All in Critic's Pick

REVIEW: The heartbreak of democracy in “Soft Power”

“Soft Power”, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s dramaturgically breathtaking new musical-within-a-play, experiments with form while rendering a sort of reverse version of “The King and I”.  The resulting satire of American culture and politics brims with an unpretentious intelligence and an unexpectedly penetrating sense of patriotism.  If democracy will break your heart, “Soft Power” can mend it.  

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: Ross Golan’s “The Wrong Man” at MCC Theater

Joshua Henry stars in “The Wrong Man”, a buoyantly rendered original new noir musical about a man falsely accused of murder that is the brain child of multi-platinum pop music singer, songwriter, and producer Ross Golan.  A narrative song-cycle set in an intimate, concert-like atmosphere, this musical gets rhythmically rote, and suffers for a lack of specificity, but is nevertheless saved by a great score, fluid choreography, and Mr. Henry’s titanic performance.

REVIEW: Confronting the past in “jazz singer”

In “jazz singer” a group of artists grapple with making a piece of theatre about the film “The Jazz Singer” by examining its roots in Jewish mythology, wrestling with its use of blackface, exploring vital themes of assimilation, appropriation, and atonement, and questioning its legacy.  While the piece substantively evinces the feel of a work still in progress, the production design is impeccable and unimpeachable, and its mission is achieved.

REVIEW: Shaw’s “Caesar & Cleopatra” is superbly rendered by the Gingold Theatrical Group

The Gingold Theatrical Group is currently presenting a rare revival of Shaw’s 1898 play “Caesar & Cleopatra”; superbly rendered, well-acted, and keenly directed, this production makes a convincing case for reconsidering “Caesar & Cleopatra” as a play worthy of more examination and rightful placement in the canon of classics.

REVIEWS: “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow”, “The Rolling Stone”, and “Toni Stone”

Three new plays opened at three of Off-Broadways best non-profit theatre companies over the course of the last month.  I take a brief look at “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow” at MCC Theater, “The Rolling Stone” at Lincoln Center Theater, and “Toni Stone” at the Roundabout Theatre Company—all three of which are critic’s picks!

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.