Author: Roxanne Bok

The Band’s Visit

This was a great night out and I encourage any theater aficionado to go. Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub lead a stellar cast of musicians and actors that will warm your heart plus exercise your brain. The story is, as …Read More

Prince of Broadway

Hubby and I almost decided not to go the day we had tickets, as the reviews were so lackluster. So glad we did, and we didn’t depart after the first act, as we figured we might. The song choices couldn’t …Read More

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

If you like The Beatles — and who doesn’t? — you will enjoy this documentary film by Ron Howard. The extraordinary footage endearingly depicts the emergence of a phenomenon that came about organically rather than orchestrated, marketed, pushed upon us …Read More

Dear Evan Hansen

This Second Stage new musical production (still in previews until May 1st) negotiates the quirky lives of outsider high school kids; it deserves a broad audience and an enduring success. These on-the-spectrum kids are mainstreamed into life without fanfare and …Read More

Dry Powder

I was able to score tickets to this sold-out show by becoming a patron. I suppose it was worth it, though this new star vehicle about Wall Street private equity players is somewhat flawed. Billed as the contemporary version of …Read More

The Robber Bridegroom

What fun! Billed as a Mississippi fairytale, this revival from 1975 scratches a New Yorker’s itch to feel superior by poking fun at the hillbilly set. The stage reveals an inventive Natches Trace, with a dead turkey hanging from the …Read More

She Loves Me

This 1963 gem, often termed “the perfect musical,” has been revived by Roundabout in celebration of their 50th year (CONGRATULATIONS ROUNDABOUT!) of bringing great theater to the stage. I had never seen the original (also directed by the talented Scott …Read More

Sense and Sensibility

Bedlam’s production of Jane Austen’s novel turns this straight-laced classic on its head in so many creative ways that one’s head spins just as the characters do, whirling around the Judson Gym’s spartan “stage” on wheeled chairs, tables and doorways. …Read More

Rita Wilson at the Café Carlyle

I was intrigued by a good review in the New Yorker about Tom Hanks’s other, longstanding half-actress Rita Wilson, and her commitment to singer/songwriters of the 70s. Once there, she proceeded to mostly sing her own songs, rather than the …Read More

Salumeria Rosi

  By all means go have a meal at Salumeria Rosi on Amsterdam between 73rd and 74th. Scott and I went because it was close to the Beacon Theatre where we saw Lucinda Williams perform an amazing concert. The unexpected …Read More

The Skeleton Twins

Just saw Skeleton Twins last night, and loved it. There were only five of us in the cinema last night, but if you have a chance to see “The Skeleton Twins,” do. Two veteran Saturday Night Live actors, Bill Hader …Read More

Just Jim Dale

Scott and I did not know want to expect from Jim Dale, having last seen him ages ago (sometime between 1990 and 1995) in the London production of “Me And My Girl.” Well, at 78 he is still going strong …Read More

The Cripple of Inishmaan

Scott and I had never seen the original production of this Martin McDonagh play (London 1996, New York 1998), though we did see his even darker “The Pillowman” on Broadway and “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” as interpreted by and …Read More

S for Sentence Website

If I may suggest a website to the literate folks who people the VDP, I can recommend S For Sentence. My friend the writer and teacher Pearl Abraham is the creator. Each week features an eloquent and/or powerful sentence from …Read More

The Good Life

I first encountered Yi-Fu Tuan, this philosopher of place (humanistic geographer), during my doctoral work in London some moons ago. He provided not a few “aha” moments then, so when I came across him again recently in this 1986 book …Read More

Animal Liberation

If any of you are thinking of going veggie, Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation” will put you over the edge. Originally published in 1975 (it has an updated preface), it is still the best groundwork on animal treatment (more lack thereof) …Read More

Breaking Bad

Just plain awesome. Hated to see it end. Though often hard to watch (it’s not for you if you have a deep aversion to television violence), the five-season transformation of Bryan Cranston’s mousy chemistry teacher character is sheer genius, practically …Read More

Machinal

Scott and I both loved this show. Rebecca Hall (daughter of Royal Shakespeare Company Sir Peter Hall and opera singer Maria Ewing) and the entire cast did an excellent job of reviving (first time) this 1928 drama by Sophie Treadwell. …Read More

Til Divorce Do We Part

Full disclosure: I am a minor investor in this show. That said, I invested because I thought it was absolutely terrific and deserves a run. It is a raucous comedy with a talented cast of three women and one (gay) …Read More

Buyer & Cellar

Can highly recommend “Buyer & Cellar” down in the Bowery (great ‘hood!) if one has a fanciful imagination and doesn’t mind something entertaining and totally useless, pointless, odd. One-man show that is pretty amazing if a little long at 1 …Read More

Letter from Peru

Just back from a family trip to Peru through The Nature Conservancy. Went to Lima, Paracas and west across the Andes into the Amazon jungle to Inkaterra, an eco-resort on the Madre de Rios river that feeds the Amazon. We …Read More

Master Class

I can report that “Master Class” at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox is fantastic. The intimate venue of The Bernstein Theatre there ensures that the audience is the class, not that the audience takes part in the show. Terrence McNally’s …Read More

Pippin

By all means see this performance. My whole family loved it (my 18-year-old son grew weary of the circus antics, though I don’t see how as the acrobatics were worthy of Cirque de Soleil). Music is terrific, the acting and …Read More

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Excellent comedy with some quasi-profound reflections on change and aging but not enough to make you squirm. Three main actors are superb – David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Neilsen and whoever played Spike really nailed this clever ‘play’ on Checkhov, American …Read More

Motown the Musical

See it if you must, but skip it if you can. Though billed as great music supporting a weak book, I thought this wrong. I sort of enjoyed the story of the Motown Label and the relationships of Berry Gordy, …Read More

Venice

I wanted to love this new musical at the lab in the Public Theatre — an acquaintance helped produce it AND it follows in the vein of “Spring Awakening” and “In the Heights,” two of my all-time favorite musicals. But …Read More

Now You See Me

  Pass! Not worth the words to tell you why. View the trailer here. Roxanne Bok  

Lucky Guy

Scott and I saw this play featuring Tom Hanks backed by a stellar cast that succeeded in being an ensemble play rather than a star vehicle. Though tickets are hard to come by and costly, I can still recommend it. …Read More

BARNES COLLECTION

IF you can score a ticket (one of the hottest in the art world) and whether or not you ever visited it in Merion, PA. Oddball old man Barnes willed that it stay in a quirky mansion in suburban PA …Read More

CRAFT

Had a perfect meal at Craft on 19th St near Park Ave. Ignoramus that I am, I had never heard of it, but long-time super chef Tom Calicchio still takes a personal interest in this restaurant, his first in the …Read More

ONCE

Hated (not a word I use often) it, especially the movie which made me want to throw things at the screen. Can’t believe I actually went to the show version, but I’m a sucker for musicals. The music was less …Read More

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200, BUT DO GO DIRECTLY TO SEE “Searching for Sugar Man.” It is a documentary about a 1960s bluesy musician with so many plot twists it plays like a mystery novel. Life is …Read More