Push Party –- TheaterLab

Push Party is the story of five black women who have gathered to celebrate one of them giving birth. Set in a community room of a Harlem apartment building, the piece is not for the faint of heart. In the lobby, there is a sign that warns the audience about the content, which includes: drugs, sexual assault- a miscarriage. fibroids, violence, graphic references, STIs and Interracial relationships. While it may sound like heavy going, the show flies by thanks to witty writing, a great set and a cast that performs as a true ensemble. It is not a laugh fest, but

Will “Suffs” Have Enough To Snuff Out The Competition This Season

    Suffragette!!!! Ohhhh!!! Ohhhhh!!! As Sir Paul McCartney once sang or thereabouts. “Suffs,” is the latest Broadway sensation nominated for 6 Tony Awards and executive produced by Hillary Clinton. “Suffs” transports audiences back to the heart of the suffragette movement in 1917. This bombastic and poignant musical, led by Shaina Taub, a multifaceted talent who wears many hats as the writer, composer, and star, shines a bright light on the historical journey of the courageous women fighting for the right to vote. In the spirit of Lin Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking work with “Hamilton,” Taub showcases her brilliance, promising a masterpiece that

Uncle Vanya: Tragically Funny

If Lincoln Center's revival of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya feels both timely and timeless, we can thank playwright and actress Heidi Schreck for her smart adaptation of the 1898 classic. With no references to anything that would place the story in a particular time or place (money is referred to as dollars, people reference “calling” each other rather than “calling on” someone), the play becomes universal—and all the more poignant. In Schreck’s hands, the lengthy Russian names become Anglicized and more approachable for American audiences—Aleksandr is now Alexander and Yelena is Elena, for example. But Ivan is still affectionately called Vanya

Patriots: Absolute Power

Peter Morgan has written any number of excellent plays, movies and TV series about world leaders, from Richard Nixon to Idi Amin to Queen Elizabeth II. But Patriots, his latest piece directed by Rupert Goold and running through June 23 the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, does not carry the same weight as Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland or The Audience (or The Queen, or The Crown for that matter). It’s not that the story doesn’t have grand ambitions, but Patriots does not quite reach its goals. The play follows Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose love of numbers makes him a

The Great Gatsby Grants A Gratuitous Look At The On Going Wealth Gap

            The new musical adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" on Broadway seems to be in a race to outdo other shows that feature more rain than you can shake a stick at and more cars than Jerry Seinfeld could handle. Jay Gatsby, the self-made enigma and party king of West Egg, Long Island, is a man of insecurities hidden behind a facade of wealth, constantly teetering on the edge of exposure. Like all men.   In this dazzling Jazz Age production, Gatsby’s grand gestures to impress the high society, from showcasing his Oxford photo like a desperate salesman to transforming his neighbor Nick's

The Great Gatsby: Not So Great

We all knew the musical adaptations of The Great Gatsby would be coming as soon as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 book entered the public domain, and the first of what will inevitably be many such productions is finally open at the Broadway Theater. And much like Jay Gatsby’s signature parties, the new musical is very flashy and bright and loud but there’s not an awful lot underneath. Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen’s score is full of bright pop songs that don’t really evoke the 1920s or the wild hedonism of pre-Depression New York. The songs are fine but not terribly memorable,

Rachel McAdams shows us how to do it in “Mary Jane”

          As if I didn't have enough reasons to not have children. “Mary Jane” written by Amy Herzog (who once again hardens the fact that she is America’s premiere playwright) gives us the best reasons for living a childless life. The economic climate, wealth disparity, food shortages. The future seems nothing but despondent so any effort to have children at this point strikes me as particularly selfish from a parental viewpoint (and I’ve raised both animals and other people's children). That being said, I currently work with and have worked with many students who were wheelchair-bound and on inhalation devices which is never a sight one wants to behold for their child. The loss of a three-year-old by a mother is

Sally & Tom: History Repeats

Sally Hemings is one of the great known-unknowns of American history. We know she existed. We know she bore children to Thomas Jefferson, the man who enslaved her. We know she was likely the half-sister of Jefferson’s late wife. We know she outlived him and, while she never officially got to experience freedom, she was “given her time” and allowed to essentially retire from the horrific work of plantation life. But if she ever was able to write down her own thoughts, that writing has not survived to the present day. If she told anyone the story of her life

Cabaret: So, Life is Disappointing

The timing feels very right for a revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s seminal musical Cabaret. It’s only been 10 years since the last Broadway revival of the show but seems incredibly necessary right now to get people talking about how easy it is to ignore danger until it’s too late. It also feels very timely to have a production of Cabaret directed by a woman, especially as the choices Sally Bowles makes throughout the show become increasingly controversial. Since Christopher Isherwood first created the character of Sally Bowles, she has been interpreted by men, from John Van

I’m an Insider Now That I’ve Seen The Outsiders

When I stepped out into the bright stage light I was brought back to 1967. In 1983 at age 7 I first saw "The Outsiders". I watched it over and over again. I didn't realize why I needed to watch it so often until now. The themes of loss, trauma, one's inner fight, rich man poor man, and most importantly the need for an opportunity to get out and on the road are alive and well in this story. Then in 8th grade, I had to read the book. What I mostly remember is how mean Pony Boy was to" Cherry