News Ticker

Articles by Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (513 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.

Keeping Up Appearances

March 12, 2015

This hasn’t played London’s West End, and has not been performed in the United States until now. The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church’s Theatre Fellowship has presented this premiere. The cast of this Actor’s Equity showcase production is made up of polished professional and engaging non-professional performers, many of who are Fellowship members. The overall results for this light-hearted fare are that of high-level community theater. [more]

The 30th Annual Bistro Awards

March 9, 2015

Beaming Broadway musical comedy veteran, Lee Roy Reams presented the final honor, the ASCAP Major Engagement Award to Lillias White. “My grandmother’s table was my cabaret,” she recalled about the beginning of her long and successful career. In a full-out performance, she then recreated her Tony Award-winning role as an aging prostitute, from the 1997 Broadway musical The Life, with her signature song, “The Oldest Profession.” It was a commanding and fitting finale to this exuberant event. [more]

Rocket to the Moon

March 8, 2015

The Peccadillo Theater Company has finely and faithfully revived this rarely seen Odets play, the 6th of his plays to be produced in the late thirties. They are, “dedicated to the rediscovery of classic American theater, particularly those works which, despite their obvious literary and theatrical value, are not regularly revived.” [more]

Abundance

March 2, 2015

Inspired by real life events of the 1860's and concerned with telling the relatively unknown stories of women pioneers, "Abundance" is highly engrossing, steeped in historical details, and a poignant examination of relationships and friendships. Each of the four main characters is precisely detailed. The complexity of their virtues and flaws are examined with great clarity. The good and bad sides of everyone are shown realistically. [more]

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1916-1940

February 28, 2015

Director Mindy Cooper’s very well executed transitions between the show’s 27 numbers, the personable Scott Siegel’s erudite remarks, and the variety of gifted performers who participated made "Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1916-1940" a brisk and very enjoyable event. [more]

Rosario and the Gypsies 

February 22, 2015

Premiering in 1982 as a one-act play with music, author Eduardo Machado, has now revised and expanded it into a full length musical. The first act is a decent all around effort, but the second act is leaden. Taking place 10 years after the first, it’s an interminable update of the character’s lives with numerous flamboyant plot twists. [more]

Between Riverside and Crazy

February 16, 2015

Venerable and accomplished fixture of the theater, Austin Pendleton has perfectly directed the play. The characters and their relationships have all been minutely realized and the action well staged. Scenic designer Walt Spangler’s turntable set brilliantly renders the various rooms in Pops’ apartment as well as the building’s rooftop. Among the authentic looking details and props is a mournful Christmas tree with lights that subtly comments on the passage of time. [more]

Everything You Touch

February 14, 2015

It’s a stylized “family secrets” drama, presented with a broad comedic tone. Heightened and arch (often including lengthy florid speeches) the dialogue has shades of "The Devil Wears Prada." Though mostly dense and opaque, there are emotionally involving sequences, particularly as the play reaches its conclusion. Ms. Callaghan also explores the theme of women’s self-image and how that issue clashes with society’s idealized view and the resulting conflicts. Bordering on the didactic, this nevertheless does yield moments of poignancy. [more]

92nd Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series: “Here’s to The Girls!: Hollywood’s Leading Ladies”

February 9, 2015

Mr. Busch, known as a playwright of campy homages to old movies in which he often plays female roles, was an appropriate and authoritative host. For most of the proceedings, he sat off to the side wearing male attire wryly reading the often affectionate commentary. He chronicled the history of the Hollywood musical, its stars, its songwriters and its studios. This background material described the distinctive cinematic styles of the major studios, and the idiosyncratic moguls who ruled them. The musical movie histories of Warner Brothers, MGM, Universal, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Columbia were detailed. Well-selected illustrative slides and film clips were projected above the orchestra. [more]

Lady, Be Good!

February 6, 2015

One of the chief pleasures here is the first appearance in more than 30 years by the legendary Tommy Tune in a New York City musical. Since his Tony Award-winning leading role in the Broadway Gershwin revisal, "My One and Only" in 1983, he’s directed, choreographed, made special appearances, toured in musicals and periodically performs a nightclub act. He plays an entertainer at the garden party and at the hotel. In a three-piece red neon suit, he sings and taps “Fascinating Rhythm” solo and then with the ensemble. In the second act, he’s in a blue neon suit and a straw boater with a blue bird on top to sing and tap “Little Jazz Bird.” After leaving the stage, he pops out from the wings, doffs the hat, revealing a gold star inside. It’s symbolic as he embodies the old time, unique star quality Broadway is known for. [more]

Shesh Yak

January 31, 2015

Theatergoers knowledgeable with "Death and the Maiden" will find "Shesh Yak" very familiar territory. Those who aren’t will still find this play tediously predictable as this scenario has been played out in a number of other dramatic works. The writing is flat, formulaic and rudimentary. [more]

Everybody Gets Cake!

January 25, 2015

Theatergoers familiar with Richard Foreman’s work with the Ontological Theater will be especially receptive to this frenetic production. There are also traces of Monty Python. Those open to a experiencing a collection of an hour of seemingly plotless, frantic, very well performed vignettes, might find it an entertainingly provocative time. It’s a barrage of colorful imagery composed of heightened sights and sounds. The loud tone of a ringing telephone is prominently featured. [more]

Da

January 23, 2015

This finely constructed memory piece is characterized by comedy and melancholy. Overcoming parental dysfunction is it’s universal theme. It’s rendered with complexity, as the characters are often shown at their most vindictive but also with their good qualities that they often repress. The dialogue is crisp and filled with mordant Irish wit. [more]

Constellations

January 18, 2015

With "Constellations," Nick Payne has deftly created a unique and very moving romantic work in the tradition of modern British playwrights that is universally appealing. [more]

Winners and Losers

January 7, 2015

The drawn-out finale is a fiercely acrimonious type of Edward Albee's "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" style confrontation dealing with class warfare. Here the dispute is over the duo’s given circumstances in life. One is from wealth and the other is from painful dysfunction. Supposedly it’s all true (based upon reading the cast’s biographies) which adds a layer of heightened reality to the proceedings. [more]

An American Worker

January 3, 2015

An American Worker is an agitprop musical in the spirit and tradition of social consciousness American theater such as the works of Sidney Kingsley, Clifford Odets, and Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock. Though well intentioned, it is deficient on all crucial levels. [more]

A Christmas Carol – Players Theatre

December 22, 2014

The mastermind behind this enchanting show is Brenda Bell. Besides writing the well-crafted lyrics for the new songs, she also wrote the clever book that faithfully embodies Dickens’ sensibility with numerous offbeat touches. She has made it fresh for those familiar with the story, and a great introduction for those who might be experiencing it for the first time. As the director. she has superbly coordinated all of the production elements, staging, and performances into a beautiful event. [more]

Pocatello

December 18, 2014

This brilliant production of Samuel D. Hunter’s "Pocatello" is characterized by tremendous depth in characterization and engaging simplicity in presentation. Leo Tolstoy famously observed, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Here, a clash over gluten-free pasta becomes a memorably chilling pretext for psychological warfare. [more]

Disenchanted!

December 15, 2014

“Happ’ly ever after…can be a royal pain in the ass!” sings Snow White in Disenchanted!, a pleasant musical spoof of iconic Disney princesses, that depicts them after their classic stories have ended. She, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and a number of other heroines comically complain during ninety minutes that are bright, and often entertaining, but that somewhat drag. [more]

A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa

December 9, 2014

As a director, Horejš has a great command of the visual. The puppets perform in various parts of the stage and fly around and enter from windows and trapdoors. The compelling stagecraft is aided immensely by Federico Restrepo's skillful lighting design that very finely captures the moods and era of the story. These enchanting effects are all heightened by the old curiosity shop quality of the furnishings on stage, and the authentic looking garments the cast wears, by set and costume designer Michelle Beshaw. [more]

A Christmas Memory

December 5, 2014

This musical theater version of "A Christmas Memory" has been performed around the United States in regional theaters, since 2010. This year, The Irish Repertory Theatre has selected it for its annual holiday production. Perhaps in a condensed version it would have provided the desired festive entertainment. [more]

Swamp Juice

December 5, 2014

Carrying on like a nutty professor, for the next hour, he dazzles the audience with breathtaking displays of shadow puppetry. Creatures such as a bird, a sea monster, a jellyfish and an ogre, who some of whom travel in a flying machine, and a canoe, are stunningly created on the large screen. All these are from his clever technique of manipulating his hands in front of an old-fashioned projection device. [more]

Self Made Man: The Frederick Douglass Story

December 1, 2014

The creative script by Mr. Wallace and Ms. Levitsky is adapted from Douglass' writings with evocative excerpts from the plays of William Shakespeare, and includes appropriate songs and hymns. Focusing on his early years and detailing the horrors of slavery in the United States in the 19th century, it eschews a typical recitation of "greatest hits," often found in many biographical one-person shows. With a booming voice, tremendous physicality, and a highly expressive face, Mr. Wallace commandingly portrays Douglass and other figures from his life during the show's very well paced eighty minutes. [more]

Blank! The Musical

November 26, 2014

It lasts 90, often shrill minutes, and has a full score performed by musicians and contains many dialogue-laden scenes. It seems implausible that much of this hasn't been prepared in advance. Maybe it hasn't. If it were really funny it wouldn't matter. Of course, that is a subjective matter of taste. [more]

Wiesenthal

November 23, 2014

Author Tom Dugan has expertly incorporated obviously well-researched historical and biographical details into this dramatization. Theatrical touches besides the audience as a tour group include phone calls for Weisenthal to answer and speak to other people, including comic chats with his wife. There are also flashbacks with other characters brought in. [more]

Livin’ La Vida Imelda

November 20, 2014

Mr. Celdran weaves these and many other tales and observations into an compelling event that alternates between inciting laughter and thoughtful silence. With his well-honed recitation, personal charm, fluid physicality, and native perspective, he is the perfect conduit for this material. Director Ralph B. Pena's staging, has Celdran purposefully all over the stage. Nick Francone's set design presents a detailed and whimsical space for the character giving the lecture. Becky Bodurtha's costumes simply and artfully convey the authentic look. [more]

Everybody, Rise! A Celebration of Elaine Stritch

November 18, 2014

Elaine Stritch died at the age of 89, in her hometown of Birmingham, Michigan, on July 17th, 2014, after retiring there a year earlier from New York City. Seventeen of her friends, family, and show business colleagues shared their often-emotional memories of her during this packed two-hour memorial tribute. [more]

R Culture

November 17, 2014

Author Cecilia Copeland definitely has a feminist agenda but the totality of these pieces advance a universal human concern that any rational person would support in principle. That many of them are genuinely entertaining while being provocative is a considerable achievement. The language can be quite strong, and the situations explicit, but they always suit the subject without being gratuitous. Her work stands out for its demanding, blunt, truth telling, in the tradition of Lenny Bruce, which is in sharp contrast to the prevalent bland tone of much of today's political humor. It is definitely in your face. [more]

The Erlkings

November 17, 2014

The Columbine massacre is the inspiration for Nathaniel Sam Shapiro's play, "The Erlkings." Mr. Shapiro is a 25-year-old playwright who graduated from Brown University in 2012, and then completed a Masters Degree in Dramatic Writing at New York University's Tisch School of The Arts. This play, his first published, was written and workshopped there. Its grade is not known, but at The Samuel Beckett Theatre it gets a D. [more]

Lypsinka! The Trilogy: The Passion of the Crawford

November 16, 2014

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Miss Joan Crawford!" announces the host. Embodying old-time Hollywood glamour, Mr. Epperson regally enters, wearing an elegant black gown with a bejeweled collar, voluminous crimson wrap, strawberry blonde updo, ruby bracelets, and diamond rings, to the sound of recorded and live audience applause. Then he and the host sit down on puffy white chairs, with black and white hanging dots in the background, a bottle of Pepsi on the table, and proceed to meticulously lip synch to the actual 1973 interview that included the host's questions and those from the audience read from index cards. Off to the side are illustrative slides of Crawford and her career that are projected onto a large screen. [more]

Saturday Night

November 14, 2014

The York is celebrating their 20th season and this is their 100th show. It is fitting that these milestones are being commemorated by showcasing the work of one of the preeminent figures of musical theater. Their small-scale version of Saturday Night is exuberant, very entertaining and revelatory. This is all chiefly due to the talented cast of 15, largely composed of energetic youthful performers and several excellent mature character actors. Everyone effortlessly appears to be Brooklyn denizens and all bring comedic talent and depth to their roles. That they rehearsed for less than a week before giving their first performance makes their accomplishments even more considerable. Great credit must go to casting director Geoff Josselson for assembling them. [more]

The Band Wagon

November 13, 2014

Encores!, known for reviving neglected Broadway musicals for limited runs, is presenting the show. Here, it has strayed from its mission by producing this new adaption of a classic film musical, billed as "A Special Event," with mixed results. The first act drags with exposition and setting up complications that are sluggishly rendered. The second act is lively and very enjoyable. [more]
1 12 13 14 15 16