• From The Host – For the Week Ending March 23, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 9 reviews and 1 comment to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 23, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. …Read More


  • Sunset Boulevard

  • Oh, how the audience responded to Glenn Close as she came on the stage! Enthusiastic at first, then escalating to wild applause with every scene, especially the beginning of the second act when “Norma” sings her “big number.” This production …Read More


  • Groundhog Day

  • If the Tony Awards had a category for “Best Stage Magical,” it would go to “Groundhog Day.” They will have to settle for “Best Scenic Design in a Musical,” which is accurate, but not sufficiently poetic. In other words, the …Read More


  • The New Yorkers

  • Encores! has done it again with “The New Yorkers.” Led by artistic director Jack Viertel, this theater series from New York City Center has resurrected a forgotten, creaky, nine-decade-old Cole Porter musical and created an evening of dance, songs and …Read More

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  • Viceroy House

  • For the British the “special relationship” has always been India. Starting in 1600, under Elisabeth I, the East India Trading Company was granted a charter. Thus assumed an incredibly complex interplay between a very old civilisation and a newer mercantilist …Read More

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  • Song to Song

  • I’ve always been fond of the word “stultifying,” but have seldom had the perfect opportunity to use it. Now I have… although in its adverbial form: “Song to Song” is the most stultifyingly boring movie I’ve ever seen. Imagine sitting …Read More

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  • Roméo et Juliette

  • This is definitely the year for romance, and “Roméo and Juliette” are everywhere… Ballet and Opera for sure. We had the opportunity to see Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo on New Year’s Eve, and I wrote about how beautiful and …Read More


  • I Puritani

  • Vincenzo Bellini created “I Puritani” in 1835, but of course because the theme is love, requited and reborn, it is never out of favor. The Met this year reinstituted this beautiful work of art with authentic backdrops: steps, gardens, walls …Read More


  • Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture

  • The Museum of Arts and Design secured this historic exhibition, “Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture,” organized by the Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Michael Cepress. Two floors of extraordinary, colorful, complicated and fascinating clothing are mostly supported …Read More


  • Georges Seurat at The Metropolitan Museum

  • Seurat’s “Circus Sideshow” is a major offering at the Metropolitan Museum this Spring in the Lehman Wing, which circles around to show not only Seurat’s own painting of “Circus Sideshow” in the late 1880s, but others by many compatriots of …Read More


  • From The Host – Week Ending March 16, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 6 reviews and 5 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 16, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. …Read More


  • Linda

  • Formidable acting, especially by lead Janie Dee. A terrific spinning set. A meaty topic – aging – as experienced by a middle-aged business woman. Janie Dee’s attractive female executive is a strong voice for the thoughts, fears, compromises and dilemmas …Read More

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  • War Paint

  • How does a great-sounding story — the epic competition during the ’30s through the ’60s between cosmetic pioneers Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden — and two renowned musical actresses — Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole — end up such an …Read More

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  • Get Out

  • “Get Out,” the new movie written and directed by Jordan Peele, of “Key & Peele” fame, is stylish, fun, scary and…a jolting commentary on race relations in America. A young woman takes her boyfriend home to meet her well-to-do white …Read More

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  • South and West

  • Short but deep, light but profound, Joan Didion’s “South and West” is mainly comprised of notes Didion made on a a trip through the South in 1970 and on the Patty Hearst trial. In the introduction Nathaniel Rich says, “Didion …Read More

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  • Visionaries at The Guggenheim Museum

  •           Don’t miss the current show, “Visionaries.” 170 works from the Museum’s collection – Calder, Duchamp, Klee, Mondrian, Picasso, Kandinsky… and more – organized around its six early patron collectors: Justin Thannhauser, Karl Nierendorf, Peggy Guggenheim, …Read More

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  • Franschhoek Motor Museum

  • Alongside all the delicious food and wine, and gorgeous views, in the Cape Winelands in South Africa, you could add in a little motoring culture to your visit. Situated in the midst of a gorgeous estate is the Franschhoek Motor …Read More

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  • From The Host – Week Ending March 9, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 7 reviews and 5 comment to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 9, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the …Read More


  • Economism

  • We all know this stuff, and unless you are Paul Ryan, his Tea Party friends or a Koch brother, weep. The US has the lowest minimum wage (as a proportion of its average wage) of any advanced economy. The soulless …Read More

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  • News of the World

  • “News of the World” is a charming, often moving picaresque Western, with an echo of “True Grit,” but with an authentic plot twist. A 70-year-old retired army captain, Jefferson Kidd, makes his living in the 1870s traveling from town to …Read More

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  • Orchid Show

  •                                           The one place that “more is more” works is with flowers. This year’s theme at The NY Botanical Garden …Read More

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  • La Traviata

  • “La Traviata” is back at The Met, and we think that opera lovers and everyone else should go! Now, being fair, I think that “La Traviata” is not only one of Verdi’s greatest achievements, but one of the greatest of …Read More

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  • Francis Picabia

  • The fabulous subtitle of this MoMA exhibit is apparently a quote of the artist’s: “Our Heads are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” – and indeed, walking through this show will have your thoughts changing direction frequently. The exhibit …Read More

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  • Letter from Stellenbosch

  •       Some notes from our trip to South Africa’s wine country: *Uva Mira winery, in Stellenbosch, South Africa: this is a gem of a winery to visit in the Cape Winelands. Their wines are not well-known (and not …Read More

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  • Sunday in the Park with George

  • We missed this production of “Sunday in the Park with George” at City Center’s Encores! series and, since it has been a family favorite, we got tickets for its limited run on Broadway. This iconic Sondheim musical dates from 1983 …Read More

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  • From The Host – For the Week Ending March 2, 2017

  • Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 12 reviews and 4 comment to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 2, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. …Read More


  • Come From Away

  • We went to see “Come From Away” in previews. It opens mid-month — get tickets now, because we think you will find it difficult after it opens. First let me make it clear, I am leery of new musicals and …Read More

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  • Beauty Queen of Leenane

  •                       Much of the audience probably walks into “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” at BAM knowing that they’re about to witness the dark workings of a dysfunctional Irish mother-daughter relationship. …Read More

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  • Man from Nebraska

  • This New York premiere of Tracy Letts’ 2004 play “Man from Nebraska” is a NY Times’ critics pick and has been extended through March 26, so clearly it has found an audience. However, while I am a fan of Letts …Read More

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  • Sweeney Todd (in a pie shop)

  • Last night we experienced one of our most thrilling theater experiences. Surprisingly, it took place at a revival. But what a revival! A new production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical “Sweeney Todd” has just arrived from London, where it …Read More

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  • If I Forget

  • In the world of dysfunctional families, the Fischers aren’t so bad. In “If I Forget,” for all their differences, they come together after the death of their mother to celebrate their father’s birthday, and to deal with the issues of …Read More

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  • Pushkin – Eugene Onegin (1833)

  • Having recently read Tasso and Ariosto in prose translations, I was keen to find this classic — Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” (1833), translation by Roger Clarke — also in prose; but that wasn’t easy. Most of the translations are in verse; a …Read More


  • Attack on Nantucket

  • In Thad Dupper’s debut techno-thriller “Attack on Nantucket,” terrorists target the family of the US President, who likes to vacation in the jewel of the northeast, Nantucket Island. As a worthy successor to Tom Clancy, Thad has the Mach-2 pace …Read More

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  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • I greatly respect George Saunders even if he is not in my contemporary writer pantheon. Like with all his work, his first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo” is wonderfully crafted and contains some amazing passages. This is a work of …Read More

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  • I Puritani

  • This is an opera where, unlike with “Tosca,” “La Boheme,” “La Traviata,” “Carmen,” “Rigoletto” and “Madame Butterfly,” you don’t come out humming an aria — one of my unsophisticated criteria for grand opera. Notwithstanding, it was an opportunity last night …Read More

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