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Surekha Ragavan

Surekha Ragavan

Articles (150)

How to get cheap Broadway tickets in five easy steps

How to get cheap Broadway tickets in five easy steps

Broadway and Off-Broadway shows have returned to New York's stages, which is great news for theater lovers who felt starved during the shutdown. And with attendance down overall, going to the theater is more affordable now than it was before: Discount Broadway tickets are everywhere, and modern technology makes it easier than ever to find cheap seats, even at the last minute.  If you play your cards right, you can even score seats for sold-out hits like Hamilton. Here are the five best ways to score cheap Broadway tickets. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to all Broadway shows 1. Head to TKTS The classic way to find deeply discounted tickets is to wait in line, on the day of the show, at TDF’s TKTS Booth under the red steps in Duffy Square (47th Street and Broadway). All but the biggest Broadway hits are on sale there, mostly at 50 percent off. If you are not looking to see a musical, the Times Square booth has a "Play Express" window that will cut down your wait time. The Times Square TKTS Booth is open every day of the week, starting at 3pm for evening performances and 11am for matinees (on Wednesdays and weekends). You can buy tickets to either same-day performances or next-day matinee performances.  In addition to its flagship Times Square location, TDF operates another booth at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium (Broadway at 62nd Street), which opened in 2016. It’s only 15 blocks from the main booth but it’s far less crowded—and it’s indoors, which is a big plus in inclem

Off Broadway shows, reviews, tickets and listings

Off Broadway shows, reviews, tickets and listings

New York theater ranges far beyond the 41 large midtown houses that we call Broadway. Many of the city's most innovative and engaging new plays and musicals can be found Off Broadway, in venues that seat between 100 and 499 people. (Those that seat fewer than 100 people usually fall into the Off-Off Broadway category.) These more intimate spaces present work in a wide range of styles, from new pieces by major artists at the Public Theater or Playwrights Horizons to revivals at the Signature Theatre and crowd-pleasing commercial fare at New World Stages. And even the best Off Broadway shows usually cost less than their cousins on the Great White Way—even if you score cheap Broadway tickets. Use our listings to find reviews, prices, ticket links, curtain times and more for current and upcoming Off Broadway shows. RECOMMENDED: The 30 Best Off Broadway Shows to See This Spring

The 2022 TONY* Nominations

The 2022 TONY* Nominations

[Note, May 9: The following are Time Out New York's choices for the 2022 Tony Awards. The actual 2022 Tony nominations can now be found here.] This morning we are honored to present the annual TONY* nominations, which recognize the best work on Broadway in the 2021–22 season. But first, let us be as clear as we can be: TONY is an acronym for Time Out New York, and the list below represents the Broadway shows and artists that we here at TONY (Time Out New York) would nominate for the actual Tony Awards (Antoinette Perry Awards) if we were the nominating committee for the Tony Awards, which we are not. Please note, too, that these are our choices and not our predictions of what will be nominated for Tony Awards when the real nominations are announced live at 9am on Monday, May 9. In this busy Broadway comeback season, there were many worthy candidates, and it wasn’t easy to choose among them. But choose we have—using the eligibility and category decisions of the real Tony Awards as guidelines—and here are the results. Without further ado: Congratulations to the 2022 TONY* nominees! *Time Out New York Best Play Clyde’s by Lynn NottageDana H. by Lucas Hnath and Dana Higginbotham The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini and Ben Power The Minutes by Tracy LettsSkeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau  Best Musical Girl from the North CountryMJMr. Saturday NightSixA Strange Loop  Best Revival of a Play American Buffalofor colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

The best Broadway shows you need to see

The best Broadway shows you need to see

The best Broadway shows attract millions of people to enjoy the pinnacle of live entertainment in New York City. Every season brings new Broadway musicals, plays and revivals, some of which go on to glory at the Tony Awards. Along with star-driven dramas and family-oriented blockbusters, you can still find the kind of artistically ambitious and original offerings that are more common to the smaller venues of Off Broadway. All Broadway productions were closed in March 2020, but most of them are now sheduled to return in the fall or spring, and you can buy tickets for them now. Here are our theater critics' top choices among the shows that are currently playing on the Great White Way.  RECOMMENDED: Complete A–Z listings of Broadway shows in NYC

Complete A-Z list of Broadway musicals and Off Broadway musicals in NYC

Complete A-Z list of Broadway musicals and Off Broadway musicals in NYC

Broadway musicals are the beating heart of New York City. These days, your options are more diverse than ever: cultural game-changers like Hamilton and raucous comedies like The Book of Mormon are just down the street from moving dramas like Dear Evan Hansen, sweeping operettas like The Phantom of the Opera and family classics like The Lion King. Whether you're looking for classic Broadway songs, spectacular sets and costumes, star turns by Broadway divas or dance numbers performed by the hottest chorus boys and girls, there is always plenty to choose from. Here is our list of all the Broadway musicals that are currently running or on their way, followed by a list of those in smaller Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway venues. RECOMMENDED: The best Broadway shows

The 40 best musical movies of all time

The 40 best musical movies of all time

No film genre is more polarising than the musical. Even if you love both music and movies, combining the two into a storytelling device can drive certain cinephiles insane. Why would you sing dialogue rather than speak it? Why the hell are all the extras suddenly dancing? One person’s heart-swelling song-and-dance number is another’s nails on a chalkboard. But the truth is, lavish musical performances have been an integral part of movie culture ever since the first major talkie, 1927’s The Jazz Singer. So if you’re going to consider yourself a true film fan, learning to love the musical is a crucial part of your education. Here are 40 great places to start. Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time✍️ The 100 best animated films of all-time🎶 The 30 best film-to-musical adaptations

The best karaoke songs ever

The best karaoke songs ever

One of the keys to acing these karaoke songs is having fun with them. No one will care that you’re no Mariah Carey if you project a little confidence and don’t take it too seriously. The other key is picking the right song: as a general rule, steer clear of anything dirge-like and focus on failsafe party songs, tear-jerking love songs and undeniable ’90s bangers. Choose any of the 50 karaoke songs in this list and you’ll be well on your way to karaoke MVP status. Listen to these songs on Amazon Music RECOMMENDED:🎶 The best ’80s songs🎶 The best ’90s songs🎉 The best party songs ever made🎸 The best classic rock songs🕺 The best pop songs of all time

New York theater and Broadway reviews

New York theater and Broadway reviews

If you're looking to find the best Broadway shows, or are curious about what's happening Off Broadway or Off-Off Broadway, we can help. Time Out New York's theater critics are constantly on the lookout to guide you to the most exciting, original and moving shows in the city—and to steer you away from the ones that might not be worth your time. Here is a complete list of our reviews of productions that are currently playing in New York City.

The best immersive theater in New York right now

The best immersive theater in New York right now

When it comes to theater, who says you have to just sit and watch? Immersive theater in New York City puts you right in the middle of the action, and often draws you in to participate. Whereas most Broadway shows still follow the traditional proscenium-arch model, immersive Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions tend break down the barriers between actors and spectators, letting you follow your own paths through unconventional spaces. Since they are often intimate and interactive, these shows have been slow to return from the pandemic shutdown—the king of them all, the long-running Sleep No More, will not be back until February—but there is still a lot to choose from in the months ahead. To help you navigate the maze of options, here is our list of the city's best immersive and interactive shows. RECOMMENDED: Best Broadway shows

Best Off Broadway shows for kids and families

Best Off Broadway shows for kids and families

There's no business like show business, and there's no place better for shows than New York City. The sheer range of Off Broadway show for kids proves just that. Each of these theater productions offers something unique, including blue men from another world, wild percussion, a man-eating plant and—much to kids' delight—more bubbles than you've probably ever seen before. (Of course, there are plenty of great Broadway shows for kids as well.)  Note that proof of vaccination is currently required for anyone over 12 and a negative COVID test is required for kids who are younger than that. Masks must also be worn inside the theater. Be sure to check out the specific requirements for any show you plan to attend before going. RECOMMENDED: More theater for kids in NYC Have you already checked out these cool Off Broadway shows for kids? New York has plenty of other fun activities up its sleeve. Visit these family attractions with your crew, grab a bite to eat after the show at one of these fun restaurants or try to check the 101 things to do with kids in NYC off your list. 

The best Broadway shows for kids right now

The best Broadway shows for kids right now

Theater is a big part of what makes New York shine. This city is bursting with talent that even the youngest among us can appreciate, and at the best Broadway shows for kids, everyone in your crew will be captivated. The Lion King, with its dancing wildlife and catchy songs, is a perennial favorite, but Disney aficionados will also get a kick out of the magical tale of Aladdin. At Wicked, you can visit the land of Oz and its conflicted green-skinned protagonist; at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you can enter an entirely different world of witches and strange creatures. While it may not seem like a great choice for younger viewers, Come From Away is a heartfelt show that older kids will be glad they saw, as is the teen musical drama Dear Evan Hansen. In 2021, these long-running hits are joined by newbies including Six and Mrs. Doubtfire.  RECOMMENDED: More theater for kids in NYC If you've already caught these shows or are looking for something a little different, you won't have to go far: Be sure to explore our favorite Off Broadway shows for kids, too, where the stories can be just as memorable as their Broadway counterparts and the talent equally impressive. Make the day more memorable by hitting up one of our favorite fun restaurants for kids or the best family friendly restaurants before or after the show. Just remember that all theaters, on Broadway and off, currently require proof of full COVID vaccination for audience members 12 and older. If your kids are under

The best dance shows in NYC this month

The best dance shows in NYC this month

For dance lovers, New York City always offers good reasons to get moving. If your taste runs to classical ballet, you can get your fill from New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theatre at Lincoln Center. For more modern fare, visit the Joyce Theatre, New York Live Arts, New York City Center, BAM or the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Looking for avant-garde work? You'll find it at the Skirball Center, the Chocolate Factory or Abrons Arts Center—and that's not to mention hip hop dance, international pageants, dance theater, Broadway musicals, experimental performance art and much more. Many of these venues went dark during the pandemic shutdown began, but as live performance returns to New York, dance is coming back with it. Here are some of the best dance shows to check out in the next few months. RECOMMENDED: The top New York attractions

Listings and reviews (616)

Macbeth

Macbeth

3 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Broadway’s 2021-22 comeback season goes out with a shrug in Sam Gold’s production of Macbeth, the kind of passive-aggressive theater party that invites two big stars to attend—Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga as the regicidal title couple—and then makes a point of ignoring them. Short, eloquent, violent and packed with sensational business (murder! witches! madness! ghosts! a decapitated head!), Macbeth is usually one of Shakespeare’s most exciting plays. Not so here: Deliberately murky, this anemic modern-dress production creeps at a petty pace from scene to scene, to the last syllable of the tragedy’s verse and beyond into a wistful folk-song coda. The show begins with an annotative curtain speech by cast member Michael Patrick Thornton, who provides wry background on the vilification of witches in the early 17th century and then naughtily urges audience members to violate the taboo against saying the play’s name offstage in a theater. If you’re superstitious by nature, the two and a half hours that follow might thus be chalked up to bad luck. But it’s clear that Gold has done everything on purpose, however vague that purpose sometimes seems. As in the director's disappointing 2019 King Lear, dramaturgy usurps pride of place over staging; even if you know Macbeth quite well, the plot is strangely hard to track, and you may find yourself confused by the skeletal mise-en-scène and the doubling and tripling of roles. In keeping with its introduction,

Mr. Saturday Night

Mr. Saturday Night

4 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Billy Crystal talks loudly and carries a big shtick in Mr. Saturday Night, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. In this musical adaptation of his 1992 film, Crystal stars as a dried-up nightclub comic named Buddy Young Jr.—an ironic name, since he’s far from young, and he’s never been anybody's buddy. He’s a tough cut of brisket, and decades after a career-ending tirade on live TV in the 1950s, he’s been reduced to grouchy gigs on the Jewish retirement-home circuit. (“Don’t get me started!” is his starting line.) But when his face mistakenly pops up in an awards-show In Memoriam sequence, Young gets a chance to revive his career from the dead. Can he seize it? Or will he be his own schlemiel yet again? Thirty years ago, Crystal wore aging makeup to play this role on film. He doesn’t need it anymore, but he never really did: He has Buddy in his bones. Crystal has been playing this alter kocker alter ego since at least Saturday Night Live in 1985, and Buddy's type of Catskills-and-Friars-Club cut-up is embedded in his comic style: He has deep affection and respect for the generation of comedians that Buddy represents, and he keeps their spirit alive in his timing, his rhythms, his soulful aggression. (“Happy anniversary. Forty-five years!” Buddy tells his wife. “Eleven of the best years of my life.”) In Mr. Saturday Night he honors their history with a sweet, slight, nostalgic musical comedy. Mr. Saturday Night | Photograph: Courtesy Matthew M

POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive

POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive

4 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman POTUS begins with a four-letter c-word, and that word isn’t can’t. The running joke of Selina Fillinger’s lightly feminist political farce—which bears the annotational subtitle Or, Behind Every Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive—is that the women who populate it are all highly capable in different ways, yet they’re stuck in the orbit of an incompetent and morally bankrupt oaf who is the world’s most powerful man. Why aren’t they in charge instead? Well: “That’s the eternal question, isn’t it?” as two characters ruefully ask. (Maybe Hillary Clinton has an answer.) Mostly, the jokes in POTUS are less pointed. The White House setting is an excuse for a broad, zany, old-school comedy, which is a rarity on Broadway nowadays—especially in the form of a world premiere by a twentysomething woman. You can feel how hungry the spectators are to laugh together, and they get to do it often in this silly, fast-paced lark. It helps enormously that the production, directed by Susan Stroman (The Producers), is so well-cast. This ensemble makes an implicit argument of its own for female accomplishment: Even when their characters are floundering hopelessly, these ladies are pros. POTUS | Photograph: Courtesy Paul Kolnik The great Julie White, stage queen of the slow build, plays the Chief of Staff, a pressure cooker with her release valve rattling. Vanessa Williams—in the best performance I’ve seen her give onstage—is the poised, overqualified, und

A Strange Loop

A Strange Loop

5 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman A Strange Loop is a wild ride. In a Broadway landscape dominated by shows that often seem designed by corporations for audiences of focus groups, Michael R. Jackson’s musical is the defiant product of a single and singular authorial vision. This wide-ranging intravaganza takes a deep dive, often barely coming up for breath, into a whirlpool of ambition and frustration as Jackson's seeming alter ego—a queer, Black writer-composer named Usher (Jaquel Spivey)—struggles to define himself amid traps of sex, race, family, body image, religion and entertainment. It’s screamingly funny and howlingly hurt, and it’s unmissable.   Smartly directed by Stephen Brackett, the show caused a sensation in 2019 when it premiered at Playwrights Horizons; now, after multiple top-ten lists and an armful of honors (including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award), it has reached Broadway without compromising its conflicted, challenging, sometimes actively family-unfriendly content. The songs are welcomingly tuneful and clever, but as Usher warns us in the opening number: “A Strange Loop will have Black shit! And white shit! It’ll give you uptown and downtown! With truth-telling and butt-fucking!”  All of that is true—including, graphically, the last part—but it barely begins to describe the show’s discombobulating melange of anger, joy, neurosis and honesty. In this very meta musical, Usher is the only real character: the unstable “I

The Skin of Our Teeth

The Skin of Our Teeth

3 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Antrobuses! Meet the Antrobuses! They’re a modern Stone Age family of sorts in the first act of The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder’s still-outré 1942 parable about, well, just about everything. Mr. Antrobus (James Vincent Meredith) enjoys modest renown as the inventor of the wheel; now he lives with Mrs. Antrobus (Roslyn Ruff) and their two children, Henry (Julian Robertson) and Gladys (Paige Gilbert), in a comfortable 1950s suburban New Jersey home that also accomodates a mammoth and a brachiosaur, whose adorable puppet head is set atop a long articulated neck. It’s all going swimmingly for this “typical American family”—except, of course, for the giant wall of ice that has descended from the North and now looms over their yard. Wilder’s unwieldy epic, which is being revived at Lincoln Center in an eye-popping production directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, telescopes human experience into a transhistorical study of cycles of destruction and survival through the ages. In the second act, the action inexplicably moves to Atlantic City in the 1920s, where hedonism runs rampant—there’s a giant slide in the background, and actors sometimes go zooming down it—and a fortune teller (Priscilla Lopez) warns of an impending flood that will wipe the world clean. The third act, again with no explanation, takes place in the ruins of a devastating war, with father and son on opposing sides; in this production, they are dressed in the blue and grey uniforms of

Funny Girl

Funny Girl

2 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman The rain clouds gather early over the misplaced-pride parade that is the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. The audience is primed for a boffo old-fashioned musical comedy, which this production promises. Even before the curtain—which itself depicts a curtain!—goes up, the audience claps at the overture’s most famous songs; when Beanie Feldstein makes her first appearance as Ziegfeld Follies comedian Fanny Brice, stares into an invisible mirror and delivers her famous opening self-affirmation (”Hello, gorgeous!”), the crowd goes wild. But then she starts to sing. It is unfair, but unavoidable, to compare Feldstein to Funny Girl’s original leading lady, Barbra Streisand, who was not only a fresh comic talent at the time but also one of the greatest vocalists in Broadway history. But there’s a reason Funny Girl hasn’t been revived since its original run in the early 1960s: Despite several memorable songs (with first-rate tunes by Jule Styne and second-rate lyrics by Bob Merrill), there’s not much to the story, which follows Brice’s meteoric rise in show business and her unlucky romance with a handsome but feckless gambler, Nick Arnstein (Ramin Karimloo). Isobel Lennart’s book has been rewritten for this production by Harvey Fierstein, but it still feels episodic and superficial. To cover its holes, this musical requires a star who really has the goods. What Feldstein has is the okays.  I’ve been a fan of Feldstein’s for years, and was hoping for the

Hangmen

Hangmen

3 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman "Even when I try to be funny, I come across more as menacing,” says a chap named Mooney (Alfie Allen) in Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, a play that wants to be both of those things. It is 1965, and with his languorous London accent and air of fashionable dissolution, the young man cuts an odd figure at the working-class Northern English pub run by a vain gasbag and former hangman named Harry Wade (David Threlfall) and his wife, Alice (Tracie Bennett). Mooney is intent on making trouble—first by swanning among the bar’s doltish regulars, then by putting the moves on Wade’s shy teenage daughter, Shirley (Gaby French)—and he cultivates his image carefully. (When someone refers to him as creepy, he peevishly corrects him: “Menacing, not creepy.”) He’s like a character from a play by Harold Pinter, but not exactly; he’s more like someone who has seen a Pinter play and thought it seemed cool. A similar spirit of theatrical self-consciousness pervades McDonagh’s play, his first since 2010. Fans of the Irish-English auteur will be reminded of the qualities that make his work pop. Nasty humor twines with sadism: In the play’s first scene, a man is hanged in prison while desperately protesting his innocence and deriding his executioners—led by Wade and his stammering aide, Syd (Andy Nyman)—as “nincompoops.” The punchy dialogue is tinged with local color, and is performed by a fine cast of 12 that includes several visiting actors from the U.K. (John Horton is

How I Learned to Drive

How I Learned to Drive

4 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Most good theater lives on, if it’s lucky, only in the memory of those who saw it. Manhattan Theatre Club’s revival of Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, one of the signal plays of the 1990s, represents an exception. With a firm eye on the rearview mirror, this production reunites director Mark Brokaw, who helmed the show’s premiere at the Vineyard in 1997, with its two extraordinary original stars, Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse; also along for the ride is Johanna Day as the principal soloist in the show’s Greek Chorus of three, plus lighting designer Mark McCullough and sound designer David Van Tieghem. After more than a quarter of a century, they all move assuredly in old roles as the play shifts back into gear.   That is not to say that How I Learned to Drive is ever quite a comfortable experience. The subject of Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize–winning drama is childhood sexual abuse, and although it treats this question with complexity and tact—there is nothing exploitive about it—it gives you a cumulative sense of the creeps. Because it is a Glass Menagerie–style memory play, the ages of the principal actors don’t really matter. Parker puts her gift for playing smart, broken women to powerful use as our narrator, known as Li’l Bit. With unsentimental candor and a vestigial Maryland accent, Li’l Bit sets the first scene: “It's 1969. And I am very old, very cynical of the world, and I know it all. In short, I am seventeen years old, parking o

American Buffalo

American Buffalo

4 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman The would-be predators of the urban jungle in David Mamet’s 1975 American Buffalo are far from apex-level. Donny (Laurence Fishburne) runs a cluttered junk shop, with an eye out for possible scams on the side; young Bobby (Darren Criss), a dim bulb verging on burnout, acts as his gofer; and Teach (a terrific Sam Rockwell) is the kind of wanna-be hustler who fakes it till he takes it on the chin. (When he loses at poker, he assumes that everyone else must have cheated.) In Mamet’s engaging look at the bluffs and insecurities of American masculinity, these three men are meant to be collaborating on a coin heist, but none of them knows what he’s doing, much less what anyone else is doing. That leaves a lot of vacuum to be filled with bluster, paranoia, phony acumen and the playwright’s trademark rat-a-tat rhythms.  Directed by Neil Pepe with the expert eye for appraisal that the characters lack, this production is vastly superior to American Buffalo’s last Broadway incarnation, which ran briefly back in 2008. The play itself, which marked Mamet’s breakthrough, is as thin as a dime, but it’s got great atmospherics. Scott Pask’s set and Dede Ayite’s costumes plunge us into the shabby world of the action; seated around the thrust stage at Circle in the Square, the audience can almost smell the mix of dirt and desperation. Although not much happens in the play, which is less a thriller than a loiterer, it somehow seems fast-paced, thanks in large part

The Little Prince

The Little Prince

1 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Pity the poor Little Prince. Having left his tiny asteroid planet to explore the galaxy, the wide-eyed wanderer has landed with a very loud splat on the stage of the Broadway Theatre.  On the night I saw the show, the crowd was not pleased. “What the hell was that?” said a friendly-faced lady to her husband and children as the four of them stood outside giggling during intermission at The Little Prince, having decided not to return for the second half. “Are you guys leaving, too?” asked a nearby woman. “Oh good! Now I know I’m not crazy!” (She wasn’t crazy.) As another couple put it as they crossed the street as fast as they could, “We could’ve stayed home and watched Tammy Faye Bakker!” In these troubled times, it is heartening to see so many people agree about at least one thing: The Little Prince is quite confoundingly bad.  Devolved from Antoine de St. Exupéry’s classic 1943 children’s book, The Little Prince is not—as its cannily edited videos may have led audiences to expect—a musical or a spectacular cirque piece, though it has several unimpressive musical and circus elements. It is a clunky extended contemporary-dance piece, choreographed and codirected by Anne Tournié, with skeletal narration provided in heavily accented French by librettist and codirector Chris Mouron. Costumed to resemble some kind of formal oompa loompa, Mouron delivers all the dialogue as well, with no differentiation among the characters. To anyone who hasn’t read

Birthday Candles

Birthday Candles

2 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman In Noah Haidle’s thin and drippy Birthday Candles, the earnest Ernestine (Debra Messing) prepares and bakes a cake in 90 minutes of real time, as 90 years of her life pass by. A smell of baking thus wafts through the theater, providing one of the production’s few whiffs of reality. Haidle means to suggest that the specific is universal—Christine Jones’s set is a kitchen that floats in the vastness of the cosmos, with household objects hanging over it like stars—but he forgets to be specific. It’s Thornton Wilder without the wildness or the thorns. The play’s many brief scenes all take place on Ernestine’s birthday, with sound effects that indicate the passage of a year or more. In a shapeless yellow housecoat, Messing begins as a coltish 17-year-old and ends as a rheumatic, mentally vague (and possibly British?) 107-year-old lady; the chance to rehearse this acting-school exercise in physical transformation may have been what drew her to the role, which otherwise has few distinguishing features. Birthday Candles isn’t interested in characters, and as it skips forward through the years it doesn’t have much time to develop them. People enter and exit through the revolving door of Haidle’s structure. It all plays rather like a flip book of greeting cards.  Messing knows how to make the sentimental bits work—the play elicits sympathetic “awwwww”s from the audience at several junctures—and she gets capable support from a cast that also includes Enri

Take Me Out

Take Me Out

4 out of 5 stars

Broadway review by Adam Feldman The multiple meanings in the title of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out give some sense of the play’s ambition. It refers, of course, to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” that carefree celebration of being part of a crowd. But it can equally be taken as a demand for acceptance from Darren Lemming (Jesse Williams), the Derek Jeter–like star outfielder of the fictional New York Empires who casually comes out of the closet at the start of the first act. It evokes, too, baseball’s capacity to let ordinary people, like Darren’s unathletic gay accountant Mason (a wondrous Jesse Tyler Ferguson), connect with the larger world and escape their daily lives. The title also connects in various ways with events that occur later in the plot; more generally, it suggests the fraught process of revealing a private self to the public. Nearly 20 years after its Tony-winning run in 2003, Take Me Out has returned to Broadway at Second Stage’s up-close-and-personal Helen Hayes Theater. Directed by Scott Ellis, it remains provocative, intelligent and engaging. Greenberg likes big words, big themes and messy complications. The civility and open-endedness of baseball—not to mention the sheer volume of stats—have always attracted contemplation, and Take Me Out enjoys tossing its ideas around. “Baseball is a perfect metaphor for hope in a Democratic society,” says Mason in one of several delightful flights of narration. “And baseball is better than Democracy—or at least than

News (360)

First takes on the 2022 Tony Award nominations

First takes on the 2022 Tony Award nominations

The 2022 Tony nominations have finally been announced, six days later than originally scheduled, and for the most part I think they represent solid choices—which is to say, they mostly accord with the nominees that I would have chosen myself if I had been the nominating committee. Over the next few weeks, before the voting window closes on June 10, we can expect a lot of jockeying for position in some of the closer races, and if history is any guide there will probably be an upset or two when the awards are actually given out on Sunday, June 12. Meanwhile, here are a few of my first reactions to this year's crop of nominations. RECOMMENDED: A Full guide to the 2022 Tony Awards 1. The Big Picture After two years in limbo, including an endlessly deferred and muted Tony Awards for the incomplete 2019–20 season, it's a joy to see a full year's slate of nominees again, with so many potentially competitive races. And with six candidates for Best Musical instead of five, thanks to a quirk in the voting laws, the Tony telecast promises to be heavy on entertainment this year. 2. The Encouraging Signs The big story last fall was the predominance of shows by and/or about Black people, and the centrality of Black work in this year's Broadway season is reflected to some extent in the Tony nominations: Most of this year's six Best Musical nominees feature Black stories centrally, as do two of the play nominees—Skeleton Crew and Clyde's—and many of the nominated revivals. And actors of colo

The 2022 Tony Award nominations have been announced

The 2022 Tony Award nominations have been announced

The nominations for the 2022 Tony Awards were announced this morning, honoring productions from Broadway's first full season since the COVID shutdown two years ago. The awards are given out annually by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing to salute outstanding achievements in 26 categories of Broadway artistry. Actors Adrienne Warren and Joshua Henry revealed the nominees live on YouTube at 9am today. Among the 2021-22 Broadway productions earning the most nominations were the new musicals A Strange Loop (11), MJ (10), Paradise Square (10), Six (9) and Girl from the North Country (7); the new plays The Lehman Trilogy (9), Clyde's (5) and Hangmen (5); and the revivals Company (9), for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (7), The Music Man (6) and The Skin of Our Teeth (6).   RECOMMENDED: A full guide to the 2022 Tony Awards The Tony Awards ceremony will be held at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022, and televised live throughout the country on CBS starting at 8pm ET. Some awards will be given out during the previous hour on the streaming service Paramount+. A Special Tony will be awarded to outgoing New York Theatre Workshop artistic director James C. Nicola, and the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award will be presented to Shubert Organization president Robert E. Wankel. As previously announced, the Tonys will also award five Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. Here is a complete list of the official nominations for the 2022 Tony Aw

April is the craziest month of new shows on Broadway

April is the craziest month of new shows on Broadway

April is always crunch time on Broadway, as shows rush to open in time to qualify for the Tony Awards in June. But this year, the density of Broadway openings is especially crushing: When the smoke clears on April 28, the last official date for Tonys eligibility, 15 news shows will have opened in April, including 10 shows in the last 12-day stretch alone. To put that in perspective: These 15 shows represent an unprecedented 44% of the entire 2021-22 Broadway season, in which 34 new productions will have opened. Broadway seasons have been getting markedly more bottom-heavy for decades now, as we analyzed at some length in 2015. And this year's season has been squeezed toward the finish line for reasons that are partly beyond its control: The Omicron variant this winter, among other factors, caused several productions to move back their starting and opening dates. But one late entry—the comedy POTUS—did the opposite, moving its dates forward; the unusual result is a Wednesday with one opening in the afternoon and another in the evening. As we wrote in 2015: "This may not seem very important to anyone but theater critics. Who else, after all, will be seeing all these shows? But that’s part of the problem: Virtually no one can keep up with what’s happening on Broadway when the field is so crowded. There's not enough room for everyone. Shows that could get a decent amount of press and publicity any other time of year are bound to get lost in the process." So here, dear readers, i

Kポップをテーマにしたミュージカルがブロードウェイで上演

Kポップをテーマにしたミュージカルがブロードウェイで上演

叫ぶ用意はいいだろうか。Kポップガールズグループ、f(x)の元メンバーのルナが、今秋ニューヨークのブロードウェイで初演されるミュージカル『KPOP』に主演することが、制作側から発表された。劇場はCircle on the Squareで、プレビューは2022年10月13日(木)にスタート。本公演の開幕日は11月20日(日)の予定だ。 『KPOP』は元々、2017年にArs Novaが制作した、没入型のオフブロードウェイ作品。​​グループに分かれた観客が、A.R.T./New York Theatres内での「ヒット工場見学ツアー」へ導かれるという内容だった。 ブロードウェイでの上映に当たり、一般的な演出に変更されるが、ブロードウェイで唯一非伝統的な座席構成を持つCircle on the Squareの上演されるという事実は、オリジナルの没入感的要素が残っている可能性を示唆している。オフブロードウェイ公演と同様に、演出はテディ・バーグマンが再び手がけ、振付をジェニファー・ウェーバーが担当する。 Woodshed Collectiveとジェイソン・キムが企画し、キムが脚本を、ヘレン・パークとマックス・ヴェノンがスコアを担当したこの作品は、架空のエンターテインメントレーベルでスターが育成される過程を描く。 タイムアウトでは、2017年のオフブロードウェイ公演について、次のようにレビュー。 「観客を『バブル』のような現代韓国音楽の世界に引き込むことを狙った脚本で、文字通りそういった作品に仕上がっている。まさに周囲で小さな快楽の泡が次々と立ち上がり、パン、パンと弾けていくようだ。作品の中で、パフォーマーが綿密に作り上げたイメージの中には汚さや汗が見えるが、アクセントなどの韓国民族性の痕跡は消し去られている」 f(x)での活動後、ソロでも成功を収めているルナを、ミュージカル界で知らない者はいないだろう。彼女はこれまで、韓国で上演された『レガリー・ブロンド』『イン・ザ・ハイツ』『マンマ・ミーア!』などに出演してきた。 ルナは今作への出演に当たり、次のように意気込みを語っている。 「私のキャリアを知っている人なら誰でも、ミュージカルが常に私の情熱の源であることを知っています。ブロードウェイは、私の職業における達成の頂点。ここにショーを見るために世界中から集まってくる人たちに、私の文化である韓国の芸術を提供できることは、名誉なことです」 この秋のブロードウェイは、『KPOP』のほかにも、話題作がめじろ押し。2021年のミュージカル『Kimberly Akimbo』のオフブロードウェイからの移籍公演、アーロン・ソーキンによるリンカーン・センターが制作するラーナー&ロウの戯曲『Camelot』の改作、サミュエル・L・ジャクソン主演のオーガスト・ウィルソン原作『The Piano Lesson』のリバイバル公演などに注目したい。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『韓国が4月1日からワクチン接種完了した旅行者に隔離を免除』 『パスポート不要、韓国をテーマとしたエンタメスポットが自由が丘に誕生』 『屋台が並ぶ夜市を再現、新大久保韓国横丁がオープン』 『三河島、プチ韓国旅行ガイド』 『新大久保、韓国を感じる最新スポット』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら 

The K-pop musical KPOP will open on Broadway this year

The K-pop musical KPOP will open on Broadway this year

Start screaming now: The real-life Korean pop star Luna, a former member of the chart-topping K-pop girl group f(x), will star in the original musical KPOP when it makes its Broadway debut this fall, the production announced today. The show will begin previews at Circle on the Square on October 13, 2022, and will officially open on November 20. KPOP premiered in New York in 2017 in Ars Nova's immersive Off Broadway production, in which the audience was split into groups and led through a music-factory tour of multiple spaces in the A.R.T./New York Theatres complex. The show will be reworked for a more conventional staging in its Broadway run, but the fact that it will be at Circle in the Square—Broadway's only space with a non-traditional seating plan, where in-the-round stagings are common—suggests that elements of the original immersive quality may remain. Teddy Bergman will once again direct, and Jennifer Weber will choreograph. RECOMMENDED: Complete A-Z list of Broadway musicals and Off Broadway musicals in NYC right now Conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim, with a book by Kim and a score by Helen Park and Max Vernon, KPOP takes an inside look at the molding of stars at a fictional entertainment label. "The script says it aims to plunge us into the world of contemporary Korean music 'like a bubble bath,' and that’s exactly what it does. Tiny bubbles of pleasure keep floating up and bursting all around us. Pop! Pop! Pop!," we wrote in our review of KPOP's 2017 pr

Four top companies return to NYC in a fabulous new dance festival

Four top companies return to NYC in a fabulous new dance festival

New York is up and dancing again. In venues around the city, dance companies that have been forced into restless quiescence are leaping back into action. And New York City Center is leading the charge this month with its first-ever City Center Dance Festival, a three-week feast of movement that features four of the country's most esteemed companies: two modern dance standard-bearers, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Martha Graham Dance Company, and two venerable ballet troupes, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Ballet Hispánico.  The inaugural City Center Dance Festival, which runs from March 24 through April 10, will mark the first time that three of these four major companies have performed indoors in New York City since the start of the pandemic shutdown in 2020—Martha Graham made its return at the Joyce in the fall—so emotions are sure to run high. Tickets for all performances can be purchased on the City Center website. See below for details about the lineup. And while you're at it, check out our listings of the best dance shows in NYC this month. There's plenty to choose from: March and April are packed with engagements by companies including Armitage Gone!, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Ailey II, Noche Flamenca, Limón Dance Company and, of course, New York City Ballet.   City Center Dance Festival 2022  March 24–27, 29–31:Paul Taylor Dance Company Modern-dance legend Paul Taylor died in 2018, but his work lives on through the company he founded. In its first indoor performances in

Broadway will soon have a James Earl Jones Theatre

Broadway will soon have a James Earl Jones Theatre

The Shubert Organization announced today that Broadway's Cort Theatre, which has been closed for renovations throughout the pandemic shutdown, will have a new name when it reopens its doors this summer: The James Earl Jones Theatre, named in honor of the great star of stage and screen. Now 91 years old, Jones has appeared in 21 Broadway productions in a career that spans back 65 years. His first official Broadway role was at the Cort, in the 1958 FDR bioplay Sunrise at Campobello. He won Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Play in 1969 for The Great White Hope and again in 1987 for Fences. (He also received a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2017.) Other credits include leading roles in Paul Robeson and revivals of Othello, The Iceman Cometh and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  “For me standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today,” said Jones of the renaming. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.” In addition to his stage work, Jones has starred in films including The Great White Hope, Claudine, Coming to America, Field of Dreams and The Hunt for Red October, and has loaned his sonorous authority to The Lion King and multiple films in the Star Wars franchise, in which he provided the voice of Darth Vader. Jones received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 and an Honorary Academy Award in 2011; he has won two Emmys and a Grammy for his work i

The Public has announced its Shakespeare in the Park productions for 2022

The Public has announced its Shakespeare in the Park productions for 2022

The hugely popular New York institution Shakespeare in the Park will return this summer with a full slate of offerings, the Public Theater announced today. The series has offered free productions of Shakespeare plays at Central Park's open-air Delacorte Theater since 1962, and its 60th season promises to be memorable.  First up will be a new production of blood-soaked history play Richard III, which imagines the final Plantagenet king as a Machiavellian villain who claws his way to power on the corpses of his family and friends. In this version, directed by Robert O'Hara (Slave Play), the title role will be played by Danai Gurira, known to mass audiences for her roles in The Walking Dead and Black Panther but also a formidable classical stage actor. (She was a superb Isabella in Shakespeare in the Park's 2011 Measure for Measure.) "Richard III speaks to the dangerous machinations that we have witnessed by leaders throughout history, but most acutely in recent years in our own government," O'Hara says. "Richard is our unreliable narrator, protagonist, and antagonist, drawing us deeper and deeper into his murderous mayhem." RECOMMENDED: Check out these renderings of the revamped Delacorte Theater in Central Park The summer's second offering will be director Laurie Woolery and songwriter Shaina Taub's enormous musical adaptation of As You Like It, choreographed by Moulin Rouge!'s Tony-winning Sonya Tayeh. The production was originally planned for Summer 2020, and we interviewed

Broadway Week returns with unbeatable two-for-one ticket deals

Broadway Week returns with unbeatable two-for-one ticket deals

January and February are always low tide for attendance at even the best Broadway shows, and in 2022 that's truer than ever. To counter this challenge years ago, the industry came up with Broadway Week, a twice-annual half-price sale for tickets to nearly every Broadway production. The name is somewhat misleading: The period in question actually lasts nearly a month this year, from January 18 through February 13—and the twofer tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday, January 11.  (UPDATE: Broadway Week program has now been extended for an additional two weeks, through February 27.) To get the most out of Broadway Week, the trick is to be ready to go when the floodgates open. Visit the Broadway ticket vendors Telecharge and Ticketmaster in advance to make sure that your accounts and credit cards there are up to date. Then, at 10am on January 11, go to Broadway Week website to peruse the list of participating shows and snatch up the best seats for the ones you want most.  RECOMMENDED: A full guide to Broadway Week in NYC One frustrating wrinkle: The list of participating Broadway shows is not revealed until the tickets actually go on sale, so you can't decide in advance which ones to try for. Given the state of industry, however, it seems likely that nearly every Broadway production will participate in some capacity this year, including many of our critic's picks and past winners of Tony Awards. (But not every production: We'd be surprised to see The Music Man, for example.) We'

Off-Broadway Week returns with fabulous half-price ticket deals

Off-Broadway Week returns with fabulous half-price ticket deals

The first 2022 run of the popular discount-ticket program Broadway Week will end on February 13, but its little sibling is now waiting in the wings: Tickets are on sale as of today for Off-Broadway Week, which offers half-price tickets to Off Broadway shows from February 14 through February 27, 2002.  Seventeen productions are participating in the newest version of Off-Broadway Week, which is the first in more than two years. They range from long-running Off Broadway institutions like Jersey Boys, Blue Man Group and The Play That Goes Wrong to promising new works that we highlighted in our Off Broadway spring preview, such as On Sugarland, Out of Time, Tambo & Bones and Prayer for the French Republic. A complete list is below. The important thing is to act fast: Time is of the essence is snapping up the best deals. Visit the Off-Broadway Week page to peruse the list of participating shows and grab seats for the ones you want most.  RECOMMENDED: A full guide to Broadway Week in NYC Here is a full list of shows participating in Off-Broadway Week this February: BarococoBeauty and the BeastBlue Man GroupEnglishJersey BoysLa Dama Boba (The Lady Simpleton)Monday Night MagicThe Office! A Musical ParodyOn SugarlandOut of TimePerfect CrimeThe Play That Goes WrongPrayer for the French RepublicsandblastedSpace DogsStompTambo & Bones

The top ten NYC theater productions of 2021

The top ten NYC theater productions of 2021

The return of live theater to New York City this year, both on Broadway and Off, came as a relief and a challenge for audiences and performers alike. As the theater world adjusts to new theater protocols in the COVID era—and braces itself for the possibility of more potential crises to come—it's a pleasure to remember how many excellent shows have made it to the stage in just the past few months. There were disappointments, of course, and even a bona fide campfest, but a whole lot to celebrate along the way. Here are my choices for the best theater I saw in 2021. RECOMMENDED: Time Out New York's 2021 Best of the City award winners 1. Dana H. (Lyceum Theatre, closed November 28)In this riveting journey to hell and back, playwright Lucas Hnath put his mother’s account of her abduction by a violent criminal onstage in her own words, lip-synched by the breathtaking Deirdre O’Connell. No one who saw it will forget it. Dana H. | Photograph: Courtesy Carol Rosegg 2. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Signature Theatre, closed November 21)Taibi Magar's revival of Anna Deavere Smith’s 1994 documentary-theater piece was a work of brilliantly sustained deep focus, examining the Rodney King era through a lens that was wide in scope yet precise in detail.3. Company (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, open run)Marianne Elliott's joyfully ambivalent gender-swapped revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 musical gives this retro Broadway cocktail a new shake and a fresh twist, and reminds us

Broadway launches website to track what shows are playing

Broadway launches website to track what shows are playing

As New York's live entertainment world reacts to increasing concerns about a return wave of COVID, the Broadway League is taking action to keep audiences informed. The trade association has launched a new website, BwayToday.com, to help potential spectators track Broadway schedules week by week, with the most current information available on performance times and cancelations. Audiences can also keep track of cancelations via the "Today on Broadway" section at the top of the Broadway App on iOS or Android.  Broadway holiday performance schedules are always tricky to navigate; most productions add performances at unusual times to make up for ones they may take off for Christmas and New Year's Eve. But that situation has grown even more confusing because of the COVID crisis. In the past week, several Broadway productions have called off multiple dates of performances out of concern for COVID safety, including Moulin Rouge!, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hadestown, Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, MJ, Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. More dramatically, the non-Broadway Radio City Christmas Spectacular has canceled the rest of its 2021 season.  Despite mounting concerns, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said on Friday that an industrywide shutdown is not being considered at this time.