You come into the Bernard Jacobs Theatre expecting a nostalgic look back at the late Swing/Big Band era in the euphoria of America’s victory in World War II, before the Cold War set in. Instead, “Bandstand” serves up a cautionary …Read More

Saint Joan

This brilliant Donmar production of the Shaw classic “Saint Joan” is the best single modern-dress staging of any play we can remember. We saw it on NT Live (as in National Theater) from London. Set in a modern corporate board …Read More

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

“946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips” at St. Ann’s Warehouse is a terrific production in every way! Based on a children’s book about England in World War I! It is touching, charming, funny and sheer delight. Excellent acting, fine …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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“Yen,” a British import, opened a couple of weeks ago and, based upon our experience, is doing quite well. It may be that people are attracted to the play by the presence of Lucas Hedges (Oscar Best Supporting Actor nominee …Read More

Escaped Alone

We had the good luck to attend Caryl Churchill’s play, “Escaped Alone” (originally produced at London’s Royal Court Theatre and brought here with the original cast) at BAM this past Saturday. We read Brantley’s review in the Times and reasoned, …Read More

Sunday in the Park with George

Julia Benedict’s review of the New York City Center performance of “Sunday in the Park with George” made me look to see if it would be moved to Broadway — thank you Julia. We saw it last night at the …Read More


Until this week we had never seen an August Wilson play nor really known much about his work, but with subscription seats to “Jitney” coming up on Wednesday, on Tuesday we went to see the film version of “Fences” — …Read More

Come From Away

“Come From Away” is the story of the 38 planes that were vectored into Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 when US airspace was closed. It’s told from the point of view of the Newfoundlanders. Seven thousand “Plane People” arrived in a town …Read More

An Inspector Calls

J.B. Priestley’s “An Inspector Calls” had its premiere in 1946 and has been revived repeatedly ever since, with good reason. This play, too, is a philosophical polemic — actually about two: personal conscience and exploitation of women — but the …Read More

Nice Fish

Ever since I was privileged to see Mark Rylance in “Twelfth Night” at the Globe Theatre in London many years ago, I have become a Rylance groupie and sought out his appearances. Given his prolific output, this has proved challenging, …Read More

St. Joan

It is important to put the play “St. Joan” in the context of George Bernard Shaw’s lifelong belief in socialism and feminism as co-efficients. He believed that the one (feminism) could not exist without the reorganization of society, i.e., the …Read More

A Comedy of Tenors

Ken Ludwig’s 1986 hit “Lend Me a Tenor” (revived on Broadway in 2010) is just not enough madcap farce to go around. So Ludwig gives us a sequel, “A Comedy of Tenors,” complete with four amorous operatics, two exotic girlfriends, …Read More

The Liar

  Is there a better wordsmith in the theater than David Ives (“Venus in Fur”)? Not in my opinion. For a perfect example of this genius at at his best, head on down to Classic Stage Company and feast on …Read More

A Trifecta of Misery

Just a short comment on what everyone has already written about but for various reasons, we have just seen: “Manchester by the Sea” (a film) and “The Humans” (a play) plus “The Present” (comments last week)… were, discounting the extraordinary …Read More

The Present

Think of one contentious extended family at a 40th Birthday gathering when the days are endless and purpose is in short supply. A group of misguided libidos are in search of… relief of boredom; even resuscitated passion. OR this is …Read More

The Encounter

Simon McBurney explores the time-space continuum in “The Encounter.” This multidimensional story is based on a book written by an Englishman about an American explorer who visits an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. McBurney — or McBurney’s voice — …Read More

The Present/The Babylon Line

Is there a place in the theater for a play that is not a blockbuster, is cast with stars, has critics raving and tickets unavailable? Actually, yes. This past week, after we saw a blockbuster on Broadway (in previews) — “The Present” …Read More

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

Half, if not more, of New York has already seen this vibrant and athletic interpretation of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” which is giving “Hamilton” a run for its money in the pop opera category. Coming from Off-Broadway’s Ars Nova four …Read More

The Dresser

“The Dresser,” a poignant tale of theater personalities — the highs and the lows of touring and the relationship between a bombastic Actor/Manager (patterned after the fabled Donald Wolfit), and his dresser, Norman — is revived at the Duke of …Read More

NY Theater Diary in a NY Minute

The Present: Cate Blanchett brings Chekhov from the 19th to the 20th Century in two acts, the first a dazzling vodka tonic, the second a dizzying hangover. The Babylon Line: A brilliant discourse on creative writing, character development, plot evolution …Read More

Finian’s Rainbow

The Irish Repertory Theatre has its share of O’Reillys, O’Neills, O’Dwyers and O’Malleys, but it reaches beyond the strictly dramatic Irish offerings to indulge in some totally light-hearted evenings that send you away singing. Such is “Finian’s Rainbow.” This delightful …Read More

Finian’s Rainbow

Good advice from the medical and the musical theater worlds: Hippocrates: Do no harm Finian’s Rainbow: Ignore the book Originally opening on Broadway in 1947, the Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg musical “Finian’s Rainbow” ran for two years despite a famously weak …Read More

The Collector

Based on the 1963 novel by John Fowles and the 1965 film with Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar, “The Collector” is a sinister and unnerving tale. It was adapted for the stage by Mark Healy in 1998. “The Collector” here …Read More


On two successive nights we had the enormous pleasure to see two women in roles that dominate the stage, and made for two terrific evenings. On Tuesday we went to “Heisenberg” (MTC Friedman Theater) — a two-person 80-minute play by …Read More