Broadway for Everyone: Coming Soon? Week in New York Theater

Remarkable changes are underway to make Broadway more accessible – hastened by technology, hindered by public attitudes as I explain in an article in HowlRound based on the Broadway Accessibility Summit and a similar panel at BroadwayCon:

For example: By June 1, 2018, every show on Broadway will have on-demand closed captioning in real time for every performance, in one of two ways—through a dedicated device called iCaption, or with an application called GalaPro that you can install in your own smart phone.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” a hard-of-hearing person in the audience told me. But…there’s still some ways to go.

This week: Oral history of Angels in America, ugly drama in New York high school, a new Evan Hansen, a new Jez Butterworth on Broadway, a new artistic director for BAM.

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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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Life After Hamilton! Week in New York Theater

It’s always sad to have to say goodbye to an artist whom we’ve loved, so how thrilling to welcome one into the world.

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Favorite Super Bowl 2018 Commercials – NFL homoerotic dance, Tide metacommercial, etc

Hands down the most watchable commercial during the Super Bowl 2018 game was the “Dirty Dancing” sequence starring Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. of the New York Giants, in what must surely have been the most homoerotic commercial in the history of the Super Bowl, and the NFL, and football.

If you can stand seeing just one Super Bowl commercial this year, it should be the one for Tide, since it contains all the other Super Bowl commercials you’ve ever seen — all coming in with the tide.

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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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