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Articles by Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (377 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

Afterglow

August 17, 2017

Having a background in dance accounts for Gelman’s mesmerizing staging that is filled with finely choreographed sequences. Characters take showers onstage with actual water cascading on their nude bodies and there are stylized, brief simulations of sex that are suggestively erotic. Numerous, arresting tableaus silently emit significance. The actors all give bold, brave and intense performances that transcend stereotypes. [more]

High School Coven

August 12, 2017

Set in a California, Bay Area high school, there we meet the four students who prattle on in contemporary lingo. Gradually, and without any explanation we learn that they are witches. An episode of Bewitched has more background information. After 30 minutes, a semblance of a plot emerges, a run for class office. Eventually it is revealed that the candidate running was raped over the previous summer at an off campus party where alcohol was consumed by her male opponent. This past event becomes the play’s main focus. [more]

Georama: An American Panorama Told on Three Miles of Canvas

August 5, 2017

Book writers West Hyler and Matt Schatz have taken these facts and woven a charming piece of Americana that explores idealism coming up against cynicism. It’s very well structured, amusing and thoughtful. There are a few zingers that could be interpreted as referring to President Trump.  Their chief conceit is having Banvard’s early associate Taylor, later become Barnum, and their rivalry becomes a focal point of the show. [more]

Backbeard: The Musical

August 4, 2017

Matthew McElligott, Larry Tuxbury and Brian Sheldon’s book is a witty, smart and sharp take on pirate lore laced with a child’s sense of individuality, tolerance and inclusivity.  It’s adapted from Mr. McElligott’s acclaimed series of children’s books. McElligott, Mr. Tuxbury and Michael Musial’s lyrics are quite accomplished and chock of full of crafty rhymes such as scarf with barf.  Mr. Musial’s euphorically tuneful music completes the marvelous score, that’s perfectly rendered by Barbara Musial’s skillful music direction. [more]

The Unwritten Law

August 2, 2017

Writer and co-creator Chesney Snow is also the performer.  Mr. Snow appeared in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the a capella musical "In Transit" as the narrator.  Snow is also a prominent beatboxer.  That’s an art form that replicates the sound of percussion by using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.  In The Unwritten Law, the African-American Snow mines the tragic circumstances of his life and those close to him. [more]

Places

July 29, 2017

"I wanted the audience to see 'Places,' not as a ‘museum’ piece, but a piece that was relevant TODAY. Nazimova was fighting the things in the 19th century and early 20th century that we are still fighting…," explains Nordlinger, who also wrote the show, in publicity materials for the production. Her conceit is that Nazimova exists as a ghost and cheekily addresses the audience directly. Her skillful, well-researched and assembled biographical facts are laced with feminist slanted commentary, and knowledge of events that occurred after Nazimova’s death. [more]

Money Talks: The Musical

July 24, 2017

The genial Ralph Byers’ performance as Franklin is heroic as he is onstage for virtually the entire length of the show. Mr. Byers marvelously sings, dances and cracks wise, while channeling the familiar Franklin persona with his wry vocal delivery. Byers exudes dignity, serenity and focus despite the deficient material. [more]

Night Tide

July 22, 2017

Mora works as a mermaid in a tank at the sideshow owned by the crusty, old Captain Murdock who rescued and raised her. As her romance with Johnny blossoms, there are complications. Her previous two boyfriends died under mysterious circumstances. An ominous woman in black mills about and there’s a fortuneteller looming over the action, as the plot builds to a tragic finale. There is also the possibility that Mora is a real mermaid. [more]

Pity in History

July 20, 2017

"Pity in History" was a teleplay commissioned by the BBC, and was broadcast on July 4, 1985. In the cast were Alan Rickman as the chaplain, Ian McDiarmid as the cook, and Anna Massey as the widow. Significantly, the era depicted was that of when it took place, reflected by period costumes and décor. Clips of it are on YouTube. [more]

Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil: An American Myth

July 15, 2017

Vamping and slinking around in a bright, red tunic laden with rhinestones and wearing black tights, the vivacious Lesli Margherita steals and salvages the show as Mephistopheles. With the physical allure of the young Gina Gershon and the musical comedy talents of the young Donna Murphy, and her own quirky persona, Ms. Margherita is commanding.  It’s a proverbial case of “I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” and “everything she said and did got a laugh.” [more]

Errol and Fidel

July 15, 2017

Conveying the premature decrepitness of Errol Flynn with flair is Jonathan Stewart. His hair styled and with a thin mustache, the charming Mr. Stewart resembles Flynn and channels his dissolute persona and good humor with a melodious, slight Australian accent. The bearded and youthful George Psomas totally captures the look and essence of the early Fidel Castro with his edgy bearing.  Combining sensuality, a lush singing voice and superior comic timing, Mr. Psomas is delightful.  He and Stewart’s scenes together energize the show, particularly their clash near the end. [more]

Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie

July 14, 2017

Physically lean, with gaunt but animated features, the immensely charming David M. Lutken plays the narrator and sings many of the numbers. Mr. Lutken magnificently captures the essence of Guthrie with his wry twang, beaming smile and dramatic presence. This dimension is complete when he puts on a blue cap like Guthrie’s iconic one. That image is on display onstage, with a cigarette dangling from the side of Guthrie’s mouth. [more]

To T, or Not to T

July 9, 2017

While wearing an all black ensemble of a cap, T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, D’Lo commandingly holds forth with plentiful pop culture references in 70 minutes.  Possessing the powers of an accomplished stand-up comedian he expresses the searing and hilarious details of his transgender journey in an often rapid, hip-hop style alternating with a measured pace.  Audience members are occasionally addressed directly with riotous results. [more]

The Enchantment

July 8, 2017

"The Enchanter” is Alland, a magnetic and noted sculptor in Paris, in 1888, who has been through many women. He has become the object of desire for Louise. She is a 32-year-old, free-spirited, unmarried Swedish woman. Living off her deceased, pastor father’s inheritance and has come to Paris for spiritual fulfillment and enlightenment. She has scorned a suitable bank clerk suitor in her native land, opting instead for adventure. [more]

Kim’s Convenience

July 6, 2017

In 85 minutes, playwright Ins Choi achieves the supreme goal of The Theater, making an audience laugh while engaging their emotions.  The dialogue is flavorful and richly comical with exposition expertly integrated.  Though the setting is specific, the themes are universal.  Its Arthur Miller crossed with Norman Lear. [more]

Me the People: The Trump America Musical

July 2, 2017

The animated and charismatic Mr. Spitaletta is the standout of the cast, vibrantly appearing in numerous roles.  Highlights of his portrayals are a commanding Russian agent spoofing Danny Kaye’s tongue-twisting patter number "Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)" from Kurt Weil’s "Lady in The Dark," and a rollicking caricature of Richard Nixon. Mr. Spitaletta is an ever-present delight. [more]

Hedy! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr

June 28, 2017

The show also explores Lamarr’s improbable career as an inventor.  She and composer George Antheil held a patent for a miniaturized player-piano mechanism that was synchronized with radio signals.  They donated it to the U.S. Navy who neglected it. This technology was instrumental to the U.S. Defense Department in dealing with The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Their invention is used today in cell phones, WiFi, CDMA, GPS, Bluetooth and military satellites.  [more]

Horse

June 26, 2017

Ms. Bentley has vibrantly coordinated all of the presentational elements into an intriguing 75-minute production with her commanding staging. The present, the past, and inner lives all converge through the flawless unison of movement, dance and stage effects. [more]

The Traveling Lady

June 23, 2017

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Foote (1916-2009) was acclaimed for his cycle of plays that celebrated his native, rural Texas that included "The Trip to Bountiful."  In "The Traveling Lady," he characteristically depicts the human condition with everyday conflicts, regional dialogue, and richly delineated and lovingly rendered characters.  Those qualities make these vivid roles for actors. [more]

That Which Remains

June 20, 2017

Ms. Donovan’s enthralling opening sequence sets the tone for the production. Behind the curtains are actors in silhouette with their shadows on view.  Other cast members appear to the side of the auditorium and proceed on to the stage.  There are numerous gorgeous stage pictures and compelling movement and dance numbers.  The play’s infamous violent set pieces are boldly realized.  [more]

Attack of the Elvis Impersonators

June 19, 2017

Lazarus’ score is an entertaining blend of rock, pop and show tunes.   None of Elvis Presley’s actual songs are heard, but there are a number of clever takeoffs such as “Viva Milwaukee!” and “Spread the Word of Hound Dog.” His good-natured book is a shambles.  The serious, campy and satirical elements don’t connect.  The plot is crammed and wayward.  It recalls the 1960’s "Batman" television show as well as counterculture fantasies such as the 1968 film "Wild in The Streets" and Brian De Palma’s movie, "The Phantom of The Paradise." [more]

Death Comes for the War Poets

June 17, 2017

In the play which is billed as “a dramatic verse tapestry,” playwright Joseph Pearce ably weaves together poems and diary entries by Sassoon and Owen with extracts of other writers of the era.  Though Mr. Pearce identifies the characters as the English Sassoon and Owen, he provides scant biographical details about them. From this treatment, they could be any British young men of that time.  [more]

Zero Hour

June 14, 2017

Bearded, stocky and with that distinctive, wild comb-over of salt and pepper hair and wearing an artist’s smock, Brochu vividly conveys the visual, vocal and personality characteristics of the Broadway legend. For 90 enthralling minutes, he dramatizes and enacts the remarkable life and career of that unforgettable performer. [more]

Maps For A War Tourist

June 11, 2017

Created by the documentarian theatre company Sister Sylvester, "Maps for a War Tourist" was intended to be a biographical exploration of the life of Deniz Karacagil. A former Turkish art student, Ms. Karacagil was arrested three years ago for wearing a red scarf outside. That was interpreted by the authorities as a provocative gesture in support of socialism. [more]

Remembering Evangeline

June 10, 2017

Carlo Adinolfi plays John, the performance artist. With his British accent and wiry physicality he has an intense presence but possesses limited charisma. Mr. Adinolfi’s simple but inspired scenic design with its aesthetically arranged white sheets and white bench and white cabinet with wigs provides a compelling landscape for the actions. [more]

Great Again

June 7, 2017

The goal of their three week Women in Theatre Festival is “a direct response to gender disparity in theatre leadership, casting, and production, the objective of WIT is to broaden the opportunities for women artists, engage with an audience who seek an indie theatre experience, and add to the canon of women playwrights writing roles for women actors.” "Great Again" quite successfully fulfills these commendable aspirations. [more]

The End of Longing

June 6, 2017

Mr. Perry has certainly followed the maxim, “write what you know.” We follow the romantic and personal travails of four stereotypical, contemporary Los Angles types who have the financial resources for incessant self-examination. It’s a universe of meet cutes, overwrought emotional exchanges and happy endings. [more]

The Government Inspector

June 2, 2017

Director Jesse Berger’s fast-paced staging is an exuberant amalgam of physical and verbal virtuosity combined with visual flair. A highlight is a crowd of characters hurrying into a closet and popping out one by one that’s out of a Marx Brothers movie. There’s also the spectacle of a group of bearded, shabby villagers of various heights storming The Mayor’s house in their flowing garments. [more]

The Woman Who Was Me

May 29, 2017

Mr. Grandbois’ engrossing scenario is in the vein of such feminist fantastical works as "Diary of a Mad Housewife" and "Up the Sandbox." An expedition to a salsa dance club, buying a puppy from gypsies behind a Home Depot, watching Clash of The Titans on television with her son and a trip to the zoo are rendered with exquisite literary detail that’s simultaneously comic and moving. Looking into an old mirror becomes a Proustian reverie of Lanie’s recollections of her dead grandmother. [more]

The Boy Who Danced On Air

May 27, 2017

It is set in present-day rural Afghanistan. Several years earlier, Paiman as a child was sold by his father to the well to do Jahandar. The two have an intense emotional and physical involvement that must soon cease, as Paiman is soon to marry because he is approaching manhood. Feda, Zemar, the dancing boy of Zemar, Jahandar’s droll, and mean cousin, is also aging out. Paiman and Feda fall in love and that instigates several conflicts. [more]

Reprise

May 27, 2017

Amidst Mr. Maierson’s barrage of mechanical set-ups and punch lines, there are a few amusing jokes and insightful observations. Reprise is in the tradition of substantive romantic comedies such as several of the works of Neil Simon and Bernard Slade’s Same Time, Next Year. However, it lacks the polish and depth of those perennials, and is also mired in bathos. [more]
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