Theater review by Adam Feldman “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places,” promise the lyrics of the 1938 standard from which Seeing You takes its title. It’s a song about holding on to the memory of someone who may never return, and it struck a special chord for listeners during World War II. Immersive-theater impresario Randy Weiner and choreographer Ryan Heffington’s engrossing and evocative dance-theater show honors that sentiment, not merely rehashing traditional WWII iconography but infusing it with a ghostly charge. Like Sleep No More, which Weiner produced, Seeing You has sequences in which audience members choose their own paths and moments of interaction with the 14 performers. In the initial orientation phase, we are free to wander among various intimate scenes of domestic, romantic and professional tension that introduce us to characters we can follow throughout the evening. Later, our attention is guided toward one or two sequences at a time. (Stories that have often been on the margins—racial discrimination, internment, same-sex desire—have pride of place.) Designed by Desi Santiago, the show unfurls in a single, constantly evolving ground-floor space in the Meatpacking District. The skillful, well-drilled performers never stop moving, and Heffington—best known for Sia’s “Chandelier” video—gives them memorable showpieces: a guilt-ridden gay pas de deux for two soldiers (Jesse Kovarsky and Nicholas Ranauro); an unsettling jungle-jazz number for an Af
Theater review by Adam Feldman When was the last time you felt scared at the theater? Not disturbed or perturbed or provoked, but scared? The harrowing climactic torture scene of 1984, adapted from George Orwell’s novel by directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, is intense in a way I’ve never seen on Broadway: It’s gut-churning. Children under 13 have been barred from the production; even adults may shake in their seats, or at least avert their eyes. This gripping show rewards watching, though, and not just in that visit to Room 101 at the grotesquely named Ministry of Love. Orwell’s vision of a surveillance state awash in groupthink and propaganda was published in 1949 and set in 1984, but it remains uncannily suggestive of the present and the future. Winston (the remarkable Tom Sturridge) is a minor functionary in the fake-news department of the government of Oceania, erasing all traces of those who have run afoul of the country’s repressive and possibly apocryphal leader, Big Brother. His qualms—spurred by lust for fellow “thought criminal” Julia (Olivia Wilde, a hard-edged cipher)—lead him to a terrorist movement linked to a high-level official named O’Brien (Reed Birney, masterfully unflappable). When Winston and Julia meet for offstage trysts at an antique shop—supposedly unseen by Big Brother’s ever-watchful eye—we see them on a giant video screen, as though they were being captured by cameras they didn’t know existed. As technology becomes more pervasive and i
In this captivating original musical, Ben Platt gives a stunning performance—funny, sweet, beautifully sung and exquisitely worked-out in its physical details—as a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. The production has moved to Broadway after its sold-out run at Second Stage Theatre. Read the full review.
Theater review by Raven Snook Excruciatingly sincere, Dewey Moss’s melodrama about intolerance is all bleeding heart. That leaves no room for anything else in The Crusade of Connor Stephens, an overwrought tale of two gay Texas men whose lives are shattered by an act of gun violence sparked by hateful religious rhetoric. Moss, whose direction is as unsubtle as his writing, is from the Lone Star State himself, so perhaps this material is personal to him. But in midtown Manhattan, it feels like preaching to the choir, and the sermon is rarely inspiring. As Jim Jr. (Ben Curtis) and his partner, Bobby (Alec Shaw), prepare to bury their young child, we meet their extended families, who are clichés, one and all—especially the I’m-so-old-I-tell-it-like-it-is grandma (Kathleen Huber) and Big Jim (soap opera alum James Kiberd), a fire-and-brimstone Baptist minister who abhors his son’s “sin” of homosexuality. Although the actors strive valiantly to enliven the lugubrious material, predictable ideological and emotional conflicts ensue, not to mention awkward exposition and unsurprising revelations. There’s some question, too, about the motives of the shooter, who died at the scene. But the only mystery you’ll want to unravel is how this well-meaning clunker made it Off Broadway. The Theater Center (Off Broadway). By Dewey Moss. Directed by Moss. With ensemble cast. Running tiome: 2hrs. One intermission. Through Sept 30. Follow Raven Snook on Twitter: @ravensnookFollow Time Out Theat
Hamilton: Theater review by David Cote What is left to say? After Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s prodigious quill scratched out 12 volumes of nation-building fiscal and military policy; after Lin-Manuel Miranda turned that titanic achievement (via Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography) into the greatest American musical in decades; after every critic in town (including me) praised the Public Theater world premiere to high heaven; and after seeing this language-drunk, rhyme-crazy dynamo a second time, I can only marvel: We've used up all the damn words. Wait, here are three stragglers, straight from the heart: I love Hamilton. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right. A sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda’s uniquely personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith, Hamilton hits multilevel culture buttons, hard. No wonder the show was anointed a sensation before even opening. Assuming you don’t know the basics, Hamilton is a (mostly) rapped-through biomusical about an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who came to New York, served as secretary to General Washington, fought against the redcoats, authored most of the Federalist Papers defending the Constitution, founded the Treasury and the New York Post and even made time for an extramarital affair that he damage-controlled in a scandal-stanching pamp
Theater review by Helen Shaw When you walk into Say Something Bunny!, you enter another time. You might not notice that at first, because the brick office space where it takes place is so determinedly ordinary-looking. The small audience sits around a doughnut-shaped conference table, and as Alison S.M. Kobayashi begins her multimedia docuplay, some spectators are already paging through the scripts that have been placed in front of each chair. The text turns out to be the full transcript of a real, unlabeled 65-year-old recording that Kobayashi found hidden in an antique wire recorder: the audio relic of a teenage boy in Woodmere, Queens, enthusiastically taping two dozen family members and neighbors. Kobayashi has listened to the recording hundreds of times and has a seemingly boundless interest in the people whose voices it preserves, including amateur recordist David, mother Juliette and neighbor Bunny. She conducts us through a pair of after-dinner conversations, the first in 1952—she deduced the date from song lyrics mentioned on the wire—and the second in 1954. Aided by coauthor Christopher Allen, she pursues hints and half-heard jokes to determine who these people were and what befell them; she shows us the census records she used to find their old houses. The play unspools unhurriedly, leaving space for Kobayashi to make jokes, play short films and highlight points of historical interest. It takes a while for it to sink in that—of course—many of these vibrant people
Dave Malloy's dazzlingly eclectic rock-pop musical, adapted from a portion of Tolstoy's War and Peace, conveys its story of high-society Muscovites in stirring and surprising ways. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, this Broadway transfer of the 2012 Off Broadway hit stars global-sensation singer Josh Groban and newcomer Denée Benton. Hamilton's Okieriete Onaodowan has replaced Groban as Pierre and singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (through August 15) plays the role of Natasha's friend Sonya. Read the full review.
One of the more unlikely musicals on Broadway this season, Come from Away is the tense but humane story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and more than 6,000 passengers were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The book, music and lyrics are by the Canadian team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Read the full review.
Theater review by Adam Feldman The very notion of live theater contains an intimation of its future: dead theater. Now the play is before us, moving and breathing along with its audience; then it is done, and banished to the shadow realm of memory. This is true not just of a single performance but also of the run of a production—even The Phantom of the Opera will one day throw in the mask—and, writ larger, of entire theater worlds. Sometimes such worlds age and fade with time; sometimes, as with Yiddish theater, they are violently erased. Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s gorgeous Indecent is written on the palimpsest of that erasure. The play tracks the history of Sholem Asch’s drama God of Vengeance, the story of a Jewish flesh peddler whose daughter has a lesbian love affair with one of his prostitutes, from its first stirrings in Warsaw through its controversial 1923 stint on Broadway and beyond. (Partly at the urging of Jewish leaders, who worried that the show would fan anti-Semitism, the New York cast was prosecuted for obscenity.) History, for 100 minutes, returns to life. I was deeply moved by the play when it was at the Vineyard Theatre last year. On Broadway, with the same wonderful ensemble cast, it fills a much larger space without losing its essential intimacy. The script is Vogel’s, the staging Taichman’s, but the two are so lovingly intertwined as to be almost inseparable. The seven actors—Katrina Lenk, Mimi Lieber, Max Gordon Moore, Tom Nelis, Steven Ratt
Theater review by Adam FeldmanBroadway musicals often feature heroines trying to find themselves, but perhaps never as literally as in Anastasia. In 1927 Leningrad, the scrappy, strapping Dmitry (Derek Klena) and the worldly, roguish Vlad (John Bolton) devise a scheme to pass off a street sweeper, Anya (Christy Altomare), as the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna Romanov, rumored to have survived the massacre of the rest of her royal family in the Russian Revolution 10 years earlier. But as the con men school her, My Fair Lady–like, in the ways of nobility—hoping to deceive Anastasia’s grandmother in Paris, the Dowager Empress (an elegant Mary Beth Peil)—it emerges that Anya may be the real Anastasia after all. Who knows? Not Anya: She has amnesia. What former self might be nested like a doll inside her, waiting to be revealed? And might there be other dolls inside that one?As Anastasia piles discovery upon discovery, the happiest surprise is how consistently good the musical turns out to be. Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film and the 1956 Ingrid Bergman movie—with Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens impressively expanding their score from the former—Anastasia is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans beyond the show’s ideal audience of teenage girls. (When I saw it, a second-act kiss was greeted with deafening shrieks of approval.) Director Darko Tresnjak keeps the story swirling
Theater review by Adam Feldman. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre (Broadway). Book by Harvey Fierstein. Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. Dir. Jerry Mitchell. With Stark Sands, Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford. 2hrs 20mins. One intermission. [Note: The cast of Kinky Boots has changed since this review was first published. Panic at the Disco frontman Brendan Urie makes his Broadway debut, playing the musical's straight man, from May 26 through August 6, 2017.] The kicky crowd-pleaser Kinky Boots is the very model of a modern major musical. Adapted from a 2005 English indie film, Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s fizzy pop tuner tells of Charlie (the capable Sands) and his Northampton footwear factory, Price & Son—a family business in danger of closing down. Hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lola (Porter), a self-possessed drag queen with ideas for a niche product line: knee-high, skin-tight, stiletto-heeled sheaths of ostentatious color, strong enough for a man who’s made up like a woman. (Gay style and consumer dollars to the rescue! The shoe must go on!) Directed with verve by Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots feels familiar at every step, down to its messages about individuality, community, pride and acceptance; it could have been cobbled together from parts of The Full Monty, Billy Elliot and Fierstein’s La Cage aux Folles, and it culminates in a feel-good finale so similar to Hairspray’s (which Mitchell choreographed) that it might as well be called “You Can’t Stop the Boot.” Ye
Theater review by Adam FeldmanWith Lucas Hnath’s lucid and absorbing A Doll’s House, Part 2, the Broadway season goes out with a bang. It is not the same kind of bang, mind you, that ended Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 social drama, A Doll’s House, in which bourgeois Norwegian wife Nora Helmer walked out on her doting husband and young children with a decisive (and divisive) slam of the door. In Hnath’s taut sequel, set 15 years later, the runaway bride—played by the great Laurie Metcalf, with magnificent grit and frustration—returns to confront the people she left behind: her husband, Torvald (a sympathetic Chris Cooper); her now-grown daughter, Emmy (Condola Rashad, poised and glinting); and the family servant, Anne Marie (the uncommonly sensible Jayne Houdyshell).If Ibsen’s play is about suffocation, Hnath’s is about airing things out. Modern in its language, mordant in its humor and suspenseful in its plotting—Nora, now a scandalous writer, needs Torvald’s help to avoid being blackmailed by a judge—the play judiciously balances conflicting ideas about freedom, love and responsibility. And Sam Gold’s exemplary direction keeps you hanging on each turn of argument and twist of knife. Everything about the production works. It’s a slam dunk. John Golden Theatre (Broadway). By Lucas Hnath. Directed by Sam Gold. With Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, Condola Rashad. Running time: 1hr 25mins. No intermission. Through July 23. Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam Kee
[Note: The review below is for a 2014 version of The Imbible. A revised version now plays at New World Stages. A different, brunch-theater edition, titled The Imbible: Day Drinking, plays on weekend matinees.] Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet. That description of Anthony Caporale’s The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking may sound far-out, but the show is both educational and entertaining. (It's also a fine showcase for a cappella classics arranged by Josh Ehrlich and performed by a gifted ensemble that includes the show's director, soprano Nicole DiMattei.) Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. And the show's lessons—on subjects like the drinks served at Prohibition-era speakeasies, the origin of the gin and tonic, and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink—can be washed down with complimentary, thematically appropriate beverages. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.” That makes the show a must-see for anyone who enjoys free booze, which is probably nearly everyone.—Amelia Bienstock TIME OUT DISCOUNT TICKET OFFER:THE IMBIBLE: A SPIRITED HISTORY OF DRINKINGThe smash-hit musical comedy…with three complimentary cocktails!Tickets as low as $39 and include three complimentary drinks Promotion
The Night Shift, which describes itself as a “working class theater” group, hosts this inebriated monthly reading of Shakespearean monologues. Want to see if you can recite Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” after a few brews? Step up to the mike, or just sit back and soak in the iambs.
The insightful Lear deBessonet, founder of the Public's expansive and inclusive Public Works wing (and the director of such memorable productions as The Good Person of Szechwan), stages the latest Shakespeare in the Park production of this forest farce, in which four crazy kids and a bossy Bottom get caught up in a world of drugs and fairy sex. The starry cast includes Phylicia Rashad, Danny Burstein, Annaleigh Ashford, Jeff Hiller and the peerless Kristine Nielsen as Puck. Tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up only on the day of performance after noon at the Delacorte Theater. A limited number of tickets are also distributed via online lottery; see our complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.
Theater review by Adam FeldmanThe resonant original musical Bandstand dances a delicate line between nostalgia and disillusion. What it seems to promise, and often delivers, is Broadway escapism: a tale of soldiers returning from World War II into a lively world of big-band music, boogie-woogie dancing and a booming American economy. Donny (the very engaging Corey Cott) assembles a music combo composed entirely of fellow veterans, hoping to win a competition in New York and earn a shot at Hollywood. Sounds like a happy old movie, right? But these soldiers, we soon learn, have trouble getting into the swing of things. Try though they may—through work, repression, copious drinking—they can’t shake off the horror of war. Director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) doesn’t stint on period vitality; the terrific group dance numbers, including an Act I showstopper called “You Deserve It,” burst with snazzy individuality. But Bandstand’s heart is in its shadows—the entertainers often share the stage with ghosts of lost comrades—and in the persistence of its efforts to shed light on them. That happens, most of all, through music. The actors in Donny’s motley band—Brandon J. Ellis, Alex Bender, Geoff Packard, Joe Carroll and James Nathan Hopkins—play their instruments live (and extremely well), fronted ably by Laura Osnes as singer-lyricist Julia, the widow of Donny’s closest buddy in the Pacific. (Beth Leavel adds welcome comic support as her mother.) As the stakes rise, B
If theater is your religion and the Broadway musical your sect, you've been woefully faith-challenged of late. Venturesome, boundary-pushing works such as Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal closed too soon. American Idiot was shamefully ignored at the Tonys and will be gone in three weeks. Meanwhile, that airborne infection Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark dominates headlines and rakes in millions, without even opening. Celebrities and corporate brands sell poor material, innovation gets shown the door, and crap floats to the top. It's enough to turn you heretic, to sing along with The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers: "Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt-a, fuck you in the eye." Such deeply penetrating lyrics offer a smidgen of the manifold scato-theological joys to be had at this viciously hilarious treat crafted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez, who cowrote Avenue Q. As you laugh your head off at perky Latter-day Saints tap-dancing while fiercely repressing gay tendencies deep in the African bush, you will be transported back ten years, when The Producers and Urinetown resurrected American musical comedy, imbuing time-tested conventions with metatheatrical irreverence and a healthy dose of bad-taste humor. Brimming with cheerful obscenity, sharp satire and catchy tunes, The Book of Mormon is a sick mystic revelation, the most exuberantly entertaining Broadway musical in years. The high
Theater review by Helen Shaw Horton Foote has a way of tiptoeing up on you. One moment, you’re feeling lulled and lazy by his plays’ drawling Texans, who are being all neighborly and living peaceful midcentury lives. But as the play goes by, you’re suddenly awash in feeling: In his warm Chekhovian evenings, pain always arrives in Eden. In its beautifully performed revival at the Cherry Lane, Foote’s 1954 The Traveling Lady reveals itself as a particularly well-shaped little jewel. The titular Georgette (Jean Lichty) shows up in Clara Breedlove’s backyard, her little girl in tow, looking for her just-released ex-con husband, Henry (PJ Sosko). Harrison, Texas, is the kind of place where everyone tries to give a hand: Big-hearted Slim (Larry Bull), calm Clara (Angelina Fiordellisi), nosy Sitter (Karen Ziemba), rueful Judge Robedaux (George Morfogen) and even poor Henry himself mean Georgette well. But maybe it’s a mistake that people keep talking about “breaking” Henry of his alcoholism, since broken is what he already seems to be. Austin Pendleton has the most delicate directorial hands in the business; the show’s centerpiece is a quiet scene between Bull and Fiordellisi, a hymn to restraint. Luckily, Clara’s garden has room for some naughtier angels as well: the play’s tartest characters, teetotaler Mrs. Tillman (Jill Tanner) and cackling maniac Mrs. Mavis (the masterful Lynn Cohen). The rest of ’em invite you onto the porch, but these two keep the tea from turning too sweet
Theater review by Adam FeldmanThe secret of Dolly Levi’s success is revealed at the top of Hello, Dolly!’s unstoppable title song. The number is usually recalled as a paean to the star, sung by the adoring waiters of the ritzy Harmonia Gardens Restaurant as she descends a staircase in triumph and a bright red dress. But it begins, tellingly, with Dolly singing to them: “Hello, Harry / Well, hello, Louie…” It’s been years since her last visit, but she remembers them all and greets them by name. No wonder they love her. She makes them feel loved.In the musical’s blissful Broadway revival, the same thing happens between Bette Midler and the audience. Midler fans out her performer’s wares with expert self-assurance—she delivers her jokes at a steady vaudevillian clip, like Mae West in a hurry—but she also seems like she couldn’t live without us. And the part of Dolly, a matchmaker in late-19th-century New York, is exquisitely suited to Midler’s enormous warmth, savvy and drive. (She cuts her schmaltz with zest.) It’s hard to imagine a better match of actor and role: It is, in a word, perfection.Adapted by Michael Stewart from a Thornton Wilder comedy, Hello, Dolly! may be a vehicle for its star, but this revival treats it like a vintage Rolls-Royce. From the rousing overture on, everything about the production, directed with joyful aplomb by Jerry Zaks, gleams with old-fashioned charm. David Hyde Pierce brings droll dignity and adorable flashes of cartoon clowning to his performa
School of Rock: Theater review by David CoteEver see the pitch-perfect 2003 Jack Black comedy School of Rock? Then you know what to expect from the musical version: fake substitute teacher Dewey Finn frenetically inspiring his charges to release their inner Jimi Hendrix; uptight preppy tweens learning classic riffs; and the band’s pivotal, make-or-break gig, with their overbearing parents watching in horror. We expect cute kids in uniform, a spastic Dewey and face-melting riffs—along with heart-tugging family stuff. It worked for the movie, and wow, does it work on Broadway, a double jolt of adrenaline and sugar to inspire the most helicoptered of tots to play hooky and go shred an ax. For those about to love School of Rock: We salute you. What a relief to see that an unlikely creative team—Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, veteran composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater (Leap of Faith)—successfully execute such a smart transfer of film to stage. This is one tight, well-built show: underscoring the emotional arcs (Dewey as both surrogate kid and parent; the students’ yearning to be heard); gently juicing the romantic subplot between Dewey and buttoned-up school principal Rosalie Mullins (sweetly starchy Sierra Boggess); and knowing when to get out of the way and let the kids jam. School of Rock has absorbed the diverse lessons of Rent, Spring Awakening and Matilda and passes them on to a new generation.You’d have to have zero sense of humor about pop to no
Theater review by David CoteThe meta way to review Groundhog Day would be to repeat the same sarcastic, nit-picking paragraph three or four times before softening up and saying aw, heckfire, it’s great!—thus breaking the spell of grouchy repetition. And while there are likeable, inspired elements in this musical adaptation of the great Bill Murray movie, time crawls as you wait for boorish weatherman Phil Connors to surrender to human kindness and true romance.First, let’s salute the heroic Andy Karl as Connors, trapped in a spiritual-temporal loop, reliving February 2 over and over again in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. As he did in Rocky, Karl carries the show with inexhaustible physical and vocal energy, bounding over and around Rob Howell’s whirling set pieces without breaking his fine-honed douche-bag stride. As everyone knows, such comic gusto takes its toll: Four days before opening night, Karl injured his knee—but was deemed well enough to perform on opening night. May he soon bounce back to 100 percent.On to the show itself, whose manic, morphing surface partly hides a deeply conflicted interior. To musicalize an essentially cinematic tale (enabled by montages and quick cuts not achievable on stage), director Matthew Warchus and his design team use a range of theatrical tricks: model cars and houses, body doubles and actors repeating scenes. Unfortunately, the tone throughout is gratingly cartoonish, replacing the dry whimsy of the movie with overwrought clownishness.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical returns as a taxidermied pet. In other words, this is the same tacky and tedious '80s spectacle that ran an inexplicable 18 years on Broadway. Very little can freshen up the synth-heavy tunes or bolster the scattershot book. If you loved Cats as a kid, this could sour your "Memory." Read the full review
Self-described “bubble scientist” Fan Yang's blissfully disarming act (now performed in New York by his son Deni, daughter Melody and wife Ana) consists mainly of generating a dazzling succession of bubbles in mind-blowing configurations, filling them with smoke or linking them into long chains. Lasers and flashing colored lights add to the trippy visuals.—David Cote TIME OUT DISCOUNT TICKET OFFER:THE GAZILLLION BUBBLE SHOW It will blow you away!!!Tickets as low as $45 (Reg. $75) Promotional description: The Gazillion Bubble Show will amaze your whole family with mind-blowing bubble magic. Step into an interactive bubble world and be dazzled by spellbinding lasers, spectacular lighting effects and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry. It will make you smile, laugh, and feel like a kid all over again! The Gazillion Bubble Show is an unbubblievable extravaganza for everyone, unlike anything you have ever seen before. Adults and children of all ages are sure to be enchanted. You will have to experience it to believe it! THREE WAYS TO BUY TICKETS:1. Online: Click here to buy tickets through Telecharge2. By phone: Call 212-947-8844 and mention code: GBTONYF453. In person: Print this offer and bring it to the New World Stages box officePerformance schedule: Friday at 7pm; Saturday at 11am, 2pm and 4:30pm; Sunday at 12pm and 3pm Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission. Offer valid for all performances through 02/25/18. Blackout dates may apply. All prices include a
Theater review by Raven SnookDepending on your perspective, illusionist Derek DelGaudio's solo outing is either a transcendent meditation on the malleability of identity, or a bunch of pretentious hooey. Objectively speaking, it's both—which beautifully illustrates this two-time Academy of Magical Arts Award winner's point. People (and things) are seen differently in our own mind and the eyes of other beholders. True, some folks walked out on this deliberately slow-paced show, though many more of us stayed, entranced. If you come expecting a succession of quick, flashy routines and exuberant showmanship, In & Of Itself will confound. But give yourself over to its subtler brand of magic and you should emerge pondering deeper questions beyond, "How the hell did he do that?!"But you will ask that, too. DelGaudio masterfully performs six illusions, including the sleight of hand he's known for and previously displayed in the two-hander Nothing to Hide, which played Off-Broadway in 2013 after a successful run at Los Angeles's Geffen Playhouse. In & Of Itself enjoyed the same trajectory, but it's a wildly different undertaking, more performance art than magic show, thanks in part to his eclectic collaborators: Muppet master director Frank Oz, producer Glenn Kaino, and Devo front man composer Mark Mothersbaugh.After entering, audience members choose from a wall of cards marked with various identities, from the literal (paralegal, engineer, parent) to the lyrical (dreamer, life of th
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic, bombastic musical goes on. Directed by Harold Prince, The Phantom of the Opera is lavish and engaging enough to draw tourists more than two decades into its run. Although the score often strikes a cheesy 1980s synth-pop note, the spectacle and romance remain more or less intact. James Barbour now plays the Phantom.—David Cote Running time: 2hrs 30mins. One intermission.