Nottage’s Mlima, and His Tusks, Make Incredible ‘Tale’

[Full article published in The Clyde Fitch Report, April 17, 2018.] “When I was young I was taught by my grandmother to listen to the night.” The shirtless and magnificent Sahr Ngaujah kicks off and concludes Mlima’s Tale with direct address speeches that, along with Jo Bonney’s staging of the play, evoke deep dark spaces, inter-generational wisdom and danger in

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Outdated ‘Children of a Lesser God’ Falls on Deaf Ears

[Full article published in The Clyde Fitch Report, April 12, 2018.] Sarah Norman, played by the luminous and graceful Lauren Ridloff in the new Broadway revival of Mark Medoff’s 1979 play, Children of a Lesser God, is a young deaf woman seeking her own voice and way to engage the world. Changing deaf community politics in the four

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‘Three Tall Women’: A Memory Play Through Class and Mirrors

[Full article published in The Clyde Fitch Report, March 31, 2018.] Director Joe Mantello has crafted an exquisite waltz of a revival of Edward Albee’s 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women, in which three phases of an unnamed woman’s life speak to, through, and around each other. The mute son who wafts upstage and is so often discussed is more a source

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Can Conservative Values and Progressive Politics Coexist?

[Full article published in TDF Stages, March 30, 2018.] Playwright Abby Rosebrock tries to work that out in Dido of Idaho Abby Rosebrock did sketch comedy and worked in academia before becoming a performer-playwright. She was most fulfilled when the two went together. “It’s like being a singer-songwriter,” she explains. “You’ve written your own material and the performance is integral

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Anita Gillette Sings Me And Mr. B.

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 29, 2018.] It feels as if Anita Gillette has been part of our lives forever. On Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, and on television and movie screens, we’ve seen her play the funny sister or the off-beat cousin or the distracted mom or the deliciously goofy mistress since

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Baby Wants It All At 54 Below

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 22, 2018.] The musical Baby, with music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1983 and ran for a total of 241 performances as a conventional book musical. 54 Sings Baby at 54 Below this past Sunday night presented the work as a

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David Yazbek, Lullabies, and The Band’s Visit Showstoppers

  [article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 16, 2018.] Monday night at Feinstein’s / 54 Below, David Yazbek’s multi-modal jazz band of extraordinary performers was family welcoming guests stopping by on their night off from The Band’s Visit. Some pals joined the gang on stage, some stayed in the audience, and all added to the

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In Joshua Harmon’s “Admissions,” the Real Test Is Racial Quotas

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, March 15, 2018.] Lincoln Center Theater’s Mitzi Newhouse stage this season has hosted two serious ruminations on the challenges of parenting and navigating the unpredictable waters of secondary school to college. In Dominique Morriseau’s Pipeline, a Black mother in a public high school fights to keep her child in

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Jomama Jones on Black Light and Seeing in the Dark

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 1, 2018.] “What if I told you it’s going to be alright? … What if I told you it began tonight?” Somewhere on a continuum that includes Machine Dazzle’s shimmery costumes adorning the performance pyrotechnics of Taylor Mac and the languid women characters crafted by drag artist Charles

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Off-Broadway, “An Ordinary Muslim” Offers Extraordinary Journey

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 27, 2018.] “The problem is not the Jamaat,” one character declares. “The problem is this family.” “We’ve lost, Dad. There’s nothing for us here.” Words of apparent surrender become, in the hands of playwright Hammaad Chaudry in An Ordinary Muslim, a look back to immigration battles won and lost, and a look ahead to

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