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Trans-cendental

Trans-cendental

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | It might be tempting to dismiss “On a Stool at the End of the Bar,” now playing at 59E59 Theaters, as a shaky stage version of an old “ABC Afterschool Special” episode. Set in a working-class Camden, New Jersey home in the late 1980s, the drama examines the impact of a woman’s […]

Do The Freak

Do The Freak

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Fans of the original “Side Show” may be in for a jolt when they see the first-ever major revival, now at the St. James Theatre. After catching the new production, one such “freaks” freak –– who had seen the 1997 debut multiple times before it was shuttered a mere 10 weeks after […]

Musical Theater Drill Down  

Musical Theater Drill Down  

BY CHRISTOPHER MURRAY | So, do you watch these Broadway-themed hit reality shows? “Lifestyles of the Bitchiest on Broadway,” “Celebrity Accompanist,” “The Voice Coach,” “Keeping Up with the KarSmashians,” “America’s Got High C’s,” “The Real Understudies of Broadway,” “Don’t Tell Mama in Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Biggest Loser Who Was Robbed of That Tony Award,” “So […]

The Lyp Returns, Imelda’s Enduring Fascination

The Lyp Returns, Imelda’s Enduring Fascination

BY DAVID NOH | It’s incredible, but Lypsinka, that whirling dervish of illusion and the highest imaginable camp — whom I consider as essential a New York figure as the Statue of Liberty — hasn’t been on a local stage in nine years. This has been happily remedied with “Lypsinka! The Trilogy,” running through January […]

Setting Sail

Setting Sail

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Let’s address the 400-ton boat in the living room first, shall we? The book of the new musical by John Logan and Brian Yorkey, “The Last Ship,” is not great. You could sail a tanker through the holes in its logic. The story is part “Billy Elliot Builds a Boat” and […]

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Only the brilliant Terrence McNally can get away with setting a play in the gay wonderland of the Fire Island Pines and populate it solely with straight characters. When “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” a quirky drama about two miserable married couples (a recurring motif this New York theater season) celebrating July 4th weekend […]

Nigh Fidelity

Nigh Fidelity

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Tom Stoppard’s warped romantic dramedy “The Real Thing” still packs a punch. The original Broadway production, featuring Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, and Christine Baranski, won a raft of Tony Awards in 1984, and a revival in 2000 also did quite well. I suspect the gripping, star-filled revival, courtesy of the Roundabout […]

Inside the Play, Inside the Mind

Inside the Play, Inside the Mind

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | In “The Country House,” Donald Margulies is so busy knocking off Chekhov, Edna Ferber, and George S. Kaufman that he hasn’t bothered to write much of a play. With echoes of “The Seagull,” “Uncle Vanya,” and “The Royal Family,” this is a tale of actors offstage, but unlike those purloined and […]

Tony’s a Winner  

Tony’s a Winner  

BY DAVID NOH | Broadway’s “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” was largely a glitzy piece of utterly commercial jukebox fluff, but when Tony Sheldon appeared as Bernadette, the veteran drag queen on a very personal mission, the theater’s temperature changed. For here was the real thing, a brilliant actor, fully possessed of an innate gravitas […]

A Noir Is Born

A Noir Is Born

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Judging from the poster alone, you might think that “Billy & Ray,” the earnest melodrama now at the Vineyard Theatre, is a love story about a squabbling gay couple in the 1940s. Not quite. The fact-based play, written by Mike Bencivenga, serves up the rocky backstory behind producing “Double Indemnity,” which […]

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