The Height of the Storm – Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Back in elementary school, we all learned that a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Apparently, playwright Florian Zeller was absent that day, or perhaps, he merely couldn't be bothered to edit his script. Despite a fine and talented cast led by Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce (two of their generation's finest who are at the top of their game), supported by the finest set design and lighting tricks, Director Jonathan Kent and the Manhattan Theatre Club have a broken production on their hands. They don't have enough duct tape to fix it. The story (defined loosely) involves

“Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater

Choreographers have a default line in interviews that is some variant of “I tell stories through dance.” Much of the time, though, I watch their work and wonder what the story might have been about. Mercifully, Al Blackstone has created a story that runs the length of “Freddie Falls in Love” that is actually a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. There are characters who are not just dancers in a pose, and there is conflict and resolution. There just isn't any talking. The term “dansical” is over-used in some quarters, but here it fits like a

“Dog Man the Musical” at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Dog Man the Musical comes from the pen of one of the most banned authors in America today. Dav Pilkey is the man who gave us the “Captain Underpants” series. And as you might expect, there is an entire swathe of old-school educators (bureaucrats) and parent do-gooders who feel his work corrupts the youth. They gave Socrates hemlock for the same reason. In truth, Pilkey's got kids reading, which is a step in the right direction. As a book, Dog Man has sold 23 million copies and has been translated into 21 languages – nothing succeeds like success. The man's detractors

Pilobolus –The Joyce Theatre

Pilobolus is performing two programs during its three-weeks at the Joyce Theater this summer, and each piece is unique while being ineffably consistent with the style of the company. It is dance in the broadest sense of the word, rhythmic movement. Yet, the company borrows from gymnastics and acrobatics, and sometimes, the closest parallel one can find is the Moscow Circus in the old Soviet Union. The five pieces in program A are distinct and appeal to both dance mavens and neophytes. “On the Nature of Things” is a classical study in movement. Nathaniel Buchsbaum, Krystal Butler and Quincy Ellis

“Death of a Driver” at Urban Stages

The two hardest types of theatrical production to pull off are polar opposites in complexity. On the one hand, there is the classic Broadway musical that requires a range of talents and has so many moving parts that it's a miracle any of them succeed. On the other, there is the simple play involving two people just talking, which is difficult because so much hinges on so little – just words as they are delivered. Will Snider's “Death of a Driver” is clearly of the latter class, and it is largely successful in delivering the words with a punch. Sarah (Sarah

Even If It Gets Us Nowhere at Access Theater

This production from The Social Club Theatre is Brechtian in its approach. We truly don't ever get to know the characters, what their jobs are, why they are sharing an apartment – and we don't need to. In yet another season of juke-box musicals on Broadway, the script and the staging are swimming against the stream. This is a piece of theatre that makes one think, not just during the production but the next day and thereafter. Bartholomew (Matthew Zimmerman) and Milo (Justin P. Armstrong) are friends who share a common problem – they're single and don't want to be. In

TJ Dawe: A Canadian Bartender at Butlin’s at the Soho Playhouse

The Soho Playhouse has gifted us with encore performances of some of the finer productions from this year's New York International Fringe Festival. TJ Dawe is performing a one-man, autobiographical show discussing his life in general and in particular his time in England as a bartender at a Butlin's holiday camp in Bognor Regis. Dawe is a charming raconteur and his adventures in the UK offer a great opportunity for fish-out-of-water stories. Butlin's, for those unfamiliar with the chain, was an English institution, up there with mushy peas, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and losing in the

“Happy Birthday, Wanda June” at the Duke on 42nd Street

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. wrote this piece in 1970. For better or worse, it's highly relevant to America in 2018. It's about men who like to kill, and about men who don't. Harold Ryan (Jason O'Connell) is an Hemingway-esque sort of fellow, a hard-drinking, war-fighting, animal-hunting he-man. He's been missing 8 years in the Amazon with his pilot Colonel Looseleaf Harper (Craig Wesley Divino) who dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and who seems rather sad about it. Harold has been declared legally dead, and this creates something of a problem when he turns up on his birthday. His wife, Penelope (Kate MacCluggage),

“The Niceties” at The Studio at Stage II

The Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Eleanor Burgess' “The Niceties” is a thoroughly enjoyable, thoughtful piece. Set at an elite university in the northeast, it is the story of a white, female, history professor and an ambitious, black woman majoring in political science. They meet to discuss the latter's paper on the American revolution, and the exchange rapidly takes them into discussions of race, privilege and generational attitudes. It gets ugly, and the premise that these sisters are on the same side in The Struggle rings hollow. Yet, somehow, it irritates because there was so much potential that went unrealized

A Few Minutes with Ethan Hova of “The Nap”

Stagebiz.com recently caught up with Ethan Hova who is playing in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of “The Nap,” probably the best (only) play ever written about snooker, a version of pool that is to 8-ball what chess is to tic-tac-toe. He kindly answered our questions about the play, snooker, and his career. Stagebiz: The Nap, like a lot of comedies, depends on a degree of chemistry among the actors. How did the cast find that and how easily did it happen? Hova: It's a kind, funny group of people, so finding chemistry wasn’t hard. Alexandra Billings is a catalyst for real

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