As it was at the overture and shall be at the exit music, bliss without end. Amen.

Theatre Aficionado at Large

My Favorite Performances, 2014

Bryan Cranston, All the Way – It was staggering to see Cranston transform from the dopey dad on Malcolm in the Middle to the now-legendary Walter White on Breaking Bad. His performance as President Lyndon B. Johnson during the first year of his presidency was another astonishing feat. A tour-de-force, Cranston delivered a towering performance that was thrilling and captivating and occasionally unsettling. While the play itself seemed like it could have used some editing (particularly in act 2), Cranston’s performance was worth top dollar admission. Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation – While my feelings on the play are a bit complicated, my admiration for Jan Maxwell’s stunning portrait of a…

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The Year of Living Cinematically

Same as every other year: all films were watched in their entirety and all films that I’d never seen before have been marked with an asterisk. *Remember the Night (1940) 1/11 *August: Osage County (2013) 1/12 *Quartet (2012) 1/14 Gypsy (1962) 2/18 Never on Sunday (1960) 3/16 *Argo (2012) 3/17 Picnic (1955) 3/20 Godzilla (1954) 3/24 If…. (1968) 4/10 *Les Miserables (2012) 4/28 *Repo Man (1984) 5/16 *The Jazz Singer (1927) 5/20 *Frozen (2013) 5/22 Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) 5/23 Father Goose (1964) 5/23 *Saving Mr. Banks (2013) 5/26 *Amarcord (1973) 5/29 *Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) 5/31 Oliver! (1968) 6/3 *Despicable Me (2010) 6/6 *Despicable Me 2 (2013) 6/10 Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 6/24 *Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013) 6/24…

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Posted on at 11:05 pm.

‘Can-Can’ at Paper Mill Playhouse


It’s only taken 31 years, but I finally saw a show at the Paper Mill Playhouse. When Kate Baldwin announced at 54 Below that she was starring in their production of Can-Can, I knew I had to go see it. Fortunately, I was able to attend the opening night performance with my pals Patty and Emily, and it was a magnificent experience. The gorgeous venue in Millburn, NJ was warm and inviting, and I hope to make many more visits there from now on. This was also the first time I have ever seen any sort of an out-of-town tryout in a regional setting. Can-Can, a hit in its original Broadway…

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Posted on October 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm.

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ on Broadway


It’s been said that home is where the heart is. In that case, home should be the Longacre Theatre where a joyous Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You is currently playing. When the houselights came up after the preview I attended, I wanted to become one of the household. (The last time I had such a feeling in the theater was after MTC’s gorgeous 2009 revival of The Royal Family). The characters inhabiting the home of Martin Vanderhof are so beautifully drawn and so lovable, that I wanted to spend a fourth or even fifth act with them. While topical references may sail over some heads, and the play’s Depression-era…

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City Center Encores! Announces 22nd Season

Lady, Be Good! Music: George Gershwin Lyrics: Ira Gershwin Book: Guy Bolton & Fred Thompson February 4-8, 2015 Paint Your Wagon Music: Frederick Loewe Book & Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner March 18-22, 2015 Zorba Music: John Kander Lyrics: Fred Ebb Book: Joseph Stein May 6-10, 2015

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And the Tony didn’t go to… Part II

It’s Tony Awards time, yet again. The last month has been spent praising the nominees, cursing the nominating committee for what it got wrong (namely, The Bridges of Madison County) and filling out our personal ballots and surveys. We’ve also been subjected to polls, videos, luncheons, speeches, think-pieces, as well as the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, which all point the way toward “Broadway’s biggest night” tomorrow evening on CBS. The race for Best Play seems to be nonexistent; it’s wide open with an edge to either All the Way or Act One, but no one seems to have great love for any of the five nominees. Best Musical…

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Posted on June 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm.

The 70th Annual Theatre World Award Winners Announced!

The 2014 Theatre World Award Winners for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance during the 2013-2014 theatrical season have been announced! The ceremony will take place on Monday, June 2 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, once again hosted by Peter Filichia. Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night, or What You Will Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway Bryan Cranston, All the Way Mary Bridget Davies, A Night with Janis Joplin Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan Rebecca Hall, Machinal Ramin Karimloo, Les Miserables Zachary Levi, First Date Chris O’Dowd, Of Mice and Men Sophie Okenedo, A Raisin in the Sun Emerson Steele, Violet Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder…

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Posted on May 6, 2014 at 11:29 am.

‘The Bridges of Madison County’ on Broadway


Recently, I referred to the 1956 musical The Most Happy Fella, Frank Loesser’s lush romantic masterpiece, as a “grown-up musical for grown-ups.” Much of the current Broadway musical theatre is made up of subversive comedies, by-the-number adaptations of movies, and pre-packaged song catalogs. Sincere romantic musical plays tend to be a tougher sell these days. The most recent example I can think of is Giant with its sweeping score by Michael John LaChiusa. However, that show played a limited run off-Broadway at the Public (though it should have been on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont). Well, a new grown-up musical for grown-ups has come to Broadway and it’s Jason Robert Brown and Marsha…

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“Chronicle of a Closing Night” Revisited


I’ve been collecting Playbills for years. Not only for the shows I’ve seen, but also ones that I’ve picked up at the Broadway Flea Market or in various shops. It started initially with some of my favorite flops, but has expanded to include almost anything I can get my hands on. Last week, I was flipping through my Playbill for the original Broadway production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, one I picked up randomly for a spell-check, when I came across a fascinating feature article by Colette Dowling chronicling the closing of the musical Illya Darling, a 1967 screen-to-stage adaptation of the hit 1960 film Never on Sunday. Illya Darling…

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Posted on March 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm.
A place where I can rant and rave about theatre,
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director of the Independent Theater Bloggers Association.

Photo by Kari Geltemeyer

Walking Among My Yesterdays


1/1 - Beautiful

1/8 - Honeymoon in Vegas

1/12 - A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration (92nd Street Y)

1/15 - On the Town

1/25 - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Paper Mill Playhouse, opening night)

1/28 - The Merry Widow (Met Opera)

1/30 - The Elephant Man

2/6 - Lady, Be Good! (Encores!)

2/13 - The Screen (Taksu Theatre Company)

2/19 - You Can't Take It With You

2/27 - The Lion

3/1 - John and Jen

3/3 - Craig Ferguson: Hot & Grumpy Tour

3/8 - The Audience (opening night)

3/12 - The King and I (first preview)

3/17 - Hand to God

3/21 - Sondheimas (54 Below)

3/22 - Paint Your Wagon (Encores!)

3/25 - Cabaret

3/26 - The Visit (first preview)

4/1 - Wolf Hall, Part 1

4/1 - Wolf Hall, Part 2

4/8 - Gigi (opening night)

Walking Among My Yesterdays


1/9 - Patty & Emily &... (54 Below)

1/19 - Machinal

1/23 - Cinderella

2/9 - After Midnight

2/9 - Little Me (Encores!)

2/28 - Patty & Emily &... (54 Below)

3/5 - Rocky

3/5 - Sweeney Todd (NY Philharmonic)

3/6 - All the Way (opening night)

3/7 - Sweeney Todd (NY Philharmonic)

3/22 - Three Wishes for Sondheimas (54 Below)

4/1 - The Bridges of Madison County

4/3 - Guys and Dolls (Carnegie Hall)

4/6 - The Most Happy Fella (Encores!)

4/15 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/1 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/4 - Mothers and Sons

5/7 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/11 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/11 - Irma La Douce (Encores!)

5/15 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/17 - Kate Baldwin: Sing Pretty and Don't Fall Down (54 Below)

5/18 - The Bridges of Madison County

5/20 - Beautiful

6/25 - Casa Valentina

7/1 - Randy Newman's Faust (Encores!)

7/18 - The City of Conversation

8/29 - You Can't Take It With You

9/15 - Patty & Emily &... (Laurie Beechman)

10/5 - Can-Can (Paper Mill Playhouse, opening night)

10/6 - I Am Harvey Milk (Lincoln Center)

10/7 - Joanna Gleason (54 Below)

10/10 - The Medium (Taksu Theatre Company)

10/13 - The Medium (Taksu Theatre Company)

10/15 - Holiday Inn (Goodspeed Opera House, opening night)

11/2 - If/Then

11/24 - Side Show

11/30 - Elf (Paper Mill Playhouse, opening night)

12/2 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

12/10 - I've Heard That Song Before: The Music of Jule Styne (Merkin Concert Hall)


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