Stage Biz

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Cold Porridge Hudson Guild Theatre

"Cold Porridge” January 4th, 5th, and 7th 2018 Hudson Guild Theatre Written by Emily Dinova, Directed by Gregory Cioffi Review by Julia Ippstein Cold Porridge is a vibrant murder mystery spoof that had the audience laughing from start to finish. It’s just a lot of fun. Although Emily Dinova’s script had many moments where characters seemed to make unjustified choices, which being a serious theatre goer was a little frustrating for me, I found if I simply surrendered to the silliness of it, it didn’t matter so much. That’s not the point of a show like this. The point is to enjoy the characters, their insanity

The Loneliest Number Amios Theatre

The Loneliest Number by Lizzie Vieh is one of the best written plays I’ve seen in years. It is about a couple who decide to invite a different third party to their bedroom every month. They take turns, one month she chooses, one month he chooses. At first it seems like the main reason is to add some spice to their long term relationship, but as the play unfolds we see there is a far deeper reason. Within two minutes I knew I was going to love this play. I love when that happens! It’s just amazing to me that

Time No Line at La Mama’s Ellen Stewart Theatre

John Kelly is a conduit for all nine muses. He vibrates with artistry that seems to pour unrestricted through him –there is no resistance to the inspiration he is receiving. In this “live memoir” his mastery of dance, voice, art and text are used to elevate your senses so you feel the best parts of yourself activated and engaged. This production hit me on a cellular level and I left the theater forever changed by his ability to raise one’s frequency to the stratosphere. John Kelly shares fragments of 40 years of journal writing that act as the jumping off point

The Accidental Club at The Cell

“The Accidental Club” has some rather impressive members: Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Amy Winehouse and Prince. All were unique singers, and all battled against addiction in one form or another. And all lost the fight. Sherrie Scott has pulled these artists together into a one-woman musical-comedy-tragedy that addresses addiction without preaching. It had its workshop performances at the Cell in Chelsea as January became February. She tells the stories of each artist – the joy, the pain and the desire to fill up the emptiness with something they never could find. Today's headlines call it an opiod epidemic, but that

Theater Review: ‘STIFF’ At The Barrow Group Main Stage Theatre

My stomach muscles are “STIFF” from laughing like an unblocking drain during the performance of this funny bone tickling show-within-a-show. It’s got a “Noises Off” (Michael Frayn) kind of farce funniness to it where we are privy to the behind the scenes machinations of a show on the verge of exploding. Hearty thigh slaps and the elbowing of my plus-one in the ribcage at every punchline, has meant this production has indeed left its mark on us in hilarity bruises –the best kind. It’s one of those shows that I think will be around for a long time because the

“Subways Are for Sleeping” at the Theater at Saint Peter’s

Listen to the original Broadway cast recording of “Subways Are for Sleeping.” Whatever played at the St. James for a disappointing 205 performances in 1961-62, this is an album of a hit. It opens with a scintillating Jule Styne overture, encompassing subway effects (“Ride Through the Night”), typical Styne rhythmic sass (“Comes Once in a Lifetime”), tuneful Christmas cheer (“Be a Santa”), and the big warm ballad that should have become a standard (“I’m Just Taking My Time”), all wrapped up in some of the best orchestrations Philip J. Lang ever wrote. (This overture opened the second act of “Hey,

Theatre: Theatre of War presents “(Flying) Dutchman” at The Tank

He said nothing.  She said nothing nice.  He tried.  She still made no effort.  He got angry.  She got violent.  That is the double one-sided conversation at The Tank in Theatre of War’s reimagining of Amiri Baraka’s “(Flying) Dutchman”, which is as confrontational and relevant as it was in 1964. Rather than setting the interaction between middle-class African-American Clay (Malcolm B. Hines) and White poetess Lula (Jonathan Schenk) in a subway like Baraka did, director Christopher Stevenson has the two “talk” across a long table.  Microphones provide the public performance Lula craves and testimony Clay provides her with regarding his life. 

Theatre: The New Group presents ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera’ at The Pershing Square Signature Center

L-R: Will Swenson, Terrence Mann in “Jerry Springer – The Opera,” a production from The New Group, in a limited Off-Broadway engagement at The Pershing Square Signature Center Jan 23 – Mar 11, 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Monique Carboni / www.thenewgroup.org

  The title no joke.  Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee’s “Jerry Springer – The Opera” is a raucous parody of many things, but most of all opera.  Librettos make for dull reading, but this 90% unprintable one is laugh out-loud.  It has taken over a decade for “Jerry Springer” to brawl its way to a NYC stage, but The New Group more than makes up for it with John Rando’s wild production. Thomas (music, lyrics) and Lee (book, additional lyrics) didn’t have to look hard for commonalities between “Jerry Springer and “opera”.  Act I is the taping of Jerry’s (Terrence Mann’s) show.

Music: Rossini’s ‘Semiramide’ at the Metropolitan Opera House

Javier Camarena as Idreno and Ryan Speedo Green as Oroe in Rossini's "Semiramide." Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera

Along with Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”, the Met in recent seasons has sucessfully presented his lesser known “L'italiana in Algeri”, “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella”), “La donna del lago” (“Lady of the Lake”), and “William Tell”.  Now after 25 years, his “Semiramide” returns to the repertory.  For reasons other than Maurizio Benini and the Met Orchestra's spunky playing of the opera's Overture, soprano Angela Meade’s gallant singing of the serial killer Babylonian queen, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong's beautiful duets with Meade about their complicated relationship and tenor Javier Camarena’s star turn as the love-struck Prince Idreno, the production also provided an up-close look at

Finding Fellini at the Series of One Festival, La Mama

  Finding Fellini is a theatrical ode to risk takers, big dreamers and delicious hedonism. It’s a mighty memoir about one woman, Megan Metrikin, who leaves the brutality of Apartheid South Africa in search of her muse –Federico Fellini, in Rome. You slip down the rabbit hole with her and emerge into a wonderland of palpable sensuality, exploration and adventure. It’s a wild, obsessive, funny, filmic experience about the power of art to lift you out of any political or emotional doldrums. Her fascination with Fellini starts when her father joins the censor board in SA with the sole purpose of being

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