Off-Broadway Review: Primary Stages “Little Women”

Off-Broadway Review: Primary Stages “Little Women”

Kate Hamill’s retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” plays at Primary Stages at an auspicious time. Amid unprecedented national and political division, issues of gender identity, gender equality, and gender protection continue to be critically important.

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Review: The Tank presents “Butterflies”

Review: The Tank presents “Butterflies”

A poignant exploration of life, love, and loss, Emanuele Aldrovandi’s “Butterflies,” making its United States premiere currently at The Tank through June 8, unfolds over the next ninety minutes as a rollercoaster of blunt dialogue mashed with symbolic theatricality, a masterclass in heartbreaking coming of age vignettes.

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Review: "Cold Blooded Witch: The Sex Musical" at Under St. Marks Theatre

Review: "Cold Blooded Witch: The Sex Musical" at Under St. Marks Theatre

Cold Blooded Witch: The Sex Musical is a one-woman show that’s earned its place in the biggest Fringe Festival in the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity to watch an actor and up-and-coming comedian tell a story that you, quite literally, will not hear anywhere else. It is superbly expounded, thoughtfully presented, and damn funny to boot.

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Broadway Review: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”

Broadway Review: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”

Under Arin Arbus’s exquisite direction (Broadway debut), Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon play to perfection the EveryMan, EveryWoman, EveryOne seeking to overcome their finitude and fallibility to connect with another person in a meaningful way and establish a non-judgmental relationship against all odds.

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Off-Broadway Review: “Something Clean”

Off-Broadway Review: “Something Clean”

Margot Bordelon directs “Something Clean” with the briskness of a broom that sweeps across Reid Thompson’s relatively expansive set in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. He cleverly divides the spaces between the Center and the Walker homestead with carpet tiles of differing subdued colors and provides three exits for the actors to accommodate the play’s rapid-firing short scenes.

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Off-Broadway Review: "Enter Laughing - The Musical"

Off-Broadway Review: "Enter Laughing - The Musical"

The Big Apple called me, and I really wanted to pay a visit. I also knew friends would be in town and they had already booked me a seat with them to see ‘Enter Laughing, The Musical’.  I knew nothing about the play but recognized several names in the production’s credits and thought to give this one a go at it.

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Review: Spicy Witch Productions presents “The Virtuous Fall of The Girls From Our Lady of Sorrows”

Review: Spicy Witch Productions presents “The Virtuous Fall of The Girls From Our Lady of Sorrows”

Gina Femia’s extraordinary new high school-set play “The Virtuous Fall of The Girls From Our Lady of Sorrows” utilizes a simple premise to dive headfirst into the complex, all-too disheartening vortex known as the patriarchy. Set in the not-so-distant past immediately following 9/11, the play follows an adolescent group of girls trying to stage an original adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Measure For Measure” at their all-girls Catholic school.

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Review: “Carcass” at Shetler Studios

Review: “Carcass” at Shetler Studios

“Carcass” is a new play by Eddie Vernovsky that chronicles the story of Eric (Vernovsky),  a depressed young man who is struggling to find his purpose in life. This is made all the more difficult by a girlfriend he doesn’t really like and a family that pushes every button and crosses every line. “Carcass” had the potential to be a great family/relationship drama about a broken man searching to be whole, but unfortunately, very few of the characters felt fleshed out enough to where I wanted to know what happened to them, and the spiritual journey of Eric felt very simplified.

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Off-Broadway Review: “The Pink Unicorn”

Off-Broadway Review: “The Pink Unicorn”

The LGBTQ+ communities have undergone significant and healthy upheaval since Elise Forier Edie developed “The Pink Unicorn” in 2011 at The Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Although the playwright has attempted to update the script, its present incarnation currently running at the Episcopal Actors’ Guild falls short of reflecting the rich complexities of gender identity and gender expression, choosing instead a barrage of stereotypes and sometimes offensive diction. This despite an impressive performance by Alice Ripley as a conservative Texas mom who daughter announces she is ‘gender queer.’

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Review: “The Floor is Lava” at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club

Review: “The Floor is Lava” at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club

As we get closer to the point where Millennials and Generation Z makes up a solid majority of the voting age population, there has been an increased desire not just for younger people to see perspectives like their own represented in the world of theatre and film, but also for content that helps Baby Boomers and Generation X better understand the unique struggles that today’s young adults – born in the 1980s and 1990s – continue to face in life. Judging by the way it’s been advertised, it’s clear that the main goal of The Floor is Lava is to become the latest creative effort to try and fill that role

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Off-Broadway Review: “Original Sound” at Cherry Lane Studio Theatre

Off-Broadway Review: “Original Sound” at Cherry Lane Studio Theatre

What a pleasant surprise to walk into the Studio space at Cherry Lane Theatre and see a fresh, new look developed for the exciting new production “Original Sound” by Adam Seidel. Scenic designer, Justin Townsend has transformed the space into a multi-purpose set used for several different locations but always having the lingering aura of a contemporary, professional recording studio. Lighting by Kate McGee supports specific locations and has created a multi-colored neon tube installation as a focal point that pulsates during scene changes adding to the highly charged production and sleek design.

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Off-Broadway Review: “Happy Talk”

Off-Broadway Review: “Happy Talk”

Happy talk – the type of verbal communication, replete with counterfeit smiles, that too often serves as a replacement for authentic connection between individuals – cascades across the stage at the New Group’s world premiere of Jesse Eisenberg’s “Happy Talk” at the New Group at Pershing Square Signature Center’s Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre.

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Review: Vanguard Theater Company presents “A Little Princess”

Review: Vanguard Theater Company presents “A Little Princess”

Vanguard Theater Company’s “A Little Princess” bursts with the earnest vivacity of a small child at Christmas—or make that rather, twenty small children shining on stage currently in this valiant tale of a girl whose spirit can’t be squashed. Based on the classic novel by Frances Hodson Burnett, this “A Little Princess” by composer Andrew Lippa and book and lyric writer Brian Crawley hops, skips, and jumps it’s way around the dark Victorian undercurrents of racism and classism, preferring instead to bask in the warm glow of youthful optimism and defiant “keep your chin up” songs.

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“Antigone” at the In Scena! Italian Theatre Festival NY

“Antigone” at the In Scena! Italian Theatre Festival NY

Telling the classic story of the doomed daughter of Oedipus, Debora Benincasa’s one-woman adaptation of “Antigone” is incredibly refreshing. Beginning with an acknowledgement that we are about to watch a play, this version of “Antigone” sets the tone of the piece right away. Benincasa brings great humor and thoughtfulness to a piece that is typically tragic and free of much laughter. She knows this too, even encouraging you to recall sad things like your spouse leaving you or your mother yelling at you in order to get you  in the right frame of mind, because, as she says, it’s a tragedy, afterall.

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Review: “Friendly’s Fire” at Theater at the 14th Street Y

Review: “Friendly’s Fire” at Theater at the 14th Street Y

“Friendly’s Fire” is a new play by John Patrick Bray, following Gulf War veteran, Guy Friendly (Matthew Weitz), as he struggles to maintain control of his mind and emotions as a drug attack from a recent lover brings out his, already prominent, PTSD. He creates visions and a whole cast of characters that help guide him to a deeper understanding of himself. Along for the ride is his friend Todd (Adeyinka Adebola), who, not seeing any of what Friendly is seeing, goes along in the hopes that, while they wait for help, he can understand his friend just a little better. What follows is a play incredibly moving in story and almost psychedelic in atmosphere.

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Review: “The Buffalo Play” at The Tank

Review: “The Buffalo Play” at The Tank

Taking place entirely in a jail cell near Yellowstone National Park, “The Buffalo Play” tells the story of a Woman (Ciara Griffin) as she is visited by the vision of a buffalo (Kendra Potter), after having just taken a baby buffalo and put it in her car because she thought it looked cold. This eventually leads to the baby being rejected by the heard and having to be euthanized. The Woman and the Buffalo discuss life and nature and the morality of human interference. Combing realistic and abstract elements, this new play by Ciara Griffin and Kendra Potter, explores human’s relationship with wildlife and our internal connections to the nature around us.

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Review: “Evil Clowns Have Feelings Too” at the Producer’s Club

Review: “Evil Clowns Have Feelings Too” at the Producer’s Club

Clowns!

Some people find them entertaining, or at the very least amusing. Others might find them creepy, perhaps to the point where they appear in their nightmares. For a select few, it may be a combination of all of the above. In IRTE’s latest show – which, as the title suggests, is all about evil clowns – that combination is exactly what is shown to theatergoers…although thankfully, it leans far more toward the silly and whimsical side of these characters.

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Off-Broadway Review: “BLKS”

Off-Broadway Review: “BLKS”

Poet-playwright Aziza Barnes puts many ingredients into their script blender to whip up a “comedic look” at the lives of Octavia (Paige Gilbert), Imani (Alfie Fuller), and June (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, three twenty something black women living in New York City – a city where black lives seem not to matter and where, for that reason, it has  become difficult for the trio to navigate the bumpy road to finding intimacy and purpose.

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