Stage Biz

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Theatre: The New Group presents ‘Good for Otto’ at the Pershing Square Signature Center

Non-spoiler alert: the title character never appears in David Rabe's "Good for Otto", making its New York premiere onstage at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center.  Unlike Harvey the rabbit, the beloved pet hamster really exists.  His well-being is one of several crises in Rabe's passionate exploration of mental health providers and patients.  Like the subject matter, there are no easy solutions.  Such long-term perimeters limit the play's message that even its accomplished cast cannot answer in three hours. Rabe returns to his familiar theme of the extended family created by circumstance. Drs. Michaels (Ed

Black Light at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater

Jomama Jones is a celestial goddess,  a High Priestess from the cosmos who has come down to Earth through the channel of Daniel Alexander Jones, to inspire and teach (but never to preach) in Black Light, a godsend of a production now playing at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, as part of the mainstage season, through March 25th. There's even a specialty cocktail to mark the occasion, featuring activated charcoal with a purple glow stick as a stirrer to offset the darkness. We could all use a bit of aura cleansing and illumination at such crossroads, and an evening with

Jerry Springer The Opera Presented by The New Group at Pershing Square Signature Center

As Andy Warhol prophesied: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." If only he understood just how true that statement would become! The artist and businessman, also known for adoring, although possibly exploiting, misfits and outcasts by making them into his Superstars, paved the way for the talk show boom of the late 1980s into the 1990s, which birthed the likes of Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, Morton Downey Jr., and of course, Jerry Springer. But it was the guests, made famous for their infamous behaviors - the trannies, the trash talkers, people with quick tempers, loose

‘Anything Goes at Theatre Row’s Lion Theatre

I have had delicious earworm of “Anything Goes” since I saw this vivacious production at Theatre Row. Musicals Tonight! is having an epic 20th anniversary spring season with work that is truly exceptional. I had the great pleasure of seeing their brilliant “Boys From Syracuse” last month and with “Anything Goes” this month they are exceling at knocking our socks off. This 1934 Cole Porter classic must have been a joyful oasis and vital antidote to the Depression years. I left feeling so optimistic about everything - "It's delightful, it's delicious, It’s de-lovely! It has an infectious happiness about it

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,