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She’s Come a Long Way, Baby

She’s Come a Long Way, Baby

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | When it premiered on Broadway in 1989 (after a successful stint Off Broadway beginning the year before), “The Heidi Chronicles” was more than just an awards juggernaut, snapping up Best Play Tony and Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, among many others. The sharply observed comic drama, tracing one woman’s rocky […]

History Boys and Girls

History Boys and Girls

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The new musical “Hamilton” now at the Public Theater owes its inspiration partly to Ron Chernow’s exhaustive biography “Alexander Hamilton” and partly to the animated TV series “Schoolhouse Rock!” The latter was a series of Saturday morning animated shorts that ran from 1973 to 1999 and were designed to make sophisticated concepts […]

Double Blind

Double Blind

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “Am I getting the real thing or a placebo?” That’s the question at the center of “Placebo,” Melissa James Gibson’s bold new drama about desire and sticky relationships set against the backdrop of a clinical trial, now at Playwrights Horizons. The study drug, brand name Resurgo, is designed to stimulate the libido […]

Two Fresh Voices

Two Fresh Voices

BY DAVID NOH | I always welcome a truly fresh and talented voice in the theater — they are all too rare, but Sheila Callaghan definitely is one. Her enthralling, ultra-glamorous, but equally deep play “Everything You Touch,” at the Cherry Lane, has at its center a complex, combative mother-daughter tale that takes us from the […]

Relations, Revival, Regrets

Relations, Revival, Regrets

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The fragile, fragmented story of a lesbian couple’s 25-year relationship is the focus of Tanya Barfield’s “Bright Half Life,” now at the Women’s Project. Told in overlapping scenes, which the playwright describes as “kaleidoscopic,” we see the relationship from inception to dissolution to a kind of resolution. The clarity and the economy […]

Geek Power

Geek Power

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Move over Gotham, there’s a hip new hangout for superheroes: Brooklyn. At least that’s the conceit behind “Brooklynite,” the affable musical crafted by Peter Lerman, who wrote the music and lyrics and co-wrote the book with Michael Mayer (“Hedwig”), who also directs. Ripped from the pages of your favorite comic books, […]

Flash of Brilliance

Flash of Brilliance

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | After seeing “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” James Lecesne’s gripping solo show recounting the tragic disappearance of a flamboyant gay teen in a tiny Jersey Shore town, I was compelled to research the case online. The details of the incident and characters were portrayed so vividly, I was convinced the […]

When a Straight Irishman Stumbles into a Gay Parade

When a Straight Irishman Stumbles into a Gay Parade

BY KATHLEEN WARNOCK | It all started with the big drum. “I had built the biggest drum in the world, 15 feet in diameter,” Brian Fleming said. “The drum they called the biggest drum in the world, it looked like a little bongo compared to mine!” Fleming, who lives in County Clare, Ireland, decided that the […]

Song and Story

Song and Story

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | One tends to think of “political theater” as heavy, pedantic, angry, and obscure, a kind of dramatic breast-beating self-conscious about its own significance. So, when political theater comes in a package as bright and buoyant as the new musical “Pretty/ Filthy,” it may take a few moments to realize how insightful it […]

Long Night’s Journey into Death

Long Night’s Journey into Death

BY ANDY HUMM | “The Iceman Cometh” starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy in top form along with a flawless ensemble is first and foremost as good and true a rendering of Eugene O’Neill’s epic drama of alcoholism and despair as we are likely to see. The creative team from the Goodman Theatre in Chicago led […]

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