All in Broadway

REVIEW: Young Jean Lee’s quietly enveloping “Straight White Men”

Young Jean Lee makes history as the first female Asian-American playwright with her quietly enveloping play “Straight White Men”; far from the raging jeremiad that many liberal theatregoers no doubt anticipate, this tightly directed and finely acted play is a smart, funny, and surprising look at questions of privilege and identity through the lens of America’s oldest and newest, and soon to be minority, group: straight white men.

REVIEWS: The Revivals Cometh – Broadway’s 2017-2018 season ends with “The Iceman Cometh”, “Saint Joan”, and “Travesties”

The 2017-2018 Broadway season comes to a close with three play revivals: an excellent, energetic production of “The Iceman Cometh” with Denzel Washington; a perfunctory and pageant-like production of “Saint Joan” starring Condola Rashad; and an absolutely ravishing London transfer of Tom Stoppard’s brilliant “Travesties”, starring Tom Hollander.

REVIEW: “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” is Not Hot Stuff

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” is a flat and soulless jukebox tribute to the “Queen of Disco” that disgraces the genre she created by offering thin orchestrations, inauthentic choreography, and a song listing that includes too many obscure cuts from later in her career.  LaChanze’s radiant performance is not enough to salvage this joyless and unfocused show.  Save your money and listen to Summer’s iconic songs instead.

REVIEW: A smashing, feminist “My Fair Lady” starring Lauren Ambrose

Lincoln Center Theater delivers a grand, first rate, feminist revival of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical, “My Fair Lady”.  Perfectly keyed to this moment while honoring the greatness of its text and score, director Bartlett Sher hits another home run, and Lauren Ambrose and Harry Hadden-Paton give smashing, revolutionary performances as Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins.  A great revival of a great musical to end the season on a high note.

REVIEW: “Rocktopia”

“Rocktopia” is a one-trick rock concert in which snippets of top-shelf, survey deep classical compositions are mashed-up with and swallowed whole by beloved rock songs from the 1970s and 1980s.  Garishly self-indulgent, sublimely absurd, bland, and loud, you can skip this well-intentioned musical experiment gone awry.

REVIEW: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” is back on Broadway in a big, bold, and beautiful new production that is both soaringly operatic and heart-wrenchingly intimate, thanks to a quintet of smashing principal performances, stunning choreography, enchanting sets, and a generously sized orchestra.  Great musicals of the golden age deserve to be seen; pay a visit to this glorious “Carousel”.

REVIEW: “Children of a Lesser God”

“Children of a Lesser God” is one play whose sell-by date has definitely passed; even given embers of a still burning debate about deaf culture and identity, this plodding and clinical revival is dull, stale, unremarkable, and problematic in its treatment of a relationship between a deaf student and her teacher.  Despite strong performances by TV’s Joshua Jackson and deaf actor Lauren Ridloff, skip this one.