All in Review

REVIEW: Loy A. Webb’s explosive and exquisite “The Light” at MCC Theater

“The Light” is an urgent and painful story of revelation, redress, and hopeful reconciliation cued at the intersection of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.  Tautly and evocatively sketched by playwright Loy A. Webb, this exquisite two-hander starts like a rom-com before embarking on tragic territory, forcing the audience to reckon with its own baked-in biases and assumptions based on race and gender, and to do and be better.

REVIEW: Encores! “Call Me Madam” with Carmen Cusack

Carmen Cusack shines in Encores! revival of its 1995 landmark revival of Irving Berlin’s “Call Me Madam” (1950), originally written as a vehicle for Ethel Merman.  A topical piece of light satirical fare that’s more about comedy and songs than plot, this simple but well-performed production is Encores! at its truest: a concert revival of a classic musical that would not otherwise be seen on stage again. 

REVIEW: A kaleidoscopic look at life in “Joan”

In “Joan”, playwright Stephen Belber ambitiously sets out to tell one, non-linear story of a woman’s life that slowly creates an absorbing and dramatically effective portrait, at once banal and spellbinding.  Johanna Day is exquisite as the titular character, supported by two chameleons who play all the supporting roles.  The drama is straightforward, and the production taut.

REVIEW: “The Convent”

In Jessica Dickey’s new play “The Convent” a group of women participate in a retreat at a medieval convent in the South of France; the play boasts a promising and intriguing setup that is, unfortunately, bungled in execution due to underdeveloped characters and an imbalanced tone.

REVIEW: “Choir Boy” sings and soars

The Broadway premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy” at Manhattan Theatre Club, finely acted and beautifully told, is transcendent.  The very presence of this play on Broadway about a black, queer teenage boy navigating private, Christian Prep school life is seismic, and Jeremy Pope offers a memorable debut in this timely and important work.

REVIEW: “Slave Play”

Jeremy O. Harrison’s scintillating debut play, “Slave Play” at New York Theatre Workshop, is not what you think it is, packing twists, some heavy satire, graphic sexuality, and an important discourse on race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary America.  To write about it is to spoil its surprises, but this sold out run will no doubt inspire future productions.