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Carol Rosegg

One of the leading show photographers in New York. http://www.carolrosegg.com/

The School for Scandal

April 30, 2016

Red Bull Theater which has specialized in Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies has moved on to the 18th century with Marc Vietor’s exquisite and stylish revival of "The School for Scandal," Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s famous but rarely revived classic comedy of manners. With impeccable casting and a pitch-perfect production team, this School is as witty, delightful and accessible as one could wish. The 18th century look of the play is both historic and satiric. Anna Louizos’ clever settings transform one into the other with the turn of a wall or a door and a rearrangement of the furniture, highlighted by Russell H. Champa’s lighting. Her witty use of props (a chamber pot, a trunk, empty picture frames) adds to the fun. [more]

Butterfly

April 30, 2016

The show’s creator and director Ramesh Meyyappan also plays a character named Nabokov. The Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov was a renowned butterfly enthusiast. Naomi Livingstone plays Butterfly, a kite maker who hunts, kills and mounts butterflies. She meets Nabokov and they fall in love. Chris Alexander plays a customer who visits Butterfly’s shop and falls in love with her. Their relationships are ultimately marred by violence and tragedy. [more]

Echoes

April 25, 2016

Playwright Henry Naylor achieved prominence in Great Britain as a television writer most notably for the satirical program "Spitting Image." This work is not groundbreaking but it does very effectively depict the two women and their plights with shrewdly imparted historical and cultural details that conjure up exotic imagery reminiscent of David Lean’s epic films. Humor and tragedy are seamlessly combined. There are topical references to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, drone strikes and the British tabloids as well as 19th century specifics. [more]

When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout

April 21, 2016

You might wonder why Morag, Fiona’s mother, in Sharman Macdonald’s groundbreaking Scottish play, "When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout," is so repressive about sex. What the program doesn’t tell you about this play having its Off Broadway premiere at the Clurman Theatre is that it was first produced in 1984 in London and that the daughter’s childhood goes back to the fifties when female sexuality was frowned upon. Then it becomes obvious that this play is now a period piece dealing with a time when feelings about female sexuality were changing but the older generation was still stuck on the other side of the divide with the teachings of their childhood. While the play seems to be two generations behind the times, what the play continues to be is a blistering portrait of a toxic mother-daughter relationship. [more]

Cagney

April 5, 2016

Shoving a grapefruit into Mae Clarke’s face in "Public Enemy," George M. Cohan’s "Yankee Doodle Dandy" song and dance numbers for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the “Top of The World, Ma!” finale from "White Heat" are among the exciting factual highlights of this old-fashioned chronicle. [more]

Southern Comfort

March 20, 2016

"Southern Comfort" is an ambitious and admirable attempt to depict a community that till now has been left off of our stages. Though the material at times seems tamer that the content would warrant, it is ultimately a very moving musical. It also is a showcase for Annette O’Toole to give one of the finest performances of the season. [more]

Broadway & the Bard

February 9, 2016

At the top of the show Cariou tells us that he made his Broadway debut in the Stratford Connecticut Shakespeare Festival’s transfer of "Henry V" in 1969 and six months later in the spring of 1970 appeared at the Palace Theatre in the new musical" Applause." Ever since then, he has had the idea to combine Shakespeare and song with “tunes that either support the text or are the antithesis.” The evening proceeds to pair Shakespeare and song thematically, like the opening sequence which offers Orsino’s “If music be the food of love, play on” from "Twelfth Night," followed by Sondheim’s “Love, I Hear” from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and Rodgers and Hart’s “Falling in Love with Love,” from "The Boys from Syracuse," based on Shakespeare’s "The Comedy of Errors." [more]

I and You

February 4, 2016

So begins a remarkable comedy-drama of two very opposite teenagers who shouldn’t have met and wouldn’t have if Anthony had not chosen the reclusive, mysterious Caroline for his partner. The play makes use of opposites, beginning with the theme of the poem, love and death, and in Whitman’s typical fashion, everything in between. But Caroline and Anthony are also opposites in every possible way: pessimistic/optimistic, sedentary/athletic, closed minded/open minded, white/black, friendless/popular, careless student/straight A student. They appear to have nothing in common, but by the end of the play they are drawn to each other through the magical words of Whitman and Leaves of Grass. Ultimately, Caroline and Anthony have revealed their dreams, fears and true selves to each other and to us. [more]

The Burial at Thebes

February 1, 2016

Robert Langdon Lloyd’s eloquent performance as the blind prophet Tiresias energizes what had been a stilted presentation of this small-scale production of "The Burial at Thebes." Before Mr. Lloyd’s commanding midway appearance there had been a good deal of static expositional recitation and declaiming with only slight dramatic sparks. [more]

Wide Awake Hearts

January 24, 2016

Brendan (NBC’s "Blindspot") Gall’s sexy and seductive new thriller, "Wide Awake Hearts," thrusts audiences into a challenging game of cat and mouse, as they are left to decipher the story of four friends in a case of art imitating life. An actor, director, writer and actress are faced with the intricacies of dealing with relationships, infused with passion and threats of infidelity, as they are in the process of creating a movie dealing with these very themes. [more]

2016 LaBute New Theater Festival

January 19, 2016

The opening one is British author Lexi Wolfe’s delightfully wistful "Stand Up for Oneself."  It’s a Chekhovian romantic comedy with clipped Noel Coward-style dialogue taking place in the room of a house where a party is going on.  Lucas, a 42-year-old morose music professor sits alone drinking with his cane nearby when the free-spirited 26-year-old Lila enters. There is flirtation and revelations.  Sensitively directed by John Pierson, the play’s very fine writing is boosted by the wonderfully detailed and effecting performances of Alicia Smith and Mark Ryan Anderson.  [more]

Maurice Hines: Tappin’ Thru Life

January 12, 2016

"Maurice Hines: Tappin’ Thru Life" is a pleasantly entertaining look at the personal and professional life of Maurice Hines. Of course, his life and career were closely intertwined with his late brother Gregory’s, his dance partner for many years. The story of how their parents, Maurice and Alma, pushed them—willingly, it seems—into show business and their almost immediate success is the gist of this smooth, occasionally exciting show. Two boys from D.C. made good. [more]

2 Across

December 29, 2015

Jerry Mayer’s "2 Across" will remind of a great many other romantic comedies but in the hands of Andrea McArdle and Kip Gilman, it is a charming light-hearted evening in the theater. At least half way through the 90 minute encounter you will be rooting for this seemingly mismatched couple to get together – if not long before. Brought together by a love of the daily crossword puzzle, this warm and wise comedy covers a great many topics that engage couples to day. [more]

How Alfo Learned to Love

December 24, 2015

Directed by Daisy Walker, "How Alfo Learned to Love" is chock full of Italian-American stereotypes. The characters are just heightened enough that the gimmick works, but there is also a lot of heart behind this story. Walker has brought to life a group of characters who are quirky and lovable, and in the end it really feels like a family affair. All of this is contingent on Thom’s performance as Alfo whose character arc is fleshed out and brimming with variety. This redemption story about learning to love is a rollicking good time. Backed by strong performances and direction, a slick and consistent pace, and an entertaining script which sticks to a winning formula, nary a soul is likely to leave this theater without a smile. [more]

Once Upon a Mattress

December 22, 2015

Jackie Hoffman is famous for her combination of sarcasm and wit in a small, rubber-faced package and John “Lypsinka” Epperson, for his uncanny way of taking lip-synching to the heights of great art. Hoffman imbues the character of Princess Winnifred with New York street smarts, despite coming from a Swamp. (Well, maybe NYC is a swamp!) Lypsinka’s Queen Aggravain is, amazingly, the most possessive mother ever and at the same time the most self-involved human in the kingdom. She does not want her simpering son, Prince Dauntless (the sweetly shlumpy Jason Sweet Tooth Williams), to marry—ever!—but if he doesn’t marry, no one else in the kingdom can, either. [more]

Plaid Tidings

December 17, 2015

The tale of their demise in 1964 en route to a show in their native Pennsylvania and their temporary 2015 resurrection still works brilliantly. Even though "Tidings" cover a good deal of the "Forever Plaid" musical territory, the holiday songs they’ve added give this show seasonal warmth. [more]

A Wilder Christmas

December 13, 2015

The Peccadillo Theater Company’s "A Wilder Christmas" is a gentle and genteel evening of theater:  two early Thornton Wilder one-act plays, directed with an attention to detail and a leisurely sense of timing by Dan Wackerman, the company’s artistic director.  "The Long Christmas Dinner" (1931) and "Pullman Car Hiawatha" (1930) together make for a rich sampling of Wilder’s familiar themes of family and the unavoidable specter of death (which, in Wilder, is only the beginning of another journey).  These themes were perfected in his 1938 masterpiece, "Our Town," including the conceit of a godlike Greek chorus in the form of a Stage Manager who explains and even supervises the action. [more]

Gigantic

December 8, 2015

"Gigantic," the new feel-good musical, is a dynamic up-to-date show about teenagers at a summer weight-loss camp. Previously seen as Fat Camp in the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Gigantic’s book by Randy Blair & Tim Drucker may be conventional, but its pulsating pop-rock score by Matthew roi Berger to lyrics by Blair is vigorous and high-powered and the energetic, first-rate cast under the fast-paced direction of Scott Schwartz makes the material seem better than it is. This is one of the few teen musicals in which the characters actually sound like modern youth rather than what adults think they sound like. [more]

A Child’s Christmas in Wales 2015

December 7, 2015

Over the course of just over an hour, the actors enact Dylan Thomas’ classic prose work of his childhood recollections interspersed with their sweet performances together and solo of familiar Christmas songs including “Silent Night” in his native Welsh. Cullum often sits in a chair holding an elaborately covered edition of the book, reading from and sometimes referring to it as if grandly telling a story. [more]

Rose, The Kennedy Story as Told by the Woman Who Lived It All

December 4, 2015

The legendary stage actress Kathleen Chalfant is appearing in her second one-woman show, a follow-up to her “Mrs. Dalloway” in The Party, from the Virginia Woolf stories in 1993. This time she plays Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 79-year-old matriarch of the most famous political family in 20th century America. It is July 1969 and we meet her in the tasteful living room of her Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, home (designed by Anya Klepikov) one week after her youngest son Teddy’s tragic accident at Chappaquiddick. The premise of "Rose, The Kennedy Story as Told by the Woman Who Lived It All" is that we are members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knight of the Redeemer visiting from Dublin. We are invited to stay until Teddy comes back from sailing which he has been doing since the previous day. Her husband Joe, Sr., who has had a stroke eight years before is being cared for in an upstairs bedroom. [more]

Nora

December 2, 2015

Pendleton has made some strange directorial choices. Characters appear on stage and stand silently long before their entrances. This is distracting as one wonders are they supposed to hear the conversations taking place. Many of the entrances and exits take place through the main aisle of the theater which breaks the fourth wall convention continually. He has also cast several actors as older than they are described so that this shifts the character relationships appreciably. The most famous scene in the play when Nora slams the door, possibly the most iconic moment in modern drama, is diluted considerably as there is no door for Nora to slam. Harry Feiner’s set design has the drawing room and bedroom visible side by side throughout the play which seems somewhat inappropriate for the 19th century setting. [more]

Kick

November 24, 2015

Ms. Rush is also the performer and she is stupendous. In addition to playing Bernadette, she portrays a gallery of characters she encounters. These include her parents, a priest, her gay male best friend, her Rockette confidante, her husband, her son and a few others. Rush effortlessly switches back and forth among these multiple roles with precision and vivid physical and vocal details, offering great depth to each. [more]

Shear Madness

November 12, 2015

The energizing conceit of the play is its reliance on audience participation that adds considerably to the entertainment. During the action, the audience gets to ask questions of all those involved and at the intermission a detective is in the theater’s lobby to confer with. It all means that the actors besides sticking to the script must also improvise a great deal. This breaking of the “fourth wall” is done very cleverly and believably. The audience also votes on who the killer is based on all of the facts that have been presented. Therefore, each performance varies based on those in attendance. [more]

The Widow of Tom’s Hill

November 8, 2015

In Aleks Merilo’s play, "The Widow of Tom’s Hill," human nature is tested in the face of a life-threatening plague. Under Rachel Black Spaulding’s direction, this play takes place in a small town off the coast of Washington in 1918, with audiences first meeting a young widow named Aideen (Lucy Lavely) struggling to provide for her young child. She must fight for survival and take caution against anyone who crosses her path. From the beginning scene, audiences can surmise the rough past she’s encountered that’s forced her to become her own soldier against the cruel, harsh outside world. [more]

Travels with My Aunt

October 27, 2015

Havergal’s adaptation is unusual in that it uses four male actors to play 25 roles including the central role of Aunt Augusta, with all the actors taking turns narrating the story. Dressed exactly alike in each act, Thomas Jay Ryan, Jay Russell, Daniel Jenkins and Rory Kulz switch identities, nationalities, age, and genders in a madcap adventure told with decided British understatement. This is challenging for the audience as well as the actors: since the performers do not change costumes, it is necessary to follow the plot closely to follow who is who, with the actors sometimes changing characters in the same scene. Steven C. Kemp’s minimal but clever unit set is not much help either as it remains basically the same in each act throughout all of the outrageous adventures that unlikely hero Henry Pulling is taken on by his aunt. [more]

The Quare Land

October 3, 2015

Mr. Maloney is a veteran character actor of stage and screen with New York City theater credits going back to 1964. This leading role of Hugh Pugh is a marvelous showcase for his immense talent. With a perfect accent, graceful physicality, and his grandly expressive face, deep set eyes, and prominent bald head he creates a riveting characterization out of Samuel Beckett. Visually and vocally he effortlessly combines humor, pathos and malevolence in this towering and memorable performance. [more]

Desire: An Evening of Plays Based on Six Stories by Tennessee Williams 

September 15, 2015

Having commissioned evenings of one act plays by major American playwrights based on the short stories of Anton Chekhov and the sonnets of William Shakespeare, The Acting Company has now turned to the work of a native author. As directed by Michael Wilson, the result, "Desire: An Evening of Plays Based on Six Stories by Tennessee Williams," is a mesmerizing work of one acts in which each author handles the original material differently and the brilliant group of nine actors, mainly Acting Company alums, get to tackle two – four roles each. Many give such vivid and varied performances that it is necessary to examine the program to realize that you have seen the same performer in a contrasting role. [more]

Sense of an Ending

August 27, 2015

Mr. Urban does an excellent job of dramatizing and explaining a complex historical situation in this fictional treatment of a real case. In 1994, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana died when his plane was shot down. This assassination instigated a brutal tribal conflict between the majority Hutus who blamed Tutsi extremists for the death of the Hutu president. Varying estimates of the death toll range from 500,000 to 1,000,000. [more]

Cymbeline

August 13, 2015

At The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park venue, director Daniel Sullivan has proved himself a brilliant interpreter of the Bard’s comedies, both dark and light, from the evidence of his "Merchant of Venice," "The Comedy of Errors" and "Twelfth Night," to name only a few. Therefore it is a great disappointment to report that his "Cymbeline," the second and last 2015 Shakespeare in the Park offering, based on his 1999 Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, staging, is both confused and uneven, both visually and theatrically. Even more discouraging, the production wastes the talents of noted stage stars Kate Burton, Raúl Esparza, Patrick Page, and Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater, the acting couple being reteamed on the New York stage for the fifth time. [more]

Summer Shorts 2015 – Festival of New American Short Plays – Series B

August 5, 2015

Series B of Summer Shorts 2015 is similar to Series A in that all three plays are also relationship dramas, here between a woman (or three women) and a man in which the men aren’t sure they want to give in to the women. Unlike Series A, all three have endings that are open ended and rather unsatisfying to varying degrees. Although two of the three authors have excellent credits (Lucy Thurber and Robert O’Hara), the plays may feel unfinished or early drafts. [more]

Three Days to See

July 31, 2015

Using a versatile cast of seven (Ito Aghayere, Patrick Boll, Marc delaCruz, Theresa McCarthy, Chinaza Uche, Barbara Walsh, and Zoe Wilson) who all play both Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan at some point in the evening, "Three Days to See" will impress you with the courage of this remarkable woman and remind you how grateful you should be for having your five senses unimpaired. While Keller’s early life was brilliantly dramatized in William Gibson’s "The Miracle Worker," that play and movie only dealt with Keller at age seven. "Three Days to See" tells the rest of the story as well as gives us insight into her beliefs, ideas and causes to which she was passionately devoted. [more]

Ruthless! The Musical

July 17, 2015

With stardom and the ever-present celebrity culture plaguing our world today, à la famous families such as the Kardashians, the relationship between “momager” and talent takes the crown when it comes to merciless behavior in the fight to the top. The obsession with fame and fortune has only escalated since 1992, when "Ruthless! The Musical" first premiered, and now this Off-Broadway revival treats modern audiences to a heaping helping of bratty and manipulative behavior, presented in the sweetest of packages. [more]

The Weir

July 13, 2015

Mr. McPherson has written a rich and engrossing play that is appealing in it’s well-crafted simplicity. Each of the five commonplace characters is precisely drawn with biographical details expertly imparted throughout. They all speak in an authentic flavorful Irish manner. The narrative conceit of people reminiscing about past interactions with apparitions is rendered with a matter-of-fact quality and total believability. The beauty of the play is in its depiction of the inner lives and honest exclamations of these small town folk that only gets expressed through their fanciful storytelling. [more]
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