Hirabayashi Lives On, Still Defending the US Constitution

[feature image caption: Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photos: Lia Chang.] [article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, December 10, 2017.] Jeanne Sakata’s one-person play Hold These Truths, running in the basement performance space of the Sheen Center in NYC through Dec. 20, delightfully explores an American life — as well as several courtroom dramas,

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Miller’s “20th Century Blues”: 40 Years, Four Women Fall Flat

[feature image caption: Ellen Parker, Franchelle Stewart Dorn, Polly Draper and Kathryn Grody ponder 20th Century Blues. Photos: Joan Marcus.] [article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, November 27, 2017.] I wanted more depth from Susan Miller’s new play 20th Century Blues, about the long-term friendships among four 60-something women, currently running at the Pershing Square Signature

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Halston on Life and Death and What’s Between

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, November 25, 2017.] Julie Halston is a librarian of memories, a seeker of wisdom in unexpected places, a literary comedian. She’s been reading to audiences from newspapers, memoirs, advice columns, and self-help tomes for years as part of her stand-up act, riffing on what she reads. At Birdland this

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Dreamy “Peter Pan” Grows Wild and Full of Bedlam

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, November 21, 2017.] A new adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan presented by the theater company Bedlam and running The Duke through Dec. 23, takes place within a soundscape of rain, waves and thunder claps. We’re safe in our theater seats as we settle into the frame of a bedtime story told

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In Broadway’s Gentlest Musical, Hope Strikes Up the “Band”

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, November 12, 2017.] The wonder holds in The Band’s Visit, the musical dreamscape now on Broadway less than a year after an Off-Broadway unveiling that opened to rapturous reviews. Some wondered whether a show based on a 2007 film about a lost Egyptian military band that spends an unexpected night in a small

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Callaway Jazzes the Movies

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, November 3, 2017.] Ann Hampton Callaway is a Chicago girl with one of the biggest hearts in cabaret. On a recent evening at Birdland, on a day when a deranged dude in a rental truck several miles downtown killed eight people and injured many more, Callaway pauses to reflect

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He Said, He Said: “M. Butterfly” Takes Wing on Broadway

[featured image: Clive Owen and Jin Ha in M. Butterfly. Photos: Matthew Murphy.] Julie Taymor’s elegant revival of David Henry Hwang’s 1988 play M. Butterfly remains a nuanced, spare, evocative dreamwork. It tells the story of a diplomat’s illegal actions, a Chinese citizen’s pragmatic moves to survive, and it is, of course, a gender play that spoke to us in one

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DeLaria Sings Bowie at Birdland

Lea DeLaria holds court with passion and grace in her David Bowie tribute show. Twice a night through Saturday October 28 at Birdland Jazz Club, this show based on DeLaria’s 2015 crowd-sourced recording House of David: delaria + bowie = jazzcombines an intimate cabaret feel and community building with a solid set of young musicians, a

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The Home Place: Persnickety Plot Paralyzes Political Play

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, October 11, 2017.] Sometimes a beautiful woman’s yearning gaze isn’t sufficient to hold a piece of theater together that has too many moving parts. Women offer those gazes, to varying effect, in two differently structured plays dealing with British and Irish historical stories that are now calling

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Advice and Consent: Nia Vardalos Finds “Tiny Beautiful Things”

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, October 3, 2017.] Tiny Beautiful Things has returned in quiet triumph to the Public Theater after last season’s sold-out engagement in the tiny Shiva Theater. Co-conceived with Marshall Heyman and director Thomas Kail, actress Nia Vardalos adapted novelist Cheryl Strayed’s anthologized advice columns (“Dear Sugar”) into a play of small moments.

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