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Leslie Kritzer

Beetlejuice

May 22, 2019

Not all cult movies need to be made into musicals, particularly those that are dependent on special effects which the cinema does better than the stage. This is demonstrated by the new Broadway musical based on "Beetlejuice," the Tim Burton horror-comedy-fantasy. This theme park-type show is visually a spectacle with a set that does all sort of tricks and changes, but as the adage goes, you can’t go home singing the scenery. And the score by Australian composer/performer Eddie Perfect (whose only other American score has been "King Kong the Musical") is eminently forgettable. In the title role, Alex Brightman, who was charismatic in a similar role in "The School of Rock," is so over-the top that he becomes tiresome very quickly. To paraphrase Mae West, too much of a good thing is not wonderful. [more]

ON THE TOWN…. with CHIP DEFFAA , November 8, 2017

November 11, 2017

Memo to Broadway producers: You need to do everything you can to hook the next generation while they're young. I got hooked on theater because I saw the greatest performers, the greatest shows, from when I was very young. It would be very hard for a young person of today to see as much great theater as I did, growing up. When they read about some tickets going for a thousand bucks apiece, they might well conclude that theater isn't meant to be for them, but mostly for rich older folk. I have some friends who work in the theater who say they can't afford to take their families to shows. And that worries me. [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]

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]