Smart Blonde at 59 E 59

“There are some who think Judy Holliday was the greatest comic actress of all time, and some who think she was simply the greatest comic actress of the century.” That’s David Shipman in The Great Movie Stars (the International Years), but it could be any film historian or astute film buff. The former Judith Tuvim of Queens just had a lighter, subtler touch, and greater ability to make you laugh and move you at the same time, than anybody else; her line readings were so precise, said George Cukor, who directed five of her 11 films, she’d give you a

“Kiss Me Kate” at Studio 54

There’s only one other full-size Broadway musical revival in town right now, that thing uptown about Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, so fans of golden age musicals had better hie themselves to Kiss Me Kate. But on arriving, they may find the 1948 classic, with a book by Sam and Bella Spewack and a career-high score by Cole Porter, has been tampered with to an unhealthy degree. To be sure, there’s still plenty of glory for the eye and ear. That starts with Mr. Porter’s fabulous work, a triumph for a composer-lyricist who had thought the then-recent revolution pioneered by Rodgers

The Pattern at Pendarvis at HERE Arts Center

So what’s a Pendarvis, and what sort of pattern does it contain? Behind Dean Gray’s somewhat cryptic title is a sweet, sincere, but very small exploration of Midwestern mid-20th century life, and how varying small-town factions got along together, or didn’t. Its source material, Will Fellows’ 2004 book A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture, probably tells us more. What’s onstage at HERE, a production of the New Dog Theatre Company, amounts to a snapshot—an intriguing snapshot, but one with a frustratingly blurry focus. Dean Gray’s three-character drama of gay life in homophobic 20th century Wisconsin is sweet

Theatre: Musicals Tonight! presents ‘Calamity Jane’ at the Lion Theatre

This will serve as both a review and a testimonial. Mel Miller, the artistic director of Musicals Tonight!, has announced that "Calamity Jane," his hundredth production, will be Musicals Tonight!’s last. For two decades he’s produced vest-pocket versions of musicals ranging in original size from intimate to enormous, and ranging in fame from household-word to incredibly obscure. He’s given us operetta ("Mlle. Modiste," "Naughty Marietta"), New York premieres of good West End shows ("Hoi Polloi," "Love from Judy"), Broadway flops that improved on his small stage ("My Favorite Year"), out-of-town casualties by major writers ("That’s the Ticket"), and musicals we

“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,

The Thing With Feathers

The Thing With Feathers The Barrow Group Theatre Snapshot Review: Creepy, Persuasive, Uneven Marc Miller, Reviewer Treacherous business, social media. Is that kind voice at the other end really who he says he is? Is he hiding something? Will a casual online encounter have unexpected consequences? Such everyday 21st century ruminations permeate The Thing with Feathers, Scott Organ’s creepy little drama premiering at the Barrow Group. The title alludes to Emily Dickinson, of course, and Emily Dickinson is where it begins, with Anna (Alexa Shae Niziak), a clever, restless, Internet-savvy teen, chatting remotely about Dickinson’s poetry with Eric (Zachary Booth), her new online friend. He’s

The Parisian Woman

The Parisian Woman Hudson Theatre Snapshot Review: Shallow but Satisfying Marc Miller, Reviewer Imagine being a fly on a wall of a tony Capitol Hill townhouse, one where confidences are shared, deals are made, and betrayals are everyday bargaining chips. Such is the environment in Beau Willimon’s shallow but satisfying The Parisian Woman, enjoying a savory production at the newly reopened, equally tony Hudson Theatre. Willimon, the force behind House of Cards and author of a previous and superior inside-Washington play, Farragut North, hasn’t much on his mind but illustrating the horse-trading and flexible alliances behind political appointments, but he does illustrate