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Art Isn’t Easy 

Art Isn’t Easy 

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | You don’t have to be versed in the idiosyncratic and deconstructive whimsy that informed the early Off-Off Broadway movement to fall for “Red Eye of Love.” It can be enjoyed pretty much on its own as a satire on the level of “Dames at Sea” or “The Boyfriend.” The 1961 play by […]

Disco Heat

Disco Heat

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | When I first heard about “Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical,” the jukebox bio-musical debuting Off Broadway at the Theater at St. Clements, I wondered how the songs could possibly stand up to the original. Hailed as “The Queen of Disco” in the late 1970s, the gender-bending Sylvester broke through with […]

Raucous Realness

Raucous Realness

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | The boisterous and raunchy “Bootycandy,” Robert O’Hara’s latest work now at Playwrights Horizons, registers less as a fully formed play and more like a live sketch comedy show — think “In Living Color” (minus the Fly Girls) as presented by HBO. Even O’Hara admitted the satiric portrait of sexual awakening and […]

London Theater Shines in Houses Big and Wee

London Theater Shines in Houses Big and Wee

BY ANDY HUMM | The real drama in the now tenuously-United Kingdom this past week has been the build-up to the momentous Scots’ vote on September 18 about whether to become an independent nation again, a contest in which new polls say independence has a chance for the first time –– an outcome that would […]

Beastmaster Bill Berloni

Beastmaster Bill Berloni

BY DAVID NOH | It’s a foregone conclusion that, in the theater today, when you need an animal onstage — any animal — you go to the Master, Bill Berloni, whose way with performing beasts uncannily combines total sensitivity to their needs and utter onstage reliability. I’m proud to say that I knew Berloni before […]

A Weekend in the Country

A Weekend in the Country

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Theresa Rebek is challenging for a critic. The facile entertainment of her plays delivers an hour or two of diversion, but they often don’t stand up to more considered thought. Her new play at Primary Stages, “Poor Behavior,” is not as well-crafted as “Seminar” or as slapdash as “Dead Accounts,” but […]

An Upper West Side Liberal Living Legend

An Upper West Side Liberal Living Legend

BY DAVID NOH | Living for years on the Upper West Side where she was born is a woman who is something of a living legend. Lee Grant’s life has encompassed so incredibly many facets, spanning her own New York Jewish roots, a debut with the Metropolitan Opera at the age of four, and a […]

Nellie’s Billy

Nellie’s Billy

BY DAVID NOH | One of the great enigmas in the music world, William Lee “Billy” Tipton (1914 – 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader, who, it was discovered after his death, was born a woman. Named Dorothy Louise Tipton at birth in Oklahoma, he took his father’s name, “Billy,” when he started his […]

Nature Studies

Nature Studies

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE  | Nature is so strong a theme in both the poetry and plot of “King Lear” that at first it’s surprising to walk into Central Park’s Delacorte Theater and see the bucolic surroundings virtually obscured by John Lee Beatty’s dominating, monochromatic wall. Mostly known for lavish interiors and finely wrought details, here […]

Risky Business

Risky Business

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Have you ever walked out of a Broadway show scratching your head and muttering, “I paid over a hundred bucks for this?” Sure, plenty are sensational, but others are so polished, pandering, or just plain ill-conceived they seem more about recouping mega investments than actually communicating inspired ideas in fresh ways. And […]

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