The first musical I was ever involved with in any capacity was as a freshman in high school helping with the production of, "Fiddler on the Roof". Since then the show has always held a very noteworthy region in my heart. Fiddler on The Roof was and is just about the most significant piece of musical theater ever. It's themes and stories still remain relevant today and reflects that with the worlds ever growing refugee and immigration conflicts. A sequel to a musical is rare and often hasn't worked. But unlike other musicals Fiddler leaves you with so many unanswered
This past Saturday, August 11th, 2018, presented a transcendently commemorative close to 2018’s Mostly Mozart Festival. With esteemed conductor Louis Langrée at the helm, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and Concert Chorale of New York partnered with an accomplished group of soloists to bring three of Mozart’s most beloved works to life: Meistermusik, Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K.467, and Requiem. The evening opener, Meistermusik, served as an abbreviated sample of Mozart’s contribution to masonic music, with an approximate length of six minutes. As mentioned in Christopher H. Gibbs’ program notes, the composition was structured around a Gregorian chant
In 1963, Peter Hall and John Barton crafted a defining trilogy - The Wars of the Roses, out of the texts of Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. It was a production that would bring global attention to the newly formed Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2015, director Trevor Nunn attempted a similar feat with his production of The Wars of the Roses which was a 9-hour experience of these four plays, that took place on an entire Saturday. In Austin Pendleton’s 2018 production of Wars of the Roses: Henry VI & Richard III he compresses Henry VI part 3
The Hole is one of the most powerful productions I have ever seen. I know in the future when this show achieves its meteoric success, I will remember fondly that I got to see its magnificence before the ticket prices were Hamilton impossible. It’s that perfect confluence of a sagacious playwright, astounding performers and an intuitive director. I was totally absorbed in every single moment, character transformation and life lesson – I was literally on the edge of my seat, craning forward towards the action, unable to look away. Zhailon Levingston has written this piece in the blood of our time.
Jukebox musicals stand or fall on the strength of the songs and the ability of the performers to deliver on them. Plot and character often feel bolted on. In the case of “Breaking up is Hard to Do,” the music of Neil Sedaka forms the reason for the show, and the Centre Stage cast in Greenville, SC, deliver. I rather wish the book by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters gave the performers more scope for their talents. I feel that way about a lot of jukebox musicals. The plot is “Dirty Dancing” meets “Grease.” Set at a Catskills resort in
Brand New Jew, A DNA Comedy presents a clever and relevant premise – what would you do if your DNA ancestry test turns up information that forces you to fundamentally change your belief systems and world view? Monica Bauer poses this fascinating question in her pithy one-woman solo show. She is an adopted child who was raised in a staunch Catholic, Polish family with an anti-Semitic father. Her DNA ancestry test reveals that she is 71% Jewish with “family” having died in the Holocaust. She strives to fathom the best route to reconcile these different cultural and religious aspects of
Vivian’s Music, 1969 is a sensuous, intoxicating experience. It is inspired by a tragic true story that leaves you feeling bereft. This production doesn’t require any additional bells and whistles. The text and the performances are so rich, complex, layered and absorbing you really don’t need any further embellishments. This magical piece is on its way to the the Edinburgh festival where productions famously have about 8 minutes to “get-in” i.e. no time for elaborate sets, costumes, lightings etc. It is vital for a theater company to strip down the staging to its bare bones whilst maintaining a mighty punch.
Dear Diary LOL is the funniest show I have seen in ages. I was laughing like a hyena, snorting my fruit punch out of my nose and slapping my plus-one with the demented fervor of an overzealous evangelist. It’s all due to the verbatim diary entries of six tween-teens from the late 90s/early 2000s. These women willingly offered up their younger selves’ musings to lead artist, Francesca Montanile Lyons of the Antigravity Performance Project, to create this compelling gem. Francesca Montanile Lyons mined her own middle school diary and those of her willing friends – Megan Thibodeaux, Alicia Crosby, Nikki Hudgins,
Feudal Japan might seem an unlikely setting for the Shakespearean masterpiece known as the “Scottish play,” but in actuality it could not be more interesting or appropriate, as was made clear through the vision of the late director, Yukio Ninagawa’s emotionally compelling, visually electrifying ode to the Bard’s killer couple -- NINAGAWA Macbeth -- playing at the David H. Koch Theater as part of Lincoln Center’s annual acclaimed Mostly Mozart Festival. This exceptional revival of Ninagawa’s landmark 1980 production was the last production overseen by the legendary director before his death in 2016 and these performances mark the work’s final
Before We’re Gone is a sumptuous exploration of second chances. It has the rhythm and smell of nostalgia –like you are watching a lost play of Lillian Hellman, Tennesee Williams, Arthur Miller or Edward Elbee. The characters are meticulously drawn and we fall into their lives like a Saint Bernard on an old sofa –its immensely satisfying and comfortable to experience. Every element of this production is a memory trigger and it feels like you are walking with an old friend in deep conversation dissecting roads taken, paths avoided and future forks worth navigating. The rich, potent text has been written