Stage Biz

Welcome to Stage Biz!

One Thousand Nights and One Day at A.R.T/New York Theatres presented by Prospect Theater Company

Humankind is made up of stories: the stories we tell others, those we tell ourselves, our version of the story, and even history is only a series of stories stamped with a seal of approval to be considered by the ruling power as “the truth,” though it is no more than yet another observation or opinion on what transpired. Stories have the ability to make us -- for they are the foundation where legends and heroes are born. But they also have the power and capacity to break us and tear us apart from our own kind, to separate us

The Orchestra Now Presents Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall

The Orchestra Now (TŌN) lined up their end of March concert with two well-curated pieces, one lesser known, Walter Braunfel’s Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hektor Berlioz, Op. 25, and one renowned, Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14. Violinist Coline Berland opened the evening with a commentary on Braunfel and his piece, noting the composer’s tumultuous life, beginning as a successful musician and composer in the 1920s and 30s, but falling after the 40s when his music was labeled as degenerate. Berland added that Bruanfel’s work was “straight out of the romantic vein,” and emphasized TŌN’s effort to “revive a

Music: Exploring the Sights and Sounds of ‘Symphonie Fantastique’

Recently, two opportunities arose to hear Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fanstatique" within days of each other.  This isn't surprising - it's been a crowd pleaser since its 1830 premiere .  With that also comes with a lot of  "over"s" as in over-programmed and overwrought.  Happily, both Bard College's Orchestra Now (TŌN ) conducted by Music Director/College President Leon Botstein at Lincoln Center's Frederick P Rose Hall and Basil Twist's landmark abstract puppet ballet at HERE encouraged audiences to forget everything they thought they knew about this music to discover it for themselves.  Their thoughtful invitations to do so succeeded. Limited program notes made

Escape to Margaritaville on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre

Paul Alexander Nolan, Alison Luff and the cast of Escape to Margaritaville. Photo by Matthew Murphy. Photo above: Jimmy Buffett and cast. When April in New York City is ushered in by a blanket of snow, everyone could use a little getaway to somewhere warm, wonderful and inviting, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where one could entertain the unthinkable - to relax. For East Coast snowbirds who didn’t get the chance to fly south to Florida, or the Midwestern family of four who opted for The Big Apple instead of the Caribbean cruise, Escape From Margaritaville,

Theatre: The Flea Theater presents ‘MS. ESTRADA’ by the Q Brothers Collective

Malena Pennycook (center) and the cast of "Ms. Estrada". Photo: Hunter Canning.

This season female empowerment dominates two big Broadway musicals.  Sure, both "Frozen" and "Mean Girls" have female leads but those #MeToo connections are slightly perfunctory: the only change Disney princesses and a SNL alum bring to commercial theatre are record ticket sales + pricing along with celebrity audience sightings on Instagram.  For those in search of a night out with their tweens or long for an original musical with a positive message delivered by "woke" females there is "Ms. Estrada" - the Q Brothers Collective shrewd Hip-Hop adaptation of Aristophanes’ ancient sex farce in its world premiere at The Flea.  If

Rocktopia at The Broadway Theatre

Before there was Beatlemania, there was Lisztomania. The 19th Century Hungarian composer created such a fan frenzy that it would be the envy of any 20th or 21st Century musician - for classical music, along with Opera, and their creators, were the arena rock stars of their era. This grandness of mayhem and musicality is keenly felt in Rocktopia. So if you are looking for the most astounding arias, soaring symphonic sounds or incendiary electric guitar, you needn't bother with multiple trips to The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall or MSG - they're all under one roof at The Broadway Theatre! Rocktopia:

Babette’s Feast at The Theatre at St. Clement’s

In the course of my many years watching live theater, I have, several times, been fascinated when something goes wrong during a performance. And I’ll tell you why a bit later. Conceived and developed by Abigail Killeen, written by Rose Courtney and directed by Karin Coonrod, the Theatre at St. Clement’s production of BABETTE’S FEAST owes more to the original Isak Dinesen short story than to the Oscars-winning 1987 film of the same name. Set in the late 1800s in the small village of Berlevǻg, Norway, it tells the story of two lovely sisters, Martine (Abigail Killeen) and Philippa (Juliana Francis Kelly),

A Walk in the Woods: The Barrow Group Mainstage

A play about nuclear arms negotiations in the 1980s should be a dated piece of interest only to historians of theatre, and perhaps, of nuclear strategy. Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods” is as relevant today as it was when it was written almost 30 years ago, though. For one thing, our world hasn’t grown out of nuclear threats, a disappointment felt heavily by those of us who thought the end of the Cold War might mean something better. More importantly, though, Blessing’s script isn’t about throw-weights, megadeaths, SLCMs, ICBMs, Pershing IIs and SS-20s (I’ll spare you the definitions,

Music: the little OPERA theatre of ny in collaboration with New Vintage Baroque presents the New York City Premiere of Johann Adolph Hasse’s ‘Piramo e Tisbe’

Tisbe (Summer Hassan) wearing her fatal shawl and Piramo (Sarah Nelson Craft). Photo: Tina Buckman

Because early opera is highly regimented and at times surprisingly experimental, the right performance space makes all the difference.  The little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) presented the NYC premiere of Johann Adolph Hasse's "Piramo e Tisbe" at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on the East Side.  The CUNY campus housing the theatre is in the corporate, no-frills Kips Bay neighborhood - making its intimate size ideal for students and those new to opera.  Since the sold-out audience consisted primarily of students, and Hasse's 1768 opera (revised, 1770) was new to most likely new to everyone else, LOTNY and the New Vintage Baroque orchestra conducted by Elliot Figg  proved both outstanding musicians and

301 Views: A Night At The Movies

            My entire life I have been a considerable fan of sketch comedy. From more modern sketch like The Kids In The Hall to The State to The Whitest Guys You Know to the forerunners of sketch like Sid Ceasar, Carol Burnett and Monty Python among dozens of others. It’s the history of it all I love so much. It’s a medium that very few can excel in. On Wednesday March 7th The Sketch group, 301 Views, excelled at it. The performed to a capacity crowd who only added capacity laughs.            

Top