Opening this week on Broadway:
An American in Paris
It Shoulda Been You
The King and I
Check out April openings for details.
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
Hand to God
Funny, filthy, violent and sensitive…Hand to God is not just a theatrical version of Triumph the Insult Dog. It is full of surprises. At times, it teeters close to horror…There is also full-fledged, over-the-top satire. Each of the characters behaves in their own outlandish ways. But we aren’t able to dismiss them simply as caricatures, as we might in a Saturday Night Live sketch. We are made to understand that each is looking for ways to find relief from their pain.
This is not a play for children. There is generous use of expletives. There is sex in the show – rough sex by humans and, far more graphically, by puppets. But it is a show for adults, with hints of psychological insights beneath the hysterical exterior.
Gigi, an imitation French confection of a musical starring High School Musical sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens, is based on a novella by Colette about two aging prostitutes grooming their illegitimate relative, a child of 15, to attach herself to a rich older man….Heidi Thomas, best known for penning the BBC TV series Call The Midwife, has revised the book to align the story more with current sensibilities. Yet the new revival of Gigi too often feels akin to dirty linen that’s been put through the wash too many times; it’s clean now and has a sheen, but it’s threadbare, intellectually and emotionally….
The Gigi at the Neil Simon is a romance between Gigi and Gaston (Corey Cott) that caters to the American tourist’s romantic notion of Paris, visually above all else [thanks to set designer Derek McLane, costume designer Catherine Zuber and lighting designer Natasha Katz.]… Hudgens does a reasonably good job of growing from girlish to womanly before our eyes, although her initial childishness is more adorable than credible. But Cott cannot disguise his boyishness; he gives off the vibe of an energetic young American, and, while he is a strong tenor, he has a speaking voice in a high enough register to suggest it may yet change. The lack of disparity in their ages will turn the musical for most theatergoers into a conventional love story. To buy the premise that he’s a world-weary sophisticate and she’s an innocent child on the cusp of womanhood, it would help to pretend their scenes together are part of a really good college production.
Full review of Gigi
Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2
It’ll be another three months before the American Revolution arrives on Broadway, with the hip-hop musical Hamilton. In the meantime, the Great White Way has been pledging allegiance to the British Crown, first with The Audience, a play in which Helen Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth II over 60 years, and now with Wolf Hall, Parts 1 and 2, two plays newly opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, in which Nathaniel Parker portrays Henry VIII over six long hours….As I left for the dinner break between the two plays, I realized that Part 1 was a shocking experience for me. But what shocked me was how dull I found it.
The Week in New York Theater News
Judith Malina, co-founder of The Living Theatre, June 4, 1926 – April 10, 2015
RIP Julie Wilson, a 7-time Bway vet (Pajama Game, Kismet) who went on to a stellar career in cabaret. pic.twitter.com/VgCKa21oO7
— Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) April 6, 2015
Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Mudge and Heather Lind to play the brilliant messed-up sisters in Melissa Ross’ new play, Of Good Stock, at MTC June 4-July 26
Katy Clark, head of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, named new President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
2015 Special @TheTonyAwards to Scenic artist Arnold Abramson Pr wiz @Bubbles2828 Tech wiz Gene O’Donovan pic.twitter.com/4DYGeC8x8y
— Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) April 7, 2015
The Week in Theater Wisdom And Argument
What Makes The Ideal Critic? A Twitter Chat
Anna Deavere Smith Jefferson Lecture
Autism-friendly theater began in NYC in 2011, and is spreading. It decreases stress levels of autistic.
Should an autistic actor have been cast in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? A lively debate (in comments section)
Week in Theater Promotions and Previews
How is marriage the same as doing Broadway? Entertainment Weekly asks David Hyde Pierce (director of It Shoulda BeenYou) “They both involve unions.”
How’s marriage different from doing Broadway “One is a life-changing religious experience.The other is marriage”
I walked by new @HamiltonMusical marquee at Richard Rodgers; weirdly thrilling! http://t.co/TksW9PTQda pic.twitter.com/yV4cQUW9Yw
— Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) April 10, 2015