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Articles by Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (549 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.

Perfect Crime: Performance #11,568

July 3, 2015

Including me there were 28 people at the Wednesday matinee on July 1, 2015, of the 11,568th performance of "Perfect Crime." This murder mystery thriller opened Off-Broadway on April 18, 1987, and has played at several theaters since, earning it the distinction as the longest-running play in New York City history. [more]

A New Brain

June 30, 2015

The very talented and youthful Jonathan Groff is excellent as Gordon. His charming presence known from his work on stage (Spring Awakening, Hair) and on television (Glee, Looking) adds considerably in filling out the role of Gordon. He also has the advantage of having the most developed and sympathetic part. [more]

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series C

June 26, 2015

Ms. Winkler’s writing is so simple but exquisite in its execution. In twenty minutes the sad lives of the girls are deftly dramatized with a compelling range of emotion. The direction of John Giampietro is a superb display of the art of stagecraft. The clever fantasy device of the cherry trees is skillfully blended into the narrative with boldness and precision. Lighting, sound and music are all utilized to great effect so that it is all visually quite stunning. [more]

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1991-2015 

June 26, 2015

Hobbling on crutches and with one injured leg encased in a large boot, all due to a recent automobile accident, Sahr Ngaujah made a dramatic entrance from the wings onto the stage of The Town Hall to appear at "Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1991-2015." Joined by the accomplished guitarist Ricardo Quinones, the charismatic Mr. Ngaujah passionately sang “Sorrow, Tears of Blood,” from 2009’s "Fela!" In which he starred. It was a galvanizing episode that came near the end of a concert that had been packed with powerhouse sequences. [more]

The Tour NYC

June 19, 2015

"The Tour" follows in the success of the same company’s "The Ride" that is an audience participation theatrical version of a New York City bus tour. CEO/COO Richard Humphrey has conceived, produced, directed and co-written it. His grand achievement is that of an immersive overview of New York City through a fast-paced city tour with novel elements. Touted as the tallest allowed vehicle by federal law, the motor coach used for this is awesome. With a capacity of 49 people arranged in rows of stadium seating facing out the length of the bus along on its side. The panoramic views are from huge clear windows as well as from the windowed ceiling. It is extremely comfortable on all levels and it was cool seeing a rainstorm from inside. [more]

You Are Confused!

June 16, 2015

This compelling and moving solo play recounts Yoel's gradual coming out that starts in 1986 when he was ten in Caracas. Comical and dramatic incidents in his childhood, harrowing events during his high school and college years, and his arrival in New York City at the age of twenty-one are vividly presented. [more]

Cheyenne Jackson at The Town Hall

June 15, 2015

“It’s been a rough two years,” Mr. Jackson observed. Deaths in his family, a disintegrating romantic relationship, and becoming sober, were all detailed during his heavily autobiographical patter that was integral to this presentation. This quirkily handsome Broadway performer dazzled his fans with a variety of songs and personal anecdotes during this 95 minute presentation. Being openly gay has been characteristic of his career and this fact was expressed simply during his commentary. [more]

Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait

June 10, 2015

“Don’t step on the sand,” cautions the usher as she hands out programs and directs patrons to the their seats at The Gym at Judson. Indeed, the stage and floor is filled with sand that’s been artfully arranged into a barren vista of mounds and dunes. There is a concrete staircase leading to the roof of a small structure. Above is a rectangular screen where later images of the sky and a forest are projected. There is a concrete block with a pole in it on stage. Unfortunately Raul Abrego’s impressive set is the most outstanding feature of playwright Daniel Talbott’s cryptically titled and exasperating 90-minute War Is Hell fantasia, "Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait. " [more]

An Act of God

June 9, 2015

This 90-minute intermission-less play is a comic and occasionally serious address to the audience by God who often sits on a large white couch as he revises The Ten Commandments. Some are kept and some are replaced by new ones during his arch analysis of human history. Angels Gabriel and Michael who also go out into the audience to take questions assist God. [more]

The Victory Dance Project: First Anniversary Celebration

June 8, 2015

To celebrate The Victory Dance Project’s first anniversary, an inspiring and spirited program was presented at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. There was a selection of the company’s dazzling dances and their First Annual Artist for Peace award was presented to Renee Robinson. The personable and entertaining comedian Grant Cooper hosted the event. Mr. Cooper did a funny routine about an imaginary audition for The Alvin Ailey Company with clunky movements. Though humorous, as befitting the occasion he was often serious. [more]

92Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series: “To Life! Celebrating 50 years of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ with Sheldon Harnick”

June 1, 2015

“Is there anything left to discuss? There IS!” exclaimed Rob Fisher, artistic director of the 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series about "Fiddler on the Roof," in his introductory remarks to the concert “To Life! Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Fiddler on the Roof” with Sheldon Harnick.” A violinist and Klezmer clarinetist, who played tunes from that show, then joined him briefly before they settled in on stage with the other band members. The format of the presentation was to commemorate this milestone anniversary of that classic Broadway musical in a unique fashion. “Those expecting to hear the entire score of 'Fiddler on the Roof' will be very disappointed,” explained "Fiddler on the Roof"’s 91 year-old lyricist Sheldon Harnick, and the concert’s affable host. “These songs are twenty outtakes that were not heard in the final version.” [more]

The Way We Get By 

May 31, 2015

Mr. LaBute achieved prominence by writing and directing the films "In The Company Of Men" (1997) and "Your Friends and Neighbors" (1998). These scabrous works were followed by the unsettling play "The Shape of Things" in 2001, where a young woman seeks to physically transform her nerdish boyfriend into the perfect man. In succeeding years New York City has seen the premieres of a succession of such idiosyncratic formulaic explorations of the relationships between men and women. Here, this shtick is weak and totally unrewarding. [more]

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series A

May 24, 2015

Founded in 1968, this theater company is, “…committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices, and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives.” Ensemble Studio Theatre's 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series A fulfills this noble goal with its enticing and often quite remarkable variety of works. Series B and Series C will follow and all will run through several dates in June. [more]

New Country

May 24, 2015

In addition to his superior writing achievement, Mr. Roberts also plays the complex old codger, Uncle Jim. He has written a grand vehicle for himself, and his performance is as tremendous as his writing. Blusteringly entering, carrying a garish blow-up sex doll, and resembling a grizzled Duck Dynasty figure with a big scraggly beard, wearing a cap, camouflage gear and orange sneakers, he instantly gets laughs. With a unique, guttural, singsong twang, he delivers numerous zingers, but soon the pathos and depth of this disaffected character is poignantly revealed. [more]

What Are You Eating?

May 22, 2015

This score is a pleasant folk music affair with puns, sincerity, and silliness. Other characters such as a grouchy doctor appear as cardboard cutout puppets, along with cardboard cutouts of various foods. The audience on stage occasionally joins in for bantering and comments, and holding up their cardboard food from their plates. ...Mr. Wright is an excellent puppeteer and Mr. Singer is a fine guitarist/composer, and the two have a great camaraderie and both sing very well.  They created this good-natured show that is ably directed by Emily DeCola, with a breezy pace and lovely visual stagecraft. [more]

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1966 – 1990

May 14, 2015

“Life Is,” from the 1968 Kander and Ebb musical "Zorba" as grandly performed by it’s original Tony-nominated cast member, Lorraine Serabian, was the show stopping highlight of the historical survey concert, Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1966 – 1990. With fiery hued hair, in a flowing black dress, tied with an elaborate gold belt, Ms. Serabian, fabulously recreated her theatrical moment of glory with this hard-edged anthem. Her deep, rich, expressive voice was matched with intense facial expressions that ranged from fierce to joyous. Mesmerizing on all levels, her performance of this one song felt like an entire concert all by itself. She was initially the understudy in the show, and was picked by director Harold Prince to replace the first actress during the out-of-town tryouts. [more]

Cool Hand Luke

May 10, 2015

Director Joe Tantalo’s striking, minimalist production has no scenery and virtually no props. It marvelously relies on purely theatrical imaginative devices. Mr. Tantalo’s accomplished, choreographic staging and the performances achieved yield often intense experiences. [more]

Zorba!

May 9, 2015

Instrumental to its success is the thrilling direction of Walter Bobbie. Combining sensitive performances with an inspired sense of stagecraft, Mr. Bobbie creates many visually striking tableaus and images that vibrantly and emotionally realize this often funny and often painful material. These qualities are enhanced by choreographer Josh Rhodes’ wonderful and plentiful Greek dance sequences that range from euphoric to menacing. [more]

Love Me

May 7, 2015

Charlie is an amiable, 31-year-old struggling actor, writer and motivational speaker, who chickens out while calling a woman from a Village Voice personal ad. He soon becomes romantically involved with Carol, a successful lawyer, and later the temperamental Susan, a controlling singer. During these complications, we meet an assortment of colorful best friends, sidekicks, and view a satirically enacted commercial casting session. Most crucial is “Charlie’s Head,” which is the theatrical device of his subconscious being represented by another actor. This alter ego is always present, commenting on the action with the honesty and insight that Charlie is often unable to articulate. [more]

92 Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series: “All Dancing! All Singing! Irving Berlin in Hollywood”

May 5, 2015

Sandy Duncan and Don Correia, wearing shabby tuxedos, top hats, and Converse high top sneakers, beautifully dancing and singing, “A Couple of Swells,” was one of the many highlights of the 92 Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series’ "All Dancing! All Singing! Irving Berlin in Hollywood." Ms. Duncan and her husband Mr. Correia vibrantly demonstrated why they have had such enduring careers in show business, which have included a number of appearances on Broadway. Guest starring here, they effortlessly recreated that famous number from MGM’s 1948"Easter Parade," originally performed by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, who replaced the injured Gene Kelly. The tune itself dated from 1917, when it had the unpopular title and lyrics, “Smile, and Show Your Dimple.” [more]

Sinatra Paints

April 29, 2015

Art critics may certainly analyze and pontificate about the aesthetic value of these works. For devotees of his, they offer an intriguing view into his consciousness and imagination. Since he emerged as the supreme performer of the 20th Century, many have tried with varying degrees of success to fathom his inner life. These vibrant colors, shapes, and enigmatic portraits, add even more dimension to the mystery of what went on in the mind of Frank Sinatra. [more]

Mad About the Boy

April 23, 2015

Defaa’s direction is imaginative and is aided by the sensational choreography of Rayna Hirt, in creating precise, amazingly arresting production numbers with the large cast on the small stage. Standouts include a rousing military tap dance, Cole Porter’s “Find Me a Primitive Man,” with cast members dressed as cavemen, and a thrilling version of Noel Coward’s “Mad About The Boy,” with cast members wearing all black. [more]

39 Steps

April 23, 2015

Working from Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon’s 1995’s original concept, Patrick Barlow’s adaptation is a witty, tongue-in-cheek, homage that recreates the plot of the film, with comic flourishes. There are also verbal, musical and visual references to other Hitchcock films such as The Man Who Knew Too Much, North By Northwest, The Lady Vanishes, Vertigo, The Birds, Strangers On a Train, and Psycho. There’s an updated nod to Downton Abbey. [more]

Not Glad We Had This Time Together

April 22, 2015

Carol Burnett was at in White Plains, on Friday April 17, 2015, to perform her show, An Evening of Laughter with Carol Burnett. Sadly there was not much laughter or much time together. [more]

Séquence 8: Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers)

April 17, 2015

“A dance of our actions to your reactions. No one knows the steps yet,” explains the charming and funny performer Colin Davis, during his introductory remarks to Séquence 8, a thrilling program of contemporary circus sequences. For 95 minutes, there is one often dazzling number after another, performed by this Montreal- based troupe of eight, athletic, international, youthful performers. Their physical prowess is combined with modern dance choreography, acrobatics, verbal and visual comedy, a lively score of original music and pop songs, and striking lighting. [more]

Iowa

April 16, 2015

An actor in a suit wearing a pony mask and a tail trots out on stage a few times and later appears some more times without the mask to sing. A woman in a burqa (ordered from Amazon) walks around with a laptop. An ensemble of relatively mature women cavorts as high school cheerleaders, one of whom has sex with the pony. This same multi-racial group have another production number as all of them portray teen detective Nancy Drew. The show opens and closes with a young girl dressed as a boy in a seersucker shorts suit who sings. The drawn out finale involves a bunch of polygamous wives wearing different colored pastel gowns and singing what is called “Oratorio.” These are among the David Lynch-type surrealistic flourishes on display. [more]

A la Carte: A Feast of New Plays

April 15, 2015

"A la Carte: A Feast of New Plays" is a presentation of The Workshop Theater’s leading playwrights that consists of six short plays, all with the theme of food. Most of the works are comic though some are very moving. The styles all vary but the level of writing of each is solid, and contains interesting situations and characters. Cumulatively it’s an entertaining program that gives a wonderful showcase to the excellent cast of actors that have been assembled to portray these often rich roles. [more]

Skylight

April 13, 2015

With its ravishing, precise dialogue, very fine structure, and expertly imparted exposition, Skylight, is a model of accomplished playwriting. Mr. Hare is known for his Leftist political beliefs with which he infuses his plays. Here, in early post-Thatcher Britain, he has his characters eloquently debate their clashing world views, along with differing personal takes on their relationship. [more]

House of Tards

April 5, 2015

Director Paul Dobie’s staging gives the show a fast pace and well utilizes the small playing area, which is the upstairs cabaret theater of The Stonewall Inn, the historic gay bar on Christopher Street, where it is performed once a week on Thursday nights. It premiered there in October 2014 and ran through December 2014. It has returned to New York following engagements in Los Angeles and San Francisco. [more]

Broadway by the Year: The Broadway Musicals of 1941-1965

April 4, 2015

In the course of Mr. Siegel’s erudite remarks, the work of key figures responsible for these often classic musicals recurred. Composer and lyricist Cole Porter was represented by four shows, composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II by three shows, as was composer Jule Styne. Most monumental was the achievement of legendary producer David Merrick who was responsible for bringing five of the shows to Broadway. [more]

The Book of Moron

March 31, 2015

“Who Are You,” recorded by The Who, starts off "The Book of Moron." It’s a well-crafted 80-minute theater piece of observational stand up comedy written and performed by Robert Dubac. The title is a pun on the musical, The Book of Mormon and is representative of Mr. Dubac’s comic sensibility. Those who find him funny will have a great time at this show, and those who don’t, will have a tough time. [more]

92Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series: “New York: Songs of the City”

March 31, 2015

Lyrics & Lyricists artistic director Deborah Grace Winer was the show’s host. Charming, and with dry humor and passion, Ms. Winer delivered informative and entertaining commentary between songs. Her funny material included riffs on Seinfeld, the high cost of pastrami, and King Kong climbing The Empire State Building: “Not everyone makes it in New York.” [more]

Paint Your Wagon

March 21, 2015

The concert series Encores! “celebrates the rarely heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists.” With "Paint Your Wagon," they have selected a perfect candidate to demonstrate their mission. Until now, it hasn’t been revived in New York City, and though some of the songs have remained familiar, the show itself has faded into relative obscurity. Artistic Director Jack Viertel and playwright Marc Acito are credited with this concert adaptation of the original book. [more]
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