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Heroic Measures

Heroic Measures

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If you’re going to go to the trouble of mounting a sprawling, expensive production of a classic warhorse musical like “My Fair Lady,” you had better have something to say if you don’t want it to end up with a museum piece. Fortunately, director Bartlett Sher does, and the resulting production at […]

A Heaven of Invention

A Heaven of Invention

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Joseph Papp’s mission in 1957 was to bring Shakespeare to everyone, and 60 years later that spirit lives on in the Public Theater’s Mobile Unit that brings professional productions to locations around the city. Papp believed that culture — and especially theater — belongs to everyone, and the Mobile Unit has toured […]

Hear Them Roar

Hear Them Roar

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “Unexpected Joy,” the latest original musical incubated by the esteemed York Theatre Company, has the distinction of having one foot planted in the past and one firmly in the present. It’s a delicate balancing act; despite sometimes being on shaky ground, this earnest, well-intentioned tuner lives up to its title. Indeed, […]

Homosexuality’s Historic Redesignation

Homosexuality’s Historic Redesignation

BY DAVID NOH | Ain Gordon’s play,  “217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous,” running next month at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, concerns the work of Dr. John Fryer (1937-2003) that culminated in the removal of homosexuality from the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) after his riveting testimony at the annual American Psychiatric […]

Women in the Spotlight

Women in the Spotlight

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Anyone who has dealt with a headstrong, aging parent on the cusp or, or sliding deeper into, dementia will feel for the women named simply A, B, and C in the magnificent revival of Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women” now on Broadway. A, a wealthy widow, is 92 claiming to be 91. […]

A Lear for Our Times

A Lear for Our Times

BY ANDY HUMM | First things first. This splendid production of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “King Lear”— directed by artistic director Gregory Doran with Sir Antony Sher as Lear in what he says will be his last Shakespeare performance (because what’s left for him?) — is at BAM only until April 29. Go. Now. It is […]

Charles Busch’s Big, Beautiful Dare

Charles Busch’s Big, Beautiful Dare

BY DAVID NOH  | Unbelievable as it seems, genius campmeister Charles Busch has never tackled pre-Code women’s pictures, namely those soaked-hankie epics of beleaguered mother love like “Madame X,” “Blonde Venus,” or “Frisco Jenny.” Consider that genre now officially done, to a side-splitting fare-thee-well, for “The Confession of Lily Dare” is Busch in peak form, both […]

Magic in the Making

Magic in the Making

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Who knows where inspiration comes from? For master puppeteer Basil Twist, it came accidentally in the form of a small, broken aquarium found outside his East Village studio. He patched it up, filled it with water, attached a bit of fabric to a coat hanger, and started swirling it around in the […]

Making Fetch Happen

Making Fetch Happen

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Broadway’s ravenous addiction to sourcing popular movies for the stage and setting them to music shows no signs of abating. In recent seasons we’ve seen “Legally Blonde,” “Bring It On: The Musical,” “Kinky Boots,” and “Groundhog Day,” among others. And let’s not forget that the longest running tuner on Broadway, “The Phantom […]

A Heartbreaking Comedy of Hope

A Heartbreaking Comedy of Hope

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | If you have seen “Angels in America” in any of its previous incarnations — the original 1993 Broadway production, the fine 2003 HBO film, many regional productions, or the 2010 Signature revival, you may understandably wonder whether you should see it again, invest another eight hours of your life in Tony Kushner’s […]