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Actors Temple Theatre

Little Christmas Miracles

December 12, 2021

Ideally, the good-natured play with music, "Little Christmas Miracles" would perform only at matinees before an audience mostly of eager children rather than seasoned theatergoers. [more]

The Bronx Babe

November 21, 2021

When Sonny Marie Lee stepped onto the stage of the Actors Temple Theatre as the eponymous "The Bronx Babe" I thought she was putting the audience on, acting the stereotypical, Noo Yawk accented girl telling her memories of a stressful period in her life that tested her mettle. But, no, the woman who stood before us, the woman who both wrote and directed "The Bronx Babe," was obviously unaware of her theatrical shortcomings as she blithely told tales of her early teen years in the racially charged Bronx of the 1970’s. [more]

Swan Lake Rock Opera

November 5, 2021

Now there’s "Swan Lake Rock Opera" created by Mirit Shem-Ur (book and lyrics), Tsedi Sarfati (director and dramaturge) and Sharona Pick (music production and additional music).  The show uses orchestral themes from the original Tchaikovsky score and clever pop variations to create witty songs and underscoring. The libretto of "Rock Opera" follows the original Swan Lake plot points which tell of Young Prince Siegfried, ordered by his mother the Queen to choose a fiancée from a list of foreign princesses she has assembled.  He goes off to hunt to avoid making a decision and meets the Swan/Woman Odette and falls in love only to be deceived by her doppelganger Odile, an agent of the evil Von Rothbart who has cast a spell that turned women into swans.  This deception leads to tragedy. [more]

Chasing Jack

October 6, 2021

“Simon says let the games begin,” and so they do, at the opening of "Chasing Jack," a new play by John S Anastasi, M.D. As directed by Peter J Loewy, "Chasing Jack" is a smart and rewarding new courtroom play, which opens with two questions, “Why is he dead and was the surgery even necessary?”  It includes other smart lines such as, “I accept mediocrity as the standard. It wouldn’t hurt you to be a little like me.” “I am. I’m divorced.” “I’m glad you decided to emulate my better qualities.” And consider: “This was a complication with an unusual presentation. Bad shit happens to good people.” [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]

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]

Goldstein

April 6, 2018

Michael Roberts’ music is a tuneful assortment of melodies some of which have an appropriate ethnic flavor. Mr. Roberts’ lyrics range from inspired to rudimentary with the overall score being quite charming. The caustic “Visiting Your Mother” stands out as a Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden & Adolph Green-style showstopper as sensationally performed by the appealingly forceful Sarah Beth Pfeifer as Eleanor. [more]

Soul Doctor

December 18, 2014

If Shlomo Carlebach’s music holds a special place in your heart, then you will likely have a blast at this delightful, little homage of a show. If, like me, you could not name a single one of the “Rockstar Rabbi’s” songs, then this show will do little to inspire interest. [more]