Broadway Season Finale. Awards Up The Wazoo. The Week in New York Theater

The Broadway 2017-2018 season has ended, and the New York theater award season has begun. The Tony nominations will be announced tomorrow.

 

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Ranked, starting with my favorite

Harry Hadden-Paton, Lauren Ambrose, and Allan Corduner in “The Rain in Spain”

My Fair Lady Review: Unromantic Eliza in Lavish Revival

Lincoln Center’s sumptuous fourth Broadway revival of “My Fair Lady,” the supremely tuneful and witty 1956 Lerner and Lowe musical adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s pointed 1913 play “Pygmalion,” features a revelation and a looming question for those who know the musical.
The revelation is Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle, and the question is: Does the story still work if we see no romantic feelings develop between Eliza and Henry Higgins, her bullying speech teacher?

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Whatever the extent of your Potter training, prepare to be dazzled.  The special effects are awe-inspiring…The illusions are just one part of the extraordinary stagecraft.

The Iceman Cometh

Yes, Denzel Washington is the reason audiences are drawn to the fifth Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, just as the hopeless drunks who inhabit Harry Hope’s saloon are drawn to Hickey, the character Washington is portraying. Hickey is a happy-go-lucky traveling salesman who arrives every year on Harry’s birthday to buy them all drinks and lift their spirits.

Hickey disappoints the barflies this year; he’s stopped drinking, and is on a mission to turn them all sober and make them face their delusions.

But, in this production directed by George C. Wolfe…the barflies themselves do not disappoint.  A strong ensemble cast of 19, mostly veteran actors with familiar faces (some with familiar names), persuasively play a dive full of colorful characters..

Patrick Kerr, Scarlette Strallen, Dan Butler, Seth Numrich, Opal Alladin, Peter McDonald, Sara Topham and Tom Hollander

Travesties Review: Silly and Serious History and Art via Tom Stoppard

In the first scene of Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties,” the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, the Irish novelist James Joyce, and the Romanian avant-garde artist Tristan Tzara are all sitting in a library in Zurich, Switzerland in 1917, when Tzara takes a manuscript he’s just finished writing, cuts it with a pair of scissors into small strips of paper, and sticks the pieces of paper into his hat. Then he empties his hat onto the table and reads some of the pieces.

It’s exactly the sort of thing that Tzara, one of the early twentieth century founders of the Dada “anti-art” movement, would do. It’s also more or less the same approach that Stoppard takes in his brilliant, clever and mind-boggling collage of a play.

Luckily, the first Broadway revival of Stoppard’s 1974 play turns this challenging exercise in virtuosity into an often-hilarious entertainment, with lively direction by Patrick Marber and a spot-on eight-member cast led by the terrific Tom Hollander.

Ato Blankson Wood and Juan Castano

Transfers Review: Escape from New York, If They Get The Scholarship

Two bright but poor Bronx-born students who are vying for a scholarship…. “Transfers” attempts to dramatize the inequities in the American system of higher education; it asks a raft of stimulating questions, most  of them indirectly…But too much of the dialogue that prompts these questions simply doesn’t ring true.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Review and Pics

Summer features 23 of Donna Summer’s songs, including such dance hits as “Hot Stuff” and “Last Dance,” that a talented cast performs in glitzy disco drag. That may be all some fans need from this thin Broadway musical that purports to tell the life story of the singer born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, who had a wildly successful career from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s…It’s probably inaccurate to say that most theatergoers would be disappointed by Summer: The Donna Summer Musical – because few would expect much in the first place from yet another commercial bio drama jukebox musical.

Saint Joan Review: Condola Rashad as Shaw’s Teenage Martyr Resurrected Once Again on Broadway

In the ninth Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan,” director Daniel Sullivan has assembled a skillful cast of 19 to offer what feels like a straightforward history lesson about Joan of Arc, the 15th century teenage soldier turned martyr and then saint. The lesson is intelligent, competent, at times intriguing, but also talky, statically staged, and a long three hours long.

The Week in New York Theater Awards

New York Theater Awards – Guide and Calendar

2018 Outer Critics Circle Nominations: Spongebob, Harry Potter, My Fair Lady lead

2018 Drama Desk Award Nominations: Carousel, Spongebob, Mean Girls Lead

2018 Chita Rivera Award Nominations for Dance in Theater: Carousel leads

Tony Awards

The Week in New York Theater News

Lea Michele, second from right, offered advice to the Florida students. With her, from left, were her Broadway castmates Gideon Glick, Lauren Pritchard and Jonathan Groff.

Parkland Survivors Get a Broadway Master Class in Healing

The original Broadway cast members of “Spring Awakening,” including Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, showed up in the audience at the Boca Black Box theater, which is 10 miles away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Feb. 14 school shooting that left 17 dead. A third of the cast members in this local “Spring Awakening,” are students at the school.

Lauren Ridloff on making Children of A Lesser God accessible onstage and backstage.

Much has changed in the deaf community in the 40 years since the original Children of a Lesser God, says Lauren Ridloff, star of the revival, who knows this first-hand (as does her husband Douglas Ridloff, host of ASLSLAM.

Streaming Network Devoted to Theater Content to Launch This Summer

It’s called “Stage”

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Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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