All tagged Derek McLane

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: Kerry Washington in “American Son”

“American Son”, a gripping new play on Broadway, is piercingly of the moment, thunderously bleak, written in all caps, and indulgently depressing.  Kerry Washington gives a devastating performance as a black mother living the nightmare of her son interacting with the police, but blunt writing provides shorthanded dialogue and characterizations that are unrealistic and convenient—tooled for the sake of advancing arguments, and provoking the audience, rather effectively serving a coherent social or political mission. 

REVIEW: Edie Falco in “The True”

In “The True”, playwright Sharr White dramatizes the 1977 Albany Mayoral primary election from a domestic, interpersonal perspective.  Edie Falco is fiercely magnetic as real life, foul-mouthed political operative Polly Noonan, but the play itself is rarely compelling and suffers from sedentary staging and unrealistic expository conversations that explain complex—and fundamentally uninteresting—political dynamics.

REVIEW: At last, “Jerry Springer—The Opera”

After a 15 year wait, “Jerry Springer—The Opera” has finally arrived in New York in a spectacular and profane production with an excellent cast headed by Terence Mann; unfortunately, the shock value is low and the vulgarity gratuitous, and mostly humorless.  The show’s value lies in its role as mirror to our society, but that point remains too understated and insufficiently explored to make a lasting impact.

Broadway did well at the Oscars last night; Broadway's last gossip columnist, Michael Riedel, has left the New York Post; Tatiana Maslany and Blair Brown will star in Tracy Letts' new play "Mary Page Marlowe";  Tony Shalhoub is out of "The Bands Visit" until May; "The Fantasticks" composer Harvey Schmidt is dead at 88

REVIEW: “Cardinal”

Greg Pierce’s new play “Cardinal” is bland and platitudinous, offering a superficial patina of hot-button discussion about economic and social change with little resolution or ideological point of view; too comfortable and vague, it falls back on easy tropes and says little that is new.  Skip this one.