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Articles by Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (794 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.

Brecht on Brecht

October 29, 2021

Director Nicholas Viselli’s physical staging crackles with force and exhibits visual flair with numerous arresting stage pictures. Bert Scott’s artfully simple scenic design conveys the sense of the past as does his lighting design, employing dimness, spotlights and blackouts all to great effect. Sound designer Eric Nightengale achieves an appropriate vintage vibe. While utilizing contemporary wear, Courtney E. Uruyo’s perfect costume design manages to evoke different eras of the 20th century particularly with its range of dresses and hats. Projection designer Samuel J. Biondolillo artistically melds words and imagery into a pleasing view. Crucial is the periodic inclusion of black and white footage of the Marxist Brecht testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. [more]

Ziel Dance Theater: “And There it Was”

October 25, 2021

Magnificent leaps, graceful gestures with his hands and arms, grand turns, and Martial Arts-style moves are all to be experienced by Tomislav Nevistic’s exceptional modern dance technique. His choreography recalls the texture of Martha Graham, Paul Taylor’s wit and Twyla Tharp’s jauntiness. [more]

Clifford Odets in Staten Island

October 23, 2021

An idealistic down on his luck Filipino American father home schools his two children. To teach them about The Great Depression and the present U.S. economy, he has them study the plays of Clifford Odets. The realistic portions of the production set in a house and outdoors are in color, these alternate with striking black and white performance portions of the boxing drama Golden Boy and the labor strike play Waiting for Lefty in various locales such as the backyard and the den. It’s all quite engaging and hearing Odets’ unique hard-edged poetic dialogue is a lovely reminder of his historic place in the American theater.  [more]

The Lehman Trilogy

October 22, 2021

Wearing costume designer Katrina Lindsay’s artful business attire is the distinguished British trio of Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Adrian Lester. They initially portray the three Lehman brothers, then in an exhilarating display of superior acting, they play a gallery of other major and incidental characters with Dickensian flair. Whatever the figure’s gender, age or varied social status, each actor offers many full-blooded characterizations emitting force and pathos through their expertly altered voices and grand physicality. Time passes, people die, and we feel sad having gotten to know them through these performers’ indelible depictions. For the Broadway incarnation, Mr. Lester replaces the unavailable Ben Miles who performed in the previous productions. [more]

Lackawanna Blues

October 15, 2021

Employing his majestic vocal and physical talents, Santiago-Hudson supremely differentiates each of his brief characterizations with specificity and pathos. There’s also a poignant dynamic as he plays himself as a child and now at his current age. Santiago-Hudson’s staging is equally as assured as visually and aurally and the production is impeccable. Blues guitarist Junior Mack is onstage dramatically matching the spoken words with his skillful performing of Bill Sims Jr.’s intense original music. [more]

F.I.R.E.

September 30, 2021

Ms. Blauvelt has a fine ear for contemporary dialogue, sharply delineates her seven characters and gradually sets up a credible plot. The resolution is a familiar take on the financial world’s amorality. Warren Buffet is revered, and the play’s title is a clever acronym for a philosophical credo to amass enough money to get out of the rat race during one’s prime (i.e. Financial Independence Retire Early). [more]

Hindsight

September 28, 2021

The pop music classics of the 1980’s intermixed with audio clips of President Ronald Reagan telling jokes is an apt pre-show soundtrack to playwright Alix Sobler’s "Hindsight." With Stoppardian flair, Ms. Sobler manages to make an exploration of the 1987 elimination of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Fairness Doctrine into a cleverly informative non-linear 90-minute entertainment. [more]

Scott Raneri: Extra! Extra!

September 28, 2021

The title, Extra! Extra! refers to Raneri’s past livelihood as a prolific screen background player in such television shows as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. “I’m finally playing the lead part in a show, my own…” [more]

Ruth Stage and The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

September 28, 2021

A highlight of the benefit is to be a rehearsal sequence of the troupe’s upcoming revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin" Roof, featuring cast members Alison Fraser and Austin Pendleton. The production will be directed by Joe Rosario. [more]

The Last of the Love Letters

September 19, 2021

We’re transported to Ms. Chen’s boldly oppressive spacious prison set with bars, an austere bed, a urinal, a tank to vomit in, and a retractable metal staircase for a menacing authority figure to descend from. Here, we meet the incarcerated “You No.2,” the male who gives his side of the romantic breakup during a cryptic and histrionic 40 minutes. We gradually realize he’s an artist being held in a government mental institution for crimes against the state. The finale strives for an emotionally resonant Twilight Zone-style twist ending, but it doesn’t make much impact, like the rest of this synthetic play. [more]

The Book of Moron

August 23, 2021

“Do I believe in heaven and hell or another parallel universe? If I parallel park in a parallel universe will I be double parking?” muses the affable performer Robert Dubac during his clever self-written comic solo show, "The Book of Moron." Dressed in gray trousers, a black shirt and a black jacket, the seasoned Mr. Dubac holds forth for 80 minutes with his appealing persona that recalls Mort Sahl’s topicality, David Steinberg’s impishness and George Carlin’s profundity. [more]

Alma Baya

August 18, 2021

"Alma Baya" is distinguished by its impressive production design which wondrously theatricalizes what we’re used to from experiencing science fiction on the screen and television. Scenic designer Mike Mroch’s multi-level configuration of geometric white pieces adorned with gadgets is awesome. Besides the striking space suit and helmet, costume designer Ramona Ponce provides snazzy shimmering gray outfits reminiscent of Pierre Cardin. Federico Restrepo’s lighting design in collaboration Hao Bai is a jolting assemblage of hues, colors and tones. Before the show begins, Mark T Bruckner’s sound design is already arresting with its droning electric cords, later there’s the grand whooshing of air locks opening and closing. [more]

Trial on the Potomac: The Impeachment of Richard Nixon

August 12, 2021

Rich Little, belatedly making his New York stage debut in the role of Richard Nixon is the show’s magnetic anchor. Playwright George Bugatti crafts a wild scenario, meshing Allen Drury’s sense of political intrigue with Jules Feiffer’s absurdism. [more]

The Importance of Being Earnestly LGBTQ+

July 15, 2021

For "The Importance of Being Earnestly LGBTQ+" which wildly lives up to its title, director Maarten Cornelis updates Wilde’s scenario to present day New York City. Currency is in dollars; Manhattan landmarks replace London ones, though the fabled cucumber sandwiches remain. Amanda Scanze’s splendorous fashionista-type costume design and Martina Duque’s artfully basic scenic and projection design are all contemporary. Mr. Cornelis places us in an affectionate fantasyland true to the spirit of Wilde where logical inconsistencies and anachronisms are to be taken in stride. Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing are still upper-class charmers pretending to be named Ernest to romance their eccentric objects of desire. Instead of Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax, here we get Cecil and Gwyn. This production’s chief virtue is its matter of fact and sensual depiction of same-sex attraction. That is achieved through Cornelis’ skillful direction, his otherworldly lighting design and his energetic ensemble. [more]

The Watering Hole

July 2, 2021

There are installations, written words, video projections, and recorded spoken word. One setting is intended as a break area where patrons can dance or play with beachballs. Other interactive projects involve writing answers to questions and pinning them to a piece. To give specific descriptions of these clever inventions would be to spoil surprises. This one is memorable and representative of the exhibition. [more]

Aporia: “Morning Was Safe”

June 30, 2021

Two police detective partners have breakfast while working a case at a generic U.S.A. hotel in author Gabriel Nathan’s electric 15-minute play Morning Was Safe. Mr. Nathan’s dialogue crackles with vernacular authenticity and his psychological scenario is a heated slice of life which briefly takes us into the heads of the two officers. It’s as if Samuel Beckett wrote an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." There’s Netflix recommendations, personal information, and a reverie about bacon recalling The Holocaust. It’s a grand vehicle for its two actors. [more]

Two Jack Lemmon Triumphs

June 27, 2021

He died 20 years ago today at the age of 76. Why am I moved to note this anniversary? For the same reason I was compelled to see "Tribute" onstage. Viewing 1973’s "Save the Tiger" as a child in a second-run Bronx movie made me a Jack Lemmon admirer for life. [more]

Darryl Reilly: Podcast Guest

June 16, 2021

During Mr. Reilly’s breezy segment his life, career and views on theater were discussed. The Bronx-born Reilly has been a critic for seven years, is a member of the Drama Desk and has a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. [more]

Grodin on Letterman

June 13, 2021

Grodin created his meta gag in 1973, which was that he was playing a snide and combative version of himself. He was so good at it that some audience members gasped at his rudeness and home viewers wrote in to complain at how nasty he was to Johnny Carson, who was in on the joke. [more]

George Rose Recalled

June 10, 2021

Highlights of Ed Dixon’s sharp writing and grand acting inlcude joyous recreations of George Rose in My Fair Lady and The Pirates of Penzance, a sad mini portrait of Ray Walston and being transported to the NYC acting world when a Hell’s Kitchen apartment could be rented for $70 a month. [more]

Consider Your Ass Kissed

May 28, 2021

“We have remained dear friends for 45 years, so I know the stories she has to tell. You’ll love this!” wrote Alex Trebek of Ruta Lee in his foreword. [more]

Edward Morehouse (1924 – 2021)

May 26, 2021

The HB Studio Facebook page thread about his death was filled with former students’ testimonials of his greatness. There was mention of a video of him on YouTube, it’s a revelation. [more]

The Importance of Being Earnest

May 23, 2021

Of course, there’s Wilde’s brilliance with his ingenious epigrams, the barbed skewering of the British class system and the precise plot. Most importantly, this glorious document preserves Brian Bedford magnificence. [more]

Gruesome Playground Injuries

May 19, 2021

Cameron Cueva Clarke and Logan Alexis Troyer , each offer riveting performances energetically rendering the poignant complexities of their dysfunctional characters. Director Tyler Riley’s charged staging in concert with Mr. Clarke’s creative conceptual direction achieves a Brechtian dimension of distance. [more]

Housewives of Secaucus: What a Drag!

May 8, 2021

The captivating cast of actors who are here drag artistes is comprised of Philip McLeod, Ryan Stutz, Cammerron Baits, Jacob P.S. Lemmenes, and Sam Brackley. While striding around and dancing in high heels, this magnetic quintet all offers animated stereotypical Italian American characterizations while cracking wise. "I'm Every Woman," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," and, of course, "Total Eclipse of the Heart," are among the classic songs played while showcasing the ensemble’s dynamic lip-synching abilities. [more]

Ruth Stage’s 50/50 Raffle

April 2, 2021

A distinguished local theater company’s pandemic-delayed revival of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opens in January 2022, and there’s a novel raffle to fund it. [more]

The Bloomingdale Theater Company

March 26, 2021

NYC-based actor Connor Chase Stewart has founded a troupe which performs scenes from classic plays via Zoom as an artistic outlet during the pandemic. [more]

Remembering Jason Robards

December 26, 2020

The great American actor died 20 years ago today at the age of 78. I became fascinated with him during his 1970’s consecutive Oscar-winning renaissance. [more]

Listening Pleasures

December 18, 2020

Sam Fragoso, Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Santopadre and Studs Terkel’s broadcasts have provided me with entertainment and enlightenment during this pandemic. [more]

The 1970 Tony Awards

December 4, 2020

Darryl Reilly, Critic “This is my first award, so please be kind” cooed Noël Coward after he [more]

Stand-up on Allen Street

November 22, 2020

The atmosphere of a comedy club was replicated outside a NYC café at this Filipino-centric event held during the pandemic where polished comics entertained a masked audience. [more]
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