All in Review

REVIEW: A revival of Adam Gwon’s quietly extraordinary “Ordinary Days” by Keen Company

Keen Company’s revival of Adam Gwon’s delightful chamber musical “Ordinary Days” cleanses the soul, lifts the spirit, and reminds you what you love about New York.  All four performers in this almost entirely sung show are outstanding as they tell a simple, beautiful, and original story about how small acts and interactions can change lives.  This sweet and quietly extraordinary musical is a must-see.

REVIEW: Jocelyn Bioh’s brilliant “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” returns to MCC for an encore run

Jocelyn Bioh’s brilliant play “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” is back at the Lucille Lortel Theatre for an encore engagement by MCC Theater; every bit as funny and devastating as it was when I saw it last fall, the play seems to pop and sizzle even more on a second viewing. Check out my review and get tickets now.

REVIEW: Exploring Truthiness in “The Lifespan of a Fact”

“The Lifespan of a Fact” is a poppy procedural and socially conscious comedy about facts, falsehoods, the nature of non-fiction, the boundaries of creative license, and the ethics of journalism.  Bobby Canavale, Cherry Jones, and Daniel Radcliffe are a radiant trio in Leigh Silverman’s swift and entertaining production.  This is the Trump-era play we’ve been waiting for: smart and funny, with a serious message about the importance of facts and fact-checking to the trust and integrity of institutions.

REVIEW: Not your Aunt Eller’s “Oklahoma!”

Director Daniel Fish delivers a glorious and terrifying production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking 1943 musical “Oklahoma!” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, completely deconstructing this canonical and totemic masterpiece of American musical theatre by stripping it of its corn and highlighting the darker themes of violence and injustice that have always been simmering underneath.  Sexually charged and presented with a striking naturalism, this masterful new production is a revelation.

REVIEW: Heidi Schreck’s stunning and poignant “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Part civics lesson, part memoir—at once bittersweet and beautiful— Heidi Schreck’s mostly one-woman play “What the Constitution Means to Me” at  New York Theatre Workshop recounts her formative experience of wrestling with the constitution’s meaning as a teenager through the lens of her adult self, the women in her family, and the bitterly divided nation it serves.  Heartbreaking, humorous, brilliant, and profoundly important, this is a must-see event of the fall season.

REVIEW: “The Nap”—prepare to be snookered

Manhattan Theatre Club presents Richard Bean’s hilarious new comedy, “The Nap”, a high-stakes, low-rent farce set in the world of Snooker (British pool).  A superbly comical, poised, and perfectly cast ensemble of kooky characters make this off-beat crime thriller comedy the kind of delightfully droll escape that only theatre can provide.  Silly, yes, but that’s never been more needed than right now.

REVIEW: “Bernhardt/Hamlet”—bold and incoherent

Theresa Rebeck’s “Bernhardt/Hamlet” is a backstage comedy-drama of historical fiction recounting Sarah Bernhardt’s groundbreaking 1897 turn as Hamlet in Paris; discursive, incoherent, and verbose, the play has nothing particularly interesting to say about gender politics as it ambitiously attempts to tackle a panoply of themes and ideas.  I’d much rather see Ms. McTeer play Hamlet than watch an endless series of rehearsals.

REVIEW: WWI Through the Eyes of a Young Soldier in “Private Peaceful”

In “Private Peaceful”, Irish actor Shane O’Regan makes a smashing New York debut playing 24 characters in a one-man World War I story.  A dispatch from the trenches of war told from the perspective of a young solider, this simple but arresting play is a haunting reminder of the savage cost of war and the terrific sacrifices made for democracy by those who came before us.  I recommend you catch this crisp and brilliant production before it goes on tour.