“It’s been a long, hard year,” John Falstaff (Jacob Ming-Trent) complains in Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh’s update of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Delacorte Theatre. “Been stuck in the house just eating snacks. Watching Netflix. Bored outta my Got-damned mind!” So when it comes to his somewhat clumsy attempts to seduce his neighbors’ wives, Falstaff finishes with a flourish, “Can you blame me for tryna get with Madam Page and Madam Ford?”Continue Reading
SARNA LAPINE REINVENTS ‘ANNIE GET YOUR GUN’: REVIEW
Sparkling lead performances help make Bay Street Theater’s new Annie Get Your Gun a warm, nostalgic visit to an earlier era.Continue Reading
DANIELLE BROOKS IN JOYOUS ‘MUCH ADO:’ REVIEW
Halfway through the first act of Shakespeare in the Park‘s Much Ado About Nothing, I found myself on Danielle Brooks’ lap.Continue Reading
SUSAN SARANDON, R&H MIX AWKWARDLY IN JESSE EISENBERG’S ‘HAPPY TALK’: REVIEW
“I always thought that my lot in life was to help people en masse,” pontificates Susan Sarandon as an unbearable community theater diva in Jesse Eisenberg’s half-baked new play, Happy Talk.
“Through my work. People see me on stage. They see the human condition — it filters through me — and maybe they learn a little something about themselves,” Sarandon’s character, Lorraine, says.Continue Reading
LONDON ‘MAN OF A LA MANCHA’ SCORES: REVIEW
LONDON — Man of La Mancha is being revived at the London Coliseum, starring Kelsey Grammer as a blustery Don Quixote. Directed by Lonny Price, with the English National Opera’s 30-piece orchestra, it’s a luscious delight.
For the show — the 1966 Tony Award winner for Best Musical — lyricist Joe Darion and composer Mitch Leigh crafted a perfect score, built on a base of Spanish guitars periodically punctured by explosions of brass.Continue Reading
GILLIAN ANDERSON ELEVATES FEROCIOUS ‘ALL ABOUT EVE’: REVIEW
LONDON — Following Network, Ivo van Hove’s disappointing star vehicle now packing them in on Broadway, the writer/director is back in peak form with his adaptation of All About Eve in the West End.
A theater story set in the realm of backstage gossipmongers, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 film is an ideal fit for van Hove’s cold Kubrickian style.Continue Reading
GENDER-BENDING ‘COMPANY’ IMPROVES ON PERFECTION: REVIEW
Editor’s note: There are talks to bring London’s ‘Company’ to Broadway, and last we heard nothing was set. For now, tickets appear to be plentiful for the run at the Gielgud Theatre through March 30.
LONDON — The show that changed everything may never be the same.Continue Reading
‘THE JUNGLE’ IS POWERFUL, HAUNTING & UNIFYING: REVIEW
St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn, has been recast as a crowded and vibrant refugee camp called the Calais Jungle on the coast of France. The theater’s ticket booth is in a ramshackle hut, its bar relocated to a dome of canvas and metal. The audience doesn’t so much sit as huddle, as if around a campfire.Continue Reading
AFFORDABLE ‘UNCLE VANYA’ AT HUNTER MAKES ENNUI EXCITING: REVIEW
In Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at the Hunter Theater Project, Jay O. Sanders plays the title character as the kind of wisely figure you’d like to have as your own uncle. That is, until a brother-in-law announces he wants to sell the family estate that Vanya has managed for 35 years.
“Thanks to you,” Vanya bellows, “I destroyed, I annihilated the best years of my life!” He’s initially terrifying, then almost befuddled at the intensity of his own outburst. “What am I saying? I’m losing my mind.”
‘OKLAHOMA!’ IN DUMBO IS A BOLD TAKE ON A PERFECT MUSICAL: REVIEW
Some theatrical ideas are so ambitious it almost doesn’t matter whether they succeed or fail – the fun is in seeing them play out. In his audacious, stripped-down staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, which opened Sunday at St Ann’s Warehouse, director Daniel Fish exposes the repression, lust, and violence that always lay beneath the surface of this seminal musical.