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Highs and Lows

Highs and Lows

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | For all of us despairing about the indifference, blatant self-serving, and divisive hatred that define the current political regime, there is a welcome balm on the New York stage today in the form of the musical “Come From Away.” This show will make you feel good, if not euphoric, but it achieves […]

Shock and Awe

Shock and Awe

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The undercurrents of passion, menace, and virtually unrelieved tension that pulse through Sam Gold’s masterful staging of “Othello,” now at New York Theatre Workshop, make this one of the most exciting productions of this play I have seen –– and I’ve seen 11 over several decades. Set in a contemporary military encampment, […]

Rocking ‘n’ Rolling… And Stalling  

Rocking ‘n’ Rolling… And Stalling  

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Hamilton” has moved to Broadway with all the attendant buzz and fireworks (literally, over the Hudson on opening night). It is every bit as good as you’ve heard. Lin-Manuel Miranda, in adapting Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, has created vibrant theater and pushed the musical as a form to an important […]

Home Is Where the Hurt Is

Home Is Where the Hurt Is

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | A rueful graphic novelist recalls her awkward first lesbian encounter. Distraught parents argue at the top of their lungs. A suicidal, closeted funeral director hits on underage boys. Not exactly the typical stuff of hit Broadway shows, that’s for sure. Welcome to “Fun Home,” the bittersweet musical based on Alison Bechdel’s popular […]

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 […]

Musicals in Flux

Musicals in Flux

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The stark contrast between where musical theater has been and where it can — and arguably should — go in today’s world could not be more pronounced than in the difference between “Big Fish” on Broadway and “Fun Home” at the Public. “Fun Home,” Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s brilliant new musical […]

Fairytales and Movie Magic

Fairytales and Movie Magic

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The reverence that many gay men of a certain age have for Lesley Ann Warren’s eternal hold on the role of Cinderella led to collective gasping and pearl clutching upon the announcement that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical would “updated” by Douglas Carter Beane. Many of the distraught no doubt still imagined […]

Sex and Longing

Sex and Longing

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Director Sam Gold is not big on giving his actors a lot of room — literally, in terms of playing area. In his recent production of “Look Back in Anger” for Roundabout, he created a narrow space way downstage with a solid wall behind the actors. This was supposed to express the […]