I have seen Bette Midler in concert in her Las Vegas show, and last night I saw Bette Midler’s Hello Dolly – without Bette Midler. I think this was the smartest choice to see this musical. I have heard from my friends the Bette Midler as Dolly Levi was terrific. She commanded the stage and you couldn’t take your eyes off of her. I am sure that is true. But I saw Donna Murphy as Dolly Levi and THAT was perfect for me. Continue reading Hello Dolly!
The Government Inspector
Written by Nikolai Gogol
Adapted by Jefrey Hatcher
Directed by Jesse Berger
Red Bull Theater
New World Stages
July 23, 2017
💉💉 out of 5.
but the work of Michael Urie 💉💉💉💉💉
The Russians are funny people. So often I have taught the Russian classic plays and my students take them with such reverence that nobody sees any reason to laugh. The Government Inspector is all about the laughs and all about making fun of the greed and corruption that dominated the provincial Russian government and perhaps could say a thing or two about the current world of politics – – you think so. (BUT although so tempting to bring “Trumpisms” into the play, they take the high road and trust the audience will make those connections if they want to. Continue reading The Government Inspector
Come From Away
Book, Music and Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
June 17, 2017
💉💉💉💉💉 out of 5.
There are not enough words to tell you how wonderful this show is! It is fun to experience; it sounds great; it is energetic; the cast is passionate about what they are doing, and you leave the theatre feeling so so good! NYC has always had trouble tying to tell the story of 9/11 in the theatre. Either the story becomes so political that it becomes more of a speech that leaves you cold – – or the 9/11 plays become so maudlin and so lost in the anger and sadness that all you want to do is weep. 9/11 stories were either about the head and they neglected the heart – or they were focused on the heart and they had nothing to say to your head.
Come From Away is the perfect blend. Continue reading Come From Away
Doll’s House Part 2
Written by Lucas Hnath
Starring Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad
Directed by Sam Gold
June 13, 2017
💉💉💉💉💉 out of 5.
This my readers THIS is a play! 90 minutes has never flown faster. I was grabbed by my collar and whisked away and thrown out in the street later in numb silence to figure out what the f*** just happened.
I teach the good ‘ol Ibsen Dolls House every year to sophomores. 28 years of sophomores have walked through this story with me. It bored some – – but the majority were really captivated by the blackmail and the sweet little skylark standing up and kicking some Torvald ass. But what happened after the mighty door slam? What happened to a woman who just gave it all up – – husband, children and station in society? Where did she go? What did she do? Continue reading Doll’s House Part 2
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Music, Lyrics, Book and Orchestration by Dave Malloy
Directed by Rachel Chavkin
June 10, 2017
💉💉💉💉💉 out of 5.
This musical was like a full exotic dinner with course after course of food that you could never imagine, served in a way you couldn’t anticipate, with a flavor that was both familiar and exotic. That is my best shot at describing the “experience” of seeing the Great Comet. The entire theatre had been gutted and made into a Russian beer hall. A similar attempt was made by Broadway’s Cabaret a few years ago – but this TRULY took the idea and ran with it, Food was served (or rather tossed) at the show’s beginning and much of the audience sat at candle lit tables. Continue reading Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812