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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 […]

A Life Worth Living

A Life Worth Living

BY KATHLEEN WARNOCK | Hidden histories, heroes and martyrs, oppressed people who said something, fought back, made a difference: those are the characters Barbara Kahn brings to life in her historical dramas, which are a staple of each season at Theater for the New City. Kahn’s latest work, “Verzet Amsterdam” (“Resistance Amsterdam”), which opens April 5, […]

These Shows are No Vacation

These Shows are No Vacation

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino is passionate about promoting the inclusion of the intellectually disabled in broader society and has chosen the theater as her platform for advocacy. Unfortunately, her “Amy and the Orphans” is tepid and largely unfocused and does little to advance her cause. In fact, the play demeans the subject […]

Power Dyke Joe Carstairs Comes Alive!

Power Dyke Joe Carstairs Comes Alive!

BY DAVID NOH | The first I ever heard of Joe Carstairs (1900-93) was in Charles Higham’s 1977 biography of Marlene Dietrich, in which he described this fabulous lesbian Standard Oil millionairess who was so besotted with the diva that she wanted to esconce her on a private island in the Bahamas. Phoebe Legere takes on […]

Losing Our Minds

Losing Our Minds

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | “Jerry Springer — The Opera” is a joyfully explosive satire of culture both high and low. With music and lyrics by Richard Thomas and the book and additional lyrics by Thomas and Stewart Lee, like the TV show that inspired it, “Springer” is completely over the top. Thomas and Stewart quite literally […]

Shared Histories

Shared Histories

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “A Letter to Harvey Milk” is one of those rare musicals that dares to confront both LGBTQ history and Jewish history. And it does so with visceral wit, grace, and a full heart. With an imaginative if unfocused book by Ellen M. Schwartz (who also wrote the lyrics), Cheryl Stern, Laura I. […]