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theater review

  • Originally published 07/12/2018

    A New Macbeth Stumbles to the Top

    Bruce Chadwick

    This play's Lady Macbeth looks and acts more like June Cleaver from the old "Leave It to Beaver" television series. She is not plotting treason and murder, but Tuesday’s Tupperware party.

  • Originally published 06/29/2018

    You Think Your Boss Is Bad?

    Bruce Chadwick

    A review of the play, “The Servant of Two Masters,” a giddy, hilarious romp through 18th century Italy.

  • Originally published 06/01/2018

    Mom, Dad and the Rogue Boyfriend in 1660s France

    Bruce Chadwick

    "Tartuffe" is a delightful romp through the castles and the rich of 17th century France with a lot thievery, deceit, debauchery, misplaced love, loud shouting matches and high-end misconduct. How could you not love it?

  • Originally published 11/10/2017

    Killing Billy the Kid

    Bruce Chadwick

    There's a new play about Billy the Kid produced by Bruce Willis.  Our reviewer was not impressed. 

  • Originally published 10/09/2017

    Ralph Kramden Is Back! (This Time as a Play.)

    Bruce Chadwick

    The play is so good that the Loyal Order of the Raccoons, Ralph and Ed’s fraternal lodge in Brooklyn, would stand up and wave their raccoon pelt hats for it.

  • Originally published 09/18/2017

    Peter Pan Finally Gets Off the Runway

    Bruce Chadwick

    A new version of the play has debuted in New York in time for the 70th anniversary of Peter Pan. The final third is great!  The first 2/3rds?  Ugh. 

  • Originally published 07/25/2017

    Why You Don’t Want to Marry Your Pen Pal

    Bruce Chadwick

    A review of "Intimate Apparel," a long, gripping saga about race, class and gender in turn-of-the-century America, a time when the nation was bursting with yet another wave of immigrants, rising crime and political upheaval.

  • Originally published 04/24/2017

    Murdering the Tsar and His Family – Set to Music

    Bruce Chadwick

    The new Broadway musical "Anastasia" tells the story of the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia. The play is dazzling  –  one of the best musicals of the year, a historical thriller and a sure-fire multiple Tony nominee.

  • Originally published 03/13/2017

    A Play About the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

    Bruce Chadwick

    The tragedy here is that the 1893 fair was a marvelous piece of Chicago and U.S. history, yet none of its highlights are mentioned prominently.

  • Originally published 02/15/2017

    Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr.: The Play

    Bruce Chadwick

    The play about him is a nice story about Powell’s achievements in his lifelong battle against racism in which he represented Harlem for nearly three decades in Congress. It leaves out the bad parts.

  • Originally published 12/16/2016

    Guilty or Innocent? Martin Luther on Trial on Times Square

    Bruce Chadwick

    Somewhere between heaven, hell and Times Square, they are putting Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church in the early 1500s, on trial for blasphemy with eternal damnation the punishment if the truculent monk is found guilty.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    A Christmas in Wales Is Like Christmas Anywhere in America

    Bruce Chadwick

    We have a number of wonderful Christmas plays and movies to keep us warm during the holidays. Poet Dylan Thomas’s "A Child’s Christmas in Wales" usually does not find its place on that list and it should.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Daddy Long Legs

    Bruce Chadwick

    Jerusha Abbott is an orphan at the John Grier asylum in New York in the early 1900s in this play about a wealthy benefactor who wants to pay for her entire college education.

  • Originally published 10/24/2016

    The Never Ending Story of Lee Harvey Oswald

    Bruce Chadwick

    In a new play Oswald's mama is blamed for many of his problems. The play winks at conspiracy theories, but says flat out that Oswald shot the president.

  • Originally published 08/29/2016

    A Day by the Sea, from 1953, Is a Refreshing High Tide

    Bruce Chadwick

    The story seems like it took place in America yesterday. This is the land of layoffs, buyouts, half-jobs, downsized workers, forced retirees, interim employment and millions of temps.

  • Originally published 08/15/2016

    A King Who Serves for 400 Years?

    Bruce Chadwick

    That's the premise of Eugene Ionesco’s 1962 play "Exit the King." Alas, it doesn't make for a great production.

  • Originally published 07/24/2016

    Women Soldiers: When They Come Home Broken

    Bruce Chadwick

    Review of "Ugly Lies the Bone," a play that reveals the stark life of a soldier who comes home from war disfigured, depressed and angry.

  • Originally published 06/20/2016

    1950s Paris, Set to the Music of the Everly Brothers

    Bruce Chadwick

    From the first to last moment, "Out of the Mouths of Babes" is an hysterically funny, and yet loving and tender, play about four gritty women who spin stories of history in Paris and several American cities, too.

  • Originally published 06/06/2016

    Grandpa’s World War II Secret

    Bruce Chadwick

    "War" is a moving play about what happened to so many thousands of GIs who fell in love with women in Germany, and later Japan, and in allied nations, in the World War II era (and in Vietnam later).

  • Originally published 01/27/2013

    A Gay Man, a Housewife, and Mussolini

    Bruce Chadwick

    Working on a Special Day 59 E. 59 Theaters 59 E. 59th Street New York, N.Y.How do you turn a movie that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and starred Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren into a successful play?Very carefully.

  • Originally published 01/27/2013

    Jam On

    Bruce Chadwick

    The Jammer Atlantic Stage 2 330 W. 16th Street New York, N.Y.It's Brooklyn, circa 1958. The Dodgers have been gone for two years, Eisenhower is president and rock and roll music is sweeping the nation. It's nighttime at a local sports arena, time for outlandishly dressed men and women to crash over rails, leap over fallen skaters and elbow each other. It is time for fans to lose their sanity and yell and scream at the top of their lungs for the hometown team.It is time for roller derby.From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, the brazen men and wild women of roller derby were skating in smoky arenas all over America on wooden ovals in a frantic race for points and time. Teams from New York to San Francisco drew crowds as large as 50,000 fans at indoor and outdoor arenas and millions more watched on television.The roller derby skating teams, with names such as the Jolters and Bombers, gave the country a very rowdy, fast paced sport, supposedly a little fixed at times. It was like professional wrestling, with roaring crowds, bigger than life stars and non-stop violence.

  • Originally published 01/18/2013

    "Phantom of the Opera" Showcases Rich Parisian History

    Bruce Chadwick

    Phantom of the Opera Majestic Theater 247 W. 44th Street New York, N.Y.The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running play in American history, celebrates its 25th anniversary in New York Saturday night. There will once again be “oohs” and “aahs” when the huge chandelier falls on stage, scary moments when the Phantom threatens people and, start to finish, some of the most luscious music ever written for the stage.Theatergoers will see the enchanting musical, as good as ever after all these years, and shudder as the ogrish Phantom takes the beautiful actress Christine across the foreboding lake beneath the Paris Opera House to his lair. They will revel in French history, with all of its odd turns, that set the stage for the 1911 novel Le Fantome de L’Opera, by Gaston Leroux, and the hit 1925 silent movie version of it, starring the hideously made up Lon Chaney. While it was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wonderful music, and the character of the Phantom, that made the musical so successful, it was the history that always gave it strength, whether in 1925 movie theaters or in the 148 cities in 28 countries where the musical has been staged.