All in Broadway

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: A Lin-Manuel Miranda-less “Freestyle Love Supreme”

“Freestyle Love Supreme” is an abundantly joyful and amusing freestyle, improvisational, hip-hop comedy show created by Thomas Kail, Anthony Veneziale, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.  A pricey enterprise given that it is, fundamentally, an improv show, lovers of wordplay will take great pleasure in the clever and witty rhymes that the rotating cast of rappers and beatboxers come up with on the spot based on audience suggestions, and cynics will see a well-marketed cash grab.

REVIEW: Tom Hiddleston in “Betrayal”

Tom Hiddleston’s magnetic and gripping performance is the reason to see this otherwise pretentiously unadorned and wholly unremarkable production of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal”—the third major revival on Broadway in just 19 years.  The text is gold but this muted and non-contextual production does not do it justice.

REVIEW: “Sea Wall / A Life” on Broadway

“Sea Wall / A Life”—two monologues by two different playwrights performed by two different actors—is a unique offering for Broadway: two well-written pieces of storytelling whose power derives from the strength of their solo performance, rather than from any theatrical trappings.  Following a transfer from the Public Theatre, the “play” still doesn’t justify its composition, but is saved by engaging performances by its marquee stars: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge.

REVIEW: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”—opulent and empty

Director Alex Timbers’ stage adaption of “Moulin Rouge!” is visually and aurally opulent, boasting a lavish production design of the utmost scale and expense; however, the story itself gets short shrift.  Emotionally inert between dazzling musical numbers, the whole musical ends up lacking the depth and intensity necessary to properly anchor all its glitz, and is ultimately less rewarding, enjoyable, and theatrical than the 2001 film it takes as its basis.

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.