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Review: The King and I

Lincoln Center Theater's The King and I arrives this spring much like the ship Chow Phya heaves into view of Bangkok on the Vivian Beaumont stage: a majestic vessel of excellent construction, expertly piloted and bringing with it many wonderful things—starting with Kelli O'Hara

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Review: Finding Neverland

Manic, childish applause might cure the poisoned fairy Tinker Bell, but it's not medicine enough for Finding Neverland, the awkward, garish and manipulative musical based on the 2004 Miramax film about playwright J.M. Barrie and the boys who inspired Peter Pan

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Shows opening this week

New York theater’s best plays and musicals are opening on Broadway and Off this week. Don’t miss out!

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Review: It Shoulda Been You

The best way to enjoy the madcap, madly old-hat It Shoulda Been You is to pretend it’s a lost TV relic from the 1970s. The shortcomings of Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi’s mossy new show, about an interfaith wedding gone awry, are easier to forgive through a lens of affectionate camp: the dated stereotypes of pushy Jews and boozy WASPs, the creaky farcical contrivances, the hokey-schmaltzy jokes. (The opening pages of the script provided to critics are printed in Comic Sans.) But while the antics are predictable—aside from one huge, implausible twist—they’re not unenjoyable, thanks to a seasoned and flavorful all-star ensemble. Remember the Broadway episodes of The Love Boat? This is the Love Boat version of Broadway. David Hyde Pierce’s direction is generous with the spotlight. Lisa Howard holds the plot together capably as Jenny, the long-suffering sister of the bride (a doll-like Sierra Boggess), and Josh Grisetti is great as an ardent ex-boyfriend. But it’s the veterans who keep the show afloat: Tyne Daly as the bride’s overbearing mother, Harriet Harris as the poisonous mother of the groom, Edward Hibbert as an omniscient wedding planner. Though the cake is stale, they decorate it well. It shoulda been better but it coulda been worse.—Adam Feldman Brooks Atkinson Theatre (Broadway). Book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove. Music by Barbara Anselmi. Directed by David Hyde Pierce. With Lisa Howard, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harri

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Top Bottoms of Burlesque

Chorus boys and girls show off their assets for Broadway Bares’ annual fundraiser

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Time Out's picks

The best shows on Broadway and off, as chosen by Time Out's critics.

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Best Broadway shows

The perfect short list of the most exciting plays, musicals and revivals on Broadway.

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Off Broadway shows

Reviews and tickets for Off Broadway shows in New York

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Off-Off Broadway shows

Reviews and tickets for Off-Off Broadway shows in New York.

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Theater tickets and offers

Gazillion Bubble Show

Now $45, Was $75

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Bad Dancing World Championship Finals

Now $54, Was $35

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Drunk Shakespeare

Now $35, Was $54

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Latest theater and Broadway reviews

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Buzzer

There is a profound mismatch in Tracey Scott Wilson’s Buzzer at the Public Theater. It’s not in the ostensibly happy but uncommunicative relationship between Jackson (Grantham Coleman), a black power lawyer, and Suzy (Tessa Ferrer), his white schoolteacher girlfriend

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Hamlet

Artistic Director Brian Kulick must have two wheels in his office: one marked “classics,” the other “celebs.” Spin the wheels, and sometimes you come up trumps—like A Month in the Country with Taylor Schilling—but elsewhere the result is a humiliating bust. When the Season-o-Matic put Peter Sarsgaard into Hamlet, it jammed an ill-prepared actor (with zero Shakespeare experience) into the canon's most demanding role, one that cruelly exposes those without a gift for verse. Sarsgaard tries hard; he shouts and gesticulates. But his attempts simply turn the lines into gabble. To be fair, director Austin Pendleton's staging and textual cuts have already undermined the play's sense, which is recovered only by the cast's talented elders: Harris Yulin's exhausted Claudius, Penelope Allen's warm Gertrude and Stephen Spinella's fussy Polonius. Their palpable wisdom makes us wonder what the show could have been had a seasoned adviser, just like Polonius, sidled up to Sarsgaard long before this production hit the boards. “Peter,” he might have said, gently but quellingly, “Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star.”—Helen Shaw Classic Stage Company (Off Broadway). By William Shakespeare. Directed by Austin Pendleton. With Peter Sarsgaard. Running time: 3hrs 20mins. One intermission.

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Iowa

The verbiage in Jenny Schwartz’s Iowa flies out at you like a murmuration of starlings. Each brief, witty line seems to have a life of its own, but the dialogue rushes by at such a pace that you hardly have time to process it in discrete parts

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Ghosts

If all you needed for a successful Ghosts were a spooky set, sickly shadows and an ardent Helene Alving, then Richard Eyre’s adaptation would be perfect. But this new look at Ibsen’s 1881 shocker about provincial hypocrisy and moral corruption, although offering forceful moments, feels more dutiful than thrilling. Its greatest asset is Lesley Manville, best known for emotionally transparent performances in Mike Leigh films (recently as a scientist in Mr. Turner). Her Helene is a 19th-century freethinker, torn between revealing the truth about her dissolute husband and smothering the past with good works and lies. Her son, Oswald (Billy Howle), has returned home, suffering from a condition—syphilis, passed down from his father. Before day ends and dawn breaks on Ibsen’s social tragedy (as compact and speedy as a bullet in Eyre’s muscular, 90-minute version), specters of the past burst out, betokening disease, incest and religious cant that only encourages moral rot. Designer Tim Hatley’s glass walls match the crystalline quality of Manville’s fine, harrowing performance, but little else about this production haunts you.—David Cote BAM Harvey Theater (see Off Broadway). By Henrik Ibsen. Directed by Richard Eyre. With Lesley Manville. Running time: 1hr 35mins. No intermission. Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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39 Steps

No disrespect to the romantic leads, but it’s a supporting actor—Arnie Burton, reprising his 2008 Broadway role—who really carries this welcome revival

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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An American in Paris

The arrival of two big musicals derived from classic 1950s movies located in the City of Light (see Gigi) indicates either a resurgent interest in the early film oeuvre of Leslie Caron or a lack of producer imagination. Or maybe it’s just random, unintentionally reflected in the patchwork—if also lavish and classy—quality of An American in Paris. There’s much gorgeous ballet to admire in director-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s Broadway debut, set against attractive, painterly backdrops by Bob Crowley, but the overall effect is of a dance concert with a semiserious musical squeezed into the cracks. Book writer Craig Lucas takes the bones of Alan Jay Lerner’s 1951 screenplay, which sent the great Gene Kelly leaping through postwar Paris after Caron to the hooting, swooning strains of George Gershwin, and concocts a story tinged by Nazi-occupation guilt and soldiers with PTSD. Adam Hochberg (Brandon Uranowitz) narrates the story of his pal, GI artist Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild), and their shared passion for ballerina-muse Lise (Leanne Cope). The leads are charming and the score’s divine, but mainly there’s middling singing and loads of dance. Hollywood made it look so easy, but simple amour can be hard to translate.—David Cote Palace Theatre (see Broadway). Music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. Book by Craig Lucas. Directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mi

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Exclusive Video: Laura Benanti & the Rockettes

Broadway watchers over the past few years have known what a treasure Laura Benanti is: beauty, awesome singing chops and her not-so-secret weapon, killer comedy timing

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April on Broadway is officially insane

The April crush of Broadway is nearly upon us, and this year it’s crazier than ever. Theater lovers are accustomed to having a rush of shows opening in the early spring

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Jason Alexander back on Broadway

Producers for Larry David's Fish in the Dark just announced that the author-star will play his final performance in the family comedy June 7, to be replaced immediately by Jason Alexander

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What is “dramaturgical normcore”?

Reviewers who write with hard deadlines and limited word counts often don’t have the luxury to be critics, to do the deep culture work of parsing text, performance and history

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