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Theater for Grownups

Theater for Grownups

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Satire typically does not age well. Particularly in the theater, as times, society, and fashions change, new targets emerge and once-pointed plays become arcane curiosities. Happily, that is not the case with the still-trenchant and thoroughly engaging revival of “Six Degrees of Separation.” Twenty-seven years ago, John Guare’s play was a wry […]

Dubious Recipe for Love

Dubious Recipe for Love

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Although the York Theatre Company is famous for carefully nurturing brand new musicals (its boffo hit “Cagney” has been running Off-Broadway for over a year), its latest effort, “Marry Harry,” feels decades old. In this case, that’s not such a bad thing. For the winsome romantic comedy, despite being set in […]

Foxy Ladies

Foxy Ladies

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” has one of the juiciest female roles in American theater: Regina Giddens, a greedy matriarch conniving for control of the family cotton business in Alabama at the turn of the 20th century. None other than Tallulah Bankhead originated the Broadway role; in revivals, Anne Bancroft, Elizabeth Taylor, […]

Phillipa Soo Sparks Sweet, Modest Tale

Phillipa Soo Sparks Sweet, Modest Tale

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | The new musical “Amélie” would be perfect for a first date. It’s endearing, not too demanding, and with the magnificent Phillipa Soo in the title role stages a charm crusade that is nigh irresistible. That may seem like damning with faint praise, but “Amélie” makes little pretense of having big ambitions. Rather, […]

Love In a World Collapsing

Love In a World Collapsing

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Given its original decade on Broadway and the passion its fans have for “Miss Saigon,” criticism is as pointless as it is effete. Rather, the revival of the 1989 blockbuster now at the Broadway Theatre, as with the current production of “Cats” and the recent return of “Les Misérables,” provides an […]

Canada Welcoming USA’s Temporary Refugees

Canada Welcoming USA’s Temporary Refugees

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 […]

Life — Writ Large

Life — Writ Large

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | There really is only word to describe the revival of “Sunset Boulevard” now on Broadway: glorious. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sprawling musical adaptation of the Billy Wilder movie has always been larger than life, as befits the legendary Hollywood it attempts to portray. Yet under Lonny Price’s brilliant direction, the musical both maintains […]

Reckless Abandonment

Reckless Abandonment

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Joshua Harmon’s “Significant Other” was warmly received when it premiered Off-Broadway at the Roundabout’s intimate Laura Pels Theatre nearly two years ago, and for good reason. The heartfelt portrait of Jordan Berman, a socially inept, 29-year-old gay man yearning for love while his gal pals marry off one by one, was as […]

The Perils of Normalization

The Perils of Normalization

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | As the reality of the Trump administration bent on rolling back hard-won civil liberties starts to take hold, half of America feels blindsided, wondering in disbelief, “How the hell did this happen?” Wallace Shawn, the esteemed, conscience-tweaking dramatist and actor, is probably not so surprised. As the author of “Evening at the […]

Are You There, God?

Are You There, God?

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | In his brilliant and profoundly affecting and timely play “Man from Nebraska,” playwright Tracy Letts takes on one of the most classic literary forms: the quest. From “Gilgamesh” to Tolkein, the epic hero must persevere through seemingly insurmountable challenges on a “road of trials” to redeem themself and move on. Whereas most […]

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