Hey Look Me Over Review: Encores! 25th anniversary concert

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Encores! concert series at City Center is doing something in “Hey Look Me Over” that it’s never done before – and, judging from the results, probably shouldn’t do again.

Click on any photograph to see it enlarged.

Now, it’s impossible to dismiss a show with such a starry talented cast, including Bebe Neuwirth singing and dancing to Noel Coward’s Sail Away and Vanessa Williams singing and dancing from Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg’s “Jamaica.” Its delights were enough to make me glad I was there.
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The Jester and the Dragon Review: Weird Finger Puppet Show That Turns Surprising

I went to The Tank for a show that wasn’t playing until the next night; I’d gotten the dates mixed up. So, since I’d made the trip, I asked if there was anything else playing in the theater. That’s how I wound up watching what looked like a children’s show told with finger puppets, worn by an oddly distracted performer who seemed to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Her hands would shake uncontrollably, she’d take off the puppets, and retreat to a basin of water in which she placed her arms to relax them.  What, I thought, have I gotten myself into?

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In the Body of The World Review: Eve Ensler, Fighting Cancer and Injustice, Ranting, Riffing, Raging, Revealing

Perhaps you’d think it chutzpah that in “In The Body of the World,” the latest solo show by Eve Ensler, best known for “The Vagina Monologues,” she merges her story of her fight against uterine cancer with world crises such as mass rape in the Congo and the deadly oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe you’d be squeamish at her graphic storytelling of her illness, treatment and recovery, during which she literally bares her physical scars, and exposes her emotional ones, which are more disturbing. You could well disapprove of her self-defeating and dubious speculation about what might have caused her cancer – from tofu to Tab to bad reviews.

You could grapple with all these reactions to Eve Ensler and her show – I certainly did at one time or another during its 90 minutes – and still find “In The Body of the World” (as I did) eye-opening, entertaining, and one of the most satisfying works of theater so far this year.
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Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Review: Comic Aftermath of A Breakup

Joni (Sarah Chalfie) right before she gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend Noah (Roland Lane). (She thinks he is about to propose.)

Joni (Sarah Chalfie) right before she gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend Noah (Roland Lane). She thinks he is about to propose.

Joni’s rock star boyfriend Noah breaks up with her on stage in front of an arena full of his fans at the beginning of “Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill,” an often fun, over-the-top comedy by Steph Del Rosso at the Flea Theatre about the wincing aftermath of the breakup. The title is meant to describe what Joni tries to do after being dumped – fill the sudden holes in her life.
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Fire and Air: Pics and Review

Fire and Air could not have looked more promising –a starry cast performing a new play by Terrence McNally about one of the most celebrated of dance companies, the Ballets Russes. Picasso, Matisse, and Coco Chanel designed their sets; Debussy, Stravinsky, and Richard Strauss composed their music. George Balanchine created nine of their ballets when in his twenties.
And at the center of the Ballets Russes was its impresario Sergei Diaghilev; its greatest dancer Vaslav Nijinksy; and the tempestuous relationship between the two.
Who better to dramatize all this than the playwright who won one of his four Tony Awards for Master Class, presenting the opera singer Maria Callas as impetuous, passionate, enlightening and inspiring?

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box Review: Adrienne Kennedy’s Fractured Tale of Doomed Love

The two 17-year-olds are in love. Yet Chris (Tom Pecinka) is the son of the white patriarch from his hometown in Georgia, and Kay (Juliana Canfield) is the mixed-race daughter or another white man and a 15-year-old black woman who died shortly after giving birth, having run away to Ohio. Did Kay’s mother kill herself, or was she killed? Did Kay’s father really bring her mother’s heart back in a box? These are mysteries, not just to the audience, but to the characters in “He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box,” Adrienne Kennedy’s hallucinatory, haunted and hazy romance, her first play in almost a decade.

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Miles for Mary Review: The Mad Ones Make Fun Of Meetings, and High School

“Miles for Mary” is the Mad Ones theater troupe’s spot-on, deadpan funny look at a year’s worth of planning committee meetings for a local telethon at an Ohio high school. Originally presented last fall Off-Off Broadway at the Bushwick Starr, where it was well-received, it is the first production in what Playwrights Horizons is calling its Redux Series, an effort to bring shows at smaller theaters to Off-Broadway for a longer run. As such, it seems like a test case. Will the Playwrights Horizons audience take to a show that requires so much patience and at least a little insolence?
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