broadway

Photo: OHIO STATE MURDERS by Adrienne Kennedy; directed by Kenny Leon With Audra McDonald Bryce Pinkham Mister Fitzgerald Lizan Mitchell Abigail Stephenson Dress rehearsal photographed: Thursday, November 10, 2022; at James Earl Jones Theatre ; Photograph: © 2022 Richard Termine. PHOTO CREDIT - Richard Termine

Ohio State Murders: Uncomfortable Truths on B’way

The celebrated African-American playwright Adrienne Kennedy made her belated Broadway debut with a mystifying, powerful production of her 1991 work Ohio State Murders featuring a stellar turn from six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. Unfortunately, there is no mystery as to why it took so long for the 91-year-old author, the winner of several Obie Awards, …

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Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt Is a Masterpiece

The cast list to Tom Stoppard’s latest work, Leopoldstadt, is certainly intimidating. Multiple generations of a Jewish Viennese family, played by a small army of actors, sprawl across two pages. “How will I ever keep all these characters straight,?” I mused as scanned the program. Yes, the relationships and plotlines are incredibly intricate and difficult …

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KiteRunner

Page to Stage: Kite Runner Soars

Novels don’t always work well on stage, especially when there’s a first-person narrator. Plays rely on action rather than narration (“Show, don’t tell” is the rule of thumb) and contained plots over sprawling stories. Fortunately, Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 best-seller about a young man’s harrowing experiences of growing up …

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SkinTeeth

Skin, POTUS: Over-the-Top Comedies

Two over-the-top comedies illuminate the differing styles of their respective decades of origin. They also offer pointed observations on serious subjects such as the struggle for civilization amidst natural and man-made disaster and the absurdity of our political system in a sexist, social-media-driven world. Thornton Wilder’s 1942 Pulitzer Prize-winning allegorical fantasy The Skin of Our …

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StrangeLoop

Loop, Paradise, Suffs, etc.: Musical Innovation and Cliche

As the roller-coaster New York theater season of 2021-22 races to its finish, shows are opening on and Off-Broadway with alarming frequency. Some have delayed inviting critics due to COVID outbreaks among the cast, making the logjam around award eligibility cut-off dates even more hectic (both the Tonys and the Drama Desks have delayed announcing …

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forcoloredgirls

for colored girls, Birthday Candles: Vibrant Tapestry and Stale Cake

In this theater season when African-American women playwrights such as Lynn Nottage, Dominique Morriseau, Antoinette Chinoye Nwandu, Aleshea Harris, and the late Alice Childress are receiving major productions of their work, it’s appropriate that we are also seeing the first Broadway revival of Ntozake Shange’s 1976 choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the …

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TakeMeOut

Take Me Out, To My Girls: Disparate Gay Views

Second Stage is currently offering a fascinating dual perspective on the gay experience in America. On Broadway at the the company’s Hayes Theater, there is a powerful revival of Richard Greenberg’s 2002 Take Me Out which focuses on a major league baseball player coming out of the closet. Off-Broadway at the Tony Kiser Theater, a …

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This Music Man Should Be Called Marian the Librarian

The question on every theater fan’s mind for two years has been: Will the highly anticipated revival of The Music Man, Meredith Willson’s beloved 1957 tribute to chicanery, Americana, and apple pie, be worth all the hype? The production, helmed by the magic-touch showman Jerry Zaks (the Bette Midler Hello, Dolly) and starring two of …

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Familiar but Powerful Skeleton Crew

When patrons enter the Samuel J. Friedman Theater for Manhattan Theater Club’s Broadway premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, they are greeted with prominent signage as part of Michael Carnahan’s ultra-realistic industrial set. The paper admonishments and placards to abide by the theater’s COVID safety protocols blend in with the play’s written rules for the …

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Company and Kimberly: Women Against the Clock

The leading women of two new musical productions are facing momentous birthdays. Bobbi, the protagonist of a gender-reversed revival of Company, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s innovative 1970 musical about marriage, friendship and the chasm between the two, is facing a dreaded 35th natal anniversary while still unattached. The title character of Kimberly Akimbo, a …

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