Posts filtered by tags: Judd Hollander[x]


The Dance of Death - Two People Praying for the End

Reviewed by Judd Hollander"Death will come and then perhaps, life begins." A line at the end of August Strindberg's bitter comedy The Dance of Death which best sums up what the two main characters are feeling. Written in 1900, this tale of a long-suffering couple bound together by love and hate is given fresh life thanks to a powerful new version by Conor McPherson and crackling direction from Victoria Clark. The show running in repertory at Classic Stage Company with Yael Farber's adaptation of...
Tags: Sweden, Theatre, Beck, Virginia Woolf, Alice, Clark, McPherson, Kurt, Joan Marcus, Edgar, Topol, Conor McPherson, Victoria Clark, Strindberg, Yael Farber, Judd Hollander

Call Me Madam - Bright, Bouncy, and at times creaky

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Given the state of things in the world today, one would think the time would be prefect for a revival of the 1950 Broadway musical, Call Me Madam. The show currently being given a such treatment as part of the Encores! series at New York City Center . With a score by Irving Berlin, a book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse, and starring Ethel Merman, this gentle political satire originally ending up running for a total of 644 performances. In ...
Tags: Congress, Berlin, New York City, Theatre, Washington Dc, Maria, Cosmo, Kenneth, Berman, Sally, Ike, U S, Lauren Worsham, Ethel Merman, Irving Berlin, Ben Davis

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui - A stirring wake-up call

Reviewed by Judd Hollander It's easy to draw parallels between Bertolt Brecht’s blistering political satire The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and the current U.S. presidential administration. Or for that matter, just about any nationalistic (i.e. “strongman”) government in existence. Yet it’s the work's quieter elements which ultimately have the most impact. As evident in the very powerful Off-Broadway production now being presented by Classic Stage Company. In 1930s Chicago, ...
Tags: Germany, Theatre, Ui, Chicago, Broadway, Hitler, Clark, Bertolt Brecht, Doyle, John Doyle, Giri, Judd Hollander, George Abud, Arturo Ui, George Tabori, Christopher Gurr

Girl From the North Country - Bleak, Beautiful and Absolutely Brilliant

Reviewed by Judd Hollander For those who have known nothing but despair for far too long, the idea of one's survival takes on an almost fervent urgency. A reality brought devastatingly home in Girl From the North Country, now at The Public Theater. Writer Conor McPherson melding his text with the songs of Bob Dylan to examine the deeply buried or long-forgotten passions of the inhabitants of a Duluth , Minnesota boarding house during the Great Depression. It’s November of 1934 a...
Tags: Theatre, Bob Dylan, NICK, Joe, Ryan, McPherson, Perry, Duluth Minnesota, Burke, Dylan, Marianne, Joan Marcus, Said, North Country, Mark Henderson, Bogardus

Waiting for Godot - The Messages Still Resonate

Reviewed by Judd Hollander “Extraordinary the tricks that memory plays”, a character exclaims in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. One would be hard pressed to find a truer statement. Especially here, as recollections play a central part in this classic tragicomedy. The work being given a very fine revival by Druid Theatre as part of Lincoln Center ’s White Light Festival. As the show begins, Vladimir (Marty Rea) and Estragon (Aaron Monaghan) are standing in a rather e...
Tags: Theatre, Lincoln Center, Samuel Beckett, Beckett, Monaghan, Vladimir, Pozzo, O'Connor, Rea, Matthew Thompson, Druid, John Jay College, Judd Hollander, Aaron Monaghan, Nick Winston, Vladimir Marty Rea

Oklahoma! - Far More Than Just Okay

Reviewed by Judd Hollander The true strength of a classical piece of theatre is its ability to be re-imagined without losing those elements which made it special in the first place. Case in point: the rousing production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's  Oklahoma ! at St. Ann ’s Warehouse. Director Daniel Fish, choreographer John Heginbotham and a top-notch cast transforming the 1943 musical into a stripped-down, semi-immersive experience. With a score that, thanks to the very capable hand...
Tags: Theatre, Annie, Oklahoma, Ali, St Ann, Rodgers, Hammerstein, Testa, Eller, Juilliard School, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Judd Hollander, Laura Jellinek, Daniel Kluger, Ali Stroker

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur - Settling for what you can get

Reviewed by Judd Hollander A feeling of despair lurks just below the surface in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. This seldom-seem Tennessee Williams drama, which had its initial New York run in 1979, now being given a sturdy revival Off-Broadway by La Femme Theatre Productions. It's the late spring of 1937 in St. Louis , Missouri , and Dorothea (Jean Lichty) is a high school teacher approaching that nebulous age bracket for what used to be called an unmarried spinster. Dot...
Tags: New York, Theatre, Tennessee, Broadway, Buddy, St Louis Missouri, Helena, Toole, Tennessee Williams, Blanche, St Clement, Gluck, Dotty, Jonathan Mann, Blanche DuBois, Creve Coeur

The True - Where Loyalty is Everything

Reviewed by Judd Hollander What do you do when the one thing you’ve always counted on is suddenly yanked out from under you? This is the question posed in Sharr White’s new political drama The True, presented by The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Albany 1977. Died-in-the-wool Democrat Polly Noonan (Edie Falco) is one of those tireless party workers who lives and breathes politics. A staunch defender of long-time Albany Mayor Erastus Corning II (Michael McK...
Tags: Theatre, Bill, Albany, Peter, Noonan, Falco, Said, Betty, Scolari, McKean, Polly, Pershing Square Signature Center, Judd Hollander, Monique Carboni, Derek McLane, Jeff Croiter

Be More Chill - A Delightful Experience

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Big Brother is no longer simply watching. He’s now taking an active role, in everything. So suggests the musical Be More Chill at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Boasting one of the most enthusiastic audiences in recent memory, and based on the novel of the same name, the show presents a refreshing new take on the oft-told tale of someone trying to become one of the cool kids. Jeremy (Will Rolland), now in his junior year at a New Jersey suburban hi...
Tags: New York, Theatre, New Jersey, Broadway, Jeremy, Keanu Reeves, Michael, Roland, Tam, Salazar, Keith Sherman, Hsu, Lauren Marcus, Will Roland, Charlie Rosen, Tyler Micoleau

The Lost Supper – A Hypnotic Dinner Party

A Surrealistic Journey Well Worth Taking Reviewed by Judd Hollander Did you ever have a dream where different elements from completely separate parts of your life - a current love, a place you visited as a child, a long-dead relative - suddenly come together in a way that makes perfect sense? This intersectionality best describes the exquisite and immersive experience that is The Lost Supper – A Hypnotic Dinner Party. Taking place at the McKittrick Hotel, home to the legendary Sleep N...
Tags: Theatre, McKittrick Hotel, Judd Hollander, McKittrick, Jane Kratochvil

Mary Page Marlowe - Getting To Know You - Just Not Completely

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Each of us during the course of our lives will meet, work and interact with numerous people on an almost daily basis. Yet in the end, we'll never really know many of them at all. Such is the premise for Tracy Lett’s fascinating drama, Mary Page Marlowe. The show being performed by Second Stage at the Tony Kiser Theater Played by six different actresses and seen at various ages between 12 and 69, Mary Page Marlowe is someone who has gone through/will go throu...
Tags: Theatre, Ed, Wendy, Blair, Roberta, Letts, Mia Sinclair Jenness, Tracy Letts, Blair Brown, Tyler Micoleau, Lett, Judd Hollander, Laura Jellinek, Mary Page Marlowe, Gummer, Mary Frances

Peace For Mary Frances - A Tale of Dysfunction That Misses the Mark

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Choosing to die with dignity when your body is falling apart is a hotly debated topic. But what happens when one's entire family agrees with that decision, only to see the person in question live on for longer than expected? Such is the basic premise in Lily Thorne's playwriting debut, Peace for Mary Frances, now being presented by The New Group. An interesting idea to be sure. Unfortunately Thorne loads up the story with so many characters and sub-plots, the show ...
Tags: Theatre, Broadway, Alice, Helen, Rosie, Thorne, New Group, Tyler Micoleau, Fanny, Judd Hollander, Daniel Kluger, Smith Cameron, Monique Carboni, Mary Frances, Judy Henderson, Bridget Klapinski

Long Day's Journey Into Night - One family's fall from grace

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Like an immense series of interlocking puzzle pieces, Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night inexorably charts the downfall of a family which has literally collapsed in upon itself through decades of inner rot. The current production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and originally seen at the Bristol Old Vic, offering quite the spellbinding journey. The story takes place over the course of a single day at the Connecticut home of the Tyrone family...
Tags: Theatre, Connecticut, Bristol, Irons, James, Jamie, Jeremy Irons, Mary, Fulton, Edmund, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tyrone, Eugene O Neill, Keenan, Richard Eyre, O'Neill

Me and My Girl - A Musical From Yesterday Comes Roaring To Life

 Reviewed by Judd Hollander In this world of message musicals and important themes, it’s nice to know that every so often a vehicle comes along whose only purpose is to offer a good time. The 1937 tuner Me and My Girl, which was recently resurrected for an engagement as part of the Encores! series at New York City Center , is such a work. With a storyline paper thin; musical numbers that have often have nothing to do with advancing the plot; dusty jokes which were old when the mu...
Tags: England, London, Theatre, Atlantic, Broadway, Stephen Fry, Lambeth, Bill, Dick Van Dyke, Kelly, HARRIS, Cooper, Sally, Earl, Gene Kelly, John Weidman

Summer and Smoke - More Than 90% There

Reviewed by Judd Hollander One can't be helped out of a bad situation unless they are first willing to help themselves. A tenet for anyone suffering from substance abuse, and also when it comes to matters of the heart. The latter point brilliantly made clear in Tennessee Williams' 1948 drama, Summer and Smoke. Presented by Classic Stage Company and Transport Group, the work shows how fine a line there can be between sympathy and pity. At the dawn of the twentieth century, in the town of ...
Tags: Theatre, Ireland, Tennessee, John, Smith, CSC, john Buchanan, Nellie, John Doyle, Tennessee Williams, Alma, DARROW, Judd Hollander, Dane Laffrey, Terri K Kohler, Nathan Darrow

Yerma - Where Need Becomes A Dangerous Obsession

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Director Simon Stone's reinterpretation of Federico García Lorca's Yerma is, quite simply, one of the best shows of this or any other theatre season. Enjoying its North American premiere at the Park Avenue Armory, and featuring a tour-de-force performance by Billie Piper, the work examines the unraveling of a relationship where those involved are each hoping for a markedly different outcome. Set in present day London , Piper's character, referred to s...
Tags: Theatre, John, Federico García Lorca, Victor, Piper, Simon, Mary, Cowell, CDG, Park Avenue Armory, Beattie, Billie Piper, Lorca, Lizzie Clachan, Kate Hewitt, Judd Hollander

Jerry Springer-The Opera

A Good Idea Taken Too Far Reviewed by Judd Hollander In the world of tabloid talk shows, few are more famous, or infamous, than "The Jerry Springer Show". A place where relationships, questions of sexual identity, politics and other issues of the day are regularly discussed, dissected and bandied about. Accompanied at times by insults, accusations and the occasional flying fist or tossed chair. This is the atmosphere recreated in Jerry Springer - The Opera. The work first seen in London...
Tags: London, Theatre, Broadway, Stewart Lee, Springer, Cincinnati, Thomas, Robert Kennedy, Jerry, Jerry Springer, Mann, Richard Thomas, Swenson, Will Swenson, New Group, Matt McGrath

Flight - Putting A Human Face On A Hot Button Issue

Reviewed by Judd Hollander The McKittrick Hotel, home to such artistic triumphs as Sleep No More and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, has another winner with their latest offering, Flight. Created by the Scottish theatre group Vox Motus, the production at the McKittrick marks the North American premiere for this immersive, intimate, and sadly, all-too topical tale. Based on the novel "Hinterland" by Caroline Brothers, and brilliantly adapted by Oliver Emanuel, Flight is the ...
Tags: London, France, Theatre, Turkey, Afghanistan, Vox, Kabir, Jamie Harrison, McKittrick Hotel, Judd Hollander, Rebecca Hamilton, Mark Melville, Prudencia Hart, Oliver Emanuel, Aryan, Vox Motus

Hey, Look Me Over! - It's What's Not There That's The Problem

Reviewed by Judd Hollander For the last quarter of a century, the appeal of the Encores! series at New York City Center has been the opportunity for audiences to see little known, or long forgotten musicals return to the stage. Thus allowing these properties to be seen and appreciated by a new generation of theatre goers. In keeping with that tradition, kicking off the organization's 25th anniversary season is Hey, Look Me Over! Conceived by Jack Viertel, the company's artistic directo...
Tags: Theatre, America, Broadway, Duncan, Martin, George, Mack, Irving Berlin, Great White Way, Mabel, New York City Center, Paul Miller, Vanessa Williams, Bob Martin, George M Cohan, Noel Coward

Disco Pigs - the Pangs of Youth

Reviewed by Judd Hollander It’s great to have a best friend when you’re a child. Someone you  can tell secrets to, watch television with, and just hang out together. But as one grows up, things start to change – sometimes forever. It’s a point shatteringly brought home in Enda Walsh’s 1996 drama,  Disco Pigs. A powerful revival of which is currently taking place at the Irish Repertory Theatre. In 1996 Cork City , Cork County , Ireland , seventeen year-olds Pig (Colin Campbell) ...
Tags: Theatre, Enda Walsh, Walsh, Campbell, Lynch, Evanna Lynch, Matt Ross, Pig, Giles Thomas, Colin Campbell, Cork City, Judd Hollander, John Haidar, Rachel Stone, Runt, Cork City Cork County Ireland

He Brought Her Heart Back In A Box - The Many Shades of Racial History

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Shadows of the past run long and deep, and breaking free to find your own way is not as easy as it may seem. A point Adrienne Kennedy makes clear in her absolutely brilliant new one-act work, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, now at Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center . In June of 1941, in the small town of Montefiore , Georgia, seventeen year-old Chris Aherne (Tom Pecinka), is making plans to leave his home and herita...
Tags: Europe, New York, Theatre, Paris, Jim Crow, Massacre, Kennedy, Chris, Cincinnati, Donald, Kay, Harrison, Montefiore, Boarding School, Canfield, Donald Holder

The Undertaking - A Pallid Examination of the Dark Side

Reviewed by Judd Hollander A theatrical documentarian gets pulled into his own subject in The Undertaking, now at 59E59 Theaters. After working on various projects for the investigative theatrical group The Civilians over the years, Steve (Dan Domingues), has decided that it’s time to "go after the big one, per se". The big one in this case being Death, in all its relevant aspects. How different people in different cultures deal with it; how people rationalize surviving near-death ex...
Tags: New York City, Theatre, Brazil, Jean Cocteau, Steve, Lydia, Washington Square Park, Judd Hollander, Celik, Marsha Ginsberg, Thomas Dunn, Steve Cosson, Steve Dan Domingues, Lydia Aysan Celik, Union Square Madison Square Park, Domingues

Ballyturk - Where The End Of The Road Is Just Out Of Sight

Reviewed by Judd Hollander If "sleep is freedom", as one character points out in Enda Walsh's Ballyturk, then it follows that ignorance is bliss and knowledge offers an awareness that can be truly devastating. The play now having its American premiere at St. Ann 's Warehouse. Two unnamed men - referred to as 1 (Tadhg Murphy) and 2 (Mikel Murfi) in the show program - are living in a somewhat homey, somewhat Spartan space. Exactly where and when this space is located and why the...
Tags: Theatre, Enda Walsh, Walsh, St Ann, Murphy, Mikel Murfi, Judd Hollander, Jamie Vartan, Adam Silverman, Olwen Fouere, Helen Atkinson, Ballyturk, Tadhg Murphy, Arlington Rooms, Misterman Ballyturk, Murfi

The Children - Posing Questions of Responsibility

Reviewed by Judd Hollander "I don't know how to want less", exclaims Hazel (Deborah Findlay) in Lucy Kirkwood's dystopian drama The Children. This London transfer currently having its North American premiere at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Hazel and Robin (Ron Cook) retired nuclear engineers and a long time married couple, live on an isolated section of the English coast, approximately ten miles from what has become known as the "exclusion zone". An area so heavily irradiated in...
Tags: Cook, London, Theatre, Broadway, Robin, Rose, Hazel, Manhattan Theatre Club, Samuel J Friedman, Findlay, Kirkwood, James MacDonald, Judd Hollander, Lucy Kirkwood, Annis, Peter Mumford

It's A Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play - All About Making A Difference

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Each person’s life touches others, often in the most unexpected ways. It’s a lesson learned by George Bailey in the 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful Life", and given a new twist with Anthony E. Palermo's adaptation of the work as a live radio performance. Previously seen at the Irish Repertory Theatre in 2013, the piece has returned for an encore engagement, making for a heartwarming holiday treat. Set in the same year as the film, the  Palermo version takes p...
Tags: Theatre, Charlotte Moore, NICK, Frank Capra, Anthony, Mary, George, Potter, Gaines, George Bailey, Clarence, Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby, Matt Ross, Bedford Falls, James Morgan

Downtown Race Riot - A Matter of Perception

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Just because one person has an opinion of how they stand in a cultural context, doesn't mean people with different social perspectives share that same opinion. This being one of the messages in Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's powerful drama Downtown Race Riot.  The show now being presented by The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Greenwich Village , New York City, 1976. 18 year-old Jimmy "Pnut" Shannon (David Levi), and his best friend Marcel "Ma...
Tags: Theatre, Levi, Haiti, Mary, Scott, Shannon, Rosenfeld, Joyce, DeMeo, New Group, Pershing Square Signature Center, Judd Hollander, Derek McLane, Valerie A Peterson, Scott Elliott, Clint Ramos

Who's Holiday! - One Woman, Starting Again

Reviewed by Judd Hollander For the record, the Grinch did not pat Cindy Lou Who on the butt during that long ago Christmas Eve, nor was she possibly three years old at the time the two first met. In actuality, she was "no more than two", according to the historical documents which chronicled that initial meeting. Playwright Matthew Lombardo using this encounter from the much-beloved Dr. Seuss children's book "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" as the genesis for his one-person show Who's H...
Tags: Theatre, Grinch, Margherita, Lombardo, Seuss, Said, David Gallo, Sam Rudy, Whoville, Lesli Margherita, Cindy Lou Who, Judd Hollander, Carl Andress, Cindy Lou, Matthew Lombardo, Cindy Lou Who Lesli Margherita

Harry Clarke - One Man's Search for Himself

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Billy Crudup gives a powerful performance in David Cale's Harry Clarke. A one-man play about the realizations and pitfalls that come with self-discovery, now at the Vineyard Theatre.  Crudup plays Philip Brugglestein, a man who hails from Indiana , and who has no happy memories from childhood. His parents fighting seemingly all the time and his father an alcoholic. During those early years, Philip started speaking with an English accent as a means of escapin...
Tags: New York City, Theatre, Indiana, Harry, Alan, Philip, Mark, Hyde, Cale, Harry Clarke, Sam Rudy, Adrian White, Crudup, Judd Hollander, Elizabeth Smith, Henry Russell Bergstein

Illyria - Offering Much, But Not Telling Enough

Reviewed by Judd Hollander The birth pangs of the New York Shakespeare Festival, particularly its conflicts with the New York City Parks Department and city planner Robert Moses are the stuff of theatre legend. Playwright Richard Nelson using those events as the source material for his rather meandering play Illyria , at the Public Theater. Taking place between April and August of 1958, the story centers around Joe Papp (John Magaro), founder of the Festival, and a man who expects and...
Tags: New York, Theatre, Lafayette, Lincoln Center, Shakespeare, Nelson, Stuart, Joe, Sanders, West Side, Peggy, George C Scott, Merle, Joseph Papp, New York City Parks Department, Robert Moses

Of Thee I Sing - It's Message Still Soars

Reviewed by Judd Hollander Satire may be what closes on Saturday night, as playwright George S. Kaufman once said, but that was certainly not the case for the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing. Gleefully skewering the American political process and written by Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, the show opened on Broadway in 1931, running for 441 performances. Considering what’s going on in the world today, it’s not surprising t...
Tags: Minnesota, Supreme Court, France, White House, Theatre, Broadway, Diana, Napoleon, Benton, Mary, George, Fulton, Carnegie Hall, Kaufman, Gershwin, George Gershwin

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