Stage Biz

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Chita Rivera Awards 2018 at NYU Skirball Center

At the Chita Rivera Awards on Sunday, Tony Yazbeck, winner of Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show (for Prince of Broadway), a gentleman onstage and off, modern-day mensch of movement, and the Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire (for whom the Awards were previously named) of this era, recalled his journey to becoming a true triple threat: "Dance has been part of my soul since I was four. I was a dancer first and foremost, and when I was a kid I never wanted to do anything else. Then I did Gypsy and saw Tyne Daly, through song, dance and

Mobile Unit: Henry V at The Public Theater

At any given moment in a theatrical season, it is likely there is a Shakespearean production being performed in both major and minor theatres and cities across the English-speaking world. The Bard’s relentless staying power is undeniable. But how do modern companies keep the work fresh and relevant, particularly the Histories, many of which are set in times, places and about people which seem to bear little significance on contemporary life in America? One simple answer is that at the root of all of these stories lie rich, complex and utterly human characters whose grappling with their struggles and delights in their

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

Babette’s Feast at The Theatre at St. Clement’s

In the course of my many years watching live theater, I have, several times, been fascinated when something goes wrong during a performance. And I’ll tell you why a bit later. Conceived and developed by Abigail Killeen, written by Rose Courtney and directed by Karin Coonrod, the Theatre at St. Clement’s production of BABETTE’S FEAST owes more to the original Isak Dinesen short story than to the Oscars-winning 1987 film of the same name. Set in the late 1800s in the small village of Berlevǻg, Norway, it tells the story of two lovely sisters, Martine (Abigail Killeen) and Philippa (Juliana Francis Kelly),

A Walk in the Woods: The Barrow Group Mainstage

A play about nuclear arms negotiations in the 1980s should be a dated piece of interest only to historians of theatre, and perhaps, of nuclear strategy. Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods” is as relevant today as it was when it was written almost 30 years ago, though. For one thing, our world hasn’t grown out of nuclear threats, a disappointment felt heavily by those of us who thought the end of the Cold War might mean something better. More importantly, though, Blessing’s script isn’t about throw-weights, megadeaths, SLCMs, ICBMs, Pershing IIs and SS-20s (I’ll spare you the definitions,

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

Theatre: Musicals Tonight! presents ‘Calamity Jane’ at the Lion Theatre

This will serve as both a review and a testimonial. Mel Miller, the artistic director of Musicals Tonight!, has announced that "Calamity Jane," his hundredth production, will be Musicals Tonight!’s last. For two decades he’s produced vest-pocket versions of musicals ranging in original size from intimate to enormous, and ranging in fame from household-word to incredibly obscure. He’s given us operetta ("Mlle. Modiste," "Naughty Marietta"), New York premieres of good West End shows ("Hoi Polloi," "Love from Judy"), Broadway flops that improved on his small stage ("My Favorite Year"), out-of-town casualties by major writers ("That’s the Ticket"), and musicals we

From the Horse’s Mouth: A Celebration of Egyptian Dance in All its forms and Traditions

The evening begins with an invocation to Egyptian goddess Hathor, praising her as “mistress of dance,” and “lady of jubilation.” But the woman who takes the stage is more evocative of Egyptian goddess Bastet with feline features and a catlike stride. Her stature barely surpasses 5 feet and yet she commands the entire space of the Theater at the 14th Street Y with her stately presence. This is Magda Saleh, the woman of honor and inspiration for this week long series of events and performances celebrating Egyptian dance, “in all its forms and traditions.” Ms. Saleh sets the tone with an

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

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