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Theater for the New City

Diva: Live From Hell

April 4, 2017

"Diva: Live From Hell," an energetic, campy variation on the “All About Eve” theme, is performed with manic glee by Sean Patrick Monahan who also wrote the book and created all the colorful characters. His partner in crime is Alexander Sage Oyen who provided the music and lyrics. Sex (requited and unrequited), ugly violence and dark humor are all thrown into the story which is told by Desmond Channing (Monahan, who also plays virtually a high school’s worth of characters). [more]

About Clarence and Me

September 4, 2016

To call "About Clarence and Me" simply a play is misleading, as the project features an entirely original score by co-writer Scott Hiltzik. A classical musician, Hiltzik’s music is technically striking but carries a modern flare. In additional to their finely tuned performances, both DeMone and Roll impress as musicians as well. Roll proves himself to be quite the accomplished classical pianist, demonstrating mastery of the keys by way of precision and constraint. DeMone, ever his opposite, produces from the piano a sound descendent of a ragtime piano roll, at times accompanied by the veteran singer’s sonorous growl. Directed by Hiltzik’s co-writer Jones, the duo’s intimacy with the material is plain to see in the final product. Full of nuanced moments both thematically and in performance, the writing team’s hands-on approach is responsible for this well-rounded and solid production. [more]

Cabaret journalist/actor Andrew Martin found dead in his home on June 7, 2016

June 9, 2016

A chatty, openly gay bon vivant over the years, Andrew Martin had his feet in many waters; all of them related to show business. He was proud of his long-winded stories and exceptional knowledge of trivia about the famous and infamous. He had many followers on Facebook where he shared sometimes painful stories of his family and personal angst. He wrote openly about being troubled by strained relations within a divided family at times. [more]

Midnight Kill

May 16, 2016

As the actors interact with each other and work to share this story, the spirit and tenacity in which they do so is something remarkable. Their presence and focus in bringing a significant time in history to life leaves the audience with chills. While it is so important to pay attention to the subtitles in this production, as it signifies when time and seasons pass, it is hard to tear your eyes away from the living story taking place on stage. With a set design also by K.K. Wong that uses simple props to illustrate the basic lifestyle of the residents, audience members get a feel for the day-to-day life in this community. At times, it is challenging to keep up with processing the subtitles and watching the action on stage, and intense concentration is essential in understanding the continued series of events. [more]

Allen Wilder 2.0

January 21, 2016

Joe Casey is a charming actor. He exudes a “playboy” vibe which goes hand-in-hand with the character of Michael whose vices range from women to booze and back again. Casey shows an understanding of a man who is largely misunderstood and actually well-intentioned. Steph Van Vlack plays the role of Donna. Nearing 50 and a divorcée with a child, Donna is conflicted in light of the fact that she—a woman of her age—is engaging in an apparent “one night stand.” Among other things, this is also a character deeply disturbed that she’s actually considering sleeping with the child she used to babysit for all those years ago. Van Vlack brings a necessary uncertainty to the character. Playing a woman of certain age, Van Vlack’s performance indicates that Donna still has deep insecurities and still has quite a bit to learn about relationships. [more]

BIKE SHOP, The Musical

September 22, 2015

Barkan doesn’t hold back as she expresses herself through song and dance to share her personal journey. The opening number “Streetwise” is a burst of exhilaration and adventure and pumps the audience up for what’s to come. In addition to the hilarious and entertaining moments, the climax is a literal bump in the road that causes her story to turn somber and results in Barkan hanging up her helmet and retreating to her family’s bike shop as she works on healing emotionally after a tragic accident. The audience is left with one question on their minds: Will she ride again? [more]

Casterbridge

June 10, 2015

In recent years, there have been many Off Broadway attempts to musicalize the works of Thomas Hardy. The latest is composer Christopher Beste and writer David Willinger’s ambitious, "Casterbridge," a very engrossing version of Hardy’s novel "The Mayor of Casterbridge." While some of the lovely music proves to be too difficult for some of the singers, under the direction of Willinger with musical director Bob Goldstone at the piano, the almost all sung-through stage version is an impressive and faithful retelling of the Hardy story. [more]

Martyrs Street

April 2, 2015

Shulman is a skilled story teller, creating characters that are real and complex: honorable people that make mistakes, some misguided, some well-intentioned or ruthless. People we all know, maybe even in our own families. Shulman makes the head of each household, two women, the focal point of the play. Noor, which means light in Arabic, is a widowed professor at the university with a 16-year-old daughter, Aisha, and a son, Nimer. She doesn’t wear a headscarf, and spends time alone with her late husband’s friend Salim (Alok Tewari), which is frowned upon in the community. Noor received an order from the Israeli government that her house is going to be taken down in 30 days. [more]

An American Worker

January 3, 2015

An American Worker is an agitprop musical in the spirit and tradition of social consciousness American theater such as the works of Sidney Kingsley, Clifford Odets, and Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock. Though well intentioned, it is deficient on all crucial levels. [more]

Voices of the Tarantate

October 28, 2014

Choosing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month as the time to premiere her Voices of the Tarantate, internationally acclaimed Italian singer and dancer Alessandra Belloni led her dance troupe, Daughters of Cybele, with additional dancers and performers, in a remarkable performance whose purpose was to examine the annihilating violence of domestic sexual abuse, to identify the rituals of song, dance and folk traditions that can heal the pain, and to celebrate rebirth, wholeness and sanctifying joy. [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]