Matthew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ at New York City Center

Matthew Ball as The Swan. Photo: Johan Persson

  "DO NOT FEED THE SWANS" reads the sign posted at the edge of the lake The Prince (James Lovell) staggers towards.  Drunk, unhappy and unloved, he's ready to end it all when The Swan (Matthew Ball) who has haunted his dreams appears.  Like a real swan, he and his flock are beautiful.  Further defining their species and most unlike the traditional ballet kind, they are aggressive.  This flock will bite off whole hands of those daring feeding them.  Guided by the moonlight, Tchaikovsky's music and Sir Matthew Bourne's spectacular choreography, the Prince and Swan form an unbreakable union defying both

DOCTORS JANE AND ALEXANDER at HERE

  DOCTORS JANE AND ALEXANDER is a deeply intimate journey through the deconstructed thoughts of the playwright, Edward Einhorn, as he wrestles with memory, nostalgia and doubt. UNTITLED THEATER COMPANY No. 61 presents this world premiere that interrogates Einhorn's lineage as the grandchild of the famous doctor, Alexander Wiener, who discovered the RH factor in blood. While this is the jumping off point, the piece is far more complex and layered as a mediation on the challenging bonds of one's blood family. Einhorn sets out to discover as much as he can about his enigmatic grandfather through interviews with family members in order to

‘The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker’ at La MaMa

Puppet by Theodora Skipitares. Photo by Jane Catherine Shaw

  Imagine being  a primarily self-taught scientist who wrote several almanacs, built a clock that ran 50 years, corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and was so brilliant performing measurements you were invited to survey what become Washington, D.C.  With those accomplishments you'd rate a statue in the Nation's Capital, right?  Afraid not.  Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) has a Park, but still no monument.  The current administration and their congressional minions are too busy building false facades to themselves to recognize the accomplishments of a great African-American thinker - or any for that matter.  In place of permanence and as a precursor to Black History

Under the Radar Festival: THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

When the lights come up, one immediately observes what could only be a silverback gorilla. The gait, the strut, the way he pounds his chest and paces the stage -- anyone who has seen a nature film or visited a zoo would find these distinctive characteristics undeniable. But why is he there, what is this about? Suddenly and unexpectedly, after the attendees have spent some time with the ape, the performer morphs into a couple, then an obnoxious and rowdy child, followed by a gentle yet absent-minded mother, a passionate but perturbed photographer and, finally, an annoyed older man. This

Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) Presents ‘Timon of Athens’

  The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) approximates that the Bard wrote Timon of Athens and King Lear between 1604-1606.  Lear is a masterpiece about dysfunctional families, abuse of power and neglecting the elderly.  Timon is a "problem" play Shakespeare co-wrote with Thomas Middleton offering neither redemption nor emotional satisfaction. Though Timon might pose problems in a required rote humanities class and repertory justification, the rise and fall of a historic figure from Plutarch provides a cautionary tale: what happened to Timon can happen to anyone, the moral being the rich stick to their own kind.  Not exactly the perfect benefit night offering.  Since the protagonist lives in frivolous, dangerous times, the

New Ohio Theatre for Young Minds presents UP CLOSE FESTIVAL

  Being the reviewer is fun stuff but can be awkward - particularly when covering children's theatre, when the only reactions that matter most are from those wearing glittery unicorn horns and holding a parent or grandparent's hand.  Therefore, it's heartening that New Ohio Theatre takes such good care keeping them entertained and informed at their second UP CLOSE FESTIVAL. Rather than a seasonal story, UP CLOSE is about community; specifically, the Village.  Kids and their adults are divided into small groups and enter the theatre via a secret knock (it really works!).  They are greeted by Pizza Rat (Marisol Rosa-Shapiro), emcees their hour-long (give

Metamorphosis” at Soho Playhouse, Fringe Encore Series

One of the highlights of this year's edition of the Annual Fringe Encore Series is Sam Chittenden's take on Kafka's novella, "Metamorphosis." While the script is intriguing, the performance of Heather-Rose Andrews in this one-woman show is what makes the production stand out. Kafka's tale is simple enough, Grego Samsa wakes up one morning to discover he has changed into an insect. Chittenden spins this in an interesting way by using Greta Samsa, Gregor's much younger sister, to tell the tale. Her metamorphosis from child to woman takes place against the backdrop of her brother's unlikely and disturbing change. Gregor's change

Dorrance Dance Brings Tap “Nutcracker” to Joyce Theater

I know what you are thinking. Great, yet another version of the Nutcracker at Christmas. Just what we need. Well, this one IS just the one we need. While the more traditional versions are taking up space that would otherwise be used for a retread of “A Christmas Carol,” Michelle Dorrance and her dancers have brought to the Joyce a fun, whimsical version of the Tchaikovsky classic by way of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The result is a dance performance that breathes new life (and fun) into what has become tradition at best and cliché at worst. It is tempting to

The Rat Pack Is Back and Rudy Fusco Leads The Charge As Joey Bishop

One of my favorite subjects has always been the Rat Pack. Ever since I was a child and visited my grandparents up the block from my parents home on May Street. My very Italian grandmother always had some sort of traditional crooned music playing. Frank Sinatra was always at the head of those listening sessions along with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and a host of others.  A majorly talented group of entertainers that first started with Humphrey Bogart and Eva Gardner and finally ended with Joey Bishop when he died in October of 2007. The last of the Rat

The New Stage Theatre Company’s ‘Near to the Wild Heart’

Sarah Lemp, Markus Hirnigel. Photo by Nonoka Judit Sipos.

    2020 marks the centennial of Clarice Lispector's birth.  The Ukrainian-Jewish refugee who settled in Brazil has long been acclaimed as a feminist trailblazer in male dominated South American literature.  Fortunately, her canon is newly translated into English.   The New Stage Theatre Company celebrates Lispector with an evocatively uncompromising adaptation of Near to the Wild Heart.  Artistic director Ildiko Nemeth's production is both an English-language premiere and first-ever North American stage adaptation of Lispector's 1943 debut novel. Lispector's writing is semi-autobiographical and surreal - the artistically experimental, not the hashtag kind.  The "Wild Heart" belongs to Joana (Sarah Lemp), who is smart, bored and unhappily married to Otavio

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