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Las Vegas Supports Performing Arts

August 24, 2016

Vegas still maintains its status as a hotspot for Broadway musicals, theatrical plays, and live entertainment. Although Performing Arts doesn’t appeal as largely to today’s youth in relation to other forms of entertainment, the city hopes to draw in more young performers to the arts by creating public and supporting personal programs [more]

One Timeless Drama. Two Timeless Legends. Together Onscreen for the First Time.

June 28, 2016

Veteran film icons Academy Award® nominee Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Hobbit franchise, X-Men franchise) and Academy Award® winner Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Thor franchise, Mission Impossible II) star together for the first time ever in the captivating BBC production of the STARZ Original movie, The Dresser, arriving on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Digital HD from Starz Digital July 12. [more]

“ZIEGFELD GIRLS” Hosted by MARTIN SCHNEIT At Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College (68th between Park and Lexington Ave.) Saturday, May 28th at 3:30pm

May 25, 2016

ZIEGFELD GIRLS, a multi-media presentation hosted by historian Martin Schneit, known for his popular walking tours of New York City landmarks, pays homage to such iconic Broadway stars as Nora Bayes, Billie Burke, Fanny Brice, Ruth Etting, Gilda Grey, Anna Held, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Lillian Lorraine, Doris Eaton Travis and others. Guest stars Jamie Buxton [A CHORUS LINE], Erin Cronican [DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, Veronica Mars], and Candice Oden [BOY’S LIFE] will perform songs introduced by Lillian Lorraine, Marilyn Miller and Ruth Etting, written by Buddy DeSylva, Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, and others, with Mark York [JUST JIM DALE] at the piano. [more]

On Set for Grave Secrets

May 3, 2016

Before the cameras started rolling, there was this anxiety and doubt, but I began to really focus and believe in myself, in my ability, in my technique, and in my drive, and that put me in the zone. [more]

Webcam

April 24, 2016

The simple staging also gave emphasis to this unique push and pull relationship between these two young men and the overall tone of the play. The story as well as Jake’s continuous pretentious commentary made me identify that there was a specific reason behind Jake’s intentions to be seen as this cool and confident man, while Noah is made out by Jake to be this hopeless, “more than likely” to be positive “fag”, when in reality Jake is actually the one who is hopeless and insecure. [more]

Midtown Int’l Theatre Festival Spring: March 7 – 27, 2016

February 7, 2016

Powerful and unique themes pervade this series of works including spirituality and "the other side;" sexuality and relationships and its burgeoning diversity; the power of - and within - women; the casualty of war - and the casual way we look at it; fine art; the church; crippling illness from the point of the crippled; redemption; and myriad more are explored in under two hours! [more]

Marilyn Maye: “Marilyn by Request”

January 15, 2016

The crowd went wild when she sang some iconic favorites and became silent so as you could hear a pin drop when she crooned out others. Maye sure knows how to work a room. This snazzy, jazzy one-of-a-kind artist sang a lot of ballads, Broadway tunes and anything fabulous. Only the best would do for this phenomenal performer. Among the highlights were “Luck, Be a Lady Tonight, “Guess Who I Saw Today,” “Country Boy,” “That's Life” and “I'm Still Here” which was very apropos. [more]

Baby Jane Dexter: “It’s Personal!”

November 30, 2015

It wasn't until the sixth song, "Birth of the Blues" by DeSylva, Brown and Henderson, that she finally addressed the crowd which had filled the small venue. She commented that she has never considered herself a blues singer, although she has been identified as such for years, and went on to belt out a very heartfelt, bluesy rendition of the song. She then transitioned into one of her old-time favorites, a traditional English ballad from her Hair days, "The House of the Rising Sun." Interpreted with great feeling and emotion, this was one of her best performances maybe because of the memories it conjures up in her. [more]

King Charles III

November 19, 2015

Admittedly, many of the ideas in the play are hardly new or revolutionary: the first measures to limit the scope of the British monarchy’s power date back to the 1215 Magna Carta and subsequent arguments challenging the divine right of kings include the American Declaration of Independence, drafted in 1776. Rather, this production’s merit lies in the shocking immediacy it brings to the subject. Acutely aware of the fact that the nearly 90 year-old Queen will not live forever, Bartlett takes us into a not-too-distant future where the inevitable change of the empire’s figurehead sends the nation into a state of upheaval. His England is just melodramatic enough that to allow us to see it as fictional yet a shade too realistic to feel truly dystopian. [more]

Richard Holbrook: Richard Sings Rodgers with a Lot of Heart

October 19, 2015

As always, Holbrook was dapper in his signature tux and brought real class and style to the stage. His rich, tenor voice was soothing to the ears and stirred the packed audience, mostly an older crowd, into reminiscing with him about the old days when these songs were written. Their enthusiasm was undeniable, underscored by their continuous applause. Holbrook's vocal instrument is not particularly robust but, what he lacks in volume, he makes up for in passion; a great interpreter, he really feels the music and sings with a lot of heart just like the title of his cabaret. This, along with his great stage presence, connects him with his audience and they find themselves being reeled in. [more]

Spring Awakening

October 9, 2015

Aside from its notable staging, this production is also receiving a great deal off attention for facilitating the Broadway debut of Marlee Matlin, the only deaf Academy Award-winner to date. While her role as several of the town’s adult women is not a particularly weighty one, she imbues them with her characteristic fervor. Sandra Mae Frank and Katie Boeck work well together to share the character Wendla; Boeck’s voice fluidly pairs with Frank’s signing to separate the inner turmoil and outer façade of a character whose mother refuses to listen. Likewise notable is the always-wonderful Broadway and television veteran Krysta Rodriguez, whose portrayal (both sung and signed) of Ilse, a homeless bohemian clinging to her sanity, is uniquely dark and dangerous. [more]

Reread Another

October 5, 2015

"Reread Another" is a collection of Stein’s sometimes illuminating, sometimes moving, and sometimes completely ridiculous linguistic portraits arranged into a series of discrete scenes. Spoken by three actors taking on various roles from sailors to shrubs, the text is an angular, twisting mix of paradoxes, circular logic, and contradictions that achieve satisfying moments of coherence when we least expect them to. Although the performance lacks any sort of cohesive story, it amounts to a shockingly moving evening, providing its viewer the unique sense that something indescribably interesting, perhaps even important, has occurred. [more]

The Christians

September 22, 2015

"The Christians," Lucas Hnath’s examination of the intricacies of religion currently playing at Playwrights Horizons, comes to us at a unique cultural moment: every day, scientific advances further challenge the existence of God; ostensibly in an attempt to stay palatable to his mainstream constituents, The Pope has issued a series of proclamations regarding the acceptability of homosexuality, the truth of evolution, and other topics; "The Book of Mormon"—a patronizing, tongue-in-cheek assessment of the Church of the Latter Day Saints—is still playing to sold-out houses after five years on Broadway. Indeed, the fact that "The Christians"’ opening line, “Brothers and Sisters, let us pray,” was met with a hearty laugh is telling: today, New York audiences are largely secular and conditioned to sharpen their daggers at the very mention of Christ. To Hnath, however, the subject of religion is no joke. [more]

The Black Book

September 17, 2015

"The Black Book" follows the faculty of United University while they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding a difficult student named Collin Archer and a suicide on campus. Drama instructor Axel Cooper works together with his co-workers Arthur Chase, Julie Edwards and Riley Andrews to decipher the boy's disturbing set of clues. As the action rises, motives are questioned, allegiances are challenged, and the lines between reality and delusion are blurred. Time and space spiral out of control in a climax beyond (or maybe just shy of) the point of coherence. [more]

Sally Darling: “Perspectives”

July 29, 2015

Sally lays out her heart and soul onto the stage and her chemistry with the talented composer and pianist, Matthew Martin Ward, is unmistakable. At the end of the show, she turned to him and said, “What would I do without you?” to which he replied, “Back at you.” He then leapt up from the piano and they embraced in a kiss which led them into their encore, “Here's to Us.” [more]

Foolerie

July 26, 2015

The premise of "Foolerie" centers on a clowning competition between the aptly named Clowne and a modern day Knave challenger. At the Earl’s behest, the two engage in a battle of fooling that bears extraordinarily high stakes: the winner is crowned Biggest Fool in the Land (purportedly an honor) and the loser is put to death. With the help of a supporting cast of Elizabethan actors, both competitors employ Shakespeare’s best-known characters to concoct a fictional story for the Earl’s amusement. [more]

The Qualms

June 26, 2015

Norris is interested in examining issues so often argued in black and white terms by drawing out the—pun intended—shades of grey. However, while wryly entertaining and largely incisive, his new work suffers from some of the same missteps as does his aforementioned "Clybourne Park." Namely, he paints Chris—his ostensibly well-intentioned, under-informed, straight white male character—as so downright nasty that it is almost impossible to listen to any of his arguments, however logical some of them may be. While the action of the play operates under the guise of an engaging debate that includes various different perspectives, the scales are tipped and its presentation of arguments is uneven. [more]

Blood Red Roses: The Female Pirate Project

May 23, 2015

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this devised piece is the venue itself. Boarding the Lehigh Valley Barge off the docks of Red Hook, Brooklyn, is like taking a literal step off the land and a figurative step back in time. During normal business hours, the old barge is a museum dedicated to New York City’s rich maritime history. During the run of this production, however, the rickety, wooden fixture serves as the galley of a ghost ship. At the performance under review, thunder crackled in the distance and the makeshift stage bobbed in the Upper Bay’s stormy waters while the players carry on in costume designer Emily Blumenauer’s grungy, Victorian seafarer wear; if nothing else, "Blood Red Roses' is a chillingly atmospheric evening of theater. [more]

Fun Home

May 3, 2015

Inside this less-than-"Fun Home" of deception and repression is an exceedingly endearing and relatable cast of characters. Sydney Lucas, Emily Skeggs, and Beth Malone star as Small, Middle, and Adult Alisons, respectively; while their individual mannerisms and inflections may not depict a consistent character, their passionate performances work well enough together to amount to a moving “portrait of the cartoonist as a young woman” (or what have you). Stage and screen veteran Judy Kuhn likewise shines—or, more appropriately, fades—as the Alisons’ defeated mother Helen. As her former Disney princess voice glides across a broken ballad, Kuhn shows the anguish of a wife with nothing left to sing about. Perhaps most notably, Michael Cerveris’ heartbreaking portrait of Bruce is both authoritative and impotent, loveable and despicable. [more]

Hand to God

April 16, 2015

Though operating under the guise of a rather nonsensical comedy, Askins’ play is actually a sophisticated examination of how we handle grief. The text depicts two competing sides of a boy newly without a father and in the throes of puberty: while Jason appears too innocent to ever do anything wrong, the sock on his hand offers a convenient outlet for his bad behavior. Laced in this dichotomy are hints of schizophrenia, allusions to autoerotic stimulation, and a critique of the Christian notion that “unholy” behavior exists outside of the pure self and thus can be forgiven and eliminated. The question literally “at hand” is as follows: is the puppet actually possessed or is Jason mentally ill? If the latter, to what extent should the otherwise sweet boy be held responsible for the evil puppet’s actions? [more]

Five Times In One Night

April 2, 2015

Through a series of five two-character scenes, Atik’s play charts the evolution (or lack thereof) of sex in humanity. While one segment depicts Adam and Eve fumbling through their first discovery of intercourse, another shows a pair of apocalypse survivors struggling to repopulate earth. In between, Atik includes a medieval couple’s epistolary romance, another couple’s post-breakup fling from “last week,” and a third’s inept attempt at exploring fetishes “next week.” Each with their own unique angle, Atik’s five self-contained shorts add up to a heartfelt, whimsical look at the reasons we pursue sex and the means we employ in order to have it. [more]

New York Pops: “One Night Only: Sutton Foster”

March 19, 2015

The concert’s triumph was due largely to its headliner, the incomparable Sutton Foster. Since her Tony Award-winning portrayal of the title character in the 2002 Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, she has proven herself to be one of the most versatile leading ladies to grace the Great White Way. Her brassy, yet lithe voice soared over the melodies of Cole Porter classics; her feet glided precisely across choreographer Michelle Elkin’s tap number (yes, a tap number at a New York Pops concert!); and her storytelling chops shone during heartrending takes on a couple of choice Sondheim ballads. She is a true triple threat in a way that most, if not all, of her Broadway diva contemporaries simply are not. [more]

Diversions & Delights

March 11, 2015

The famous late-19th century author Oscar Wilde is a rather paradoxical historical figure. On the one hand, he was a proud Irishman quick to correct anyone who suggested otherwise; on the other, he spoke with the finest English accent. He was too pedantic to relate to the masses, and yet his work was widely revered by all social strata. Many people loved to hate him and others hated that they loved him. In "Diversions & Delights," the 1979 play that recently returned to Manhattan for a one-weekend run presented by The Ensemble Theatre Company of New York, writer John Gay distills these many facets of a complicated man into a solo performance piece that is appropriately pretentious and accessible. [more]

An Octoroon

March 3, 2015

In 2015, it’s a bold move to revive a century and a half-old play that bears a racially insensitive title, and it’s an even bolder move to refrain from apologizing for such source material. Nevertheless, playwright Branden JacobsJenkins does just that in" An Octoroon," his adaptation of Irish playwright Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama "The Octoroon." Back by popular demand from its previous Soho Rep mounting and recently extended at the Theatre for a New Audience through March 29, the production makes the risky decision to embrace an uncomfortable facet of our history and transform it into a contemporary piece. Thankfully, it paid off big time: the result is an entertaining, touching and illuminating theatrical experience that speaks to today’s audience. [more]

Sun and Room

February 13, 2015

Matthew Socci, Zoë Pike and Leah Brewer In a scene from “Sun and Room” (Photo credit: Danielle [more]

No One Loves Us Here

January 28, 2015

Playwright Ross Howard’s new work illustrates the characteristically 21st Century sentiments of unbridled selfishness, feigned apathy, and perennial discontent. His pointed, political indictment of our skewed American values is simultaneously too hard to watch and too illuminating to ignore. "No One Loves Us Here" is an entertaining, engaging bloodbath that leaves its audience thinking lots and feeling little. Perhaps this is as it should be. [more]

Villainous Company

January 19, 2015

Asking us to stoop down to the level of three women willing to do many ethically reprehensible acts in the pursuit of wealth, Cahn challenges the notions of playing fair and working hard. Who would you throw under the proverbial bus in order to protect your livelihood? Is it ever justifiable to fight crime with more crime? Villainous Company raises these questions and more in the form of a short, fun play that is worth a watch but ultimately not worth too much thought. [more]

Cafe Society Swing

December 30, 2014

This holiday season the 59E59 Theaters is hosting a special cabaret, Cafe Society Swing, in tribute to a historic cafe which thrived back in the1940’s, one that defied conventional wisdom at a time when vanilla and chocolate didn't mix and red was a very scary color. Known as the Cafe Society Downtown, it was the first club of its kind in New York City and possibly in the country to feature white and black artists performing on stage together before an integrated audience. Not only that, mixed couples were seen dancing and even leaving together. Shocking as this was back then, Cafe Society appealed to the elite and became the big hot spot in town. Even Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Robeson and Errol Flynn were known to stop in. Proprietor Barney Josephson referred to it in his memoir as "the wrong place for the Right people" and it is this work that inspired the making of Cafe Society Swing which is as much about the club's owner and his family as it is about the talent he brought to its doors. The Downtown club was an extraordinary place. Legendary for its jazz and blues, it produced a lot of stars: Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Zero Mostel, Big Joe Turner, Count Basie, Carol Channing and Sid Caesar among them. [more]

Mimi Stern-Wolfe & Laura Wolfe: An Evening of Song from Second Avenue by Two New York Originals

December 28, 2014

The crowd at The Pangea was in for a real treat when a unique mother/daughter act from the neighborhood performed a number of musical selections complete with stories that were nostalgic to this quaint, historic community on the Lower East Side. Mimi Stern-Wolfe began the 90-minute cabaret by recounting the tale of a Russian immigrant from the old days who used to come in from the Bronx to frequent the nearby Yiddish Theater. He went by the name of Bronstein. After a time, he left to go back to Russia to, as he put it, overthrow Kerensky. He turned out to be none other than Leon Trotsky. The theater later became the Children's Musical Theater where a little girl named Laura Wolfe took to the stage and a star was born. [more]
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