All in Review

REVIEWS: Charting new musical frontiers with “A Strange Loop” and “Octet”

Two new Off-Broadway musicals that are marquee productions of the summer experiment with form and content in exciting ways that portend well for the future of the art form.  Unique for musicals, both are also the product of a single author.  Here I take a look at Michael R. Jackson’s “A Strange Loop” at Playwrights Horizons andDave Malloy’s “Octet” at Signature Theatre.

REVIEW: Everett Quinton in Charles Ludlam’s “Galas”

For the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings and in celebration of World Pride, the Theatre at St. John’s presents the first-ever revival of Charles Ludlam’s 1983 play “Galas: A Modern Tragedy”, a broadly comical travesty of the life of iconic opera singer Maria Callas.  Downtown staple Everett Quinton (Ludlam’s partner) plays the titular role in a production that harkens back to a time when the West Village was the center of queer underground theatre.

REVIEW: “Beetlejuice” is a ghoulishly good time

“Beetlejuice”, the last new musical of the 2018-2019 Broadway season, is a ghoulishly good time that pays loving homage to the mythology of the movie while fundamentally reorienting the story and lending it an unexpected punch of pathos amid its crass and crude mania.  Gorgeously designed with a Tim Burton aesthetic, and featuring a relentless series of bawdy jokes and entertaining songs, this hyperactive musical comedy might not meet the elevated aesthetic standards of some, but I had a blast.

REVIEW: York Theatre revives “Enter Laughing”—a musical comedy gem

The York Theatre Company presents a top-notch revival of “Enter Laughing: The Musical” that is easily among the best musicals to have played New York all year.  A tuneful 1930s period piece about a girl-crazy boy from the Bronx taking his first, comically misadventurous steps into the world of theatre, this once-forgotten gem is sure to have you exit laughing, and remembering why you love musicals.

REVIEW: A must-see immersive production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in Brooklyn

A new, immersive Off-Off-Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” makes history as the first to feature a genderqueer actor as Blanche DuBois, but that’s only one reason to see this uncensored and visceral take on an American classic, performed mere feet from the audience and loaded with complex and raw performances.  A must-see.

REVIEW: The indignity of “Hillary and Clinton”

Lucas Hnath’s “Hillary and Clinton” is a depressing form of inept and backhanded fan fiction, the very existence of which is irredeemably sexist.  Putting the marriage and choices of one of the most accomplished and celebrated women in American history on stage for yet more public scrutiny is an indignity no male politician would ever face.  Great performances aside, this inaccurate and intrusive play’s existence on Broadway feels irresponsible as a matter of civic integrity.