shelby Perry. Seven Sins by Company XIV, their most cohesive production to date, tells the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and the i…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:48PM
Friday, February 21, 2020

West Side Story by Liz Wollman

While it seems that a good half the theater-going public in and around New York City hotly disagrees with me, I'm squarely in the camp that believes Ivo Van Hove's maximal minimalism fails …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:42PM
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Coal Country by Wendy Caster

I saw a very early performance of Coal Country, so this is a brief report rather than a review. Coal Country is a documentary theatre performance developed by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen,…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:42PM
Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker by Wendy Caster

One of the many joys of theatre is getting to experience how another person's brain and imagination work. Last night at La Mama, the brain and imagination belonged to Theodora Skipitares, w…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:32PM
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2019-2020: Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Glories of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway by Wendy Caster

I was going to do a "best-of" for 2019 plus a "looking forward" for 2020, when I realized that their focus would be much the same: the treasure that is non-Broadway theatre.I'm not denying t…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 11:42PM
Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Jagged Little Pill by Liz Wollman

There's a lot going on in Jagged Little Pill, which has to be the wokest jukebox musical you're likely to see on Broadway lately. Built around the era-defining third album of the same name b…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 01:36PM
Monday, December 16, 2019

Where Are We Now by Sandra Mardenfeld

Sven Ratzke; Photo by Hanneke Wetzer Dutch-German performer Sven Ratzke is the best kind of David Bowie fan. When he sings his Ziggy Stardust songs, he closes his eyes, softens his face and …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:48AM
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nutcracker Rouge by Sandra Mardenfeld

Ashley Dragon. Credit: Mark Shelby Perry Even when Company XIV produces a problematic show, it’s vastly entertaining. While the Nutcracker Rouge’s version of this well-known holiday t…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:54PM
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Let 'Em Eat Cake by Wendy Caster

The narration for the MasterVoices production of the Gershwins' Let 'Em Eat Cake mentions that (1) it was the very first musical sequel (to Of Thee I Sing), and (2) it set the precedent fo…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:36PM

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