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Articles by Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (561 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.

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]

Decades Apart: Reflections of Three Gay Men

November 11, 2014

Mr. Pulos' writing concisely and effectively defines each character. Some could view them as typical gay stereotypes, but with descriptive biographical details and personality traits, they come across as real individuals. Visits to a bathhouse, a public health clinic, and nightclubs are rendered with authenticity. [more]

Lennon: Through a Glass Onion

November 3, 2014

Clad in black jeans, black leather jacket and black T-shirt with a tree design; Mr. Waters' captivating rock star presence recalls that of the mature Terence Stamp and Malcolm MacDowell. However, instead of relying on his own persona, he does his Lennon impersonation to varying results. At times his singing of these familiar songs comes across as strained. [more]

He Wrote Good Songs: A Life of Anthony Newley

October 29, 2014

Jon Peterson's dazzling performance in "He Wrote The Good Songs" will enthrall admirers of Anthony Newley and joyously enlighten those interested in show business that are unfamiliar with him. These are all interspersed with very well chosen and delivered biographical reminiscences that are addressed to the audience. Included is a hilarious recounting of the nine-month film shoot of Dr. Doolittle, and unpleasant co-star Rex Harrison "who was bitten by every animal" and nicknamed "Tyrannosaurs Rex" by the crew. Through expert mimicry Peterson also portrays various figures from Newley's life such as his parents, a stuffy teacher, and producer David Merrick. [more]

The Brightness of Heaven

October 27, 2014

"Almost all the families I knew were struggling to find their way forward and make sense of a way of life that was unraveling before their eyes," writes Ms. Pedersen in her author's note in the program. She has a laundry list of period-piece social issues that are superficially covered including abortion, pre-marital sex, the economy, interfaith marriage, homosexuality, Watergate, and The Vietnam War. The writing is often sharp and well observed, with zingers and jokes that effectively register. "If Irish Dementia is only remembering the grudges, than Irish Amnesia is only forgetting the food." "Excuse me, but is this twentieth century Buffalo or fifteenth century Barcelona?" [more]

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

October 25, 2014

Nairoby Otero as Roberta is a wondrous feisty spitfire, whose energy never subsides and deeply conveys the character's poignant sense of despair. Michael Micalizzi hauntingly captures the essence of a hotheaded, lost soul as Danny. They each expertly deliver Shanley's identifiably unique dialogue, getting all of the laughs while achieving pathos. Their chemistry together is tremendous and a huge asset. [more]

Deliverance

October 23, 2014

This outstanding cast of seven is all perfectly in synch with each other and are a true ensemble of the highest caliber. The highly successful artistic collaboration of all the creative talents involved makes this Deliverance a boldly striking work of uniquely theatrical storytelling. [more]

Signal Failure

October 16, 2014

Wildly painted panels with words and images such as Big Ben, Keep Calm, and a Union Jack, simply and concretely establish the locale during the opening scene. The actors on either side of the small bare stage are at large, movable, gray wooden cubes that are resourcefully used as scenery. Sounds and announcements of the London Underground are heard as well as song clips from time to time, adding to the sense of place. Director Peter Darney's staging is tremendously forceful, fluid, acutely visual and very well serves the material. In addition to creating a vibrantly watchable piece, he has gotten finely pitched performances from the very appealing cast who for a good deal of the show address the audience with their thoughts. [more]

Six Passionate Women

October 15, 2014

Structurally, it is a collection of vignettes that all end in a blackout, punctuated with the sounds of composer Nino Rota’s lively music used in many of Fellini’s films. Here, it comes across as a bunch of connected, superficial comedy sketches, many of which fall flat. The actors, though all are talented, in some cases don't quite fit their roles but commendably do their best. The overall effect at times is of awkwardness and pacing that is less than comic. [more]

Riding The Midnight Express

October 14, 2014

During 70 engrossing minutes on a bare stage with only a tall stool as a prop, he vividly recounts these long ago incidents with great detail. Youthfully complaisant during his three prior drug runs, his fourth turned nightmarish with a dramatic arrest by armed soldiers at the airport. Four harrowing years in various oppressive prisons were made endurable by his strength and the aid of his benevolent father who provided money for bribes. Then the incredible escape, "catching The Midnight Express" to freedom. [more]

Selma ’65

October 5, 2014

Viola Gregg (1925 -1965)was an activist Michigan housewife who drove to Selma, Alabama, in March of 1965 to participate in the Civil Rights marches there. She was later shot and killed, from a car with four Klu Klux Klansmen. One (Tommy Rowe (1933-1998) was an informant for The Federal Bureau of Investigation, used for infiltrating the KKK. He testified against the other three, and was put in The Witness Protection Program. [more]

The Money Shot

October 2, 2014

Lanky, animated, and with his characteristic twang, Fred Weller is very lively and appealing as the dim franchise star Steve. Elizabeth Reaser winningly captures the insecurity and self-absorption of the fading female star Karen. With physical sight gags to work with, such as a bizarre cheerleading dance inspired by Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," and overindulging in hors d'oeuvres, GiaCrovatin makes the most of the proverbial blonde bimbo Missy. [more]

The Old Man and The Old Moon

September 29, 2014

During the prologue, they enter and play musical instruments that include the banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle, accordion, glass harmonica, hammer dulcimer, and later the piano. They perform their original score that is a charming blend of folk and rock style songs throughout. Recurring laughter, gasps of astonishment, and measured silences confirm that for the many children in attendance, The Old Man and The Moon is absolutely enchanting entertainment and certainly for adults as well. [more]

Scenes from a Marriage

September 27, 2014

The three couples are played with fierce conviction, total commitment and great talent by a corps of strong actors seemingly also cast for their individuality. Alex Hurt and Susannah Flood are the young couple. Dallas Roberts and Roslyn Ruff are the middle-aged couple. Arliss Howard and Tina Benko are the older couple. They appear to have been cast for their differences rather than any similarities. [more]

Daughters of the Sexual Revolution

September 27, 2014

n suburban Westchester, 1976, we meet three couples. Lively, free spirited and just turned 40, Joyce Horowitz is married to the older, cantankerous W.W. II veteran Ed. They have a rebellious 18-year-old daughter Staciawho has recently become involved with her earnest, good-natured, 18 year-old college boyfriend, Simon Davies. There is also the Horowitzes' new neighbors in their 30's, the Prescotts, anxiety ridden Judy and her pompous psychiatrist husband, Liam. [more]

A Sucker Emcee

September 24, 2014

  Craig ‘muMs’ Grant and DJ Rich Medina in a scene from A Sucker Emcee (Photo [more]

Rococo Rouge

September 20, 2014

    Shelly Watson on mike and company members in a scene from Rococo Rouge (Photo credit: [more]

Bootycandy

September 12, 2014

Throughout the play there are many visual and spoken references to Michael Jackson, showing how large the presence and influence of The King of Pop in his heyday loomed in the consciousness of many growing up and living in that era. This symbolism adds greatly to the detailed specificity of this passionate, suspenseful and bold work. [more]

O’Neill Center: 50 Years of Creating American Theater

September 10, 2014

Founded in 1964 by George C. White, and located in New London, Connecticut, The O'Neill was created to develop new plays and musicals through a workshop and public reading process. "It decentralized theater from New York City, leading to the regional theater movement in The United States," said Ms. Goldberg. It also inspired the creation of similar workshop festivals such as The Sundance Institute. [more]
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