off-Broadway

BarryManilowHarmony

Barry Manilow’s Harmony Hits Enough of the Right Notes

Harmony, the long-gestating musical about the Comedian Harmonists, a real-life German singing group destroyed by the Nazis, isn’t exactly harmonious. There are several revelatory moments when Warren Carlyle’s inventive staging combines with the clever, moving score by pop icon Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman to create new reactions to the oft-told tale of genocidal horror. …

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O’Neill in the Time of COVID

Transposing classic plays into modern eras has been an accepted theatrical technique for quite a while now. Moving these timeless works into a contemporary setting can illuminate their universal themes and bring insight to current issues. But these time-warp productions have mostly been for Shakespearean texts. Few more recent classics have switched time frames, probably …

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Trevor‘s Heart Makes Up for Its Flaws

The new musical Trevor could easily have been an extended Afterschool Special, an overly preachy message tuner with more PSA vibes than entertainment value. Set in 1981, the show follows the travails of a show-biz-loving adolescent discovering his gay sexuality and attempting suicide after a humiliating incident in middle school. He meets a sympathetic volunteer …

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Jackie Hoffman Stars in Fruma-Sarah, a Return to Live Theater

It’s appropriate that the first indoor production with live actors I’m reviewing since the COVID pandemic shut down all NYC stages over a year ago is a celebration of theater and how it can heal communities and create families. E. Dale Smith’s Fruma-Sarah (Waiting in the Wings) is such a celebration but this backstage comedy …

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Voyeur: Street Theater in the Time of COVID

COVID vaccinations are ramping up and restrictions are beginning to loosen, but variant strains threaten another pandemic surge. Thus the reopening of Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters is still months away, probably the fall of 2021 at the earliest. However, a group of New York theater artists have cleverly circumvented the virus with an innovative event …

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72 Miles Chronicles the Cruelty of Immigration Laws

Note: This production’s run ended abruptly on March 12 due to Broadway and Off-Broadway’s theaters closing because of the coronavirus crisis. Roundabout Theater Company has announced they will be making the show available digitally to ticket holders. The theaters were originally supposed to re-open April 12, but that date appears unlikely now with national restrictions …

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Reality Winners: Power, Room, Bella

Soft Power, the gloriously messy but idea-packed new musical from two of our most vital and prolific theater artists, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, is anything but soft. The title refers to countries’ gaining world dominance through cultural influence rather than military hardware and muscle flexing. Hwang’s hilariously satiric and complex book also addresses …

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Sad Quartet: Rose Tattoo, Linda Vista, New Englanders, Heroes

“My life is unhappy. I want to change it and I don’t know how.” That’s the subtext of a lot of American drama and four productions currently on and Off-Broadway explore this trope of angst with insight and compassion. One is a neglected classic from Tennessee Williams, the poet of the frustrated and lonely, while …

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