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-+*It begins with a funeral. It ends with a funeral. In between are jarring gun shots, explosions, fire, war, revolution, murder, suicide, blood, death—and everywhere passion, passion for a loved one, passion for a cause, passion for a home. The story of Doctor Zhivago, adapted from the movie based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, is huge, sweeping in scope. Even with a few lovely musical moments and some fine performances, this is a heavy, heavy evening in the theater.
-+*You’ll get a kick out of Something Rotten if you brush up your Shakespeare once you decide whether you want to be or not to be in attendance. If you get what’s going on in the previous sentences, then Something Rotten may be a show for you. It is packed with inside jokes — Shakespearean jokes, musical theatre jokes, gay jokes, feminist jokes, Jewish jokes, Puritan jokes, rock star jokes, star-crossed lover jokes and some just plain jokes. More than any show in recent memory your enjoyment of Something Rotten depends on where you’re coming from.
-+*It could have been created during the Golden Age of Broadway, so seamlessly integrated is the extraordinary, ballet-driven musical An American in Paris. The George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin score would have been enough by itself. Add to that the dancing, singing, acting, lighting, costumes and scenery (which seems to dance as well) all built on the vision of the newest brilliant choreographer-director, and the effect is overwhelmingly thrilling.
Welcome to the age of Christopher Wheeldon on Broadway.
-+*Georg Büchner, in Germany, is considered one of the nation’s greatest writers, and their most prestigious literary prize is named after him. However, productions of his plays are rare in this country, most likely to be found on university and college campuses—even during the bicentenary of his birth in 2013. That is why I was so especially keen to see the No-Win Productions’ staging of his most famous play, Woyzeck, in Jeremy Duncan Pape’s adaptation, entitled Woyzeck, FJF (the protagonist’s initials).
-+*A main curtain that challenges the Chrysler Building in Art Deco beauty. Four luggage-tossing, red-capped porters who tap dance and sing their way across the stage. Then the big reveal of the huge 20th Century Limited train itself—blue-gray metallic, slanted out toward the audience under the black iron and glass ceiling. Surely this set, which appears only once in the show, is the most magnificent Broadway has seen in years.
-+*very character in The Insurgents, a new play by Lucy Thurber at The Bank Street Theater, is or has been disenfranchised. Sally Wright, played by Cassie Beck, has lost her athletic scholarship and returns to a dead-end, no hope town in the rural Northeast, joining her father, a drinker and womanizer and her brother who can’t get anything right.
-+*After its impressive fall production of Conor McPherson’s Port Authority (2001), the Irish Rep has moved on to an older play from an older generation, Hugh Leonard’s Da (1978), which was a huge success in New York and on a ten-month American tour, winning all three of the major Best Play awards in 1978, the Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and the Tony. It premiered off-off Broadway, soon transferred to the Morosco Theatre on Broadway (which fell prey to the wrecker’s ball shortly afterwards) and almost became a New York institution over its 687 performances. It was made into an American film in 1988, with Martin Sheen playing Charlie opposite Barnard Hughes, who created the role of Da on stage.
-+*Kentucky Cantata by Paul David Young is supposed to be about issues of important issues of our time including violence against women, race and immigration. However, it doesn’t rise to the importance of these.