Showing posts from August, 2022


New York, New York August 23, 2022 -- When the lights came up on Stephen Sondheim's glorious musical Into The Woods the audience went wild applauding. In the end, the reception was well earned. Several fairytales are braided into one comical and disturbing story executed by a stupendous cast. Conceived by Sondheim, written by James Lapine, and skillfully directed by Lear DeBessonet, this production transferred from City Center Encores! with just a couple of cast replacements. The result: brilliant. Perched above the stage, the orchestra conducted by Rob Berman, bolsters the soundscape. Matched to perfection, the cast features James D'arcy, the slightly wishy-washy baker; his spot-on wife, Sara Bareilles, and the wicked Witch with attitude, Patina Miller. Childhood fables form a crossroads between the likes of Little Red Riding Hood , Jack and The Beanstalk , Rapunzel , Cinderella plus a Mysterious Man (Rumpelstiltskin-type character). Intent on getting to grandma'


New York, New York August 21, 2022 -- Not an era known for its gaiety, the 1929 crash destroyed many lives and plunged the country into a soul-crushing depression. Presented by Less Than Rent at 59E59, The Panic of '29 features a sharp group of actors in an intimate play buoyed by jazz music. Caught in the noose of the financial crash, the smartly dressed, and very wealthy Richard Whitney (Erik Locktefeld) takes a financial dive. His secretary, Dot (Olivia Puckett) escapes the cascading dilemma and arrives at a jazz joint fronted by Eva (Joyelle Nicole Johnson) and featuring nightly vocal entertainment by the accomplished Lady Generosity (Julia Knitel). Written by Graham Techler, and directed by Max Friedman, the "Roaring Twenties" draw the audience into speakeasies, flappers in boas and fringe (by Corina Chase), gritty suspects, cops and flim-flam artists. Suddenly everyone goes into an upside-down world, where the wealthy tango with the con artists and plain ole&#


New York, New York August 1, 2022 -- A committed cast barrels into the Park Avenue Armory with Robert Icke's interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet . Young and confused, Hamlet (a transformative Alex Lawther) is caught in an existential dilemma when his father dies at the hands of his brother Claudius. Within two months of that trauma, Hamlet's mother Gertrude (a marvelous Jennifer Ehle) marries Claudius (the stentorian Angus Wright). In a suspended state of indecision, the highly kinetic Hamlet resembles a hummingbird spiriting from one conclusion to another, plotting lethal ruses, and ambiguously tangoing with his love, Ophelia (Kirsty Rider). Contemporary in look (sets and costumes by Hildegard Bechtler), the language, thankfully, hews to the cadences of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter, a rhythm that's said to mimic the heartbeat. Immediately assuming the royal air of a king, Claudius feigns concern for Hamlet and his well being, while simultaneously surveill