DRAGON SPRING PHOENIX RISE at The Shed is a 21st Century Kung Fu Spectacle

Swords whizzed past heads close enough to cut their opponents’ hair; dancers dropped from or rose to the sky like celestial beings dangling on a mere thread; acrobatic action scenes shifted into nightclub extravaganzas complete with vogueing routines; fire and water danced alongside the performers as elemental partners, adding to the danger and thrills. A dream team of talents was assembled to realize co-conceiver and director Chen Shi-Zheng’s vision that was initially inspired by observing Bruce Lee’s audition tape for his film debut at age 18. All of this and more came together to create Kung Fu spectacle Dragon Spring

A STRANGE LOOP Raises the Bar for Queer Black Representation and Sets a New Standard for Musicals Today

I first encountered A Strange Loop in 2015 at the Musical Theatre Factory when it was still located in a gay porn video warehouse above (the original) Drama Bookstore just around the corner of Port Authority. It was a mixed bag evening with various composers and lyricists trying out their works on performers, both eager to be heard amongst an audience of supportive peers instead of cruel critics. The song, which is the second-to-last 13 o’clock number for A Strange Loop now called “The Memory Song,” featured lyrics sung in rapid speed with mournful wailing by Larry Owens (the unconventional

BEETLEJUICE the Musical on Broadway

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Cheering his name three times from the rafters wouldn’t be nearly enough to glorify this utterly fantastic stage adaptation. Praise the dark forces that conjured such a demonic delight! Its wild antics and grotesque yet glittery depictions of the underworld have restored lightness, cheek-aching laughter (as well as glimmers of unexpected depth) and unabashed, over-the-top, go-for-broke fun back to Broadway that hasn’t been this good since The Book of Mormon took over the town. It is a crowd-pleasing wonder that’s as irresistible as it is playfully offensive, just like the namesake character, who could have only been

THE PROM on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre

The Prom, now playing at the Longacre Theatre, might just be the show that single-handedly puts the Broadway back into Broadway musicals. With rare yet notable exceptions, most of them Tony winners -- Fun Home, Hamilton, Come From Away, The Band’s Visit and Dear Evan Hansen (the latter of which The Prom is a close cousin of but the cheerier, more bubbly sort) -- most musicals being produced today are based on branded properties: film or book adaptations, jukebox creations where the songs are guaranteed to be memorable hits (they already are) or pop culture icons (Spiderman: Turn Off The

BROADWAY: GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER AT THE BELASCO THEATRE

(WARNING! Contains spoilers) New York City -- the most dazzling and difficult place to live out your wildest dreams and fantasies. They say: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” but truth be told, many don’t make it. Such was the case for Mitch Papadopoulos (played by Mitchell Jarvis) -- the protagonist of Gettin’ the Band Back Together -- a Jersey boy turned stockbroker who had to revert to living with his mother in his childhood hometown across the Hudson River in Sayreville, NJ, after his career took a nosedive when he turned forty. The show can be

Desperate Measures at New World Stages

It’s a rare thing when all of the elements come together perfectly to create true theatrical magic. One of the most recent examples of that kind of kismet is a delightfully riotous romp called Desperate Measures, now playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages after its multi-award winning (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Off Broadway Alliance) and numerously extended run at the York Theater last year. The plot, which examines how justice is served and manipulated, is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure. The setting is the Wild West where Johnny Blood (Conor Ryan) waits in jail with a drunken,

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

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,

Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical Experience at (Le) Poisson Rouge

Sit back, grab a drink and strap yourself in for a ride on this sonically brilliant, delightfully cheeky romp through '90s nostalgia that's easily the most fun you'll have on or Off Broadway all year! With the current conditions of the world, it's no surprise and perhaps even the responsibility of the arts to portray and reflect upon where we are and how we got here. The result is (or can be) impactful and deep yet often heavy work laden with meaning and statements on our state of affairs. Even in comedic or satirical efforts such as Mankind or Jerry Springer

“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,

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