REVIEW: Adrienne Warren’s star turn in “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical”

Adrienne Warren gives a spell-binding, jaw-dropping, star turn in “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical”.  There’s nothing earth-shattering about the show’s conception, construction, or execution—but not much that offends, either.  “TINA”, among the best of its sub-genre of bio-musicals, is a rather unremarkable musical as far as the form is concerned but a terrific entertainment that tells a good story and does it well.  See it for Adrienne Warren’s transcendent performance.

REVIEW: “A Chorus Line” at Signature Theatre is one singular sensation!

A sensational new production of “A Chorus Line” at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia makes a compelling case for experimenting beyond the container of Michael Bennett’s iconic original.  A well-cast ensemble of triple threats breathes new life and new energy into “one of the best musicals ever”, and reclaim the magic that made the show such a milestone in the first place.  This production is a must-see for any D.C.-area theatre fans.

"American Buffalo" will play Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre this spring; "The Who's Tommy" will return to Broadway in 2021; full cast announced for “Company”; Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber collaborated on a new song for the "Cats" film; Jane Alexander and James Cromwell join Second Stage's "Grand Horizons"; Drew Gehling returns to close "Waitress"; Whoopi Goldberg to helm 2020 West End revival of "Sister Act"; Jessica Chastain to perform "A Doll's House" on the West End; "American Utopia" will receive a cast album; RIP: the Times Square Sbarro (1996-2019)

REVIEW: “Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation”

After a five year hiatus, the Broadway parody revue “Forbidden Broadway” is back with a new edition that makes fun of Broadway shows, actors, and personalities through sketches that satirize the form.  Mostly funny, this iteration is undercut by a tinge of bitterness and resentment toward shifting cultural mores and trends on Broadway.  But, in the end, it’s still the same scrappy, low-budget comedy revue that’s been playing, off and on, since 1982. 

"Mrs. Doubtfire" the musical will open at Broadway's Stephen Sondheim Theatre; the Broadway-aimed musical "Lempicka" will play La Jolla Playhouse; Tim Sanford will step down as Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons; stars of "SpongeBob SquarePants" will reunite for a new TV adaptation that will premiere on Nickelodeon; Maria Dizzia to headline “Constitution” tour; Roger Bart joins "Back to the Future" musical; Warren Carlyle to direct and choreograph Barry Manilow's "Harmony"; first look of Carolee Carmello as Dolly Levi in the national tour of "Hello, Dolly!"

REVIEW: The heartbreak of democracy in “Soft Power”

“Soft Power”, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s dramaturgically breathtaking new musical-within-a-play, experiments with form while rendering a sort of reverse version of “The King and I”.  The resulting satire of American culture and politics brims with an unpretentious intelligence and an unexpectedly penetrating sense of patriotism.  If democracy will break your heart, “Soft Power” can mend it.  

"MJ The Musical" will play Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre; Martin Scorsese's new film, "The Irishman", will screen at Broadway's Belasco Theatre; TimeOut's Helen Shaw is the new theater critic for New York Magazine/Vulture; "Slave Play" extends by two weeks; "A Christmas Carol" and “Evita” casting announcements; Joe Mantello to receive prestigious “Mr. Abbott” Award; Kerry Washington joins “The Prom" movie; "A Night with Janis Joplin" will screen; "The Life of Pi" might be headed to Broadway in 2021; Kathleen Marshall tapped to direct and choreograph "Sideways" musical; RIP Bruce Anthony Davis

REVIEW: Confronting Race, Gender, Sex, and History in “Slave Play” on Broadway

Following a sold-out run downtown, Jeremy O. Harris’ “Slave Play” is now on Broadway.  At once hysterical and alarming, this trenchant satire of white fragility, identity politics, racism, psychotherapy, and a certain brand of its crunchy practitioners is a conversation piece to top them all.  Thoughtfully written, constructed, and executed; thought-provoking, relevant, and a herald of what can be, “Slave Play” is a must-see of the season.

REVIEW: Ross Golan’s “The Wrong Man” at MCC Theater

Joshua Henry stars in “The Wrong Man”, a buoyantly rendered original new noir musical about a man falsely accused of murder that is the brain child of multi-platinum pop music singer, songwriter, and producer Ross Golan.  A narrative song-cycle set in an intimate, concert-like atmosphere, this musical gets rhythmically rote, and suffers for a lack of specificity, but is nevertheless saved by a great score, fluid choreography, and Mr. Henry’s titanic performance.