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
Friday, March 31, 2023

Vanities by Wendy Caster

The York Theatre Company's production of Vanities, running through April 22, has many strong points. The main strength is the cast. The story of three friends from roughly age 18 (in 1963) …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:12AM
Thursday, March 16, 2023

Arden of Faversham by Wendy Caster

Red Bull's fabulously entertaining production of Arden of Faversham, directed with a wry hand by Artistic Director Jesse Berger, tells the story of Alice (the terrific Cara Ricketts), a you…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 11:40PM
Friday, March 10, 2023

Dark Disabled Stories by Wendy Caster

I reviewed this show for Talkin' Broadway. The review can be accessed here. I have very mixed feelings about this review, just as I had mixed feelings about the show. 

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:59PM
Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Crumbs from the Table of Joy by Wendy Caster

In 1995, Lynn Nottage had her first professional production: Crumbs from the Table of Joy, at Second Stage in New York. The Keen Company is now presenting Crumbs' first New York revival, w…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 07:00PM
Friday, March 3, 2023

The Trees by Wendy Caster

An odd and lovely play is opening at Playwrights Horizons on March 5th and running through March 19th. Written by Agnes Borinsky and directed by Tina Satter, The Trees is the story of a bro…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:34PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2023

She's Got Harlem on Her Mind by Wendy Caster

When Eulalie Spence died in 1981 at age 86, her obituary noted that she was a retired school teacher but didn't mention that she was also an award-winning playwright of the Harlem Renaissanc…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:38PM

Becomes a Woman by Wendy Caster

While Betty Smith is famous today for her novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, her great love was playwrighting; she wrote over 70 one-act and full-length dramas, some of which were performed in …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 02:21AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Sunday in the Park With George by Wendy Caster

As made clear in James Lapine's must-read Putting It Together (review here), the development of his and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George was hectic, odd, and messy. In man…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:55PM
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Audience by Wendy Caster

Among Václav Havel's extraordinary traits--talent, bravery, more bravery--his compassion is in some ways the most impressive. In his one-act play Audience, Havel's stand-in, Ferdinand Vaně…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:59PM
Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ain't No Mo' by Wendy Caster

It was sad to see Ain't No Mo' come and go so quickly, but was Broadway the right place for it? I get the attraction of Broadway. It's the place. But was there ever a chance that Ain't No M…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 03:56PM
Monday, January 2, 2023

Hadestown by Wendy Caster

My third viewing of the amazing Hadestown was from third row mezz on a Wednesday matinee. Although I have an aversion to Wednesday matinees going back to the 1970s, I was pleasantly surpris…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:27PM
Sunday, January 1, 2023

1776 by Wendy Caster

Here's the amazing thing: the musical 1776 is so solid, so excellent, that the creators of the current Roundabout production didn't manage to completely ruin it. Though they did try.  W…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 11:34PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Merrily We Roll Along by Liz Wollman

  Merrily We Roll Along was and shall always remain a hot mess of a musical. Based on a longer-running if also financially unsuccessful 1934 play of the same name by Kaufman and Hart, Merr…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 11:12AM
Sunday, December 11, 2022

Ain't No Mo' by Liz Wollman

Closing notices have been posted for Jordan E. Cooper's wonderful Ain't No Mo', which is a  shame: the show, which only opened on Broadway three weeks ago, richly deserves to connect with …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 04:32PM
Monday, November 14, 2022

Some Like It Hot by Wendy Caster

I saw Some Like It Hot too early to give it a full review, but I do have some comments.  At first I was put off by the show. It's so energetic, and so enthusiastic, and so cheerful that…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 12:12AM
Friday, October 28, 2022

Carmen by Wendy Caster

Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. However, he left out another important certainty: when MasterVoices puts on a show, it is always worth seeing. Ginger Co…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 06:07PM
Thursday, October 27, 2022

F*ck7thGrade by Wendy Caster

Jill Sobule's terrific autobiographical rock-concert musical, F*ck7thGrade, traces her life from tomboy riding a Raleigh Blue Chopper, to junior high outcast, to accidental performer in a ni…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 05:33AM
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Leopoldstadt by Wendy Caster

Leopoldstadt, Tom Stoppard's newest play, and possibly his last, offers a journey through the life of a Jewish family in Vienna, from 1899 to the 1950s. They are well-off and mostly happy. …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 08:19PM
Saturday, October 1, 2022

King Charles III (movie review) by Wendy Caster

My friend and I were psyched to go to the play King Charles III on Broadway in 2016. We had read the rave reviews and heard the buzz. Come intermission, we looked at each other and said, p…

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 01:43PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Broadway Revival (book review) by Wendy Caster

I remember learning in my teens that George Gershwin was only 38 when he died. I felt so sorry for him, but also for me. What music died with him? Gershwin had mentioned to a friend that he …

SOURCE: Show Showdown at 10:19PM
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

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Nov 27, 2022: KPOP - Circle In The Square