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Heart Songs

Heart Songs

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | “What Did You Expect?,” the second in a three-play cycle, “Election Year in the Life of One Family,” is profoundly moving. The continuing story of the Gabriel family in Rhinebeck, New York, is set against real events unfolding in real time. Things as topical as Donald Trump’s recent appearances on late night […]

Bent Out of Shape

Bent Out of Shape

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | One cannot regularly go to Off-Broadway or even Off-Off-Broadway theater and fail to be impressed by the talented performers on these small, often obscure stages. Let’s face, it, New York is awash in talent. That observation seems particular poignant when a piece showcasing a gifted group of professionals leaves something to be […]

When Food Tastes Like Love

When Food Tastes Like Love

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | A man lies dying in a hospital-style bed center stage for the better part of “Aubergine,” a heartfelt, multicultural play by Julia Cho at Playwrights Horizons. But Cho has crafted the deeply touching drama so brilliantly that it’s more a celebration of life than a lamentation of loss. And what better […]

Crushing Midlife Crisis

Crushing Midlife Crisis

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “Does something happen soon? It’s pretty dull, this.” That’s what grumpy Uncle David says about a long-winded story halfway through the first act of “A Day by the Sea,” the latest neglected play reanimated by the Mint Theater Company. Apparently, that’s also what American theatergoers griped when the drama premiered on Broadway […]

Boxed In

Boxed In

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | I am not a fan of company “team building” exercises. And — full disclosure — I used to put together and run them when I was in the corporate world. They range from competitive games to trust exercises to, yes, falling backwards and being caught by colleagues. While they provided an engaging […]

The Fur is Flying

The Fur is Flying

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | As Gus the theater cat sings in the splendid revival of “Cats” now back on Broadway, “The theater is certainly not what it was.” Aging Gus’ glory days were a highpoint in art, quite lost in all the modernity of a world that, not incidentally, has passed him by. When he wrote […]

A Timely, Gutsy Fringe

A Timely, Gutsy Fringe

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | The New York International Fringe Festival, now two decades old, is notorious for being a fount of frivolity. A quick perusal of this year’s nearly 200 offerings confirms this: “A Naked Brazilian,” “Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway,” and “A Microwaved Burrito Filled with E. Coli.” But over the years, FringeNYC has developed […]

London Theater: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

London Theater:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

BY ANDY HUMM | While not all those who voted for the Britain to leave Europe were xenophobes, the vote for Brexit did unleash a disturbing wave of attacks on people perceived as different — from violence against Muslims on buses to a Polish waitress being told to go back where she came from to a gay […]

The Highest Stakes

The Highest Stakes

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If the prospect of sitting through three hours of Mideast political negotiations on a sultry summer night seems daunting, I understand. But you should not miss this fascinating play about the 1993 Oslo Accords, a most unlikely peace negotiated between Israel and Palestine in Norway. On the surface, “Oslo” is the literal […]

Addicted to Likes

Addicted to Likes

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | There is no pre-show announcement at “Privacy” demanding the silencing of cell phones. In fact, they urge you to keep them switched on and to fiddle with them throughout the play. Within minutes, it’s clear that this provocative appraisal of identity in the digital age, now enjoying a sold-out run at the […]

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