Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Category: Musical Theater Page 2 of 4

Leonard Bernstein conducting. Photo Paul de Heuck, courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

Review | Maestro | Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein | 59E59 Theatres

… doing it all …

In a 90 minute fest of music, wit and insight, the multi-talented Hershey Felder sings, talks, and plays the piano through the life and art of Leonard Bernstein.

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My Fair Lady playing at Bay Street in Sag Harbor, L. I.

Review | My Fair Lady | Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner | Music by Frederick Loewe | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… great ….

This My Fair Lady is so good it made me feel that this wonderful show was even more marvelous than I thought.  I saw new things in it!  It’s thrilling!

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Dance of Life with Gwynedd Vetter-Drusch in FringeNYC 2016. Photo: James Jim

Press Release | Fringe NYC | New York’s Festival Of New And Independent Theater | August 2016

Contact: Ron Lasko @ 212-505-1700 / ron@spincyclenyc.com

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL

Returns for 20th Anniversary Season
August 12-28, 2016

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Review | Angel Reapers | By Martha Clarke and Alfred Uhry | Signature Theatre

Directed and Choreographed by Martha Clarke

Here again Martha Clarke has given us a lovely new creation of her unique vision, a theatrical union of dance, music and narrative.  Although Angel Reapers, about repression and ecstasy among the Shakers, is a smaller, less commanding theater piece than Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights and her staging of  Threepenny Opera, it has her mark.

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Review | Songbird | Based on Chekhov’s The Seagull | Written by Michael Kimmel | Songs by Lauren Pritchard | Directed by JV Mercanti

… a terrific new musical is born …

Here is a really amazing idea – Songbird  is a country music musical based in Chekhov’s The Seagull.  While it stays quite close to the plot of the symbolist and heavily psychological end-of-the-19th century Russian drama, it soars on its own life-affirming wings.

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Review | An American In Paris | Book by Craig Lucas | Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin | Directed and Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon | Palace Theatre

Inspired by the film starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron

This new Broadway musical, American in Paris , has absolutely spectacular dancing and choreography, magnificent scenes and scene changes, and wonderful Gershwin songs.   The story, well, it’s a little weak but never mind.  American in Paris will fill you with joie de vivre.

And if you know the movie — though not always in the same ways this is every bit as good!

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Review | The Nomad | World Premiere | Book and Lyrics by Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney | Composed and Directed by Elizabeth Swados | Choreographer Ani Taj | Flea Theater

… nothing missed …

Teri Madonna and Friend Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum

Teri Madonna and Friend Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum

The opening afternoon of The Nomad was a cold winter Sunday: we made it from the subway to The Flea as falling snow cloaked everything in all-over veils of white to gray … and then the show began.  What a burst of color, brightness, and music, what delicious vibrance, as the play carries you to North Africa and its hot deserts.

With insistent percussive music saturated with North African overtones, theatrical effects to delight and astonish, and the superb performance of Teri Madonna in the lead role, it tells the story of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904), a well-educated Swiss woman who left Europe to immerse herself in North Africa culture and the Sahara desert.  She dressed as a man for the freedom it afforded her, converted to Islam, married an Algerian, wrote about North Africa, and died in a flash flood and died at the age of 27.

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Bray Wilkins and Sarah Beckham Turner in SLOW DUSK. Photo Buckman

Opera Review | Slow Dusk and Markheim by Carlisle Floyd | New Chamber Arrangements by Inessa Zaretsky and Raymond J. Lustig | Little Opera Theatre of NY | 59E59 Theaters

What a wonderful evening of theater.  Two short American operas, narratives set to dramatic music, superbly performed.  One leaves thrilled and elated.

L-R Jennifer Roderer, Sarah Beckham-Turner, Alexander Charles Boyd in SLOW DUSK. Photo Buckman

L-R Jennifer Roderer, Sarah Beckham-Turner, Alexander Charles Boyd in SLOW DUSK. Photo Buckman

Slow Dusk takes us from commonplace to ecstatic, to tragedy, from afternoon to dusk.  Aunt Sue is shelling peas on the porch of a farmhouse in the Carolinas when Jess comes in from the fields, we learn of their concern about their niece, Sadie, who’s seeing to much of Micah — his family belong to the Truelights and they belong to the Disciples, and anyhow she’s smart and he never finished eighth grade.  They’re wild for one another and agree to marry but — not family as in Romeo and Juliet — accident intervenes, as fast as it can in life. 

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Review | Found: A New Musical | Directed by Lee Overtree | Based on the Found Books and Magazines by Davy Rothbart | Music and Original Lyrics by Eli Bolin | Book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree | Atlantic Theater Company

… found objects … 

Found is a charming, touching musical with lots of big laughs, beautifully performed.

It turns out there’s really a magazine, Found, that collects bits and pieces and scraps of writing — “love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, receipts, doodles”  — and now there’s a totally delightful musical based on them. 

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Review | My Life Is A Musical by Adam Overett | World Premiere | Directed and Choreographed by Marlo Hunter | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

It feels exciting and even uplifting to attend the first performance of a new show.  This one, My Life Is A Musical, has a cute idea, some amusing moments, and some fine performances from its principals and excellent ensemble players.  On the other hand, the characters are thin, the story loose with predictable outcomes, and the music uninventive.

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