The musical adaptation by Asher Muldoon is currently playing Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
The musical from Charles Randolph-Wright and Marcus Hummon is playing in Washington, D.C. through August 28.
Remember the last Bush era? How dusty and militarized it all felt? Maybe that’s just how I was introduced to the country when I moved here in 2005. All footage of “the Arab world” was shot with an ugly, yellowed lens and all media surrounding it was either grossly propagandistic or, on the other side, pretty corny in its attempt to humanize the people. (Same thing happened with Mexico and the cartel-border of it all, but that’s another story).
Theatrely's Off Broadway reviews of Between the Lines at the Tony Kiser Theatre and Richard III at the Public's Delacorte Theatre.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim which is now open at the St. James Theatre in New York City. The cast includes Patina Miller, Sara Bareilles, Brian d'Arcy James, Julia Lester, Gavin Creel, and more!
Natalie Y. Moore’s play is currently playing at the 16th Street Theater in Chicago.
Katori Hall’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play is now running at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., through July 31.
Theatrely's review of In His Hands by Benjamin Benne now in performance at Mosaic Theatre in Washington DC.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Robert Icke's adaptation of Hamlet starring Alex Lawther now in performance at the Park Avenue Armory.
It is not everyday that Dolly Parton premieres a new musical here in Boston, so the buzz around Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, now playing at the Emerson Colonial Theatre, has been the talk of the town.
Lolita Chakrabarti's play is now running at D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company through July 17.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's Snow in Midsummer at Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Circle Jerk by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley in collaboration with Ariel Sibert and Cat Rodríguez and directed by Rory Pelsue now playing at the Connelly Theater.
Theatrely's review of Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.
Theatrely's review of The Upstairs Department, the world premiere of Chelsea Marcantel now at Signature Theatre.
Theatrely's review of John Proctor is the Villain by Kimberly Belflower now playing at Washington D.C.'s Studio Theatre.
Theatrely's review of Shakespeare Theatre Company's Our Town by Thornton Wilder in Washington D.C.
Theatrely's review of There’s Always the Hudson which performance at Washington, D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre through June 5.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway Review of Ana Nogueira's Which Way To The Stage at MCC Theater in New York City. Directed by Mike Donague, the show features Max Jenkins, Sas Goldberg, Evan Todd and Michelle Veintimilla.
Theatrely's review of it's not a trip it's a journey by Charly Evon Simpson and directed by Nicole A. Watson at Round House Theatre in Bethesda MD.
Theatrely's Broadway review of POTUS: or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive by Selina Fillinger and directed by Susan Stroman. The cast includes Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White, and Vanessa Williams.
ByAmanda Marie Miller
August 4, 2022
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of A Case for the Existence of God by Damuel D. Hunter. Directed by David Cromer, the play features Will Brill and Kyle Beltran and is produced at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Wish You Were Here by Sanaz Toossi at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Directed by Gate Taylor Upchurch, the cast includes Nikki Massoud, Nazanin Nour, Artemis Pebdani, and Roxanna Hope Radja, and Marjan Neshat.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Into The Woods at New York City Center's Encores! series directed by Lear deBessonet. The Sondheim musical features Sara Bareilles, Neil Patrick harris, Ann Harada, Julia Lester, Denée Benton, Gavin Creel, Shereen Pimentel, Heather Headley and more.
Theatrely's review of We Declare You a Terrorist by Tim J. Lord at Round House Theatre in Bethesda.
Theatrely's Broadway Review of Mr. Saturday Night starring Billy Crystal at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City. The show features Randy Graff, David Paymer, Shoshana Bean, Chasten Harmon, Jordan Gelber, Brian Gonzales, and Mylinda Hull. The musical features a score by Jason Robert Brown.
Theatrely's Broadway Review of A Strange Loop by Michael R. Jackson at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City. Directed by Stephen Brackett, the show features Jaquel Spivey, L Morgan Lee, James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, John-Andrew Morrison, Jason Veasey, and Antwayn Hopper.
Theatrely's Broadway review of ThorntonWilder's The Skin of Our Teeth at the Vivian Beaumont Theater by way of Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. This revival is directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz who makes her Broadway debut.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Funny Girl, directed by Michael Mayer, with music by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City. The musical stars Beanie Feldstein, Ramin Karimloo, Jane Lynch, Jared Grimes, and a talented ensemble. Harvey Fierstein contributed the the book rewrites.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Islander by Stewart Melton and Finn Anderson which is now in performance at Playhouse 46 at St. Luke's in New York City. Directed by Amy Draper, the show features Kirsty Findlay and Bethany Tennick.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle at the American Airlines Theatre in New York City. Directed by Vivienne Benesch, the show features Debra Messing, Christopher Livingston, Enrico Colantoni, Susannah Flood, John Earl Jelks, and Crystal Finn.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of JC Lee's To My Girls at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater in New York City directed by Stephen Brackett.
Theatrely's Broadway review of David Mamet's American Buffalo starring Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne, and Darren Criss. Directed by Neil Pepe, the drama is currently playing at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway review of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand in a new version by Martin Crimp, directed by Jamie Lloyd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music starring James McAvoy.
Theatrely's Broadway review of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange which now in performance at the Booth Theatre in New York City. Directed by Camille A. Brown, the cast features Amara Granderson as Lady in Orange, Tendayi Kuumba as Lady in Brown, Kenita R. Miller as Lady in Red, Okwui Okpokwasili as Lady in Green, Stacey Sargeant as Lady in Blue, Alexandria Wailes as Lady in Purple, and D. Woods as Lady in Yellow.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Martin McDonagh's Hangmen which is now in performance at the Golden Theatre in New York City. The show, directed by Matthew Dunster, stars Tracie Bennett, Alfie Allen, Gaby French, David Threlfall, and more.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive which is now in performance at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York City. Directed by Mark Brokaw, the production features Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse, Johanna Day, Alyssa May Gold and Chris Myers.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Tracy Letts' The Minutes directed by Anna D. Shapiro now playing at Studio 54 in New York City. The play stars Letts, Noah Reid, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, Blair Brown, Ian Barford, Jeff Still, Danny McCarthy, K. Todd Freeman, and Cliff Chamberlain.
Theatrely's Off-Broadway Review of Harmony: A New Musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, directed and choregraphed by Warren Carlyle at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at Battery Place in New York City. The performance stars Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess, and a wonderful cast.
Theatrely's Off Broadway review of Suffs by Shaina Taub, now in performance at the Public Theater in New York City. Directed by Leigh Silverman, the story of Wilson-era suffragists stars Jenn Colella, Nikki M. James, Philipa Soo, and an extraordinary cast.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Paradise Square directed by Moisés Kaufman and choreography by Bill T. Jones now at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City. The show features Joaquina Kalukango, Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, A.J. Shively, Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel, and Kevin Dennis.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out now in performance at Second Stage's Hayes Theater in New York City. Directed by Scott Ellis, the show features Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Patrick J. Adams.
Theatrely's review of Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical at The People's Light Theatre in Malvern, Pennsylvania directed by Sheldon Epps.
March 31, 2022
Theatrely's review of Confederates by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Stori Ayers at Signature Theatre in New York City. The cast includes Elijah Jones, Kristolyn Lloyd, Andrea Patterson, Kenzie Ross and Michelle Wilson.
Theatrely's review of Claudia Rankine's Help now in performance at The Shed and Bryna Turner's At The Wedding now in performance at Lincoln Center's Claire Tow Theater, both in New York City.
Theatrely's review of Daphne's Dive at Signature Theatre in Washington DC by Quiara Alegria Hudes.
Theatrely's review of The Life by David Newman, Ira Gasman, and Cy Coleman, in a newly reworked and adapted version by Billy Porter at New York City Center Encores!. The cast features Destan Owens, Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, Alexandra Grey, and more.
Theatrely's review of The Tap Dance Kid, the first of this year's Encores! season at New York City Center. With music by Henry Krieger and Robert Lorick, the production is directed by Kenny Leon and choreographed by Jared Grimes. The cast includes Alexander Bello, Joshua Henry, Trevor Jackson, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and more.
Theatrely's review of Man Cave by John J. Caswell Jr. now in performance at the Connelly Theatre in New York City. Directed by Taylor Reynolds, the show stars Claudia Acosta, Jacqueline Guillén, Annie Henk, and Socorro Santiago.
February 1, 2022
Theatrely's review of Lindsay Joelle's Trayf currently in production at the Geffen playhouse's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in Los Angeles, California. Directed by Maggie Burrows, the performances include Ben Hirschhorn, Ilan Eskenazi, Garret Young, and Louisa Jacobson.
February 23, 2022
Theatrely's review of Little Girl Blue starring and written by Laiona Michelle. The tale of Nina Simone is directed by Devanand Janki is now in performance at New World Stages in New York City.
Theatrely's review of Wife of a Salesman by Eleanor Burgess at the Writers Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Directed by Jo Bonney, the production stars Kate Fry and Amanda Drinkall.
Theatrely's review of Jane Anger by Talene Monahon and directed by Jess Chayes at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City. The company includes Michael Urie, Amelia Workman, Ryan Spahn, Talene Monahon.
Theatrely's review of Coal Country, from the Public Theatre and Audible Theatre. The musical by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, with original music by Steve Earle is now in production at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. The cast includes Mary Bacon, Amelia Campbell, Kym Gomes, Ezra Knight, Thomas Kopache, Michael Laurence, Deirdre Madigan, and Carl Palmer.
Theatrely's review of The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh now in performances at the Public Theater, in partnership with the Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York City. Directed by Ralph B. Peña, the performance stars Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac.
Theatrely's review of English by Sanaz Toossi, directed by Knud Adams from Atlantic Theater Company and Roundabout Theatre Company. English features Tala Ashe, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Pooya Mohseni, Marjan Neshat, and Hadi Tabbal.
Theatrely's review of Change Agent by Craig Lucas now in performance at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. The performance includes Andrea Abello, Luis Vega, Jeffrey Omura, Kathryn Tkel, and Regan Linton.
Theatrely's review of On Sugarland currently in performance at New York Theatre Workshop by Aleshea Harris, directed by Whitney White, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly. The cast of On Sugarland will include Stephanie Berry, Thomas Walter Booker, Xavier Scott Evans, Mister Fitzgerald, Josh Fulton, Charisma Glasper, Kai Heath, Shemar Yanick Jonas, Billy Eugene Jones, Kiki Layne, Mariyea, Lizan Mitchell, Adeola Role and Jacob Daniel Smith.
Theatrely's review of Out of Time, a collection of monologues by Asian American playwrights performed by an ensemble of veteran Asian-American actors which is now in performance at The Public Theater. Conceived and directed by Les Waters, the monologues are written by Jaclyn Backhaus, Sam Chanse, Mia Chung, Naomi Iizuka, and Anna Ouyang Moench.
Theatrely's review of sandblasted by Charly Evon Simpson, directed by Summer L. Williams at the Vineyard Theatre and WP Theater in New York City. The play features Rolonda Watts, Andy Lucien, Brittany Bellizeare, and Marinda Anderson.
Theatrely's review of Space Dogs, a new musical from MCC Theater written and starring Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire. Directed by Ellie Heyman, the musical about Laika the dog who traveled to space is choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie.
Theatrely's review of Power of Sail by Paul Grellong now at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California. Bryan Cranston stars in the new drama alongside Amy Brenneman, Hugo Armstrong, Donna Simone Johnson, Tedra Millan, Seth Numrich, and Brandon Scott. The production is directed by Weyni Mengesha.
February 23, 2022
Theatrely's review of Suzan-Lori Parks' White Noise, which is now in performance at Studio Theatre in Washington DC.
Theatrely's review of the New York premiere of Hansol Jung's Wolf Play from Ma-Yi Theater Company and Soho Rep. The cast features Esco Jouléy as Ash, Brandon Mendez Homer as Ryan, Aubie Merrylees as Peter, Nicole Villamil as Robin, and Mitchell Winter as Wolf.
Theatrely's review of Black No More from The New Group. This new musical, inspired by George S. Schuyler’s 1931 novel, features Book by John Ridley; Lyrics by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter; Music by Tariq Trotter, Anthony Tidd, James Poyser and Daryl Waters; Choreography by Bill T. Jones; and Direction by Scott Elliott. The cast features Jennifer Damiano, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tamika Lawrence, Howard McGillin, Ephraim Sykes, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, and Lillias White to name a few.
Theatrely's Broadway review for The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle. The book, music, and lyrics are penned by Meredith Willson. The musical is currently playing at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City.
Theatrely's review of Joshua Harmon's Prayer For The French Republic which is now in performance Off Broadway at New York City Center - Stage I from Manhattan Theatre Club. Directed by David Cromer, the cast features Betsy Aidem, Yair Ben-Dor, Francis Benhamou, Ari Brand, Pierre Epstein, Peyton Lusk, Molly Ranson, Nancy Robinette, Jeff Seymour, Kenneth Tigar, and Richard Topol.
Theatrely's review by Juan Michael Porter of Tambo & Bones, a new play at Playwrights Horizons by Dave Harris. The performance features Brendan Dalton, W. Tré Davis, Tyler Fauntleroy, and Dean Linnard; it is directed by Taylor Reynolds.
Theatrely's review of Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon's new opera Intimate Apparel which recently opened at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher.
A broadway review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child now playing at the Lyric Theatre in New York City. Since its West End debut in 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has attracted intense fan interest around its central relationship. The close bond between Harry Potter’s son Albus and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius forms the emotional core of Jack Thorne’s play, which follows the pair’s doomed effort to “set history right” by stealing a time turner and saving Cedric Diggory’s life nineteen years in the past. (It goes wrong, of course, and complications ensue.) Thorne’s original text, co-conceived with director John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling (more on her later) does not demand Albus and Scorpius’ bond be played as a burgeoning romance. But Tiffany and original co-stars Sam Clemmett and Anthony Boyle certainly leaned into that reading in the play’s first iteration, playing the duo’s journey as a love story even when the text sometimes insisted otherwise. Choreographer Steven Hoggett even crafted a mournful, romantic “Staircase Ballet” for a scene where the two are forced apart.
Theatrely's review of the North American premiere of Everybody's Talking About Jamie now in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre starring Layton Williams and Roy Haylock aka Bianca Del Rio.
January 24, 2022
Theatrely's review of Robert O'Hara new adaptation of Long Day's Journey Into Night originally by Eugene O'Neill now playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre. The cast includes Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, Ato Blankson-Wood, and Jason Bowen.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew now in performance at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street in New York City. Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the play stars Chanté Adams, Joshua Boone, Brandon J. Dirden, Adesola Osakalumi, and Phylicia Rashad.
Theatrely's review of Clare Barron's Shhhh, which is now in performance at Atlantic Stage 2 in New York City. In addition to Clare Barron, Shhhh features Janice Amaya, Annie Fang, Nina Grollman, Greg Keller, and Constance Shulman.
Theatrely's Broadway review of MJ The Musical, a bio-jukebox musical about Michael Jackson now in performance at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City. Christopher Wheeldon directs and choreograph the musical with a book by Lynn Nottage starring Myles Frost.
Theatrely's review of Taylor Mac's new opera The Hang which is now in performance at Here in New York City.
February 1, 2022
Jeanna de Waal’s debut cabaret show, performed Monday evening at Feinstein’s/54 Below, perfectly captured the spirit of a performer excited for the future and “a princess moving on'' after the hasty closing of Diana. Packed with superfans and sheep sweaters, the venue was filled with giddy looks between tables and a sense of wonder for what was about to unfold. Each song was met with a rumbling of whispers ringing out before lyrics could even begin, as many opted to quickly pull out their phones, set to record and share the drama of it all. de Waal had been at the center of the Diana universe for years, through the San Diego production, two rounds of Broadway previews, a Netflix recording under severe COVID precautions, and a run that would ultimately play 34 performances before closing on December 19, 2021. Years in the making, de Waal’s performance as the people’s princess turned heads while her solo show continued to win hearts.
ByAmanda Marie Miller
August 4, 2022
This past August, the fall of Afghanistan was witnessed by people across the globe, many of us watching news coverage on our phone screens. We could hold those illuminating rectangles in the palm of our hand, watching horrors unfold. With one click, we could also make the horrors disappear. The conversion of refugees from living people to just pixels on a screen can impact how Afghan refugees are characterized in the news. During September of this year, one AP News report described “two tiny dots dropping from [a] plane,” at the Kabul airport. For journalists and storytellers, it’s an impossible task to narrate asylum seekers in real time. But weren’t those “two dots” real people? Doesn’t an abstract representation of an atrocity hide the reality of the people experiencing it?Studio Theatre’s new show Flight doesn’t resolve these questions as much as it dives deeper into them with immersive storytelling and incredible detail. Instead of running away from the small images that often dominate refugee news coverage, the show embraces them, creating countless dioramas of refugees in miniature. Flight proves that small images aren’t necessarily diminutive in their impact. In fact, the small images in Flight conjure a different sort of power, one uniquely theatrical and purposefully abstract.
Theatrely's Broadway review of Flying Over Sunset at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater. The Doors of Perception is an anomaly: the hyper-literate Aldous Huxley’s 1954 book about his experiences with mescaline, it married his breathtaking combination of crystal clear sociopolitics to a still-unmatched first person account of being under the influence of psychedelics. Equally bizarre was Clare Booth Luce, a staunch Republican congresswoman and ambassador to Italy whose 1936 play, The Women, famously featured no men and gave rich insight into the lives of Manhattan socialites. And then there’s Cary Grant, one of the handsomest Hollywood leading men who mastered the art of screwball while dodging lifelong gay allegations created by his living with another actor.
Dear Evan Hansen wants the humorous but scathing energy that Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick has in spades. The similarities between Hansen and Teenage Dick run deep. Both shows follow awkward, lonely teenage guys trying to get through high school. Both protagonists gain incredible social power through the force of their storytelling. They use this power to woo their popular love interests, and excuse their gaslighting because of their disabilities. And in the end, everything comes crashing down because of dangerous lies exacerbated by social media. Both shows have had large cultural moments this year. Hansen’s film adaptation premiered in movie theaters this past September and re-opens on Broadway this weekend. Teenage Dick, which previously ran off-Broadway in 2018, is now touring through some of the most well-known regional theatres in America. Having already played at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this fall, the show is now running at the Huntington Theatre Company and will head over to Pasadena Playhouse in February.
Kimberly Akimbo, the new musical which premiered tonight at the Atlantic Theater Company, does not carry itself with the weight David Lindsay-Abaire’s book and lyrics, and Jeanine Tesori’s music, hold. The offbeat anti-comedy glides along like an awkward teen at the New Jersey ice-skating rink its characters hang around, but make no mistake: this is a momentous work of theatre, exquisitely performed by a stellar cast of talent, known and new.
The 50th anniversary production of Company is not golden, as such anniversaries are, but rather an incandescent neon under Marianne Elliott’s ingenious direction. Though, thanks to the pandemic, it actually opens 51 years after the original landmark production. This lush, expensive-looking production arrives on Broadway following an acclaimed West End revival which swapped its perennially single protagonist from Bobby to Bobbie, creating an array of fascinating changes to its gender dynamics.
This production of Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop Woolly Mammoth comes after the show’s much-lauded off-Broadway production in the summer of 2019, produced by Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 Productions. The D.C. production of A Strange Loop was announced in March of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theatre across America, and right before Jackson’s won 2020’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the show. Woolly Mammoth isn’t known for producing musicals, yet it makes sense for A Strange Loop to be staged here. The musical has more in common with Woolly Mammoth’s past productions of experimental Black plays (like Fairview or An Octoroon) than the reworkings of classic musicals typically seen in D.C. theatre.
It appears that one of the major vibes, if you will, of post-quarantine theatre is tension, in particular claustrophobic, interpersonal tension that builds between people stuck in a small space or a single room. This mood permeates recent plays including Pass Over, Dana H, Is This A Room, Last of the Love Letters, The Fever, and now, Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul at Playwrights Horizons. Of course, these plays all or mostly pre-date the pandemic, and yet after so much time being stuck inside, they feel different, more intense and real than ever before. The notion of a single-room play is nothing new, but now, after many of us have been living single-room lives, they have a newfound relevancy and relatability. They haunt us in ways that feel familiar.
Where the show truly shines is with the fantastic company that director Jerry Zaks has assembled. Rob McClure is a theatrical force to be reckoned with. Seamlessly transitioning back and forth between Daniel and Doubtfire, McClure is giving a career defining performance that would surely make Robin Williams proud. The lovely Jenn Gambatese as Miranda and their on-stage children Analise Scarpaci as Lydia (terrific), Jake Ryan Flynn as Christopher (enthusiastic), and Avery Sell as Natalie (adorable) make up the Hillard clan. A Broadway review of Mrs. Doubtfire.
Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, now at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre and streaming online, offers one potent exploration of these questions. Yee’s answer—which is vividly brought to life in this production—is to reconfigure Chinese history into a story between parents and children, mapping painful histories of nations onto the painful histories of family. In this so-called “socio-political fable,” allegory and memory are intertwined to both delightful and calamitous effect.
Alice Childress had a lot to say about being a Black woman working in theatre in 1955, and channeled those righteously indignant observations into Trouble in Mind, which finally opened Broadway earlier tonight. The work had been scheduled to transfer from its successful original off-Broadway run, but Childress would not make the cuts producers felt would smooth out the play’s open-faced callout of systemic racism, and the production was canceled. The story of how the play finally made it to the Great White Way is a bittersweet triumph that says more about our culture than about the work itself, and Roundabout Theatre Company is ensuring that we know it, announcing it before performances and noting it in all of its advertisements. The play’s insights, and the fact they remain as relevant now as they were over 60 years ago, are equally more about the context than the material. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright without the red-blooded urgency it calls for, it is more of a respectful replica of a time capsule than an authentic relic itself. A review of Trouble in Mind on Broadway.
Paradise Square represents many firsts in the theater industry’s recovery from the pandemic shutdown. It’s the first production to reopen the Nederlander Theatre — a pillar of the Loop theater district — and the first pre-Broadway run of a major new work in Chicago. When it transfers to New York City’s Barrymore Theatre, where it’s slated to begin previews in February of next year, it will be among one of the first new musicals to open on Broadway. A review of the new pre-broadway tryout.
Erika Dickerson-Despenza, the writer of Cullud Wattah, a magnificent new play which just opened at the Public Theater, calls herself a ‘cultural-memory worker.’ I’d usually bristle at the self-proclaimed title, so vague in its implications, but anyone who can follow the stunning shadow/land—the first installment in her epic 10-play “Katrina cycle,” released as an audio production by the Public earlier this year—with a work of such breathtaking beauty can do just about anything, including convincing me of their title. Because, while Dickerson-Despenza is a playwright of the once-in-a-generation kind, these two works assert her mastery at combining the intimate family histories of classic memory plays with the political sharpness of an agile social worker. A review of cullud wattah at the Public Theater.